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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Primoz Roglic takes a dramatic win at Tirreno-Adriatico, Team Sky will become Team Ineos on May 1, Trek unveils new helmet tech. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Roglic tops Yates by one second to win Tirreno-Adriatico overall
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) delivered a dramatic overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, overhauling Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) by a single second with a solid ride in the final time trial. The Slovenian started the day 25 seconds down on Yates, who had held the race lead from the second stage of the race, but was just fast enough over the 10-kilometer TT in San Benedetto del Tronto to snatch the victory by the narrowest of margins. That gave the noted former ski jumper an opportunity to execute his signature celebration on the podium.
🥇🇸🇮 | Primoz Roglic wint in een sensationele slottijdrit de #TirrenoAdriatico. Het is alweer de tweede zege dit seizoen voor de renner van @JumboVismaRoad, die in begin maart ook al de @uae_tour won. Bekijk hier de sensationele ontknoping: https://t.co/rpejhAFSfY pic.twitter.com/ADXgUfTTbz
— Eurosport Nederland (@Eurosport_NL) March 19, 2019
Lotto Soudal’s Victor Campenaerts rode to the stage 7 win with a three-second advantage over Alberto Bettiol of EF Education First. Roglic’s time was the day’s 11th fastest.
“It was unbelievably close,” Roglic said after the nail-biting finish that saw Yates hit the line just a few moments too late to maintain his race lead.
The 26-year-old Briton settled for runner-up honors after holding the lead for most of the week. Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang rounds out the final GC podium, 30 seconds down on Roglic.
The short out-and-back time trial along the Adriatic coast featured tricky wind conditions, with a tailwind in the first half of the ride switching to a headwind for the second. Campenaerts, who rolled off the ramp early in the start order, paced himself well to take over the hot seat from Tom Bohli of UAE Team Emirates.
“I know it was important to come back really strong because the headwind was really strong,” Campenaerts said. “It seemed to be the perfect time trial today.”
None of the many time trial specialists that set out after Campenaerts were able to prove him wrong, with Tom Dumoulin and Rohan Dennis among those coming up short. Bettiol and Jos van Emden came closest, at three and four seconds back, respectively.
All eyes turned to the GC battle as the final few starters hit the course. Fuglsang, who was comfortably ahead of Dumoulin on the overall leaderboard to start the afternoon, stayed safe and rode a solid TT to protect his podium position without mounting much of a challenging to those ahead of him on GC. Then it was down to Roglic and Yates. Roglic needed to be 26 seconds faster to wrestle the title away from Yates, and he did exactly that.
“I felt stronger on the way back. I tried to make a difference to really go for it. I really pushed to the finish line,” Roglic said. “I was confident, but I can only control myself. I wanted to give 110 percent and then we’d see.”
The GC victory makes Roglic two-for-two in WorldTour stage races so far this year. The 29-year-old took a convincing victory at the UAE Tour, his first race of the season, winning a stage and the overall title as he preps for a Giro d’Italia bid this May.
For stage winner Campenaerts, the day marks a long-awaited first WorldTour victory. The 27-year-old Belgian is the reigning European Continental champ against the clock, but had never managed to turn close calls into wins on the WorldTour until today. He did it in front of a stellar field of TT specialists, which he said would be “very good for the motivation” as he aims to take on the UCI Hour Record this year.
Late last year, veteran pro Jonathan Clarke was not sure he’d even be racing this season as his UnitedHealthcare team was set to fold. Now, he’s got his first ever UCI win in the bag as a member of the new Floyd’s Pro Cycling squad. The 34-year-old won stage 2 at the Tour de Taiwan on Monday and briefly wore the race leader’s jersey before handing it over to Giovanni Lonardi in stage 3.
Team Sky will become Team Ineos
Rumors have been swirling for days, but now it’s official: Team Sky will become Team Ineos.
The British team announced today in a press release that chemical company Ineos will take over sole ownership of the team on May 1 of this year. The deal marks the conclusion of a months-long search by Team Sky brass to find a new partner after media conglomerate Sky decided that 2019 would be its final year as a team sponsor. That period of uncertainty is over thanks to Ineos and its billionaire founder and CEO Jim Ratcliffe.
The official launch of the new-look team will come on May 2 at the Tour de Yorkshire.
“In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike,” Sky team principal Dave Brailsford said via the release. According to the statement, new ownership “will continue to fund the current team in full, honoring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners.”
Belgian under-23 rider killed after colliding with van during race
Belgian under-23 rider Stef Loos died after a collision with a van during a race on Sunday. The 19-year-old was one of three cyclists hit by a delivery van after a signal provider sent them the wrong way during the Alfred Gadenne Mémorial race, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. Loos sustained severe brain trauma and died of his injuries after being taken to the hospital.
The other riders involved in the collision – Ruben Apers of Lotto Soudal’s U23 team and Jonas Bresseleers – were both injured but are recovering. Police are investigating the incident.
D’Hoore recovering from broken collarbone
Jolien D’hoore’s spring campaign hit a snag this weekend at Drenthe Acht van Westerveld. The fast-finishing Belgian sustained a broken collarbone in a crash in the Dutch one-day race, marking the second time in less than a year that she has sustained a collarbone fracture after a crash on the track in 2018.
D’hoore, who transferred from Mitchelton-Scott to Boels Dolmans over the offseason, is now recovering from a successful surgery to repair the injury, making her readiness to compete in the upcoming classics a question mark.
Groenewegen set for Milano-Sanremo start
Dylan Groenewegen was not initially expected to race Milano-Sanremo, but he now finds himself on the start list – and on the list of potential winners too.
The Dutch sprinting powerhouse will replace Timo Roosen, who is recovering from a crash at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, to make his debut at the season’s first monument. Jumbo-Visma’s squad for Milano-Sanremo will also include fellow sprinter Danny van Poppel as well as ‘cross crossover Wout van Aert.
Groenewegen has said in the past that Sanremo was a career target, but his team had held off on sending him to the Italian one-day to get his first experience there – until now. In a team press release, he tempered expectations for his debut.
“I will probably fall short to participate in the win,” he said. “With the Tour and the Vuelta on my program this year, I hope to gain that little extra power and content to be able to do that next year.”
Just the same, expect to see Groenewegen on a few favorites lists for this weekend’s sprinter-friendly classic, considering his recent emergence as one of the sport’s fastest finishers.
Schurter and Forster, Langvad and van der Breggen keep winning at Cape Epic
The race leaders at this week’s Cape Epic refuse to take their feet off the accelerator. Nino Schurter and Lars Forster, who won both the prologue and stage 1, extended their GC lead over the men’s field with another victory in Tuesday’s challenging stage 2. They now enjoy a lead of over four minutes to second-placed Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini.
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen continue to dominate the women’s race, winning their third stage in a row as well. The pair now sits nearly eight minutes ahead fo Ariane Lüthi and Maja Wloszczowska.
Trek and Bontrager unveil new brain-saving helmet technology
Trek recently announced a tech breakthrough that would be “cycling’s most important change in 30 years.” Today, the American bike brand unveiled the mystery tech: a new material for helmets called “WaveCel,” which the company says will reduce concussions.
According to the manufacturers, the WaveCel helmet is “up to 48 times more effective than standard foam helmets in preventing concussions.”
Happy Birthday to …
Steven Cummings turns 38 today. The two-time Tour de France stage winner is still going strong with Dimension Data, and apparently happy to make time for the fans even on his birthday.
— NTT Pro Cycling (@NTTProCycling) March 19, 2019
In case you missed it …