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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Daniele Bennati is retiring, world champ Mads Pedersen will reportedly start his 2020 campaign at the Tour Down Under, Daniel Navarro will join Israel Cycling Academy from Katusha-Alpecin. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Bennati announces retirement
Daniele Bennati is retiring.
The 39-year-old Italian, who has spent the past three years with Movistar mostly in a support and road captain role, compiled a long list of achievements in his career, particularly in his early years with the Lampre and Liquigas organizations.
Across nearly two decades in the pro peloton, Bennati won 11 Grand Tour stages, including two at the Tour de France in 2007, as well as a points classification jersey at the Giro d’Italia in 2008.
He wrote on Instagram that back pain following a vertebra fracture sustained in a crash this spring led him to finally hang up the wheels.
“‘Dear Benna, you have to climb off.’ That is what my back told me a few days ago,” he wrote.
Bennati struck a reflective tone as he bid farewell to the life of pro cycling.
“I can only thank all the people, and there are too many to name them all, who have helped achieve my goals, help me fight the cold in the mountains, the heat of the desert, the wind, the rain, the snow, so that I could win 54 wonderful times,” he said.
“I am climbing off, but from tomorrow I leave again for new adventures where I believe there will always be, in the background, that splendid object with two pedaled wheels that for me is life.”
Mark your calendars. The Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France unveil their routes within a week of each other, but we still have a few weeks to wait for the Vuelta a España.
Navarro to join Israel Cycling Academy
Daniel Navarro and Jenthe Biermans are the latest Katusha-Alpecin riders that Israel Cycling Academy has announced as 2020 signees. Navarro, 36, counts a Vuelta a España stage victory and two Grand Tour top 10s on his career palmares.
“I had to go through many months of not knowing what will happen next,” Navarro said in Israel Cycling Academy’s press release. “Since May, we were living under that cloud. When the news lastly came that I will get the chance to continue with ICA – it was time for happiness and tranquility.”
Navarro brings plenty of experience as a stage racing specialist to his new team, while Biermans, 24, is an up-and-coming Classics specialist.
Tanfield says Katusha situation left him ‘high and dry’
Unlike Navarro and Biermans, or Rick Zabel and Mads Würtz Schmidt, Harry Tanfield is one of the many Katusha-Alpecin riders who will not be making the jump to Israel Cycling Academy next year. The British up-and-comer is headed to Ag2r La Mondiale in 2020 after one year with Katusha.
As he told Cyclingnews, that year did not end well with Katusha leaving him “high and dry.”
“We got a letter in July saying the team was probably going to stop, ‘but don’t worry, we’re sorting something out. Riders with contracts, you’re all safe. Whatever happens, the license is staying with something of some description,'” Tanfield told Cyclingnews.
“Then it got to late September and they were like, ‘Ah, right, okay, we’ve sorted something out now but half of you with contracts have to go. So it was like, ‘Ah, thanks for letting us know when it’s pretty much October – fantastic.'”
Pedersen set to start 2020 campaign at Tour Down Under
New world road champion Mads Pedersen will start his 2020 season at the Tour Down Under, Het Nieuwsblad reports.
The 23-year-old Dane will be making his third straight appearance at the Australian WorldTour race when it kicks off in January. He will be part of a strong Trek lineup at the race, with seven-time stage winner and 2017 overall champ Richie Porte also set to return.
Gasparotto becomes Swiss
Enrico Gasparotto (Dimension Data) is now registered as a Swiss pro. The 37-year-old two-time Amstel Gold Race winner was born and raised in Italy and won an Italian road title in 2005, but has lived in Switzerland for years.
As Cyclingnews points out, he never started on the Italian squad at Worlds or Olympics. Now, he will be able to race for a different country as the Tokyo Games approach.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: The peloton on stage 16 of the Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon