Big names primed for virtual races to come, Gilbert fined: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

We’re happy to report that today’s Daily News Digest at least features a few headlines about events that will actually be happening in the near future.

For one thing, there’s the Giro d’Italia Virtual, an event starting this weekend that will give amateurs and stars of the past and present a chance to ride together (virtually) on sections of this year’s Giro route. Primoz Roglic, Lizzie Deignan, and Alessandro Ballan are just a few of the many big names that will upload GPX files to bike computers and hop on board their trainers to participate over the coming weeks.

Then there’s the Digital Swiss 5, which will draw quite a start list of headliners to compete across five days of racing later this month. Marquee names set to attend include Roglic (he’ll be busy indeed), Julian Alaphilippe, and Vincenzo Nibali, to name just a few.

Considering how little racing we’ve seen lately, we’ll be looking forward to the action.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| Alaphilippe, Nibali, Roglic, and more headline ‘Digital Swiss 5’

The ‘Digital Swiss 5,’ a virtual race collaboration between the Tour de Suisse and Velon, will see some big names contesting five days of competition on the Rouvy platform starting on April 22.

Organizers rolled out most of the headliners on the impressive start list on Thursday for the 19 teams that will take on the race. Squads will take three-rider rosters into each of the five races, which will cover virtual renderings of various sections of the route of this year’s Tour de Suisse, which has been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Stars set to participate include Julian Alaphilippe, Sam Bennett, Remco Evenepoel, Zdenek Stybar, Primoz Roglic, Vincenzo Nibali, Mads Pedersen, Romain Bardet, Dan Martin, Esteban Chaves, Adam Yates, and Michael Matthews.

| Gilbert fined for training outside

Philippe Gilbert told Monaco Info earlier this week that he was fined for training outside, which is prohibited under Monaco’s lockdown restrictions. Gilbert said he had gone out for “some fresh air and variety” in the form of a few laps on a nearby 11-kilometer loop, but was stopped by police and fined €100. He has since committed to staying at home on the trainer.

“All citizens are equal before the law. Just because I won Paris-Roubaix last year doesn’t mean I have more rights than anyone else,” Gilbert told Monaco Info. “As public figures, we need to set an example. I’ve put the bike aside and now I’m only training on the turbo trainer.”

| The Cyclists’ Alliance presses for involvement in season planning talks

The UCI released details for a range of plans regarding the rescheduling of bike races on Wednesday, but with the focus of the announcement on men’s event, the future of countless women’s races remains unclear. The Cyclists’ Alliance, which represents pro women, has voiced frustration at not being involved in discussions.

“We have repeatedly approached the @UCI_cycling to be apart of the discussions concerning the 2020 UCI women’s race calendar,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “This announcement comes without the rider’s interests or voices represented. We continue to press the UCI that we want to be involved in future plannings.”

| Stars of past and present set to ride virtual Giro

Giro d’Italia organizers have a plan in place to bring some big names together with amateurs (virtually, that is) for a seven-stage event that will run over the course of a few weeks starting on Saturday. Participants will upload GPX files from Garmin Connect to their bike computers and then race sections of select Giro stages on board their trainers.

A handful of top teams, featuring stars like Primoz Roglic, Jakob Fuglsang, Lizzie Deignan, and Elisa Longo Borghini, will contest men’s and women’s team classifications. Italian cycling icons like Ivan Basso, Alessandro Ballan, Claudio Chiappucci, and Andrea Tafi will participate in a “Legends” category, while any amateurs that sign up will race for individual general classification honors on both the men’s and women’s side. You can learn more here.

| State Bicycle Co. creates bike for NBA star Devin Booker

Here’s one for the fans of cycling who are also into basketball and hip-hop: After making custom bikes for Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns to give to his teammates in 2018, State Bicycle Co. has now created an impressive custom ride just for Booker, with a paint job inspired by a reference to the NBA star made by Drake in the Travis Scott song “Sicko Mode.”

Shoe designer @ninjasaurus_ crafted the design of the bike and a matching pair of Kobe 1 shoes. You can see more here.

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Today’s featured image of Vincenzo Nibali with the GC contenders at the 2019 Giro d’Italia comes from Gruber Images.

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