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Plenty of big names are in action at the European Continental Championships this week, and Wednesday saw riders contest the elite men’s road title in Plouay.
Amid a strong field of fast finishers, it was Giacomo Nizzolo who proved fastest in the sprint, earning himself a brand new jersey as he gears up for the Tour de France.
In other news, Tony Martin has extended with Jumbo-Visma, the UCI has said it is changing its two-strike rule on COVID-19 tests, McLaren will be ending its title sponsorship of Bahrain-McLaren at the end of the year, and a few more teams have rolled out their Tour selections.
Read on for more …
| Nizzolo takes European title
Giacomo Nizzolo is the new European road champion after a strong showing in a bunch kick on Wednesday in Plouay.
A hilly race in northwestern France saw numerous attacks on the day, but the peloton – with Nizzolo’s Italian national team hard at work – kept things together into the finale to set up a final sprint.
Set up by a fine lead out effort, Nizzolo launched inside the final 200 meters and narrowly topped Arnaud Démare and Pascal Ackermann at the line to claim Italy’s third straight title in the event.
| UCI will change two-strike rule
The UCI has said that it will make changes to its two-strike rule on COVID-19 testing, which currently stipulates that any team with two members (riders or staff) testing positive for COVID-19 will be removed from the Tour de France.
Although UCI president Davide Lappartient did not go into detail on what changes are expected, he said on Wednesday that “the measure will become more flexible.” The news comes as some teams are concerned over the possibility of being removed from the Tour due to false positives.
| McLaren will end its title sponsorship of Bahrain-McLaren at the conclusion of 2020
Bahrain-McLaren said on Wednesday that McLaren will no longer be a title sponsor for the team in 2021.
The automotive company became a title sponsor at the start of this season, but it has faced financial issues amid the coronavirus pandemic. Riders and staff had their salaries deferred for some time earlier this year, and have taken a pay cut for the season.
| Martin extends with Jumbo-Visma
Four-time world time trial champ Tony Martin has extended his contract with Jumbo-Visma, the team has announced.
Martin, 35, has been with Jumbo-Visma since last season and has become an important member of the team’s Grand Tour lineup. As of Wednesday, he is officially signed on to stay with the squad through the 2022 season.
| Urán, Martínez, and Higuita headline EF’s Tour de France roster
EF has unveiled its selection for the Tour de France, with a trio of Colombian talents set to lead the way for the squad in the general classification battle.
Rigoberto Urán, Sergio Higuita, and Daniel Martínez headline a team that also includes all-rounders Hugh Carthy, Tejay van Garderen, and Neilson Powless. Rounding out the squad are defending Tour of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol and Jens Keukeleire.
| Movistar names Tour lineup featuring Valverde, Mas, and Soler
Movistar has announced its Tour team as well, with Alejandro Valverde, Enric Mas, and Marc Soler set to be the team’s featured GC riders in the upcoming race.
Also making the selection are Imanol Erviti, Nelson Oliveira, José Joaquín Rojas, Dario Cataldo, and Carlos Verona.
| Pinot leads GC-focused Groupama-FDJ Tour team
Thibaut Pinot will lead the way for a Groupama-FDJ team squarely focused on the general classification at the Tour de France.
The team rolled out its Tour roster on Wednesday with Pinot set to be joined by David Gaudu, Valentin Maduoas, William Bonnet, Stefan Küng, Matthieu Ladagnous, Rudy Molard, and Sébastien Reichenbach.
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Today’s featured image of Giacomo Nizzolo winning a narrow sprint for the European road title comes from Cor Vos.