Daily News Digest

by Matt de Neef

February 23, 2016

In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Why Tony Martin racing the cobbled classics changes everything; A way to break ASO’s stranglehold on the sport?; Teamlist announced for Paris-Roubaix; Louisa Lobigs announced as Amy Gillett Scholarship recipient for 2016; Andre Greipel with a fractured rib, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne participation uncertain; World’s third-biggest porn site sponsors Italian cycling team; Mavic owner, Amer Sports, buys Enve Composites; The European road season begins this weekend; Australia’s 2016 National Penny Farthing Championships; The Maloja Pushbikers on the London Six-Day; Mark Cavendish vs the Rubik’s Cube; Wrapping up the Tour of Oman.

Why Tony Martin racing the cobbled classics changes everything

by Neal Rogers

Back in January Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) announced he would target the Spring Classics in 2016. CyclingTips’ U.S. editor Neal Rogers has written about the significance of that decision, ahead of the start of the Classics this weekend.

Here’s an excerpt:

When three-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin announced last month that, for the first time in his career, he will focus on the cobblestone classics this season, the entire pro peloton took notice. Why? Because Martin’s participation tipped the scales in favor of an Etixx-QuickStep domination, from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which kicks off the classics season on Saturday, through Paris-Roubaix, on April 10.

Martin’s participation appears to be a move by team manager Patrick Lefevere to fulfill the team’s destiny — to secure a Spring Classics supremacy that appeared preordained last year, yet ultimately blew sideways, like rain in a Belgian crosswind.

Captained by Tom Boonen, the greatest classics rider of his generation, the Etixx-QuickStep squad started the 2015 Spring Classics as the 800-pound gorilla. Along with Boonen, the team boasted specialists Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Stijn Vandenbergh, and Matteo Trentin, as well as, for a few select races, Mark Cavendish.

And Etixx started off the 2015 classics season with a pair of early wins, at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, with Cavendish, and Strade Bianche, with Stybar. Yet the team also found new and inventive ways to disappoint, particularly at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where Team Sky’s Ian Stannard won from a four-man breakaway stacked with three Etixx jerseys — Boonen, Vandenbergh, and Terpstra.

Click through to read more at CyclingTips.

The CyclingTips Daily News Digest features the most important and interesting news and content from around the cycling world, published every weekday morning at 9am AEST. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and shows riders on the Haaghoek pavé sector in last year’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. This year’s edition of the race will be held on Saturday.