Thomas’ Tour trophy stolen; controversial crash at Milano-Torino: Daily News Digest

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

One of cycling’s most valuable possessions, the Tour de France winner’s trophy, has gone missing. It appears to have been stolen. This isn’t the first time the famed trophy has been stolen or misplaced. Also, Milano-Torino saw a controversial crash in the finale and the Tokyo Olympic TT courses were revealed. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: Thomas’ Tour trophy stolen at bike gala

Geraint Thomas’ 2018 Tour de France winner’s trophy was stolen from the Cycle Show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, United Kingdom. A police investigation has been opened regarding the disappearance of the trophy.

Team Sky had lent the trophy along with Chris Froome’s 2018 Giro d’Italia trophy and 2017 Vuelta a Espana trophy to Pinarello for the show. Pinarello has been Team Sky’s bike sponsor since the team started in 2010.

Geraint Thomas atop the final Tour podium in Paris holding the Coupe Omnisports winner’s trophy. Photo: Cor Vos

The Tour trophy, called the Coupe Omnisports, went missing during clean-up from the event. The ceramic cup is highly valuable. It is made by a manufacturer just outside of Paris and decorated in 24-carat gold powder.

“It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened,” Thomas said in a Team Sky press release. “It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it, but means a lot to me and to the team. Hopefully whoever took it will have the good grace to return it. A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the amazing memories from this incredible summer – and no-one can ever take those away.”

This isn’t the first time a Tour trophy has gone missing. Jan Ullrich told our friends at Rouleur a few years ago a story about how he twice lost his Tour trophy from 1997. However, in those cases, it was a shipping mistake and the trophy was not stolen. Hopefully, for Thomas, the trophy will appear in the coming days.

Tweet of the day

Toms Skujins had a laugh about this parody Twitter account making fun of him after he won Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday.

Race Radio

Pinot wins in Torino, as crash mars finale

Thibaut Pinot’s (Groupama-FDJ) solo win at Milano-Torino didn’t come without controversy. Pre-race favourite Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) tangled with Pinot’s teammate David Gaudu inside of two kilometres to go on the Superga finishing climb. Lopez would remount and chase hard to bring Pinot back, but simply ran out of road and settled for second. World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who was the final member of the select group, finished third.

The crash appeared to be an accident and not deliberate on Gaudu’s part. The Frenchman was peeling off the front of the four-rider group just as Lopez was looking behind him at Valverde who was getting dropped.

Bennett victorious in Turkey

Irish sprinter Sam Bennett, who won four stages of last year’s Tour of Turkey, took the bunch sprint on stage two in Antalya. He bested Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) and Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) at the end of the 155-kilometre stage. Bennett leads the general classification by six seconds over stage one winner Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors).

Undulating TT course set for Tokyo Olympics

The men’s and women’s individual time trial at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start and finish at the Fuji Speedway in the shadow of the famed Mount Fuji. The 22.1-kilometre course is by no means flat. The undulating lap includes a significant climb midway through and a total of 423 metres (1,397 feet) of climbing. The men will complete two laps of the course for a race distance of 44.2 kilometres, while the women will complete one lap.

Due to the up and down terrain, the route looks to favour a general classification-type rider that is also a strong time trialist. Favourites will include Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and newly crowned world champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) on the men’s side. In the women’s event, at the moment, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) looks hard to bet against and world road champion Anna van der Breggen is also a favourite.

Coming up

The sprinters will finally have their say in the Italian fall classics. Gran Piemonte typically ends in a bunch finish.

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Midlife Cyclist Parody

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Today’s feature image: Miguel Angel Lopez and David Gaudu get tangled on the final climb in Milano-Torino, which allows Thibaut Pinot to slip up the road and take the victory

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