Hodeg takes opener at Catalunya; early drama at Cape Epic: Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

March 20, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Colombian sprinter Alvaro Hodeg takes opening stage at Volta Catalunya; Italian sprinters sweep Stage 2 podium at Langkawi as Astana’s Minali takes race lead; Greipel shares disappointment over lost opportunities after collarbone plated with 10 screws; Cape Epic: Cannondale men win Stage 1; Specialized women in control; Schurter loses bid for Cape Epic repeat after Stirnemann is forced to abandon; Tire problems see Hincapie, Vande Velde lose Masters category lead at Cape Epic; Austin bomber injures cyclists with tripwire; Video: Why isn’t cycling normal in London?

Greipel shares disappointment over lost opportunities after collarbone plated with 10 screws

by Neal Rogers

German sprint star André Greipel (Lott0-Soudal) had surgery on his left collarbone Sunday in Herentals, Belgium, following a crash on the descent of the Poggio at Milan-San Remo. The complex fracture was fixed with a plate and ten screws.

“It was a difficult, but successful operation,” Greipel said in a team press release. “The collarbone was broken into different pieces. I already could go home this morning. The upcoming week I need to leave the bike aside and afterwards, depending on the amount of pain I have, I can start riding on the rollers. The next weeks I can’t ride any races, so I try to be patient and not to rush anything.

“I immediately felt my collarbone was broken. Scans in the hospital at Nice on Saturday night confirmed that. As a rider you always hope for a miracle, so you can start in the Classics, but that hope disappeared quickly. The next weeks will be all about rest and rehabilitation and I will come and cheer for the team in one of the races. Unfortunately this is also part of a cyclist’s life.

“I’m over the first disappointment, but it’s true that I had never climbed the Cipressa and Poggio so smoothly. This time it wasn’t the ascent of the Poggio that eliminated me, but the descent. Despite a crash in the first feed zone and a pursuit on Turchino, I felt very good. Between Cipressa and Poggio we were still riding on the first rows of the bunch with five teammates to turn up the Poggio in a perfect position and after the top I still had Jasper De Buyst and Jens Debusschere with me.

“Of course Nibali’s jump was a huge effort. Hats off to him for making it to the finish with such a headwind. But I would have loved to sprint on the Via Roma. The race was perfect for sprinters, the sun had come out in the last two hours of the race and I had never been in such a good condition for the Classics. But it wasn’t meant to be.”