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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Primoz Roglic mulls his 2020 calendar, Romain Bardet says he is hoping to re-find his ‘punch’ this offseason, Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni top Mark Cavendish and Owain Doull at Six Day London. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Roglic’s 2020 calendar not yet decided, but he expects to be at the Tour
Jumbo-Visma will have some tough decisions to make in 2020. With Primoz Roglic, Steven Kruijswijk, and new signee Tom Dumoulin all on the roster, the team has multiple bona fide Grand Tour contenders, but it remains to be seen which GC star will go to which race next year. The Giro d’Italia as a possible alternative for any one of the three.
Primoz Roglic, for his part, says his plans remain uncertain – but he expects to race the Tour.
“The routes for the Giro and the Tour are out but I have not been able to study them in depth. I like both [races], but I think I will be in France,” he told Marca.
Roglic put together an impressive 2019 campaign, with GC victories in three WorldTour one-week races, a podium and two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and an overall title and a stage win at the Vuelta a España among his many big results. He closed out his season as the UCI’s highest ranked rider in the world.
Next year, Roglic is hoping to improve on the fourth-place finish he registered at the 2018 Tour. The 2020 edition of the race will be short on time trial miles, which is not ideal for Roglic or for his incoming teammate Dumoulin, but the stage 20 uphill TT will present an opportunity for him to put his big engine to the test.
“The time trial on La Planche des Belles Files is where I can make big gains,” he said. “It is the stage that like most. I would love to put on the yellow jersey there and then wear it in Paris.”
It won’t be easy taking on Ineos and the likes of Egan Bernal, Chris Froome, and Geraint Thomas, but Jumbo-Visma looks to be among the few teams in the peloton with the firepower to at least have a chance. Echoing what others in the squad have said in recent weeks following the signing of Dumoulin, Roglic noted that his team is not underestimating the challenge, but confident in its prospects in the three-week races.
“I think we can fight to win the three Grand Tours with Dumoulin, Kruijswijk, and me,” he said. “But you always have to have respect for rivals. Bernal, Froome, [Miguel Ángel] López, [Vincenzo] Nibali, [Alejandro] Valverde, Nairo [Quintana], they are many and increasingly younger, like my compatriot [Tadej] Pogacar.”
This heartwarming video is also a great display of team tactics. There are WorldTour squads out there that don’t work together this well.
“A long way to go” and “a lot of work to do” yet for Froome
Chris Froome (Ineos) was in Japan over the weekend for the Saitama Criterium, where he rode in a team time trial exhibition but not the criterium itself as he continues to work his way back from injuries sustained in a June crash. He expounded on his status in interviews with media in Japan, saying that he will need more surgery before he is back to his best.
“I’m in an extremely fortunate position that I am even back on a bike again at this stage,” Froome told Eurosport.
“I had some pretty horrific injuries and I’ve still got to have another surgery. I’ve got to remove some of the metal in my hip and my elbow.
“It’s gone extremely well but I’ve got a long way to go and I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Froome, 34, is hoping to return to bona fide racing in February of next year. Whether he can then return to the level that has seen him win four Tours de France over the course of his career “remains to be seen,” as he told Cyclingnews.
“There are no guarantees,” he said. “What I know is that I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got. I still feel as if I’ve got more in me.”
Bardet branches out
After a season that didn’t go as well as he had hoped, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) is broadening his horizons in an attempt to get back to his best. The 28-year-old Frenchman, who won the king of the mountains title at this summer’s Tour but did not achieve the GC results he was looking for either there or elsewhere on the calendar, says he is planning to mix it up this offseason away from the road racing world.
“I’m doing some riding on the track, and I’m going to do some cyclocross in November. I’ve always loved cyclocross, and have done a bit at a low level, but it will hopefully help me rediscover my ‘punch,’ because that was what was really lacking this year,” Bardet told Cyclingnews.
“I wasn’t that far below par, but I was unable to accelerate, and you can’t win races that way. I need to find a way to get that punch back.”
Bardet’s 2020 schedule is not yet set in stone, and there is a chance that he will ride the Giro before the Tour next summer. However his calendar ends up looking, he is ready to put this year behind him. As he told Cyclingnews, “I’ve never been this motivated in October.”
Viviani and Consonni top Cavendish and Doull at Six Day London, Archibald and Evans win women’s event
The Six Day London went down to the wire, with Sunday’s final night of racing seeing a close battle for the top spot in the standings. Mark Cavendish and Owain Doull led into the final day, but Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni, who will ride together at Cofidis next year, came up big in the last few events.
The Italian duo came away with the win after a strong showing in the Final Chase Madison, leaving Cavendish and Doull to settle for second. Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga took third.
Katie Archibald and Neah Evans rode to a convincing victory in the three-day women’s event. Laura Kenny and Elinor Barker took runner-up honors with Emily Nelson and Manon Lloyd in third.
Happy birthday to …
Julio Jiménez is 85. The Spaniard was among the best climbers of his era, winning three KOM jerseys each at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España and multiple stages at all three Grand Tours.
A few big names in today’s peloton are celebrating birthdays as well.
Warren Barguil and Victor Campenaerts may have very different skill sets – the former has won the polka dot jersey and the latter is the world hour record holder – but both were born on the October 28, 1991, making today their shared 28th birthday.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Primoz Roglic and Alejandro Valverde on stage 5 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: ©kramon