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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Letizia Paternoster hit by car while riding her bike, Bora-Hansgrohe brings in new performance director and new coach as Patxi Vila departs, Pauline-Ferrand Prevot set to race cyclocross in January. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: New performance staff at Bora as Vila departs
Patxi Vila, who has worked closely with Peter Sagan as a coach at Bora-Hansgrohe for the past several seasons, is no longer with the team. Bora-Hansgrohe announced Vila’s exit, described as an “amicable conclusion” but with no further details, in a press release on Friday that also announced two new arrivals on the performance staff.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx will join the team in a sport director role with Hendrik Werner coming aboard as a coach.
Heynderickx, who raced as a pro for more than a decade, is expected to play an important role in the team’s Classics campaign. Werner joins from Sunweb, where he spent the last few years as Tom Dumoulin’s coach.
“Hendrik Werner is a top-level coach, who has already been able to make a name for himself in the international cycling scene,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “I think that he will fit very well within our team and our coaching philosophy in particular.”
Thanks to Lotto-Soudal’s social media team for the reminder: As of Friday, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is now less than a hundred days away.
Paternoster hit by car, sustains wrist fracture
Letizia Paternoster (Trek-Segafredo) was hit by a car while riding her bike on Friday morning. The collision left her with a fractured wrist and facial injuries, l’Adige reports.
The 20-year-old Italian, whose strong 2019 campaign included a stage victory at the Tour Down Under, was reportedly riding her city bike when she was hit at a roundabout. She was taken to a nearby hospital and has since been discharged.
Paternoster is expected to miss around one month as she recovers from her injuries.
Project to create Epowers Factory squad falls apart
The project to create the Epowers Factory team has fallen apart. Cyclingnews reports that the Hungarian squad, which was aiming to race as a Pro Continental-level squad in 2020 and was expected to include Davide Rebellin as a featured rider, was unable to secure a firm financial footing ahead of next year.
According to Cyclingnews, team brass had put infrastructure in place, signing riders and staff, but did not have the funds required to be a second division team with the UCI. The team missed deadlines to appear before the UCI License Commission and was not included on the UCI’s list of expected 2020 Pro Continental teams.
Although management said last month following the release of that list that the sponsor search was ongoing, a month later, it is now apparent that the Epowers team will only exist as an amateur e-bike squad in 2020, leaving 50 people out of work.
Van Aert training in Antwerp
Wielerflits reports that Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was training in Antwerp – which will host the Belgian cyclocross championships in January – on Friday as he works his back from injury.
Van Aert crashed heavily during the time trial at this summer’s Tour de France and has not raced since. The exact timetable for his return remains unclear but the Belgian is hoping to race ‘cross this season.
Ferrand-Prevot to return to ‘cross for first race since 2018
Pauline Ferrand-Preot (Canyon-Sram) will race the Meilen, Switzerland, round of the EKZ CrossTour on January 2 in what will be her first cyclocross race since February of 2018.
The 27-year-old Frenchwoman, who won the elite women’s world cyclocross title in 2015, battled health issues over the last few years and into this season. Following a lengthy recovery from surgery to treat iliac artery endofibrosis, however, she has made an impressive return to racing, mostly on the mountain bike so far this year. In August, she won her second career cross-country MTB world title.
Now, she is set to make a long-awaited return to cyclocross racing after nearly two years away.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: The peloton on stage 4 of the Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon