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by Dane Cash
November 5, 2019
Photography by Cor Vos, Kristof Ramon
George Bennett is hoping to put side stitch pain behind him after rib surgery, two-time Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder retires, Mathieu van der Poel eyes the 2020 Vuelta a España. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) is hoping that he has put a challenging concern behind him after having surgery to treat a rib condition, Cyclingnews reports.
“I had a big operation a couple of weeks ago and I hope that will help. I’ve had the side stitch for ages and it slowed me down a lot this year,” Bennett told Cyclingnews. “Every time I go hard I get this stabbing pain in my side. The surgery is pretty drastic measures but I’ve essentially had three ribs removed. That makes it sound worse than it is but each one was around 8cm long and made up of cartilage.”
George Bennett at the Vuelta a España. Photo: ©kramon
The 29-year-old New Zealander said that he had been suffering from slipping rib syndrome, which caused side stitch pain during hard cycling efforts, for years.
“I’ve had a couple of operations before, some exploratory work all hoping to fix the stitch but we’re optimistic that we’ve now found the fix,” he said.
Bennett told Cyclingnews that he underwent the operation three weeks ago. He is hoping to return to training in earnest in the next few weeks.
What happens when an amateur who has been training hard squares off against a pro who has spent a few weeks away from the bike? CyclingTips editor-in-chief Caley Fretz and Katusha-Alpecin’s Nathan Haas found out at the Taiwan KOM Challenge.
Two-time Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder (Corendon-Circus) is retiring. The 40-year-old Belgian, who won De Ronde in 2008 and 2009 and also counts three Belgian road race titles on his palmares, has decided to call time on a career that spanned nearly two decades.
“I had already made the decision this summer. The age is starting to bother me,” Devolder told the Belga news agency.
Stijn Devolder at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo: ©kramon
Devolder enjoyed his greatest career successes during a three-year stint at Quick-Step-Innergetic but spent time at several other teams, racing for Vlaanderen-T-Interim and the Discovery Channel squad in the early years of his career and with Vacansoleil-DCM, Trek-Segafredo, and Vérandas Willems-Crelan more recently.
He had initially planned to retire last year, but stayed in the pro peloton for the 2019 season to ride with Mathieu van der Poel at Corendon-Circus. With this final season in the books, Devolder was content to hang up the wheels, making the final start of his career in October at the Tacx Pro Classic.
Van der Poel hopes for Vuelta start in 2020
Speaking of Corendon-Circus, Mathieu van der Poel gave media at Superprestige Ruddervoorde on Sunday an outline of his big targets for 2020. The versatile Dutchman is focused on the mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympics as his central goal over the next year, but he has his eyes on other objectives as well—according to the Belga news agency, he is hoping to defend his world ‘cross title, then looking towards the Spring Classics before a busy summer.
“Tokyo is my big dream and after that a Grand Tour is the big and new challenge,” van der Poel said. “I would like to go to the Vuelta [a España].”
Next year’s Vuelta starts in Utretch in the Netherlands, making it even more appealing for van der Poel, although his Corendon-Circus squad – which rides at the Pro Continental level – would need to score an invite to attend the Spanish Grand Tour.
Suplest overhauls shoe range for 2020
Swiss-based shoe company Suplest has revealed a number of new shoe models for the coming year. The range now consists of road, cross country (gravel, cyclocross, and XC) and off-road (trail mountain bike) shoes. And within each of those categories are three price tiers: Pro, performance, and sport.
Suplest’s top-tier Edge+ Pro Road and Cross Country shoes have been reworked with new microfiber uppers and foam-core-filled carbon soles. The previously used Solestar innersoles remain, as do the Boa IP1 dials. The Pro shoes span a rather limited size range of 39-47EU, with half sizes available between 42-45EU. Pictured is the Edge+ Pro in a limited edition Fabian Cancellara design.
You can learn more about the new range at Suplest.ch.
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Feature Image: George Bennett at the Tour de France. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2019