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Victor Campenaerts breaks Bradley Wiggins’s Hour Record, Sam Bennett sprints to victory in Turkey. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Campenaerts sets a new Hour Record
Victor Campenaerts is the new UCI Hour Record holder. The 27-year-old Belgian, who rides for Lotto-Soudal, rode 55.089 kilometers over the course of one hour on the track in Aguascalientes, Mexico, breaking the existing record set by Bradley Wiggins in 2015.
Campenaerts’s effort in the Velodromo Bicentenario saw him cover 563 meters more than Wiggins’s mark of 54.526 kilometers.
“I’m super happy. I think if I look at a list that I’m in now, I’m between the greatest cyclists in history,” Campenaerts said.
“I really focused on this for a long time so I’m really super happy that I took the record, and I’m also really happy that I could break the magic 55 kilometers.”
Campenaerts got off to a fast start, and maintained a pace that put him well ahead of the record through most of his ride. He covered 40 kilometers in 43:42. His speed dipped ever so slightly for the final 15 minutes but then picked up again in the final laps, allowing him to smash the record by more than half a kilometer.
“I was a bit optimistic in the first 30 minutes. You have to be optimistic but after half an hour it was really important to set a new pace a little bit slower,” he said. “I slowed down little bit but i think I still was at almost every part of the race a little bit faster than Wiggins.”
Campenaerts is the sixth male rider to take hold of the record since the UCI revised its rules in 2014 to allow for any bike legal under UCI standards for endurance track races at the time of the attempt.
Beauty of Cycling
The Ardennes Classics are fast approaching, but we’re not quite ready to put the cobbled Classics behind us. Blame another brilliant edition of Paris-Roubaix and the stunning photos of Kristof Ramon …
and the Grubers …
Follow the link for the full gallery from L’enfer du Nord.
Bennett sprints to victory in Tour of Turkey opener
Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) rode into the first leader’s jersey at the Tour of Turkey, sprinting to victory in the opening stage.
The 28-year-old Irishman stayed patient in the finale as Deceuninck-Quick-Step led out Fabio Jakobsen for the bunch kick, and then he stormed past the Dutchman to take the win. Jakobsen settled for runner-up honors, with Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) finishing third.
The win continues an impressive run for Bennett in Turkey—with it, he counts eighth career victories in the race.
“I really like this country and I think the country likes me as well. The guys did an amazing job today, they pulled the whole day and delivered me perfectly,” Bennett said – and he wasn’t kidding about getting love from the local fans.
— 🇮🇪 🚴♀️🚴♂️ IrishCyclingNews.com 🚴♂️🚴♀️ 🇮🇪 (@Irish_Cycling) April 16, 2019
The Tour of Turkey rolls on with a 184-kilometer second stage from Tekirdag to Eceabat. The second half of the day will take place on mostly flat roads, but there is a slightly uphill run to the finish line.
Twigg opens up about homelessness
Rebecca Twigg, a six-time world champion in the pursuit and an Olympic medalist in both the road race and the purusuit, is now homeless. She has shared her story with the Seattle Times, “to convince the public that not all homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol; that there are many like her, who have struggled with employment and are ‘confused,’ as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives.”
Twigg, 56, is one of America’s most successful cyclists. She appeared in three Olympics, winning a silver in the 1984 road race and a bronze in the 1992 pursuit on the track. After retiring from competition, however, she struggled to find a career that fit away from racing.
For the last few years, she has been living out of her car in Seattle, preferring not to accept offers of housing from people who have learned about her situation.
“The point is not so much that I need help, it’s that there are a bunch of people who need help — 12,000 in this area, half a million in the country,” Twigg said. “Help should be provided for everybody, not just a few.”
Follow the link to the Seattle Times for the full story.
Mohoric extends with Bahrain-Merida
Matej Mohoric will ride on with Bahrain-Merida for the next two seasons. The 24-year-old Slovenian, whose big engine has propelled him to stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España over the past two years, has extended his contract with the team he first joined at the start of 2018.
His inaugural season with Bahrain was a successful one; in addition to winning a stage at the Giro last year, he took the overall title at the BinckBank Tour in August, among other big results. He has put up solid rides in 2019 as well, finishing fifth at Milano-Sanremo and ninth at Gent-Wevelgem.
“I made a crucial step in my career here and I feel really good in this team,” he said. “Plans are to focus on one-day Classics. I became a really good rider on this kind of races. Next strategies will be to make a step forward as a GC rider.”
SRAM acquires PowerTap
SRAM has acquired the PowerTap brand of power meters from Saris, the companies announced late last week. SRAM will incorporate PowerTap offerings – chainrings, pedals, and hubs – into its Quarq line.
Saris retains its CycleOps brand of trainers, as well as its bike rack products, and will focus more on those areas in the future as SRAM’s Quarq team takes over sales and support of the PowerTap brand.
Happy Birthday to …
Marc Madiot is 60. The Frenchman scored two victories at Paris-Roubaix and a Tour de France stage win over the course of his illustrious road career, and he has continued to have a big impact on the world of cycling since he hung up the wheels.
Back in 1997, three years after he retired from racing, he started a pro team sponsored by the French national lottery, La Française des Jeux. He still runs Groupama-FDJ to this day.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Victor Campenaerts en route to setting a new UCI Hour Record. Photo: JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2019