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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, March 19, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. - Coco Chanel

Today's racing:

Latest completed racing:

Mark Cavendish Milano-San Remo crash update

Here's his team's news:

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka can confirm that, thankfully, Mark Cavendish sustained no serious injury following a major crash within 10 kilometres of the finish of Milan-Sanremo on Saturday.

The 32-year-old fell heavily after striking a bollard [a short post used to divert traffic from an area or road] and was immediately assisted by race medical personnel, after which he was taken to a local hospital.

Following medical imaging, it was determined that he avoided major injury in the incident. He did sustain a new rib fracture (5th) on the same side as the one that he damaged in the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico (7th).

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish being helped right after crashing in Milano-San Remo. Eurosport-au photo

He also has bruising and abrasions consistent with the scale of the crash as well as a possible “ligamentous ankle injury” that will require further assessment once he returns home on Saturday.

The team would like to extend a big thanks to everybody who has sent messages of concern; and we will keep you updated as and when, should additional information become available.

2018 Volta a Catalunya team previews

Here's the Team Movistar update:

Despite the Volta a Catalunya's having celebrated its centenary edition seven years ago, the 2018 race will be the 98th in the history of the third longest-standing multi-day event in the UCI calendar -after the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia-. Alejandro Valverde and the Movistar Team will defend their brilliant victory from last season over a course even more mountainous than in previous editions -no less than three stages- and featuring no time trials – which will make for an even more decisive passage through the Pyrenees.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde will be on the start line to defend his 2017 victory.

Before reaching that mountain range, the riders will have to get past two tricky finishes. Monday 19th will see the peloton take on the traditional loop around Calella (152km), with the ascent and difficult descent of the Collsacreu (Cat-3). Tuesday 20th will bring another finish in Valls, home of the late Xavi Tondo, after the climb to the Coll de Lilla (Cat-3), on wide roads and gentle gradients – yet just 10km from the end.

Wednesday 21st March will mark the start of the mountain trio halfway through the race. Stage three will take the riders to the top of Vallter 2000 (HC) -Nairo Quintana was the last winner here in 2013-, after 199km with the previous climbs of Bracons (Cat-1), Oix (Cat-1) and Rocabruna (Cat-1). On Thursday 22n, the race will once again return to La Molina (Cat-1), via the Coll del Jou (Cat-1) and La Creueta (HC). Finally, on stage five (Friday 23rd), a very long trek: 212km to Vielha, featuring the Port del Cantó (HC), the Creu de Perves (Cat-1) and the non-categorized ascents towards the Tunnel near the capital of the Val d’Aran historical region – crested 16k from the finish.

The closing weekend will present the clearest chance for sprinters in this year’s race -194km with a flat finish in Torrefarrera, on Saturday 24th- and the always exciting, intense Montjuïc circuit, eight laps around Barcelona’s ‘Magia Mountain’ to close the race (154km).

Here's the Team Quick-Step Floors news:

First held in 1911 and boasting a rich history, the Volta a Catalunya is one of the oldest stage races on the calendar, part of the World Tour since 2005 and a real heaven for the climbers. For the 98th edition, the race will once again take on a well-known path, meaning there will be no opportunities for time trialists and limited chances for sprinters, whose teams will have to work hard so they don't leave Spain empty-handed.

Two mountain top finishes – Vallter 2000 (12.7km, 7.4%) and La Molina (12.2km, 4.5%) – a fast descent to Vielha, the traditional Montjuic circuit and a total of 26 classified climbs, these will be just some of the highlights of the race that will take place between 19-25 March.

Quick-Step Floors will go at the start of the Volta a Catalunya, the season's ninth World Tour stop, with a young team comprising three neo-pros – Alvaro Hodeg, James Knox and Ecuadorian Champion Jhonatan Narvaez – Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv, Maximilian Schachmann and Bob Jungels, who is lining out for the seven-day race after previously riding Tirreno-Adriatico, where a bout of illness impacted on his performance after what has been a promising start.

Bob Jungels

Bob Jungels will start the Catalonian stage race. Here he is racing the Vuelta last year.

"Tirreno-Adriatico went a bit differently than I had expected. I came there in a good shape but I got sick after a few days and just didn't have the legs on the key stages, but finished off with a solid time trial, which was reassuring. Catalunya is a race I've never done before and one of the hardest on the calendar, but I'm really looking forward to it. We have a strong team and hopefully we'll come out of the race with some nice results", Bob said when asked about the expectations for next week.

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