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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Tuesday was a busy day in the world of cycling with racing news, transfer news, and team sponsor news all making headlines.
The WorldTour calendar has resumed with the BinckBank Tour, although Wednesday won’t see any racing, a longtime second-division squad is headed up to the WorldTour level after taking over another team’s license, spelling the end of an era, and very strong team will get even stronger in 2021.
Read on for more …
| Philipsen wins BinckBank Tour opener, uncertainty looms as stage 2 called off
The BinckBank Tour got underway on Tuesday with a sprinter-friendly stage 1 that indeed ended in a bunch kick, but Wednesday will not see any racing.
Jasper Philipsen sprinted to victory in Tuesday’s opener. Stage 1 of the BinckBank Tour took riders 132.1 kilometers from Blankenberge to Ardooie, where those who managed to avoid a late crash battled for the stage win in a fast finish. Pascal Ackermann led the sprint into the closing meters but Philipsen and Mads Pedersen would pull past him, with Philipsen taking the win at the line. Pedersen settled for second with Ackermann in third.
The race will not, however, take on the originally planned second stage amid new measures in the Netherlands to combat coronavirus. After the Dutch government put new restrictions into place, organizers called off stage 2 on Tuesday and, with other stages either starting or finishing in the Netherlands, it is uncertain how the race will proceed.
| Circus-Wanty Gobert will take over CCC’s WorldTour license
Circus-Wanty Gobert will take over Continuum Sports, which owns and runs the CCC team, both squads announced on Tuesday. Pending UCI approval, the move will propel Circus-Wanty Gobert, which has ridden at the ProTeam or Pro Continental level since 2011, to the WorldTour.
The news marks an end to the CCC team’s hunt for a new sponsor after Polish footwear brand CCC announced in April that it would be ending its arrangement with the squad. CCC had originally signed a deal to sponsor the team through 2021 but financial difficulties amid the coronavirus pandemic led the company to pull out of the commitment.
“2020 has not been the year that any of us expected but we are motivated to finish the season as CCC Team on a high,” Continuum Sports president Jim Ochowicz said. “Looking ahead, 2021 will see a new direction for the Continuum Sports organization and we are happy to be paving the way for Circus – Wanty Gobert to move to the WorldTour in what is a significant milestone for the Belgian team and a well deserved promotion.”
| SD Worx gets even stronger with Moolman-Pasio signing
Boels Dolmans, which will become SD Worx next season, has further bolstered its already strong roster with the signings of climbing talent Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and up-and-comer Nikola Nosková.
Moolman-Pasio is coming aboard after two seasons with CCC-Liv. A proven climber, she has won the Emakumeen Bira, finished in the top 10 in the past three editions of the Giro Rosa in a row, and is a perennial contender at the Ardennes Classics. At SD Worx, she will add even more strength to a lineup that already includes world road champ Anna van der Breggen and former champ Chantal Blaak.
“I think that with Moolman we have contracted one of the best climbers in the women’s peloton,” said Boels-Dolmans manager Danny Stam.
“She can always be seen on the first row of the group when the road climbs. With Ashleigh I hope to have an extra strong rider in the final of the toughest races on the calendar. In this way we can ride more dominantly.”
| Hall retiring
Katie Hall is retiring, she said on social media on Monday.
The 33-year-old American has been among the most accomplished riders in the United States over the past several seasons. She won the Tour of California, the Colorado Classic, the Joe Martin Stage Race, and the Tour of the Gila in 2018, and then joined Boels for 2019, riding to runner-up honors behind teammate Anna van der Breggen at the Tour of California and seventh overall at the Giro Rosa.
Closing out her second season with Boels-Dolmans, Hall wrote on Instagram on Monday night that she would be heading back to school.
“Starting a big new thing tomorrow!!! PT School at the University of Washington,” she wrote on Instagram. “It was commuting in Seattle that got me into cycling and I’m stoked to retire from pro cycling and return to bike commuting.”
| Lotto-Soudal tells 10 riders contracts won’t be renewed
As Het Laatste Nieuws reports, Lotto-Soudal has notified 10 of its riders currently without contracts that they won’t be renewed for next season. The team is apparently shifting focus as it bids farewell to numerous veterans and brings on several neo-pros.
The 10 riders are reportedly receiving the notification that they would not be renewed are Adam Hansen, Jelle Wallays, Tosh Van der Sande, Sander Armée, Nikolas Maes, Brian Van Goethem, Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz, Rasmus Iversen, and Jonathan Dibben.
| Schmidt admits to running doping ring
Mark Schmidt has admitted to running the doping ring at the center of the Operation Aderlass investigation. The Erfurt, Germany-based sports doctor confessed to helping athletes dope in an appearance before a Munich court on Tuesday.
Schmidt claimed that he did not run the doping network to make money, but instead, as “a hobby.” He provided details on how much athletes paid him for his services but did not publicly implicate any cyclists not already known to be involved with his operation.
In case you missed it
| Where Are They Now? Johnny Hoogerland, the man from that barbed wire crash
José Been catches up with Johnny Hoogerland, who retired from racing in 2016.
| Aurum Magma first-ride review: Meet Contador and Basso’s new bike company
Dave Rome has the review of the first bike from the new company of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.
Today’s featured image of Jasper Philipsen winning stage 1 of the BinckBank Tour comes from Cor Vos.