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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Caleb Ewan takes his second stage win of the 2019 Giro d’Italia … then heads straight home; Jolien D’Hoore sprints to victory in the opening stage of the Emakumeen XXXII.Bira, Wolf Tooth’s new flattop-compatible chainrings. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Ewan wins Giro stage 11
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) powered to his second stage victory of the 2019 Giro d’Italia at the end of a lengthy stage 11. The 24-year-old Australian got the better of Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a sprint after a 221-kilometer trek from Carpi to Novi Ligure.
“A longer stage today suited me a bit better than yesterday with the other sprinters having sore legs,” Ewan said. “I followed Pascal Ackermann’s wheel because I knew he’d still be good [despite his crash yesterday]. He had a good lead out so it was a good wheel to sit on. I timed it right.”
Without no categorized climbs on the menu for the second straight day, stage 11 was another clear opportunity for the fast finishers, and their teams rode accordingly throughout the afternoon, making sure the breakaway was under control. Three early escapees were reeled in with around 25 kilometers left to race. With 10 kilometers to go, the pace began to rise as the sprint trains geared up for action. That also made it impossible for any new attacks from the bunch to survive more than a few moments, to the chagrin of riders like Christian Knees (Ineos), who tried a late move that did not last long.
A well-marshaled Groupama-FDJ led the way under the flamme rouge with Bora-Hansgrohe just behind. With 400 meters to go, the Bora train surged up alongside Groupama, and then took over at the front with Ackermann in tow and Ewan locked onto his wheel.
Ackermann launched 200 meters from the line, but he could only watch as Ewan blew past on his right. Démare wound up to speed in Ewan’s slipstream and then tried to pull even, but couldn’t quite come around, with Ewan taking the clear victory at the line.
Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) finished safely in the peloton to stay in the pink jersey.
The Giro d’Italia rolls on with a 158-kilometer stage 12 from Cuneo to Pinerolo that features a first-category climb and a tricky descent inside the last 40 kilometers.
Stage 11 results
1 EWAN Caleb (Lotto Soudal)
2 DÉMARE Arnaud (Groupama – FDJ)
3 ACKERMANN Pascal (BORA – hansgrohe)
4 VIVIANI Elia (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
5 CIMOLAI Davide (Israel Cycling Academy)
6 CONSONNI Simone (UAE-Team Emirates)
7 GIBBONS Ryan (Team Dimension Data)
8 NIZZOLO Giacomo (Team Dimension Data)
9 MARECZKO Jakub (CCC Team)
10 BENNETT Sean (EF Education First)
1 CONTI Valerio (UAE-Team Emirates)
2 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
3 PETERS Nans (AG2R La Mondiale)
4 ROJAS José Joaquín (Movistar Team)
5 MASNADA Fausto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
6 AMADOR Andrey (Movistar Team)
7 ANTUNES Amaro (CCC Team)
8 MADOUAS Valentin (Groupama – FDJ)
9 CARBONI Giovanni (Bardiani – CSF)
10 BILBAO Pello (Astana Pro Team)
And just like that, Ewan abandons the Giro…
The finish of the 11th stage in Novi Ligure meant the end of the Giro for Caleb Ewan. The Australian returns home with two stage victories to prepare for the Tour de France during the upcoming weeks.
“I am happy that I came to the Giro,” Ewan said. “The succession of the long and sometimes challenging stages will have done me good, condition-wise. Of course, I am going home with a great feeling. I came into the Giro and I really wanted to win one stage. To get two is more than I expected, so I am really satisfied with that and I am happy with how the team rode as well.
“I think it makes sense that the sprinters leave the Giro prematurely. From now on, there are virtually only tough stages left, so not very suited to us. I think that the organisation prefers to have the best sprinters at the start. Although they do not finish the Giro, it still guarantees some nice battles in the flat stages. I will take some days of rest now and then go on a training camp to prepare for the Tour.”
The latest installment of the Gone Racing series from EF Education First and Rapha is a chance to get to know Sergio Higuita, who had a heck of a week at the Tour of California in his debut with the team.
Get acquainted with the Higuita Monster in the video below, and read our feature article here.
Over at the Giro, commentators have had plenty of opportunities to talk about Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who looks like the big GC favorite right now. Considering how often it is mentioned in the cycling media, most fans already know that Primoz Roglic used to be a ski jumper.
Perhaps less widely known are the details of his career change, largely spurred by a bad crash on the skis in 2007. Roglic’s journey to the top echelons of the pro peloton is all the more impressive when you see the terrible fall that derailed his ski jumping career, “the crash that changed his life,” but didn’t stop him from reinventing himself in a new sport.
Roglic recovered from the crash, but could never quite get back into a groove in his trajectory as an up-and-coming ski jumper, ultimately switching to cycling. That appears to be working out for him.
UCI has tested over a hundred riders for tramadol, all tests negative so far
117 riders have been tested for tramadol since a ban went into effect in March, and all tests have come back negative so far, the UCI has announced.
Cycling’s governing body decided to ban the controversial painkiller from the sport – it is not on the banned list of the World Anti-doping Agency – earlier this year. The UCI says that it has administered a total of 143 tests to over a hundred riders across 11 races without registering a positive test to this point.
Démare: Ackermann is a bit arrogant
After Arnaud Démare sprinted to victory on Tuesday in the Giro d’Italia’s 10th stage, he took a post-race moment to critique rival speedster Pascal Ackermann.
Earlier in the day, Démare had nabbed points at an intermediate sprint, bringing him a bit closer to Ackermann’s sizable lead in the points classification, which led Ackermann to ask the Frenchman why he had gone for it despite the German’s big advantage in the standings.
“Ackermann rides great, but is a bit arrogant,” Démare said. “He asked me, ‘Why are you sprinting in the intermediate sprint? Let’s stay in the pack. If you win the sprint later, I will be second and the difference between us will still be 40 points.'”
Démare did win that sprint to the stage 10 finish line, while Ackermann unfortunately crashed.
After finishing second in stage 11, Démare now leads the points classification.
D’Hoore takes Emakumeen XXXII.Bira opener
The women’s WorldTour rolls on with the Emakumeen XXXII.Bira in the Basque Country this week, where Jolien D’Hoore (Boels-Dolmans) won the first of four stages.
The Belgian speedster topped Sofia Bertizzolo (Virtu) and Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-Scott) in the sprint that concluded the opening day of racing.
Wolf Tooth’s New Flattop Compatible Chainrings
With new drivetrains being developed, Wolf Tooth announced its new Flattop Compatible Chainrings to accommodate drivetrains requiring slightly narrower teeth, like the new SRAM AXS 12-speed. Wolf Tooth’s direct mount chainrings for the Easton CINCH Power Meter are also available now. Wolf Tooth expects to have updated tooth profiles available on their existing direct mount chainrings for SRAM road, gravel, and CX, in both 110 and 130 BCD, and in both round and elliptical by end of Summer.
In addition to the new Flattop Compatible Chainrings, Wolf Tooth is also adding to their purple and red ReMote and Light Action colors, with a limited edition blue colorway. The ReMote and ReMote LA is available in a clamp 22 fitment only.
ASSOS releases limited-edition jerseys supporting Qhubeka Charity
ASSOs of Switzerland is releasing a collection of limited-edition “hands up” jerseys in support of Qhubeka Charity and the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign in Africa. With 10 percent of revenue going directly to Qhubeka Charity, the jerseys will be available in pink in honor of the Giro d’Italia, yellow for the Tour de France, and black for those who like a more neutral color. The “hands up” designs on the jerseys represent Qhubeka’s belief in giving a hand up, not a hand out.
Derek Bouchard-Hall, CEO at ASSOS of Switzerland, said: “Team Dimension Data’s connection with the Qhubeka Charity is a key reason we chose to partner with the team. We eagerly support the incredible work of the Qhubeka Charity and are very proud to have designed the Moving Forward jersey.”
With Qhubeka’s name meaning “to move forward,” the ASSOS jerseys will be their Moving Forward SS Jersey, utilizing what ASSOS calls the regularFit, which is a little less aggressive, along with the classic “all-arounder.” As an added touch, when you purchase a jersey you will also get a hand-made musette from workers in Qhubeka’s work-to-earn craft programs in South Africa.
Qhubeka Charity Founder Anthony Fitzhenry said: “We appreciate support from respected organizations like ASSOS that share our belief that bicycles have the power to change people’s lives. The musette bags are created from a traditional South African printed fabric called shweshwe and are made by crafters in a rural region of the country’s North West province. This craft program helps people to earn bicycles, which allows them to travel faster and further, to carry more and to generate income.
Happy Birthday to …
Jean-Christophe Peruad is 42. The Frenchman was a constant fixture in stage races over the course of his career, although he (remarkably) never won a WorldTour event.
He rode to runner-up honors at the 2014 Tour de France.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Caleb Ewan celebrates his stage 11 win at the Giro d’Italia. Photo: DB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019