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Hello CyclingTips readers,
Welcome to a new week, which comes with newly unveiled details of the upcoming virtual Tour de France, as well as another update from the always-churning rumor mill of Chris Froome transfer talk.
On the e-racing front, the headliners for the virtual Tour de France have been revealed, with quite a few big names among them. All three of Ineos’s Tour winners – Froome, Egan Bernal, and Geraint Thomas – will be in attendance for the men’s race, as will Mathieu van der Poel and Greg Van Avermaet. Anna van der Breggen, Marianne Vos, and Chloé Dygert are just a few of the stars set to take part in the women’s race.
As for the Froome rumors, Cyclingnews reports that the four-time Tour winner is apparently set to remain at Ineos at least through the end of this season after several weeks of reports that he might be in for a mid-season transfer. At least that could mean more intriguing storylines at Ineos when the racing gets underway in August …
Read on for more!
| Star-studded start list for Virtual Tour de France
The upcoming Virtual Tour de France, which gets underway on Saturday, will see many of cycling’s biggest names battling on Zwift. Headliners for the six-day event spanning three weekends were unveiled on Monday along with other key details.
On the men’s side, marquee riders set to attend include Egan Bernal, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe, Nairo Quintana, and Greg Van Avermaet, among others. The women’s star-studded start list includes Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Chloé Dygert, Lizzie Deignan, and Coryn Rivera, to name a few.
Stages 1 and 2 of the event will be held on Watopia, while stages 3, 4, and 5 will be held on a brand new Zwift map designed for the Virtual Tour de France, with the fifth stage concluding with a summit finish at a virtual Chalet Reynard. Stage 6 will close out the race on another new course, a virtual Champs-Élysées.
| Froome will reportedly stay put at Ineos through the end of the season
Cyclingnews reports that a possible mid-season transfer is no longer on the table for Chris Froome.
Rumors have swirled surrounding the status of the four-time Tour winner – who is out of contract at the end of the year – for weeks, with some reports suggesting that he could be working towards a mid-season departure from Ineos. According to Cyclingnews, however, Froome will be sticking with the squad at least through the remainder of the season. What the future holds for him after 2020, of course, remains unclear.
| CPA general secretary Mora addresses reform petition
As a significant number of riders push for changes to the way they are represented, with a petition calling for reform reportedly receiving hundreds of signatures, CPA general secretary Laura Mora has defended the role of the organization that represents pro cyclists.
“I am sure we are not perfect, and there are things to improve, but we are doing our best to do things in the interest of the riders all the time,” Mora told VeloNews. “We are trying to have the riders involved, and we ask them to talk to us.”
According to VeloNews, at least 325 riders have signed a petition seeking reform, with a number of topics causing discontent in the peloton, including concerns over voting rights, questions about the future of the organization’s solidarity fund, and the CPA’s relationship with the UCI.
| UCI and ASO could allow Tour riders to leave early to race Worlds TT
The reshuffling of the the 2020 road calendar has created a number of schedule overlaps that will force some riders to make tough decisions. Many of the world’s best time trialists could be among those that will have to decide between two big goals as the final stage of the Tour de France overlaps with the individual time trial at the Aigle-Martigny Road World Championships—but according to Wielerflits, the ASO and the UCI could come to an agreement to allow riders to leave the Tour for the Worlds TT.
Under normal circumstances, UCI rules do not allow a rider to pull out of one race and then participate in another while the first event is still running. The rules do allow for exceptions, however, and it’s possible that the organizers of the Tour and the sport’s governing body could agree that these circumstances are worthy of making one.
| Quintana speaks out against deceitful recruiters
In an interview with El Leñero, Nairo Quintana has spoken out against managers and talent scouts who exploit Colombian prospects with deceptive deals that bring them to Europe only to see them living and working under poor conditions.
“The managers arrive and tell them that they are taking them to Europe at 15 or 16, barely leaving school, and they are put there in basements in different countries, eating badly, living poorly, and suffering, leaving the children with many psychological problems and abandoning cycling and abandoning everything,” Quintana said.
“They sign them without problems, but they arrive in Europe without having money at all.”
Quintana is hoping that stronger development pathways in Colombia will make it so that up-and-coming riders there are able to transition to the next step of racing internationally under better circumstances.
In case you missed it
| Got asthma? You might want to pay attention to these new guidelines
As pharmacist Darren Searle writes, if you race bikes and you have asthma, you’ll want to take note of changes that the Global Initiative on Asthma has announced to the way it recommends treating asthma.
Today’s featured image of Nairo Quintana on stage 7 of Paris-Nice comes from Cor Vos.