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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
American race announcer Larry Longo has come under fire for making sexist comments while announcing at the Iowa City Cyclocross World Cup this past weekend. Also, Danny van Poppel won Binche-Chimay-Binche and One Pro Cycling has abandoned its plan to start a women’s team. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the day: Jingle Cross parts ways with Longo after backlash
Jingle Cross, the three-day cyclocross festival in Iowa City, which also hosted the second round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup on Saturday, has severed ties with one of its announcers after it emerged on Monday he was making sexist comments throughout the weekend.
Lindsay Knight, who is heavily involved in the cycling community in Chicago and is also an ambassador for Rapha, detailed some of what announcer Larry Longo said in an Instagram post.
“Over the past three days, I — and countless other women in the 1/2s race — have been told to smile, look “like we’re having fun”, been referred to as “the wives having a miserable time”, and (today) told that we can “limp through our last two laps,” Knight wrote. “During other parts of the day, we’ve heard inappropriate comments about how “the *fun* stuff at the bar happens in the dark with too much alcohol,” and how “the moms can just calm down ‘cause their husbands will be done racing in 5 mins.”
Knight’s post quickly gained traction on social media and within hours Jingle Cross released a statement saying, “The announcer has been notified of the issues and the matter has been handled accordingly. He has been informed that he will no longer be a race announcer at Jingle Cross. We regret this incident and apologize to our riders, spectators, fans, and guests.”
CyclingTips has contacted Longo seeking comment.
Longo’s fellow announcer Brad Sohner, who confirmed Knight’s comments regarding Longo’s announcing were indeed accurate, has been heavily criticized throughout social media for not doing more to address Longo’s announcing during the weekend.
Sohner posted a statement on Twitter and then reiterated his feelings in a text message to CyclingTips.
“There is no place in the sport for some of the comments made over the weekend, and I hope they are not viewed as representative of the staff, volunteers, and sponsors of Jingle Cross, or me personally,” Sohner wrote. “I regret not doing more to step up and address the issues when they happened. As an announcer, we have a powerful platform that should be used to encourage all racers, and that simply didn’t happen this weekend. I’m proud of my past work promoting women’s cycling, and look forward to using my voice and platform to continue to encourage more women to participate in the sport as racers, fans, staff, or any other capacity.”
Jingle Cross has been a staple on the U.S. cyclocross scene since the early-2000s and got its name for its former December race date. Three years ago the race moved to September to become a part of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup calendar.
’Gram of the day
American cyclocross national champion Stephen Hyde crashed heavily at the Waterloo World Cup a week ago and it turns out his initial injuries were worse than he originally thought, with a broken sternum keeping him out of racing for the next four to six weeks.
Van Poppel wins Binche-Chimay-Binche
Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) captured Binche-Chimay-Binche, attacking on the race’s signature short and cobbled climb in the finale to win solo. Belgian national champion Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) led home the peloton and was followed by another cobblestone specialist, Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
LottoNL-Jumbo took control of the race in the finale with both van Poppel and Dylan Groenewegen capable of winning for the team. On the 16.2-kilometre finishing circuit, Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) forced a threatening breakaway on the second of four laps. The Czech-rider attacked solo from the group on the final lap, but the breakaway was back together under the red kite. However, the peloton just behind them, setting the stage for a bunch gallop to the line.
Van Poppel burst out of the group to win solo and had plenty of time to celebrate on the cobbled finishing straight. It is his third victory of the year and the race also marked an end to his 2018 season.
One Pro Cycling abandons plans for women’s team
One Pro Cycling, which announced earlier last month the men’s Continental program would be folding at the end of the year and that the organisation would be starting a women’s team for 2019, has scrapped plans for the women’s program citing a lack of sponsorship funds.
Founded in 2015, team owner Matt Prior was ambitious in taking the UK-based squad to the WorldTour, and the team moved up to the Pro Continental level in 2016 after just one season. However, that would be as high as the program would go, with the squad dropping back down to the Continental level the following year. A month ago, Prior announced his decision to end the men’s team at the end of 2018 and form a women’s team, but instead, that will not be the case.
“The team were committed to putting together a woman’s UCI squad for next season, but due to lack of sponsorship we have not been able to raise a satisfactory budget to match our aims,” said a press release. “We are keen to pick up this journey for 2020 and will continue conversations throughout 2019.”
New lower cost version of Abbey Bike Tools’ Wash Buddy
American tool company Abbey Bike Tools has a new lower-cost version of its Wash Buddy, a tool we previously reviewed in our chain keeper comparison. The new tool replaces the Paul Components, or more recently, Phil Wood skewer, with one that’s made in-house.
As a result, the new tool is US$55, whereas the original Team Issue version was US$75. It’s otherwise an identical tool and is compatible with both thru-axles and quick release frames. The Team Issue Wash Buddy scored highly in our original test, but the previous price was a hindrance. With price factored in, it was Park Tool’s Dummy Hub that won the test, a tool that copies a number of features from Abbey Bike Tools.
In case you missed it …
Weekly Spin: Editor-at-Large Neal Rogers examines the conundrum surrounding Alejandro Valverde’s win in the elite men’s world road title in his weekly column.
Today’s feature image: Marianne Vos (WaowDeal) competing at the Jingle Cross Iowa City Cyclocross World Cup over the weekend.