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Simon Yates says he and his fellow GC hopefuls will stay aggressive as they look to challenge Primoz Roglic at the Giro d’Italia, Danny MacAskill’s new video is as fun as ever, van der Poel hopes to race a Grand Tour after the Tokyo Olympics. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Yates expects aggressive racing as GC hopefuls look to topple Roglic at the Giro
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) may have lost time to Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in Sunday’s stage 9 time trial, but the reigning Vuelta a España champion has vowed to stay aggressive at the Giro d’Italia.
“I’ve worked too hard to give up already now, so I’ll give it everything I got,” Yates said at a rest day media appearance.
After nine days of racing, Yates is 3:46 down on Roglic, having shipped more than three minutes in the TT. For the moment, Roglic is not in pink, with Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) currently leading the Giro by nearly two minutes, but most expect the Italian to fade in the coming high mountains. Of the bona fide GC favorites, Roglic is head and shoulders above the competition right now.
The rest of the field, which includes the likes of Yates, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana), has plenty of ground to cover to make a serious push for pink.
As Yates points out, that should at least make for some entertaining mountain stages.
“Roglic is looking very impressive. Everyone is going to have to attack him,” Yates said.
“It’s not just me who will have to make up time. I can see it being very aggressive, maybe not in the immediate days but as soon we hit the mountains I think it’s going to be a very fast race.”
The Giro rolls on with a sprinter-friendly stage 10 on Tuesday.
The EF Gone Racing crew was at the Amgen Tour of California to document all the action over the last week. The latest episode from the series went behind-the-scenes with the team on Tejay van Garderen’s wild stage 4.
In some ways, Danny MacAskill’s newest video is pure Danny MacAskill—but there are a few surprises in store. Check it out…
Elsewhere in the world of cycling-related video content, Path Less Pedaled took on a monumental challenge (without even having to kit up), attempting to settle an age-old debate: What is the correct pronunciation of the word “pannier”?
Ayden Toovey wins stage 2 of the Tour of Japan
Australia’s Ayden Toovey (BridgeLane) has taken out the opening road stage of the Tour of Japan, winning a two-up sprint from the remnants of the breakaway.
Twenty-three-year-old Toovey outkicked local rider Shotaro Iribe (Shimano Racing Team) to win the circuit race around Tokyo — his first professional victory.
Toovey now leads the UCI 2.1 event by eight seconds with six stages remaining. The tour is likely to be decided by stage 6 which features the infamously steep Azami Line ascent of Mt. Fuji (11.6km at 9.9%).
Lucy Kennedy solos to victory in Durango-Durango
Australia’s Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) has taken her first win on European soil, soloing to victory at Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria in the Basque Country.
The 30-year-old former runner had teammate Amanda Spratt in a breakaway which allowed Kennedy to sneak away late. She ended up crossing the line 26 seconds clear of Spratt while Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini) rounded out the podium.
The win is Kennedy’s third for the year after her stage win and overall victory at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Van der Poel hopes to make Grand Tour debut after Tokyo Olympics
Mathieu van der Poel is laser-focused on his mountain biking goals right now, fresh off a short track win and an XC runner-up ride at the Albstadt World Cup. The versatile Dutchman showed some serious Classics chops in his spring campaign this year, but he is not giving the road his undivided attention just yet as he eyes the mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympics.
With all that in mind, he told Het Nieuwsblad that he “really wants” to ride his first Grand Tour, possibly “soon after Tokyo.”
Although van der Poel also said the Tour de France may be the best of the three for his skill set, the 2020 Vuelta does come shortly after the Olympics, and it starts in van der Poel’s home country, the Netherlands.
Nibali says it’s ‘too early’ to say the Giro down to him and Roglic
Primoz Roglic is the bookies’ clear favorite to win the Giro d’Italia after nine stages, with Vincenzo Nibali looking like his most dangerous challenger. Just the same, according to the latter, it’s not yet time to call this Giro a two-horse race.
“It’s too early to say that,” Nibali said on Sunday, reports Cyclingnews. “There are still a lot of leaders. They still want to play their cards”
Nibali’s deficit to Roglic stands at 1:44, which puts him in a better position than the other big GC hopefuls, but he’s not counting them out.
“The Giro is still long and there are still important stages and mountains to come,” Nibali said, according to Cyclingnews. “I’m still keeping the other GC riders like Landa, Yates and Lopez in consideration, the riders who have lost a bit more will have to attack and that will make the race more interesting.”
Happy Birthday to …
Chris Froome is 34. The Kenyan-born Brit counts four Tour de France overall titles, one Giro d’Italia, and one Vuelta a España on his career palmares.
This July, he will try to become only the second 34-year-old to win the Tour (along with Cadel Evans) since the 1920s.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Simon Yates in the Giro d’Italia’s stage 9 time trial. Photo: Gruber Images