Dario Pegoretti, remembered; a new Cannondale gravel bike: Daily News Digest

by CyclingTips


The cycling world is mourning the loss of Italian frame builder Dario Pegoretti, who died Thursday at age 62. A young German is leading the Tour of Germany. Cannondale has released a new gravel bike. Brent Bookwalter will become the first American to ride for Mitchelton-Scott.


Dario Pegoretti, 1956 to 2018

Italian frame builder Dario Pegoretti passed away Thursday at the age of 62. Pegoretti was perhaps best known professionally for the intricate paint jobs that decorated his framesets, but those who recall him more intimately remember the passing of a warm, kind, and truly inspirational figure who was far more than just a painter or frame builder. Read Joshua Poertner’s moving tribute to Dario Pegoretti here.

CyclingTips wishes to offer its condolences to Pegoretti’s family and friends. A true legend has been lost.

Tweet of the day

A nice graphic from Twitter user Rowan Drummond, illustrating rider transfers between WorldTour teams over the last 10 years, focusing on instances where at least four riders have transferred between teams.


Schachmann wins on home soil, takes race lead at Deutschland Tour

After Thursday’s battle of sprinters, Stage 2 of the Deutschland Tour offered more opportunities to climbers and GC riders, with a very demanding and hilly finale. Victory was decided between four strongmen on the final straight in Trier. After taking off with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) on the last climb of the day with 6km to go, Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) took a prestigious win on home soil.

The German out-sprinted Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) and Dumoulin, taking the race leader’s red jersey. Just 24, the victory confirms Schachmann’s promise after already winning a stage at the Giro d’Italia, giving his Quick-Step Floors team a second win in a row in Germany.


Bookwalter heads to Mitchelton-Scott

Announcing a move which will make him the first American man on the Mitchelton-Scott squad, Brent Bookwalker has inked a deal with the Australian WorldTour squad. Bookwalter has spent 11 years as part of the BMC Racing Team, but uncertainty about that squad’s direction this year led to a change. Bookwalter’s palmares includes stage wins in the Tours of Utah and Qatar plus the USA Pro Challenge, as well as second overall in the latter two events. He has also finished third and fourth overall at the Amgen Tour of California.

“I have been fortunate to have a long and steady career at the same organisation,” he said. “I really enjoyed that and I think both sides have really benefited from that but I felt like I am getting up there in age. I will be 35 next year, and I am always looking to keep improving, keep things exciting and stay motivated and inspired. So I just felt it was time for a switch in scenery and environment.”

Team manager Matt White said Bookwalter is capable of landing strong results, adding that he will also bring experience “to steady the ship at times.”


Team Sky seeking third Grand Tour victory of 2018?

No team has ever won  all three Grand Tours in the same season with three different riders. Could this be the year?

Defending champ Chris Froome is absent, but Team Sky remains ambitious at the Vuelta a España with 2014 world champion Michal Kwiatkowski. The recent Tour of Poland winner will co-captain the squad along with Spaniard David De La Cruz, who was forced to abandon the race sitting 11th overall last year when he crashed on the final descent of the race before the Angliru summit finish on Stage 20.

“We’re not putting too much pressure on [Kwiatkowski] for the GC, but he will have a go,” said Sky director Gabriel Rasch. “And there are a lot of stages that suit him for wins. As for David, we saw last year that this race suits him very well, and he’s prepared it very well. We’re going to back him up with full support from the team to try to get the best result.”

2019 Vuelta a España will start on Costa Blanca

The Salinas de Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca, will host the start of the 2019 Vuelta a España. “The province of Alicante is a cycling paradise,” said Javier Guillén, general director of La Vuelta. “There is the sea, the mountains, hills and flat, and perfect weather to ride a bike. It’s not for nothing that many teams choose this area for training camps ahead of the season.”

The province of Alicante, 500km south of Barcelona, has hosted Vuelta starts in Benidorm (in 1964, 1987 and 2011), Calpe (1973) and Dehesa de Campoamor (1977). It will be a first for the Salinas de Torrevieja, a unique enclave with salt lagoons famous for their pink-hued waters. Three stages will be held on the Costa Blanca, highlighting the inlands as well the seaside.

New tech

Cannondale builds on gravel range, introducing the Topstone

Filling the gap between the CAADX SE and the 650B-wheeled Slate, the new Topstone is Cannondale’s do-it-all gravel bike. The Topstone features a “Smart Form C2” aluminium frame, the same grade as that used in the CAAD Optimo road range. The frame offers clearance for 42mm rubber and features a full carbon fork with a tapered steerer. Additionally, there’s full internal cable routing with room for a dropper seatpost, and provisions for a top-tube storage bag and three water bottles.

The fit is close to that of Cannondale’s Synapse endurance road bike, but with a slacker head angle and increased fork offset (55mm). Such a combination has been seen previously with the Super X (read the full review).

Globally there are three models, priced at US$1,000 / AU$N/A, US$1,650 / AU$2,699, US$2,000 / AU$3,199 for bikes with Shimano Sora, Shimano 105 and SRAM Apex groups respectively. The top-end Topstone Disc SE Apex 1 features a 50mm dropper post, WTB tubeless-ready rims and a full SRAM Apex HYD groupset, a model we have inbound for testing. Visit Cannondale for more information.

Cannondale topstone Apex

Happy birthday to…

Roger “Mr. Roubaix” de Vlaeminck turned 71 today. During a 19-year professional career that spanned from 1970 to 1988, overlapping with the best years of the Eddy Merckx era, de Vlaeminck won 22 stages at the Giro d’Italia and 15 stages at Tirreno-Adriatico in addition to winning Milan-San Remo three times. Most famously, in 1977 de Vlaeminck became the first rider to win Paris-Roubaix four times, a record he now shares with Tom Boonen.

Roger de Vlaeminck at the 1976 Rund um den Henninger Turm in Frankfurt, Germany.

Throughout their careers, de Vlaeminck and Merckx both finished in the top 10 of one-day classics on 38 occasions; seven times they finished first or second to the other, including twice at Paris-Roubaix.

In total, de Vlaeminck had 164 professional wins, and while he finished fourth at the 1975 Giro d’Italia, de Vlaeminck was no Grand Tour contender; in 12 Grand Tour starts, he only finished four of them, and he never finished the Tour de France nor the Vuelta a España.

Thanks to our friends at Bontrager, we’re giving away a Flare RT Rear Light for every stage of the 2018 Vuelta a España. Sign up here. And for more, click through to read our article highlighting what every cyclist needs to know about daytime running lights.

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