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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Tom Dumoulin is headed to Jumbo-Visma in 2020, Philippe Gilbert signs a three-year deal with Lotto-Soudal, Astana’s Vuelta a España roster will feature both Miguel Ángel López and Jakob Fuglsang. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Dumoulin will join Jumbo-Visma in 2020
Tom Dumoulin’s long-rumored early exit from Sunweb became a reality on Monday morning, and was quickly followed by confirmation that he will join Jumbo-Visma in 2020.
The 28-year-old Dutchman, whose list of career achievements includes a Giro d’Italia overall title, a runner-up ride at the Tour de France, a world time trial championship, and stage wins in all three Grand Tours, will leave Sunweb after spending the last eight years with the organization. His deal with the team took him through 2021, but both parties agreed to dissolve the contract.
According to various reports over the last few months, the relationship between rider and team soured over the course of this season, a difficult one for Dumoulin, who abandoned the Giro with an injured knee and then pulled out of a planned start at the Tour with lingering knee pain.
“As a rider you always search for the highest achievable and you constantly ask yourself whether you are still in the right place, what is the best team for you and where the best options and opportunities are,” Dumoulin said in Sunweb’s statement. “There has always been interest from other teams, that’s normal, but the facilities here have always made me not to speak with other teams.
“After the disappointment of missing the Tour and finding myself sitting at home, I started to consider that a new environment could be refreshing. That’s why I decided to focus on the interest of some teams. There were great offers and this phase of my career felt like the right time to take it.”
Not long after his Sunweb exit was made public, his also-long-rumored 2020 transfer to Jumbo-Visma was announced as well. His arrival will make the Dutch WorldTour outfit, which already features Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk, an even more formidable opponent in the Grand Tours.
“I’m looking forward to contributing to that goal, winning a Grand Tour,” Dumoulin said. “I was looking for a new sporting challenge and Team Jumbo-Visma is the right team for this. I’m looking forward to it. I started my cycling career with the Rabobank Continental team, a predecessor of the current Team Jumbo-Visma. That’s why this step feels a bit like coming home.”
If you’ve ever wondered how bike racing looks from a race photographer’s perspective, you might find this on-board footage from the Tour of Britain interesting …
Philippe Gilbert signs three-year deal with Lotto-Soudal
Philippe Gilbert will leave Deceuninck-Quick-Step after three seasons. The 37-year-old Belgian has signed a three-year contract to race for Lotto-Soudal starting in 2020.
The reigning Paris-Roubaix champion raced in past iterations of the Lotto-Soudal organization – Silence-Lotto and Omega Pharma-Lotto – from 2009 to 2011 before stints at BMC and Quick-Step. His time there saw him deliver some of the biggest results of his career, including a sweep of the Ardennes Classics in 2011.
In the signing announcement from Lotto-Soudal, Gilbert confirmed rumors that emerged in recent weeks that he was seeking a longer-term contract than Deceuninck-Quick-Step was willing to give him.
“I still wanted to race, without any doubt. When I learned that I could prolong at my current team for only one year, it was clear to me that I wanted to change,” he said. “The clearest interest and project was the one of Lotto Soudal. Of course, I know the team, a lot of riders and staff are no strangers to me, I know the spirit and I will again be part of a Belgian project.”
Urán leads EF Education First at the Vuelta
Rigoberto Urán will lead EF Education First at the Vuelta a España, at the head of a team that also features other all-rounders like Tejay van Garderen and Hugh Carthy.
“The Vuelta is a beautiful race,” Urán said. “I have won stages here but never been on the podium. That’s a huge motivation going into it. This year has been a bit of an unusual year. I’ve had very few days of racing, and I felt good at the Tour, so I see a great opportunity here at the Vuelta, especially with the strong team we have racing.”
Daniel Martínez, Sergio Higuita, Mitch Docker, Lawson Craddock, and Logan Owen comprise the rest of the starting eight for EF in the final Grand Tour of the season.
Hermans wins Tour of Utah, Dombrowski takes final stage
Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) wrapped up the overall victory at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, defending his lead with a fourth-place finish on Sunday’s final stage in Park City.
The challenging, 125.9-kilometer stage 6 saw plenty of action, with Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) putting in multiple attacks after the early break was caught. The 28-year-old American ultimately soloed clear on the climb over Empire Pass and held on to the Park City finish to take the stage victory ahead of Joao Almeida (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Keegan Swirbul (Floyd’s).
Hermans stood atop the final GC podium with James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS) finishing in second overall and Dombrowski taking third.
Movistar takes the multiple leader approach to the Vuelta
Movistar has confirmed its lineup for the 2019 Vuelta a España, and as anyone around the world of cycling would have probably guessed, the squad will have an abundance of potential leaders. The strong trio of Richard Carapaz, Nairo Quintana, and Alejandro Valverde will headline Movistar’s lineup for the Spanish WorldTour team’s home Grand Tour.
Carapaz is the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, while Valverde and Quintana both count past Vuelta victories on their career palmares, in 2009 and 2016, respectively.
Marc Soler, Imanol Erviti, Nelson Oliveira, Jorge Arcas, and Antonio Pedrero comprise the rest of the roster for Movistar as the team heads to its 40th straight Vuelta a España.
Astana’s Vuelta roster will feature both López and Fuglsang
Astana will bring both of the team’s GC stars to the upcoming Vuelta a España. The squad has announced a roster for the Spanish Grand Tour that features Miguel Ángel López and Jakob Fuglsang.
For Fuglsang, the race will be his first start since he crashed out of the Tour de France this July. The 34-year-old Dane entered the Tour among the top overall favorites but crashed multiple times and abandoned on stage 16.
For López, this year will mark the fourth straight time he has started the Vuelta. The 25-year-old Colombian finished third overall in 2018.
Ion and Gorka Izagirre, Omar Fraile, Luis León Sánchez, Dario Cataldo, and Manuele Boaro round out Astana’s Vuelta roster.
Campenaerts to NTT
After two seasons with Lotto-Soudal, world hour record holder Victor Campenaerts will join Dimension Data’s new iteration as Team NTT in 2020.
“I’m really looking forward to my new adventure with Team NTT next year,” the time trial specialist said in Dimension Data’s signing announcement.
“The contact that I had with the team earlier on [in the year] was immediately really positive – with riders at first, then with some of the staff and later on directly with Doug Ryder. The common interests were very positive for both parties, and we didn’t need talk too much in order for us to agree on working together.”
Gaviria, Aru, Pogacar headline UAE-Team Emirates at the Vuelta
UAE-Team Emirates is looking to be in the mix in both the battle for stages and the overall fight at the Vuelta a España. The team has announced a lineup that includes sprinting star Fernando Gaviria as well as former overall champion Fabio Aru, with up-and-comer GC rider Tadej Pogacar set to make his first Grand Tour start too.
The team’s Vuelta lineup will also include Valerio Conti, Sergio Henao, Marco Marcato, Sebastian Molano, and Oliviero Troia.
King and Chapman take SBT GRVL wins
Former WorldTour pro Ted King and current TIBCO-SVB pro Brodie Chapman emerged as winners of the inaugural SBT GRVL race Sunday in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Each took home a US$5,000 check for finishing first across a 141-mile (227km) course that delivered 9,000-feet (2743m) of elevation gain, with over 100 miles of gravel roads winding through Steamboat Springs and surrounding Routt County.
King (Cannondale) finished with a 1:54 gap ahead of Payson McElveen (Orange Seal), while Chapman finished 2:38 ahead of teammate Lauren Stephens, who punctured about 60 miles into the race. Impressively, Chapman finished 15th overall on the day out of a mixed field of over 400 total competitors.
“I came here to win,” said Chapman. “Unfortunately my teammate Lauren got a flat and I knew I had to keep going so I just pushed on and tried to hold the wheel and stay out of the wind. It got really fast.”
On a shorter, 100-mile (161km) course, Kiwi Ella Harris (Canyon–SRAM) won the women’s race with an overall time of 4:59:40, the only woman to break five hours. Her Canyon-SRAM teammate Tiffany Cromwell finished second, in 5:06. Harris finished the 100-mile course fifth overall out of a mixed field of 500 total competitors, less than two minutes behind men’s winner Gary Holt.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Alejandro Valverde and Rigoberto Urán on stage 13 of the 2018 Vuelta a España. Photo: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018