Another Jebel Hafeet showdown, no Omloop for van der Poel: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!

We’re getting close to the weekend now, and Tadej Pogacar felt like celebrating on Thursday at the UAE Tour.

Stage 5 took the peloton up the Jebel Hafeet climb for the second time this week, and Pogacar was determined to improve on the runner-up performance he delivered on Tuesday’s stage 3. The young Slovenian did just that, if only by the narrowest of margins, pipping Alexey Lutsenko in a close battle to the line.

Adam Yates finished just behind in third on the day and remains comfortably in the overall race and with two stages to go.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| Pogacar pips Lutsenko to win UAE Tour stage 5

Tadej Pogacar nabbed his fourth victory of an already impressive 2020 campaign on Thursday’s stage 5 at the UAE Tour. The 21-year-old Slovenian battled with Alexey Lutsenko into the final centimeters on the Jebel Hafeet finishing climb, with Pogacar taking the narrow victory at the line even as Lutsenko seemed primed to raise an arm in celebration.

Race leader Adam Yates finished on the same time in third place to retain his spot atop the general classification, with Pogacar still second overall, 1:01 down, as the race heads into its final two stages.

| Van der Poel out of Omloop due to flu

Mathieu van der Poel will miss the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne due to the flu, with his Alpecin-Fenix team saying that he came down with a “high fever starting Wednesday night.”

Van der Poel got his season underway last week at the Volta ao Algarve, and this weekend was set to be van der Poel’s Omloop debut. Instead, Alpecin-Fenix will look to a roster of Dries De Bondt, Kristian Sbaragli, Floris De Tier, Senne Leysen, Petr Vakoc, Otto Vergaerde, and Scott Thwaites in the Belgian one-day.

| No teamwide suspension for Caja Rural

The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team has announced that the UCI has notified that squad that it will not receive a team-wide ban despite a pair of doping suspensions for riders linked with the team in a single 12-month period.

Domingos Goncalves and Jaime Roson were both provisionally suspended for biological passport irregularities, with Goncalves’s case centered on 2016 and Roson’s on the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. According to Caja Rural, the UCI decided not to hand down a teamwide ban “because the conditions that could see that happen do not exist.”

| Euskaltel returning to the peloton

Seven years after the Euskaltel-Euskadi team folded, Euskaltel is returning in the pro peloton, again supporting a Basque second division team. The Fundación Euskadi squad, which joined the ProTeam ranks this year, has announced that it will become Euskaltel-Euskadi starting at the Tour of the Basque Country in April.

The goal is to continue on the path of growth, and the support of Euskaltel is going to be a huge boost,” said Fundación Euskadi president Mikel Landa. “We want to put the team back where it needs to be.”

| HED’s new gravel-specific hoops

HED has entered the gravel market with a range of wheels that are somewhat ironically named Eroica. First teased at Eurobike and now ready for purchase, the Eroica wheel range includes two alloy models and one carbon, all featuring 25mm-wide (internal) tubeless-ready rims and respectable weights.

The flagship Eroica Carbon features a new patented approach which moulds the spoke bed so the nipples sit in a perfectly straight path – in turn creating a wheel that’s said to be lighter, stronger and more durable.

| Praxis adds ultra-short 160mm size to Zayante Carbon road cranksets

SeGot shorter legs and need to get those hip and knee angles in check, or just looking for shorter road crankarms for a special project? Fed up with 165mm being the default lower limit for higher-end road crankarms? Praxis recently debuted a new 160mm option for its flagship Zayante Carbon road crankset, featuring the same carbon fiber road arms, oversized 30mm aluminum spindle, and modular design as earlier models, as well as the company’s updated “LevaTime II” chainrings for improved shifting performance.

Retail price is US$325 / AU$485 / £300 (including chainrings, but excluding bottom bracket). More information can be found at Praxis’s web site, and you can also check out our review of the Zayante Carbon crankset.

In case you missed it

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Prefer getting your news via a quick podcast? Subscribe to our new 5 minute News Cycle podcast on iTunes, SpotifyGoogle Play or wherever you get your podcasts.

Today’s featured image of Tadej Pogacar winning stage 5 of the UAE Tour comes from Cor Vos.

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