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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
We head into a new week with transfer season underway and plenty of big names getting back to the business of winning.
On the transfer front, Paris-Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt has signed with Bora-Hansgrohe in a move that will see the team bringing some serious firepower to the pavé next year (with Peter Sagan signed through next season) while also giving the team someone to build around after 2021.
As for those big names getting back to winning, Egan Bernal has taken over the GC lead at his first race back. The reigning Tour de France champ won stage 3 of the Route d’Occitanie and now sits atop the general classification with one stage to go.
Unfortunately, the start of a new week also brought sad news on multiple fronts.
Mark Satkiewicz, who co-founded the SBT GRVL race, passed away over the weekend at age 52 after suffering a cardiac incident while riding his bike. On Sunday in Germany, Jan Riedmann, a member of Bora-Hansgrohe’s U19 team Auto Eder Bayern, died following a collision with a car during a training ride the previous day.
Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and everyone who knew them. Both members of the cycling community will be missed.
| Bernal rides to race lead at Route d’Occitanie
Egan Bernal has taken over the general classification lead in his first racing appearance since February at La Route d’Occitanie.
Bernal ascended to the stage 3 win on the Col de Beyrède on what was a big day for 23-year-old Ineos riders, with teammate Pavel Sivakov crossing the line 10 seconds later to take runner-up honors. Astana up-and-comer Aleksandr Vlasov took third. Chris Froome, who seemed to be riding in a support capacity for Bernal on the day, finished 5:11 back.
Bernal leads the race with one stage to go.
| Politt signs with Bora-Hansgrohe
Nils Politt, who rode to runner-up honors just behind Philippe Gilbert at Paris-Roubaix last year, will join Bora-Hansgrohe next season.
The 26-year-old German came into the WorldTour with the Katusha organization, where he emerged as a promising Classics talent over the past two seasons. He was one of several Katusha riders to join Israel Start-Up Nation for 2020 when that team took over Katusha’s WorldTour license.
In 2021, he will join Bora-Hansgrohe on a three-year deal, giving the team more firepower for the cobbled races alongside Peter Sagan.
“For the Classics, we’ll have an enormously strong team next year, and that’s also a new situation for me,” Politt said. “Over the past few years, I have been more of a lone warrior, so to speak, in those races. Tactically, this will definitely provide us with a vast array of opportunities.”
| Latour headed to Total-Direct Energie
Pierre Latour, the winner of the white jersey at the 2018 Tour de France, has signed a two-year deal to join Total-Direct Energie.
The 26-year-old Frenchman, who counts a Grand Tour stage victory (at the 2016 Vuelta a España) and two French national time trial titles on his career palmares, has spent the entirety of his WorldTour racing career with Ag2r La Mondiale.
“I sign here to win races,” Latour said via a Total-Direct Energie press release. “Being a leader will give me more opportunities, so it’s a chance for me.”
| Thomas extends with Paule Ka
On the heels of a podium performance at Strade Bianche, Leah Thomas has extended her contract with Paule Ka. The 31-year-old American joined the squad (then known as Bigla) in 2019.
“We have a very special group, both on and off the bike, and our aggressive racing tactics fit my strengths as a rider,” Thomas said. “I know this is the right place for me to continue to develop and improve, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the continued success of the team.”
| Izagirre wins Gran Trittico Lombardo
Astana put in a strong showing at Monday’s Gran Trittico Lombardo, with Gorka Izagirre soloing to victory and Alex Aranburu nabbing runner-up honors on a rainy day in Italy.
Izagirre jumped out of a select lead group on the last lap of the Varese finishing circuit and held on to take the win. Aranburu won the reduced sprint for second, with Greg Van Avermaet rounding out the podium in third.
| Mark Satkiewicz, co-founder of SBT GRVL, dies at 52
Mark Satkiewicz, who co-founded the SBT GRVL race, has passed away at age 52. According to race co-founders Amy Charity and Ken Benesh, Satkiewicz died of a cardiac incident while riding his bike.
After working with Toms, Nike, and Smartwool over the years, Satkiewicz joined Charity and Benesh in launching SBT GRVL in 2019. The race sold out in its first edition.
“We are immensely grateful for Mark’s vision for SBT GRVL – to create an inclusive community experience. His vision and leadership were instrumental in the event’s continued success,” Charity and Benesh said in a statement.
“His passion and drive to grow the sport of cycling will be missed everyday.”
| Bora-Hangrohe U19 rider Jan Riedmann dies after collision with car
Jan Riedmann, a member of Bora-Hansgrohe’s under-19 team Auto Eder Bayern, died after a collision with a car during a training ride.
According to a statement from Bora-Hansgrohe, Riedmann was on a training ride in Germany with teammates on Saturday “when a car in the Middle Franconian town of Sugenheim took the right of way.” Riedmann and the car collided, and Riedmann suffered head injuries in the crash. He died at the hospital on Sunday.
“We deeply regret Jan’s loss and hereby express our sincere condolences to his entire family and his relatives,” Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk said in a statement.
“In honor of Jan, both the Auto Eder Bayern team at their next race and the Bora-Hansgrohe team at Milan-San Remo will wear a black ribbon saying, ‘Dear Jan, thank you for the time together. You will always be with us!'”
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Today’s feature image of Michael Schär and the Gran Trittico Lombardo peloton riding through a torrential downpour comes from Kristof Ramon.