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by Mark Zalewski
April 1, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Pichon wins Route Adélie de Vitré; Indian Pacific Wheel Race mourns death of British rider Mike Hall; Gilbert on his resurgence with QuickStep: ‘I feel good in my skin’; Lizzie Deignan opens up about her experience with British Cycling; Interview with Manzana Postobon manager about Vuelta invite; Boonen says he can still play a role in Flanders’ finale; Sep Vanmarcke ‘If I could get a podium, that would be a surprise’; Devolder ‘If it up to me, this is definitely not my last Tour of Flanders’; Cervelo-Bigla cyclist struck by vehicle while riding from work; No Tour for Dumoulin, all focus on Giro; Van der Poel talks about possible transition to road; Andy Schleck named new chairman of Tour of Luxembourg; Amy’s Gran Fondo expanding for 2017; Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij taking Flanders prep in stride.
Cannondale-Drapac bolstered its Classics squad with the return of Belgian Sep Vanmarcke, but following his third place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad he has had a round of bad luck with injuries and sickness, making him at best an outside chance for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. A crash at Strade Bianche left him with bruised ribs, making training, let alone racing, difficult. That was followed by a stomach illness. He started E3 Harelbeke and was riding at the front until the sickness reared its head again.
Van Marcke during reconnaissance of the Flanders Classics.
“Suddenly I was sick again, I threw up and my race was over,” he said at a pre-race press conference. “It is unclear still what exactly was going on. Wednesday and Friday I was struggling with the stomach problems; Saturday and Sunday I still had difficulties to eat normally. Either my stomach is a little affected by the crash in Strade Bianche, or there is something wrong with my digestion and this problem occurs especially with strenuous exercise.”
Vanmarcke said the illness has been severe enough to significantly affect his weight. “I did not eat nearly the whole weekend — at one point I weighed 78 and even 76 kilos, and other times it was suddenly 82kg. Very strange.”
“Tuesday for the first time I was able to do a good workout. Then was the reconnaissance of De Ronde and I also did more training for about 200 kilometres in total. Now I need to rest, hopefully I’m good Sunday. It is a preparation that is far from ideal and I do not know where I stand. Tuesday I still felt that I came up short on power training, today I felt it was a lot better. Hopefully this trend continues, but whether I will be strong enough Sunday, I do not know.”
In addition to Vanmarcke, Sunday will see the return of Taylor Phinney to the Classics, after nursing a small re-injury of his knee.