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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
The planned return of racing may still be a little ways off (if it happens at all), but plenty of big names are fully focused on training right now.
For some, like the many Colombian pros who live high above sea level, that naturally means altitude training. As Sergio Higuita pointed out in a recent interview, that could come in handy when racing picks back up and much of the rest of the peloton has not had the same opportunity to train at elevation.
For others, training right now means incredibly long days on the bike. Just ask Annemiek van Vleuten, who put in a 400-kilometer training ride on Monday while maintaining an average speed of 35.6 kilometers per hour (22.1 mph). Wow.
And there are also a few pro teams out there that are announcing their plans for bona fide training camps in the near future. Deceuninck-Quick-Step joined that conversation on Tuesday, announcing a training camp that will take place in Belgium in the middle of June.
We probably won’t know for certain for some time yet whether the pros will get to put their hard work to the test in actual races this season, but we’re happy to see them getting out on the bike either way.
Read on for more …
| Higuita: Colombians could have an advantage when racing resumes
EF’s Sergio Higuita raised an interesting point in an interview with El Tiempo this week. Should racing pick back up in August as planned, wouldn’t it make sense that the riders who have had an opportunity to train at altitude for the past few months would be better prepared to contend?
“We are benefitting from the permission they gave us to go out and train,” Higuita said of the situation for pros in Colombia. “The majority of us live at altitude and I think we have an advantage, because we can train at more than 2,000 meters above sea level, whereas in Europe, they have not been able to.”
| Deceuninck-Quick-Step announces June training camp
Speaking of training, several squads are starting to plan their first training camps following a long break due to COVID-19, and on Tuesday, Deceuninck-Quick-Step announced its plans to get back to business this month. The Belgian squad will hold a training camp the week of June 15 in Northern Belgium.
“It is more a case of getting the group together, rather than having any hugely structured training sessions, as most of the guys have been following structured programs that the coaches have set for them for several weeks now,” said coach Koen Pilgrim. “We will also be using it as an opportunity to recon the routes of some of the cobbled classics, like Flanders and Gent–Wevelgem. We would like to do Roubaix too, but we would have to cross the border, which may be complicated right now, but we will get in some good training anyway.”
| CAS to hear Russia case against WADA in November
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Wednesday that it will hear the appeal of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) against WADA in November.
In December, WADA announced sanctions banning Russia from major international competitions for four years and declaring RUSADA non-compliant with WADA code after the emergence of evidence that a Moscow anti-doping lab had tampered with data. RUSADA appealed the ruling, starting the process that will lead to a CAS hearing in five months.
| Vuillermoz extends with Ag2r
Alexis Vuillermoz will ride on with Ag2r-La Mondiale through 2021, the team has announced.
The punchy 31-year-old Frenchman, who won stage 8 of the 2015 Tour de France, has not raced since last year after suffering a knee cap fracture in August.
| Van Vleuten puts in a 400-kilometer training ride
Joining the growing list of riders putting in massive rides right now, world road champ Annemiek van Vleuten logged 400 kilometers in a training ride in the Netherlands on Monday.
Riding alongside fellow pro Jan-Willem van Schip, van Vleuten spent a little over 11 hours in the saddle while keeping up an impressive average speed of 35.6 kilometers per hour (22.1 mph), grabbing numerous QOM titles along the way.
| King traverses Vermont with 310-mile gravel ride
In other monster ride news, former road pro and current gravel racer Ted King traversed the state of Vermont from its northeast corner to its southwest corner on Saturday in a ride that covered 310 miles (that’s one kilometer short of 500).
The 37-year-old American set out at 11pm and spent more than 20 hours on the bike, racking up 34,600 feet (10,546 meters) of elevation gain and also grabbing some Strava KOMs for good measure.
In case you missed it
| Specialized has a pretty cool new road shoe, the S-Works Vent
As Iain Treloar writes, Specialized has rolled out a new shoe designed for the hottest conditions: the Vent.
| Can you be sued for causing a group ride crash?
Matt de Neef explores the legal concerns of causing a crash in a group ride.
| Argonaut brings it all in-house for new RM3 road bike – at a price
Argonaut’s new RM3 has undergone a ground-up redesign.
Today’s featured image of Julian Alaphilippe winning Strade Bianche comes from Cor Vos.