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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
The wild and packed COVID calendar continues. Did you know Flèche Wallone was today? It was.
Unfortunately, a bit of calendar space has been cleared after the cancellation of Amstel Gold, forced when Dutch authorities tightened restrictions on any sort of gathering. The Binckbank Tour had to be adjusted as well, and now sticks to Belgium. In fact, it’s literally riding the border in places.
Dutch government: "You can't go in Netherlands"
Binckbank Tour: "Ok, fine" pic.twitter.com/dvqOlmdAEY
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) September 30, 2020
Plus, an eagle-eyed reader spotted a new Ridley road bike.
All this and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
| Anna van der Breggen takes her sixth straight Flèche
For the sixth year in a row, Anna van der Breggen of Boels-Dolmans won on the Mur de Huy. The newly crowned World Champion was the first in the final “sprint” of a wet edition of Flèche Wallonne.
Behind her, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope took second place, after fighting back from a mechanical in the final 25km. Demi Vollering of Parkhotel Valkenburg took an impressive third place.
As an added bonus of the 2020 edition of Flèche Wallonne, for the first time in the history of the race viewers all over the world were able to watch the final 33km play out live on their TV or computer screens.
| Marc Hirschi is a star
After an incredible three weeks at the Tour de France followed by a podium at the World Championships, 22-year old Marc Hirschi took a lovely victory at the top of the Mur de Huy. The Team Sunweb rider from Switzerland narrowly took the win over AG2R la Mondiale’s Benoit Cosnefroy and EF Pro Cycling’s Michael Woods.
The first of the favorites to put in a dig was Richie Porte of Trek-Segafredo in the final 400 meters. Porte did not get any distance, with Hirschi hot on his heels. Next it was Michael Woods of EF Pro Cycling, in the final 150 meters, but he couldn’t hold on long enough for the victory.
Hirschi, who won a stage of the Tour de France, was the most aggressive rider for the three weeks, and who placed third at the World Championships in Imola, took the first Classics win of his career.
Another young rider, Benoit Cosnefroy, who wore the polka-dot jersey at the Tour de France until stage 17, sprinted to second on the day and Michael Woods took the final podium step.
| Amstel Gold cancelled
Amstel Gold has been cancelled following a decision from local Dutch health authorities that bans fans at all sporting events, including those that take place on open roads.
Both the men’s and women’s races were scheduled to run on October 10. The courses pass through multiple Dutch municipalities, including Eijsden-Margraten, Maastricht, and Valkenburg, which along with the region of South Limburg determined that staging the event is not possible given the current surge in COVID cases in the Netherlands.
“The past few months have been very intensive. The COVID-19 pandemic makes the organization of the Amstel Gold Race very complex,” said race director Leo van Vliet.
The organization had considered running the race on a smaller, 17-kilometer loop, with barriers around its entirety. But even that potential solution proved impossible to pull off safely.
| Spotted: Ridley Fenix endurance road bike gains a sleek new look for 2021
Ridley hasn’t yet officially revealed its updated Fenix endurance road bike to the world, but one eagle-eyed CyclingTips reader in Austria noticed that the new bike has already popped up on the company’s Japanese-market web site, and it looks quite sharp.
As expected, the new bike shifts to a disc-only format and adopts a number of styling cues from Ridley’s more aggressive road racing models, most notably the sleek integrated one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem, fully hidden cabling, and profiled split headset spacers and upper cover for a distinctly clean front end (albeit one that will also be harder to adjust for different rider positions). Adding to the tidier appearance is a hidden wedge-type seatpost binder.
| 100% Speedcraft XS sunglasses review: Better fit for smaller faces
Sarah Lukas never realized the sunglasses she had been using for the last 10 years were not a proper fit for her face. She knew what “too big” looked like, and definitely had her share of stunna’ shades that boasted aesthetics over function, but even standard sized frames? Perfect fit, she thought.
These sunglasses changed that.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
| How to train with purpose during lockdown
How on earth do you keep motivated during this time of uncertainty? And what can you possibly do if you want to maintain some semblance of form?
Well, you can do one of a few things.