News Roundup: Deignan expecting; Bouhanni bummed; motor cheater sentenced
Here’s your News Roundup for Wednesday, March 14. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling. Stay tuned for more as the season heats up!
Deignan puts cycling on hold for pregnancy
British star Lizzie Deignan revealed Wednesday that she is expecting her first child this September with husband Philip Deignan. Deignan, who won the 2016 UCI World Championship road race, said she will take a break from professional cycling for the remainder of the season, and then return to the sport in 2019.
Deignan made the announcement via her Instagram page.
“I am proud to announce that I am aiming to return to professional cycling in 2019 and 2020,” Deignan said. “I have been inspired by countless women who have showed how successful and feasible this challenge could be.”
Deignan was noticeably absent from the Boels-Dolmans roster for the first two UCI Women’s WorldTour races of the season, Strade Bianche and Ronde van Drenthe. Deignan won the 2016 edition of Strade Bianche.
Bouhanni: The doctor gave me the green light but Cofidis management decided to pull me from Sanremo
Nacer Bouhanni will miss Saturday’s Milano-Sanremo, and according to the French sprinter, the decision wasn’t up to him.
The Cofidis rider has battled bronchitis over the past few days, but CyclismActu.net reports that Bouhanni believes himself healthy enough to race.
“It is not me who has forfeited Milano-Sanremo. It is a decision of the management of the Cofidis team, a decision that I can only accept and respect even if morally it is hard for me, because I wanted to be there,” Bouhanni said, according to the French website.
“I was well and I had even the green light of the doctor of the Cofidis team. Since Sunday morning, I’ve had the green light to ride a bike. After resting two days on Friday and Saturday, I resumed training on Sunday with an hour and a half of cycling. Monday, I even did three hours of cycling.”
Though known for his combative sprints, Bouhanni said that he could only continue to train and race when given the opportunity.
Up-and-coming French speedster Christophe Laporte will lead Cofidis at Sanremo in Bouhanni’s absence.
French motor cheater sentenced
Cyril Fontayne, 43, made headlines last fall when he was busted for cheating in a local amateur race in France. Initial reports indicated he might face fraud charges when the case went to trial at the Criminal Court of Perigueux.
According to French newspaper La Parisienne, he plead guilty to fraud this week, but it looks like he got off a bit easy with just a symbolic 88-euro fine and an order to perform 60 hours of community service. He has also been banned from competition for five years.
Cavendish will ride Milano-Sanremo despite broken rib
After a nasty crash in the stage 1 team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, it seemed unlikely that 2009 Milano-Sanremo winner Mark Cavendish would race “La Primavera” on Saturday. His Dimension Data team announced Wednesday that the Brit was in fact going to take the start in Milan.
“After crashing in Tirreno I’m obviously not in any sort of condition to win Milano-Sanremo but having been able to train enough through the pain over the last few days I feel like I can go in support of my teammates,” Cavendish said in a team statement.
He’ll be joined by lead-out man Mark Renshaw, who’s also been a bit off his game, withdrawing from stage 5 at Tirreno due to illness.
Dimension Data will also start Edvald Boasson Hagen, Scott Thwaites, Julien Vermote, Jay Thomson, and Stephen Cummings.