Eisel hangs up the wheels, Lotto-Soudal’s alcohol ban: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!

As the road season is getting underway in Australia and elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, a peloton stalwart has decided to retire from racing. Bernhard Eisel is hanging up the wheels after nearly two decades as a pro.

The 38-year-old Austrian forged a lengthy career that included some fine results of his own as well as several years spent in a road captain role. Particularly notable from his many years as a support rider was his work with Mark Cavendish, for whom he was a trusted lieutenant for several seasons across multiple teams.

Over 19 years in the peloton, Eisel made 12 Tour de France starts. As he pointed out in his retirement message, all those appearances add up to nearly a full year cumulatively spent racing there.

In short, not a bad resume to have compiled before deciding to move on to something new.

Until next time, readers!

What’s News

| Eisel retires

Bernhard Eisel has announced his retirement after 19 years in the pro peloton. The 38-year-old Austrian, who rode with Dimension Data for the past four seasons, counts a Gent-Wevelgem win and a few other strong results on his career palmares to go with several years spent as a road captain.

“Having the opportunity to ride on some of the most prestigious teams in the sport, on the biggest stages of them all, has been an incredible privilege,” Eisel wrote in a statement. “I have made friends for life and travelled the world living my dream but it’s now time to take the next step of my journey.”

| Lotto-Soudal bans alcohol consumption for riders and staff at races

Neither riders nor staff at Lotto-Soudal will be allowed to drink alcohol at races, barring champagne celebrations of victories and birthdays, Het Nieuwsblad reports. The Belgian squad already had a no-alcohol policy in place for riders during races, and the team has now expanded the measure to include the rest of the organization.

Team CEO John Lelangue said the ban has “absolutely nothing to do with” an occurrence at last year’s Vuelta a España in which performance manager Kevin De Weert was sent home following an alcohol-related incident. As Lelangue noted, “We already had a code of conduct. I have now adjusted it a bit for safety reasons. Almost every staff member has to drive a car at certain times of the day. Then it seems better to ban alcohol.”

| Mitchelton-Scott unveils Australian champions’ jerseys

Mitchelton-Scott has revealed the jerseys its two new Australian road champions will wear at the upcoming Tour Down Under.

Amanda Spratt took her third career national road title and Cameron Meyer nabbed his first this past weekend in Buninyong.

| Nizzolo and Gibbons to lead NTT at Tour Down Under

Giacomo Nizzolo and Ryan Gibbons headline a sprint-focused NTT squad for the upcoming Tour Down Under. For Nizzolo, the Tour Down Under start marks his return to the race four years after he rode to a pair of third-place finishes in 2016, while Gibbons finished 11th overall last year.

Australian neo-pro Dylan Sunderland, Danilo Wyss, Stefan de Bod, Rasmus Tiller, and Samuele Battistella round out the roster.

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Today’s featured image is from by Chiara Redaschi @chiara_redaschi who won 7th place with this photo in the Mark Gunter Photo Competition in the Professional category: “Loulou just after his victory at Milano Sanremo, a moment of pure joy with his masseur.” Be sure to check out all the spectacular photos in this annual competition that celebrates the best cycling photography of the year here.

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