Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Grappling with cycling’s unanswered fan access question, a new cyclocross team for a young British star, and Marco Pantani’s theme song.
Story of the day: Cycling can be a circus and Nibali’s not a fan
Chris Froome was hit, Geraint Thomas was grabbed, Vincenzo Nibali was crashed by a camera strap. This year’s Tour de France brought into sharp focus the tension between cycling’s long history of fan access — one of the things that makes this sport so beautiful — and the dangers presented by a sport that plays out on a stadium of public roads.
Nibali voiced understandable frustration with unruly fans to La Gazzetta Dello Sport on Tuesday. A month after he was taken down by a fan’s camera strap on Alpe d’Huez, forcing him out of the Tour with a broken vertebra, Nibali is only now ramping up his training for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana. He won’t be a factor in Spain, he’s said. The Vuelta is just training for worlds. Still, that’s two grand tours affected by a fan, and Nibali isn’t happy about it.
“There must be fans, but like that isn’t good,” he told Gazzetta. “People drink too much, they are doing anything just to appear on TV. With people in the middle of the road, often with flags, we’re riding blind. We’re unable to see where we’re going and praying to heaven that the road opens up in front of us.”
“Beyond the damage to your health, economically, what is the value of the damage suffered?” Nibali asked.
Nibali’s Bahrain Merida general manager, Brent Copeland, said during the Tour that his lawyers were looking in the possibility of attempting to recoup some of those damages, though nothing has come of the threat.
Is there a solution? Can cycling balance its own tradition of access with keeping riders safe? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Tom Pidcock to lead new British cyclocross team
Young British talent Tom Pidcock will lead a new British cyclocross team called TP Racing this season.
Pidcock broke his contract with the Belgian team Telenet Fidea Lions, managed by Sven Nys, to move to the new program. The move was made with a “mutual understanding,” according to a press release from the Belgian squad.
Pidcock won the junior TT and cyclocross world championships in 2017, as well as Paris-Roubaix Juniors and a national criterium championship, among a pile of other victories.
Daniel Tullet and Emily Wadsworth, both 19, will join Pidcock on the new team, which will be managed by rider’s agent Andrew McQuaid.
Michael Schar has signed an extension with BMC/CCC for next season. The Swiss rider is an important part of the team’s classics squad and will continue to support Greg Van Avermaet next season. It will be Schar’s tenth year with the team.
“I’m motivated more than ever to perform well and take responsibility at the biggest races in the cycling calendar, especially the Classics with Greg Van Avermaet,” Schar said in a press release.
Stefan Kung wins BinckBank TT
BMC’s Stefan Kung won the second stage of the BinckBank tour, a 12.7km time trial in Venray, ahead of Victor Campanaerts (Lotto Soudal) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb).
Kung now leads the overall in the seven-stage race.
Fabian Puerta suspended for boldenone
World keirin champion Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone. The Colombian rider won his world title in Apeldoorn in March. The substance was detected in an out of competition urine test performed on June 11.
“The doping control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling,” said the governing body in a statement on Tuesday.
Puerta Zapata has been handed a provisional suspension and has the right to both request and attend the analysis of the B sample. He is a multiple-time national champion, a past winner of events at the Pan American Games and took his world Keirin title after netting second in 2017.
Tweet of the day
— Marianne Vos (@marianne_vos) August 14, 2018
The power to win the Tour of Utah
Impressive figures from Sepp Kuss. For reference, he weighs just over 130 pounds (58kg). So that’s around 6.1 watts/kg for half an hour on stage 5.
— LottoNLJumbo Cycling (@LottoJumbo_road) August 14, 2018
Marco Pantani had a theme song for the 1996 Giro