Wiggins calls Armstrong ‘Perfect’; Ex-pro killed in plane crash: Daily News Digest

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

Bradley Wiggins cannot seem to help himself when it comes to Lance Armstrong. The Briton’s new book, Icons, is centred around famous or prominent riders in cycling’s history and a whole chapter is devoted to the Texan. Also, Mont Ventoux is the focal point of a new one-day race and former professional Andrea Manfredi was reportedly one of the passengers on the plane that crashed in Indonesia over the weekend. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: Wiggins can’t get enough of Armstrong

Bradley Wiggins’ has not been subtle is showing his admiration for Lance Armstrong lately and recently featured the American in an entire chapter in his new book, Icons. Wiggins, who was a teenager and young pro during the 1990s and early 2000s, was once a harsh critic of Armstrong, but has since changed his tune. According to The Times, Wiggins calls Armstrong the “perfect winner” when discussing the Tour de France and former 7-time champion.

The context is important here. The “perfect winner” comment comes in a section that describes what Wiggins thinks Tour founder Henri Desgrange had in mind for what a Tour champion would be.

In the latter stages of the 2009 Tour de France, Armstrong and Wiggins battled for the final spot on the overall podium. Armstrong finished third and Wiggins was fourth, 37 seconds behind the Texan. Photo: Cor Vos

This isn’t the first time Wiggins spoke highly of Armstrong in advance of his book being released. He spoke on TalkSport Radio a few weeks ago and claimed Armstrong had been “singled out” for his actions.

“Yeah, but so many people did,” Wiggins said when pressed that Armstrong nearly brought the sport to its knees because of his doping. “That’s not condoning what he did, not for one minute, but once you come out of cycling, I see it more from the human side now and it is what it is.

“Lance has paid heavily for what he did. OK, the sport has suffered, but he wasn’t alone in that. I think he’s been singled out as well.”

Wiggins has not been immune to doping scandals himself. He will forever be tied to Team Sky’s jiffy bag affair and, while he was cleared of any wrongdoing, British Parliment officials ultimately said Wiggins and Sky crossed an “ethical line.”

Wiggins’ new book is set to be available beginning Thursday.


The Beauty of Cycling

Mont Ventoux is a mythical mountain steeped in history. Its vast moonscape summit is breathtaking and it holds a sacred place in cycling. It is a bucket-list climb for many and sadly we only occasionally get to see the pros race up the climb when it features in the Tour every few years.

However, the “Giant of Provence” will feature yearly in professional cycling for the near future, as a UCI 1.1 one-day race will finish atop the famed mountain. The Mont Ventoux Denivelé Challenges will start in Vaison-la-Romaine and feature eight climbs over the 185-kilometre route. The course has a total of 4,400 metres of vertical gain It is set to take place on June 17, which is the day after the Criterium du Dauphiné finishes.

Race Radio

Former pro cyclist among killed in Indonesian plane crash

Andrea Manfredi, who previously rode for Bardiani-CSF, is one of the victims of the horrific plane crash that occurred off the coast of Indonesia over the weekend. According to Sporza, Manfredi left the sport of cycling two years ago at the age of 24 and had started his construction business.

Former teammate Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Bardiani-CSF offered their condolences on Twitter.

Moving Pictures

Winning run from Red Bull Rampage

The 2018 edition of Red Bull Rampage, an awe-inspiring off-road freeride competition took place in Southern Utah over the weekend. Brett Rheeder went home victorious and check out his winning run below.

POV of Red Bull Rampage run

Brendan Fairclough finished 10th at Red Bull Rampage. Here’s what a 10th-place run looks like, still a bit crazy if you ask us.

Happy Birthday to …

Primož Roglic (29), the former ski jumper has taken the sport of cycling by storm over the last 12 months. He finished an emphatic third at the 2017 world road championships in the time trial and powered to a stellar fourth place at the Tour de France this past July.

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) was a standout at this year’s Tour de France. Photo: Cor Vos

Also too, Alberto Bettiol (25), Niccolo Bonifazio (25), and former pro Dominique Rollin (36)

In case you missed it …

Gallery: The Philly Bike Expo started out with modest ambitions in 2010, but it’s now grown to become one of the top stops on the North American trade show circuit. Tech Editor James Huang’s first gallery of highlights from the expo includes bikes from Engin Cycles, English Cycles, FortyFour Bikes, Speedvagen, Velo Orange, and MAP Bicycles.

Feature Image: The moonscape of the infamous Mount Ventoux.

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