Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
The world championships get underway this weekend and the championship road races are less than two weeks away. A certain troubled Italian is showing fine form and might be considered an outside favourite for the world title. Also, the transfer market was abuzz today with multiple teams announcing new additions.
Story of the day: Moscon a contender for Worlds?
After finishing a five-week suspension for taking a swing at another rider during the Tour de France, Gianni Moscon’s return to the peloton has been anything but quiet. The Italian has been victorious on two occasions in the last week in his home country of Italy and he made headlines just before his return when he told Tuttosport he didn’t think he did anything wrong.
Though both wins have been lower-level one-day races, including Wednesday’s Giro della Toscana, Moscon has demonstrated he lost very little form while he took a forced break from racing. He joined pure climbers Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) in the winning breakaway at Giro della Toscana. He handily beat the two climbers in the sprint to the line.
This begs the question, could Moscon contend for the world road title in Innsbruck, Austria?
The 24-year-old has a strong Classics’ build, evident by fifth at Paris-Roubaix in 2017. He also can climb well for a cobbled specialist. He finished an impressive third in the climb-heavy Il Lombardia last year as well. His sprint? Well, put him up against any climber and he will most certainly come out on top.
Innsbruck boasts a robust 258-kilometre route with 4,670 metres of climbing. It’s no easy task, but remember the Rio Olympics course was also considered one for the pure climbers and Greg Van Avermaet, a cobbled specialist through and through, went home the victor. Moscon is a much better climber than Van Avermaet and could be in with a chance.
Of course, he’ll have to avoid getting disqualified for taking a tow from a team car, as he did at last year’s world championships.
Moscon would certainly be an interesting world champion and may not be well perceived considering his troubled history. But with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) having lacklustre La Vuelta performances, Moscon could step into the limelight.
The Beauty of Cycling
Fresh off a La Vuelta where he won two stages, Ben King (Dimension Data) was on the side of the road cheering on his teammates and serving as a soigneur during the Giro della Toscana. The one-day Italian race takes place around the city of Pontedera, which is not far from Lucca, Italy, where the American lives when he’s in Europe. Judging by the full kit, including helmet and shoes, it appears King made seeing the race part of his day’s training ride.
— Team Dimension Data (@TeamDiData) September 19, 2018
American-based Rally Cycling is continuing its ambition of entering the WorldTour with a team of North American riders with the signing of veteran Canadian Svein Tuft. The 41-year-old will help fill the void of road captain and mentor that is left by the retiring Danny Pate. Tuft has spent the last seven years riding with the Australian GreenEdge program.
Also, Bora-Hansgrohe is continuing to build on its roots as a German program with the signing of Maximilian Schachmann from Quick-Step Floors. Though considered the team of world champion Peter Sagan, Bora-Hansgrohe still keeps to its German roots, as evident by its title sponsors and the fact the team had six German riders on the team this year.
BMC Racing, which will become CCC from 2019 onwards, has signed Lukasz Wisniowski from Team Sky. The Pole will bolster the squad’s Classics team around Greg Van Avermaet. Young Italian climber Giulio Ciccone is moving up to the WorldTour with Trek-Segafredo after spending the last three years with Bardiani-CSF. The 23-year-old won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2016 as a neo-pro.
North Star returning, women’s race applies for UCI status
After a one-year hiatus, the North Star Grand Prix will return in 2019 with the women’s race hopefully being sanctioned as a UCI 2.2 event. The five-day race will run June 12-16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The men’s race will be part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, but will not be UCI sanctioned.
The event had long been a staple on the U.S. cycling calendar since its inception in 1999 as the Nature Valley Grand Prix before it disappeared from the calendar this year. At the time, race directors promised the event would return, but in the cycling world, we know to believe it when we see it. The return of the North Star Grand Prix will help to fill the summer gap between the early spring U.S. stage races and the August events in Utah and Colorado.
Race organizers said they expect to receive confirmation for the UCI women’s event sometime in October.
Cane Creek announces all-road version of eeWings titanium crankset
Following hot on the heels of Cane Creek’s striking eeWings titanium mountain bike crankset is a new downsized version for road, gravel, cyclocross, and adventure applications. As with the original, the new eeWings All-Road is made entirely of welded titanium instead of the usually forged aluminium or molded carbon fibre. As a further testament to the eeWings’ durability, Cane Creek is backing these with a ten-year warranty, along with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Cane Creek isn’t bundling the eeWings with any chainrings, but the crankarms feature the common SRAM X-Sync three-bolt splined interface for compatibility with a wide range of 1x aftermarket options. The wide format 30mm-diameter titanium spindle will with English threaded, PF86, BB386EVO, and BB/PF30 bottom bracket shells.
Also newly announced, is an optional Stages power meter for both the MTB and all-road versions.
Retail price for the eeWings All-Road is US$999 for the arms and spindle; the Stages-equipped edition costs US$1,499. For more information, visit www.canecreek.com.
Happy Birthday to …
Damiano Cunego (37), the recently retired Italian is a three-time winner of Il Lombardia and also claimed the 2004 Giro d’Italia. He earned his nickname Il Piccolo Principe (The Little Prince) from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s children’s book of the same name. The Tifosi began calling Cunego “The Little Prince” after he won the overall of the Giro at just 22-years-old.