Thomas on Zwift, EF makes cuts, Brailsford talks Tour: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

As another week comes to a close, Zwift remains in the headlines and so too do some noble efforts by people around the sport.

Geraint Thomas combined both over the past few days, riding 12 hours a day on Zwift from Wednesday through Friday in an effort to raise funds for charity. He set out with a goal of raising £100,000 in donations. By Friday evening, donations had more than tripled that number.

Chapeau to Thomas and to the thousands of people that joined him and helped out for doing some good – and providing some good news – as we head into the weekend.

Until next time, readers.

What’s news

| Thomas’s ‘Zwift Shifts’ raise over £300,000 in charity donations

Geraint Thomas finished his third of three 12-hour Zwift rides on Friday and when all was said and done, he had raised over £300,000 in donations for charity to help the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

The 2018 Tour de France champion kicked off his three NHS “Zwift Shifts” on Wednesday, spending 12 hours a day – a typical shift for an NHS hospital worker – on the trainer.
Streaming his rides live on Facebook and inviting others to join him, Thomas got underway with a goal of raising £100,000 in donations to NHS Charities Together, an organization of charities working with the NHS. He would ultimately raise more than three times his initial goal.

| Vitus wins Zwift Classics Richmond Challenge

The Zwift Classics rolled on on Friday with a race uniquely set up as a team battle on Zwift’s Richmond Worlds course. Dan Fleeman hit the line first after 32.8 kilometers, but Continental road squad Vitus emerged victorious in the team standings. The team amassed the most points throughout the race at sprints, KOMs, and the finish with strong showings from the likes of Chris McGlinchey, Michael Mottram, and Joey Walker.

“Obviously there was as little bit of disappointment, because we wanted to win the race and we were hoping that that would give us enough points to take the team classification,” said Fleeman, whose Indoor Specialist squad took second with Canyon ZCC in third. “But second place, still, a good result.”

The Zwift Classics continue on Tuesday with the Watopia Cup.

| EF makes cuts

With travel and education company EF Education First affected by widespread lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic, the EF squad has joined the teams across the peloton cutting salaries and some staff, VeloNews reports.

“We are discussing things on an individual basis with each rider,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said, according to VeloNews. “We need their sign-off and willingness to make this work.”

| Brailsford: Ineos will “reserve the right to withdraw” from Tour if not safe

Dave Brailsford has told The Guardian that Ineos is planning to race the recently rescheduled Tour de France, but is nevertheless monitoring the global pandemic situation and will decide on its own whether it will participate depending on the way things develop.

“We would reserve the right to withdraw the team should we deem it necessary,” Brailsford told The Guardian. “Whilst the race is on, we will plan to participate, but equally we will monitor the evolving nature of how things play out, as we did prior to Paris-Nice.”

| Verbrugghe says he’s recovered from coronavirus

Former pro and current Belgian national coach Rik Verbrugghe says that he has recovered after coming down with COVID-19.

“I got the full load. I had a fever for eight days and slept as much in the day as the night for five days,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “It was so bad, I was in pain everywhere. I have not been tested, but the doctor was sure it was COVID-19. Because I was still able to breathe properly, I did not have to go to the hospital and it is only there that testing takes place.”

| Champion System producing masks and donating portion of proceeds to charity

Apparel company Champion System has begun producing face masks to sell directly to consumers, with thousands of masks in its first production run and more coming.

The company has pledged a portion of proceeds to the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

| Alé manufacturing medical garments to donate to hospitals

Also shifting some resources away from producing cycling apparel temporarily is Alé Cycling.

The Italian brand is producing medical coats that meet standards for protection against biological agents in its Veronese facilities, and donating them to hospitals.

| Moving Pictures

Ciavete: Dream On offers a fascinating look at the art style of the late, great Dario Pegoretti.

Meanwhile, old-school mountain bikers may be interested to learn that Fox MTB has put a remastered edition of the totally rad classic MTB film Chainsmoke on YouTube. Watch out for Cadel Evans at around the 20-minute mark.

In case you missed it

| The benefactor model: Why some teams are ‘more stable’ than others right now

Teams around the pro peloton are facing challenges at the moment, but Israel Start-Up Nation is in a “more stable” situation than most right now.

| Bikes of the (staff) bunch: Dave Rome’s Cannondale CAAD12

Dave Rome explains why he spends lots of time aboard his CAAD12.

| The coffee ride isn’t dead

As Dave Everett proves in his latest video featuring Toms Skujins, you can go on a coffee ride from the trainer.

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Today’s featured image of Adri van der Poel en route to victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège 32 years ago today comes from Cor Vos.

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