Wout van Aert nabs stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

A flurry of bike racing news stories on Wednesday emphasized that we are really in the thick of the resumed racing season now.

Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné delivered just the exciting finale so many were looking for on Wednesday as Wout van Aert stormed to victory and the race lead. In other Jumbo-Visma news, George Bennett picked up yet another win for the team in Italy over at the one-day Gran Piemonte.

Speaking of Italy, Giro Rosa organizers unveiled the route for this year’s race, which is set to feature several days for the climbers.

Transfer season continues to bring the eye-catching headlines as Mike Woods is set to move on from EF to join a team that seems to sign someone new every day: Israel Start-Up Nation.

Still, as has so often been the case in 2020, there was some cancellation news as well. Organizers have announced that Road Worlds won’t be happening in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland. The UCI is now looking into other options to host the event elsewhere this year.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| Van Aert storms to victory on stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné

Wout van Aert is on a roll. Just a few days after winning his first Monument at Milan-San Remo, the former cyclocross world champ added yet another big win on Wednesday in France, storming to the win on the opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma squad pulled a reduced peloton into the uphill finish that closed out the 218.5-kilometer stage from Clermont-Ferrand to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez, with van Aert in an excellent position as the road angled upward in the finale. With some 300 meters to go he made his move, and despite the best efforts of Daryl Impey, van Aert nabbed the win and the race lead.

Impey took runner-up honors with Egan Bernal nabbing third on the day.

Stage 1 top 10

1 VAN AERT Wout (Team Jumbo-Visma) 5:27:42
2 IMPEY Daryl (Mitchelton-Scott)
3 BERNAL Egan (Team INEOS)
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team)
5 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates)
6 LUTSENKO Alexey (Astana Pro Team)
7 HIGUITA Sergio (EF Pro Cycling)
8 COSNEFROY Benoît (AG2R La Mondiale)
9 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
10 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)

GC top 10

1 VAN AERT Wout (Team Jumbo-Visma) 5:27:32
2 IMPEY Daryl (Mitchelton-Scott) 0:04
3 BERNAL Egan (Team INEOS) 0:06
4 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 0:10
5 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates)
6 LUTSENKO Alexey (Astana Pro Team)
7 HIGUITA Sergio (EF Pro Cycling)
8 COSNEFROY Benoît (AG2R La Mondiale)
9 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
10 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)

| Bennett wins Gran Piemonte

George Bennett picked up his first win of the year – and Jumbo-Visma’s seventh just this month – at Wednesday’s Gran Piemonte.

The 30-year-old New Zealander attacked late in the lumpy Italian one-day and then topped Diego Ulissi in the finale to nab the victory. Mathieu van der Poel hit the line four seconds later to claim the final spot on the podium.

| Giro Rosa route revealed

Organizers have unveiled the route of this year’s Giro Rosa, which is set to get underway with a team time trial in Grosseto in Tuscany on September 11.

The nine-day Italian stage race will feature several days for the climbers. Stages 3 and 4 both feature punchy uphill finishes. Stage 7 ascends the steep Santuario San Michele Arcangelo climb twice in the finale. Stage 8, the shortest in the race, concludes with a summit finish at San Marco La Catola.

Stage 9 will close out the Giro Rosa on a challenging circuit taking on multiple climbs to Motta Montecorvino.

| Aigle-Martigny Worlds called off, UCI looking at other options

Confirming recent reports in the Swiss media, organizers announced Wednesday that amid ongoing restrictions on large events in Switzerland, the 2020 UCI Road World Championships would not be held in Aigle-Martigny, as initially planned.

The UCI said shortly after the announcement that it is looking into other possible locations to host Worlds this year.

“This naturally leads the Union Cycliste International to think about an alternative solution,” said UCI president David Lappartient. “From today, I will therefore work to guarantee the staging of the UCI world championships in their entirety on in part, if possible on a circuit just as steep as that of Aigle-Martigny and we will work mainly to relocate them in Europe.”

| Woods signs with Israel Start-Up Nation

Israel Start-Up Nation has added yet another signing to bolster its 2021 roster, announcing Wednesday that Mike Woods will join the team next season. The 33-year-old Canadian, who has been with EF since 2016, is the latest in a flurry of signings the team has made since announcing last month that Chris Froome would be coming aboard.

“Mike is going to be a pivotal piece in our structuring in the coming years,” said Israel Start-Up Nation manager Kjell Carlstrom. “His career accomplishments so far are great, but we believe he will be able to achieve even more, both individually and for the team, as we move forward together.”

| Team doctor believes Fabio Jakobsen “will be a bike racer again”

One week after the crash at the Tour of Poland that left Fabio Jakobsen seriously injured, Deceuninck-Quick-Step team doctor Yvan Vanmol has provided an update on Jakobsen’s condition, saying that he is hopeful that the Dutchman will eventually get back to racing.

Vanmol confirmed that Jakobsen suffered numerous broken bones in his face and lost all of his teeth in the crash, but he said that initial reports that Jakobsen suffered a collapsed wind pipe were incorrect. Jakobsen has a long recovery ahead of him, but Vanmol is optimistic about his chances to return to the peloton, telling Sporza, “I can’t and won’t give you a time but I have great hope that Fabio will be a bike racer again.”

| Bernal says he wants Froome on Ineos’s Tour roster

Amid speculation about whether Chris Froome will be selected for Ineos’s Tour de France roster, Egan Bernal has said that he would like to see the four-time Tour winner on the squad.

“He’s a rider who has a lot of experience,” Bernal told ITV when asked about the possible selection of Froome to the lineup. “To have a seven-time Grand Tour winner in the team is something important. So yes, for sure, I would like to have him in the team.”

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Today’s feature image of Wout van Aert winning stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné comes from Cor Vos.

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