Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
The 2018 world road championships are finally here and the team time trials kick off the week of racing for rainbow bands. Speaking of the rainbow bands, Australia’s chances of winning the elite men’s road race just dropped significantly with Richie Porte withdrawing due to illness. Also, Trek now has its own cyclocross team and appears to be sponsoring men’s world champion Wout van Aert as well. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the day: TTT Worlds Preview
The team time trial has the honour of pulling up the curtain for the 2018 UCI World Road Championships in Innsbruck, Austria on Sunday. The event was a staple of the world championships from its introduction in 1962 until it was disbanded after the 1994 championships.
The UCI reintroduced the TTT in 2012, but with a different format. The event is contested by trade teams instead of national teams. Also, each team has six riders instead of four and the courses vary in length compared to the original TTT event which always had a 100-kilometre route. Cycling’s governing body confirmed in May 2018 will be the final year of the team time trial event for the foreseeable future.
2017 Men’s world TTT championship highlights
The race in 2018 will be all about pacing with long courses set for Sunday. The men will compete over a whopping 62.8-kilometre route and the women will contest a 54.5-kilometre course.
The men’s and women’s teams will start in Ötztal, which sits above Innsbruck in terms of altitude. This means the course is relatively downhill, though it does include a few rolling hills along the way. While the women will take a mostly direct route to the host city, the men will diverge and tackle a tough five-kilometre climb with around 20 kilometres remaining.
Team Sunweb are the defending champions for both the men and women.
2017 Women’s world TTT championship highlights
’Gram of the Day
Cyclocross World Champion Wout van Aert showed off a new pair of rainbow accented shoes on his Instagram story. The Belgian is racing the opening World Cup rounds as an independent after he abruptly terminated his contract with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan earlier in the week. The two sides are set to battle in court over the matter.
Since he’s no longer with the team, Van Aert is not allowed to wear any of his previous team issued world champ gear. It appears Trek will be supporting him since the shoes are Bontrager, a Trek owned brand.
Richie Porte withdraws from Worlds due to illness
Richie Porte will not lead the Australian team in the World Championships road race next Sunday having withdrawn from the event due to illness. Porte developed an upper respiratory tract infection in the last week of the Vuelta which required antibiotics and stopped the Tasmanian from training.
“I’m really disappointed to miss the road race,” Porte said. “It was a big goal for me at the end of the season and I had been training and racing with the road race in mind. However, recent illness means my preparation has been far from ideal and for a race of this difficulty, with more than 4600metres of climbing, you need to have the best preparation possible to be up there.”
Cycling Australia is currently assessing its options for a replacement.
Trek announces cyclocross team
Trek formally introduced its new Trek Factory Racing Cyclocross team ahead of the opening round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup this weekend, which takes place on the grounds of Trek’s headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. The team of three includes former under-23 world championship silver medalist Ellen Noble, current under-23 world champion Evie Richards, and Emma Swartz, who is joining the team from the bike company’s grassroots Trek Cyclocross Collective program.
“I am really excited to be kicking off the season with the new Trek Factory Racing Cyclocross squad,” Noble said in a press release. “I am so proud to be teammates with two amazing women and I’m personally very excited to get the racing underway and see how the changes that I’ve implemented in my training and racing pays off. I have a great feeling about this season for the team as a whole and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish.”
The team will ride Trek’s top-end carbon ‘cross bike, the Boone. The bikes will be equipped with SRAM drivetrains and brakes, Bontrager wheels, and Bontrager cockpits. The riders will wear Santini clothing and ride with Bontrager shoes and helmets.
Women’s Tour expands to six days
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour, will expand to six days in 2019, consolidating its place as one of the longest stage races on the Women’s WorldTour. The added day means the Giro Rosa is the only race on the 2019 calendar longer than the British tour.
“We are delighted to have been granted a sixth day of racing for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to build upon the success of the first five editions. Teams and riders have been asking us to extend the event and to broaden the range of stages, which the flexibility of a sixth day will enable us to do,” said race director Mick Bennett.
Mark Cavendish looks to be on his way out from Dimension Data, as the Briton has not yet signed a contract for 2019. Dimension Data announced the signing of sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo from Trek-Segafredo, which seems to put further doubt that the Manx Missile will stay with the South African squad. Cavendish has been linked to Bahrain-Merida in recent weeks.
Also, Laurens Ten Dam will join the CCC (former BMC Racing) program from Team Sunweb and Hugh Carthy signed a two-year extension with EF Education First-Drapac.
GoPro takes it to 7, three new Hero models announced
The new GoPro Hero 7 could be just the thing to help the troubled publicly listed company bounce back. The new models boast a number of much-needed feature updates, including voice control and touch screens across all models. The top-tier GoPro Hero 7 Black (US$399/AU$599) gets a wholly new “HyperSmooth” digital image stabilisation and the ability to do Live streaming while keeping the new processing chip introduced with the GoPro Hero 6 Black.
The GoPro Hero 7 Silver (US$299 /AU$459) lacks the improved image stabilisation and live streaming function. Where the Black offers 4Kx60fps recording, the Silver is only capable of 4Kx30fps. At the base level, the GoPro Hero 7 White (US$199/AU$299) loses the GPS functionality and the ability to record 4K as seen in the models above. Both the Silver and White models see the legacy front screen disappear, while the Black retains such function.
Bikepacking Across Norway
It’s tough to put into words just how beautiful Norway looks in the below video. After watching it, many of us here at CyclingTips are day-dreaming about riding there.
In case you missed it …
World Record: Denise Korenek rode at an astonishing 183.932 miles per hour (296 km/h) earlier this week, on the salt flats of Utah to break the world paced bicycle record.