Tom Simpson; Red Bull; Wiggins: Daily News Digest

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

Tom Simpson would have turned 84 today. We remember the legendary Brit who was lost far too early. Also, Red Bull saw a change amongst its viewers in its coverage of the UCI world cup cross-country and downhill circuit. And Bradley Wiggins has taken full control of the continental team bearing his name. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Simpson is much more than Ventoux

Briton Tom Simpson had an illustrious, albeit short, career as a professional cyclist. Many know him from his death upon Mount Ventoux on stage 13 of the 1967 Tour de France. But Simpson should also be remembered for his sporting achievements.

A memorial honouring Tom Simpson sits near the top of Mount Ventoux. Photo: Cor Vos

Simpson helped pave the way for generations of British pros. He was the first Briton to wear the maillot jaune and did so for a day during the 1962 Tour, fifty years before Great Britain won its first Tour de France ever in 2012 when Bradley Wiggins captured the title. Now, the country is a force in the grand tours. Chris Froome (Sky) has won four Tour titles plus the Giro and Vuelta. Fellow British rider Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won the Vuelta this year and, if not for a spectacular collapse, may have won the Giro as well.

Furthermore, Simpson is one of only seven riders to have won the world road race championship and then Il Lombardia a week later. He achieved the feat in 1965. It’s an esteemed list of riders who have done that double — Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Alfredo Binda to name a few. Simpson also won Milano-Sanremo and the Tour Flanders, showing diversity as a one-day specialist.

Simpson is a namesake in cycling lore for his death near the summit of Ventoux. But his true legacy comes from his class, paving the way for a country with wins in some of the hardest races in the sport.

Race Radio

Red Bull sees cross-country viewership surpass downhill for first time

2018 was a strong year for Red Bull Media in terms of its UCI World Cup coverage in cross-country and downhill. Viewership numbers increased by 50-percent and, for the first time, cross-country attracted more viewers than downhill.

This can be somewhat attributed to the addition of the short-track qualifying race the UCI added this year, meaning cross-country had two days of live coverage across a World Cup weekend when downhill received just a single day of coverage. According to Pinkbike, there are plans in the works to live stream downhill qualifying next season.

In case you missed any of the coverage, recap videos from each stop on the cross-country and downhill circuit can be found here.

Kate Courtney (USA) won the Women Elite Cross Country event at the 2018 UCI MTB World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Photo: Craig Dutton/courtesy USA Cycling.

Wiggins takes full ownership of namesake team

Bradley Wiggins has assumed full control of his Team Wiggins racing squad. He had previously only owned a majority stake in the team with the management company XIX, who represented Wiggins late his career and in his first years of retirement, owning 40-percent of the squad.

According to Cycling Weekly, XIX and Wiggins had a falling out in late 2016 with the 2012 Tour de France champion unhappy with the support he was getting when it was revealed he had used TUEs for triamcinolone during 2011 and 2012. Wiggins switched to management firm M&C Saatchi Merlin at the start of 2017.

Bradley Wiggins wearing a Team Wiggins kit during a track event celebrating the career of Fabian Cancellara in November 2016. Photo: Kristof Ramon

Sky deep ocean blue in 2019

Team Sky released their 2019 kit today and it’s back to a darker shade for the British squad. The team spent this season wearing white. The blue fade is in reference to Sky Ocean Rescue, which is the team’s campaign to inspire awareness of ocean plastic pollution.

Moving Pictures

Escaping Sydney: a microadventure

For all its charms, Sydney is a long way from being one of the world’s great cities for cyclists – hostile authorities and manic traffic have a way of adding unwanted drama. But with a little planning, you can venture to the north and find yourself in rugged, quiet terrain that’s perfect for an escape from the city.

Check out the full post here.

Sydney from a different angle

Trials rider Duncan Shaw shows us a different way to ride in Sydney and a few other cities.

Happy Birthday to …

Laurent Jalabert (50) and Domenico Pozzovivivo (36).

Feature Image: Not every road can be perfect. From our recent micro-adventure outside of Sydney.

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