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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
Fans of sprinting were treated to another star showdown on Wednesday at the UAE Tour, where many of the sport’s fastest finishers are racing this week.
On stage 4 in Dubai, it was Dylan Groenewegen who made a statement, topping Fernando Gaviria and Pascal Ackerman to get his third win of the year. Not bad considering it’s still just February.
In other news, Wout van Aert has made a change of plans that, normally, wouldn’t be a big story, but circumstances have made it one. The Belgian had been planning to make his 2020 road racing debut at Strade Bianche next month, but Jumbo-Visma says he will now start this weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as uncertainty mounts over the status of races in Italy due to coronavirus concerns.
It’s not the kind of van-Aert-to-Omloop story we’d prefer to write. Hopefully he will have a chance to race wherever he wants to sooner or later.
Until next time, readers.
| Van Aert changes plans, will race Omloop
Wout van Aert will make his first road racing start of the year at this weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in what marks a change of plans for the Belgian and his Jumbo-Visma squad.
“With van Aert’s start in the Omloop, we anticipate a possible cancellation of other races on his program,” the team said in a statement. Van Aert’s early season calendar has been expected to include Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo, but uncertainty looms over races in Italy at the moment due to the coronavirus outbreak there.
Joining Van Aert at the Omloop will be Amund Grondahl Jansen, Mike Teunissen, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Taco van der Hoorn, Maarten Wynants, and Bert-Jan Lindeman.
| Groenewegen wins UAE Tour stage 4
Dylan Groenewegen nabbed his third win so far this season on Wednesday’s stage 4 at the UAE Tour.
The Dutchman topped Fernando Gaviria and Pascal Ackermann in a bunch kick in Dubai. Adam Yates remains in the race lead with three stages left to go.
| Stybar set to make Omloop return
Deceuninck-Quick-Step has unveiled its roster for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, with defending champion Zdenek Stybar headlining the squad.
The Czech veteran will be joined by Kasper Asgreen, Tim Declercq, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, and Florian Sénéchal in Flanders on Saturday. Five of those seven will also race Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the following day, with Fabio Jakobsen and Bert Van Lerberghe slotting in for Declercq and Sénéchal.
| Denmark sets a new team pursuit world record
The Danish men’s pursuit team has broken the world record in the discipline previously held by Australia.
The quartet of Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg Madsen, and Rasmus Pedersen set a time of 3:46.579 in qualifiers at the Track World Championships in Berlin. Racing will continue for Denmark and the other qualifying teams.
| New sizes and colors for Wolf Tooth thru-axles
Minnesota-based component and accessory manufacturer Wolf Tooth Components has just announced the addition of road sizes to its range of front and rear thru-axles. Each 7075-T6 aluminum axle features a low-profile 6mm head, a stainless steel washer to prevent galling, and laser-etched graphics. Wolf Tooth is offering the new axles in four sizes – 1.5 x 120mm, 1.5 x 125mm, 1.0 x 117mm, and 1.75 x 122mm – each with a choice of six anodized colors.
Retail cost is US$40. For more information, visit wolftoothcomponents.com.
| Specialized expands its Recon all-terrain shoe range
Previously just an S-Works product, the gravel/cross/cross-country Recon shoe range has been expanded to include three lower priced options. Featuring Specialized’s Body Geometry fit, these shoes offer a newly designed flex area at the toe and a more generous rubber tread, both for easier walking. Prices of the new models start from US$110 (Recon 1.0) and go up to US$225 (Recon 3.0).
As previously reviewed, the S-Works Recon remains the top dog at US$425. See the full range here.
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Today’s featured image of the final sprint on stage 4 of the UAE Tour comes from Cor Vos.