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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. - Saint Augustine

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Movistar re-signs Winner Anacona & Carlos Betancur

Here's the team's news release:

9 OCTOBER 2017: As well as Nairo Quintana, the Movistar Team's 2018 roster will also rely on other Colombian riders who were part of its ranks during the current season. The squad managed by Eusebio Unzué has signed two-year extensions with Winner Anacona and Carlos Betancur and now has 24 men under contract with 2018, after the signings of Mikel Landa, Jaime Rosón, Eduardo Sepúlveda, Rafa Valls and neo-pro Jaime Castrillo.

Anacona (29), usual training partner of Nairo Quintana in the duo's hometown Tunja, will fulfil its fourth season in Blue colours after a notable 2017, where he worked hard for Quintana in the Giro d'Italia and still managed to reach 25th place in the individual overall classification. A notable climber and a decent time trialist, he's got one Grand Tour stage win to his account from the 2014 Vuelta a España.

Betancur (27), now in an advanced state of recovery following his ankle fracture during the recent Vuelta a España -while racing into an elite GC group at early hilly stages in Valenciana-, will seek for a place into the very best of the international peloton in his third season as Movistar Team members. Already in 2017, he shone bright at the opening stage of the Hammer Series, cementing the Blues' convincing win in Vaals, and confirmed his three-week stagerace potential at the Tour de France (18th) and the Vuelta a España, before the crashed out of the race.

Carlos Betancur

Carlos Betancur in 2016

Laurens de Plus update

Here's the news from Team Quick-Step Floors

The Belgian, who crashed heavily last Saturday, will return on the bike next month.

Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season, was also Laurens De Plus' last outing of 2017, but unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he didn't bow out as he had wanted, after crashing into a ravine off Muro di Sormano while chasing lone leader Mikael Cherel, some 45 kilometers from the finish.

The Belgian was immediately attented by the race doctors and taken to the Cantù hospital, where he was kept under observation for 24 hours before traveling to Herentals for further medical examinations, which revealed a small avulsion fracture of the lateral part of the tibial plateau on the right knee.

"I was afraid that my knee was severely damaged, but fortunately it isn't that bad. The doctors even told me that I've been really lucky with the outcome, as it could have been much worse. My thoughts are also with the other riders who've crashed there, I wish them all the best. It's not the best way to end the season, but I'm looking on the positive side, which is that we're in the off season now and I have time to recover before joining the team for the December training camp", said Laurens De Plus, who'll have to walk with crutches in the next two weeks, before observing four weeks of relative rest.

Luke Durbridge's determined rehabilitation

Here's the team's telling of the rider's comeback:

Driedaagse de Panne stage winner Luke Durbridge enjoyed a successful start to the season with consistent results and strong performances through the classics period and was all set for his fourth appearance at this year’s Tour de France.

However, the opening prologue stage didn’t quite go as Durbridge had planned. A wet and slippery course in Dusseldorf saw the 26-year-old crash on a corner and damage his ankle, forcing him to withdraw from the race and head for surgery.

Luke Durbridge

Luke Durbridge after winning stage 3b of this year's Driedaagse de Panne

“When I crashed I broke some ligaments in the side of my ankle that holds my tendon in place,” Durbridge said. “When I tried to walk or ride my tendon wouldn’t stay in place, so I returned to Girona the next day and I had an operation to pin my ligaments back to the bone to hold the tendon in place. This meant I had to wear a ´moon´ boot for three weeks and wait six weeks until I would be able to ride properly again.

“We were kind of in the unknown for the recovery time as it's not a very common cyclist injury.”

Despite being disappointed, having a serious mid-season injury, the Perth rider remained positive and motivated and quickly got stuck into rehab allowing him to make a rapid recovery.

“The recovery period went very quickly,” Durbridge continued. “It was really hard to watch the Tour de France from the couch but I made the most of the time I had at home. I started swimming two to three kilometres a day just 12 days after the operation. I'm not a big fan of swimming but it passed the time and let me expend some energy so I was not a miserable person to be around, as most cyclist are when they can't ride their bikes.

“After another two weeks I stared using Zwift, the online training system which Mat Hayman famously used in his period prior to his Paris-Roubaix win. I really enjoyed it and it made the countless hours on the home trainer pass quickly.”

After enduring weeks of indoor training and swimming, the former Australian time trial and road race champion was eager to get back outdoors and train on the road and after such an impressive, rapid recovery Durbridge was able to return to racing just eight weeks after his operation.

“After six weeks I was finally able to go training on the road once again and it was an amazing feeling,” said Durbridge. “It really made me realise and appreciate how lucky I am to normally be able to ride everyday on the road. Only two weeks later I was back racing at the OVO Tour of Britain. I was under no pressure other than to just try and get through the race, so when I arrived with a solid tenth place in the individual time trial I was pretty surprised.

“That was a nice reward to show I didn't waste my recovery period.”

After returning to racing at a high level, Durbridge was satisfied with his rehab efforts and went on to race for ORICA-SCOTT in the world championship team time trial event.

“With this kind of an injury it is almost a constant six month period of rehab to get back to full range of movement,” Durbridge explained. “The next goal for me now is to be able to do some cross training like running during the off-season.”

“So fingers crossed that I will have a full range of movement to be able to do that and I am already looking forward to a better 2018 season.”

Sander Armée re-signs with Lotto-Soudal

The team sent me this news:

Sander Armée (31) has extended his contract with Lotto Soudal until the end of 2020. The Belgian rider, who claimed his first WorldTour win in the Vuelta last month, has been part of the team since 2014 and he was happy to sign for three more years.

Sander Armee

Sander Armée winning stage 18 of this year's Vuelta

Sander Armée: "It’s nice that I can keep working in this pleasant environment. It’s now my fourth year with the team and I immediately felt good at Lotto Soudal. I think that I’m the kind of rider who can help the team in a lot of different races but who can also get good results if the race profile suits my abilities. If our leaders are present, my role will be to help them as much as I can. But if there are no real leaders in the team, I can have a shot at winning. I’m glad with this situation and I think it can remain as such for the years to come. I still want to win another race, of course. I knew that I had a victory in my legs but it also depends a lot on the situation. I maybe have a little more confidence after my Vuelta stage win, and I hope I can repeat that in the future. It might be a race at another level though, but I will keep trying."


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