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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
WorldTour racing is officially underway, and we’re pretty excited about it. Sam Bennett probably is too.
The Irish national champ sprinted to victory in Tanunda on Tuesday – in a field featuring some pretty strong names – in the opening stage of the Tour Down Under. It seems he is already comfortable in his new Deceuninck-Quick-Step kit.
In other news from the world of bike racing, Dutch cyclocrosser Denise Betsema has said that she was able to prove that her adverse analytical findings for steroids were due to a contaminated supplement. As she prepares to return to racing, some of her rivals have been critical of the shortness of her six-month suspension.
Time will tell how Betsema is received out on the course.
Until next time, readers.
| Betsema: Contaminated supplement led to six-month suspension
Denise Betsema said in a press conference Tuesday that she was able to prove that her adverse analytical findings for steroids last year were due to a contaminated supplement, leading to a suspension of six months.
As Betsema is gearing up to get back to racing, other members of the ‘cross world have criticized the shortness of the ban, with Katie Compton among those voicing their frustration with the situation.
| Bennett sprints to victory in TDU opener
Sam Bennett picked up his first victory with his new Deceuninck-Quick-Step squad on Tuesday in stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.
The 29-year-old Irishman topped Jasper Philipsen and Erik Baska in a bunch kick in Tanunda to nab the win and the first leader’s jersey.
| Liège-Bastogne-Liège wildcards announced
A day after Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team scored a wildcard bid to race Paris-Roubaix, the team has also been announced among the invites for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The ASO has also given bids to Arkéa-Samsic, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, and Wallonie Bruxelles for the pair of Ardennes Classics.
| Kruijswijk’s knee issues behind him
A knee problem got in the way of Steven Kruijswijk’s training plans to start off the year, but the Dutch all-rounder says that the issue seems to be behind him now.
In case you missed it
| The bikes that won the Tour Down Under
Ruth Winder rode on Trek’s Madone SLR and Emonda SLR en route to victory at this year’s Women’s Tour Down Under, and you can get a closer look at both bikes here.
| Inflection point: As gravel racing goes mainstream, can it retain its renegade status?
Gravel racing seems destined to continue growing in 2020. Neal Rogers ponders whether it can maintain its identity.
| Nerd Alert: Walking the pits at TDU and talking bike fit with Adam Hansen
Hear from Adam Hansen and find out what stands out from the pits at the Tour Down Under in the latest Nerd Alert.
| Specialized’s Angi crash sensor now works with Wahoo Elemnt computers
Dave Rome explains how a firmware update from Wahoo makes it more convenient to use Specialized’s Angi helmet crash sensor with an Elemnt GPS computer.
| KOM confusion
Matt de Neef explains how Jarrad Drizners ended up in the TDU’s king of the mountains jersey after finishing the opening stage with the same number of points as Joey Rosskopf.
Today’s featured image of the contenders battling on stage 14 of the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.