Brailsford defends Froome’s ride; Comedian’s family suing Trek; Sky crushes Dauphine TTT: Daily News Digest

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

Dave Brailsford has stepped into the limelight to defend Chris Froome, while Sky’s lieutenants put on a show at the Dauphine. In the podcast, our lovely trio previews the new Tour de France tech that is coming and asks the question: Is gravel racing evolving just like road racing did? Also, the family of late comedian Chris Farley has filed a federal lawsuit against Trek for naming its fat-tired bikes Farley.


Quote of the Day

“We could cheat to win, if you like, but where’s the fun in that?” — Dave Brailsford.


Brailsford says Froome Giro win was logical, pledges transparency

Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford has come out in defense of his team’s prize possession, Chris Froome, and his epic 80km solo ride across the Italian Alps on stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia in an interview with the BBC.

‘That was spectacular, I want to believe in it, but can I believe in it?’ That’s why it’s our job to sit here and explain why people should believe it, and be more open and transparent about it than potentially we’ve been criticised for not being in the past,” Brailsford said. “When you sit down and assess it – and we’ve got the ability to look at the power Chris produced – it wasn’t out of the norm for what he can do.”

Dave Brailsford and company have been under scrutiny for some time after it emerged that Bradley Wiggins had injections of a potent corticosteroid prior to his 2012 Tour de France win, and before the 2011 Tour and the 2013 Giro. Froome’s incredible solo endeavor along with his pending Salbutamol case has not helped the team’s reputation.

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Sky scorches Dauphine TTT

Team Sky sent a physiological shot across the bow with a dominating performance to win the third stage team time trial of the Criterium du Dauphine. The stage served as a dress rehearsal for the Tour de France and despite lacking their captain, Chris Froome, Team Sky won the stage by 38 seconds over BMC Racing. Lotto-Soudal finished in third, just 53 seconds off the pace.

The boys in white and black averaged an impressive 57 kph over the 35-kilometer course from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Chateaurenaud. Michal Kwiatkowski is back in the yellow leader’s jersey, as Team Sky holds the top four places in the general classification. Former race leader Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) dropped to eighth overall.

“I’m so happy that I got no major issue after the crash yesterday,” Kwiatkowski said. “If I could have picked up one stage win in the Dauphiné, I’d like it to be the TTT. It’s a wonderful feeling to win as a team … On paper, we had the strongest team, but it’s a different thing to win and I’m very happy we did it.”

Did Trek steal the name of its fat bike from a comedian?

The family of late comedian and film star Chris Farley has filed a federal lawsuit against Trek Bicycle for naming its fat-tired bikes Farley, saying the Wisconsin-based bike company misappropriated Farley’s name and traded on his “fat guy” brand of comedy, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges Trek chose the name Farley “to immediately associate defendant Trek’s fat bikes with one of their favorite ‘fat’ and ‘loud’ comedians,” and the company’s executives knew what they were doing when they made the decision. Make Him Smile, a company founded and run by Farley’s family to protect his publicity and property rights, believes damages could exceed $10 million.

Trek has responded that much of the case rests on whether Farley was a resident of California at the time of his death, making his name and image subject to a California law that governs deceased celebrities’ right of publicity.

CyclingTips Podcast: New bikes at the Dauphiné and a Dirty Kanza controversy

We check the new tech that has been spotted at the Dauphiné and chat with Dirty Kanza winner Kaitie Keough about riding the event with her husband, pro Luke Keough, and the backlash that decision has caused.

And, eBikes are coming. James Huang and Caley Fretz sit down with two experts in the field to run through the arguments for and against their use on- and off-road.


Race Radio

Valverde out of Suisse due to illness

Alejandro Valverde’s (Movistar) Tour de France preparations have taken a knock of late with the Spaniard due to miss the upcoming Tour de Suisse because of a recent illness.

Part of Movistar’s formidable three-pronged GC attack along with Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana, Valverde posted on Twitter he had a cold over the last couple of days and will line up at the Route d’Occitanie in France instead of the Tour de Suisse. The four-day race in France runs June 14-17.

2018 Tour of Utah goes climbing

Dubbed “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah stays true to its mantra with a brutal final two days of racing to the seven-day race. The race begins in picturesque Southern Utah before returning to the high mountain ski resorts that have become a classic of the late summer race. The 2018 race covers 863 kilometers and over 13,000 metres of elevation gain.

After beginning with a short opening prologue, the race has three rolling stages, as it makes its way to the state capital for stage four. The three road stages do have a few obstacles in them and could serve to whittle down who the GC contenders are, but don’t expect any big selections to be made.

The stage four circuit race in downtown Salt Lake City will offer lots of fireworks with 10 laps of the 11-kilometer course, but the final two stages of the race will be where the GC is decided.

The hors category ascent to Snowbird Resort on stage five and then the tough 122-kilometer loop around Park City to finish the race is a climbers delight. The final climb of the race is the brutally steep Empire Pass before the riders fly back down into Park City.

Full route:
Prologue: St. George, 5km
Stage 1: Cedar City to Cedar City, 162.5km
Stage 2: Payson to Payson, 142.6km
Stage 3: Antelope Island to Layton, 167km
Stage 4: Salt Lake City (circuit race), 110km
Stage 5: Canyons Village to Snowbird Resort, 152.6km
Stage 6: Park City to Park City, 122.3km

Coming up

The Criterium du Dauphine goes into the mountains on Thursday for the first of four straight summit finishes. The 181-kilometer stage finishes with the cat. 2 ascent to Lans-en-Vercors. However, the climb is preceded by the hors category Col du Mont Noir.


Tech news

Shimano Dura-Ace 9170 C40-TL rims

Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 C40-TL tubeless road disc wheelset review

Australian tech editor Matt Wikstrom takes a close look at Shimano Dura-Ace’s mid-profile C40 tubeless clinchers. Shimano’s wheels have enjoyed a sound reputation for many years, and Wilkstrom finds the new range of R9170 road disc wheelsets can only strengthen this notion. Buyers get a choice of two rim profiles to suit tubeless clinchers or tubular tyres along with a high-end hubset with proven cup-and-cone bearings.

Compared to what the rest of the market has to offer, Wilkstrom finds the C40-TL to be competitive, but that its shining traits, like thoughtful construction and the balance of spoke tension for the rear wheel, might be overlooked, and won’t be appreciated until the wheels are few years old.

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