Teams criticize UCI in open letter: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

The AIGCP details teams’ frustrations with the UCI in an open letter, Sunweb signs British up-and-comer Anna Henderson, Lightweight adds tubeless and gravel capability to new Evo carbon wheelsets. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Teams detail frustrations with UCI in open letter

The Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP), which represents pro cycling teams, has published an open letter containing a long list of grievances with the UCI. In it, the organization expresses “serious concerns about the current level and execution of governance of men’s professional road cycling by the UCI.”

The letter, which was addressed to UCI President David Lappartient and the UCI Management Committee, pushes for “urgent action” on a variety of topics, many of which are closely connected to the many structural changes the UCI has implemented or will implement in the world of road racing as part of wide-reaching 2020 reform plans.

You can read the full letter here.

The AIGCP contends that the UCI is not performing its “core task” of ensuring fair and safe races, that teams are not given a say in the governance of the sport (the letter makes reference to the “taxation without representation” slogan of the American Revolution), and that the UCI interferes “in the commercial domain” often “at the expense of UCI’s own stakeholders: the teams with their riders.”

A growing calendar of races in which teams are expected to participate and the creation of the new Classics Series and rebranding of the ProSeries with minimal input from the teams are cited as examples of the UCI’s missteps.

It remains to be seen what, if any, impact the letter will have, but it marks yet another instance of public opposition of the UCI by men’s road teams. The AIGCP had already released a statement rejecting the Classics Series, while Velon filed complaints against the UCI to the European Commission earlier this month.

Socially Speaking

Peter Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe appear to be mixing up their offseason training routine.

If this video is any indication, maybe Sagan has a future as an axe thrower.

Race Radio

Freeman to admit to ordering banned substance and “telling a lot of lies”

Dr. Richard Freeman, formerly of British Cycling and Team Sky, is set to admit to “telling a lot of lies” in a misconduct hearing.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is looking into a testosterone delivery made to the headquarters of British Cycling and Team Sky in 2011. Freeman is appearing in the hearing, and according to the Daily Mail, his legal representative says he will admit to “telling a lot of lies” in prior statements and to ordering the testosterone.

After previously claiming the shipment of Testogel was mistakenly delivered, Freeman is now reportedly arguing that he ordered the substance for a member of the staff, not an athlete.

A representative form the General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates the medical profession in the United Kingdom, is expected to argue that Freeman’s patient had no need for the testosterone. Freeman could be barred from practicing medicine if found guilty of misconduct, and UK Anti-Doping could take up a case depending on the outcome of the tribunal. Hearings will continue next week.

Read more here.

ASO unveils new Saudi Tour

The ASO has announced that the inaugural edition of the Saudi Tour will take place from February 4 to 8 next year.

A five-stage race set to be held at the UCI 2.1 level, the event will feature racing in and near Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

“We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demands at the beginning of the year,” said ASO CEO Yann Le Moenner in a statement.

The ASO also organizes the Tour of Oman, which starts three days after the final stage of the Saudi Tour, while the RCS-run UAE Tour follows in late February.

Sunweb signs British up-and-comer Anna Henderson

Anna Henderson will join Sunweb next season on a two-year deal. The 20-year-old Briton has put up strong U23 results throughout the past two seasons, particularly this summer, when she claimed Great Britain’s under-23 women’s time trial and road race national titles.

Anna Henderson racing the TTT mixed relay at Yorkshire Worlds. Photo: Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2019

“Anna is a new kid on the block in women’s cycling after taking up the sport late in 2016, having formerly been a junior slalom champion skier in Great Britain,” said Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans. “She’s still young and has showed her potential several times at UCI level this season, highlighting herself as a classics style rider with a strong sprint.”

Tech News

Lightweight adds tubeless and gravel capability to new Evo carbon wheelsets

Lightweight’s new Evo collection includes four newly tubeless-compatible disc-only carbon wheelsets for 2020.

The Meilenstein Evo is the lightest of the bunch at 1,380g (650g front, 730g rear) and features Lightweight’s classic 48mm-deep V-shaped rim profile (which is apparently good enough for Team Ineos). The Wegweiser boasts a more modern 36mm-deep trapezoidal shape and follows closely behind in weight at 1,450g (685g front, 765g rear). Lightweight says both of these are suitable for ’cross and gravel, although some may balk at the 18.2mm internal rim width.

The Fernweg pair is more keenly aimed at aerodynamic efficiency with rounded airfoil profiles. The Fernweg 63 is 63mm-deep and weighs 1,695g (810g front, 885g rear), while the Fernweg 85 has a more aggressive 85mm-deep profile and a claimed weight of 1,765g (840g front, 925g rear). Both feature the same 18.2mm internal width as the Meilenstein Evo and Wegweiser Evo.

Common features for all of Lightweight’s new Evo wheels include DT Swiss hub internals, a unique pentagonal carbon fiber rear hub shell, 20/20 front/rear bladed spoke counts with stiffer fiber blends for “incredible acceleration, unique braking precision, and improved rolling characteristics,” and Center Lock disc rotor compatibility.

At US$5,000 per pair, the Wegweiser Evo is the relative bargain of the quartet thanks to its robotic manufacturing process. The Meilenstein Evo ramps things up to US$7,000, while both Fernweg aero wheels are monumentally pricey at US$9,250.

More information can be found at

Zwift partners with Movember for November

Zwift is getting charitable in November, setting a target of 10,000 Zwifters each riding (or running) 9.9 hours during the month to unlock US$25,000 toward those living with prostate cancer.

Movember is a globally recognised organization doing great work to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention,” says Eric Min Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “These are serious issues that affect not only those who have been diagnosed, but also those around them – families, friends, and co-workers. This is the start of a bigger year-round charity support initiative, so stay tuned for more events in support of great causes over the next 12 months.”

To take part simply sign up in the game. Once enrolled, all exercise in Zwift will count towards the goal.

In case you missed it …

Feature Image: The peloton on stage 18 of the 2018 Vuelta a España. Photo: Gruber Images

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