In today’s Daily News Digest: Halvorsen wins Handzame Classic in bunch sprint; Candid Kittel: German sprinter opens up about Milan-San Remo non-selection, Cavendish; Injured Gaviria still in line for San Remo ride, Boonen hopes Colombian will shine; Cycling Anti Doping Foundation looking into Edmondston/Team Sky matter; Greipel bypasses Milan-San Remo to be ready for Northern Classics; Bennett pledges backing for Sagan: ‘A win for Bora-hasgrohe on the Via Roma would be amazing’; Girdlestone’s recovery continues to exceed expectations; BMC Racing Team names Van Garderen as Catalunya captain; Cycling statistics – discover the tallest, shortest, lightest and heaviest riders in the WorldTour peloton; Crowdfunding campaign for cycling craft beer exceeds expectations; Greg van Avermaet – Winner
Your Saturday Daily News Digest
QuickStep Floors sprinter Feranado Gaviria had a scare in advance of Milan-San Remo when he crashed on Thursday. The announcement was made by his QuickStep Floors team on Friday, but it confirmed he would continue with the race.
— Quick-Step Cycling (@quickstepteam) March 17, 2017
Team doctor Toon Cruyt told Sporza that he got his handlebars stuck in a fence and came down. “He was training alone. By coincidence we passed ten or 15 minutes later and found him bleeding from his nose with an injury to his mouth and both wrists. He was also in a shock for a couple of hours and is still recovering now.”
Teammate Tom Boonen said the team is still cautiously optimistic. “It’s no secret we have a good team and hope to get a nice result with Fernando, despite the fact he crashed Thursday in training,” he said.
“He’s one of the most talented riders in the peloton, really feels the race and has the brains to make a decision in the important moments of a race. All these are the traits of a huge champion in the making.
“I hope that crash won’t prevent him from featuring in the finale. On the other hand, we also have Julian [Alaphilippe] and Philippe [Gilbert] in the team, and their presence is sure to boost our odds.
Boonen will retire after Paris-Roubaix and is riding San Remo for the final time. It will be his 40th race start in a Monument and was also his first such race to ride as part of the QuickStep team.
“Even though I’ve never won it, it’s always been a special race,” he said. “It’s difficult to win it, every Classic is that way, but Sanremo has something particular. It’s as deceiving as a Fata Morgana, because it makes you live under the impression you can take the victory until the very end.
“I was on the podium twice, I remember having good legs in some years, but something happened, I was blocked, and it was all over. That’s Milano-Sanremo: a 300km-long race which is decided in two seconds.”