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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
Stage races in the Middle East provide two notable news stories in today’s Daily News Digest, albeit for very different reasons. One race is canceled for 2020, while another has picked up a very big name for this year’s start list.
Riders who were hoping for a tune-up at the Tour of Oman this season will have to look elsewhere. The 2020 edition of the race has been canceled amid a 40-day national mourning period following the death of Sultan Qaboos.
Past winners of the event include recent defending champ Alexey Lutsenko as well as Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome.
Speaking of Froome, the four-time Tour de France champ has probably made the organizers of the UAE Tour very happy in announcing on Wednesday that he will make his return to racing at the seven-day event in the United Arab Emirates next month.
Froome has not raced in some seven months since a crash in June of last year left him with multiple injuries. A WorldTour race start will mark a significant step in his long road back to what he hopes will be Tour-contending form.
Until next time, readers.
| Froome will return to racing at the UAE Tour
After months away from competition, Chris Froome said on Wednesday that he will return to racing at the UAE Tour.
“Training’s been going really well over here in Gran Canaria so I’m really happy to announce that I’m going to be starting my season at the UAE Tour next month starting in Dubai,” Froome said on social media. “It’s a race I missed out last year, so it’s a great place for me to start my season this time around.”
| Ewan takes TDU stage 2 and race lead
Caleb Ewan nabbed the victory and the race leader’s jersey on Wednesday’s stage 2 of the Tour Down Under.
The 25-year-old Australian sprinted to the win in Stirling ahead of Daryl Impey and Nathan Haas. Things did not go quite as well for several big names caught in a late crash, however, with Simon Yates and Elia Viviani among the many riders hitting the deck hard inside the last two kilometers of the race.
| Tour of Oman canceled
Organizers have canceled the 2020 edition of the Tour of Oman following the death of Sultan Qaboos, with the country in the midst of a 40-day national mourning period.
Lineups were still to be announced, but Viviani was among the names expected to make the start in the race.
| De Vuyst’s B-sample also positive
De Vuyst, who won the Flandrienne of the Year award at the end of 2019, was initially notified in November of an adverse analytical finding from an anti-doping control in September. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, she is now seeking legal representation from Johnny Maesschalck, who recently worked with Denise Betsema.
In case you missed it
| Pro bikes of the 2020 WorldTour: part four
The final installment of our series on the bikes of the WorldTour takes a closer look at what CCC, Bora-Hansgrohe, Lotto-Soudal, and Ag2r-La Mondiale are riding this year.
| Caleb Ewan’s lucky charm
As Matt de Neef writes, Caleb Ewan’s daughter Lily has attended three race days so far in her very young career as a fan, and her father has won all three.
| The leader, the substitute and the CCC shuffle
Iain Treloar reports on Guillaume van Keirsbulck’s scramble to make it to the Tour Down Under as a last-minute replacement for Patrick Bevin.
Today’s featured image of Dylan Teuns and Giulio Ciccone battling on stage 6 of the Tour de France comes from the Grubers.