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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Chris Froome will ride the Tour de France. A day after ASO formally moved to block Froome from participating in the Tour de France, the UCI absolved the Briton from any wrongdoing. The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) will not appeal the decision, so the four-time Tour champ is set to go to battle and try to become a member of the famed five-time Tour winner club.
Quote of the day
“Grateful and relieved to finally put this chapter behind me, it has been an emotional 9 months. Thank you to all of those who have supported and believed in me throughout.” — Chris Froome.
Story of the day: UCI exonerates Froome, Briton set to ride Tour
In a bombshell announcement, cycling’s governing body, the UCI, dropped its investigation into Chris Froome and his adverse levels of Salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta a España.
“On 28 June 2018, WADA informed the UCI that it would accept, based on the specific facts of the case, that Mr Froome’s sample results do not constitute an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF). In light of WADA’s unparalleled access to information and authorship of the salbutamol regime, the UCI has decided, based on WADA’s position, to close the proceedings against Mr Froome,” a UCI statement stated.
Neither Froome nor the UCI provided any specifics about how he was cleared.
WADA later confirmed the UCI’s announcement, but in clarifying how it came to a decision, the agency said that it dropped the requirement for the controlled pharmacokinetic study.
Froome’s exoneration comes just a day after ASO sought to ban the Briton from the race because his case was unsolved. Tour race director Christian Prudhomme told French newspaper L’Equipe that ASO would no longer move to bar Froome from the race.
“Chris Froome will be at the start of the Tour,” Prudhomme said. “The fact is that the procedure about the damage to the image of the race is obsolete as the sporting authorities have indicated that he wasn’t at fault. That’s it. He will be at the depart of the Tour de France as the UCI and WADA have finally given their answer.”
Interestingly, Prudhomme went on to make clear he was not happy with how long it took for the UCI to come to its decision.
Ochowicz confident BMC will race in 2019 with new sponsorship
Jim Ochowicz, general manager of BMC Racing, is moving forward with a plan for the team to continue racing into the 2019 season. The team has been on the brink of folding this season as it searches for a new sponsor, but a statement from Ochowicz demonstrates a newfound confidence that the team will exist next season.
“We plan to maintain our UCI WorldTour license in 2019 and a roster of 24 or 25 riders,” Ochowicz said. “We have incredibly capable staff who cover all the bases in support of our athletes on every occasion. It is understandable that everyone is sensitive about their futures as time goes by so quickly, but we are optimistic about our chances of keeping this organization in business and we hope to have more clarity very soon.”
While Ochowicz is confident in finding new sponsorship to fund the team through 2019, a few of his star riders may be absent next year. BMC Racing’s number one general classification rider, Richie Porte, has been rumoured to be moving on. Greg van Avermaet and Rohan Dennis are also rumoured be leaving.
Kelderman out of Tour after crash at national championships
Wilco Kelderman will not ride the Tour de France for Team Sunweb after crashing during the Dutch national road race championships. Kelderman fell heavily on his right shoulder and CT scans have revealed he bent the plate mounted to his collarbone. He will undergo additional check-ups in the following days to see if surgery will be required.
“I am gutted. At the moment the pain is really intense, making a Tour start simply impossible,” Kelderman said. “It can’t get much worse after the injuries I already faced in my recent career. I have to get over it once again, and I will need time.”
Kelderman finished fourth overall at the Vuelta a España last year, and was set to ride the Tour alongside Tom Dumoulin. The team announced its full Tour roster a few hours after disclosing Kelderman’s condition.
Team Sunweb Tour roster
Søren Kragh Andersen
Laurens Ten Dam
Bouhanni left off Cofidis’ Tour squad
Sprinter Nacer Bouhanni will be watching the Tour de France from his couch in 2018. The sprinter was surprisingly left off of Team Cofidis’ Tour roster.
“Extremely disappointed with my non-selection at @LeTour 2018. I wish good luck to all my colleagues @TeamCOFIDIS team for this Tour and a thousand thanks to all of my supporters who have always been there,” Bouhanni wrote on Twitter.
Team Cofidis Tour roster
Cannondale 2019 SystemSix first-ride review: ‘Don’t call it an aero bike!’
Cannondale’s new SystemSix is a drastically different-looking and -performing road bike from the company in recent years. Gone are the characteristic round tubing shapes and silhouettes Cannondale’s known for. The all-new 2019 bike is a sleek, highly engineered bike that’s taken three years to come to fruition.
While Cannondale claims the new SystemSix isn’t an aero bike, it is certainly an aero-looking machine. It has the lines, the details and the data to back it up. The question remains: Why is Cannondale late to the aero game? Did they bide their time until they felt they could add something new to the market?
Click through to see our full review of the 2019 Cannondale SystemSix.
First look: New Giro Aether road helmet advances MIPS safety technology
Giro Sport Design’s new flagship road helmet, Aether, looks like Giro’s Synthe, but with a few subtle improvements — and one very significant development. Aether uses a new MIPS technology, dubbed MIPS Spherical, which is a next level concept of protecting the brain from rotational forces. MIPS Spherical was first seen in Giro’s Avance ski helmet.
MIPS Spherical is created from two separate layers of foam, which are held together with an elastomer attachment that rotates independently of a rider’s head. Giro claims MIPS Spherical is its best integration of MIPS yet in terms of comfort, ventilation, and aerodynamics.
Aether is expensive with a price tag of US$325 (AU$475). The helmet will be available globally on August 1.
Click through to get all the details on MIPS Spherical and Giro’s new helmet, Aether.
New Merida time-trial bike spotted at the Spanish Championships
At the Spanish National Championship ITT held June 22nd in Vall d’Alba (Castellón), Basque brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre went on to grab the silver and bronze medals, only beaten by fellow Basque Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky).
Both brothers were spotted riding a new “Time Warp TT” time trial bike from Merida, with a number of new features evident. According to Ion Izagirre, the yet-to-be-announced bike is lighter than the previous model, and aerodynamically improved, too. The brakes appear to be more neatly integrated, as does the cockpit setup. It’s expected this new bike will appear under Vincenzo Nibali and the rest of the Bahrain–Merida pro cycling team at the Tour de France.
Orbea debuts Gain Carbon range of e-assist performance road bikes
Following on the introduction of the original Orbea Gain range of aluminium-framed e-assist road and urban bikes comes two new higher-performance versions built around a lighter and stiffer carbon fibre chassis. The new Gain Carbon road and gravel models share the same composite chassis with 40mm of maximum tire clearance, a 250W hub-based motor, a fully hidden battery and electronics, and a discreet display unit, but vary in build kits depending on the application.
Orbea says the Gain family is built around a “less is more” philosophy, with the custom hub motors offering less maximum power than most other e-assist models on the market, and thus requiring a smaller and lighter battery to provide a similar range. Claimed weight on the top-end Gain Carbon road model is just 11.31kg (24.93lb), but still with a quoted “real-world” range of 100km. There will also be an optional add-on battery that fits in a standard bottle cage.
Interestingly, Orbea is forgoing the torque sensor usually used on high-end e-bikes, and instead uses a proprietary speed-based sensor that incorporates twenty magnets built into the rear cassette lockring. During a 20km with about 300m of climbing, the system was impressively unobtrusive and surprisingly subtle, delivering a truly seamless (and fairly modest) level of assistance on climbs, a wholly unnoticeable cutoff at the prescribed speed limit, and a remarkably smooth power delivery.
Is this the future of e-bikes? Maybe, maybe not, but we’re getting one in for a proper test regardless.
For more information, visit www.orbea.com.
Happy Birthday to …
Jurgen Roelandts (33), the former Belgian national road race champion has a knack for the one-day races. He’s finished on the podium at both the Tour of Flanders and Milan-Sanremo in past years.
Also too, Lucinda Brand (29).