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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Mathieu van der Poel avoids serious injury in bad crash, UCI considering a corticosteroid ban, Rapha releases new shoes. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Van der Poel back on the bike after bad crash
Mathieu van der Poel looked to be in bad shape after a nasty crash at yesterday’s Nokere Koerse, but the cyclocross world champion is, apparently, just fine.
Van der Poel hit the Haaghoek cobbles today as part of a recon for the upcoming Tour of Flanders, just a day after falling in the finale at Nokere Koerse, rolling several times, and being hit from behind. Although he remained on the ground for several minutes in Nokere and was taken from the scene in an ambulance, checks at the hospital determined that he had not sustained any fractures, but “only a few cuts and bruises,” according to his Corendon-Circus team.
— cronoescalada.com (@cronoescalada) March 20, 2019
The 24-year-old Dutchman is already back on the bike and continues to look ahead to the rest of the spring Classics. That’s good news for Corendon-Circus team, which jumped up to the Pro Continental level this year and added some other talents to the roster as well, with an eye toward featuring van der Poel in the big spring events.
Corendon-Circus has invites in hand for most of the top Classics in Flanders. The squad’s calendar this year includes the newly WorldTour, newly one-day Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the Tour of Flanders. The team will also be on the start line at the Amstel Gold Race in van der Poel’s home country, the Netherlands.
Beauty of Cycling
It’s the longest Classic, and chilly, wet weather can often make it a grueling one—but Milano-Sanremo always brings the stunning scenery, rain or shine.
The first Monument of the season gets underway on Saturday. For now, the weather forecast is calling for a lovely day on the Italian coast.
Clarke wins Tour de Taiwan
Jonathan Clarke won the overall title at the Tour de Taiwan, earning his first ever GC victory as a pro and the first stage race win for the new Floyd’s Pro Cycling Continental squad.
The 34-year-old Australian, who joined Floyd’s after UnitedHealthcare folded last season, took the race lead after winning his first pro race in stage 2. He lost the jersey for one day, but retook it in stage 4, and then defended his lead in stage 5, where Giovanni Lonardi of Nippo Vini Fantini sprinted to the stage victory.
UCI considering ban on corticosteroids
The UCI is looking into the possibility of banning corticosteroids by 2020, according to Reuters.
After banning tramadol in cycling for “health reasons” despite its absence from the WADA list of prohibited substances, the UCI is considering using the same approach to prohibit the use of corticosteroids in the peloton. Currently, some corticosteroids are allowed during racing, while others require Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for in-competition use.
“We are working on this. We named a group of experts to show it is dangerous for your health,” Lappartient told Reuters.
“We are hopeful to be ready to ban it for the beginning of 2020. The idea is to not have corticosteroids in our sport in 2020.”
Schurter and Forster win Cape Epic time trial, inch closer to retaking lead
The Swiss pairing of Nino Schurter and Lars Forster (Scott-SRAM) won the stage 4 time trial at the Cape Epic, finishing the 43-kilometer course 1:28 ahead of Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory). Scott-SRAM was dominating the Cape Epic until an untimely puncture for Forster saw them lose nearly seven minutes in stage 3, which allowed Cannondale to take the lead—but Schurter and Forster are now just 1:13 down on Fumic and Avancini thanks to the time trial.
— capeepic (@CapeEpic) March 21, 2019
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen (Investec-songo-Specialized) continued their streak with a fifth straight stage victory, taking the time trial ahead of Candice Lill and Adelheid Morath. Langvad and van der Breggen enjoy a lead of more than 25 minutes over Lill and Morath in the overall standings after dominating the women’s category at the Cape Epic since the prologue. It appears there is not much van der Beggen cannot do. InCycle took a look back at the two biggest wins of her brilliant 2018 road season yesterday.
Cipollini case headed to trial
As we reported last week, former world champion Mario Cipollini is facing a handful of court dates regarding allegations of violence, stalking, and threats committed against his ex-wife Sabrina Landucci and his sister, Tiziana Cipollini, in 2017.
In latest developments, the Landucci case went to a preliminary hearing in Lucca on Wednesday, with judge Simone Silvestri finding that there were sufficient grounds for the case to go to trial.
In a trial beginning on June 28, Cipollini will answer to charges of ‘stalking, ill-treatment and injury’ in relation to a series of incidents involving his ex-wife Sabrina Landucci, and her new partner, Silvio Giusti.
That will be followed in July by a preliminary hearing relating to allegations of violence against his sister.
Rapha unveils first in-house-designed shoes
Rapha has announced its first footwear offerings designed in-house. Although they’ve been spotted pedaling at the WorldTour level for a few months already, the new shoes are now officially here, with the British brand releasing the Classic road shoe and the Explore off-road shoe.
The Classic will retail at US$250 / AU$315, while the Explore will go for US$295 / AU$385.
MAAP announces new Pro Bib Shorts
The Pro Bib Short is the first new bib short from MAAP in two years. Built for performance, the new men’s and women’s bibs claim improved compression, flexibility, breathability, and durability over the Australian brand’s most popular Team 2.0 bib shorts.
Some updates include: a new highly elastic and tightly woven material that boasts improved comfort, compression, durability, and UV protection; MAAP’s slimmest and lightest brace construction yet; and a new elastic leg band that’s said to work on a wider range of leg shapes. The gender-specific chamois’ from the Team 2.0 bibs carries over.
MIPS expresses skepticism about Bontrager WaveCel concussion claims
Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmets were announced just two days ago, and with some considerably impressive-sounding claims. In particular, Bontrager claims that WaveCel-equipped helmets can reduce the likelihood of a cyclist getting a concussion during a “typical” crash to barely 1-in-100. WaveCel’s clever three-stage deformation mechanism is similar to Koroyd in that it supposedly absorbs straight impact energy much better than traditional EPS foam, but the key to the concussion claim is how the arrowhead-shaped cells fold over and slide across your head to minimize rotational energy transfer.
Notably, Bontrager says this technology allows WaveCel to offer that benefit without the need for a separate low-friction liner. MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is the current industry leader on that rotational energy transfer front, and is already calling into question Bontrager’s claims.
“Preliminary test results of WaveCel helmets by MIPS cannot substantiate these claims,” read a statement that was distributed by MIPS today. “While further testing is warranted, MIPS cannot see that the helmets perform in a way that the claims Bontrager/WaveCel makes in the comparison between WaveCel and other helmets/technologies.”
It seems safe to say that this dispute is just getting started, and clearly there’s a lot on the line. Stay tuned for more.
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