Evenepoel’s promise, Bretagne Classic returns, and industry buy-outs: Daily News Digest

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

Winner Anacona gets victory at San Juan; 19-year-old Remco Evenepoel is already living up to his hype; Bretagne Classic and GP de Plouay are no longer canceled; ASE assets expected to be split amongst four companies; and we get our hands on new Maxxis racing tyres. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Evenepoel’s first jersey, of many

He’s 19 years old, in his first year as a pro, in his first stage race, and already Remco Evenepoel is showing that the hype that surrounded his meteoric rise has been well placed.

Evenepoel came away from the Vuelta a San Juan with the green best young rider’s jersey, a third-place finish in the time trial, and ninth overall. He made a tactical error on the slopes of Alto Colorado, when he missed Winner Anacona’s attack, and it likely cost him a place or two on the final GC.

Evenepoel was signed by Deceuninck as an 18-year-old (he turned 19 in January) after he won the junior world time trial title by over a minute and returned from a crash in the road race to ride through the entire field and go solo with 20km to go.

The mental pressure of early success may be more important to Evenepoel’s future than any physical limitations. “For sure, he’ll have a nice and interesting career,” Peter Sagan said in Argentina. “It also depends on how he manages it mentally, if some successes come to him.”

Evenepoel has seemed relaxed thus far. “The pressure and expectation are not a problem for me because I really don’t care about it,” he said after San Juan concluded. “I’ve just started racing and I’m not in very good shape yet, this was just a preparation race. I think my shape is good but hopefully, I can only get better and better.”

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Anacona takes first GC win in San Juan

Movistar’s Winner Anacona took the first stage race victory of his career at the Vuelta a San Juan, following an impressive showing on Alto Colorado, the race’s biggest climb.

Anacona’s last victory came in a stage of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana, and has largely played a domestique roll to Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde since joining Movistar in 2015.

“Even if my job is to take care of our leaders at the crucial races, I’ll always try to shine when a chance like this comes around,” Anacona said.

The final two stages, which were set up for sprints, turned out to be anything but easy for the diminutive Anacona. Crosswinds and the presence of Julian Alaphilippe in second overall meant that Deceuninck-Quick Step made life difficult for everyone. They were unable to break Movistar, though, and Alaphilippe had to settle for second. Oscar Sevilla (yes, that Oscar Sevilla) finished third.

Bretagne Classic and GP de Plouay back on

Just four days after race organizers announced the men’s WorldTour Bretagne Classic and the women’s WorldTour GP de Plouay would be cancelled, both races are back on.

The quick turn of fortunes comes after a reversal from France Télévisions, which previously said it would not broadcast the races but on Monday declared that both would get TV time.

France Télévisions has been the broadcaster for both races since 2001, skipping only 2007 and 2008.

Since 2009, everything was back to normal and I naively thought it was going to continue like this,” race organiser Jean-Yves Transvaux told Ouest France. “But I cannot continue in these conditions. It’s the end of Plouay”

Both races have a long history on the French race calendar. The women’s race was first held in 2002 and the men’s race has been run, under various names, since 1989.

Tech – Just In

Maxxis High Road, a new premium road tyre

Maxxis HighRoad clincher 25c

Maxxis have long offered road tyres but they never seem to see the same success as the manufacturer’s mountain bike range. The new High Road aims to change this with a new silica-based tread compound called “HYPR”. Maxxis says the new compound results in 16% less rolling resistance and 23% better grip in wet conditions when compared to the outgoing Padrone LR tyre.

We just got our hands on the High Road clinchers in 25c (AU$75), which weight 206 and 208g each. The High Road will be available in clincher (120TPI) and tubeless (170TPI) options, with 23, 25 and 28c in the former, and the latter in 25 and 28c. The clincher version will retain Maxxis’ “K2 breaker” for puncture protection beneath the tread, while the tubeless are rumoured to use the new 20% lighter “Z2” belt.

Expect these to start arriving on store shelves very soon, with tubeless options still to be confirmed.

Industry News

ASE assets sold off

The assets of Advanced Sports Enterprises (ASE) have received an approved bid for US$23M from a group of four companies, overseen by the Tiger Capital Group. ASE was the parent company to the Performance and Nashbar retail outfits, and bike brands such as Fuji, Breezer and Kestrel.

It’s expected that many more of the remaining 62 Performance retail bike stores will continue to close and/or be sold off, following the closure of 40 stores to date. The online stores of Performance and Nashbar will continue under new ownership. The bike brands and wholesale business are expected to continue, but in what capacity remains unknown.

The parent of Head Sports had recently made such a bid, but that deal fell through due to a disagreement over the inclusion of a US$9M cash component. Bicycle Retailer and Industry News has the full report on which companies are behind the bid and how the assets will likely be split.

Bike magazine acquired by American Media

As reported by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, American Media, the publisher of titles including National Enquirer and Men’s Journal, has acquired the media assets of Adventure Sports Network (ASN). This includes the adventure and sports brand titles of Bike, Powder, Surfer, and Snowboarder. The acquisition includes management of the extreme sports Dew Tour events.

Happy Birthday to …

There are a few birthdays today, including dual Grand Tour winner Nairo Quintana who turns 29. Spain’s Ion Izagirre (30) also shares a birthday with Astana teammate Miguel Ángel López (25).

Former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren turns 38 today. And the Russian three-time Olympic gold medalist and super-domestique to Lance Armstrong, Viatcheslav Ekimov, turns 53 today.

In case you missed it …

Dave Rome and James Huang share their thoughts on how Giant’s top-tier road racing shoe, the Surge Pro, stacks up.

Feature Image: Mathieu Van der Poel on his way to winning the 2019 Cyclocross World Championships. Photo by Kristoff Ramon.

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