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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
It’s a big day for Grand Tour news, as the Giro d’Italia has announced its wildcard invitations and Ineos has unveiled the plans of its marquee GC stars in 2020.
The highlights: The three Italian ProTeams scored the three available spots for the upcoming Giro. Defending Giro champ Richard Carapaz will lead the way for Ineos there. Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, and, if he’s healthy, Chris Froome are all targeting the Tour de France.
The three-week events may seem a little ways off yet, but with the Australian racing summer already underway, it’s not long now before the WorldTour calendar really gets rolling.
We’re looking forward to it.
Until next time, readers!
| Ineos’s Grand Tour plans
In a video released by Ineos on Thursday, team principal Dave Brailsford outlined the 2020 plans for the team’s four recent Grand Tour winners: Richard Carapaz, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, and Chris Froome.
“As it stands at this moment in time, what we’re looking at is Richard going to the Giro trying to retain his title there, and then for Geraint and Egan to take on the challenge and focus on the Tour,” Brailsford said. “And of course, Chris, coming back, he’s still really craving that big fifth win and he’s working very, very hard at the minute to get back to the level required to be competitive.”
| Italian teams score Giro bids, Alpecin-Fenix invited to Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo
Race organizer RCS announced the wildcard invitations for the 2020 Giro d’Italia and a few other events on Thursday, confirming that Italian teams Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF, and Vini Zabù-KTM earned the available spots for the upcoming Giro.
Also notable were the invitation lists for Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo, which include bids for Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team. Van der Poel has yet to race either Italian one-day event in his young road career.
| Alpecin-Fenix joining MPCC
Speaking of Alpecin-Fenix, the Belgian ProTeam is becoming a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), joining several other second-division squads and a handful of WorldTour outfits in the organization that pushes for stronger anti-doping protocols in cycling.
“We wish to be part of the movement based on simple reasons: We want our team management to be correct, ethical and transparent,” said team GM Philip Roodhooft in a statement from the MPCC.
| Hosking wins Women’s Tour Down Under opener
Chloe Hosking won Thursday’s opening stage of the Women’s Tour Down Under in a sprint in Macclesfield.
The sprinters were nearly denied their chance as a long-range attack from Brodie Chapman almost went the distance, but the pack reeled in the move in the final kilometer. Hosking topped Lotta Henttala and Matilda Raynolds in the final kick.
| Kruijswijk battling knee issue in training
NOS reports that Steven Kruijswijk is absent from a Jumbo-Visma training camp in Spain this week as he deals with a small knee problem.
According to NOS, there is not too much cause for concern, with the 32-year-old Dutchman training on his own after a brief rest period.
| Preidler says he doped “out of curiosity”
Georg Preidler has said during legal proceedings in Austria that he engaged in blood doping “out of pure curiousity,” according to Radio Steiermark.
The former pro, who received a ban after initially being implicated in the Operation Aderlass scandal, is on trial for fraud.
| Socially Speaking
If you read our recent piece on how many kilometers the pros put in over the offseason and want to be wowed by more stats on massive rides, Velofacts has you covered with data that includes some training numbers from women’s world road champ Annemiek van Vleuten.
— Velofacts (@velofacts) January 15, 2020
In case you missed it
| Pro bikes of the 2020 WorldTour: part one
Part one of our in-depth look at the bikes of the 2020 WorldTour features photos of and details on what EF, Ineos, Sunweb, Movistar, and Deceuninck-Quick-Step are riding this season.
| Why an ‘ethics of fairness’ is a better way of looking at doping
Craig Fry proposes a different way of thinking about and addressing doping in sport.
| From tragedy to triumph: Christian Ashby’s return to life
Iain Treloar has the compelling story of Christian Ashby. Four and a half years ago he was severely injured in a hit-and-run. Last week, he won two national paracyling titles in Australia.
| Cyrus Monk’s 2019 wrap
Australia’s Cyrus Monk writes about the highs and lows of his interesting first season racing for a European team over at his blog Cyclist or Scientist.
Today’s featured image of Richard Carapaz on his way to victory on stage 14 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia comes from the Grubers.