Race programs take shape: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

Thursday’s headlines feature updates for some big names as riders around the peloton are mapping out their programs for the resumption of racing.

The Sibiu Cycling Tour has seen its profile rise in the news over the past few weeks with Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team initially planning to take on the race, but the team announced Thursday that it won’t be in attendance at the Romanian stage race after all due to factors related to health and safety.

Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas has outlined his plans for the return of racing, plans that could be of interest to fans in France. Thomas is set to make a few starts there in the month ahead in addition to spending time reconning stages of the Tour de France.

And speaking of riding in France, the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge has added another big name to the start list of its second edition: Nairo Quintana. With Miguel Ángel López, Romain Bardet, and Richie Porte also expected to be in attendance, it should be a good opportunity for some big names to put their skills on display.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| No Sibiu Cycling Tour for van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel won’t be returning to racing at the Sibiu Cycling Tour as previously planned. His Alpecin-Fenix team announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing from the race, citing health and safety concerns.

“Unfortunately, we had to conclude traveling to Romania is not an option,” team management said in a statement. “The health of our riders, staff members but also public health is of primary importance. We want to strictly follow all recommendations to eliminate any risk.”

Van der Poel is instead expected to restart his season at Strade Bianche, where he will be making his career debut.

As for the Sibiu Cycling Tour, apparently defending champ Kevin Rivera will also miss the race due to travel restrictions. The 22-year-old Androni Giocattoli rider has not been able to make it over to Europe from Costa Rica for the race.

| Thomas maps out his return

Geraint Thomas provided some insight into his plans for the resumption of racing in an interview with S4C, mapping out plans that include plenty of time spent riding in France.

The 2018 Tour champ said he will make his return to racing there in early August (which would put him at either La Route d’Occitanie or the Tour de l’Ain) before a final pre-Tour tune-up race at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He also has plans to recon a few stages of the Tour before the race gets underway.

| Quintana will take on the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge

Arkéa-Samsic has announced that Nairo Quintana will take on the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge next month.

The 30-year-old Colombian, who already won a bike race at Mont Ventoux earlier this year (stage 3 of the Tour de La Provence) is the latest marquee addition to a strong expected start list at the climber-friendly one-day race. Other notable contenders include Romain Bardet, Miguel Ángel López, and Richie Porte.

| ‘Cycling Event Task Force’ publishes recommendations

The “Cycling Event Task Force,” a newly formed informal group of stakeholders from the American cycling scene, has published a set of recommendations “building upon and acknowledging” guidelines already published by USA Cycling and the UCI.

The group’s “Race Management Guidelines” call for races to appoint Public Safety Officers, for clear publication of medical guidelines, and for the establishment of clear safety protocols for racers and other event attendees, among many other recommendations.

| Maxxis launches High Road SL clincher

Just a couple of days after we covered Maxxis’s High Road TR tire comes the High Road SL clincher. Designed with time trials, track riding, and just generally going fast in mind, this all-new slick tire features a new rubber compound that’s said to decrease rolling resistance by 12 percent when compared to what’s used in the regular High Road.

Maxxis is offering this super light weight and supple tire in 25 and 28 mm sizes.

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Today’s featured image of Geraint Thomas on stage 14 of the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.

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