Landis is back; Nibali targeting 2019 Giro; Sagan’s book tour: Daily News Digest

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

Floyd Landis is back in professional cycling. He’s not coming back quietly, but rather dramatically, as his company has taken over ownership of the Silber Continental program. He’s also making a statement in naming the team after his CBD company, Floyd’s of Leadville. Also, Vincenzo Nibali will be targeting the Giro in 2019 and Peter Sagan has gone to the library as he begins a tour for his new book titled “My World.” Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: Landis using settlement money to start Continental team

Former professional cyclist and whistleblower, Floyd Landis, is using the money he received from Lance Armstrong’s US$5m settlement with the U.S. Federal Government to take ownership of a cycling team. The team will be called Floyd’s of Leadville Pro Cycling Team, as Landis’ Leadville, Colorado-based CBD business will be the title sponsor.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Landis says that after paying legal fees he was left with about US$750,000 and decided to put it toward a Continental program. He is taking over ownership of the Canada-based Silber program. The team will continue to be registered in Canada and Gord Fraser, an old teammate of Landis’ on the Mercury team in the 1990s, will stay on to run the team.

Could we eventually see a Floyd Landis owned team at the Tour de France? Photo: Floyd’s of Leadville

“I have a conflicted relationship with cycling, as everybody knows, but I still like it,” Landis said. “And I still remember what it was like to be a kid, and race on a domestic team. It was some of the best years of my life.

“I’m contrite about what happened, but you can never go back and change the decisions you made. At the very least, people can see that I’m ready to move on. Maybe it sounds odd, but it’s kind of some closure for me.”

Editorial note: The full story on Landis’ new team by the Wall Street Journal is behind a paywall.

Beauty of Cycling

In a breakaway, everyone rides for the same team. Yes, if the break survives there can be only one winner, but in order to have a chance of winning, the riders must first make it to the finish line. In the video below from the world road championships, a rider shares a gel with his breakaway companion because he knows if his companion bonks he will have no chance at making it to the finish.

Race Radio

Madouas leads French podium sweep at Paris-Bourges

Groupama-FDJ’s Valentin Madouas captured the one-day Paris-Bourges in a bunch sprint over fellow countrymen Bryan Couquard (Vital Concept) and Christophe Laporte (Cofidis).

Tour de Yorkshire will features 2019 Worlds’ course preview

May’s Tour de Yorkshire, which has been elevated to 2.HC status for 2019, will feature the Harrogate world road championship circuit during the four-day race. The main circuit for the 2019 world road championships in Yorkshire was revealed last week in Innsbruck, Austria and the route looks to suit the puncheurs of the peloton.

Taking place May 2-5, the Tour de Yorkshire generally sits in the shadow of the upcoming Giro d’Italia. However, with its higher UCI status and worlds course preview, the race should attract many top names that will look to factor into the world championships in September. Judging by the profile of the circuit and length (284km for the elite men), early favourites include three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), current world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).

Nibali sets sights on Il Lombardia and 2019 Giro

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will race the Giro d’Italia in 2019, according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport. Nibali skipped the Giro this season to focus on the Tour de France.

After having a successful spring, which included a surprise victory at Milan-Sanremo, Nibali entered the Tour with high expectations. A crash on Alpe d’Huez and vertebra fracture forced him to abandon the Grand Bouncle and he shifted his focus to the world championships. Nibali did not have the form to be a factor in the Worlds’ road race and even conceded leadership of the Italian team to Gianni Moscon before the race started. Moscon finished fifth in Innsbruck.

Nibali will first finish out his 2018 season by racing a trio of one-day races in Italy, the last of which is the Monument Il Lombardia. Nibali is the defending champion and also won the race in 2015. He will also race the Giro dell’Emilia this weekend. The race finishes at the Sanctuary of San Luca in Bologna, which is also the finish of the opening 8-kilometre individual time trial for next year’s Giro.

Caleb Ewan was the best of the sprinters at Milan-San Remo. It just so happened that Vincenzo Nibali was able to sneak away and hold off the bunch.

Peter Sagan’s book tour

After leaving the world road championships for the first time in three years without the rainbow bands, Slovakian Peter Sagan has hit the bookstores to promote his new book, “My World.” The book became available in Great Britain this week and is slated to become available in the U.S. later this fall through publisher VeloPress.

U.S. indicts Russian hackers responsible for Froome, Wiggins TUE leak

The United States Justice Department indicted 7 Russian intelligence officers from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) on cyber-hacking charges related to the 2016 Rio Olympics and leaking of athlete information. The hacking group, known as “Fancy Bears,” released the testing data of numerous athletes including top cyclists. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome were among those targetted in the hacking and it was revealed both had been granted TUEs.

“Today’s Department of Justice announced indictment of 7 officers of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) working in concert as “Fancy Bear” is a reassuring outcome for clean athletes everywhere, especially those whose private information was leaked as a result of the despicable and illegal hacking activity,” US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement.

“Let’s not forget that these cyber-attacks, which we now know were perpetuated by officials in the Russian government, illegally obtained information during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio to try to smear innocent athletes’ reputations and make it look like they did something wrong, when in fact they did everything right.”

Tech News

Kask adds “gravel” version of popular Mojito helmet

Wondering what makes a helmet suitable to gravel? According to Kask, it’s all in the peak. The new Mojito X Peak helmet builds on the existing popular Mojito road helmet with the simple addition of a removable peak to protect “riders from rain, grit, gravel, mud and the sun’s glare.” While Kask may be the first to claim the peak is for gravel, the likes of Specialized and Giro have offered removable peaks on specific road models for a number of years.

The Mojito X Peak joins the new Mojito X, the successor to the Mojito. From what we can tell, it’s the same well-rounded 220g, 26 vent helmet as before, but with new graphics and an “X” added to the name. The Mojito X retails for US$200, with the Peak version at US$207, both are available now in four sizes and a wide variety of colours.

In case you missed it …

Shecret Pro: Our anonymous women’s peloton insider gives her take on world road championships, the newly announced minimum wage for top women’s teams, and explains her frustrations with calls for three-week women’s races.

Product review: James Huang tests one of Shimano’s new products, its S-Phyre X sunglasses.

Red Hook Milan: Get all there is to know about Red Hook’s fixed-gear finale in Milan, Italy this weekend.

Today’s feature image: Floyd Landis posing in a jersey for his CBD brand, Floyd’s of Leadville. The colour pattern is similar the rainbow stripes of the world champion jersey and it remains to be seen how the brand’s logo and colour scheme will be integrated into the jersey’s of Landis’ new UCI Continental team.

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