Bennett sprints to victory and tramadol testing begins at Paris-Nice: Daily News Digest

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

Sam Bennett wins the third stage of Paris-Nice, tramadol testing now underway in the pro peloton, Brooks announces new “Organic Light” saddle. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Bennett sprints to his third win of the season in Paris-Nice

Sam Bennett won a drag race to the line in Moulines on Tuesday to pick up his second career stage victory at Paris-Nice. The Bora-Hansgrohe rider topped Caleb Ewan and Fabio Jakobsen in a bunch kick in stage 3. Overall leader Dylan Groenewegen, who won both the first and second stages, finished in the top 10 to retain his GC lead.

The 200-kilometer stage from Cepoy was not without its hectic moments. Despite the flat parcours, crosswinds and crashes forced splits in the peloton at various points throughout the day. Things were all back together for the finale, however, giving Bennett an opportunity to try his luck in a third sprint in three days.

“I had really bad legs the last two days, I think maybe coming from the heat to the cold— I haven’t been training in the cold this winter. I knew the form was there so I had to just keep trying,” the Irishman said after the win, his second career victory in Paris-Nice.

“I knew today was my last real sprint opportunity so I did everything I could and the boys did a fantastic job in the last kilometer. They really knew what they were doing to get me into the right position using the least amount of energy as possible.”

Bennett’s success comes at an interesting time for rider and team—Bora-Hansgrohe announced this winter that Bennett would not be on the team’s roster for the Giro d’Italia, despite his three stage wins in 2018, as the German squad looks to get German sprinter Pascal Ackermann grand tour racing experience instead. Bennett has expressed displeasure with that decision, and he has let his results do some talking as well. His Paris-Nice stage win marks his third victory already this season.

In the Paris-Nice GC picture, teammates Michal Kwiatkowski and Egan Bernal boosted their overall aspirations by snatching a few bonus seconds late in stage 3. The Sky duo should be busy for the rest of the week as the race gets hillier from here on out.

Paris-Nice continues Wednesday with a lumpy 212-kilometer stage from Vichy to Pélussin.

Beauty of Cycling

In the latest installment of their EF Gone Racing series, EF Education First takes on Strade Bianche. What could be more beautiful than the white roads of Tuscany?

Race Radio

Tramadol testing begins

Tramadol testing has arrived in the pro peloton. Paris-Nice has seen the first controls for the controversial pain medication.

The drug is not on the WADA prohibited list, but cycling’s governing body decided ban the synthetic opioid — which can dull concentration and cause drowsiness — starting this month. A first positive test results in a fine and a race disqualification. A second garners a five-month ban.

Het Laatste Nieuws reports that stage 2 winner Dylan Groenewegen, as well as Sergio Henao and Romain Bardet, were among the first riders to give samples to testers under the new regulations.

Cavendish, Meintjes, Aru out of Paris-Nice

Mark Cavendish, Louis Meintjes, and Fabio Aru have pulled out of Paris-Nice, joining Rigoberto Urán and Warren Barguil, who have also headed home from the one-week race.

Cavendish abandoned Paris-Nice in stage 2 after a “challenging two days” as he “continues to work his way back towards full fitness following a long lay-off from racing due to illness last year” according to a Dimension Data press release. A bout with Epstein Barr virus derailed Cavendish’s 2018 season.

His Dimension Data teammate Meintjes DNFed stage 2 after being caught up in a crash.

Aru left the race due to “nausea and feeling weak,” according to UAE-Team Emirates.

Socially speaking

Pro Continental squad Israel Cycling Academy provides us with our interesting tweet of the day. Have you ever wondered how many bottles a team goes through over the course of race? Wonder no more.

Tech and industry news

Shimano Canada offering a discount while recycling your old cycling shoes

Shimano Canada shoe recycling

In a first for the cycling industry, Shimano is working with 70 bicycle retailers across Canada to recycle old cycling footwear. In partnership with TerraCycle, Shimano Canada will recycle any brand of cycling shoe, and in turn, offer the customer a 25% discount off a new pair of Shimano shoes.

The program aims to collect thousands of pairs of shoes by April 20th, just in time for Earth Day on April 22. TerraCycle will turn the old shoes into reusable raw materials. While it’s just Canada for now, we’re hopeful similar initiatives will be rolled out elsewhere in future.

Brooks introduces Cambium Organic Light

Brooks England has announced a new model in the Cambium saddle lineup, the “Organic Light.”

According to a press release from the manufacturer, the Organic Light will be a lighter offering with “added sustainability” replacing parts of the metal construction with a biodegradable polymer.

The range of colorways will include Natural, Brick, Green and Rust.

Outdoor Retailer adds bike space for Denver show

Outdoor Retailer will sell space for bike brands at its November 2019 show, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

The outdoor industry-focused trade show, which will take place in Denver in early November, will add exhibits, demos, and clinics, BRAIN reports.

Follow the link to read more at Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Happy Birthday to …

Phil Anderson turns 61 today. The Australian cycling icon was the first non-European to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, blazing a trail for future riders from Australia to race in the European peloton.

Anderson’s compatriot Nathan Haas is also celebrating a birthday, his 30th. As Google’s daily doodle points out today, the Australian duo shares a birthday with the World Wide Web.

Up next

Tirreno-Adriatico kicks off Wednesday with a 21.5-kilometer team time trial in Lido di Camaiore, Italy, meaning that for the next five days, fans of WorldTour racing will be spoiled – or frustrated, depending on your point of view – with two events running at the same time.

In case you missed it …

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