Hitec Products-Mistral Home training in Gran Canaria without injured Emma Johansson
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hitec Products-Mistral Home training in Gran Canaria without injured Emma Johansson

by Ben Atkins at 6:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Injury
Scandanavian team welcomes new international signings as double-collarbone operated Swedish champion stays at home

Emma JohanssonTwelve of the thirteen riders of the Hitec Products-Mistral Home team attended the team’s pre-season training camp in Gran Canaria, its favourite place for February riding. The one rider not to make the trip to the sunny island was its number one rider, Swedish champion Emma Johansson, who has remained at home in Belgium as she recovers from the surgery to fix her double collarbone break.

Johansson had been on an earlier training camp in the island, along with husband and directeur sportif Martin Vestby, when she found herself faced with two cars overtaking one another on the road she was descending. Quick thinking saw her aim for the gap between the two cars, and avoiding certain serious injury, but she struck a wing mirror and crashed, breaking both collarbones.

The Swedish champion was operated on, on her return to Belgium, and has been training on the rollers ever since.

The team, which is still predominantly Norwegian welcomes Polish Sylwia Kapusta, French champion Christel Ferrier Bruneau and Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, as well as 19-year-old Norwegian Thea Thorsen.

Prior to the camp Longo Borghini – the younger sister of Liquigas-Cannondale rider Paolo – had a chance to get to know some of her new teammates, as she was part of the six-woman team that raced in the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar at the start of the month; Ferrier Bruneau, however, spent much of the winter racing cyclocross.

The team will again ride Scott bikes in 2012, with the new FOIL frames described as “just fantastic, and definitely the nicest bikes we ever had in the team.”

One of the challenges set the riders was the 220km 'Tour of Grand Canaria', which included 3500 metres of climbing. After a short break the riders will head to Belgium for the team’s next race, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which opens the Belgian season on February 25th.

Johansson won the last two editions of the race, with the last edition seeing the then 19-year-old Longo Borghini bursting onto the scene with a surprise fifth place. The eight-woman roster for the race, which climbs several of Flanders’ iconic bergs and traverses several sections of cobbles, has yet to be finalised, with Johansson still not certain to start.


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