Updated racing guidelines, De Gendt extends: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

As the return of elite international competition looms, the UCI has updated its protocols for racing amid the coronavirus pandemic, with guidelines stipulating that riders must undergo COVID-19 testing two separate times before their first WorldTour race with a “bubble” and further tests to follow.

The guidelines also establish a system for how to proceed in the “in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a team” at a stage race; according to the current plan, “a group will be set up” with representatives from various parties involved in the event. That group will gather information and present it to the UCI, which will consult organizers and authorities and then make a decision on how to proceed.

Those are only a few of the measures that the UCI has outlined as part of its protocols for the resumption of racing amid the pandemic, protocols that serve as a reminder that while sports may be returning, event will be held under circumstances that are pretty different from what we’re used to.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| UCI updates guidelines for the return of racing

The UCI has updated its protocols for the resumption of competition, providing further details on the measures that will be taken to reduce the risks of racing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines include plans for pre-race testing that include requirements for those entering the “bubbles” that will take on WorldTour races to undergo two separate coronavirus tests prior to their first race with a bubble, followed by further testing depending on whether their schedule proceeds with one-day races or stage races.

The UCI’s guidelines also include a procedure for what to do “in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurring within a team.” According to the protocol, “a group will be set up, made up of a member representing teams, runners, the organizer, UCI, team doctors, and the COVID doctor for the event. This group will collect all the information relating to the event and transmit it to the UCI. The UCI, after consulting the organizers and the national authorities, will take the decision appropriate to the situation.”

You can see the full guidelines for WorldTour and ProSeries races here, and for Class 1 and Class 2 events here.

| De Gendt extends with Lotto-Soudal

Thomas De Gendt has signed an extension that will keep him with Lotto-Soudal through the 2022 season. The 33-year-old Belgian, who has won stages across all three Grand Tours, has been with the squad since 2015.

“Lotto Soudal knows me and gives me the freedom I need, a freedom that I would never get somewhere else,” De Gendt said in a press release. “In the past, we have won many nice races together. I am convinced that together we still have nice years ahead of us.”

| Martin ‘can’t wait’ to race with Froome

Dan Martin has addressed the subject of Chris Froome’s impending transfer to Israel Start-Up Nation, telling VeloNews that he “can’t wait to race with him.”

“I think our racing styles are very different, but we can complement each other,” Martin said,” according to VeloNews. “You can look at our palmares and the races that we’ve both won, and how we’ve won them and it’s very different – I think we can definitely work together to make this team a force to be reckoned with.”

| Ineos technical director Jeppesen ‘not 100 percent sure’ Froome will be able to contend at Tour

Speaking of Froome, Ineos’s technical director Carsten Jeppesen has said that he’s not certain that the four-time Tour winner will be in race-winning form in time for this year’s edition of the Tour despite all the effort he has put into his comeback from a serious injury sustained in 2019.

“There is no doubt that he has put a lot of work into it – and as always, Chris has been a fantastic athlete and incredibly dedicated. I do not believe that there is anyone who has trained as hard during this coronavirus crisis as he has,” Jeppesen told TV2.

“But I’m not 100 percent sure that he will get so ready that he is where he needs to be to be able to win. A lot has happened since Froome won last. We have won the Tour with both Geraint [Thomas] and Egan [Bernal], and Froome has grown older and has been subjected to a very, very serious crash last year.”

| Moving Pictures

When choosing what bike he’ll be riding for the day, Jérôme Clementz has options.


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Today’s feature image of Chris Froome on his way to a Tour de France stage win on this day in 2016 comes from Cor Vos.

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