Kittel retires, Evenepoel extends, Vos wins in Norway: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Marcel Kittel announces his retirement from professional cycling, Marianne Vos wins stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway, rising star Remco Evenepoel extends with Deceuninck-Quick-Step. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Kittel announces his retirement

Marcel Kittel has retired from professional cycling.

The 31-year-old German stepped away from the sport in May, leaving the Katusha-Alpecin team that he joined last year. He announced his retirement on Friday, bidding his racing career farewell with a post on his Instagram page and also offering an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel.

Kittel’s pro career started with the Skil-Shimano squad (now Sunweb) and then took him to the Quick-Step organization, and at various times with those two teams he was cycling’s clear number one in the sprints. On three separate occasions (2013, 2014, and 2017) he established himself as the dominant sprinter with multiple stage victories at the Tour de France. Across his career, he won a total of 17 stages there.

Results were harder to come by after he transferred to Katusha-Alpecin in 2018, picking up two pro wins in March of that year and then no more for the rest of that season.

Marcel Kittel wins stage 2 of the 2017 Tour de France. Photo: Gruber Images

Kittel told Der Spiegel that he had “lost all motivation to keep torturing myself on a bike,” and also cited the high-pressure environment at Katusha-Alpecin as a motivating factor in his decision to take a break this spring.

During his time away from racing, Kittel and his partner announced they were expecting their first child. Three and a half months after stepping away, he has come to the more permanent decision to retire for good.

“The sport and the world you live in are defined by pain,” he told Der Spiegel. “You don’t have time for family and friends, and then there’s the perpetual tiredness and routine.

“As a cyclist, you are on the road for 200 days of the year. I didn’t want to watch my son grow up via Skype.

Socially Speaking

It seems like Peter Sagan taking a shower is a powerful marketing tool. Good on Hansgrohe for investing in cycling, and good on Sagan for making it worth the company’s while.

Race Radio

Marianne Vos wins stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway

Defending overall champion Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) took an impressive win on stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway, and now leads the general classification.

The 32-year-old Dutchwoman, who has won the last two editions of the event, soloed clear in the lumpy circuit finale of Friday’s 133.6-kilometer stage from Mysen to Askim. Attacking with around five kilometers to go, Vos opened a healthy gap and then held on all the way to the finish – despite a furious chase behind – to take the win. Alice Barnes (Canyon-Sram) led Marta Bastianelli (Virtu) and the rest of the chasers over the line.

Vos’s big ride propelled her to the top of the GC standings, with stage 1 winner Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel-Valkenburg) now in second on the same time as the WorldTour stage race heads into its third stage on Saturday.

Evenepoel extends with Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Deceuninck-Quick-Step has invested in the future with an extension of rising star Remco Evenepoel.

The up-and-coming Belgian made his WorldTour debut this season at just 19 years old as one of cycling’s top prospects, and he has quickly confirmed his talent at the top level. In just his first year, he already come up big in races like the Clásica San Sebastián.

Remco Evenepoel wins the Clásica San Sebastián. Photo: Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2019

He has now signed on to stay with Deceuninck-Quick-Step through 2023.

“The team have believed in me from the very beginning and that means a lot,” Evenepoel said. “Signing a new deal was the logical thing to do and after talking with Patrick [Lefevere, team CEO] about it, I agreed immediately.”

Deceuninck-Quick-Step will see some of its biggest names depart next year, with Elia Viviani, Philippe Gilbert, and Enric Mas all having announced deals elsewhere this transfer season, but in Evenepoel, the team can count on the services of one of the sport’s most promising riders for a further four years, a very lengthy commitment as bike racing contracts go.

Dygert-Owen wins Colorado Classic opener

Chloé Dygert-Owen (Twenty20 Sho-Air) delivered a dominant performance to win the opening stage of the Colorado Classic on Thursday.

The 22-year-old American finished 44 seconds ahead of Whitney Allison (Hagens Berman-Supermint), Brodie Chapman (Tibco-SVB), and the rest of a select chase group.

Dygert-Owen stayed with a dwindling peloton for most of the 85.6-kilometer stage that started and finished in Steamboat Springs before putting in a big attack on the gravel descent off the final climb inside the last 20 kilometers. She quickly built a big gap that the chasing group was unable to close, and soloed to the win and the first leader’s jersey.

The race continues on Friday with an 81-kilometer stage 2 in and around Avon. You can catch the action here:

Hansen nabs Tour of Denmark stage 3

Lasse Norman Hansen (Corendon-Circus) won the third stage of the Tour of Denmark, winning a sprint out of a small group. Hansen topped Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Niklas Larsen (ColoQuick) at the end of a hilly 199.7-kilometer stage from Holstebro to Vejle.

Larsen now leads the general classification with a six-second advantage over Hansen.

Dyball wins Indonesia finale

Ben Dyball (Sapura) has picked up another victory amid what has been a huge year already. The 30-year-old Australian, who won the Tour de Langkawi in April, climbed to victory on Friday’s fifth and final stage at the Tour of Indonesia. He finished over a minute ahead of second-place Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee), with Meijers’s teammate Amir Kolahdozhagh in third nearly five minutes down.

Frenchman Thomas Lebas (Kinan) took the overall win ahead of Australia’s Angus Lyons (Oliver’s Real Food) with Meijers rounding out the final podium

Mullen renews with Trek-Segafredo

Ryan Mullen has extended his contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2021.

The 25-year-old Irishman, who counts four Irish time trial titles and two road race titles on his career palmares, has slotted into a key role in Trek’s Classics squads in recent years, while also hunting results in TTs throughout the season.

Evans climbs to stage 8 victory at the Tour de l’Avenir

Australian up-and-comer Alexander Evans stormed to victory on stage 8 of the Tour de l’Avenir, one of the sport’s biggest events for under-23 talents.

Evans was the first rider across the line on a day that cut straight to the chase – at just 23.1 total kilometers, stage 8 was essentially a mass start hill climb of the the Col de la Loze. Evans crested the climb 12 seconds ahead of Michel Ries of Luxembourg with Clément Champoussin of France in third. Norway’s Tobias Foss now leads the Tour de l’Avenir general classification with American Matteo Jorgenson in second overall.

Tech News

2020 Liv Pique 29 – A World Cup Ready XC Bike

While the new Liv Pique 29 may have the same name as the first generation Pique introduced in 2016, the two bikes bear little resemblance. The bike has morphed from a small-wheeled trail bike into a big-wheeled cross-country race machine. The Pique 29 is Liv’s first mountain bike that has a full carbon frame and, with an entirely new design, it is much better suited to cross-country racers than the previous Pique was. The Pique 29 is aimed at experienced mountain bikers who are interested in XC racing and epic rides.

The bike is offered in size XS through Large and there are six price points available. With aluminum models starting at $2,050 USD and the carbon models going all the way up to $12,300, the Pique 29 is sure to please high school racers’ parents and World Cup regulars alike. All models have dropper posts, women’s specific geometry and saddles, and 100mm of suspension that is tuned for lighter riders. Read Pinkbike’s Sarah Moore’s first ride impressions on the Liv Pique 29 here.

In case you missed it …

Feature Image: Marianne Vos sprints to victory on stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway. Photo: Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2019

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