Riders protest CPA vote; new pro road structure; dominant time trialists: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

The riders are fed-up with their own union and sent a letter to the CPA President and General Assembly in revolt over the weekend. The list of names who signed the letter is a who’s who of cycling, though one name was absent — Peter Sagan. The world champion has been particularly quiet regarding the upcoming vote for CPA president. Plus the UCI just announced a restructuring of men’s road racing, and it looks quite a lot like the current structure.


Story of the day: Riders submit letter of protest to CPA

A letter signed by 27 of the top riders in professional cycling, including Giro d’Italia winner Chris Froome (Sky) and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Sky) was sent to International Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) President Gianni Bugno and the CPA Steering Committee asking for the upcoming election to be postponed.

The letter, first obtained by Inside the Games, is dated September 21 and asks for the September 27 presidential vote between incumbent Bugno and challenger David Millar be postponed until 2019. The letter cites a lack of validity for the upcoming vote due to the alleged violation of two statutes.

The riders are alleging they were notified of the September 27 meeting on September 9, when CPA bylaws state they must be given notice of a meeting at least a month in advance. Furthermore, the letter also alleges bylaws only require one meeting of the General Assembly per year and the letter asks why the General Assembly is meeting again in 2018 after it already met in March.

For the first time, there are two candidates for president of the CPA and there has been a strong debate over the last month over the rules and regulations regarding how the president is elected. Most notably, the lack of every rider be given a fair opportunity to cast a vote.

In the letter, the riders asked for the presidential vote to take place in 2019 to allow for the CPA Steering Committee to go through the process of changing its bylaws to allow for an electronic voting system to be put in place. The letter also asks for an auditor to be appointed to control the finances of the CPA.

The riders have pushed back hard against the CPA in recent weeks, but this letter of protest is the most significant. The CPA presidential vote is just days away and now with the letter becoming public, it remains to be seen how the CPA will respond.

UCI restructures men’s pro road racing
On a related note, shortly before this Daily News was published the UCI announced a broad restructuring of men’s pro road racing. The highlights are a three-tiered calendar (not dissimilar from the current system) split into WorldTour, ProSeries (second tier) and Continental (third tier) circuits. The WorldTour looks like it may shrink just slightly, down to 185 race days, though details are sparse at the moment.

Teams will be categorised WorldTeams, ProTeams (formerly Pro Continental) and Continental. All WorldTeams are guaranteed invites to all WorldTour races, as before. Interestingly, the top two ProTeams will also automatically qualify for participation in the three grand tours. This is new. It means those grand tours will have fewer wildcard slots, and it’s a small step toward the open promotion/relegation system used by much of international football, for example.

After all the flack CPA President Gianni Bugno has received in the last few days from pro riders, UCI President David Lappartient specifically mentioned his contribution to the negotiations surrounding the updated structure. He also thanked ASO head Christian Prudhomme and Iwan Spekenbrink, who runs the Sunweb team and represents team organisation AIGCP.

What exactly do the updates mean for pro cycling? We’ll dig further in an upcoming story. Keep an eye out.

Day two of the inquest into Mike Hall’s death

The inquest into the death of ultra-endurance cyclist Mike Hall continued on Tuesday, with conflicting reports from witnesses on the British rider’s visibility that morning on the Monaro Highway.

Joseph Spulak broke down as he remembered almost hitting Hall as he drove from Cooma to work in Canberra, said a report in the Guardian. He said that despite having his high beams on, Hall “came out of nowhere” and didn’t appear to be wearing reflective clothing or strips.

It was also reported that truck driver Anthony Shoard said Hall was “so close” when he cut across Shoard at about 4.30am at an intersection near Michelago, about 50km south of Canberra.

But the newspaper added that a third driver, who had enhanced lights on her car, said she saw reflective strips on his arms and legs which were visible with headlights on low beam.

Follow the link to read more at The Guardian and also check out this article by the Wall Street Journal about the dangers of riding a bicycle.


Beauty of Cycling

The below tweet brought a smile to our faces.


Race Radio

Van Vleuten defends TT title, leads Dutch podium sweep

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands), who has been nearly unstoppable in 2018, successfully defended her world title in the women’s time trial in Innsbruck. She put on a scintillating performance, completing the 27.8-kilometre course in 34:25.

Anna van der Breggen and Ellen van Dijk took the silver and bronze medals to make it an all orange podium. Both were more than 30 seconds behind van Vleuten’s winning time.

Evenepoel captures first world title of young career

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) dominated the junior men’s time trial at the world road championships in Innsbruck, Austria. The 18-year-old, who only started road racing two years ago and has signed a contract with Quick-Step Floors for 2019, took the rainbow bands by nearly 90 seconds. The margin would have been even bigger had he not celebrated the last 50 metres.

Australian Luca Plapp finished 1:23 behind Evenepoel’s winning time of 33:15 for the 27.8-kilometre course. Andrea Piccolo (Italy) captured the bronze medal, 1:37 down.

Fixed Gear National Championships added to Aussie ‘Road Nats’

Australia’s Road National Championships are expanding in 2019 to include, of all things, a Fixed Gear National Championship.

Held on Friday, January 4 — the first day of the 2019 “Road Nats” — the Fixed Gear championships will be raced on a modified version of the Sturt Street Nationals criterium course in the centre of Ballarat.

The fixed gear nationals will comprise a women’s category and a men’s category and will be open to all Cycling Australia racing members.

Coming up

The elite men take to the roads of Innsbruck tomorrow for their “race of truth.” They will compete over a tough 52.5-kilometre course. The opening 30 kilometres are flat and fast, but then the riders face a steep a five-kilometre climb. The ascent averages 7.1-percent with a maximum gradient of 14-percent.

Favourites for the race include defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands), Rohan Dennis (Australia), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain), Stefan Küng (Switzerland), European champion Victor Campenaerts (Belgium), four-time world champion Tony Martin (Germany), and former world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus).


Tech News

Orbea’s new Terra H, an aluminium all roader

Released last year, the Terra is Orbea’s answer to the all road and gravel movement. James Huang previously reviewed the carbon fibre Orbea Terra, and for 2019, the Spanish company has announced a more budget-conscious aluminium version of the all road platform – the Terra H (aka, Terra Hydro).

Like the original Terra, the Terra H is pitched as a do-it-all drop bar bike, whether that be gravel, cross or road. Rack mounts and space for 40c rubber add to the versatility. The aluminium version shares the same geometry and carbon fork as the Terra, and features 12mm thru-axles front and rear, flat-mount brake mounts and a threaded bottom bracket.

Available in a choice of three colours, the new Terra H is available in three build options ranging from US$1,799 to US$2,199. Learn more at Orbea.


Moving Pictures

Elite Women’s TT highlights

Junior Men’s TT highlights

Today’s feature image: Kristof Ramon captured an emotional Remco Evenepoel on the podium in the rainbow bands after winning the junior men’s world time trial championship in Innsbruck, Austria.

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