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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
The Netherlands wins the inaugural TTT mixed relay world title, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot adds a MTB marathon world title to her palmares, Tom Dumoulin says things are going in “the right direction” as he recovers from his lingering knee issues. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Netherlands wins inaugural TTT mixed relay world title
The 2019 UCI Road World Championships got underway on Sunday in Yorkshire with the first ever team time trial mixed relay event, which has replaced the TTT for trade teams. The Dutch squad started the day as the clear favorite, and finished the day as the inaugural champion.
With a men’s trio of Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, and Jos van Emden followed by a women’s trio of Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus, and Amy Pieters, the Netherlands set a combined mark of 38:27 over their respective trips around the 14-kilometer course.
That was good enough to top Germany by 23 seconds, with Great Britain 51 seconds back on the Netherlands to take bronze just ahead of Italy.
“It’s amazing. So fantastic to be world champion here,” Mollema said. “It was so hard to do a TTT with three riders, so much harder than with seven or eight.”
The British team spent a long stretch in the hot seat after setting a strong early time on rain-slicked roads in Harrogate, but the last three squads to roll off the start ramp – Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands – were among the top contenders for the win.
Following a solid ride by the Italian men, the Italian women set strong times at the intermediates before Elisa Longo Borghini sustained a mechanical. Although she remounted and ultimately rejoined her two teammates, the Italian hopes faded as the team finished a few seconds behind the host nation.
Nothing would stand in the way of a battle for gold between the German and Dutch teams, however. The German men produced a solid time before an excellent ride from the German women propelled the team to the top of the standings. There was no lengthy stay in the hot seat in store, however, as the men’s trio kicked things off well for the Dutch team before the women closed it out with a dominant ride to take a clear first ever TTT mixed relay world title.
Dimension Data’s Ben King shed some light on the difficulty of racing a Grand Tour with this Tweet on Saturday. Riding this year’s Vuelta a España with a Tour de France in the legs looks like it was hard.
Then there’s this from Philippe Gilbert, who has the solution to flatting multiple times on a training ride.
Niewiadoma extends with Canyon-SRAM
Kasia Niewiadoma will stay with Canyon-SRAM for a further two seasons.
The Polish all-rounder has enjoyed some big successes in recent years. She won the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in 2017 while racing for WM3, and then joined Canyon-SRAM in 2018. She won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in her first season with the team and the Amstel Gold Race this year, among other strong results.
“It’s not just about performance though. I also like how the team pays attention to my wellbeing. The team is there to help and understand me and not just to take from me because I’m a good bike rider,” Niewiadoma, 24, said in the team’s announcement of the extension.
“It’s part of the reason why I’ve extended my contract. I don’t want to run to another team environment. I want to build on what we have achieved and learned so far.”
Ferrand-Prevot adds MTB marathon world title to palmares
Cross-country mountain bike world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot was not content with holding just one world title. On Sunday, she stormed to victory at MTB marathon Worlds.
The 27-year-old Frenchwoman, who in 2015 held the world titles of road, MTB, and cyclocross all at the same time, took the convincing win at marathon Worlds in Grachen, Switzerland ahead of Slovakia’s Blaza Pintaric and South Africa’s Robyn De Groot.
“I did not expect to win at all,” Ferrand-Prevot said after the race. “It means a lot to me, especially after the hard times I’ve had.”
Colombia’s Héctor Leonardo Páez rode to victory on the men’s side, topping Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic and Samuele Porro of Italy.
Dumoulin expected to make full recovery
Tom Dumoulin, who will leave Sunweb for Jumbo-Visma at the start of the new year, has posted an update on his recovery from the knee injury that has derailed his 2019 campaign. The 28-year-old Dutchman, dealing with a nagging knee issue since he crashed during this year’s Giro d’Italia, says doctors have told him things are going “in the right direction.”
“As [you] may or may not have heard, I had a second operation on my knee at the end of July,” he wrote. “I kept having problems with my left knee, the knee I crashed on in the beginning of the Giro. Further examinations in July showed that the quadriceps tendon was too badly damaged to expect full recovery and strength without operation. So the doctors decided I needed a second operation to clean the tendon of unhealthy tissue and to stitch it back up.”
According to Dumoulin, “the operation went very well.” Although the healing process will continue to take time, Dumoulin wrote that his “doctors have not doubt that my knee will not hold me back from coming back to my normal level.”
Theuns wins Primus Classic
Trek-Segafredo’s Edward Theuns took his first victory since 2017 on Saturday at the Primus Classic, one of a wide array of one-day races this weekend featuring riders making their final tune-ups for road Worlds.
Theuns topped Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann – more on him in a moment – and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) in a sprint finale. Also of note from on the day was a short-lived but immensely impressive attack from Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), who sure is looking strong one week before his rainbow jersey bid.
Lutsenko rolls on with Memorial Marco Pantani victory
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) is enjoying a great run in Italy. Two days after winning the Coppa Sabatini, he picked up another UCI 1.1-rated win at the Memorial Marco Pantani on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Kazakh all-rounder bested Diego Rosa (Ineos) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) in the lumpy race to Cesenatico.
Trentin takes Trofeo Matteotti
The Italian one-day circuit rolled on with the Trofeo Matteotti on Sunday, where a rider from the Italian national selection took the victory. Mitchelton-Scott’s Matteo Trentin, of course, also happens to be a WorldTour talent with stage wins across all three Grand Tours on his career palmares.
As often happens in this stretch of races, the Italian national team at the Trofeo Matteotti was composed of some heavy hitters whose WorldTour squads did not send a full line-up of riders to make the start. Trentin therefore took the the victory in his national colors, proving his form ahead of Worlds, where he is expected to be the leader for the Italian selection. Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Daniel Savini (Bardiani-CSF) rounded out the Trofeo Matteotti podium.
Ackermann wins Gooikse Pijl
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann picked up his 11th victory in what has been a very impressive 2019 campaign at Sunday’s Gooikse Pijl.
The 25-year-old German took a no-doubt victory in the sprint – as he has done often this year – ahead of Alberto Dainese (SEG Racing Academy) and Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert).
Pedersen wins Grand Prix d’Isbergues
Last but not least of the numerous mid-level one-day races from the weekend was the Grand Prix d’Isbergues, where Trek-Segafredo took the top two spots on the podium.
Mads Pedersen stuck a successful long-range attack to nab the victory, with John Degenkolb topping Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) in the sprint for runner-up honors out of the peloton behind.
Feature Image: The Dutch men’s trio in the team time trial mixed relay at Yorkshire Worlds. Photo: SWPics/Cor Vos © 2019