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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Chris Froome says “all went perfectly” in surgery to remove metal from hip and elbow, Gent-Wevelgem unveils route changes, Richard Freeman claims Shane Sutton “bullied” him into ordering testosterone, Velon amends its complaint against the UCI with the European Commission to include charge of gender discrimination. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Froome says “all went perfectly” in surgery to remove metal from hip and elbow
Chris Froome (Ineos) has undergone what is expected to be the last surgery of his recovery process from the serious injuries he sustained in a crash earlier this year. The four-time Tour de France champion posted on social media on Friday to report that “all went perfectly.”
Froome went under the knife to have metal removed from his hip and elbow. Doctors had implanted a metal plate in his hip and screws in his elbow during operations following the crash.
After a lengthy stretch off the bike this summer, the 34-year-old Briton resumed riding in August, but his recovery has been a long process. He rode a short time trial exhibition at the Saitama Criterium but said that he will need more time to return to full-on racing, and according to media at the event in Japan, he is still walking with a limp. His surgery this week was a major step towards returning to his best.
Froome will take another few weeks off following the operation but he has said that he is expecting to get back to normal training this winter.
Dave Everett gave Specialized’s 3D-printed saddle and RapidAir tires a test ride while he was at Yorkshire Worlds, and you can hear what he had to say about them in his newest video.
Freeman says Sutton “bullied” him into ordering testosterone
Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman said at his medical tribunal hearing on Friday that Shane Sutton, formerly British Cycling’s technical director, “bullied” him into ordering testosterone.
After months of delays, Freeman is currently facing a misconduct panel over allegations that he ordered Testogel testosterone sachets “knowing or believing” it was intended for an athlete in 2011. Freeman claims that he ordered the testosterone for Sutton to treat erectile dysfunction.
“Shane Sutton specifically requested that I prescribed him Testogel,” said Freeman’s witness statement, the BBC reports.
“I was bullied into prescribing it for him.”
Sutton is scheduled to appear before the tribunal next week. According to the BBC, the General Medical Council, which is managing the case against Freeman, says that Freeman is using Sutton as a “scapegoat to cover up his earlier misconduct.”
Velon adds charge of gender discrimination to complaint against UCI
Velon, the organization representing several pro road teams, has announced an amendment to its complaint against the UCI filed with the European Commission, adding a charge of gender discrimination. According to a press release, Velon and Hammer Stavanger organizers sought earlier this year to add a women’s race to the 2020 edition of Hammer Stavanger, but the UCI refused the application.
“The UCI informed the Norwegian Cycling Federation on 18 October 2019, a week after the formal publication of the calendar, that the UCI Management Committee had refused the application, stating that a women’s Hammer race ‘was not in the best interest of women’s cycling’,” read Velon’s statement.
“This followed the UCI’s refusal to support Hammer Colombia, announced on 14 June 2019, an event that would also have offered a women’s race which was fully equal to the men’s.”
Having already filed an anti-trust complaint against the UCI with the European Commission, Velon amended the complaint “on the grounds of the UCI’s discrimination against women’s cycling,” asking the commission to require the UCI to allow the event.
Gent-Wevelgem will start in Ypres in 2020 and beyond
Gent-Wevelgem organizer Flanders Classics has announced that the route of the race will see some changes in 2020. The start of the event, which has not actually set out from the city of Ghent for years, will move from Deinze to Ypres for next year and beyond, and the early goings of the parcours will look different moving forward.
The new start in Ypres, a city known both for its rich medieval history and as the site of numerous battles in the First World War, will feature the iconic Grote Markt and Menin Gate. After rolling out, riders will head east from Ypres, then turn back west and north, traversing much of West Flanders on the way to Veurne, near the coast.
From there, the peloton will head south to the hellingen and plugge streets on both sides of the French border that define the second half of the race.
Winder’s road to a national title
Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) won the U.S. women’s road race title at pro nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee, this year, but as a new Bicycling story details, her huge victory “almost didn’t happen” as she dealt with challenging health issues in the run-up to this past summer.
Winder told Bicycling how a focus on cutting calories to improve her power-to-weight ratio led to low energy availability and menstrual dysfunction. She looked for answers to her health issues from last year, when she raced with Sunweb, into her first season with Trek, and only after making a variety of changes did she start to finally get back to her best.
Cipollini battling heart issues
Mario Cipollini is suffering from heart problems, and recently underwent surgery. The former pro shared details of his health battles with La Gazzetta dello Sport, saying he hoped that talking about his issues might help other people be more conscious about health check-ups.
The 52-year-old Italian said that he underwent a five-hour heart operation in October to treat a blood flow problem, and doctors also performed an ablation.
Cipollini’s health problems come as he is facing trial in his hometown of Lucca. His ex-wife has accused him of physical abuse and pointing a gun at her head. Cipollini declined to answer questions about the case, telling La Gazzetta, “No comment. It would not be right to speak about this in the newspaper before speaking with the judge.”
Beppu signs with Delko-Marseille-Provence
Fumiyuki Beppu is headed to French Pro Continental outfit Delko-Marseille-Provence.
The 36-year-old has spent the past six seasons with the Trek-Segafredo squad, but the team announced this week that he would be leaving, marking an early exit one year into his two-year deal. Beppu announced Friday that he has signed with Delko-Marseille-Provence, where he will be one of four Japanese riders joining the squad in 2020 as the team also adds Japan-based construction company Nippo as a sponsor.
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Feature Image: The peloton at Gent-Wevelgem. Photo: ©kramon