News roundup: Landa breaks collarbone in season opener; Omloop wildcards
Here’s your News roundup for Thursday, January 31. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling.
Mikel Landa crashes out of Mallorca Challenge
Movistar climber Mikel Landa’s 2019 season started on the wrong note Thursday as he crashed out of the first day of the Mallorca Challenge in Spain. The team confirmed he would require surgery to repair the injury sustained with 15 kilometers remaining in the Trofeo Ses Salines-Felantx.
“Radiological examinations confirmed a fractured collarbone [right],” the team said. “Landa will be transferred to his home on Friday and will be operated on in 48 hours.”
Lotto-Soudal neo-pro Rasmus Iversen also came a cropper in the pile-up, breaking his collarbone as well.
Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) went on to win the 180.5-kilometer race, attacking shortly before the final kilometer of the 5km finish climb.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad invites seven wildcard teams
Organizers of the classics season kickoff, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, picked seven Pro Continental teams to take on the 200-kilometer WorldTour race on March 2 in Belgium.
As anticipated, the majority of the selected teams are from the home country: Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team, Wallonie Bruxelles, and Corendon-Circus. The latter team is an intriguing addition to the line-up as Corendon is home to cyclocross phenom Mathieu van der Poel. The former ‘cross world champion is expected to race a full cobbled classics season.
In addition to those four teams, Omloop organizers picked Direct Energie, Cofidis, and Roompot-Charles to round out the lineup that will join the 18 WorldTour teams that are automatically invited.
“As an organization, we have awarded wildcards to strong teams to participate in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, teams that without a doubt will prove to be an asset to the race,” said newly hired organizer Scott Sunderland. “Some teams have shown in the past that they dare to attack while playing an important role in the outcome of the race.”
Woods outsprints Porte to win Sun Tour stage 2 and take lead
Canadian Michael Woods (EF Education First) scored his first victory of 2019 with a gritty attack on the dirt roads of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour stage 2. Woods rode away from the peloton on the day’s primary climb, Jeeralang, with 12km to go. He said it helped that his team had previewed the stage beforehand.
“We reconned this stage three days ago,” said Woods. “We had a long talk about the stage, and we executed exactly as we had planned. It was a huge advantage, and it paid off.”
Porte followed Woods’s attack, and the finish came down to a two-up sprint, which Woods won by a few bike lengths.
“Last year I took a big step in terms of finding the front of a race on a regular basis, but I hadn’t yet figure out how to win,” Woods added. “It’s only been in the last six months that I’m starting to figure out that part.”
He goes into stage 3 of the five-day race with a four-second lead on Porte, thanks to a time bonus earned at the king of the mountains sprint.
Mitchelton-Scott cleans up at Women’s Sun Tour
The women’s edition of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour wrapped up Thursday with home team Mitchelton-Scott taking the top two overall positions in Australia. Lucy Kennedy won by 36 seconds ahead of teammate Amanda Spratt. Brodie Chapman (Tibco-SVB) was third, making it an all-Aussie podium.
Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) won the first day of racing in a sprint, while Kennedy won the second of two stages Thursday with a solo attack.
“As a team, we just wanted to make it really really hard leading into the final climb and it was with the crosswind and a lot of people were being really aggressive,” said Kennedy, who took advantage of an early attack by Spratt on stage 2’s final climb. Kennedy sat on Chapman’s wheel and attacked over the top of the final climb.
American Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) finished seventh overall after also finishing seventh in stage 2, a 91.5km stage that started and finished in Churchill.