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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Cycling’s sponsorship model is often unsustainable. Yet again, a team is on the brink and seeking public support in the form of a crowdfunding campaign. Aussie Amanda Spratt is set to stay with Mitchelton-Scott through at least 2020 and Zwift is supporting Adrien Costa for one it’s Ride with Reason causes. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the day: Trek-Drops resorts to public support to continue
Last year it was the Slipstream program launching a crowdfunding campaign to keep its WorldTour team afloat, this year it’s a women’s program. British outfit Trek-Drops is seeking public support after its new title sponsor dropped out at the last moment. Trek already announced earlier in the year it was discontinuing its support of the team after this season and instead focusing on its own women’s Trek-Segafredo squad.
The sponsor pulling out seems to have been quite abrupt according to a statement on the team’s crowdfunding page. A fundraising goal of 250,000 pounds (US$318,000) has been set.
This is the latest injury for a British cycling scene that has been hammered with bad news in recent months. Earlier this year, men’s programs One Pro Cycling and JLT-Condor both revealed they would be shuttering their doors at the end of the year. One Pro had initially announced it would turn its attention to a women’s program in 2019, but backtracked on those plans when it had difficulty securing the necessary funding.
Tweet of the day
Yes, we’re a day late to the party on this, but it was too good not to include. For those wondering, the rider is USA Cycling staff member Kyle Knott.
Zwift fundraiser to support Costa
Zwift’s second annual month-long Ride with Reason campaign will support four charitable causes over the next month and one of the causes is helping former pro and recent leg amputee Adrien Costa. Costa lost his right leg in a climbing accident at the end of July. He has just recently resumed riding a bike with prosthetic.
Each week, participants have to complete a certain riding challenge which will unlock exclusive in-game features. Costa’s challenge requires riders to climb 400 metres (1,312 feet) over the course of the week to unlock special in-game cycling shoes and support medical care and rehab for the former pro.
Read more about the different challenges and charities in Zwift’s Ride with Reason campaign.
Aussie Amanda Spratt, who captured the silver medal at the world road championships in Innsbruck last month, will stay with Mitchelton-Scott for another two years. The 31-year-old has been with the program since it started seven years ago. She also won a stage of the Giro Rosa this year and finished third overall behind teammate Annemiek Van Vleuten.
“When I look at my 2018 season I see a lot of great results but I also see so many points where I can and need to improve so whilst I am satisfied, I am more hungry than ever to get better,” Spratt said. “My preparation for the Ardennes this year was quite disrupted due to chilblains on my feet and then the flu so I know that my preparation for these races can be a lot better in particular.
“The Giro will, of course, be another big goal for the team and I want to be in top condition there and then I also have an eye on the world championships in Yorkshire. It’s also really important to me that I can support my teammates towards their goals as well so I’m also really looking forward to playing a support role in some key races throughout the season.”
Luka Mezgec also signed a two-year extension with the men’s Mitchelton-Scott program and Manual Mori signed a one-year extension with UAE Team Emirates. Mezgec and Mori have made careers out of riding in support roles during the classics.
Also, Canadian Simone Boilard, the third-place finisher in the junior road race at the world championships, will ride for Sho-Air Twenty20 next season.
Women’s WorldTour season highlights
Dutchwoman Annemiek Van Vleuten walked away victorious with the 2018 Women’s WorldTour title after a dominant season, which included stage wins and the overall title at the Giro Rosa and an emphatic late-race triumph at La Course.
In case you missed it …
A different path: Keegan Swirbul’s path to the peloton is quite unique. He didn’t start out on bikes, but started out jumping onto and off of walls, buildings, benches, etc.
Gallery: Tech Editor James Huang’s second instalment from the Philly Bike Expo includes jumpers/pump track bikes from Ground Up Speed Shop and Altruiste Bikes, a 29 Plus hardtail from Colorado builder Peter Olivetti, a steel road bike from California builder Aaron Stinner, some randonneur bikes from Coast Cycles and Chapman Cycles, and more.
Feature Image: From our good friends Ashley and Jered Gruber. Fall is in full swing in the Dolomites in Italy.