National Cyclocross Series wrap-up: rounds 1 and 2

The first two rounds of Australia’s National Cyclocross Series were held in Melbourne over the weekend with round 1 taking place at Cranwell Park on Saturday, and round 2 held at the Darebin Parklands on Sunday.

On Saturday national CX champion Lisa Jacobs took a five-second lead on the first lap in the elite women’s raece, and extended the gap as the race progressed. She went on to win comfortably ahead of April McDonough and Melissa Anset.

In the elite men’s race, Al Iacuone made it two from two for the national champions, attacking in the final 200m to win ahead of Chris Hamilton and Adrian Jackson.

Down at Darebin Parklands the following day Lisa Jacobs and April McDonough quickly opened up a lead on the rest of the elite women’s field before Jacobs pulled away. She would go on to build her lead as the race wore on, taking her second win in as many days. McDonough was second with Melissa Ansett third.

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In the elite men’s race a lead group of five riders got clear early on — Chris Jongewaard, Garry Milburn, Al Iacuone, Adrian “AJ” Jackson and Paul Redenbach. Jongewaard crashed partway through the race and Jackson capitalised, getting clear with only Iacuone able to follow. Jackson soon dropped Iacuone and was able to go on and take out the race, ahead of Iacuone and Jongewaard.

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Rounds 3 and 4 of the National Cyclocross Series will be held in Perth on July 13 and 14.

Click here to read more over at BrewCX.

Sergio Henao out for the season with fractured knee

After being hit by a car during reconnaissance of the Tour de Suisse time trial course last week, Sergio Henao (Sky) has revealed that he is unlikely to return to racing this season.

“It’s pointless trying to hasten my recover and try to return. My priority is to be good physically, at 100 percent, and I don’t think I will be able to return to racing this season,” Henao told Spanish website Biciciclismo.

At the time of the crash Henao was 15th overall in the Tour de Suisse, his first race since the Tour of Oman back in February. The Colombian has been sidelined due to anomalies found in an out-of-competition doping test last year. Henao was reportedly feeling strong at the Tour de Suisse.

“I immediately realised that I was physically very strong and I believed that I could at least fight for the general classification. For me, it was a joy when I was third in the stage that Sagan won,” he said.

Henao spoke of the crash to Biciciclismo:

“I was at a crossroads and there were several volunteers and I did not know that the roads were still open. I was going around 30 kilometres per hour. The truth is, I didn’t see the car and I don’t think they saw me either. There was no time for anything, I just felt the impact.”

“It was quite scary, thank God it wasn’t too bad, because it could have been much worse. The mechanic and the technician said, in the car on the way back, that they couldn’t see me after the crash,” Henao explained.

Henao will now miss not only the Tour de France, but most likely the rest of the year as well.

“It’s hard. This is something that I didn’t want to go through. All of us want have only victories and podiums, but for me I have had two knocks, first I had to stop and now the injury,” said Henao. “I can only have patience, time heals everything. This is a year to forget, a lost year, but I can learn a lot mentally for my life. With this injury I can only work hard to get back to 100 percent. I have the belief, the desire to return and the hunger to be with the best.”

Click here to read more at Biciciclismo.

Nacer Bouhanni left out of Tour de France line-up, likely to leave FDJ.fr

FDJ.fr has announced that sprinter Nacer Bouhanni won’t be in the team’s Tour de France line-up with the sprint duties to be handled by Arnaud Demare.

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Bouhanni, whose contract with the French team ends this season, won three stages and the points classification at the Giro d’Italia. There has been talk that Bouhanni will leave FDJ.fr with many teams expressing an interest in the Frenchman, and now Marc Madiot, the team’s director sportif, has admitted Bouhanni is unlikely to stay with FDJ.fr next year.

“I’m not without hope of finding the budget to keep Nacer but I don’t have it today. There is more chance of him leaving than staying with the team,” Madiot said on Monday, according to L’Équipe.

French newspaper L’Equipe reports that Bouhanni is asking between €1.5 and €1.7 million per year for two seasons.

Despite Bouhanni’s great form at the Giro, Madiot is concerned the Italian Grand Tour might have fatigued the Frenchman.

“A combination of elements led to this decision. We weren’t sure that he would go all the way at the Giro,” Madiot said. “Today he doesn’t feel tired, but he could feel the knock-on effect at the Tour.”

Click here to read more at L’Equipe.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep announces Tour de France team

Over the next week or so we’ll see the final team lists for the Tour de France confirmed, and you can keep an eye on the up-to-date startlist here. In the meantime, here’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s creative way of announcing its team for the race. And a mighty impressive team it is too.

Preview of the Giro Rosa

And speaking of big stage races, the biggest and most prestigious stage race on the women’s calendar, the Giro Rosa, starts on July 4. The race will be contested over 10 stages with plenty of climbing along the way.

The final podium at last year’s Giro Rosa: Mara Abbott (1st, centre), Tatiana Guderzo (2nd, left) and Claudia Hausler (3rd, right).

Last year’s winner was climber Mara Abbott and she’ll be there again at the head of an impressive UnitedHealthcare squad. Marianne Vos will be there as well, spearheading a powerful Rabo-Liv squad that recently dominated the Emakumeen Euskal Bira stage race.

We’ll have daily reports from within the race but until then, check out the full startlist here and check out a preview of each stage and more at Velofocus.

How to position yourself for a sprint

Here’s the latest in a series of videos that have been together by the folks at GCN in collaboration with British Cycling. This one is all about getting yourself into the right position ahead of a sprint finish. Check it out:

Protected intersections for cyclists

Here’s an excellent video showing how a proposed protected intersection design would work. The concept is the work of Nick Falbo, an urban planner and designer from Portland in the US. As you’ll see, the design bears many similarities with protected intersections that are already in place around Europe.

Click here to read more at Wired.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:


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Today’s feature image comes from Jered Gruber and was shot in Iceland.