Astana and Argon 18 parting ways at end of season: Daily News Digest

by Dane Cash


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

Astana and Argon 18 are ending their partnership, Tom Pidcock has dental surgery, riders in Italy demand road safety improvements. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.


Story of the Day: Astana and Argon 18 parting ways at the end of 2019

Astana will no longer be riding on Argon 18 bikes after 2019.

A press release from Astana announced that the squad and the Canadian bike manufacturer will end their partnership at the conclusion of the year, parting ways after three years “by the mutual agreement as both.”

“After these three years of close collaboration we part as good friends,” team general manager Alexandr Vinokourov said in the press release. “I wish Argon 18 all the best in the future and I am sure that the company with see more beautiful successes in their current new projects.”

Argon 18 became Astana’s bike sponsor in 2017 as Bora-Argon 18 became Bora-Hansgrohe.

“We take great pride in the work accomplished throughout this sponsorship,” said Argon 18 CEO Martin Le Sauteur. “A pride validated by the many positive comments from riders, mechanics and other Astana Pro Team staff regarding the quality of the products and support Argon 18 has provided them. In this sense, we can say: mission accomplished.”

For now, Astana has yet to announce its bike partner for 2020.


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Race Radio

Total-Direct Énergie reveals 2020 look

Total-Direct Énergie has unveiled its 2020 kit, produced by Italian manufacturer Nalini.

Next season, the French Pro Continental squad will sport a look similar to this year’s, but with the addition of red sleeves.

Pidcock undergoes dental surgery

Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) has undergone surgery on his teeth, which were damaged in a crash at the Tour de l’Avenir in August, Wielerflits reports. The reigning under-23 world cyclocross champion returned to racing in the month after the crash, taking third in the U23 road race at Yorkshire Worlds, but according to Trinity Racing team director Kurt Bogaerts, inflammation began to bother him recently.

“Three teeth were badly damaged at the time,” Bogaerts told Wielerflits. “One has even been completely demolished. That has been fixed for the time being. It didn’t bother him too much, Tom himself said. He would have that sorted out after the cyclocross season. But two weeks ago, after taking X-rays, there were signs of inflammation. So we thought it was better for him to work quickly.”

Tom Pidcock at the Koksijde World Cup. Photo: Nico Vereecken/PN/Cor Vos © 2019

The versatile Brit is now recovering and on a course of antibiotics, but he plans to race at Cyclocross Essen next week.

Bogaerts also talked about the plans for Pidcock’s future, noting that rider and team are content to take his development slowly, with no rush to join the WorldTour road racing ranks any time soon.

“There is absolutely no pressure yet. The goal is that he can develop further in peace. We will analyze after the first half of 2020,” Bogaerts said. “Either he becomes a trainee somewhere, or he quietly continues working towards the cyclocross season of ’20 to ’21. He really wants to be at the top in that.”

Nuyens to appeal van Aert ruling

Nick Nuyens has appealed the decision of the judge in his case against Wout van Aert, with Nuyens’s lawyer Rudi Desmet telling Sporza, “The normal rules have not been correctly applied.”

Nuyens sought over one million euros from van Aert, who left Nuyens’s Véranda’s-Willems Crelan squad in 2018 as the outfit was looking into merging with another team.

On Tuesday, a judge ruled in van Aert’s favor and ordered Nuyens to pay his legal costs. Nuyens will appeal, with his lawyer saying citing problems in the testimony of van Aert’s coach, former pro Niels Albert. Van Aert’s legal team had argued that Nuyens’s pressuring of Albert to sign a statement against van Aert represented a breach of trust between rider and team.

“Albert says he never had any problems with Van Aert, while he often said the opposite within the team,” Desmet said. “We have four witnesses. Only the judge found that is irrelevant. Hence: an unbalanced judgment.”

Italian riders’ association demands better road safety

The ACCPI, the Italian professional riders’ association, is demanding road safety improvements in the aftermath of multiple recent incidents of pros being hit by cars.

La Gazzetta dello Sport published a letter from the organization’s safety delegate, Marco Cavorso, to Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella. Cavorso, who lost his son when he was hit by a car while riding at age 13, urged the Italian government to pass a law codifying a 1.5-meter minimum passing distance.

“Two years ago I spoke to you about the modern-day war that is killing our children, the war in act out on the Italian roads and roads around the world. It’s a terrible war, that most of all kills people who can’t defend themselves,” Cavorso wrote. “I call on you to use your powers to accelerate the approval of the law.”


The Daily News Digest is moving to email

We’ll close things out with an update on the Daily News Digest itself. After more than 1,700 editions, news operations at CyclingTips are evolving as the way our audience accesses information evolves as well.

The Daily News Digest will soon land in your inbox each weekday instead of showing up on CyclingTips.com. As our news roundups move to email – and podcast – formats, you’ll see an increase in in-depth news stories on CyclingTips.com. This setup will allow us to give big stories the space they deserve, while still offering a way to get caught up on the latest news quickly and easily.

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The Daily News Digest is moving to email




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Feature Image: Jakob Fuglsang riding to victory on stage 16 of the Vuelta a España. Photo: ©kramon

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