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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
If we can’t have the Ardennes Classics this week, at least the Zwift racing scene is keeping us entertained. Tuesday saw the third and final women’s race of the Zwift Classics, the Watopia Cup, and things came down to a fast finish on the mountain-bike-friendly Jungle Circuit.
At the end of two laps, it was one of the top teams in Zwift racing, Team Heino, that came away with the one-two finish. Cecilia Hansen took the win ahead of teammate Vicki Whitelaw, while WorldTour star Ashleigh Moolman Pasio nabbed third.
Meanwhile, in the world of outdoor racing, Vuelta a España organizers are apparently mulling some interesting possibilities for the rescheduling of the race. According to reports, an October Vuelta, a start in the Basque Country, and an overall shortening from 21 to 18 stages are on the table at the moment.
We’ll keep you posted.
Until next time, readers.
| Hansen takes Watopia Cup
The Zwift Classics rolled on on Tuesday with the Watopia Cup, the third and final women’s race of the series. After two attritional laps on the Jungle Circuit, which saw most of the contenders on virtual mountain bikes, Zwift powerhouse Team Heino claimed the top two spots on the podium. Cecilia Hansen took the win in a sprint from a reduced bunch with Vicki Whitelaw nabbing second. WorldTour pro Ashleigh Moolman Pasio rounded out the podium in third.
Hansen said after the race that “timing is everything” for the sprint, and that knowing the route was key to nailing the finale. As she put it: “I rode the course like 20 times this week, so I had a close look at the finish.”
| An October Vuelta?
According to La Voz de Galicia, Vuelta a España organizers are looking into various ideas for holding the race later on in the season. Among the possibilities is a chance that the race will run in October, with the start also potentially moving from Utrecht in the Netherlands to Irún in Spain’s Basque Country.
A possible shortening of the race from 21 to 18 stages is also on the table, according to La Voz de Galicia.
| Martin postpones retirement consideration
Heading into the 2020 season, Tony Martin said he would be thinking about retiring after the season, but the multi-time world time trial champ says that he is putting those considerations on hold given the global race stoppage.
“Originally, I had set myself the goal of waiting for spring to find answers,” he told Frankfurter Allgemeine. Now, however, “the decision is currently postponed.”
| Evenepoel cancels plans for Muur van Geraardsbergen challenge
Remco Evenepoel is taking on a variety of cycling challenges during his time away from racing, but he apparently won’t be doing numerous trips up the Muur van Geraardsbergen this week as he had initially planned.
“After consideration I have decided to not go through with the Muur challenge on Friday,” he wrote on Twitter. “Although I appreciate all the positive reactions, I am afraid it will bring too many people together to watch which is not safe in these times. Will think of a new challenge soon!”
| An Open Letter from Life Time and the Kaw Nation
Following a petition that called for the Dirty Kanza to change its name and subsequent media coverage, race owner Life Time Fitness has released an open letter co-signed by Dirty Kanza co-founder Jim Cummins and Kaw Nation Chairwoman Lynn Williams that expounds on the decision to continue using the name.
The letter offers an account of where the event’s name comes from and also describes the relationship and conversations between event organizers and the Kaw Nation. The full letter can be read here.
In case you missed it
| Forget Flèche: The case for replacing the worst classic
As Joe Lindsey explains, the #ClassicClassics crew will be watching something other than La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
| Freewheeling Podcast: Tayler Wiles at home
In the latest episode of Freewheeling, Abby Mickey talks about the various news items of the week with Loren Rowney and then catches up with Tayler Wiles.
| 37 hours and 1,000km on Zwift: Willie Smit’s mindblowing lockdown ride
As Iain Treloar writes, Willie’s Smit’s 1,000-kilometer ride on Zwift was as mind-blowing as it sounds.
Today’s featured image of Philippe Gilbert en route to victory in the Basque Country on stage 12 of the 2019 Vuelta a España comes from Cor Vos.