International cycling news round-up (April 3): Sagan leaves De Panne for Flanders; Women's World Cup picks up sponsor; European Cycling Union moves in with UCI

Italian Sacha Modolo sprinted to win the Three Days of De Panne’s second stage yesterday in Belgium. It is one of his few trips north, where this Sunday in the Tour of Flanders, he will support Lampre’s blue and pink team and help Filippo Pozzato.

“It’s the first time I’ve done these races, apart from De Panne. I don’t know the roads and the climbs. I don’t know the key points where you’re supposed to be in front, so that makes it a bit hard. In fact, I fell a few times at Ghent-Wevelgem and I only got back on with 20 kilometres to go,” Modolo said in the press conference at De Panne.

“I’m ready to help [Pozzato]. Although Flanders is obviously a completely different race and I’ve never done it before. I don’t know the roads, I basically don’t know anything about it. I’ll basically be Pozzato’s dog. He’ll tell me what to do and I’ll have to go and do it. I’ll try to be in front with him even though it’s hard.”

Sagan leaves De Panne for Flanders

Peter Sagan left the Three Days of De Panne to rest ahead of the Tour of Flanders. He won the first stage but said that he wanted to back off to make sure he was ready for Sunday.

“It’s more important that I’m ready for Flanders,” team Cannondale’s captain said on Tuesday. “I don’t want to risk a crash. I want to keep my condition.”

Sagan lost Fabian Cancellara’s wheel last year after the Paterberg and placed second in Flanders.

Peter Sagan wins the 2014 E3 Harelbeke

Peter Sagan wins the 2014 E3 Harelbeke

Women’s World Cup picks up ‘major’ sponsor

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI announced yesterday that it signed a ‘major’ sponsor for the women’s World Cup races.

“The Sufferfest, a world-leader in the production of indoor cycling training videos, will become the first major sponsor of the World Cup,” read a press release. “The sponsorship agreement is another indication of the growing appeal of women’s cycling and the UCI’s commitment to develop and grow it worldwide.”

The World Cup consists of nine one-day races, which are all due to be televised.

UCI President Brian Cookson said of the sponsor, “This is another significant development for women’s cycling and we will continue to build on the momentum we have established.”

European Cycling Union moves in with UCI

The European Cycling Union (UEC) moved its headquarters to the UCI’s base in Aigle, Switzerland. It announced yesterday that it would reside at the World Cycling Centre instead of Zurich.

President David Lappartient said in a statement, “Moving our headquarters to the World Cycling Centre is a further step to strengthen the relations between the UEC and the UCI; a symbiotic relationship that is already yielding great results and is going to be even closer and fruitful.”

The UEC moved against former UCI President Pat McQuaid during his re-election campaign last year when it voted in favour of Brian Cookson. Those votes helped Cookson win the election in September at the World Championships.

The UEC was founded on April 7, 1990.