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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Fernando Gaviria sprints to his first win since May in the opening stage of the Tour of Guangxi, Sunweb development rider Edo Maas left paralyzed after collision with car at Lombardia U23 race, Mitchelton-Scott extends Jessica Allen. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Gaviria gets his first win since May in stage 1 of the Tour of Guangxi
Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) sprinted to his first victory since May on Thursday in the opening stage of the Tour of Guangxi.
The 25-year-old Colombian, who has had a frustrating 2019 campaign after battling knee pain for much of the spring and summer, topped Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) to finally stand atop a WorldTour podium again months after he was awarded stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia following the relegation of Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Elia Viviani.
“The feeling is amazing because it’s a long time that I haven’t won,” Gaviria said.
“Now, coming back to win in the last race of the season is really good. It’s a boost after the misery of the season, and I can now start the winter with a good feeling.”
The six-day Tour of Guangxi, the final race on the 2019 WorldTour calendar, opened with a 135.6-kilometer stage that started and finished in Beihai. With a mostly flat profile, the stage had the sprinters’ teams motivated to keep things together for a bunch kick.
An early breakaway move was reeled in with around 40 kilometers to go, and a second escape attempt was caught inside the last three kilometers to set up the sprint. Ackermann and Trentin were both well positioned as the fast finishers wound up to speed, but Gaviria exploded past them on the finishing straight to take the win and the first leader’s jersey.
The race continues Friday with a 152.3-kilometer stage 2 from Beihai to Qinzhou.
EF Education First announced on Wednesday that Taylor Phinney will retire after the Japan Cup, spurring some fond farewells and messages of support from his colleagues in the pro peloton, including this good one from Mark Cavendish.
Sunweb development rider left paralyzed after Piccolo Lombardia crash
Edo Maas, a member of the Sunweb development team, remains in the hospital and has been left without feeling in his legs following a collision with a car that had been driven onto the course of the Piccolo Lombardia earlier this month.
“Edo is currently processing the diagnosis that the fracture in his back has led to paraplegia, a loss of nerve feeling in his legs,” read the statement from Sunweb. “At this moment it remains unlikely that functionality in his legs will ever return, but fighting power and hope prevails.”
The 19-year-old Dutchman has undergone multiple surgeries since the October 6 incident, but is now fully conscious and “responds well to family and visiting team mates.”
In the statement, Sunweb called on the UCI to improve safety measures at races.
Mitchelton-Scott extends Jessica Allen
Jessica Allen has signed on for another year with Mitchelton-Scott.
The 26-year-old Australian has been with the Australian WorldTour outfit since 2016, often riding in a support role.
“Every year I feel like I am improving and getting better and next year I want to be able to help further into the hard races,” said Allen, the 2014 Oceania road race champion and 2017 Australian criterium champ. “I love targeting the Classics, I like the technical aspects of them so that will be an area to focus on next year and then I’ll target each block of racing with some good recovery between each.”
Ineos reportedly the favorite to sign Rohan Dennis
Cyclingnews reports that Ineos is now the favorite to sign Rohan Dennis.
The 29-year-old Australian is a free agent after Bahrain-Merida terminated his contract last month.
According to Cyclingnews, Ineos is the front runner to add his services for next year, with CCC as another possible landing spot for the world time trial champion. Movistar has been linked to Dennis as well, but the team is reportedly not in strong contention to sign him.
Ruben Guerreiro to join EF Education First
Ruben Guerreiro will head to EF Education First next season, his new team has announced.
The 25-year-old from Portugal enjoyed a solid 2019 campaign with Katusha-Alpecin after two years with Trek-Segafredo. He rode to eighth overall at the Tour Down Under in January and made his WorldTour debut at this year’s Vuelta a España, where he rode to second on stage 15 behind Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss and finished a respectable 17th overall.
“Ruben is bold, but he can back it up,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters EF’s announcement of the signing. “During contract negotiations, he told me he wouldn’t accept my offer, that he was worth more. He told me to watch the Vuelta the next day and that he’d show me. He didn’t win the stage, but he came second. I was impressed.”
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Fernando Gaviria tops Pascal Ackermann to win stage 1 of the Tour of Guangxi. Photo: Dario Beligheri/RB/Cor Vos © 2019