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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
The weekend is inching closer. Are you making any plans (even if that’s just putting in some time on the trainer or in a Zoom chat with friends)?
The peloton’s many Colombian stars may be busy planning too, now that Colombia has announced a ban on international flights that will last until August 31. Riders like Egan Bernal and Nairo Quintana probably had plans to get back to Europe well before the new Tour de France start date of August 29, but now they may have to get some kind of special dispensation to make it across the Atlantic given the newly announced travel restrictions.
In other news, amid a seemingly constant stream of headlines regarding the shrinkage of the racing calendar as one race after another is cancelled for 2020, a different sort of headline arrived Thursday morning as organizers of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta announced that the race would grow by one day. That’s one more day of racing for the Women’s WorldTour, which should be welcome for the peloton, which has seen so many of its events called off this year.
Read on for more …
| Colombia imposes international flight ban until August 31
Colombian pros across the peloton may have to navigate some difficulties in making it over to Europe for the planned resumption of the racing season, as the Colombian government announced on Wednesday that it would halt all international passenger flights until August 31. That could make it difficult for the likes of Egan Bernal and Nairo Quintana to make it to the Tour de France start line.
Cyclingnews reports that rider agent Giuseppe Acquadro, who represents several Colombian stars, is hopeful that Colombia’s pros will be given dispensation to travel despite the ban.
“The Colombian government knows that Egan, Nairo, Rigo [Urán] and the other riders competing at the Tour de France and in Europe is good for the morale of the country during the COVID-19 problems, so I think they’ll give them special dispensation to travel,” Acquadro said, according to Cyclingnews.
| Chaves still dreams of yellow
Speaking of Colombian stars, Esteban Chaves says he is still hoping to one day win the Tour de France. The 30-year-old Colombian delivered podium performances in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España in 2016, but has not achieved quite the same GC success since, with illness derailing his ambitions in recent seasons.
“I would like to return to contending at a Grand Tour and I think I have let [the team] know that,” he said in a radio interview with Deportes W. “My dream is to win the Tour at some point. I hope to achieve it. I have always had hard times and then I have come back stronger.”
| Ceratizit Challenge becomes a three-day race
The Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta will be a three-day race in 2020, the ASO announced on Thursday.
Formerly the Madrid Challenge, the event started in 2015 as a one-day race and maintained that format before adding a second stage in 2018 and continuing as a two-day race into 2019. Now, according to a press release, the final event of the Women’s WorldTour calendar will run from November 6 to 8. Organizers are currently working to finalize a route.
| Landa: Bahrain-McLaren is focused on me for the Tour
As rumors swirl about the possible teams that could be talking to Chris Froome about a potential transfer, Bahrain-McLaren’s current GC leader Mikel Landa says that he has been assured that the team’s focus remains on him.
“The team has already denied they are interested and Rod [Ellingworth, team principal] has told me that personally,” Landa said, according to Cyclingnews.
“In any case, I’m here to ride my bike, I’ve not got a choice in the matter, and Bahrain-McLaren have told me they are still focused on me for the Tour, things continue as normal, and that’s put my mind at rest.”
| Cervélo co-founder Phil White named acting president of 4iiii
Phil White, who co-founded Cervélo with Gerard Vroomen in 1996, has been announced as acting president of 4iiii Innovations.
According to a press release, White, who has been a 4iiii board member since 2017, is coming aboard “to fortify the company’s growth trajectory as an innovation leader in sports electronics and sensor technology.”
| Socially Speaking
Cycling fans in Belgium may be interested to learn that a pro cycling-oriented edition of Monopoly is coming later this year. “Monopoly Koers Course” features Belgian stars Philippe Gilbert and Remco Evenepoel on the box, with properties like the Carrefour de l’Arbre and the Muur.
— Lotto Soudal (@Lotto_Soudal) May 19, 2020
In case you missed it
| Can Zwift solve its cheating problem?
Caley Fretz looks into what Zwift is doing to combat cheating.
| Cannondale’s 2021 Scalpel is a more capable cross country race machine
As Dave Rome writes, Cannondale is overhauling the Scalpel once again.
| An interesting take on Strava’s recently announced changes
Cosmo Catalano offers a perspective on the Strava’s recent updates that is worth a read.
Today’s featured image from Kristof Ramon of the Monopoly Cycling Edition at the the Sven Nys Cycling centre in Baal.