Le Samyn’s young winners; Kittel’s response to blood doping: Daily News Digest

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

Two unheralded names win at Le Samyn, Richie Porte won’t line up at Paris-Nice, and neither will Pierre Rolland, Time has some new shoes, and Kittel reacts to the doping admissions of Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Sénéchal, van den Bos win Le Samyn

Omloop, Kuurne, and now Le Semyn. Deceuninck-Quick Step did it again, this time with Frenchman Florian Sénéchal, who sprinted from a shattered group to win his first pro race.

An hour earlier, Boels-Dolmans’ Jip van den Bos did the same in the women’s race, taking her first professional victory after a third place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend.

Sénéchal capped another spectacular show of teamwork from his Belgian squad, which put three riders into the top ten.

The men’s race was nearly won by his teammate, tireless worker Tim Declerq, who countered an attack with two kilomtres remaining and looked, briefly, to have a winning gap. Roompot-Charles pulled it all back together for Lars Boom, and in doing so pulled Sénéchal back to the front of the race. The sprint came down to Sénéchal, Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and an isolated Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie), and Sénéchal was clearly the fastest.

In the women’s race, none could touch van den Bos, who crossed the line solo.

Le Samyn des Dames finishes with a series of circuits, each with four sectors of cobblestones. The very first lap of these circuits saw the peloton splinter, and a group of 30 riders made its way off the front. That group split again, down to just seven, and had 30 seconds coming into the bell lap.

Van den Bos attacked on the penultimate cobblestone sector, Côte des Nonettes, which is also the steepest of the four. She went solo and crossed the line alone.

Daniela Gass (Equano-Wase Zon) finished second, followed by Demi De Jong (Lotto Soudal Ladies).

Daily procrastination

Instead of working, we recommend getting rad like it’s 1990 and you just bought a fresh Stumperjumper mountain bike. This little game was originally released in October of last year and is definitely not the reason why the Daily News Digest went up quite late yesterday.

Race Radio

Porte makes last-minute schedule change, will race Catalunya
Richie Porte made a last minute schedule change due to bronchitis he developed after the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which has his fitness slightly behind schedule. Porte will not start Paris-Nice on Sunday as planned. He will instead use training camps in March to prepare for the Volta Catalunya, which begins March 25.

“A bronchitis sustained after the Jayco Herald Sun Tour has caused a setback in Richie’s build-up to the spring races, and his performance in UAE Tour confirmed this,” said team physician Scott Major. “Given these circumstances, Paris-Nice unfortunately comes too early for Richie.”

Rolland to miss Paris-Nice
Paris-Nice will set off without Pierre Rolland as well, after the Frenchman suffered a wrist fracture. Rolland said he’ll be back on the trainer quickly, and hopes his fitness won’t suffer too much.

Rolland’s Vital Concept-B&B Hotels team is in the running for a Tour de France wildcard slot. Tour wildcards will be announced shortly after Paris-Nice.

Tweet of the day

We realize we’re preaching to the choir here, but a quick reminder:

Dope digest

Denifl, Preidler provisionally suspended following confessions
In today’s least surprising news, Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler have been provisionally suspended by the UCI following their confessions to Austrian police.

Kittel calls for more support for young riders
Marcel Kittel has called for improved support for young riders as they make the jump to the pro ranks, saying such support is necessary to ensure riders stay away from doping.

Kittel hails from Efrurt, Germany, the same town where Dr. Mark Schmidt was arrested recently in connection to a blood doping ring.

“I find it tragic how a handful of people can do so much damage to the image of German sports, and my hometown,” Kittel wrote on his personal website. “While the next few days will certainly reveal more new names and details, I find one fact especially bad: that Dr. Schmidt’s practice was also an official contact point of the LSB Thüringen for many young up-and-coming athletes, who were examined and treated there and now are put in a bad light, although they did nothing wrong.

“What if athletes aren’t as lucky to have the environment that I have, one which has supported and protected me during my whole sports career. Success in sport is not just physical but also involves mental strength. That is why I think that especially young athletes can and must be prepared for this situation with coaching and much explanation, in order to be strong later when they are faced with temptation.”

Read Kittel’s whole post here (in German).

Tech News

Time returns to cycling shoe market with Osmos
After a six-year hiatus, Time is back in the cycling footwear game with five new road shoes, all of which bear the Osmos moniker and focus on Time’s long-standing “Bioposition” concept of bringing the rider’s foot closer to the pedal.

The top-end Osmos 15 features a laminated microfiber and polyurethane upper with generous helpings of open mesh and dual Boa IP1 dials, all mated to a true carbon fiber outsole. Inside the shoe is Time’s new Sensor 2+ insole with high-density EVA inserts that supposedly boost power transfer. Claimed weight is 480g (pair, size 42) and retail price is US$400.

The mid-range Osmos 12 uses a similar multi-layer upper, but with a single Boa IP1 closure plus a Velcro forefoot strap. The outsole is built with 20% carbon fiber-reinforced nylon augmented with a proper carbon fiber plate under the cleat, and inside is a single-density Sensor 2 foam footbed. Claimed weight is 500g per pair, and retail price is US$325.

Finally, there’s the Osmos 10, built with a more conventional perforated synthetic leather upper, a fiber-reinforced nylon sole (without the carbon fiber insert), and a single Boa closure. Claimed weight is 480g and retail price is US$250.

Also listed on Time’s web site are the Osmos 9 and Osmos 11, but it’s unclear how they differ from the Osmos 10 and Osmos 12. International availability and retail prices in other regions are to be confirmed.

For more information, visit www.time-sport.com.

Happy Birthday to …

Ryan Trebon (38), the retired American cyclocross racer affectionately known as Tree Farm, because he’s real tall.

In case you missed it …


Feature Image: Chantal Blaak congratulates Jip van den Bos at the finish of Le Samyn des Dames. Photo from Cor Vos.

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