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VN news ticker: Alexey Lutsenko wins Coppa Agostoni, Specialized to recall Tarmac SL7, Lawson Craddock confirms EF departure

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, October 11.

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Alexey Lutsenko outsprints Matteo Trentin at Coppa Agostoni

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) outsprinted Matteo Trentin (UAE Emirates) to win the Coppa Agostoni on Monday. Alessandro Covi made it two-three on the podium for his Emirati team by winning the sprint for third.

The Kazakh racer Lutsenko made it into a six-rider attack in the close of the hilly race and countered a move from Trentin in the final 10km to set up the final two-up sprint.

After placing second behind Alexandr Riabushenko at the race in 2019, Lutsenko was determined not to lose out a second time.

“I am so happy with this win. Two years I ago I took second and today I was concentrated the whole time. I think I learned from the mistakes in the past,” he said. “In the finale, we worked well together and then I waited until the final metres to launch my sprint. I had good legs and I am happy that everything worked out. Tomorrow I will take it easy before having my last race for the season.”

As former national champion, Lutsenko is at the heart of his Kazakh team and goes into the new year with the security of a deal through 2024 in his pocket.

“This is a very important victory for Kazakhstan and for all the fans of our team,” said Nurlan Smagulov, president of the Kazakhstan cycling federation.

“Once again Alexey proved that he is a true leader, capable of winning beautiful victories at the WorldTour level. I think with this result he raised the morale of the team on the eve of the new season, which is also very important.”

Specialized to issue voluntary recall for Tarmac SL7

Specialized will reportedly announce a voluntary recall for the Tarmac SL7 on Tuesday, October 12.

“We will be asking riders to stop riding their Tarmac SL7 and head to their local retailer and have these new parts installed,” Specialized said in a statement. “Retailers worldwide have the parts in stock, and installation will be a simple process.”

The headset for the bike, released in 2020, should be replaced to prevent potential damage to the fork’s steerer tube.

“Only Tarmac SL7 models already on the road will need this improvement,” the statement said. “All Tarmac SL7 [bikes] currently in-store, and in the future, will have these new components.”

“We will be announcing a voluntary recall of Tarmac SL7 bicycles because harsh impacts may put extraordinary stress on headset components and may initiate a crack in the fork’s steerer tube,” read the statement from Specialized. “The addition of a new extended expander plug and an upgrade of the compression ring for riders that do not have one already.”

“As with any severe impact or accident, riders should always have their bike inspected at their local retailer,” Specialized indicated. Specialized is keen to reassure its customers, claiming that they can “rest assured that the Tarmac SL7 meets or exceeds all industry safety standards.”

Versions of this bike are currently used by Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Bora-Hansgrohe, and SD Worx.

Lawson Craddock confirms EF departure

Lawson Craddock, in a post on Instagram, confirmed he will leave EF Education-Nippo at the end of 2021.

The 29-year-old rode a busy 2021 racing schedule, including a trip to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the world championships, and the Vuelta a España.

Craddock joined EF in 2016. He did not reveal where he will race in 2022, but added he is “excited to head into a new environment.”

Amanda Spratt diagnosed with iliac artery endofibrosis, set for surgery

Australian veteran Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange) now knows why she was struggling for much of 2021: doctors have diagnosed iliac artery endofibrosis.

She will undergo surgery later this month, and hopes to be back at her attacking best in 2022.

“After the Olympic Games, the Australian Cycling team doctor, Dr Kevyn Hernandez, concluded that I needed to get checked for artery endofibrosis,” Spratt said Monday in a team statement. “Thanks to him and to Team BikeExchange, my appointment was fast tracked and in mid-August I had some conclusive answers which confirmed that I have iliac artery endofibrosis. After looking at the case, doctors explained that if I wanted to continue as a professional cyclist then surgery was my only option.”

Spratt said she couldn’t hold power or finish off races that she normally could, saying that the Olympic Games in Tokyo confirmed something was wrong.

“In that race I had great legs, until I didn’t,” she said. “I couldn’t even push 200 watts anymore. It was of course an event that I had been training relentlessly for; a major goal of the season. The come down after the Olympics was incredibly difficult because I just couldn’t understand what had happened or why.”

Spratt said she’s optimistic about a full recovery from surgery in October.

“I don’t have to look far for inspiration with my current teammate Sarah Roy and former teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, having both undergone the same procedure that I will this off-season,” she said. “I’m not ready to give up and I already see many big goals coming up in the next few years. The Tour de France Femmes and the Wollongong world championships are two realistic goals for me. For now, it is time to digest this diagnosis and as I prepare for my surgery, I know I will be surrounded by the best team, and I am excited to see what I can achieve with the team next season.”

Tanja Erath rails at injury treatment at Women’s Tour

Tanja Erath has hit out at the treatment she received after crashing at the Women’s Tour last week.

Erath, who races for American squad Tibco-SVB, crashed hard on stage 1 of last week’s race and was taken to a local hospital. Scans later confirmed the 31-year-old had broken her ribs, collarbone and vertebrae and would require spinal surgery.

Erath, 32, posted on Instagram this weekend detailing the alarming backstory behind her treatment.

The German racer had worked as a practicing doctor before she earned a pro contract with Canyon-SRAM through the Zwift Academy and was well-placed to detail a series of missteps by local medics in her lengthy account. Erath’s full story can be read in the post below, but here are the key points.

“Around 75km into the race a rider next to me crashed into me pushing me off the road. Unluckily there was a ditch right next to the road and I flipped over my handlebar and went head first probably around 2-3 m right onto the ground. Compressing my spine and hitting my head hard. I won’t lie, I was in massive pain right away but even more in panic because I could feel that something is not right with my thoracic spine,” she wrote.

“I could feel and move my legs which made me calm down, but I told the paramedics to only mobilize me “en bloc” to protect my spine. To my surprise, they did not follow my request or listened to my concerns and made me walk to the stretcher. On my way I realized that my left collarbone was fractured. Which itself isn’t great, but my back pain was my major concern. I was dropped off at the team parking without any spinal precautions and our Swanny drove me to the A&E.

“Four hours later I had my first contact to a doctor that I told about my fear of a spinal injury. He finally took this serious and wanted an X-Ray of my spine. The X-Ray showed a fracture of two thoracic vertebrae bodies, TH5 and TH6. So I went…well walked straight to a CT scan and got transferred to the trauma unit in Oxford. Weirdly still without any spinal precaution in seated position.

“In Oxford this changed immediately and I wasn’t allowed to move anymore … The spinal team told me that one of the spinal fractures is a 3 column fracture and therefore unstable and that I will need surgery.

“Thanks to my boyfriend, [insurance company] and [German surgeon] I could be transported back home by an ambulance sent from Germany. No joke: I was supposed to fly out, but because of the fuel shortage in the UK there was no ambulance available to transport me to the airport … Spent my birthday strapped on the stretcher on a vacuum mattress, but couldn’t ask for a better present than being transported home. A 12-hour drive including a 1.5-hour ferry trip later I arrived in Germany and I think I never felt such a relief before.”

“Long story short: I guess I was super lucky after being a bit unlucky. Learned a lot again. Life lessons that gonna make me a better doctor. And to all paramedics out there: Never skip spinal precautions until the spine is cleared! You might save someone’s spinal cord!

Erath is expected to make a full recovery in the coming month and will be back in action in 2022.

Thibau Nys breaks collarbone in CX World Cup opener in Waterloo

Rising Belgian supertalent Thibau Nys (Baloise Trek Lions) broke his collarbone in a heavy fall at the Waterloo round of the cyclocross World Cup on Sunday.

Thibau, son of ‘cross legend Sven, confirmed the news in an Instagram story Sunday night. “I’ll be back,” he wrote over an image of a hospital scan revealing the broken bone.

Nys crashed out and abandoned in a wet, chaotic race Sunday, hitting the deck on a stretch of tarmac that also caught out a number of other racers. He is now likely to be out of competition for around six weeks.

 Nys is tipped to be the next great multi-discipline racer. Like Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel before him, Nys packs talent on the tarmac and in the mud, and won the European U23 road race title and placed sixth in the U23 road worlds this summer. This winter will be his first racing with the elites in the ‘cross field.