Wiggins says Armstrong ‘singled out’; racing Roubaix at 52: Daily News Digest

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

Bradley Wiggins, once very critical of Lance Armstrong, defended the Texan on British radio. Also, Quick-Step’s winning ways seem to never end and Mark Cavendish looks set to ride for Dimension Data next season. And, a former Paris-Roubaix winner is looking to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his win by racing the hellish Monument next season. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: Wiggins defends Armstrong, says Texan was ‘singled out’

Speaking on TalkSport Radio, 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins spoke of Lance Armstrong in high regard. He called the disgraced former cyclist his childhood inspiration and alluded to how he has been the one punished for cycling’s doping issues in the early 2000s.

“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.”

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

Wiggins has had his own dealings with speculation that he was involved with the dark side of cycling. He said he did nothing wrong throughout the entire investigation into the jiffy bag affair. While he was cleared of any wrongdoing, British Parliment officials ultimately said Wiggins and Sky crossed an “ethical line.”

Wiggins is getting ready to release his new book ‘Icons,” which has a chapter dedicated to Armstrong.


Race Radio

Jakobsen wins in China, claims Quick-Steps’ 72nd victory of season

Fabio Jakobsen won the third stage of the Tour of Guangxi in Nanning and with it came Quick-Step Floors’ 72nd appearance atop the podium this season. The win means that Quick-Step has now been victorious in 22 different countries across five continents since its season began in January at the Tour Down Under.

Tafi determined to race Roubaix in 2019, 20 years after victory

Andrea Tafi, who won Paris-Roubaix in 1999, wants to race the “Hell of the North” next season at the ever-young age of 52. The Italian raced professionally from 1988 to 2005, winning three of the five monuments. He won the Tour of Flanders in 2002 and the then-named Giro di Lombardia in 1996, along with his Roubaix title.

Andrea Tafi having fun during the 2013 world road championships in Florence, Italy.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport Tafi has already contacted the UCI to get on its anti-doping list. Riders coming out of retirement are required to have been available for testing for six months before being allowed to race. Furthermore, Tafi says he has already been in contact with teams about the endeavour. He has not talked to any WorldTour programs, but Paris-Roubaix does have seven slots available for Pro Continental teams on top of the 18 WorldTour outfits.

When asked why a team should sign him for Roubaix Tafi said, “Because I have the same thoughts and drive of twenty years ago. I certainly do not want to do a circus. I would dedicate myself to 110%, I would do it with all the [focus]. I’m not afraid I could get away right away … but it would not be the priority. Evidently, young people have another step. But whoever won the Roubaix does not hold back in front of anything. I still do 18-19,000 km a year and weigh 79-80 kilos.”

Have Cavendish and Dimension Data agreed on a contract?

At the end of August, Mark Cavendish gave a video update on his health revealing he had Epstein Bar Virus (EBV). Interestingly, he appeared in the video not wearing any Team Dimension Data gear and was instead wearing gear from his personal sponsors Nike and Monster Energy. The video sparked speculation of a rift between Cavendish and his team. The Manxman was also linked to joining Bahrain-Merida.

This week, Cavendish made another video announcing he would be skipping the London Six Day track event. In the video, he was dressed head-to-toe in Dimension Data gear. He explained he’s only been back riding for four days. He’s currently in the U.S. getting ready to ride George Hincapie’s gran fondo event this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina.


Cavendish has yet to announce where he will end up next year, as his three-year contract with Dimension Data expires on December 31. Presumably, if Cavendish was moving on from Dimension Data a team would be quick to reveal the signing to create headlines and attempt to attract greater sponsorship for the following season.

It remains to be seen where the Manx Missile will end up, but our best bet is Dimension Data. After a year of injury and illness, look for Cavendish to come out swinging in 2019 to show he’s still the sprinter that won four years in-a-row on the Champs-Elysees in his prime.


Transfer News

Former Ecuadorian national road champion Jhonatan Narvaez will leave Quick-Step Floors two years early and join Team Sky. The 21-year-old made the move to the WorldTour from Axeon Hagens Berman in 2018 on a three-year deal with Quick-Step, but Team Sky has come in and swept him up. Narvaez’s signing adds to the depth of young South American riders Sky has. Egan Bernal has been a sensation and the team is rumoured to have signed Ivan Sosa as well.

Trek-Segafredo announced over a month ago the signing of Sosa to its roster for next season. However, due to the rider changing agents midway through the process, it appears he had not signed a contract, but merely an agreement to ride for the team. Sky looks to have pounced on the opportunity and added Sosa to its climbing war chest.

Moniek Tenniglo will join the Mitchelton-SCOTT women’s squad in 2019 in a domestique role. The Dutchwoman turned pro in 2014 with Rabobank-Liv team. She’s bounced around the last few years, riding for WM3 in 2017 and FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope last season.

Red Bull extends contract to cover MTB World Cp until 2021

Red Bull’s coverage of the UCI cross-country and downhill world cup circuit will continue in 2019 and beyond. Cycling’s governing body and Red Bull’s Media House division first partnered in 2012 to provide live streaming and the new agreement will bring Red Bull’s coverage through the 2021 season.

Full 2019 Downhill and Cross-country World Cup schedule
April 27-28 Maribor, SLO (DHI Women and Men)
May 18-19 Albstadt, GER (XCO Women and Men)
May 25-26 Nove Mesto Na Morave, CZE (XCO Women and Men)
June 1-2 Fort William, GBR DHI Women and Men)
June 8-9 Leogang, AUT (DHI Women and Men)
July 6-7 Vallnord, AND (DHI Women and Men/XCO Women and Men)
July 13-14 Lets Gets, FRA (DHI Women and Men/XCO Women and Men)
August 3-4 Val di Sole, ITA (DHI Women and Men/XCO Women and Men)
August 10-11 Lenzerheide, SUI (DHI Women and Men/XCO Women and Men)
September 7-8 Snowshoe, WV (DHI Women and Men/XCO Women and Men)

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Tech News

Silca keeps adding to its catalogue of pumps, tools, and accessories

Two new pumps, a fresh take on the classic Y-wrench, and a carbon bidon cage: that’s what Silca has just launched to woo cyclists composing their Christmas wishlists. Of them all, the Pista Plus floor pump (US$145) is perhaps the most tempting: offering a few tangible upgrades (larger handle, wider base, and a more accurate gauge) for the company’s venerable Pista, the new pump looks a lot like a no-nonsense and affordable version of Silca’s aspirational SuperPista.

The SuperPista Digital floor pump (US$275) takes this notion a step further: Silca’s first digital gauge not only matches the 1% accuracy of the SuperPista, it is positioned at the top of the barrel for extra visibility. The inclusion of Silca’s Hiro chuck adds further to the functionality of this pump, and the result is arguably more user-friendly than the SuperPista.

After launching the titanium Sicuro bidon cage, earlier this year, Silca now has a carbon version: it’s a little lighter (26g vs 29g), the branding more obvious, and sells for the same price (US$70). Silca’s other new addition, the Ypsilon Y-wrench, offers 4mm and 5mm hex keys in combination with quarter-inch bit collet. The stock wrench (US$36) is supplied with a 6mm hex bit, while the travel (US$74) and home (US$108) kits include a selection of additional hex, Torx and screw bits.

Visit Silca for more information on all these new products.

Factor dives into the all-road/gravel market with new Vista

Innovative British road bike brand Factor Bikes is now diving into the red-hot all-road market with the new Vista model. The carbon fibre frame borrows a few design elements from the company’s road-going models — such as the subtly dropped seatstays, slender fork blades, and unusual external steerer tube — but adds in clearance for 35mm-wide tires, a flat-back carbon fiber seatpost, and specially tuned fiber lay-ups for extra capability and a softer ride quality.

Quite unusually for a bike of this type, Factor has also graced the new Vista with an integrated and proprietary cockpit designed to pair exclusively with that OTIS-AR fork.

Additional features include a BBright press-fit bottom bracket, a removable front derailleur mount for cleaner-looking 1x drivetrain setups, flat-mount front and rear disc brake mounts, 12mm front and rear thru-axles, and hidden fender mounts.

Factor will sell the new Vista as a frame/fork/cockpit/seatpost module in five sizes (49-58cm), or as a rolling chassis with wide-profile carbon clinchers from Black Inc. A special CHPT3 paint scheme, developed in collaboration with David Millar, will also be offered, in addition to the more muted Stone Grey standard finish.

Retail price for the new Factor Vista frameset module and wheels is US$4,799 / €3,750 / €4,690. More information can be found at www.factorbikes.com.

Kinomap announces new Hammer Series virtual indoor training environment

Indoor training platform Kinomap has unveiled a new partnership that will allow cyclists to virtually compete on the same courses used in the innovative Hammer Series. Unlike Zwift, which uses a fully animated environment, Kinomap instead uses an augmented reality setup that features real-life video footage from this year’s events in Stavanger, Norway; Limburg, Netherlands; and Hong Kong.

For more information, or to try Kinomap’s new Hammer Series workouts for yourself, visit www.hammerseries.com.

Lazer announces voluntary helmet recall

Lazer Sport has announced the voluntary recall of Blade, Magma, Elle, and Jade helmets sold in the United States and Europe since January 2015. According to the official notice, affected helmets, “do not pass roll-off tests under the CE or CPSC standards. As a result, in rare circumstances, the strap anchorage may detach from the helmet during impact.”

Lazer says that all CE-certified helmets produced during this time period are impacted by the recall, but only sizes XS and S are affected for CPSC-certified models. Other helmet models and sizes are not affected.

Owners of recalled helmets are asked to arrange for a free replacement at their local dealer and additional information can be found at www.lazersport.com.

Moving Pictures

Gilbert launches mini-documentary series

Philippe Gilbert has launched a mini-docu series, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into his life. The first episode centres around his comeback from his scary crash at the Tour de France where he flipped over a stone wall and into a ravine.

Tour of Guangxi stage 3 on-bike highlights

Happy Birthday to …

Tiago Machado (33), Leigh Howard (29), and Floortje Mackaij (23).

In case you missed it …

End of the Road: Team manager John Herety on the ‘heartbreaking’ closure of JLT-Condor.

Masterclass: In this edition of Masterclass, a series where we take you behind the scenes with renowned artisans to share the effort that goes into their craft, we look at how titanium frames are anodised with Chris Morgan from Mooro Cycles.

Today’s feature image: Bradley Wiggins after winning the time trial at the 3 Days of De Panne in 2015. It was hist last race in the rainbow bands at world TT champion.

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