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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Roompot-Charles will fold at the end of the season, Movistar signs 20-year-old American Matteo Jorgenson, Florian Sénéchal apologizes after scuffle at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro, British e-racing champion stripped of title due to “manipulation of pre-race data”. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Roompot-Charles will close its doors at the end of the season
Dutch Pro Continental team Roompot-Charles will shut down at the end of the 2019 season. After months of searching, team management was unable to find a new sponsor to replace Roompot, which announced earlier this season that 2019 would be the last year of its title sponsorship.
“We’ve waited as long as possible to send this press release,” said team manager Michael Zijlaard. “After all, you keep hoping that a solution can be found somewhere, even though it seemed less likely by the day. Now, unfortunately, it’s definite. After five exciting years we’re saying goodbye to professional cycling with the team.”
The current Roompot-Charles squad, home to Lars Boom and a handful of other notables, formed after the merger of the Roompot and Veranda’s Willem-Crelan teams last winter. Wout van Aert had previously been a member of the latter squad, but he was able to get out of his contract as Veranda’s Willem-Crelan manager Nick Nuyens was negotiating a merger with the Aqua Blue Sport team that, ultimately, did not materialize.
Results were not easy to come by for Roompot-Charles in 2019, but the team did pick up stage victories at the Tour de Yorkshire, the Baloise Belgium Tour, and the Tour de Luxembourg. Unable to secure a new title sponsor, however, team brass is unable to continue the squad into next season.
“In the past few years, lots of riders were able to show their worth in our team colors. We’re proud that many of them have been able to switch to the WorldTour or other professional teams,” said Nuyens. “Now, several riders and staff members have already found a place for next year. We hope that everyone ends up well, we’ll guide them in their search for a new employer.”
The offseason has gotten off to a great start for Geraint Thomas and his family. The 2018 Tour de France champ shared some happy news on social media on Friday morning.
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) October 4, 2019
Sénéchal apologizes after scuffle at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro
Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) has apologized for his part in a dust-up with Max Walscheid (Sunweb) after Thursday’s Sparkassen Münsterland Giro.
— Florian Senechal-Staelens (@flosenech) October 3, 2019
In the moments after Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Álvaro Hodeg sprinted to the race victory, Sénéchal approached Walscheid and hit him in the helmet, apparently in anger over a crash on the finishing straight. Walscheid hit back before Sénéchal’s teammates pulled him away, and the incident was caught on camera.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) October 3, 2019
Sénéchal’s apology on Twitter came shortly after the scuffle, and his team has apparently fined him for his actions.
Movistar signs 20-year-old American Jorgenson
Matteo Jorgenson will join Movistar next year on a two-year deal, making the WorldTour jump at just 20 years old.
— Matteo Jorgenson (@MatteoJorg) October 4, 2019
The American up-and-comer spent much of the year in Europe with French squad Chambéry Cyclisme Formation and also in a brief stagiaire stint with Ag2r La Mondiale, and he turned heads on the under-23 circuit with his versatile skill set. He won the points classification at the Tour de l’Avenir after finishing in the top 5 on four stages there.
“It’s been a year of big changes for me. I’ve had to adapt to living in Europe, and after all that effort I am now prepared to make the jump the top division,” Jorgenson said.
Katusha to back a women’s team
Katusha-Alpecin has confirmed the news that Israel Cycling Academy will manage a newly combined squad after the two organizations signed a three-year deal, and the announcement from the long-running WorldTour team also includes mention of an upcoming women’s squad supported by the Katusha Sports brand of cycling apparel.
“Katusha will shortly announce an exciting partnership with a professional women’s cycling team,” read the statement.
“These 2020 partnerships afford Katusha Sports an opportunity to continue developing its range, using the pro teams as a focus for research and development.”
The statement also clarified that “a majority of riders and staff currently under contract” with the Katusha-Alpecin WorldTour team will be incorporated into the new team with Israel Cycling Academy.
Piccoli heading to Israel Cycling Academy
James Piccoli, who has enjoyed some big results on the North American racing scene in recent years, will join Israel Cycling Academy next season after three years with Elevate-KHS.
“They really believe that I can be a great rider one day and offered me an environment where I can adjust to European racing while helping the team out as best I can,” the 28-year-old Canadian said.
A capable all-rounder, Piccoli counts overall victories at both the Tour de Beauce and the Tour of the Gila on his list of career achievements. He won the prologue and finished second to future Israel Cycling Academy teammate Ben Hermans at this year’s Tour of Utah.
“James has some great climbing legs, but his qualities go beyond that, and he can prove to be a versatile rider,” said Israel Cycling Academy’s Kjell Carlstrom.
British e-racing champion stripped of title due to “manipulation of pre-race data”
British Cycling has stripped Cameron Jeffers of his national e-racing title after upholding a sanction “related to manipulation of pre-race data to gain an unfair advantage via in-game equipment.”
The exact details of Jeffers’s methods were not announced. He initially claimed the e-racing national title in March of this year.
“Defending fair play in our competitions is at the core of our responsibilities as a governing body,” said British Cycling integrity and compliance director Rod Findlay in a statement. “The fact that we have been able to investigate the offense and uphold the charge reflects the strength of our new disciplinary regulations and our determination to pursue misconduct.”
Jeffers has accepted a six-month suspension from competition and a fine of £250. James Phillips, initially the runner-up, has been declared the new national champ.
Giant overhauls its XTC Advanced 29 hardtails
Giant has overhauled its XTC Advanced 29 (carbon) hardtail mountain bike range for 2020. Including both Advanced SL and Advanced-level models, the new 29er-wheeled racing platform sees more progressive geometry, a significant drop in weight, and an increase in comfort. The head angle now sits at 69.5 degrees, while the seat tube is slacked to 73.5.
A medium-sized Advanced SL 29 frame is quoted at 920g, while the more affordable Advanced adds just 75g to that figure – dropping well over 200g from the previous version. Prices for complete bikes start at US$2,500/AU$3,699. We’ll soon have our hands on the Advanced SL 29 1 for review (US$5,000/AU$6,299). In the meantime you can learn more at Giant Bicycles.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Pieter Weening at the Tour of Flanders. Photo: NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2019