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Hello CyclingTips readers,
The resumption of WorldTour racing might still be a month or so away, but thanks to the Slovenian national road championships we do have some bike racing to report on. This past weekend Tadej Pogacar beat Primoz Roglic to win a second-straight national ITT title – a result that bodes well for the rest of Pogacar’s season (note that Roglic didn’t race last year’s nationals ITT).
Another race just drew to a close too – albeit online – with a bunch of riders completing crazy-long distances indoors as part of the Virtual Race Across America. Among them was fellow journo and friend of the CyclingTips Podcast, Rupert Guinness, who covered more than 3,000 km (1,864 miles) in 12 days.
Read on for those stories and more in today’s edition of the Daily News Digest.
Have a great week!
Matt de Neef
| Tadej Pogacar beats Primoz Roglic to win Slovenian TT title
A week after finishing second to Primoz Roglic in the Slovenian nationals road race, Tadej Pogacar has bounced back to win his country’s time trial title for the second straight year.
On a 15.7 km course that featured a climb of nearly 8 km, Pogacar went around in 31:10 (average 30.2 km/h), nine seconds faster than Roglic. Pogacar’s UAE-Team Emirates teammate Jan Polanc was third at 1:47.
“After second place last week coming back and taking the win felt really nice,” Pogacar said. “It was a course I knew very well and we had trained a lot on it during the week.”
| Two-year ‘motor doping’ inquiry comes to an end
French authorities have closed a two-year investigation into the use of mechanical doping in elite cycling, having found no evidence of the use of hidden motors.
The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) began the investigation after Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche was found with a motor in a spare bike at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships. It was suspected that other high-level riders could have been using such technology, but the investigation – which happened in partnership with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) – was brought to a close with no further evidence found.
| More than half the WorldTour peloton backs change at rider’s union
More than half of the men’s WorldTour peloton has reportedly signed a petition calling for change within the professional rider’s union, the CPA.
VeloNews reports that some 325 riders – including former Grand Tour winners and world champions – have joined a growing movement to bring about change at the CPA. There are concerns from within the peloton that the CPA isn’t adequately representing riders’ interests.
“We sent out the petition electronically on Tuesday, and within 48 hours, we had 325 riders agreeing to sign on,” rider coalition representative Luuc Eisenga told VeloNews. “That shows how much support there is for change.”
| Virtual Race Across America draws to a close
The Race Across America (RAAM) mightn’t have happened as normal this year due to COVID-19, but the self-styled “world’s toughest bicycle race” did go ahead in virtual form. The VRAAM came to a close overnight after a handful of riders spent the past 12 days riding FulGaz segments for up to 20 hours a day, completing as many virtual miles across the USA as they could.
Among the riders taking part were Australian cycling journalist Rupert Guinness and broadcaster (and former Giro d’Italia stage winner) Dave McKenzie. Guinness completed 3,358.68 virtual kilometres (2,085 miles) while McKenzie rode 3,005 km (1,867 miles).
Japanese rider Hirokazu Suzuki was the overall winner, covering 4,539.8 km (2,820 miles) in 12 days of riding – an average of roughly 380 km (236 miles) a day on the indoor trainer. Ouch.
| Tour of Poland to honour Bjorg Lambrecht
The Tour of Poland has announced a series of measures to honour Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht who died following a crash in last year’s edition.
Lambrecht’s race number, 143, will be retired from the race and a minute’s silence will be held at the start of the opening stage in Chorzów. The best young rider classification will also be named after Lambrecht who was 22 when he died.
| ASO requests date change for 2021 Tour de France start
Tour de France organisers, ASO, have requested a change of dates for the start of the 2021 Tour de France, to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The 2021 Olympics are now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021, with the men’s road race set for July 24. The 2021 Tour de France is set to start on July 2 with three stages in Denmark, and conclude on July 25.
“I can confirm that we have received a request from the Tour de France management that they would like to discuss the contracted dates they have with us for when the Tour should start Denmark in 2021,” said Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen and chairman of the board of the local organising group, according to Danish broadcaster DR.
In case you missed it
| Report: Manuela Fundación offers €10 million for WorldTour license
As Dane Cash writes, the Mitchelton Scott x Manuela Fundación story doesn’t appear to be over yet, with reports the Spanish not-for-profit has offered to buy the Australian team’s WorldTour license.
| CyclingTips Podcast: The Pride episode
If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to this special (and important) episode of the CyclingTips Podcast.
Today’s featured image of Greg Lemond winning Worlds in 1989 comes from Cor Vos.