Transfer season is officially underway: Daily News Digest

by Dane Cash

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

Cycling’s transfer season is officially underway, Egan Bernal will lead Ineos at the Clásica San Sebastián, Lucinda Brand will race for Trek-Segafredo and Telenet-Fidea in 2020. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Transfer season begins

Cycling’s transfer season has officially begun.

Although rumors of rider signings tend to emerge from springtime onward, August 1 is the date that kicks off the transfer window, meaning that teams can finally make and announce deals officially. Some very big names are reportedly bound for new digs next year, although most of the rumored transfers remain just that for now.

Lucinda Brand has been the biggest signing announced thus far on the opening day of transfer season. The 30-year-old Dutchwoman, who won the Dutch time trial title this summer and took multiple World Cup wins last cyclocross season, will leave Sunweb at the end of this year to race for Trek-Segafredo on the road and the Telenet-Fidea Lions in cyclocross.

Lucinda Brand at Dutch time trial nationals. Photo: Cor Vos © 2019

Other notable announcements have yet to come, but plenty of WorldTour stars will likely have their 2020 destinations revealed soon.

Nairo Quintana has been rumored for weeks to be set for a transfer from Movistar to Arkéa-Samsic. Elia Viviani is reportedly leaving Deceuninck-Quick-Step for Cofidis, which will jump up to the WorldTour level. Vincenzo Nibali has been linked to a move from Bahrain-Merida to Trek-Segafredo, with Mikel Landa reportedly set for a move to Bahrain-Merida from Movistar. Richard Carapaz is expected to be yet another Movistar departure, with Ineos picking up the Giro d’Italia winner for 2020, while Enric Mas will likely head to Movistar from Deceuninck-Quick-Step.

Enric Mas fighting his way up the Tourmalet. Photo: ©kramon

Tom Dumoulin’s situation is perhaps the biggest question mark. The Dutchman is still under contract with Sunweb, but is reportedly unhappy there and has been connected to Jumbo-Visma.

Expect most of those names and perhaps a few surprises to make their way into headlines in the coming days.

Moving Pictures

The final EF Gone Racing video from the 2019 Tour de France covers that last few wild stages of the race, and offers an opportunity to get to know the families and friends that support the riders along the way.

Race Radio

Bernal back to racing at San Sebastián

Egan Bernal has stayed busy following his Tour de France victory with some post-Tour criterium appearances – he ‘beat’ Jumbo-Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk and Dylan Groenewegen at the Acht van Chaam on Wednesday – but he will get back to bona fide racing on Saturday at the Clásica San Sebastián.

Egan Bernal in post-Tour criterium mode in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Gregory van Gansen/PN/Cor Vos © 2019

The trip to San Sebastián will mark not only a return to WorldTour competition for the 22-year-old Colombian, but also a return to an event that saw him sustain face and head injuries after a fall in his debut there last year. He spent several weeks away from competition following the crash.

His circumstances have improved since then. He heads back to the Basque Country for another run at the race as the defending Tour champ. He headlines an Ineos lineup that also includes fellow Colombian Ivan Sosa as well as Dutch climbing talent Wout Poels.

Tractor accident forces Teuns out of San Sebastian Classic

Belgian cyclist Dylan Teuns will miss the San Sebastian Classic on Sunday after needing 15 stitches in a head wound caused by an accident when driving his tractor, his team announced.

Dylan Teuns (right) and Guilio Ciccone were strongest from the breakaway and battled it out for stage honours.

The 27-year-old, who won stage six on the Tour de France last month, was hurt while gardening at his home in Halen.

“Dylan suffered a facial wound, that required 15 stitches in his forehead,” said Team Bahrain Merida in a statement.

“Due to this, unfortunately, he will miss the upcoming Clasica San Sebastian.”

Irizar retiring after San Sebastián

Markel Irizar will retire after racing one final event this weekend. The 39-year-old veteran has enjoyed a long career as a support rider, having ridden more than 20 Grand Tours, and he will hang up the wheels following Saturday’s Clásica San Sebastián in his home Basque Country.

Bloomberg explores cycling’s economics

On the heels of the Tour, competitive cycling is getting some looks in the non-cycling media this week.

Bloomberg News covers some of the financial angles in a Thursday piece, ‘The Fight to Save Professional Cycling From Itself.’

Cape Epic by the Numbers

Cape Epic organizers have published some interesting numbers from pre- and post-event surveys at this year’s race.

Highlights include an impressive highest ever completion rate of 92 percent (except for our very own Wade and Alby), compared to an average of 86 percent, despite a challenging 2019 route. 57 percent of the field made new bike purchases for the event.

76 percent of bikes were on SRAM drivetrains. 88 percent of riders opted for a single chainring approach, with only eight total riders on triples. Specialized was the most ridden bike brand at nearly one third of the field. Scott and Cannondale were the next most represented rides.

Tech News

Maxxis’ Pursuer training tire now ready

First seen in prototype form at the Taipei Cycle Show, Maxxis’s new low-cost training tire, the Pursuer, is now in production. Size options are still limited, and the tubeless versions are yet to be released, but the 60tpi tyre looks to be a good option for riders who clock mega training miles and want a no-fuss tire.

The Maxxis Re-Fuse will remain in the line, but the Pursuer replaces it as the company’s suggested road training tyre.

Chris King reduces product range

According to Chris King online dealer, the American company has done a house cleaning to simplify its product range. Certain less popular and somewhat defunct sizes for headsets and hubs have been discontinued, but the unexpected news is that all pressfit bottom bracket options are going the way of the Dodo, too. That last point is perhaps quite telling of the common tolerance issues associated with pressfit systems, something Chris King has been quite vocal about in the past.

Chris King will continue to offer service items for (almost) all of its current and previously available components.

Industry News

Bosch acquires a 50 percent stake in Magura Bike Parts

The e-bike market is full of exciting business growth and investments, and the industry’s latest is Bosch acquiring a 50 percent stake in Magura’s bicycle division. Magura, the German brake specialist, will continue in a joint venture with Bosch in an effort to strengthen and expand services to the European e-bike markets. Magura has traditionally been an innovative brand, and it’ll be interesting to see whether these two companies integrate products in the future.

In case you missed it …

Feature Image: Nairo Quintana on the Col du Galibier. Photo: ©kramon

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