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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Sam Bennett wins again at the BinckBank Tour, Mathieu van der Poel is returning to road racing as he builds toward worlds, security expert finds ways to cheat Zwift. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Bennett doubles up at BinckBank Tour
Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) is on a roll at the BinckBank Tour. After winning the opening stage on Monday, the 28-year-old Irishman extended his race lead on Tuesday with another victory on stage 2.
Bennett topped Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in a bunch sprint.
“I can’t believe that I won for a second time here,” Bennett said.
“After 70k, my legs weren’t feeling the best, and so I was a bit surprised to have pulled it off today. The guys supported me very well and kept me towards the front and in an energy-saving position. In the end, I still had the legs to sprint over the line first. I’m really happy with this win and if possible, I’d like to go for another stage victory here.”
The second stage of the BinckBank Tour ran 169.1 kilometers from Blankenberge to Ardooie on mostly flat roads, giving the sprinters’ teams plenty of incentive to keep the early breakaway in check. After the initial move was reeled in in the finale, Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) tried to solo clear, but he too was caught to set up a sprint.
Jumbo-Visma led out the sprint for Groenewegen but Philipsen exploded past on the Dutchman’s right with Bennett close behind. Bennett pulled ahead to take the clear win at the line, his eighth WorldTour victory of a season in which he has yet to race a Grand Tour.
Relive the final kilometer of the second stage of the #BinckBankTour, from Blankenberge to Ardooie. Once again @Sammmy_Be (@BORAhansgrohe) was the fastest in a bunch sprint! pic.twitter.com/bvM5NpAesw
— BinckBank Tour (@BinckBankTour) August 13, 2019
Every so often, social media can actually help make some cool things happen, like helping a person find someone who bought her a bike more than two decades ago when she was a five-year-old child at a refugee camp.
Hi internet, this is a longshot BUT I was a refugee for 5 yrs in the 90s and this man, who worked at a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands, out of the kindness of his own heart bought me a bike. My five year old heart exploded with joy. I just want to know his name. Help? pic.twitter.com/XzUgHzllYb
— Mevan Babakar | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 12, 2019
WE FOUND HIM!! A thread 👇👇
After 3000 RTs, 3 news articles, 1 video and thousands of wonderful messages from around the world, @Arjen78 made contact with the family!
Guys, I knew the internet was great but this is something else. https://t.co/H4qmL1uVqQ
— Mevan Babakar | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019
Van der Poel returns to the road to take on the Arctic Race of Norway
After spending the last several weeks delivering one brilliant mountain bike performance after another, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) is returning to the road at the upcoming Arctic Race of Norway.
Van der Poel, the reigning world cyclocross champion, has not raced on the road since April, when he closed out an impressive Classics campaign with a win at the Amstel Gold Race. The versatile Dutchman is eyeing the mountain bike event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and has been busy this summer with the MTB World Cup circuit.
He is returning to racing on the road, however, as he looks to build up for Yorkshire worlds.
That build-up begins at the Arctic Race, which starts on Thursday. Van der Poel won two stages and the points jersey at the four-day event last year. Following the Arctic Race he is also expected to start the Tour of Britain.
Piccoli wins Utah prologue
James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS) is the first leader of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah after winning the prologue.
The 27-year-old Canadian continued a strong 2019 season – which has also seen him win the overall title at the Tour of the Gila – with a victory in the 5.3-kilometer race against the clock at Snowbird Resort. Piccoli completed the course in 8:37, six seconds faster than runner-up Lawson Craddock (EF Education First) and third-placed Serghei Tvetcov (Floyd’s).
Reijnen extends with Trek-Segafredo
Kiel Reijnen will ride on with Trek-Segafredo for two more seasons.
The 33-year-old American, who made his WorldTour debut with the squad in 2016, delivered the announcement on Twitter on Monday.
💥 Team News! 💥
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) August 12, 2019
Nizzolo wins Vuelta a Burgos opener
Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) won Tuesday’s opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.
The 30-year-old Italian out-sprinted Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural) after a 162-kilometer stage in and around Burgos, with Eduard Grosu (Delko Marseille Provence) taking third five seconds later.
Security consultant finds ways to cheat on Zwift
A security expert presented his research into ways to cheat Zwift at the Def Con hacking conference this past weekend.
According to Vice, Brad Dixon used the open source USBQ toolkit “to intercept and modify” the data transmitted via ANT+ protocol to Zwift.
“Ultimately I have an Xbox controller I can use to squeeze the trigger, make the little guy in the screen pedal harder, and I could [put it on] cruise control too, because who doesn’t need to get off and grab yourself a beer or something while riding,” Dixon told Vice.
“It’s incorrect to say that I hacked Zwift, because I didn’t actually. There’s not a vulnerability in there,” Dixon said. “I don’t think there is anything for them to fix. It’s just the nature of the sensors that they’re using and how it works are exploitable.”
A Zwift spokesperson told Vice that the company was looking into ways to combat the exploit, and also pointed to the increased efforts of “ZADA” (Zwift Accuracy and Data Analysis) to combat various forms of cheating on the platform.
Fortunately for fair-minded Zwift users, Vice reports that Dixon’s method would be very difficult for cheaters to utilize at in-person competitions.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Mathieu van der Poel at the Tour of Flanders. Photo: ©kramon