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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Hopefully you haven’t been having too much fun speculating over the Ineos Tour de France selection because the team has decided to put an end to that speculation. Ineos announced its selection for the Tour on Wednesday–and neither Chris Froome nor Geraint Thomas is among the starting eight.
Thomas will apparently head to the Giro d’Italia while Froome will race the Vuelta a España. Meanwhile, 2019 Giro winner Richard Carapaz, who was initially slotted to lead the team at the Giro, has been brought on for the Tour squad instead. That’s at least three big storylines in one press release, so we can at least thank Ineos for making it an interesting Wednesday.
Speaking of the Tour, the ASO has announced that it is doing away with its traditional pairing of podium hostess, with podium presentations at the 2020 Tour now set to feature a male host on one side and a hostess on the other.
And in other news, 2018 Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates has extended his contract with Mitchelton-Scott. At least as of yet, however, Adam Yates has not. The British twins have ridden together since they joined the team since back in 2014, so that’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
Read on for more …
| Froome and Thomas left out of Tour roster, Carapaz and Bernal to target yellow
Ineos made its much-anticipated Tour de France roster announcement on Wednesday and the selection featured no shortage of major talking points as the team is not taking either of Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas to the race. Richard Carapaz, meanwhile, has been added to the squad in what marks a change of plans for the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner, who had initially been slated to return to the Giro this year.
Ineos’s starting eight at the Tour will be Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz, Pavel Sivakov, Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe, and Dylan van Baarle.
“Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical and has meant we have had to analyze all the latest information to make sure we are in the best position possible to optimize our performances in the coming months,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.
“Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France and we are very excited to give last year’s Giro winner, Richard Carapaz, his debut in this year’s Tour also. Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win with another Grand Tour title, with the aim of being the first Welshman to win it.
“In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta.”
| Prudhomme announces changes to Tour podium presentations
The Tour de France will do away with its traditional pairing of podium hostesses in 2020, with podium presentations now set to have a male host on one side of the podium and a hostess on the other side.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme announced the change at a press conference on Wednesday, saying, “Yes, it’s new but we have already been doing it in other races for 20 years, like in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”
Restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic will eliminate podium kisses at least for now, but it remains unclear what the future holds for the practice.
| Simon Yates extends with Mitchelton-Scott
Mitchelton-Scott announced a contract extension for Simon Yates on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Briton will ride on with the squad through the 2022 season.
Notably, the team’s announcement focused squarely on Simon Yates, with no word yet on the contract status of his twin brother Adam Yates. The pair has been with the team since 2014 and the squad announced previous contract extensions for both of them together. At the moment, it is not clear whether Adam Yates will continue to ride alongside his brother or head elsewhere at the end of the year.
| Démare wins the Tour de Wallonie
Arnaud Démare closed out the Tour de Wallonie with a win in the fourth and final stage and the overall victory on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who rode into the GC lead after winning stage 2 on Monday, survived a lumpy stage 4 profile to battle for the win in a reduced sprint. Démare pipped Philippe Gilbert to take the stage with Greg Van Avermaet in third on the day.
Démare took the overall win with a 20-second advantage over Van Avermaet, with Amaury Capiot rounding out the GC podium.
| Gaviria takes stage 2 at the Tour du Limousin
Fernando Gaviria powered to victory on stage 2 of the Tour du Limousin.
Gaviria topped Joel Suter and Kévin Ledanois on the day to nab his second win since the resumption of racing this season. Suter sits atop the general classification with two stages to go.
| Guy Niv will be the first Israeli rider to start the Tour de France
Israel Start-Up Nation has announced that Guy Niv has been selected for the upcoming Tour de France, where he will be the first ever Israeli rider to make the start. Niv is Israel’s reigning national time trial champion and also a capable climber, and he counts a pair of Grand Tour starts at the Giro d’Italia on his resume.
“It’s a proud moment for Israel, for Israeli sports and for me,” said team co-owner Sylvan Adams. “Since last November, when we knew that our Israeli team would be riding in cycling’s biggest race for the first time in 2020, I publicly stated that we would have an Israeli rider on our Tour squad, making history as the first from our country to race in the Tour de France. I am proud of Guy, who has worked hard to be in the best shape of his life, for earning this position.”
| Houle hoping to return soon following coronavirus positive
According to La Presse, Astana’s Huge Houle tested positive for coronavirus last week and is now waiting for his two subsequent negative tests to return to racing.
Houle raced the Tour of Poland earlier this month but missed Il Lombardia – where his teammate Jakob Fuglsang rode to victory – after the positive test. La Presse reports that he is asymptomatic. Fortunately, as of yet, no news of any other positives within the team has emerged. Houle is hoping to be cleared to return to racing soon, with his initial plans including a start at next week’s Bretagne Classic.
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Today’s feature image of Arnaud Démare topping Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet at the Tour de Wallonie comes from Cor Vos.