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by Dane Cash
August 21, 2019
Photography by Cor Vos, Kristof Ramon
Ineos unveils its Vuelta a España lineup, Deignan talks post-Tokyo retirement plans, Jumbo-Visma’s 2020 budget. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Ineos has unveiled its lineup for the upcoming Vuelta a España. With the team’s big three of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, and Egan Bernal all skipping the race, Wout Poels and Tao Geoghegan Hart will have the golden opportunity of leading the squad at the Spanish Grand Tour.
“I believe we have a really talented blend of youth and experience in this team,” said sports director Nicolas Portal in the team’s roster announcement. “The opportunity for Tao to learn from Wout as they lead our team is a special one and we have faith that both of them can leave their mark on this Vuelta.”
Poels has been a critical lieutenant for the Sky/Ineos organization at the Tour de France over the years, but has also racked up plenty of his own results when given the opportunity. The 31-year-old Dutchman counts a Vuelta top 10 finish on his career palmares, landing sixth overall at the 2017 Vuelta while also riding in support of that year’s winner Chris Froome.
Tao Geoghegan Hart at the Giro d’Italia. Photo: DB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019
Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart, 24, made his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta last year, and then started this year’s Giro d’Italia, which abandoned the race after multiple crashes. After two months away from racing following the Giro, he returned to competition at the Tour of Poland, finishing fifth overall.
Rounding out the Ineos roster for the Vuelta are Grand Tour debutant Owain Doull, Kenny Elissonde, Sebastian Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Salvatore Puccio, and Ian Stannard.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind for many cyclists as a must-do experience, but riding through North Macedonia in search of giant Yugoslavia-era monuments sure leads to some interesting stories and stunning imagery.
Lapedonia: A thunderstorm in the distance at a Spomenik outside Mitrasinci. Photo: Matt Grayson
You can check out the full piece, Spomenik Hunters in the Land of the Macedons, here.
Deignan confirms post-Tokyo retirement plans
Lizzie Deignan’s return to racing after giving birth to her first child has seen her get back to winning ways quickly, as she took the overall title at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in June. The 30-year-old Brit, who rides for Trek-Segafredo, is now looking to the road world championships in her native Yorkshire, with a plan to focus on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Lizzie Deignan at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Photo: Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2019
Then, she plans to hang up the wheels. The former world road champ has mentioned a 2020 retirement at various points in recent months, and confirmed that intention in an interview with Cyclingnews this week.
“That’s been the plan,” Deignan told Cyclingnews. “I’m open-minded to the fact that we are a year and a half out, and that will come around quickly. Perhaps I’ve prematurely set the date. But, yes, that is the plan. Of course, it’s not 100 per cent, and things could change, but for the moment that’s the plan.”
Deignan says she views having a set period to perform as a motivator to keep her pushing for the two big goals ahead.
“What’s got me through some of the times that have gotten hard with juggling everything, is that I have this two-year window to give it absolutely everything,” Deignan said.
“I find it motivating that I’ve given myself a finish line.”
Digesting Dumoulin’s departure from Sunweb
Tom Dumoulin’s transfer from Sunweb to Jumbo-Visma, which will take effect at the start of 2020, was announced on Monday. The 28-year-old Dutchman shed some light on the backstory behind the major move, and the difficulty of deciding to seek an exit from Sunweb despite his long and successful tenure with the team.
As Dumoulin told Dutch broadcaster NOS, the last year saw disagreements emerge between rider and team on a variety of issues, ultimately leading to Dumoulin’s decision to look for a way out.
Tom Dumoulin at Milano-Sanremo. Photo: ©kramon
“The last months have not been fun,” Dumoulin told NOS. “I walked to Iwan [Spekenbrink, team manager] with lead in my shoes. In a number of areas we were so far apart that I thought: This is going to be difficult.”
Dumoulin and Sunweb ultimately agreed to dissolve his contract, leaving him free to go to Jumbo-Visma. Raymond Kerckhoffs’s analysis piece on the situation for De Telegraaf, in which he opines that Dumoulin’s departure is “entirely” the fault of Sunweb brass, is an interesting read.
Jumbo-Visma’s big-budget aspirations
As for Dumoulin’s new team Jumbo-Visma, De Telegraaf reports that the arrival of the 2017 Giro winner and world time trial champ has seen the team’s budget grow to €20 million for 2020.
That puts the squad in the upper echelon of WorldTour payrolls, although it is still well short of Ineos’s budget.
Team manager Richard Plugge told the Dutch newspaper that the Dumoulin acquisition is part of a longer-term goal of contending, even against Ineos, at the world’s biggest stage races.
“First we spoke extensively with our leaders Primoz and Steven. Both realized that the arrival of Dumoulin is a reinforcement,” Plugge said.
“When you have more classification riders, you can play out a strategy just like Team Ineos did in the Tour de France with Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas. It increases the chance for everyone to win once. Our goal is not just to win the Tour. Starting with Vuelta, we want to target overall victory in every Grand Tour.”
Landis vents on Tour of Utah’s request that Floyd’s Pro Cycling race under different name
Floyd’s Pro Cycling temporarily raced as Worthy Pro Cycling at this year’s Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, and according to sponsor Floyd Landis, the name change came at the request of the race.
“We were told the team could come to the race as long as no ‘Floyd’s’ branding appeared anywhere,” Landis told Cyclingnews.
In riding as a team sponsored by Worthy Brewing for a week, Floyd’s did ultimately gain entry to the race. Whether the event’s request was due to opposition to Landis’s CBD business or something more “personal,” as Landis himself suggested, is unclear.
Cyclingnews has more on the unusual story.
All Proviz jackets will soon feature recycled plastic
The use of recycled materials in cycling products has long been at the fringe, but we’re now seeing more dedicated efforts toward environmental responsibility. Visibility wear specialists, Proviz, is such an example, with the inner linings of all of its jackets to be made from Repreve polyester, a product of recycled plastic bottles.
Proviz is also encouraging existing customers to recycle any worn out products by returning them for a 20% discount off a new purchase. Proviz aims to either donate the used items to charity or repurpose the materials for use in other industries.
Dan Martin is 33.
Dan Martin won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2013 after getting away from Joaquim Rodríguez on the final ascent to Ans. Photo: ©kramon
The Irish climber, who is finishing out the year with UAE-Team Emirates before a recently-announced transfer to Israel Cycling Academy in 2020, has compiled a fine collection of career achievements charging up steep climbs. Martin has won both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia and he has taken stage victories at both the Tour and the Vuelta, along with a long list of results in one-week races.
Out of tragedy, new love: The cyclist’s widow and her second husband
Feature Image: Wout Poels wins stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Photo: VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2019