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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Sam Bennett is free to sign elsewhere after Bora-Hansgrohe agrees to let him go, Ellen van Dijk is back on the bike two months after crashing at the Boels Ladies Tour, Fumiyuki Beppu leaving Trek-Segafredo. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Bora-Hansgrohe agrees to let Bennett leave
Sam Bennett is free to sign with a new team, Bora-Hansgrohe has announced, ending the long, drawn-out contract dispute between the sprint star and the WorldTour squad. The 29-year-old Irishman is widely expected to join Deceuninck-Quick-Step now that he is no longer contracted with Bora.
Bennett had ridden for the German organization since 2014, when it was the NetApp-Endura Pro Continental team, and over the past two seasons he emerged as one of the most successful speedsters in the sport. His relationship with the team soured, however, as Bora decided not to send him to the Giro d’Italia this season, focusing instead on the aspirations of Pascal Ackermann.
Bennett was originally set to hit the transfer market this year but reportedly signed a letter of intent to stay with Bora. By the second half of the season, he was looking to move on from the squad but Bora pressed to hold him to the agreement. Now, the team has decided to let him go.
“Over the last six years, Bora-Hansgrohe developed Sam Bennett into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. Against this background it however became more and more difficult to align the team’s and rider’s goals,” the team said in a statement.
“Therefore, Bora-Hansgrohe’s management has decided to accept Sam Bennett’s wish to leave Bora-Hansgrohe and continue his journey with another team.”
For months, Bennett has been linked to Deceuninck-Quick-Step, where he would slot into a featured role with Elia Viviani leaving for Cofidis next year, and as of Thursday, Bennett is finally cleared to make a move.
Good stuff from Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Rally UHC) …
Van Dijk back on the bike two months after crash
Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) has resumed training two months after breaking her arm and pelvis in a crash at the Boels Ladies Tour.
In an interview with cyclingonline.nl, the 32-year-old Dutchwoman said that the lengthy recovery process has been a test of her patience, but that she is at least back on the bike now.
Van Dijk, who won the women’s Tour of Flanders in 2014, is hoping to be back to form in time for the spring Classics.
UCI considers change to testosterone limits for female transgender athletes
Following a meeting by a working group focused on eligibility rules for transgender athletes in competitive sports, the UCI is considering a change in testosterone limits for competing in the female category.
The UCI announced earlier this week that it is looking into lowering the testosterone maximum from 10nmol/L to 5nmol/L.
“The consensus drawn up by the working group will enable the UCI to take into consideration, in line with the evolution of our society, the wish of concerned athletes to compete while guaranteeing as far as possible equal chances for participants in women’s competitions,” read the UCI’s statement.
The full report from the working group is available at the IAAF website.
Beppu leaving Trek-Segafredo
Fumiyuki Beppu will leave Trek-Segafredo at the end of 2019, one year into a two-season contract. The team announced the split with the two-time Japanese national road champ – who has ridden with Trek for six years – on Thursday.
“I have been in the Trek family from the beginning, so it is not an easy decision for me to leave, but it was time for me to take a new direction and new challenges,” Beppu said in a statement.
For now, Beppu’s 2020 plans remain unclear. The 36-year-old said last year when initially renewing his contract with Trek that he was focused on continuing to race through the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Industry veteran Bonney bids farewell in announcement of decision to end his life
Michael Bonney, the former Managing Director of Orange Bikes, has decided to end his life six and a half years after a cycling crash that left him almost completely paralyzed.
Bonney explained the decision to switch his ventilator off and cease medical treatment in a moving note he posted to Facebook.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Sam Bennett wins stage 6 of Paris-Nice. Photo: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019