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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Caley Fretz here, filling in for Dane Cash.
Yesterday should have been the grande partenza, the big start, of the Giro d’Italia, and I woke up feeling like a little piece of me was missing. I don’t think I’m alone.
Let’s look on the bright side, though. There are more people out and about on bikes than I’ve ever seen, even in bike-mad Boulder, Colorado, and that trend seems to be global. France is paying for personal bike maintenance, the UK government is widening bike lanes (more on that below), and cities all over the world are shutting streets down to cars, making room for pedestrians and riders.
It’s comforting, in a way, to watch those around us discover what we already knew. Bikes are the answer to so many different questions.
So here’s my request to you: Keep an eye out for neighbors, friends, or family interested in getting on a bike. Help them out. Show them the ways (from a safe distance). Remind them not to wear undies under their chamois.
And when all this is over, take them for a ride.
| Nibali misses the Giro
“I miss the Giro so much,” Vincenzo Nibali said, echoing us all.
“These should have been the days of tension, doubt, adrenaline and fear, but also of awareness. You’re concentrated and attentive to every detail, asking yourself ‘Have I prepared well?’ Now, instead, I’m calm, and you can even allow yourself the odd lapse. For the last 15 years, May has been the height of the season for me.”
The Giro, for those who haven’t yet waded through the UCI’s revised calendar, is now scheduled for October 3-25. The last day will also see Paris-Roubaix and a mountain stage of the Vuelta a Espana. Better get a couple screens set up.
| Top Boels-Dolmans riders will transition into team leadership roles
Dutch stars and Boels-Dolmans teammates Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak both revealed their future retirement plans on Sunday, announcing their shared intentions to move into sports director roles after they hang up their respective wheels.
Van der Breggen, 30, has signed a contract extension to ride on with the team through the 2021 season, where she will focus on the rescheduled Olympics. After that, the 2016 Olympic champ and 2018 world road champ will call it a career and move into the role of coach and sports director at what will then be known as the SD Worx squad for the following three years. Blaak will ride on to the spring of 2022 before joining van der Breggen as a sport director.
| UK government will invest £2 billion in cycling, including repair vouchers
On the heels of a similar announcement out of France, the UK government says it will widen bike lanes, improve junctions, and provide vouchers to help riders keep their bikes working.
The intention is to increase cycling and foot traffic to help take some of the stress off of public transit. The government has also fast-tracked guidelines for shutting down car use in low-traffic neighborhoods.
In case you missed it
| The Roadmap Episodes
This week’s podcast is a bit different. We dig into the uncertain present and future of pro cycling, and speak with insiders like Dave Brailsford, Jonathan Vaughters, and Simon Mottram about how we can steer the sport in the right direction.
Today’s featured image of Vincenzo Nibali in time trial mode on stage 9 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia comes from Kristof Ramon.