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by Dane Cash
October 8, 2019
Photography by Kristof Ramon, Cor Vos
New Bahrain-Merida team principal Rod Ellingworth says he wanted Rohan Dennis to stay, Laurens ten Dam set to retire after Il Lombardia, Sunweb development rider Edo Maas injured in collision with car at Piccolo Lombardia. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Rod Ellingworth, who has joined Bahrain-Merida as Team Principal after a long and successful stretch as head of performance at Sky, is hoping to develop his new team into one of the powerhouses of the pro peloton. As he explained in a recent interview with The Telegraph, the marquee signings the squad has made this transfer season are key to reaching some lofty objectives.
Parting ways with Rohan Dennis, however, was not something Ellingworth wanted to see happen. Ellingworth officially started with the team a few days after Bahrain-Merida terminated Dennis’s contract, a move that came in the wake of a strained relationship between rider and team. Dennis did not race for Bahrain-Merida since pulling out of the Tour de France in July.
Although he did not go into detail on the situation, Ellingworth did point out that he had hoped things played out differently with the two-time world time trial champion.
“One thing I will say is I wanted Rohan to stay,” Ellingworth told The Telegraph. “He was definitely a part of my long-term plans so I’m disappointed at the way things have panned out.”
With Dennis already out and Vincenzo Nibali heading to Trek-Segafredo at the end of this season, Bahrain-Merida will be down one rainbow jersey and one former Tour de France champion heading into 2020. Just the same, some new faces could deliver big results. Mikel Landa, who rode under Ellingworth at Sky before moving to Movistar, is coming on board to be the team’s new Grand Tour leader.
Mikel Landa on stage 14 of the Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon
“[Landa] is clearly one of the most gifted climbers in the world. So natural when he’s up on his pedals. I’m looking forward to working with him again,” Ellingworth said. “I know he had a bit of a reputation at Sky but I never found him a pain in the arse. I feel when speaking with him that’s he’s asking more questions, he’s more proactive. He’s starting to get to grips with what it takes to be a leader.”
Wout Poels, finishing out the year with Ineos, will bring more firepower for the mountains. Ellingworth is hoping that the incoming additions, along with some of the talent already in place, can form part of a core that pulls off big results moving forward.
“I’ve no problem in saying that I want this team to become a grand tour-winning team,” Ellingworth said. “And yes, that means a Tour de France-winning team.”
Mads Pedersen won the elite men’s world road title on September 29 in Yorkshire, and by October 4, he already had a new-look bike ready to be ridden. It was no mean feat to get the 23-year-old Dane his new Trek Madone in time for his first post-Yorkshire race, but a world title means pulling out all the stops to show off the rainbow stripes.
Pictures made by JoostVH Photography
Iain Treloar has the story on the race to get a new world champ his bike.
Ten Dam set to retire after Il Lombardia
Laurens ten Dam (CCC) is getting ready to hang up the wheels. The 38-year-old Dutchman will line up for Milano-Torino on Wednesday and then Il Lombardia on Saturday before retiring from the pro peloton.
Ten Dam has raced at the WorldTour level for more than a decade, and made 18 Grand Tours during his career. He finished in the top 10 at both the 2012 Vuelta a España and the 2014 Tour de France.
Laurens ten Dam at Eschborn-Frankfurt. Photo: Rene Ohlgen/HR/Cor Vos © 2019
“I have only finished Lombardia once before but, I think I am in the right shape to go for another finish and to start celebrating my retirement,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and I hope to finish my career on a high note with the team.”
Sunweb development rider Edo Maas injured after collision with car driven onto course at U23 Lombardia
Edo Maas, a member of the Sunweb development team, was badly injured in a collision with a car that had been driven onto the course at Sunday’s Piccolo Lombardia.
Edo Maas at the Antwerp Port Epic. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2019
According to Sunweb, the 19-year-old Dutchman sustained fractures to his “neck, back, and face,” with doctors still trying to determine “the full extent of his injuries.”
The crash occurred descending off the Madonna del Ghisallo climb.
Sunweb’s update, given at the request of his family, reports that Edo is stable anad his “life is not at threat.”
Bernal, Roglic, Alaphilippe, van Vleuten among Velo d’Or nominees
The nominees for this year’s Velo d’Or have been announced. Vélo Magazine’s Golden Bike award, honoring a rider deemed by a panel of journalists to be the rider of the year, will go to one of 12 riders on a list comprising 11 men and one woman.
Annemiek van Vleuten wins the elite women’s road race at Yorkshire Worlds. Photo: ©kramon
The 2019 Velo d’Or nominees are Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Egan Bernal (Ineos), Richard Carapaz (Movistar), Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott).
The chosen rider will succeed 2018 winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who was not among the nominees this time around.
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Feature Image: Rohan Dennis at Yorkshire Worlds. Photo: ©kramon