Wait. This looks different. Indeed it does. But don't be afraid. This is the first edition of our more compact, more digestible Daily News Digest. We’ll be experimenting with the format a bit this week and would love your feedback in the comments below.
Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
This looks different.
Indeed it does. But don’t be afraid. This is the first edition of our more compact, more digestible Daily News Digest. We’ll be experimenting with the format a bit this week and would love your feedback in the comments below.
Story of the day: Giro d’Israel
The Giro d’Italia will kick off in Jerusalem in four days amid escalating political tension, and Chris Froome will be there, bringing with him his own question marks. Froome reiterated his right to start the race in interviews this week. “I certainly haven’t been charged of anything as of yet and I hope to be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing because I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” he told Eurosport.
Froome will be up against defending champion Tom Dumoulin as well as Fabio Aru, Simon Yates, George Bennett, Miguel Angel “Superman” Lopez, Thibaut Pinot, and Domenico Pozzovivo.
Rumours have swirled that Froome’s preparation has been less than ideal. Keep an eye out for a full preview this week as our own Matt de Neef makes his way to Israel.
Months of logistics
Early this morning, a Boeing 747 cargo plane containing the bikes and equipment of the 22 Giro teams flew from Italy to Israel.
A story in La Gazzetta dello Sport detailed the logistical planning that’s gone into the first grand tour to start outside of Europe. A maximum of 880 bikes (enough space for three road bikes per rider, two TT bikes, 175 riders) and 2,700 sets of wheels will make their way to Israel early this week, plus trainers, massage tables, mechanics’ tools, and other items teams need to bring with them.
Everything will be X-rayed before it’s loaded up, and teams aren’t allowed to bring liquids. That means no soap, no chain lube, no tubular glue. That’s why teams are bringing so many wheels, according to Gazzetta.
Vehicles will be provided locally. Each team gets a minibus for riders, a truck for mechanics, another truck for equipment, and four team cars. The teams’ usual vehicles will be waiting for them back in Italy.
Riders are scheduled to begin arriving in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Team Sunweb has announced a long-term sponsorship agreement with its title sponsor with a unique feature: it has no end date. And even if it does end, the agreement requires either side, team management or sponsor, to provide two years notice plus whatever remains of the season before pulling out of the deal. Sunweb is already one of the few teams to run full men’s and women’s programs. This is yet another progressive step for the team.
For anyone wondering, Sunweb is a travel service that provides package holidays and last-minute booking deals.
No crystal ball needed
“He’s 21 … there’s a future Tour de France champion for sure,” Richie Porte said of the man who finished just ahead of him at the Tour de Romandie.
He was talking about Egan Bernal. The 21-year-old Colombian finished second overall at the Tour de Romandie and won the uphill time trial ahead of Primoz Roglic, Steven Kruijswijk (who almost won the Giro, remember?), and Porte. Bernal has been good in literally every race he’s done this year and is just back from a collarbone break at Catalonia a month ago. The kid is the real deal.
Speaking of Porte, he’s mulling skipping the Tour Down Under next season. Some coaxing from his coach, David Bailey, seems to have convinced him to start his season a bit slower in 2019.
We won’t be seeing one of Australia’s most talented young cyclists on the bike for a while. Sarah Gigante, who took a clean sweep of the Under19 titles at the Australian national championships, hit a pothole and then hit the deck whilst racing on the weekend. Hopefully, it’s a swift recovery, as well as a Zwift recovery.
Cadel Evans snagged a podium at the Titan Desert mountain bike race over the weekend. He finished second behind Josep Betalú in four hours, 52 minutes and 52 seconds. Here’s your occasional reminder that Evans started his career as a mountain biker:
The Tour de Yorkshire starts Thursday and the Giro d’Italia starts Friday.
Yorkshire is now four days for the men and two for the women’s field. The women’s race will start with a sprint stage and finish with a tough, rolling 124km course with a 2km uphill finish. The men’s race will likely be decided on that same finale, also stage 2, or perhaps on the fourth stage’s lumpy profile. Stages one and three are both relatively flat for the men.
Quote of the day
“Opioids work, temporarily at least, especially with alcohol. And it’s easy to just have a nice warm feeling and go to sleep and forget about it. But at the end of the day, it’s addicting and a lot of people don’t have, or aren’t as fortunate as I was to have, a support group that got me through it and kept me alive.”
That was Floyd Landis speaking with Colorado Public Radio this week, shortly after his case against Lance Armstrong settled for $5 million. The interview touched on Armstrong and doping, of course, but spent more time on Landis’ use of cannabinoids (CBDs) to wean himself from an opioid addiction that began with prescription painkillers, and the CBD business he’s started since.
On this day in… 2010
Richie Porte won the 23km time trial at the Tour de Romandie over Alejandro Valverde. It was his first pro victory, and he snagged the Giro’s pink jersey a few weeks later.
It’s like a helmet visor for your bike; a visual indication of your intention to get rowdy. Nifty little strap-on fenders have been popular in the enduro mountain bike world for some time, and now Ass Savers is releasing a smaller version intended for gravel bikes. It’s called the Mudder Mini, it’s €12, and you can get them here.
The Sufferfest Training System app will now set resistance on your smart trainer so you can suffer in myriad new and interesting ways. The app just got a big update and now allows for resistance control of many popular smart trainers, including the Wahoo Kickr, CycleOps Hammer, Elite Direto, and Wattbike Atom, from your Apple device (iPhone, Mac, iPad) via Bluetooth Smart. You can check compatibility here.
We’re genuinely concerned that James Huang’s shutter finger may develop carpal tunnel after he and Caley Fretz put together four massive Sea Otter tech galleries last week. Here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4, in case you missed them.
Connor Dunne, the next Oprah?