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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Soren Kragh Andersen celebrated the midway point of the week in style on Wednesday in France.
The 25-year-old Dane was the fastest rider on the day in the stage 4 time trial at Paris-Nice, holding off race leader Max Schachmann to get his first victory since late 2018. After his third place finish at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kragh Andersen has to be feeling good about his form, although at this point it’s not clear whether he will have the opportunity to put that to work in the Classics to come as race organizers continue to monitor the coronavirus situation.
On that topic, according to the Gazprom-Rusvelo team, Dmitry Strakhov has been told he tested positive for coronavirus, making him the first rider identified by his team as having registered a coronavirus positive after the UAE Tour.
Strakhov and several teammates have been quarantined in Abu Dhabi since the race was called off. He said he was feeling normal, but has been hospitalized and is now awaiting further test results.
Until next time, readers.
| Kragh Andersen wins Paris-Nice stage 4 TT
Soren Kragh Andersen powered to victory against the clock on stage 4 of Paris-Nice, setting the fastest mark on a 15.1-kilometer course in Saint-Amand-Montrond.
The fourth day of racing at the eight-day event in France got underway with a handful of riders no longer in the race, with Sam Bennett among the riders pulling out following crashes. The early goings saw a steady series of lead changes until Kragh Andersen put in a consistent ride to knock fellow Dane Kasper Asgreen out of the hot seat. From there, it was only the last rider on the road, race leader Max Schachmann, that would put in a serious challenge.
Schachmann was faster at the intermediate time check, but faded in the second half of his effort. Kragh Andersen took the win with Schachmann settling for second and Asgreen in third. Schachmann continues to lead the general classification, with Kragh Andersen moving into second overall.
Paris-Nice stage 4 results
1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:18:51
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:12
| Gazprom says Strakhov notified of coronavirus positive
Dmitry Strakhov has been told he tested positive for coronavirus, according to his Gazprom-Rusvelo team, making him the first UAE Tour rider to have been identified as having registered a coronavirus positive. The 24-year-old Russian has been in quarantine since the UAE Tour was called off. He is apparently feeling normal, but has been hospitalized.
“After passing the fifth test at the hotel, they told me that I have a positive result for coronavirus and I need to go to the hospital,” Strakhov said via a social media post from the team. “True, I did not see the results of the analyzes. The hospital conducted additional tests, took a blood test and promised to report the results in the near future.”
| Recovered from parasite, Dumoulin hopes for Catalunya return but ‘nothing is certain’
Tom Dumoulin has told De Telegraaf that he has recovered from the intestinal parasite that derailed the start of his 2020 campaign, but he still cannot be completely sure when he will return to racing due to the impact coronavirus is having on the cycling world.
“I hope to return to the Volta a Catalunya, but nothing is certain at the moment,” Dumoulin said. “I keep in mind that it will be a very crazy spring.”
| Lousa Downhill World Cup Postponed
What would have been the first round of World Cup downhill racing this season in Lousa, Portugal, has been postponed amid coronavirus concerns.
“In light of the current situation, the running of the event would have potentially presented a health risk to riders, to everyone involved in the event and to fans, and could have contributed to the spread of Covid-19,” the UCI said in a statement. Organizers, the UCI, and health authorities are consulting over the date for the rescheduled event.
| New date set for Sea Otter
Organizers recently announced that Sea Otter, originally planned for April, would be postponed. Now, the cycling festival has a new date.
The 2020 Sea Otter Classic will be held on October 1-4. According to the press release, “other than the date changes, the location and racing schedules for Sea Otter will remain essentially the same.”
| Schurter and Courtney renew with Scott-SRAM MTB Racing
Nino Schurter and Kate Courtney have both extended their contracts until 2022 with Scott-SRAM MTB Racing.
According to a statement, the team still has contracts with its sponsors until at least the end of 2020, with SRAM and RockShox recently extending until 2022.
| Europe’s largest e-bike producer sold 433,780 e-bikes last year
E-bikes may be becoming popular in the United States and Australia, but in Europe they already have a huge share in cycling industry sales.
As Bike Europe reports, Europe’s largest e-bike producer Accell (parent company of Ghost, Haibike, Lapierre, Raleigh, and many more) sold 433,780 e-bikes in 2019. That accounts for 79 percent of the company’s financial turn-over.
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Today’s featured image of Soren Kragh Andersen celebrating his Paris-Nice stage win comes from Cor Vos.