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June is usually a time full of Tour de France roster talk, and Lotto-Soudal did its part to keep with that standard on Tuesday – despite the fact that this year’s Tour has been rescheduled to start in August – by announcing the selection of riders it plans to send to the race.
The Belgian WorldTour outfit will have plenty of options in its quest for stage victories at the French Grand Tour. Star sprinter Caleb Ewan will lead the way in the sprints, with the likes of Philippe Gilbert, John Degenkolb, and Thomas De Gendt among the headliners who will join him in the hunt for stage wins.
Meanwhile, Tuesday also brought news of a doping ban. Kanstantsin Siutsou won’t be racing any time soon. He’s been retired for nearly two years, of course, but on Tuesday he received a ban for an EPO positive from 2018.
Read on for more …
| Ewan and Gilbert among headliners in Lotto-Soudal’s Tour team
Lotto-Soudal unveiled its Tour de France selection on Tuesday, with Caleb Ewan set to lead the team in the sprints and Philippe Gilbert among a number of other notable stage hunters on the roster.
Ewan, who won three stages in his Tour debut last year, will have lead-out riders Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge for support. On the stages that aren’t as well-suited for bunch sprints, the team will look to Gilbert, John Degenkolb, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens, and Steff Cras.
After the Tour, Ewan will head to the Giro d’Italia, where he also counts three stage wins on his career palmares.
| Siutsou receives doping ban nearly two years after EPO positive
Nearly two years after he tested positive for EPO, Kanstantsin Siutsou has received a doping ban from the UCI.
The 37-year-old Belarusian registered an adverse analytical finding in an out-of-competition test in July of 2018. At the time, he was in his second year with the Bahrain-Merida organization; prior to joining the team, he had ridden for multiple years with Columbia-HTC and then Sky, and for one season with Dimension Data.
Siutsou’s doping violation was announced in September of 2018 and he has not raced since. On Tuesday, he was handed a four-year doping ban running from 2018 to September of 2022.
| Boom joins CCC-Liv as performance manager
Former cyclocross world champ and two-time Grand Tour stage winner Lars Boom has joined the CCC-Liv team as performance manager, the squad announced on Tuesday.
“I still feel very much like a cyclist. But at the same time I am very conscious about my future in which I want to be of significance in cycling,” said the 34-year-old Dutchman, who rode with Roompot-Charles last season before that team folded. “With my experience and interest in equipment and technology, I think I can add value to the peloton. The ‘move’ to the position of performance manager accelerated when I came into contact with CCC-Liv and heard about the preparations for the first Paris-Roubaix for women. That is and remains my favorite terrain. The ambition of the team appealed to me.”
| Woods ‘almost 100 percent’
Three months after suffering a broken femur in a bad crash at Paris-Nice, and with the return of the racing season now looming, Michael Woods says he is nearly fully recovered.
“I’m almost 100%. I can’t run yet, but I can do everything else,” Woods said via his EF team’s website. “I can walk around with my daughter Max, and I can ride my bike. It’s as if there’s nothing, I feel completely normal on the bike again, so I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.”
| Boels-Dolmans announces signing of up-and-comer Shackley
Boels-Dolmans announced on Tuesday that it had signed 19-year-old Anna Shackley, a versatile up-and-comer who is a two-time British national champion in track events, to a deal that will start in January of 2021, by which point the team will be known as SD Worx.
“I’m extremely proud of the fact that this top team would want to have me as a member,” said Shackley, who hails from Scotland. “I had never expected to have the opportunity to transition to a WorldTour team at such a young age.”
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Today’s featured image of Egan Bernal at the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.