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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
When does the Tour de France start? After an exciting National Championship weekend, we are ready for the Tour de France, but it’s still two weeks away! With the Grande Boucle starting a week later (July 7) to accommodate the World Cup, we are left twiddling our thumbs this week. We decided to take a deep dive into statistics and look at a few fascinating stats we’ve come across from the first half of the season. Today, we start with Quick-Step Floors and the squad’s alarming win rate.
How does Quick-Step’s winning rate compare to the 2009 HTC-Columbia squad?
Quick-Step Floors seems to win every fourth race they enter. The newly nicknamed “Wolfpack” have amassed 43 victories from 169 race days through June 25. This equates to a winning rate of 25.4-percent. That’s impressive, but a squad from 2009 has them beat.
The 2009 HTC-Columbia squad had 45 victories through June 25, but had done so with just 155 days of racing. This translates to an astounding winning rate of 29-percent. The American-based squad was stacked with sprinting-aces, like Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel. Hardmen Edvald Boasson Hagen and Tony Martin also featured on the squad, and don’t forget about the veteran Geroge Hincapie guiding the team around the world.
At the end of 2009, HTC-Columbia finished with 83 victories after 265 days of racing. The team actually improved its winning rate to 31-percent by the end of the year. Cavendish won six stages at the Tour and was victorious on the Champs-Élysées for the first time of what would be four consecutive victories on the famous boulevard. HTC-Columbia’s season win total (83) is the most dating back to 2000, according to ProCyclingStats.com.
Quick-Step Floors has had 13 riders claim the top step of the podium this year with Elia Viviani the winningest of all with 13 victories to his name. Comparably, fastman Cavendish was the winningest rider on the 2009 HTC-Columbia squad. He had also amassed 13 wins through June 25, but continued the momentum through to the end of the year and finished with 23 victories. HTC-Columbia had 16 different riders win in 2009.
The boys in blue may not be keeping pace with HTC-Columbia in terms of winning rate through the midpoint in the season, but they still have a shot to beat HTC-Columbia’s season win total of 83. A more robust racing calendar now, than in 2009, will work in their favour. Quick-Step should have more race days than the 2009 HTC-Columbia team, which means more opportunities for victory. The team still has two Grand Tours to contend, and it will be interesting to watch just how many more victories the squad can rack up.
Fortuneo-Samsic and Look abruptly end partenship
French Pro Continental squad Fortuneo-Samsic and Look Cycle have ended their partnership with immediate effect.
A team release provided a rather interesting and positive joint statement from Look Cycle President Federico Musi and Team Manager Emmanuel Hubert. “Our collaboration has been a success, based on a common passion, and a shared desire to support and promote French professional cycling and national industrial know-how. Fortuneo-Samsic and Look Cycle share the same ambition for growth. We wish each other all the best for the future, starting with the 2018 Tour de France,” the statement said.
The announcement comes at an odd time with the French squad set to start the Tour de France in a mere two weeks. A report in Ouest-France suggests Spanish company BH will be the new frame sponsor and the new partnership will be announced on Wednesday.
Campenaerts left with a concussion after crash with ‘drunken spectator’
Victor Campenaerts’ (Lotto-Soudal) weekend started spectacularly, as he won the Belgian national time trial championships, but it ended with a concussion. The 26-year-old was taken out during the Belgian national road race due to a fan stepping into the road to wave at the TV helicopter, according to a report in Het Nieuwsblad. He finished the race in last place, eight minutes behind the winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors).
“Pretty good legs, but sadly ended the race with a crash. Light concussion. Due to a drunk spectator that was on the road. The huge crowd was awesome, but please stay at the side of the road,” Campenaerts posted on Instagram.
Michael Kolar retires from racing
Michael Kolar retired from professional racing after the Slovakian national road championships on Sunday, but will stay with Bora-Hansgrohe in the sponsorship department, the team announced.
“Over the past years, I worked really hard. Then coming into this season I tried everything to prepare in the most professional way for the season, however, at some point, I expected a little more, but the results didn’t come,” Kolar said.
“I feel now that I am pretty much at my best level, but this might not be enough to fulfil my own ambitions … When I look back, there is nothing to regret. I am proud of what I achieved, especially the second World Title of Peter [Sagan] in Doha is an unforgettable memory, where I was able to play a key role to success. Now it’s time to say goodbye, the National Championships was my last race as a pro.”
Mathieu van der Poel will headline the sixth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway (Aug. 16-19), as race organizers announced the full team line-up for the event. The Dutchman’s Corendon–Circus team earned an invitation to the race and van der Poel is expected to take part. This will most likely be one of his final appearances on the road before he begins his cyclocross campaign.
Video: Highlights from the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway
UCI authorises disc brake usage in road racing
The UCI has ruled that, from July 1, 2018, the use of disc brakes in road racing (and BMX) is authorised. This announcement comes after nearly three years spent trialling the use of disc brakes in professional racing, a period which included a number of stumbling blocks.
Click through to read more on the UCI authorizing the use of disc brakes.
Introducing CT Recommends
In case you missed it, we have a new series on CyclingTips, “CT Recommends.” In our new series, we tackle the common question, “What product is best?”, and answer it based on the expertise of both our own team as well as a few trusted contributors. Consider these buyers guides for products we’d buy ourselves, backed by long-term experience.
To open the series, we took a deep dive into the world of bike travel cases. We analyzed a multitude of cases from the easiest to pack, to the case that will protect your bike the best.
Click through to read our full array of recommendations of bike travel cases.
Movistar announce Tour roster
Movistar will have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the mountains at the Tour de France. The squad revealed the five riders that will be supporting its three leaders — Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Mikel Landa — at the Grande Boucle. Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Imanol Erviti, Jose Joaquin Rojas, and Marc Soler will be the riders supporting the trio.
Happy Birthday to …
Rafael Valls (31), the Spaniard is a seven-year veteran of the WorldTour and has established himself a loyal lieutenant when the racing gets tough. He’s been around the block with two-year stints at both the defunct Vacansoleil-DCM and Lampre-Merida teams. He also rode for Lotto-Soudal for two years before joining Movistar for the 2018 season. Valls crashed out of the Giro d’Italia in May and has yet to return to racing.