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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
André Greipel and Arkéa-Samsic terminate contract, Velon files a complaint against the UCI, Nate Brown is headed to Rally UHC. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Greipel and Arkéa-Samsic parting ways
André Greipel’s contract with Arkéa-Samsic will end one year early.
Rider and team have agreed to dissolve the contract that would have kept the 37-year-old German sprinter with Arkéa through the end of next season. According to a joint announcement, the upcoming Sparkassen Münster Giro on October 3 will be Griepel’s last race of the season and also his last with the French Pro Continental team.
“Four weeks ago, I asked the team to release me from my contract at the end of 2019. [General manager] Emmanuel Hubert and the sporting director agreed,” Greipel said in a statement.
“I want to thank them for this year together. I would have liked to report better results to the team. Unfortunately, I could not prepare properly for our big deadlines. Indeed, during the first part of the 2019 season I had to fight with a bacterium. I only found my abilities at two weeks of the Tour de France.”
Greipel joined Arkéa this season after a long and very successful stretch with Lotto-Soudal. His 2019 campaign, however, saw him only take one victory, on stage 6 of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in January. His appearances in top-division races did not garner big results. A sixth place was his best finish at this year’s Tour. He counts 11 career Tour stage wins on his palmares, but last took a victory there in 2016.
In his own statement, Hubert did not shy away from stating that the brief partnership not turning out the way either had hoped.
“I am inevitably disappointed by André’s performances this season, even though I know he is the first one affected. Our record together is far from satisfactory,” Hubert said.
“An exit from the contract after a year was a possibility, we do not oppose it. This does not detract from his human qualities, appreciated by all, and the experience he has brought to our team. Personally, I met a great champion and a beautiful person.”
What’s next for Greipel now is a question mark. He will take a break after the Münsterland Giro, but is then free to sign elsewhere.
World road champ Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has wasted no time getting out on the bike in her new kit. The 36-year-old Dutchwoman has a few races on her calendar coming up, but she’s already debuted her rainbow jersey on home roads.
It must be cool to have the world champ as your neighbor.
Velon files complaint against UCI
Velon, the organization representing the business interests of 11 WorldTour teams, has filed an anti-trust complaint against the UCI with the European Commission.
“Velon has asked the European Commission to investigate the way the UCI has implemented existing regulations and sought to introduce new ones that are designed to favor the UCI’s business interest to the detriment of the teams,” read a statement.
According to Velon, the UCI has tried to stand in the way of teams’ development efforts with the Hammer Series and live race data.
In the statement, Velon alleges that the UCI ruled that the Hammer Races could not be referred to as a “Series” due to regulations that were left unexplained, and that the UCI threatened to not register the events on the 2020 calendar if the name change did not occur. Velon claims “opposition by the UCI has significantly hampered the development of the Series.”
The statement also referred to new technical regulations from the UCI that sought to give the governing body and race organizers “ownership and control over the teams’ business on live race data.”
Alleging that the UCI has “refused any constructive dialogue for over a year,” Velon has filed a complaint to the European Commission.
Nate Brown headed to Rally UHC
Rally UHC has finalized its 2020 roster by signing Nate Brown, who has spent the last six seasons with EF Education First.
“It’s been an amazing six years, but after taking a step back and speaking with my family, we decided Rally UHC Cycling was best suited for the things I still want to achieve in cycling,” Brown said.
“I’m really looking forward to getting some opportunities to lead and I’m excited to see what I can do.”
The 28-year-old American has raced in six Grand Tours since turning pro with the Slipstream organization back in 2014, generally in a support role. His last pro win, the overall title at the 2013 Tour de Beauce, came when he was with the Bontrager Continental team.
According to Rally’s announcement, Brown will come aboard to fill the road captain role left vacant by a newly retired Svein Tuft.
Dolan: “Punishment braking” caused serious crash
Lauren Dolan, who recently earned a bronze medal as part of the British team time trial mixed relay squad at Worlds, is recovering after a serious crash in training. In a post on Instagram, she described a frightening incident in which an angry motorist passed her and her father while they were out riding, pulled in front of them, and then slammed on the brakes, causing her to crash.
Apparently, “the driver has been found but has denied his actions,” and without footage or other witness, Dolan fears it may be difficult to bring charges despite the “horrible act with malicious intent to harm a cyclist.”
Dolan required surgery on her left shoulder and also sustained a broken collarbone in the incident.
B sample positive for Marion Sicot
Marion Sicot (Doltcini–Van Eyck), who tested positive for EPO at the French national championships in June, has confirmed that the B sample of the test also came back positive.
She continues to deny cheating.
“Despite these results, I once again state my innocence and I will put all my energy to prove it in front of the relevant bodies,” she wrote on Facebook. “It is necessary to raise many doubts and clear up any dark areas.”
Astana signs Óscar Rodríguez
Óscar Rodríguez will join Astana in 2020 after four seasons with Euskadi-Murias.
The 24-year-old Spaniard rode to victory on stage 13 at the 2018 Vuelta a España in Euskadi-Murias’s first Grand Tour appearance. The team is set to close its doors at the end of this season, however, leaving its roster looking for new digs.
Rodríguez, who rode to second overall at the Vuelta a Burgos this year, has found his new team in Astana, where he has signed for the next two years.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: André Greipel at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2019