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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Julian Alaphilippe told Jakob Fuglsang he wanted him to win Liège, Mike Woods makes a fashion statement with his leg warmer, Sky unveils a one-off Ineos kit for the Tour de Romandie. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Alaphilippe to Fuglsang in Liège finale: I hope you win
Julian Alaphilippe’s finishing kick seemed like an insurmountable obstacle for Jakob Fuglsang this spring until the Frenchman finally faded at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. According to Fuglsang, Alaphilippe was gracious in the face of impending defeat.
“Before we took the speedy downhill to La Redoute, I was in the wheel of Luis León Sánchez and [Alaphilippe] was in the wheel of his guys,” Fuglsang said after the race. “I looked over at him to see if I could get any sign of how he was feeling and he looked back and said to me, ‘I hope you win today.’
“I looked back and said, ‘Thank you and good luck.’ I think he probably knew then that he wasn’t at his best or the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons was going to be too hard for him.”
Fuglsang, of course, went on to win, and according to various media outlets, Alaphilippe again took the opportunity after the race to praise him as a deserving winner after the long spring campaign. Chapeau Julian.
Jakob Fuglsang’s victory after so many close calls was probably the story of the day at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but Mike Woods earned plenty of attention as well. Check out that leg warmer situation…
The Canadian’s fashion choices were the talk of the cycling Twitter for a few hours after the race.
Solid effort by @EFprocycling today in LBL. I think it may be the first time in history we’ve seen a rider with 1 leg warmer ON and 1 leg warmer OFF finish in the top 5 of LBL. Or any bike race, really…. #keepemguessing
— Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) April 28, 2019
— Dirty Wknd (@Dirtywknd) April 28, 2019
Woods on some next level fashion with one leg warmer, and now all the elite cat 3’s will be doing it next season ugh
— TheSlowRidePodcast (@TheSlowRidePod) April 28, 2019
Will others try to emulate Woods’s unique style moving forward? Only time will tell.
Sky begins transition Ineos
Team Sky has ridden its last race. The British WorldTour squad will start Tuesday’s opening stage at the Tour de Romandie as Team Ineos after more than nine years with the backing of British telecommunications company Sky. Wout Poels has the distinction of delivering Sky’s last top 10 performance, finishing 10th at Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The team will race the Tour de Romandie with a temporary kit, before an official unveiling of the new Ineos look at the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire. The one-off kit was revealed on Monday; for the next few days in Switzerland, the team will essentially look just like Sky but with Ineos logos on the jersey and shorts instead.
During Tour de Romandie we'll race in this one-off Team INEOS kit before revealing our new design and colours on May 1 pic.twitter.com/KgH1ojQIxm
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) April 29, 2019
Ewan confirmed for Giro
Lotto-Soudal has taken to Twitter to unveil its Giro d’Italia roster, confirming that Caleb Ewan will indeed line up for the team in the Italian Grand Tour.
Ewan had been expected to race the Giro since January, but then, he was expected to start last year’s Tour de France until Mitchelton-Scott decided to change tack, so the confirmation of his Giro plans is worth noting. Also noteworthy is the team’s roster composition – by the looks of things, the team won’t be putting too much focus on the general classification, which should mean plenty of support, and maybe a bit of pressure, for Ewan.
The 24-year-old Australian will be joined by new Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts, Thomas De Gendt, Tosh van der Sande, Jasper De Buyst, Jelle Vanendert, Roger Kluge, and Adam Hansen, making his 28th career Grand Tour start. Impressive.
Gidich wins Asian continental title
Astana enjoyed a great cycling weekend. While Jakob Fuglsang was busy scoring his first Monument victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Kazakh youngster Yevgeniy Gidich was celebrating an Asian continental championship title. The 22-year-old topped Xianjing Lyu (Hengxiang) and Chun Kai Feng (Bahrain-Merida) to take the victory.
Didn’t get a chance to watch the women’s racing at Liège-Bastogne-Liège? You’re not alone – there was no live broadcast, for which the race organizers have received plenty of flak from riders and fans alike over the past few days.
Catch up on what you missed with the UCI’s video recap.
Elsewhere in the racing world this weekend, Tobias Lund Andresen won the junior edition of the E3 Binckbank Classic on Saturday. He decided to cap off his victory with a finish line celebration that maybe went a bit too far. What do you think?
With the Classics now in the rearview mirror, it’s time for the Tour de Romandie, one of the most scenic races on the calendar.
A popular target for grand tour stars, the six-day trek through the French-speaking part of Switzerland’s features an impressive list of recent winners. 2018 winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) will face some stiff competition if he wants to defend his title, with Sky’s Geraint Thomas and Katusha-Alpecin’s Ilnur Zakarin also on the start list. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) headline a solid sprinting field.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Deceuninck-Quick-Step sets the pace in miserable conditions at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Photo: NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2019