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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
If you’ve been waiting patiently for Mathieu van der Poel’s Paris-Roubaix debut, your wait should be over soon: His team has been invited to this year’s edition of the race.
Organizers announced the wildcard selection for 2020 on Monday, confirming that Alpecin-Fenix will be among the second-division squads joining the 19 WorldTour teams at the French one-day race in April.
Van der Poel enjoyed an impressive first Classics campaign in 2019 across a limited calendar of events, but has yet to make the start in Roubaix.
Assuming the team decides to take him, which seems pretty likely considering he’s Mathieu van der Poel, he will likely be among the top contenders in his inaugural appearance.
Until next time, readers!
| Paris-Roubaix announces wildcard invites
Paris-Roubaix organizers have announced the team selections for the 2020 edition of the race, naming the four wildcard squads that will join the 19 WorldTour teams and the two automatically invited ProTeams in April.
Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team, Arkéa-Samsic, B&B Hôtels-Vital Concept, and Nippo Delko Provence are the four second-division squads earning wildcard bids, with Total Direct Energie and Circus-Wanty Gobert automatically invited after finishing highly in the team rankings last year.
| Betsema returning to competition
Denise Betsema will return to racing this weekend after a six-month suspension.
The 26-year-old Dutchwoman rode to several big results last cyclocross season, but was provisionally suspended after testing positive for anabolic steroids. The UCI announced in a statement on Monday that her suspension, for a period of six months, ended in October. Betsema will reportedly speak to media in a press conference on Tuesday.
| Valverde, Dennis, Yates, and a star-studded sprint field set to race UAE Tour
The UAE Tour unveiled its 2020 route and expected starters on Monday, with several big names announced for this year’s edition of the race. The list of marquee riders set to make the start includes Alejandro Valverde, Rohan Dennis, Tadej Pogacar, Adam Yates, Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen, Sam Bennett, and Mark Cavendish.
Organizers also announced details about the seven stages of the February event. Among the highlights: Stage 2 will finish at Hatta Dam, stage 3 will climb the Rafisah Dam, and stage 5 will ascend the Jebel Hafeet.
In case you missed it
| Why the Tour Down Under is an unlikely season highlight
Iain Treloar explains what makes the Tour Down Under such a big draw for Australian cycling fans.
| Pro bikes of the 2020 WorldTour: part three
Our exploration of the bikes of cycling’s top division continues with a look at what Trek-Segafredo, Cofidis, NTT, UAE, and Bahrain-McLaren are riding.
| Bigger chainrings for Trek-Segafredo, but not for the usual reasons
Trek-Segafredo’s riders are using bigger chainrings than normal at the Tour Down Under. James Huang has the story.
| Video: Here’s how the 2020 Women’s Tour Down Under unfolded
The Women’s Tour Down Under is in the books, but you can get up to speed on what happened in an excellent edition of the race with our video recap.
| Photo Gallery: The 2020 Women’s Tour Down Under was the best edition yet
Also, be sure to check out the fantastic photography from the Women’s Tour Down Under from Tim Bardsley-Smith and Cor Vos.
Today’s featured image of the leaders pushing the pace on the cobbles at Paris-Roubaix comes from Kristof Ramon.