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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Egan Bernal is out of the hospital, but has a long recovery ahead after a terrible crash at the Clasica San Sebastian. NBA superstar Lebron James is a bike nerd. Alvaro Hodeg sprinted to victory in Poland, while Tejay Van Garderen led a BMC 1-2-3 finish on the opening day of the Tour of Utah. This and plenty more in today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest.
Story of the day: Bernal out of the hospital
A revelation of this year’s Tour de France, Egan Bernal will not be racing anytime soon as he recovers from the injuries he suffered in a crash at the Clasica San Sebastian. Bernal went down in a large crash with about 20 kilometres to go; in a statement, Team Sky revealed more details about the injuries the Colombian suffered, including a “small brain bleed.”
“We are pleased to report that Egan Bernal has been discharged from hospital after crashing during San Sebastian on Saturday,” the statement read. “Egan underwent surgery on Saturday night to repair his top lip, which was split in the crash, and to reduce his nasal fracture. He will undergo dental surgery in the coming weeks to repair a number of missing, broken and fractured teeth. Egan will rest completely for at least three weeks after also suffering a small bleed on the brain during the crash.”
At 21, Bernal was a key lieutenant in the mountains for Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome during this year’s Tour de France. He was the only neo-pro to start the Grande Boucle and punched above his weight for such a young rider. It remains to be seen how this accident will affect Bernal’s future, but Team Sky has given no indication that his injuries are career threatening.
“Thank you very much to all the people who have been waiting and have sent messages of support, yesterday my fall was somewhat heavy but I had an operation on my nose and mouth, now I have to replace a couple of teeth that fell off, but, well … patience,” Bernal tweeted on Sunday
NBA star Lebron James is a bike nerd
Lebron James is a three-time NBA champion, but loves to ride his bike. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, James revealed the bicycle was a way of freedom for him growing up. He also used to own a stake in Cannondale.
“Me and my friends, when we got on our bikes, we would just ride,” James said. “Sometimes we would even get lost, because we’d be gone for so long. But there was a sense of joy and comfort. There was nothing that really could stop us. We felt like we were on top of the world. It was a way of life. If you had a bike, it was a way to kind of let go and be free.”
James has been known to commute to games on his mountain bike and has also hosted charity bike rides in Ohio. He recently opened a school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio called “I Promise,” where every student receives a bicycle and a helmet.
Note: The WSJ interview with Lebron James is behind a paywall.
Latour out with fractured vertebra
Pierre Latour, another victim of the late crash on Saturday at the Clasica San Sebastian, has an undisplaced fracture of the eighth dorsal vertebra. Latour, the best young rider at the 2018 Tour de France, will be forced to be partially immobilized for three weeks, Ag2r-La Mondiale said on Monday. The team expects that Latour will be able to return to racing in about four to six weeks.
The Frenchman is the third WorldTour rider to suffer a fractured vertebra is the last couple of weeks. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) fractured a vertebra in a crash on Alpe d’Huez during the Tour and Mikel Landa (Movistar) also fractured a vertebra in the crash at San Sebastian.
Transfer News: BMC Racing loses a rider and gains a rider
After 11 years with BMC Racing, Danilo Wyss will have a new home in 2019 with Dimension Data. The Swiss rider has spent his entire career with BMC, but has signed a two-year contract with the African-based team. However, Wyss will not change bike brands, as Dimension Data will ride BMC bikes beginning in 2019.
“We will, of course, look to be successful on the road, but I also really like the way in which the team supports the Qhubeka charity,” Wyss said in a team release. “I realise that I’m very lucky to be able to live my passion by being on the bike and this new opportunity means that I will be able to help others through the team, as well as through Qhubeka.”
While Wyss is exiting the Continuum Sports program at the end of the season, the team announced Guillaume Van Keirsbulck will join the team next year. The Belgian will become a key lieutenant for Greg Van Avermaet during the spring classics.
“I come from a cycling family and as a Belgian, I love the classics so I am very excited to join Continuum Sports. I am motivated to help Greg Van Avermaet in the classics and to help strengthen the team, and take any opportunities that come my way,” Van Keirsbulck said. “I have had the chance to ride for myself in the past two years, but in the classics, it is a constant fight for position and there is a certain level of respect that comes from riding with a WorldTour team.”
Australian Freddy Ovett, who rides for the Australian Cycling Academy, is currently riding for BMC Racing as a stagiaire at the Tour of Utah.
Hodeg takes stage 3 in Poland and captures overall lead
Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) sprinted to victory on Stage 3 of the Tour of Poland over Dan McLay (EF Education First-Drapac) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal). Hodeg was finally able to raise his arms in victory after finishing second to Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) on the opening two stages. It’s the Colombian’s third victory of the season, and he also took the overall lead due to time bonuses.
BMC Racing sweeps Utah prologue, Van Garderen wins
Tejay Van Garderen led the way for BMC Racing, as the American-based team dominated the opening 5-kilometre prologue in St. George at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. U.S. national time trial champion Joey Rosskopf finished second and Tom Bohli rounded out the podium sweep.
Van der Poel eyes spring classics in 2019, as Corendon-Circus applies for Pro Continental status.
Mathieu van der Poel hopes to take on the spring classics in 2019, as his Corendon-Circus team has applied for Pro Continental status, according to a report in Het Nieuwsblad. Van der Poel is currently the Dutch national champion in cyclocross, road, and mountain biking.
Van der Poel’s cyclocross rival Wout Van Aert (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) made his spring classics debut this year and surprised many with strong rides at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He also finished third in Strade Bianche.
Van der Poel was unable to enter many of those races as his Corendon-Circus team was registered as a Continental program in 2018 and was not allowed to gain an invitation to WorldTour races. That may change in 2019, creating a scenario where the two cyclocross stars go head-to-head on the cobblestones of Belgium and northern France.