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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Well, this is it, the last Daily News Digest of 2018. We’ll be offline for about a week, but don’t worry, we’ll wrap up all the news that’s fit to print when the Daily News Digest returns in 2019.
The U.S. Senate is set to vote on a bill that will grant agencies the power to prosecute dopers for fraud. Also, changes are happening at Mitchelton-Scott and Fabio Aru is still undecided between the Tour and Giro. And Adidas and Colnago have collaborated for some sweet casual kicks. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: U.S. bill would allow dopers to be prosecuted for fraud
A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate this week that would allow agencies, like the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), to prosecute convicted dopers for fraud. This would drastically change how doping is legally seen in the U.S., opening the door for criminal penalties.
The bill comes on the heels of Lance Armstrong’s settlement earlier this year with the U.S. Justice Department. The U.S. Government was claiming the Texan had defrauded the Government by doping when his team was sponsored by the United States Postal Service, a Government entity. Armstrong settled the case back in April for US$5 million just before the case was set to go to trial.
Named The Rodchenkov Act, after Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, who was the former head of the laboratory at the epicentre of the Russian doping scandal and the subject of the documentary film Icarus. The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). It has bipartisan support and was previously introduced in the House of Representatives in June. Should both Congressional Chambers pass the bill, it would then head to the desk of President Donald Trump.
A few countries, such as France, have made doping a criminal offense. This has allowed the resources of the government — police in particular — to be used in the fight against doping. The French police have been involved in a number of high-profile doping cases, dating back to the Festina Affair and beyond.
According to the Independent, Dr Rodchenkov, who is currently in U.S. witness protection and blowing the whistle on his lab’s corrupt practices, said he was “humbled and honoured” the bill was introduced. USADA boss Travis Tygart, who has the trophy of taking down Armstrong and Co., called the bill “game-changing.”
Aru undecided between Giro and Tour
Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) has yet to decide whether to target the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de France in 2019. The former Italian national road champion stated at a UAE Team Emirates recent team camp the Tour suits him better, but being Italian means the Giro is a big draw to him.
Aru most certainly underperformed in 2018. He wore the maillot jaune for a few days at the Tour in 2017 and expectations were high this year. However, he never truly looked his best during the Giro and was embarrassingly docked 20 seconds for illegal drafting during the stage 16 individual time trial. He abandoned the race two days before the finish. After skipping the Tour, he lined-up at the Vuelta a Espana, but only mustered a lacklustre 23rd overall. Aru has not finished on the podium of a grand tour since he won La Vuelta in 2015.
Hayman to stay with Mitchelton-Scott after retirement
2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman is set to retire from racing at the Santos Tour Down Under, but he will still be a presence in the cycling paddock. Hayman will work for Mitchelton-Scott in a “Special Projects” role where the team will lean on his knowledge and leadership skills that were honed from a 20-year pro career.
Bay Crits return with stellar WorldTour line up
After a one-year hiatus, the famed Australian Bay Crits return in 2019 and a star-studded start list will be headlined by Caleb Ewan. Ewan will be donning his Lotto-Soudal kit for the first time. The three-day criterium series kicks off on New Year’s Day and racing will be broadcast on SBS and Foxsports, as well as live streamed on SBS’s Cycling Central’s Facebook page.
Other riders expected to start are world road race championship silver medallist Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott), Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini), Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott), Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin), and former Australian national road champion Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida).
Bates switches from women’s to men’s Mitchelton-Scott team
Gene Bates, who has been integral to the Mitchelton-Scott women’s program over the last five years, will move over to the men’s team for 2019. He will continue in a Performance Manager role with the women’s team. Bates’ replacement will be Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas. Gonzalez-Tablas has been a road coach for the last seven years at the UCI’s World Cycling Centre.
Bates helped develop the GreenEdge women’s squad into one of the best team’s in the world. The team stacked the win sheet in 2018 on the back of number one ranked rider Annemiek van Vleuten. Van Vleuten won the overall title at the Giro Rosa and the one-day La Course .
Tweet of the day
Wout van Aert was formally introduced as part of the Dutch Jumbo-Visma squad. He is expected to race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo, E3 BinckBank Classic, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, and the Amstel Gold Race.
Adidas and Colnago collaboration
Size?, a UK sneaker retail chain is teaming up with Adidas Originals and Colnago to offer a limited range of classic casual wear for Italian bike fanatics. The new collab is centred around two classic shoe models, the Kamanda from the 80s, and the Trimm Star from 1985.
The Trimm Star outsole is made from recycled rubber said to “imitate the tyres of a classic 70s racing bike.” While a metallic finish on the stripes and heel is inspired by the Saronni red stripes from the famed Colnago paint jobs. The Kamanda’s outsole is transparent to show the “carbon fibre effect reflecting the modern Colnago bikes”, and the upper is finished up in a premium suede. Both shoes feature Pellegrini Italian leather. The shoes are expected in stock and online from the 29th of December, the Trimm Star priced at £90, and the Kamanda priced at £120. We’re guessing these shoes may just be a sign of things to come from the two brands.
Effetto Mariposa release lightweight tyre insert ready for extreme gravel
Tyre inserts are all the rage in gravity-based mountain biking, with what’s typically a closed-cell foam liner used to allow lower running pressures, increased rim protection, tyre sidewall support, prevent sidewall pinch flats, and in some cases, improved ride quality by dampening the air inside the tyre. The Italian company, Effetto Mariposa, is building on its tubeless product offerings with its first insert, the TyreInvader. Effetto claim to have solved a number of issues with existing inserts, mainly related to weight – with the TyreInvader claimed to be 50-75% lighter than competing products. The narrowest 29er version starts at just 50g per wheel and will work in gravel applications too.
The Tyre Invader starts from US$50 a pair and is available in 26, 27.5 and 29″ (700c) diameters, each in a choice of four widths. We’re expecting a set and will be seeing whether this offers a benefit on gravel and cross country bikes. We’ll hold our opinion for now, but kudos on the SpaceInvader theme.
Happy Birthday too …
Belgian and Quick-Step Floors rider Iljo Keisse (36).
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: From our recent collaboration with Visit Victoria. Dave Everette found cycling bliss in Geelong.