Your Monday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 16, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kirsten Wild’s powerful sprint captures stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour; Caleb Ewan sprints to People’s Choice Classic victory at the Tour Down Under; Amanda Spratt carves out formidable lead in first stage of 2017 Santos Women’s Tour; Vos wins another World Cup, de Boer solidifies overall; Van Aert wins Italian World Cup round, overall; French government turns down request to make mechanical doping illegal; Toon Aerts likely out for season with shoulder injury from crash, riders question race course safety; American coach calls on Cycling Ireland to send team to world cyclocross championships; Owain Doull skips People’s Choice Classic with stomach bug; Di Rocco reelected president of Italian Cycling Federation; Money raised for 105-year-old world record breaker; Video: Meet Tiffany Cromwell; Video: Season prep with Wanty Groupe-Gobert.

Toon Aerts likely out for season with shoulder injury from crash, riders question race course safety

by CyclingTips

With three laps to go in the men’s race at the Memorial Romano Scotti, then third place Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) crashed into a tree parallel to the course, striking his shoulder hard and forcing him to abandon. Though he was able to eventually walk off the course, it would be in a neck brace and with his left arm in a sling. His team reported a suspected broken collarbone or shoulder injury and would likely be the end of his season, just before the world championship. This added to the criticism by some riders after Saturday’s recon that the course was too dangerous, in particular with the amount of trees on the course.

“I have pain in the shoulder that I have never felt,” he said via his team. “I heard him fall and then cry in pain,” said teammate Tom Meeusen, who came by him not long after. “And I can tell you, if you hear someone calling out in that way, it is usually not good.”

The parcours for the race was made even more tricky due to slick mud over frozen ground, with the course winding between many trees. All riders had difficulty and were forced to run many downhills that would normally be ridden. On Saturday multiple riders questioned the legality of the course, saying that many of the passages in the forest were not the UCI minimum width of three metres. In particular, while some areas had multiple options for lines, making it legally three metres, the reality was much different in practice.

“In most places there is only one track that is passable,” Meeusen told Het Laatste Niews on Saturday after pre-riding the course.

Aerts was not the only to crash into the same tree, leading some to question if the race organisers did enough to protect the riders, as the trees did not have any kind of padding on them.