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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?
Former American road professionals George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde fell victim to the cruelty of mountain biking when their charge for victory in the Dimension Data Masters category of the Absa Cape Epic was halted by a series of punctures on Stage 1 on Monday.
The misfortune to the Absa-WBR team allowed relatively unheralded team of Massimo Debertolis and Ondrej Fojtik (Wilier Force 7C 2) to take over the lead in the over-40s race, with Mornington Cycles-TRush’s Brad Clarke and Rohin Adams six minutes back in second — and three minutes up on third placed Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (CST Sandd A. Eagle AAZ).
A disappointed Vande Velde was philosophical about the outcome after they seemed to be extending their lead over the first half of the 110km stage.
“It was very hard day, given the circumstances,” said Vande Velde. “We actually were riding really good today until George got a flat on one of the rocky descents. We plugged it once, and then plugged it twice and it started working and were pretty happy with that.Then it started losing air and went down again and he pretty much rode a flat to the second water stop and we had a mechanic fix it. We thought we were good to go but the plug came out. We then put a tube in — it was just unbelievable. Every time we fixed it and worked really hard to catch back up, it would go flat again. My legs are just destroyed and for no result whatsoever. We were on the side of the road for 20 minutes today, no exaggeration.”