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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Wout van Aert says he is considering seeking compensation from the ASO after his Tour de France crash, Antonio Tiberi overcomes a mechanical moments into his ride to win the junior men’s time trial at Yorkshire Worlds, Aigul Gareeva holds on to win the women’s title despite a late detour off course, Nicolas Roche renews with Sunweb. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Van Aert considers legal action against ASO after crash at Tour de France
Wout van Aert and Jumbo-Visma have reportedly sent a formal letter to the ASO accusing the Tour de France organizer of not taking adequate safety measures when setting up the barriers along the time trial course for stage 13 of the 2019 Tour de France, where van Aert crashed this July. According to Het Nieuwsblad, rider and team are looking into possibly seeking compensation from the ASO.
Van Aert has not raced since he crashed heavily after clipping a barrier while rounding a tricky corner in Pau. The fall left him with a serious leg wound, which has required a lengthy period off the bike. The three-time world cyclocross champion will miss at least some – and possibly more – of this year’s ‘cross season before he is healthy enough to race again.
“The severity of the injury is a consequence of the placement of the barriers,” he told media at this weekend’s Gooikse Pijl, according to Cyclism’Actu. “My management group is currently studying a claim for financial compensation.”
On a brighter note, van Aert also said that his recovery has been going well recently.
“The real rehabilitation began two and a half weeks ago, and as you can see, I’m doing pretty well, compared to a few weeks ago, the improvement is remarkable,” he said, according to the Belga news agency.
“I feel more like a sportsman now that I can go to the physiotherapist and do muscle building exercises. I’m already swimming and I’ve been riding for one hour on the home trainer, it’s very positive.”
The sock height checkers are out in full force at Yorkshire Worlds, and that’s led to some consternation in some circles of the cycling social media world.
Tiberi and Gareeva win junior world time trial titles
Antonio Tiberi (Italy) dealt with mechanical problems in the first hundred meters of his ride and Aigul Gareeva (Russia) made a brief detour off the course, but both riders overcame their respective issues to claim the junior time trial titles at Yorkshire Worlds on Monday.
Tiberi, 18, stayed calm after losing a chunk of time dealing with mechanical troubles just moments after the start, and ultimately put in an impressive ride in the men’s race in Harrogate.
The Italian’s time of 38:28 in the 27.6-kilometer TT was eight seconds faster than that of runner-up Enzo Leijnse (Netherlands). Germany’s Marco Brenner rounded out the junior men’s TT podium.
Gareeva took a narrow women’s victory despite a late miscue. Not far from the end of a great ride on the 13.7-kilometer course, Gareeva took a wrong turn.
She got back onto the course and back into a rhythm, however, to set a time of 22:16, four seconds faster than Dutch runner-up Shirin van Anrooij. Great Britain’s Elynor Bäckstedt took third on the day.
Iserbyt and Nash nab World Cup Waterloo victories
Eli Iserbyt and Katerina Nash took round two of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on Sunday in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
Iserbyt’s victory makes him two for two in the World Cup so far this year and extends his series lead after his win in Iowa City a week prior. In Waterloo, Iserbyt got clear with fellow Belgian Toon Aerts early on a very muddy race. Although Aerts briefly dropped his compatriot at one point, Iserbyt battled back and then soloed away to the win. Aerts finished second, 1:08 back, with Michael Vanthourenhout sealing an all-Belgian podium in third, 1:23 down.
Nash rode into the lead in the first of three laps in the women’s race and hardly looked back, holding on through the tricky course conditions to take the victory and the World Cup series lead following her second-place ride in Iowa.
Jolanda Neff delivered an impressive runner-up ride in Waterloo, steadily gaining ground throughout the race after starting several riders back, while Evie Richards rounded out the women’s podium in third.
Roche signs on for two more years with Sunweb
Sunweb has signed Nicolas Roche to a two-year contract extension, the team announced on Monday.
Roche, 35, joined Sunweb on a one-year deal at the start of this season after spending the past two years with the BMC organization. In more than a decade as a pro, Roche has typically balanced his own stage racing aspirations with domestique duties. He counts two Grand Tour top 10s and two Grand Tour stage wins on his career palmares. He wore the race leader’s red jersey at this year’s Vuelta a España, where he put in a strong showing in the first few days before a bad crash knocked him out of the race.
“He’s one of the most experienced riders in the peloton, having ridden 22 Grand Tours throughout his career; experience that is invaluable in helping the young riders in the team,” said Sunweb coach Marc Reef. “He rode two very good Grand Tours, including three days in the red leader’s jersey at the Vuelta, and he was a reliable team player in stage races throughout the year.”
Mitchelton-Scott signs British up-and-comer Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts will turn pro with Mitchelton-Scott next year on a two-year deal.
The 20-year-old Briton turned heads last season when she won the British national road championships at just 19 years old. She has continued to impress this year, winning two stages at the Tour de Bretagne Féminin in June.
“We wanted to fill a slight gap in the team and get a pure sprinter,” said sports director Martin Vestby. “We had the choice of going for somebody already established or find a new talent that we can let grow in the team and build up in the coming years, and we opted for the latter.”
Denifl facing fraud charges
Stefan Denifl is reportedly facing charges of fraud that could carry a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years. The 32-year-old Austrian confessed to blood doping in March, one of several athletes implicated in the scandal uncovered in Operation Aderlass.
Denifl raced with Aqua Blue Sport last season before announcing his retirement at the end of 2018. After police linked him to the doping ring of Dr. Mark Schmidt, he confessed and accepted a four-year ban from the UCI.
Like his compatriot Georg Preidler, Denifl now faces charges in court, L’Equipe reports. In Denifl’s case, the penalty could be even more severe, with a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison. Austrian prosecutors estimate Denifl’s doping from 2014 up until his retirement could have helped him fraudulently acquire up to €500,000 in sponsorship money.
Astana signs Fabio Felline
Fabio Felline will join Astana for the next years, the team has announced.
The 29-year-old Italian is closing out his sixth season with the Trek-Segafredo organization. A true all-rounder, Felline can hold his own on climbs, in a sprint, and against the clock. His last pro victories came in 2017, when he won the prologue at the Tour de Romandie and the Trofeo Laigueglia.
Keukeleire to join EF
Jens Keukeleire will head to EF Education First next year after two seasons with Lotto-Soudal.
The 30-year-old Belgian is an experienced Classics rider with a handy finishing kick, which he relied on to win a stage at the Vuelta a España in 2016.
“Jens is another piece in assembling an all-powerful Classics armada,” said EF team CEO Jonathan Vaughters in the squad’s announcement of the deal. “He’ll also be useful for reinventing our sprint game alongside Kristoffer Halvorsen. Also, in the view of future objectives with Dani Martínez and Sergio Higuita, we felt an experienced crosswind Jedi like Jens would be useful.”
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: The junior men’s individual time trial podium at Yorkshire Worlds. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2019