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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
For the first time, Bradley Wiggins openly discussed the true effects the ‘jiffy bag’ affair had on his family. Also, the UCI has introduced new regulations for cyclocross events that seem to be a jab at the U.S. scene. And we remember cycling’s original charmer. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Wiggins talks of family suffering over ‘jiffy bag’ affair
Bradley Wiggins is touring for his new book ‘Icons,’ in which he writes personal stories about some of cycling’s most famous and infamous characters. The book hardly addresses the doping of some of the ‘Icons’ mentioned, but the tour has seen him again talking of the infamous ‘jiffy bag’ affair. He recently opened up on the turmoil it has caused his family.
“People have free rein to put their own facts in place,” Wiggins told The Guardian. “Kids read headlines and their parents say things about you. You end up saying to your kids: ‘Just tell them to fucking do one.’ They do and it’s your kids in trouble…
“…You watch your family suffer, and it’s terrible. It nearly killed my wife [Cath]. She ended up in rehab over it. I’m at home having to deal with it. Because she’s bi-polar she has this fear of shame, people watching her all the time. You couldn’t say that at the time because you’ve asked for it, because you’ve won the Tour de France. No, I didn’t ask for that actually. I only asked for a fair trial.”
While Wiggins and Team Sky were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, a Parliamentary Committee found the team and Wiggins had crossed an “ethical line” regarding the TUE’s Wiggins obtained to take the corticosteroid triamcinolone for medical reasons.
Wiggins also addressed the lack of acknowledgement of the doping past of many of the individuals the book focuses on. “It’s not a book about that,” Wiggins said. “There are greater people, with more powers, that can do something [about doping].
“Cycling means the world to me and I’ve gone back, no chains attached. No political correctness. I’m not with a team that’s agenda-led – or want me to be careful about mentioning Lance Armstrong. I say what I like.”
The Beauty of Cycling
Adrien Costa reveals details about the day he lost his leg in a climbing accident, He talks about his recovery and return to the bike.
Zwift’s month-long Ride with Reason campaign kicked off this week. Over the course of the opening week, riders can support Costa and unlock a donation to support his medical care and rehab.
UCI to require foreign riders at C1 cyclocross events
In a move that seems to contradict its attempt to globalise the sport of cyclocross, the UCI has mandated that beginning next season C1 events, races just below the world cup level, will be required to have “10 foreign starters and 5 different nationalities.”
This new rule greatly affects the non-European cross scenes. The majority of C1 events, excluding the two C1 races held during the World Cup weekends, will struggled to find five foreign starters much less 10 and five different nationalities. In Belgium, with international borders an hour’s drive away, this isn’t a problem.
A possible explanation for this new rule is to attempt to get the U.S. to adopt the pay-for-play or start money model that nearly every European cyclocross event follows. European ‘cross races pay riders to be on the start line, including stars such as Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Usually, the absence of a notable rider for a key race, excluding the world cup events, means the rider and the race organisation could not come to an agreement for a start money contract. U.S. race organisers could pay foreign riders to start their races.
CXHairs first reported the new regulations
Degenkolb dreams of Flanders and Rainbows in 2019
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) emphatically won Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015. Now three years on, his cycling career has taken a different path since a head-on collision with a driver on the wrong side of the road while on a pre-season training ride in 2016. But this year, Degenkolb is eyeing another double.
“It would be a lifetime goal to win Flanders and the World Championships, which are two races that are missing when it comes to the one-day races,” the German said at the Rouleur Classic according to Cyclist.co.uk. “If I can wish one dream then that’s definitely the one that I would pick.”
The 2019 world road championships take place in Yorkshire, England on a course that looks suited to the puncheurs of the Ardennes classics and the hardmen of the cobbles. Will the course suit Degenkolb or will the steep punchy climbs of England’s countryside prove too much? Degenkolb says he needs a closer look but is happy with how the main circuit appears on paper.
Vakoc sets sights on racing in February
Peter Vakoc’s road back to the peloton from being hit by a truck while on a training ride with Quick-Step Floors teammates Bob Jungels and Laurens De Plus in South Africa in January may finally end in February. Vakoc detailed his recovery and called for a universal standard for motorists to pass cyclists on the road in a blog entry posted by Quick-Step Floors.
Vakoc has set the goal of returning to racing in 100 days, which means he could be on the start line of the Colombia Oro y Paz stage race, which begins on February 12.
A tragic loss, and another call for increased passing distance
Vakoc has also called for a 1.5 metre (3 feet) passing standard for motorists. Many countries, like the U.S. and Australia, already have this law. His call for a universal road standard comes on the same day a key cycling advocate was killed while riding on the open road in Australia.
Cameron Frewer was killed while riding on the roads in the Sunshine Coast region in the early morning of November 5. The news is even more tragic because in January Frewer, a staunch supporter cyclist’s rights, told ABC’s Sunshine Coast Studios is wasn’t a matter of if, but when he would be hit by a car while riding in the region.
Frewer’s status as a symbol of cycling advocacy made him a regular target of the infamous Mr. X.
We extend our thoughts and condolences to Frewer’s family and friends.
Howson extends, La Vuelta sets route announcement date
Aussie Damien Howson, a climbing domestique who was critical in supporting Simon Yates and his successful run at the Vuelta title, signed a two-year extension with Mitchelton-Scott. He has only ridden for the Australian-based program since joining the WorldTour in 2013 from the Jayco-AIS program.
Also, La Vuelta a Espana confirmed it will reveal its full route on December 19. The 74th edition of the Spanish grand tour will run from August 24 to September 15. The race will start in Salinas of Torrevieja with a time trial, individual or team has yet to be announced, and will finish in Madrid.
Tweet of the day
Nick Butler, who works German broadcast network ARD, reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is weighing a new proposal that would create a minimum age requirement of 45 years for president. Linda Helleland, the current vice president and a leading candidate to replace current president Craig Reedie, is 41.
Specialized finally gives women their own Power saddle
Specialized has developed a new women’s specific version of its popular Power saddle. The overall dimensions of the saddle remain the same but the choice of materials has been refined to mimic the change in anatomy and tissue sensitivity. For more information, visit Specialized
Meanwhile, Fizik has been refining its pressure-relief technology for men. Dubbed Versus upon its launch a few years ago, Arione, Aliante and Antares saddles are now available with the revised Versus Evo channel design along with a high-end 00 Versus Evo version for each model that includes the company’s one-piece Mobius carbon rail system. Take a look at Fizik’s latest saddle catalogue to learn more.
Froome gets his groove on
4-time Tour champ Chris Froome (Sky) seems to be having a fun offseason. Video has emerged of the Briton getting funky on the dance floor with Rigoberto Uran at Uran’s Giro de Rigo ride in Colombia over the weekend.
In memoriam …
In his prime during the late 1940s and early 1950s, Hugo Koblet was cycling’s original Le pédaleur de charme. Koblet won the Giro d’Italia in 1950 and then the Tour de France a year later. Rumour is he always raced with a comb and cologne, so he could make sure he looked good for the camera’s at the finish line.
Koblet tragically died on November 6, succumbing to injuries sustained four days earlier after he crashed the white Alfa Romeo he was driving into a tree.
Happy Birthday to …
Former world road champion Alessandro Ballan (39), breakaway strongman Thomas De Gendt (32), and former cyclocross world champion Thalita De Jong (25).
In case you missed it …
Nutrition: Editor-at-Large Neal Rogers finished his Whole 30 diet and lost 12 pounds. He feels great, the diet wasn’t nearly as hard as he thought it would be, and it helped his cycling.
Feature Image: Bradley Wiggins during the 2016 Gent 6 track event, which he went on to win alongside Mark Cavendish.