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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S Truman

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André Greipel dislocates shoulder in a training crash

Greipel's Israel Start-Up Nation team posted this bad news:

André Greipel suffered shoulder injuries in a crash earlier today during his training ride near Köln, and will be sidelined about 3 months.

Andre Greipel

André Greipel at the Tour Down Under earlier this year. Sirotti photo

After a promising start of the season, the injury will cause Greipel, the most decorated active rider in cycling with 156 victories, will now miss the Classics.

“It's definitely a big set back for Greipel and the team,” admitted Israel Start-Up pro manager Kjell Carlstrom. “He started the season so well in the Tour Down Under and showed what kind of a leader he is for the team. We already lost two riders for months to severe injuries - Rory Sutherland and Ben Hermans. So it's definitely bad news and something we will need to overcome but it will not be easy”.

Greipel described the unfortunate incident during his training ride with teammate Rick Zabel: “A car came in our direction so we went single file on a small road. There was water and mud on the road and somehow I came off the road and lost my balance. My front wheel slipped, and I slid towards a rock with my head and shoulder first...”

He felt well enough to continue the ride home, not before popping his shoulder back again. “ I was hoping it would be ok”, he said.

But further exams done in the hospital showed significant damage to the left shoulder. According to ISN team Doctor Ortwin Schafer, Greipel suffered a shoulder luxation and shoulder fracture.

Greipel will most probably need surgery to fix the dislocated labrum gleonoidale to its normal position. Further examinations will take place tomorrow, but according to doctor Schafer it seems that the German legion will return to racing in about 3 months.

Sebastian Langeveld optimistic after surgery

Langeveld's EF Pro Cycling team sent me this update:

Sebastian Langeveld had surgery over the weekend to repair a broken right collarbone he sustained in a crash Friday, Feb. 7. The surgery went to plan, and now the Dutchman sets his sights on rest and recovery.  

Sebastian Langeveld

Sebastian Langeveld in 2109. Sirotti photo

Langeveld crashed during the third stage of Étoile de Bessèges, when a rider lost control in front of him on a descent.

“The operation went very well. There’s nothing special to report,” Langeveld said Monday. “I just have to see when my body feels OK to go on the trainer again. After that, the next step is the road. It could be a week, it could be two weeks. We just have to see how the recovery will go. For now, I just have to relax and give my body the time it needs.”

The team’s head of medicine, Dr. Kevin Sprouse, echoed Langeveld. “At this point, Sebastian will feel it out day by day and start to return to training as he’s ready and progress from there. Every surgery, every injury, is individual,” Sprouse noted.

Langeveld’s ultimate aim is to race the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. 

“I’m very positive about doing the classics. It’s not ideal, but it’s one of those circumstances you don’t have an influence on in the whole preparation. I trained all winter for Flanders and Roubaix; this is just one of those things you’ve got to handle. Now it’s a collarbone, but it could have been the flu, or something else,” Langeveld said. “With the team behind me, with EF behind me, with Jonathan Vaughters as a coach, we can tackle this to make a very good plan.”

Jan Hirt and Fausto Masnada to make CCC Team debut at Tour de la Provence 

CCC Team sent me this update:

11 February 2020: CCC Team will continue its block of racing in France this week with a well-rounded team heading to the start line of Tour de la Provence (13 - 16 February).

Sports Director Gabriele Missaglia is confident that CCC Team can use the strengths of all seven riders across the four-day stage race.

“Tour de la Provence is a very hard race but I think, looking at the riders we are lining up with, we will have a variety of cards to play. The first stage is almost completely flat with just over 500 meters of climbing, nothing in comparison to the rest of the race and so, on this day we will work for Jakub Mareczko, who I think is in good shape. For the rest of the race, Fausto Masnada and Jan Hirt will be our protected riders, particularly for the two important summit finish stages. Of course, this will be the first race of the year for both riders so, it will also be a bit of a test for them to see what their shape is like after the winter,” Missaglia explained.

Jan Hirt

Jan Hirt (shown at the 2017 Giro) will start his season at the Tour de la Provence, Sirotti photo

“The rest of our roster, Will Barta, Jonas Koch, Michał Paluta and Attila Valter, will also have the chance to look for any breakaway opportunities as well as providing strong support for Hirt and Masnada. Overall, we have a nice team heading to Tour de la Provence and I think we can aim for a good result.”

Fausto Masnada and Jan Hirt are both looking forward to testing their early-season form on the tough climbs that feature in their debut race for CCC Team.

“I am very excited and can’t wait to start my first season in my new colors and in a WorldTeam. I worked hard all winter in order to try and start the 2020 season in the best shape so I feel ready. I am happy to be returning to Tour de la Provence because I know this race well, it was my first race in 2019, and I also like the hard stages. It’s difficult to have particular goals because while it’s the first race for me and I know my condition, I don’t know that of my competitors,” Masnada said.

“I’m really excited to start racing in orange again after a two-year break from a CCC-sponsored team. I am not 100 percent sure what my form will be like after the winter but, I have worked hard and I think that Tour de la Provence will be a good test at the start of the season. The race is hard, with plenty of climbing, so it will give me the chance to see what I can do for myself and for the team as well as get some quality racing kilometers in the legs for the season ahead,” Hirt added.

Tour de la Provence (13 - 16 February)

Rider roster: Will Barta (USA), Jan Hirt (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Fausto Masnada (ITA), Michał Paluta (POL), Attila Valter (HUN)

Sports Directors: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN)

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