A new Zwift race for the pros, Riis on Brailsford comments: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!

Thursday brought some big news from the virtual racing world with the announcement of the upcoming Tour for All, a stage race that will draw several WorldTour teams to square off on Zwift.

EF, CCC, Mitchelton-Scott, Boels-Dolmans, Canyon-SRAM, and CCC-Liv are just a few of the top teams that are set to attend what should be an interesting five days of racing for both the men and the women, starting on Monday, May 4.

In other news, NTT Pro Cycling co-owner Bjarne Riis weighed in on a variety of subjects in a recent interview and took the opportunity to disagree with some comments made by Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford. Two weeks ago, Brailsford said that Ineos would pull out of the Tour de France if it felt it was unsafe to race; Riis apparently took issue with that sentiment, go so far as to call Brailsford’s comments “selifsh.”

Never a dull moment in the cycling world, at least.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| WorldTour pros set to square off in Zwift’s Tour for All

Some of the biggest teams from both the men’s and women’s pro pelotons will square off across five days of virtual racing next week in Zwift’s newly announced Tour for All. Running from May 4 to May 8, the event will give a collection of top squads the chance to battle for individual stage wins as well as team classification titles in an event that will be broadcast globally via Eurosport and GCN.

Among the marquee teams set to attend are Alpecin-Fenix, Bahrain-McLaren, CCC, EF, Mitchelton-Scott, Boels-Dolmans, Canyon-SRAM, and CCC-Liv, to name just a few, giving the event notably more WorldTour firepower than the recent Zwift Classics. A fundraising effort is being run in in conjunction with the race, with Zwift making an initial donation of $125,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and pledging an additional $125,000 once 250,000 users ride a stage of the race on Zwift.

| Riis calls Brailsford comments ‘selfish’

In a recent interview, NTT co-owner Bjarne Riis voiced his disapproval of comments made by Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford, who said two weeks ago that his squad would pull out of the Tour de France if it was not safe, much like the team withdrew from Paris-Nice early this year.

“I trust these people to have the right authorities behind them and take the right decision. We should follow that. I disagree with Dave Brailsford when he said we should decide if it’s safe or not,” Riis said, according to the Press Association.

“I think the UCI, the teams, the riders should stick together … and do what is best for cycling and not just individuals. I gave the example of Brailsford before and I was not very happy about his comments because I think it was selfish.”

| UAE-Team Emirates signs 17-year-old to five-year deal

Spanish prospect Juan Ayuso, just 17 years old, has signed a five-year contract with the UAE-Team Emirates squad.

“The idea is for him to make a gradual transition into the World Tour team,” said UAE team manager Matxin Fernández. “We are deciding along with Juan and his family where is best for him to spend his first year – whether it be at a Continental or professional level is still to be defined.”

| Bigla-Katusha launches crowdfunding campaign

As the team tries to navigate dire financial straits with both sponsors no longer providing funding, Bigla-Katusha has launched a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to stay afloat. The UCI Women’s Team is seeking 170,000 swiss francs (just under US$176,000) on GoFundMe.

“We are fully committed to our sport when racing re-commences and are motivated to work hard to build on our previous successes,” the team said on its GoFundMe page. “Your donation will help us to achieve this, and to continue to do what we do best, that is racing as a team that refuses to give up.”

| Bretagne Classic considering measures to run within French regulations

Organizers of the Bretagne Classic, currently planned for August 25, are hoping to run their race as scheduled even amid restrictions on large events in France.

According to French newspaper Ouest-France, organizers are looking into the possibility of capping finish line spectators at 3,000 people with paid entry to the site and providing masks to everyone in attendance.

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Today’s featured image of Primoz Roglic at the Tour de Romandie, which was initially planned to run this week, comes from Cor Vos.

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