Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
(Want to get the Daily News Digest delivered directly to your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.)
Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
With about four months to go until the start of the Tour de France, the oddsmakers are liking Egan Bernal as the top favorite, but beyond that it’s a pretty open field of contenders.
Any prognosticators out there may be interested to know, then, that the defending champ himself has weighed in on the debate. In an interview with El Tiempo this week, Bernal said that he sees 2019 Vuelta a España winner Primoz Roglic as his top rival for this year’s Tour.
For sure, the Slovenian looks like a real challenger. More generally, the battle of the tridents between Ineos and Jumbo-Visma is shaping up to be a good one – although could it be another member of either team that ends up on the top step of the Tour podium? Or perhaps neither?
We’re looking forward to seeing the favorites do battle in the months ahead.
Until next time, readers!
| Bernal: Roglic is my biggest rival for the Tour
Among the variety of subjects that Egan Bernal touched on in an interview with El Tiempo ahead of this week’s Tour Colombia was the field of contenders for this year’s Tour de France. The defending champ said that he sees Primoz Roglic as his biggest rival.
“He is a rider that has won the respect of everyone in the peloton,” Bernal said. “He was number one in the rankings last year, he won the Vuelta a España, he was on the podium in the Giro d’Italia, he does well in the time trial, he climbs well, he’s very consistent.”
| Freeman could face anti-doping charges
The Times reports that former British Cycling and Sky doctor Richard Freeman could face anti-doping charges before his medical tribunal concludes.
According to The Times, UK Anti-Doping had initially planned to wait until after the tribunal, but is considering moving forward with anti-doping charges following a series of delays that have pushed the expected conclusion of the tribunal to October, with the statute of limitations window set to close in May of 2021.
| Rivera wins queen stage at Langkawi, Celano takes race lead
Kevin Rivera climbed to victory on stage 4 at the Tour de Langkawi, topping Danilo Celano and Artem Ovechkin at Genting Highlands.
Celano’s strong ride on the queen stage propelled him into the overall lead, with stage 1 winner Yevegeniy Fedorov dropping to second in the standings and Ovechkin now in third.
| No Olympic track appearance for Cavendish
Mark Cavendish had been hoping to secure a place in the British track cycling team at the upcoming Olympics, but the Manxman will miss out after not being selected to the British squad for the track World Championships.
As the BBC explains, Cavendish needed to either race in a World Cup event or at Worlds to be eligible for Olympic selection. The Olympic medalist and multi-time madison world champ did not race the final round of the World Cup in Canada last month, however, and he was not among the recently announced list of riders named to Team GB for the upcoming World Championships.
| Socially Speaking
John Degenkolb officially has a cobbled sector named for him at Paris-Roubaix. Organizers bestowed the German Classics rider – who won the race in 2015, has worked with Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, and also helped save the Paris-Roubaix juniors race – with the honor on Monday.
In case you missed it
| Interview: BicyclesOnline’s founders on Cell bikes, Aldi, and international growth
Dave Rome sat down with the BicyclesOnline founders Jonathon Allara and James van Rooyen as well as bike designer Dave Musgrove to chat about the business, its future, and wider industry trends.
| Women’s cycling survey
CyclingTips is hoping to get some input from you (our audience) as we work to improve our coverage of women’s cycling. Click here to take our survey—we’d love to hear from you.
Today’s featured image of Egan Bernal in time trial mode at the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.