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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Paris-Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt will join Israel Cycling Academy in 2020, Wout van Aert wins legal battle against Nick Nuyens, Sofie De Vuyst tests positive for exogenous steroid, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot eyes ‘cross Worlds. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Politt signs with Israel Cycling Academy
Paris-Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt will join Alex Dowsett, Rick Zabel, and other Katusha colleagues in moving to Israel Cycling Academy next season, his new team has announced.
“Nils has shown in the last few years that he is close to winning big races,” said Israel Cycling Academy manager Kjell Carlstrom. “We believe that he will be a great asset. We will build our first part of the classics campaign around him.”
Politt was arguably the most promising young rider on the Katusha team, riding to sixth at E3 Harelbeke and fifth at the Tour of Flanders before his strong showing en route to second place at Paris-Roubaix this spring. The 25-year-old German is closing out his fourth season with Katusha, and becomes the seventh Katusha rider the Israel Cycling Academy has announced as signed for 2020 as the squad takes over Katusha’s racing license.
“Obviously the circumstances were difficult for all Katusha-riders, but I am happy that I now have a clear situation,” Politt said in a team press release. “I am very happy that I am part of the Israel Cycling Academy, and I am looking forward to being involved in this project.”
Politt can look forward to riding alongside compatriot André Greipel next season with Israel Cycling Academy. The German veteran may be best known as a decorated sprinter, but he has always harbored a deep love of racing on the pavé and will form a key part of the Classics squad with Politt as the team’s featured contender next year.
“In this team, I can learn a lot, especially about racing classics. Last year in Katusha, we missed a rider with experience,” Politt said. “Now with André Greipel and all the other strong riders in the team, I think we can get outstanding results in the spring classics.”
The clever dig of the day goes to Danish cycling commentator Brian Nygaard captioning a Mikel Landa photo …
Judge rules in Van Aert’s favor in Nuyens suit
Wout van Aert has won his legal battle against Nick Nuyens, the former manager of the Véranda’s Willems-Crelan team that used to employ him, following a ruling in Belgian court on Tuesday.
Nuyens was seeking €1,150,000 in damages from Van Aert after Van Aert decided to leave Verandas Willems-Crelan in 2018 while the team was considering merging with other squads. The reigning Belgian national time trial champ ultimately ended up joining the Jumbo-Visma team. Nuyens filed suit, while Van Aert argued that the merger talks gave him reason to terminate the contract.
On Tuesday, a judge ruled in Van Aert’s favor, and order Nuyens to pay his legal costs.
“Justice has been done. What a relief!” van Aert said on Twitter. “It gives me a huge boost to continue working on my comeback and to be able to concentrate 100% on this.”
Sofie De Vuyst positive for exogenous steroid in out-of-competition test
Recent Flandrienne of the Year award winner Sofie De Vuyst has tested positive for an exogenous steroid. The 32-year-old Belgian said in a Facebook post that she was notified of having failed an out-of-competition doping control, according to Sporza. She has since been suspended by her Parkhotel Valkenburg team.
De Vuyst said on Facebook that she would fight to prove her innocence.
WADA’s Compliance Review Committee recommends four-year ban for Russia
WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) has recommended a four-year ban from international competition for Russia after investigators discovered evidence that positive tests were deleted from the database of a Moscow anti-doping lab. The CRC – an independent body – also recommended that, where possible, Russia be stripped of sporting events that it has already been awarded.
WADA’s executive committee will meet on December 9 to consider the recommendations.
The Guardian reports that any ban would likely come with the possibility for Russian athletes to nonetheless compete at events like the Tokyo Olympics as neutral athletes following a vetting process in continuation of a policy adopted at prior events. Despite sanctions on Russia, Russian competitors participated at the Pyeongchang Winter Games under the moniker of “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”
Ferrand-Prevot eyes Nommay and Hoogerheide World Cups, Dübendorf Worlds
Organizers of the Meilen round of the EKZ Cross Tour recently announced that Pauline Ferrand-Prevot would be making the start in their January race, and now the 27-year-old Frenchwoman has offered further details of her ‘cross schedule in an interview with l’Equipe. After not racing the discipline in nearly two years, Ferrand-Prevot is looking to build towards cyclocross Worlds in Dübendorf, Switzerland.
The former ‘cross world champ will race Cyclocross Eckwersheim before her appearance in Meilen, and will then race Troyes Cyclocross, the French national championships, the Nommay World Cup, and the Hoogerheide World Cup ahead of Worlds on February 1.
Following Worlds, the reigning cross-country mountain bike world champ will shift her focus to preparing for the MTB race at the Tokyo Olympics.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Nils Politt and Mathias Frank on the Col du Galibier at the Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon