Spotlight on Froome’s legacy, Cecchini wins at Thüringen: Daily News Digest

It’s been three days since Chris Froome took home his first victory at the Giro d’Italia and the cycling world is quarrelling over Froome’s legacy.

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

The cycling world continues to debate whether Chris Froome’s victory at the Giro d’Italia is good, bad, or simply ugly.

Cycling wrings its hands over Chris Froome’s Giro win

It’s been three days since Chris Froome took home his first victory at the Giro d’Italia and pundits and pros are quarrelling over Froome’s legacy.

The debate hinges on a couple key questions. First and foremost, was Froome’s final-week return believable? Second, should he have been at the Giro at all? And third, will he keep his maglia rosa if his adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol turns into a ban?

Media and the sport’s biggest names are weighing in:

The Badger is not a fan

“Froome does not belong on that list,” Bernard Hinault — the Badger — told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, referring to the list of riders who have won three grand tours consecutively. Prior to last Sunday, that list included only Eddy Merckx and, yes, Hinault himself.

Hinault continued: “He returned a positive test at the Vuelta, and afterwards his B-sample proved positive, so he has used doping and he has to be suspended. He should never have been allowed to start in the Giro.”

“This is all very sad. Froome is not part of the legend of the sport, because what image does he give cycling? He may also start the Tour later. It’s a real scandal. This has to stop.”

Will Froome keep his Giro win? A lawyer weighs in

Our own Matt de Neef spoke with Jack Anderson, Professor of Sports Law at the University of Melbourne. In addition to his academic duties, Anderson is also a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“It seems to be a very technical argument now about the sensitivity of the test. The precedent on this, from what I can see, is not good for Froome in the sense that the test has been around for quite a long time. So this is going to be a very difficult argument for him to make, I would think.”

Click through to read more. And keep an eye out for this week’s CyclingTips Podcast, which will include a segment with Mr. Anderson.

Philippa York is skeptical, too

York’s deep analysis of both the minutiae of stage 19 and Froome’s three-week turnaround is worth a read. A highlight:

“Now, despite what anyone says, you don’t ride yourself into form in a brutal three-week race. If you aren’t in good shape at the start, the kicking you get each day adds up and you only become more and more tired. Add a fall – or in Froome’s case two falls – or injury of any kind and your recovery is highly compromised. Hence the comment from Contador that it was over for Sky’s hopes. He saw the signs and understood the situation.”

Race Radio

Cecchini wins stage two of Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour ahead of Rivera

Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) won the second day of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour ahead of stage one winner Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) in a sprint finish. The finale was marred by a crash in the final three kilometers. Rivera leads the overall by nine seconds over Cecchini with Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle-High5) sitting third.

Bassetti captures Winston-Salem Cycling Classic

Samuel Bassetti (Elevate-KHS) attacked with 800 meters to go out of a select four-rider group to win the 177.8-kilometer Winston-Salem Cycling Classic on Monday. Heavy rain marked the end of the race, but it didn’t bother Bassetti, as he made it over the final climb on the circuit with the leaders and capitalized on the others in the group watching each other heading into the finish.

Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling), who won the criterium on Saturday, finished second with Fabian Lienhard (Holowekso-Citadel) and Diego Milan (Inteja) coming in for third and fourth.

Coming up

The 78th edition of the UCI 2.HC Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg runs May 30 through June 3. The race starts with an opening prologue followed by four road stages and covers nearly 700 kilometres.


Otso Warakin
Beyond the big ring: Understanding gear ratios and why they matter

There is more to the gearing on a bike than simply the size of the big ring. In short, size does not matter because it’s the ratios that are generated by each combination of the chainrings with the sprockets that are most important.

Every road cyclist understands that size of the chainrings and sprockets dictate the gearing of the bike, however, there is more to the concept than simply the number of teeth involved. What is most important is the ratio and the way that the sprockets multiply the effort made with the chainring.

It is tempting to think that there wouldn’t be much point to tinkering with the ratios, but the human engine demands it. After all, there is a finite amount of power on offer and the efficiency of the system depends upon maintaining a consistent cadence (~80rpm), regardless of any change in the terrain or riding conditions.

Click through to read more.

Can you do this?

One-legged roller juggling. We are impressed.

Moving pictures

Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin and Chad Haga reflect on the 2018 Giro d’Italia

Dumoulin and Haga speak about the emotions of getting second a year after winning and what the future holds. “I’ll probably be doing the Tour de France, but we’re not sure yet. We’ll decide in the coming two weeks,” the Dutchman said.

Happy birthday to…

Thibaut Pinot (28), the Frenchman began the final mountain stage and penultimate day of the Giro d’Italia sitting third overall, but a dramatic collapse saw him plummet down the standings and not begin the final day in Rome. He’s won two stages at the Tour de France in 2012 and 2015, and also finished third overall in 2014 and took home the Best Young Rider jersey.

Also to Richard Carapaz, who finished his maiden Giro d’Italia in fourth overall and won the eighth stage.

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