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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Dylan Groenewegen extends for four more years with Jumbo-Visma, Fernando Gaviria tops Pascal Ackermann to win stage 5 of the Tour of Guangxi, Brent Bookwalter and Georgia Williams renew with Mitchelton-Scott. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Groenewegen extends with Jumbo-Visma
Dylan Groenewegen has signed a lengthy contract extension that will keep him at Jumbo-Visma for the next four seasons, the team announced on Monday.
The 26-year-old Dutchman has ridden with the squad since 2016, when he went WorldTour with the team then called LottoNL-Jumbo after a Pro Continental year with Roompot-Oranje. Over the past few seasons, he has established himself as one of the top sprinters in the sport. He enjoyed a breakthrough 2017 campaign, winning the final stage of the Tour on the Champs-Èlysèes, followed that up with another strong 2018 where he won two Tour stages, and enjoyed success throughout the season this year.
His 2019 win count of 15 was the highest in the men’s pro peloton this season, and that haul included another Tour stage win, bringing his career total to four.
“I joined the team at the age of 22. Since then, I have improved a lot. This happened to every rider who joined the team. We started at zero and look where we are now,” Groenewegen said in the team’s announcement.
“I am where I want to be and the team is where it wants to be. This team is doing very well. When I indicate things that can be improved, they will be examined and the people in the team will start working on them. That’s the deciding factor for me to stay here.”
With the Japan Cup in the books, Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) looks to be done racing for the season and ready for a break. Before ‘going into hibernation,’ however, he cataloged all of his travel during a busy 2019 season in a post on Instagram. Pro cyclists bounce around the globe quite a bit…
Gaviria wins Guangxi stage 5
Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) has finally gotten into a groove as the 2019 season winds down. The 25-year-old Colombian, whose 2019 campaign has been marred by injury, picked up his second win of the Tour of Guangxi on Monday, winning stage 5 in Guilin.
Just as he had done in stage 1 of the race, Gaviria out-kicked Pascal Ackerman (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) to win stage 5.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Enric Mas remains in the overall lead with one stage left to go in the six-day WorldTour race in China.
The 212.2-kilometer stage from Liuzhou was the longest of the race, and featured a few climbs inside the last 70 kilometers that saw some aggressive riding at the front of the pack. After the initial break was caught, a few riders tried their luck on the gradients, with Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) among those attempting to get clear on the third of three late climbs.
He was unable to open much of a gap, however, and although the flurry of activity caused splits in the pack, the fast finishers caught back on before long to set up a bunch kick. In the ensuing sprint, Gaviria launched from around 250 meters out with a clear path to the finish on the left side of the road. Ackermann jumped from a collection of sprinters to Gaviria’s right and tried to pull even, but Gaviria won convincingly at the line.
— Velon CC (@VelonCC) October 21, 2019
The race – and the 2019 WorldTour calendar – comes to a close on Tuesday in Guilin.
Mitchelton-Scott re-signs Brent Bookwalter, Georgia Williams
The Mitchelton-Scott organization has been busy signing various members of both its men’s and women’s rosters to contract extensions, and the announcements continue to roll out.
On the men’s side, Brent Bookwalter will ride on with Mitchelton-Scott into 2020. The 35-year-old American joined the team this year after more than a decade with BMC.
“He has had some illnesses and untimely injuries, but he is an experienced campaigner and we brought him to the team because we see the value in his experience and his leadership,” sports director Matt White said of Bookwalter, who rode through crashes and health issues in a tough 2019 season.
“The reason he is staying is because we know things happen in a career and in a season, but we know how hard he is working and we know the value to the team he can be.”
On the women’s side, Georgia Williams will stick with Mitchelton-Scott another season. The 26-year-old New Zealander joined the squad in 2017, and has won multiple national titles since, taking the New Zealand road race championship last year and winning the TT for the past two seasons. Williams said in the team’s announcement of her extension that she is looking forward to 2020 after the remainder of her 2019 campaign did not go as well as she had hoped.
“I was super happy to sign, especially after not having such a good year, you’re always nervous about what the management and staff are thinking, so I’m super grateful to them for supporting me for another year,” she said.
“I had a bit of a rough season, but I’m looking forward to putting that behind me, refocusing and sort of proving myself and making up for my not-so-good year.”
Boonen avoids injury in motorsport crash
Tom Boonen may have retired from racing on two wheels, but now he’s racing on four, and the former Classics star had a busy weekend in the Netherlands at the Assen motorsport track.
On Saturday, Boonen won a Supercar Challenge race. On Sunday, he was involved in a dramatic crash in the final Belcar Endurance Championship race, where the car of fellow driver Kenneth Heyer landed on top of his. Both cars were traveling at over 200 kilometers per hour when the collision happened. Fortunately, both avoided major injuries in the incident.
“I passed Kenneth and he came in too early and hit me. The rest is one long crash that could have ended very badly,” Boonen said, according to HLN. “I don’t think he saw me. The car literally landed on my car 10 centimeters from my head. I was really very lucky.”
Alarcón provisionally suspended
Raúl Alarcón (W52-FC Porto), two-time winner of the Volta a Portugal, has been provisionally suspended by the UCI for the “use of prohibited methods and/or prohibited substances.”
Reports emerged in May that the 33-year-old Spaniard had registered abnormal values in his biological passport. Alarcón has not raced since June, and as of this week, he is on the UCI’s provisional suspension list, although details on the exact nature of his violation remain unclear.
In other news …
Amsterdam’s ongoing efforts to reduce personal car use
Already known as a city full of cyclists in a country famous for its cycling infrastructure, Amsterdam recently announced further plans to encourage cycling, walking, and public transit over personal car travel through the city.
In addition to expanding Amsterdam Metro access, city government is relying on what the Dutch refer to as “knips” (“cuts” in English), closing off brief sections of long streets. The strategy keeps much of the route accessible to cars, but discourages the street’s use for journeys across town.
City Lab has more on Amsterdam’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of personal cars in the city.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Dylan Groenewegen wins stage 7 of the Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon