News Roundup: Roubaix rider locked out; Movistar on cobbles; Neben to Pan-Ams
Here’s your News Roundup for Wednesday, April 11. 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!
Siskevicius locked out of Roubaix velodrome
Paris-Roubaix is a brutal race — everyone from the winner to 70th place suffers mightily on the cobbles. But the race is especially cruel for the final finishers. Some of these men are time cut and not given an official result, a practice that’s drawn criticism over the years.
This year, the fates piled on one more indignity for Edvaldas Siskevicius, who was the last man on the road. The broom wagon followed him into Roubaix, where, to his dismay, he found the gates to the velodrome locked. Fortunately, a sympathetic security guard was still on hand to open up the track for the Lithuanian so he could ride to the finish, even if he wouldn’t add his name to the results sheet.
Valverde and Quintana test Tour cobblestones
Watch out, Peter Sagan, the Movistar riders want a piece of the action on the cobbled roads of Paris-Roubaix! Well, not quite, but Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana, and Mikel Landa were all out in Northern France to preview a few key cobblestone sectors that will be included in stage 9 of the Tour de France.
“Taking advantage of all materials we already had here in northern France for Roubaix, we also tested different wheelsets, tire pressures — it’s also about having everyone going into this stage, come July, with absolute confidence about what’s best for them,” said sport director José Luis Arrieta.
Neben and Stephens head to Pan-American Championships for Team USA
USA Cycling is sending two riders to San Juan, Argentina for the Pan-American Championships: Two-time world champion Amber Neben and Cylance’s Lauren Stephens. The duo will race the individual time trial on May 3. The results of the race could have an impact on the U.S. team’s prospects at world championships as well.
“Either of these incredible time trialists can win Pan Am Championships, which is important, as it secures an extra spot at this year’s world championships for Team USA,” said Scott Schnitzspahn, USA Cycling VP of elite athletics.
In addition to her world titles, Neben is also the reigning U.S. national time trial champion. Stephens was second to her in the 2017 nationals.
Bastianelli wins Brabantse Pijl
Italian Marta Bastianelli may be an under-the-radar favorite for the trio of hilly classics ahead in the Women’s WorldTour. After winning Gent-Wevelgem in March, the Ale-Cipollini rider took the sprint to claim Brabantse Pijl, which leads the season into Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race. Amstel is followed by Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège April 22.
Canadian Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) was second to Bastianelli with Marianne Vos (Waowdeals) taking third in the 136.8km race.