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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Crosswinds blow apart Paris-Nice; Rigoberto Uran breaks his collarbone; more details on Kelly Catlin’s tragic passing; and the industry finally establishes a proper standard for Road Tubeless rims and wheels. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Crosswind triangle of doom splits up second stage of Paris-Nice
Winds in excess of 40 kph met the Paris-Nice peloton as it made its way south to Bellegarde and around a tricky, triangle-shaped loop that forced splits and consolidations with every turn.
Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) took his second sprint victory in as many days, but not at the head of a big bunch this time. Just seven riders remained at the front of the race by the finish line.
Two large groups came back together with 10km to go, but a right hand turn at 6km again split the field in the crosswinds. Team Sky took control, and Luke Rowe nearly singlehandedly dropped the group down to less than a dozen. Riders continued to spit off the back until it was just seven. In the final group were Rowe’s teammates Michal Kwiatkowski and Egan Bernal.
It was an impressive display from the young Colombian, visibly smaller than the classics stars surrounding him in the echelon. He never skipped a pull, and in fact led the group into the sprint before Groenewegen and the sprinters hurtled past.
At the finish, a larger second group nearly swallowed up the leaders. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) led the chase home, five seconds back.
How did the rest of the GC contenders fare? Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet, and Bob Jungels all finished in the main group, five seconds down. Simon Yates was caught out early and finished 6’44” back.
Beauty of Cycling
What if all of our roads were rainbows instead of tarmac? That’s what artist Daniel Mercadante has envisioned, and to be honest, that sort of world seems like it’d be just fine.
Uran and Barguil exit Paris-Nice with broken bones
Rigoberto Uran fractured his left clavicle during Stage 2 of Paris-Nice, and was forced to abandon the race. The Colombian went down on his left side in the middle of a pack of riders midway through the stage, and was immediately taken for evaluation at a nearby medical facility. Education First team doctor Jon Greenwall said that beyond the clavicle break and some road rash, there were no other concerns with Uran’s health — specifically, he did not suffer a head injury.
“I had a tough crash,” Uran said. “There was a lot of wind. I touched a rider, another rider touched my wheel. […] I feel disappointed, of course. I had good legs. That’s cycling.”
Uran is slated to travel to his European base of Monaco immediately and have surgery to repair the fracture Wednesday morning
Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) also went down, and was diagnosed with a double fracture of the second cervical vertebra.
Catlin had suffered from concussion that had a profound effect, family says
Kelly Catlin’s father says his daughter suffered a concussion in the months before she took her own life that had a profound effect.
Mark Catlin told the Washington Post that a concussion suffered in December changed his daughter, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist who was one of a set of triplets. Two crashes, one in which she broke her arm in October and another in which she sustained a concussion in December, left her a different person, Mark Catlin said. In January, she attempted suicide for the first time, the Post reports, adding that she suffered from headaches and light sensitivity. She had been in treatment since her first suicide attempt in January.
“She was not the Kelly that we knew,” her father said. “She spoke like a robot. We could get her to talk, but we wondered, ‘what has happened to our Kelly?’ Everything was open to her, but somehow her thinking was changed and she couldn’t see beyond, I guess, her depression. After her concussion, she started embracing nihilism. Life was meaningless. There was no purpose. This was a person with depression. For her, she could no longer concentrate on her studies or train as hard. She couldn’t fulfill what she felt were her obligations to herself, she couldn’t live up to her own standards. She couldn’t realize that what she needed to do was get away and rest, heal. We were all searching for the magic words, that life was worth living.”
Her father described what happened to his daughter as “a perfect storm” of depression, concussion symptoms, overtraining, “not being able to say no,” and a rapid heart rate that kept her from being able to train, which he called “the final straw.”
Tweet of the day
How prescient was Thomas De Gendt here? The second stage of Paris-Nice literally blew apart just as predicted, and in spectacular fashion.
Industry finally establishes a standard for Road Tubeless
Mavic has arguably presented the most well-rounded (no pun intended) system for tubeless road wheels, rims, and tires, with not only a secure and safe fitment between all of the components, but also a consistently easy process for getting tires on and off, and initial inflation and seating. It seems much of the rest of the industry agrees. After months of meetings in Brussels to discuss establishing a proper standard, industry panel members have voted to adopt the Mavic Road UST system for rims and wheels, incorporating a clearly defined bead seat diameter and rim bed shape that will hopefully be adopted throughout other makes and models.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding the topic, however, such as whether brands will actually be required to use these dimensions in order to label their products as “Road Tubeless”, or if it’s just a marketing thing, and when compliant products will begin hitting the market. It should also be noted that this new standard – which takes effect immediately – only affects wheels and rims, not tires, although the fact there will finally be a set standard for tubeless road wheels and rims should also bring some much-needed consistency on the tire side of the equation as well.
Stay tuned for a more detailed written article from CyclingTips soon, and we’ll also be discussing it during this week’s podcast.
Bianchi announces Pantani “miracle at Oropa” edition Specialissima
Bianchi has announced special-edition Specialissima frames to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Marco Pantani’s comeback on the Santuario di Oropa during the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia.
Priced at €4,699, the framesets will be painted in Bianchi’s Treviglio headquarters. The paint is a close match to the bike that Il Pirata rode in 1999, as is the Eagle head badge. The fork blades also feature a commemorative logo dedicated to the Santuario di Oropa climb.
Happy Birthday to …
Lotto-Soudal perennial classics favorite Tiesj Benoot (25), former Circuit de la Sarthe winner David Cañada (44), and 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour winner Tanel Kangert (32).
In case you missed it …
Think you’ve seen everything when it comes to aero road wheel shapes? Think again. Australian tech editor Matt Wikstrom shares his thoughts on a novel rim shape from Dutch company Zeal.
Saturday’s Strade Bianchi once again didn’t disappoint, with Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick Step taking a brilliant victory on the trademark white roads of Tuscany. CyclingTips editor-at-large Neal Rogers shared his thoughts in his latest Weekly Spin.
Feature Image: Dylan Groenewegen wins Stage 2 of Paris-Nice. Photo by Jered and Ashley Gruber.