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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Egan Bernal wins stage 7 at the Tour de Suisse and pads his overall lead, Alexander Kristoff renews with UAE-Team Emirates, UCI announces track World Cup changes. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Bernal extends Suisse lead with stage 7 victory
Egan Bernal padded his GC lead at the Tour de Suisse with an emphatic mountaintop victory on Friday’s stage 7.
The 22-year-old Colombian crossed the line atop the St. Gotthard finishing climb 23 seconds ahead of Bahrain-Merida teammates Domenico Pozzovivo and Rohan Dennis, and now sits 41 seconds ahead of Dennis in the general classification.
The 216.6-kilometer stage 7 set out from Unterterzen at a high tempo that made it difficult for any moves to stick in the early goings. The day’s main breakaway finally got clear after an hour of racing, but an Ineos-led peloton would shut down any hopes the escapees might have had of replicating the success of stage 6 breakaway winner Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma).
The last survivor of the break, Mathias Fränk (Ag2r La Mondiale) was caught on the slopes of the final climb. Ineos set a hard tempo to whittle down the GC group and discourage attacks from Bernal’s rivals. Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) soloed away but was kept within view of the pack, and then Bernal himself delivered an explosive attack with around three kilometers left to race.
He caught and passed Mas in moments and continued to soar up the mountainside as Pozzovivo and Dennis organized a chase. The pair limited the damage reasonably well, but Bernal would not be denied the stage victory, further padding his GC lead at a critical point in the race.
He will hope his advantage over Dennis, the reigning world time trial champion, will hold through Saturday’s stage 8, a flat, 19.2-kilometer time trial in Goms.
Stage 7 results
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 5:37:40
2 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:23
3 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
4 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:34
5 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team
6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:40
8 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:50
9 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:01:03
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 24:17:48
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:41
3 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:13
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:17
5 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:01:19
6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:07
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:20
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb 0:02:23
10 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:26
A few days after crashing out of the Tour de Suisse, Geraint Thomas is back on his bike, which is welcome news for his Ineos team…
Brunei Continental Cycling team kicked out of Tour de Beauce
The Brunei Continental Cycling team has been expelled by the UCI from the Tour de Beauce. According to a statement from the race, the squad violated “specific regulations regarding the maximum number of riders that a team can include in its roster during the season.”
Canadian veteran and former national champ Bruno Langlois was added to the Brunei roster shortly ahead of the Tour de Beauce.
According to the statement, Brunei’s results at the Tour de Beauce will be “removed from the different rankings of the stage race currently in progress.”
Kristoff and Bystrom extend with UAE-Team Emirates
Alexander Kristoff has renewed with the UAE-Team Emirates squad through the end of 2021.
The team announced on Friday that the Norwegian sprinter and Classics specialist had extended his contract.
“I feel at home here and the atmosphere in the team is great,” Kristoff said in the team press release. “I hope that the next two years will bring good things both for me and for the team.”
Kristoff joined the UAE squad in 2018 after several seasons with the Katusha organization. His list of results since making the transfer includes a Tour de France stage victory, a Gent-Wevelgem win, and a fourth career Eschborn-Frankfurt title.
His compatriot Sven Erik Bystrom also extended with the squad through 2021.
“We are setting out an important growth path for the team,” said CEO Mauro Gianetti, “but big projects need strong roots and for this reason we strongly wanted the renew both Kristoff and Bystrom.”
UCI announces changes to track World Cups
The UCI has announced a few upcoming changes to the track cycling calendar and rules structure, most notably barring trade teams from competing at World Cup events and shifting the (reduced) season to the summertime.
Starting with the 2020-2021 season, the current calendar of six events will be reduced to three, taking place in the summertime. Changing the name of the World Cup to the “Track Cycling Nations’ Cup,” the UCI will also make World Cup events solely open to national squads. That will disallow the handful of trade teams that currently race alongside national teams from participating in World Cup events.
The world championships will also be moved from March to October.
Giant moving production of US-models back to Taiwan
Donald Trump’s trade tariffs on China are having a direct impact on the bicycle industry. Most recently, Giant Bicycles announced it’s in the process of moving all production of its US-models back to Taiwan.
Even though such a move means Giant will avoid paying the tariffs, it’s quite possible we’ll see prices trickle up due to increased labor costs and reduced economies of scale.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Egan Bernal wins stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse. Photo: VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2019