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by Mark Zalewski
April 6, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel takes fifth Scheldeprijs win; De La Cruz solos to impressive stage win at Vuelta a Pais Vasco; Coquard wins second stage at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe, Dowsett takes TT and lead; Van Dijk, Pieters take wins on opening day of Healthy Ageing Tour; Steve Tilford, master of cycling disciplines, dies at 57 after traffic accident; UCI adopts new safety measures proposed by Professional Riders Council; Vanmarcke out for Paris-Roubaix; Van Avermaet turns focus to Paris-Roubaix; Cavendish out of Paris-Roubaix with ongoing ankle injury; Kittel confirms return to Tour of California; Distance cyclist Mark Beaumont aiming to cycle around the world in 80 days; Bicycle fabricated from recycled coffee pods; Zwift Stories – Mathew Hayman; Urban Freeride lives – Fabio Wibmer.
Cannondale-Drapac’s Classics leader Sep Vanmarcke will not start Paris-Roubaix this Sunday, the team confirmed. Vanmarcke has been dealing with a broken finger suffered in a crash at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday, and his participation had been uncertain at best because of it.
Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac), after a crash at the 2017 Ronde van Vlaanderen.
“My hands are the biggest problem,” Vanmarcke said. “The broken pinky on my right hand makes it impossible to put my hands on top of the bars. I can put them on the brakes, and I can brake with two fingers. But each time I hit a bump or anything, it’s painful.
“The larger problem is my left hand, because the skin is off every finger. I cannot brake with that hand — it’s just too painful to put the pressure on it. Also, my right knee is still a problem. It would make no sense to be at the start line. I lost a lot of skin off it.”
This is another blow to both the Belgian and his team, which brought back to lead in the spring Classics. He had a promising start with a third place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. However, crashes and illness have marred the rest of the campaign for him.
“I’m really, really disappointed. I start training for these races on the first of November. My focus is always on these races. Omloop went well, but from Strade Bianche I started to go wrong. A crash, the ribs, then I had the stomach problems, then this crash. So I’ve been fighting a lot, and always coming back,” Vanmarcke said. “It’s a disappointment. I was never on my top level, and I could never show what level I was at.”