Colbrelli wins sketchy Suisse sprint; Bikes built by robots: Daily News Digest

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

The Tour de Suisse is so much more exciting than the Criterium du Dauphine. There, we said it. Today, Sonny Colbrelli demonstrated his grit with a long-range sprint in murky conditions that saw Sagan nearly come to grief as he crossed the line. Plus, a bike built entirely by robots? It’s here, but it just may not be the future.

Quote of the day

I race to win.” — Mathieu van der Poel in an Instagram post after winning the Ronde van Limburg.

The Dutchman is a cyclocross star dominating on the road and racing the world cup mountain-bike circuit in an attempt to earn a medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A rider like van der Poel only comes around once-in-a-generation, so enjoy the show he is putting on.

Story of the day: Colbrelli bests Sagan and Gaviria at Suisse

In a wet and wild finale to the third day of racing at the Tour de Suisse, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) launched his sprint early and never looked back. He beat the likes of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors).

Sagan jumped across the road multiple times to try to find a draft before launching toward the line between Gaviria and Colbrelli. The world champion bumped shoulders with both riders, and even head-butted Colbrelli to just barely stay upright. He tried to fit into a space that was just a bit too small for him.

A tricky cat. 3 climb in the final 10 kilometres served to reduce the peloton and prevent a traditional sprint. Multiple riders tried to get away on the climb, including Sagan, but it was too no avail. Noticeably, Team Sunweb was impressively strong. They had four riders at the front end of the peloton on the climb and Michael Matthews looked extra sprightly. Though Matthews could only muster sixth in the sprint finish.

Stefan Kung retains the race’s overall lead.

Race Radio

UCI bans Lotto-Soudal’s speed gel

The special aero/speed gel Lotto-Soudal put on its rider’s legs during the team time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine will be officially banned before the Tour de France begins on July 7, according to a report in Het Nieuwsblad. The team was not allowed to use the gel on Saturday’s opening team time trial at the Tour de Suisse.

“I received a call from Jean-Christophé Péraud, the UCI Materials, and Equipment manager. He told me that the regulations will be adjusted in the coming weeks,” Lotto Soudal manager Marc Sergeant told Het Niewsblad.

Sergeant, clearly upset at the decision, went after Team Sky regarding the squad’s special aerodynamic skinsuit that debuted at the Tour last year, as well as Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case. “In three days the UCI finds the Speed Gel is not allowed, but Froome’s salbutamol case has been dragging since last year’s world championships,” Sergeant said. “I think that’s all a bit strange.”

Coming up

A reduced sprint is expected at the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday. Much like stage 3, a late climb in the stage should mix things up a bit. Attacks most certainly will come on the cat. 2 climb with just 10 kilometres to go.

Tech news

Bicycles made by robots coming your way. Metal bicycle frames are traditionally made by metering and welding individual tubes together, and carbon fiber ones by baking hundreds of individually placed plies into a mold.

Mokomono Bicycles is building its frames from two stamped sheets of 7000-series aluminum sheets, which are then joined with a separate head tube, seat tube, bottom bracket shell, and dropouts through automated robotic laser welding.

According to Mokomono, the process is faster and more consistent than traditional TIG-welding, and also generates less heat so there’s less post-welding processing involved.

Mokomono offers just one model for now — the commuting-oriented Delta — and despite the automated manufacturing process, it’s well-equipped but not exactly a bargain at €1,700 with a Gates single-speed belt drive, Shimano Alfine groupset, and Brooks Cambium saddle. Claimed weight is 9.8kg (21.6lb) in single-speed form, or 11.8kg (26.0lb) with the optional Shimano Alfine internally geared rear hub.

Is this the bike of the future? Maybe not, but it’s still very interesting. More information can be found at Mokomono Bicycles.

Moving pictures

Ruby Isaac back at it on the rollers

Young rider Ruby Isaac is back to her old tricks on the rollers. She shows off her capabilities by catching things throw to her from someone off camera. Isaac was recently featured on the NBC show “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey.

Happy Birthday to…

Julian Alaphilippe (26), the Frenchman conquered the Muur this year to win Fleche Wallonne. He’s been on flying form in 2018 with five victories to his name already, including four at the WorldTour level. He heads to the Tour de France in great shape after winning a stage at the Criterium du Dauphine last week.

Alaphilippe was a stage winner at the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz earlier this season.

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