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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Alex Howes renews with EF Education First, Arkéa-Samic will ride on Canyon bikes next year, Katusha-Alpecin riders and staff are waiting on their October wages, Richard Freeman does not attend his medical tribunal hearing on Thursday. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Howes renews with EF
American road champion Alex Howes will ride on with EF Education First next year.
The 31-year-old is a long-tenured member of the organization. He rode with the Slipstream Pro Continental team in 2007, spent time with the development team in 2011, and joined the WorldTour ranks as a member of Garmin-Barracuda in 2012.
A winner of stages at the USA Pro Challenge, the Colorado Classic, and the Tour of Alberta, Howes earned a year in the stars and stripes jersey with a victory in the men’s road race at nationals this summer. EF has announced that he has signed on to stick with the squad through 2021.
“The team has changed a lot over the years, but the core ethos and mentality of the team has always remained the same,” said Howes in a press release. “We’ve always been the plucky underdogs who find ways to win with craft and grit. That mentality has really resonated with me and keeps me coming back.”
Beauty of Cycling
Spain’s Serranía Celtibérica is mountainous and sparsely populated – and perfect for bikepacking.
Barcelona-based photographer Tomás Montes rode through the region with friends, and chronicled the journey in a piece you can check out on CyclingTips, Bikepacking the Empty Mountains.
Katusha-Alpecin riders and staff awaiting wages
Members of the Katusha-Alpecin squad are waiting on their October wages, Cyclingnews reports.
“Everyone has been paid for September but we have a bit of a delay for October,” Katusha-Alpecin’s lawyer Alexis Schoeb told Cyclingnews. “It’s a normal delay due to cash availability at the end of the season. I don’t think that there’s any issue at this stage. Riders and staff have been informed of the delay and been told that it’s just a matter of one or two days. So tomorrow or Monday at the latest.”
CyclingTips has independently confirmed that riders are waiting on paychecks.
The UCI is aware of the situation, according to Cyclingnews, and the delay is reportedly tied to payment from sponsors, although Schoeb reportedly declined to go into further detail on whether it was due to one particular sponsor.
2019 has brought multiple challenges for riders and staff at Katusha-Alpecin, with the team unable to find a new sponsor for 2020, ultimately leading to Israel Cycling Academy buying the squad’s WorldTour license. Should Katusha-Alpecin not acquire the money from its sponsors to pay wages, the money may have to come out of the team’s UCI bank guarantee.
Arkéa-Samsic on Canyon in 2020
Nairo Quintana will continue racing on Canyon bikes next season even as he leaves Movistar. Canyon has announced that Arkéa-Samsic will be riding the bikes in 2020.
The switch to the German bike brand is one of multiple changes for the French Pro Continental outfit, which raced on BH bikes in 2019, as it heads in the coming year. Arkéa-Samsic has signed both Quintana and Nacer Bouhanni, while terminating André Greipel’s contract.
“I can’t wait to start collaborating with Arkéa-Samsic, because they are a team who share our own singular focus – dedicating everything to achieving great things,” said Canyon’s founder and CEO Roman Arnold.
“With Warren Barguil, Nairo Quintana and Nacer Bouhanni, we’ve got a talented line-up for the coming season who will be bringing a huge depth of talent, experience and leadership to the road.”
Linking up with Arkéa-Samsic gives Canyon two partner teams at the Pro Continental level, with Mathieu van der Poel’s Corendon-Circus also on Canyon bikes.
Freeman absent from hearing on Thursday
Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman was absent from his medical tribunal on Thursday. According to the BBC’s Dan Roan, Freeman’s lawyer Mary O’Rourke said that Freeman had “adverse reaction to what happened here Tuesday,” assumedly in reference to Shane Sutton’s tense cross-examination at the hearing.
Freeman, who is accused of having ordered testosterone to British Cycling headquarters “knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance,” claims that former coach Shane Sutton “bullied” him into acquiring the testosterone to treat erectile dysfunction.
Sutton was questioned at the hearing on Tuesday, and during a back-and-forth with O’Rourke, the former coach called Freeman “spineless,” left the hearing, and ultimately decided not to return. O’Rourke said on Thursday that Freeman made an emergency appointment with his psychiatrist and is “not in any fit condition to be here today or tomorrow.”
On Thursday, the General Medical Council (GMC) pressing the case against Freeman called Dr. Steve Peters, a consultant psychiatrist for Ineos, as a witness.
Happy birthday to …
November 14 is a big day for birthdays among Grand Tour greats with fierce nicknames from the animal kingdom.
Bernard Hinault turns 65. “The Badger” is a member of cycling’s elite club of five-time Tour de France champions, and also won five other Grand Tour titles, five Monuments, and a rainbow jersey.
Vincenzo Nibali is 35. “The Shark,” who will head from Bahrain-Merida to Trek-Segafredo next year, is one of only two active pros to have won all three Grand Tours. He also counts two Lombardia wins and one stunning Milano-Sanremo victory on his career palmares.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: The 2019 Tour de France heading into the Pyrenees on stage 12. Photo: Gruber Images