Battle royale set for Lombardia; UCI makes peculiar equality decision: Daily News Digest

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

The stars are coming out in droves for this weekend’s Il Lombardia. Vincenzo Nibali will try to complete the difficult Italian double of Milano-Sanremo and Lombardia in the same year. Also, the sprinters finally had their say in the Italian one-day races, but they were greeted with rainy conditions. And, the UCI is barring the elite women from the final time slot for a ‘cross series. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: Italians versus The World at Il Lombardia

The redemption race. Il Lombardia is a chance for a rider who underperformed at the world championships to get confirmation that they are indeed one of the best in cycling. “The race of the falling leaves” will once again see the home favourite Italians face off against the rest.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who also won in 2015, is still searching for the winner’s circle after his dramatic crash on Alpe d’Huez at the Tour. He targeted the world championships but didn’t come close to having the form to contend and had to give up leadership to a much younger Gianni Moscon (Team Sky). Moscon is certainly a favourite after finishing fifth at Worlds.

Vincenzo Nibali won Il Lombardia in 2015 as Italian road champion. His daredevil descending skills have helped him arrive in Como alone twice in the last three years. Photo: Cor Vos

World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will attempt to join a select group of individuals to win Il Lombardia and the world road title in the same year. The Yates twins, Simon and Adam (Mitchelton-Scott), will also be on the start line, along with 2014 Il Lombardia champion Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates). Notably, puncheur Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) will not race, as he has ended his season citing fatigue.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who is showing good form after victory at Milano-Torino on Wednesday, will attempt to become the first Frenchman to win the race since Laurent Jalabert in 1997.

At 241 kilometres and littered with tough steep climbs, winning Il Lombardia is no easy feat. The race truly gets underway with about 60 kilometres to go and from there it’s one climb after another until the finish in Como.

A sunny sky is expected on Saturday, so even if your energy to watch bike racing is waning, Il Lombardia is worthy simply for the beautiful views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains.

Tweet of the day

Race Radio

Colbrelli sprints to victory on home soil in soggy coditions

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) captured a rainy edition of Gran Piemonte, as the peloton split in the final kilometres toward the finish in Stupinigi. The Italian opened his sprint from a long way out, nearly 350 metres, but proved much stronger than the rest to take the victory. Florian Senechal (Quick-Step Floors) finished second and Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) rounded out the podium.

Bennett doubles up in Turkey

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinted to victory for the second day in a row at the Tour of Turkey. He bested stage one winner Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo).

Rowe extends with Sky through 2021

Luke Rowe signed a three-year contract extension with Team Sky, which puts him in a Sky kit until the end of 2021. Rowe made the jump to the WorldTour in 2012 with the Sky program.

2018 served as a comeback year for Rowe after he suffered horrific leg fractures in 2017 from an accident at a friend’s bachelor party. At the time, many wondered whether he would ever race professionally again, but he recovered and Team Sky selected him to his fourth straight Tour de France in July.

Luke Rowe was at home on the cobbles on stage nine of this year’s Tour de France. He finished 8th at Paris-Roubaix in 2015 and 5th at the Tour of Flanders the following year. Photo: Kristof Ramon

UCI denies ‘cross option to run elite women’s race in final time slot

The U.S-located Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series said the UCI stated in an email on Wednesday from Cyclo-cross Coordinator Christelle Reille that they would not approve scheduling the women’s race last on one of the race days in the two-day race weekend and that both race days will conclude with the elite men’s event.

The UCI has approved tests of similar schedule changes this season, at the first two World Cups and the upcoming Pan American Continental Championships. But the rules won’t be bent for the Northeast Series. “Race organisers must be treated with equality and the UCI cannot award this possibility to only a few of them,” according to Reille.

Series President Adam Myerson voiced his disappointment saying, “We’re disappointed that the UCI didn’t award us an exception to this rule, particularly since the rule is ridiculous, to begin with. Any organiser who wishes to highlight the women should be free to do so. We never expected our request to be rejected, especially so close to our first event.”

The first event of the series is the Gran Prix of Gloucester, which is this weekend. You can find the full release about the event and UCI decision here.

Feel good moment of the day

Cobbled classics legend Fabian Cancellara is finally walking under his own power after he had surgery for a broken foot at the end of July. He broke his foot in a riding accident.

Nerd Alert

Chris King hosting industry discussion panel on proprietary components

Chris King Precision Components is today hosting its annual builder summit and open house, along with an industry discussion panel that is being moderated by CyclingTips global technical editor James Huang. The focus of this year’s discussion is standards, or a lack thereof. The panel will discuss cycling’s ever-changing component specifications — such as the explosion of bottom bracket and headset fitments — and how the situation affects the industry, dealers, and consumers.

Panel members for this year’s event include representatives from SRAM, Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Allied Cycle Works, along with a few key dealers and international distributors.

If you’d like to follow the action in real-time, head over to the Chris King YouTube channel, starting around 10:30 am PST. Be sure to grab some popcorn first, though, as it’s sure to be an interesting discussion that you won’t want to miss.

We’ll have a much more detailed article after we’ve had a chance to process what was said, and we’ll also discuss the matter in an upcoming podcast.

In case you missed it …

Why Wollongong: We caught up with Cycling Australia to understand why Wollongong will host the 2022 Road World Championships.

Nerd Alert: Our self-proclaimed tool nerd Dave Rome is back and this time he tested bit-based multi-tools. He finds out that some of the new tools are genuinely fantastic, some are just so-so, and others you should maybe just leave on the store shelf.

Sponsored Content: Yakima Racks’ long, twisting journey from a tiny machine shop in Washington to the LA Olympics and then, worldwide.

Today’s feature image: Kristof Ramon catches the early breakaway through the trees at Milano-Torino.

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