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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
After a long hiatus, Thursday saw WorldTour riders competing in UCI events for the first time in months.
Although CCC-Liv and a handful of other teams decided to withdraw from the event, several big names nonetheless took to the start line at the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa in Spain, with Annemiek van Vleuten winning the race nearly five months after her last appearance in a race at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (which she also won, of course).
Meanwhile, in Romania, Nikodemus Holler of the Bike Aid Continental squad nabbed the prologue of the Sibiu Tour, where both Israel Start-Up Nation and Bora-Hansgrohe are in action this week.
Read on for more …
| CCC-Liv withdraws from Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, van Vleuten takes the win
Several notables returned to action after a long hiatus on Thursday at the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, a hilly one-day race in Spain’s Navarre region, although multiple squads withdrew from the race before the start.
CCC-Liv pulled out of the event, with the team expressing concerns that some entrants may not have undergone mandatory coronavirus testing. Bizkaia-Durango and a handful of other squads then withdrew as well, with Bizkaia-Durango saying that its riders had not received testing results yet. The race did ultimately go ahead as planned, with organizers stating that all starters had been tested.
After 118 kilometers of selective racing, it was Annemiek van Vleuten who would power to victory on the day, soloing to the win 18 seconds ahead of runner-up Mavi Garcia with Anna van der Breggen rounding out the podium a further nine seconds back.
| Manuela Fundación in talks to invest in CCC
The Manuela Fundación’s plans to take over the Mitchelton-Scott team may have fallen through, but organization could soon enter the WorldTour via a different avenue. The Spanish non-profit is in talks to invest in the CCC Team, which has been looking for a new title sponsor since Polish footwear brand CCC decided that it would be departing at the end of this year.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Thursday morning that the Manuela Fundación and the CCC team are working on a deal. A source close to the Manuela Fundación’s sporting operation has confirmed that information to CyclingTips.
According to TuttoBiciWeb, the arrangement between the Manuela Fundación and the team currently known as CCC is currently expected to run for five years.
| Canadian GPs cancelled
Organizers announced on Thursday that the GP Cycliste de Québec and the GP Cycliste de Montréal have been cancelled for 2020.
The pair of one-day races in Canada – the lone WorldTour events in the Americas – were slated to run on September 11 and 13, respectively. Organizers said in a press release that they “concluded that it would be impossible to fulfill all of the health and operational requirements needed to guarantee a safe and secure environment for everyone, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
| Holler wins Sibiu Cycling Tour prologue
Nikodemus Holler of the Bike Aid Continental team proved fastest in the 2.5-kilometer prologue of the Sibiu Cycling Tour, the first UCI-sanctioned international event featuring men’s WorldTour teams (namely, Israel Start-Up Nation and Bora-Hansgrohe) in several months.
Kacper Walkowiak rode to runner-up honors on the day with Wojciech Sykala in third. The race continues with a climber-friendly stage 1 on Friday.
| ASO considering 2021 Grand Départ in Brittany
Le Télégramme reports that the ASO is looking into starting the next year’s Tour de France in the Brittany region. The 2021 Grand Départ had initially been planned for Copenhagen, but Tour organizers are looking to move the event up one week to avoid overlapping with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The new dates present a scheduling conflict for Copenhagen, which is set to host the rescheduled European Football Championships in late June. A future Copenhagen Grand Départ is possible should next year’s Tour start be moved.
| Schwalbe’s new tubeless valves aim to ease tyre fitting
German tire manufacturer Schwalbe has released a new range of tubeless valves covering lengths of 40, 60, and even 100 mm. Not too dissimilar in design to the Terske titanium valves we recently reviewed, Scwalbe’s new offerings aim to increase the valve base diameter to ease inflation and reduce sealant clogging.
Other clever features include a low height at the valve base and a thick exterior o-ring that better adopts to various external rim shapes. Pairs of these valves will sell for €21.90 to €29.90 (depending on the length).
| Wolf Tooth and Revelate Designs collab
Wolf Tooth and Revelate Designs have partnered to create the ToolCash, a combination riding wallet and tool wrap. The wallet is designed to fit Wolf Tooth’s Encase multi tool and Pack Pliers, along with space for bank cards (or cash).
Typical of Revelate Designs’ products, this looks like it’s ready to take a beating, but you’d hope so at US$45 for an empty riding wallet.
| Moving Pictures
The riders of the Rally Cycling team share what they’ve learned about themselves and how they’re handling things during a pandemic.
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| The Classics are coming: A Paris-Roubaix recon gallery
With racing returning, some teams have been out reconning Paris-Roubaix. Israel Start-Up Nation recently took to the cobbles and Kristof Ramon was there to document the ride in images.
| 2021 Orbea Oiz short-travel MTB lightens up and brings flat-mount off-road
As James Huang writes, Orbea is the latest company to roll out an update to its short travel MTB, the Oiz.
Today’s feature image of Carlos Sastre winning stage 17 and taking yellow on this day at the 2008 Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.