Yoann Offredo: French cyclist ‘assaulted with baseball bat & box cutter’

Yoann Offredo

Offredo spent eight years with French team Francaise des Jeux before switching to Wanty

French cyclist Yoann Offredo says he suffered a broken nose in an assault by attackers who used a box cutter and baseball bat while on a training ride.

The 30-year-old posted pictures of himself on his Facebook account with a bloodied face and an injury to his arm.

Offredo, who rides for Belgian team Wanty, said the attack resulted in “a broken nose, a rib in a sorry state and bruises all over the body”.

He added: “But on top of the physical injuries, I’m above all shocked.”

Offredo, who said he was on a training ride with two friends, did not specify where the alleged assault took place and gave no other details about the attackers.

“I’m not angry, I’m just sad to say that I hope my children don’t take up this great sport that I love,” he said.

“You leave in the morning to go training but never know if you’ll be coming back.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/39700361

Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Alejandro Valverde wins after tributes for Scarponi

Alejandro Valverde

Valverde said he would be donating his prize money to Scarponi’s family

Alejandro Valverde won his fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege as tributes were held in memory of Michele Scarponi, who died in a training crash on Saturday.

The Italian, 37, collided with a van close to his home in Filottrano.

A minute’s silence was held before the race, with race director Christian Prudhomme then leading tributes to “a rider who was loved and respected, a ray of sunshine in the peloton”.

Ireland’s Dan Martin was second, with Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski third.

“That was for you Scarponi,” said Spaniard Valverde, 36, after crossing the line at the end of the gruelling 258km race in Belgium, one of cycling’s one-day Spring Classics.

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Scarponi – who raced for Astana – was not scheduled to compete in Belgium

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Jakob Fuglsang and his fellow Astana team-mates wore black armbands in memory of Scarponi

“He was a very god friend of mine and when I heard the news, it was terrible. All of the prize money is going to his family. The race was unbelievable today, the team did a fantastic job.”

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege is the oldest of cycling’s ‘Monument’ one-day races, a group that includes the Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Giro di Lombardia.

With 500m to go, Quick-Step Floors rider Martin, 30, the winner in 2013, raced into the lead, countering after Italian Davide Formolo’s earlier attack.

But Movistar’s Valverde breached across before easing home to add to three previous victories – in 2006, 2008 and 2015.

Adam Yates, 24, was the highest-placed Briton in eighth, riding for Orica-Scott.

Valverde is now the joint second-most successful rider in the race’s history, level with Italian Moreno Argentin, and one behind Belgium’s Eddy Merckx.

Final result: Liege-Bastogne-Liege:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 6:24:27″

2. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) Same time

3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +3″

4. Michael Matthews (Aus/Sunweb)

5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain)

6. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R)

7. Michael Albasini (Swi/Orica)

8. Adam Yates (GB/Orica) +7″

9. Michael Woods (Can/Cannondale)

10. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/39686593

Former Giro champion Scarponi killed in crash

Michele Scarponi

Michele Scarponi won stage one of the Tour of the Alps on Monday

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi has died aged 37 after being involved in a collision with a van during a training ride.

A statement from his Astana team said the crash happened close to Scarponi’s home in Filottrano.

Scarponi won the 2011 Giro d’Italia after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title and claimed victory in stage one of the Tour of the Alps on Monday.

“This is a tragedy too big to be written,” said the Astana statement.

The statement described Scarponi as a “great champion” and a “special guy”, adding: “The Astana Pro Team clings to the Michele family in this incredibly painful moment of sorrow and mourning.”

Scarponi leaves behind a wife and two children.

After finishing fourth in the Tour of the Alps behind British winner Geraint Thomas on Friday, Scarponi returned home by car with his masseur before heading out for a ride on Saturday.

Tributes from the peloton

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“Devastated to hear the news about Scarponi. Can’t believe it. My thoughts with all his friends, family and team,” Thomas posted on Twitter.

“Terrible news to wake up to. One of the smiliest, happiest guys in the peleton. Rest in peace,” said British cyclist Alex Dowsett.

Spanish rider Contador said: “Paralysed and speechless with the news about Scarponi. Great person and always with a contagious smile. Rest in peace, friend.”

Astana team-mate and compatriot Fabio Aru said: “Endless tragedy. There are no words. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Career

Specialist climber Scarponi turned professional in 2002 with the Acqua Sapone-Cantina Tollo team, finishing 18th in his debut Giro d’Italia.

In 2007 he was banned for 18 months after being implicated in Operation Puerto – a major Spanish doping scandal involving some of the world’s top cyclists at the time.

Scarponi admitted his involvement in the scandal but denied doping, having been charged with using or attempting to use banned substances and possession of those substances.

Returning in November 2008, he won the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in 2009 before initially finishing second in the 2011 Giro d’Italia.

He was later awarded his first Grand Tour title after original winner Contador was stripped of his title by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2012 after a positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

Scarponi was suspended for three months in 2012 by his then team Lampre for visiting doctor Michele Ferrari – who is banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency for his role in Lance Armstrong’s doping programme.

Following fourth-placed finishes at the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and 2013, Scarponi joined Astana in 2014, primarily riding Grand Tours as a domestique and helping team-mate Vincenzo Nibali to victory in the 2014 Tour de France and 2016 Giro d’Italia.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/39677856

Thomas becomes first Briton to win Tour of the Alps

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas won stage three of the Tour of the Alps on Wednesday

Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas has won the Tour of the Alps, becoming the first British rider to do so.

Team Sky’s Thomas claimed the title by seven seconds after finishing third in the fifth and final stage.

France’s Thibaut Pinot, who won Friday’s stage, finished second overall with Domenico Pozzovivo of Italy third.

Thomas, who came into the final stage with a 13-second lead on Pinot overall, held on despite numerous attacks, winning his first stage race of 2017.

The Tour of the Alps was first contested in 1962, although it was known as the Giro del Trentino until being renamed for this year’s event.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/39659982

Tour de France 2017: Simon Yates to contest race after missing 2016 event

Simon Yates

Simon Yates claimed a stage victory en route to a top-10 finish at last month’s Paris-Nice race

Simon Yates will contest the 2017 Tour de France after missing last year’s race because of a failed drugs test.

The Briton served a four-month ban as a result of the failed test, which was blamed on an administrative error over his use of an asthma inhaler.

The 24-year-old was also expected to miss this year’s race as his Orica-Scott team managed his workload, but that decision has been reversed.

He will instead join Esteban Chaves as the spearhead of the Orica-Scott team.

Colombian Chaves had been expected to carry the team’s general classification hopes alone but a knee injury suffered earlier this year has prompted the team to bring Yates into the fold.

Yates’ twin brother and team-mate Adam Yates, who finished fourth in last year’s Tour, will still miss the race in France, which runs from 1 to 23 July, as previously announced.

He is leading the team’s challenge at the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which begins on 5 May.

“Simon will be given the opportunity to line up in his third Tour de France and the pressure on Esteban will be eased a bit as he prepares for his debut,” Orica-Scott sport director Matt White said.

“Adam will continue in his preparations for the Giro in a few weeks’ time.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/39656255

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