Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Yes, La Vuelta just ended a mere 24 hours ago and the world road championships in Austria still need to take place, but as the leaves turn colourful in Europe, tarmac will also turn to grass and tires will become treaded. It’s cyclocross time and the U.S. gets to help kick off the season by hosting the first two world cups this month.
Story of the day: ‘Cross is here
The Vuelta a Espana has ended and the world championships are on the horizon, but cycling’s fall discipline is kicking into high gear. The European cyclocross season began over the weekend and the first race was held in the shadow of the famed church on the Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Many of the heavy hitters will descend upon the United States this week for the opening two rounds of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup series. Trek will host first one this weekend at its headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin and then Iowa City will be the second stop on the final weekend of September. Three-time world champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and seven-time world champion Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) headline the start list. For the first time in many years, Vos is racing a full cyclocross campaign. Normally she takes a break after the road season and returns to cyclocross racing in December.
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) is taking a break after finishing third at the mountain-bike world championships in Switzerland. The Dutchman has had a taxing summer, racing both on the road and on the mountain bike where he claimed the Dutch national championships in each discipline. He will reportedly begin his cyclocross campaign on October 6. Van der Poel dominated the cyclocross season last year, racking up 32-wins including both U.S. world cups. Although, he came up short at the world championships, as van Aert took home a third-consecutive rainbow jersey.
Van der Poel and van Aert are the two biggest names in cyclocross at the moment, but we may not get to watch the two young sensations battle in the grass much longer. Both are expected to leave the cyclocross scene in the coming years to race on the road full time. Van Aert did a full spring Classics campaign this past year and shocked many with sublime performances at both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Van der Poel’s road team is reportedly applying for Pro Continental status for the 2019 season to accommodate the Dutchman’s road ambitions.
The Beauty of Cycling
We’re accustomed to seeing the rider’s faces as they cross the finish line, but what do the riders see as they raise their arms in victory? Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) captured the stage 19 summit finish at La Vuelta and was greeted by a line of photographers and journalists.
Winder on top again at L’Ardèche
Ruth Winder (USA) won the sixth stage of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche in Mountboucher-sur-Jabron. It is her second stage win of the week after she won the third stage on Friday. Interestingly, both wins have been over Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). The Polish rider took the lead in the general classification after she escaped with Winder out of a select group on the final descent into the finish. Greta Richioud (FDJ-New Aquitaine-Futuroscope) rounded out the day’s podium.
“I wasn’t thinking about what was behind me, I was just thinking about what’s coming ahead!” @KNiewiadoma takes over the race lead after a fearless attack on the descent. #TCFIA pic.twitter.com/WSjbWplT7d
— CANYON//SRAM Racing (@WMNcycling) September 17, 2018
Adam Blythe, who was left looking for a job after the demise of Aqua Blue Sport, has found a ride with Lotto-Soudal for the 2019 season. The Briton made the jump to the WorldTour with the Lotto program in 2010. He spent two seasons with the Belgian-based team.
Blythe will bolster the lead-out train for the team’s new marquee sprinter, Caleb Ewan. He and Ewan rode together on the then-named Orica-GreenEdge team in 2015.
Víctor de la Parte will be joining the Continuum Sports CCC team in 2019. The 32-year-old raced with the Pro Continental CCC Sprandi Polkowice squad in 2016 and has ridden for Movistar the past two seasons.
Mueller-Korenek rides 183.932 mph, sets new world record
Denise Mueller-Korenek set a new world speed record for riding a bike when she travelled 183.932 mph (296 kph) at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah. She bettered the previous record of 167 mph (268.7 kph).
Prior to the record attempt, Wired Magazine caught up with Mueller-Korenek.
Ankudinoff and Ward take NRS round at Amy’s Otway Tour
Ashlee Ankudinoff (Specialized Women’s Racing) and Tristan Ward (Bennelong SwissWellness) have won the latest round of Australia’s National Road Series (NRS), the two-stage Amy’s Otway Tour.
Track star Ankudinoff won both the soggy stage 1 criterium in Lorne and the stage 2 road race. In the men’s race, Ward continued his success from the recent Tour of the King Valley by winning the criterium then finishing second in the road race behind Sam Welsford (ACA). That result was enough for Ward to win his second-straight NRS stage race.
The NRS continues on October 6 with the four-day Tour of Gippsland for women and men.
Full results from the 2018 Amy’s Otway Tour can be found here.
Mitchelton-Scott reflects on historic La Vuelta win