Quintana’s hotel room searched, Amstel Gold Race in doubt: Daily Tour Digest
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Hi CyclingTips readers,
Are you having Tour de France withdrawals yet? Yeah, us too. As you’d expect there’s been a bit of a lull on the news front now that the Tour is over, but we won’t have to wait long for top-level racing to resume. The Road World Championships start in Imola, Italy in just a few days, and the Giro d’Italia is less than two weeks away. Yeah, the Giro in October, after the Tour de France. Still feels weird doesn’t it?
Scroll on down for the latest news from the world of cycling. We’ll speak with you again tomorrow.
Matt de Neef
| Nairo Quintana’s hotel room was searched by police at the Tour
AFP reports that French prosecutors have opened a preliminary enquiry into possible doping by a “small part” of the Arkea-Samsic team.
Multiple media outlets report that police searched the rooms of Nairo Quintana, Dayer Quintana, Winner Anacona and team soigneurs after stage 17 of the Tour. According to Le Parisien, police recovered “100ml of saline and injection equipment.” Prosecutors in Marseille have reportedly opened a probe following the “discovery of many health products including drugs … and above all a method that can be qualified as doping.”
Le Parisien reports that a doctor and soigneur were taken into police custody on Monday.
| Report: Tom Pidcock to join Ineos Grenadiers
The Telegraph reports that recent Baby Giro winner Tom Pidcock has signed with Ineos Grenadiers for 2021.
The 21-year-old from Yorkshire is one of the most exciting prospects in the sport and already has a swathe of U23 road and cyclocross victories to his name. In 2017 he was junior cyclocross world champion, in 2019 he won the U23 CX world title. This year he took silver in the elite category behind Mathieu van der Poel. He’s won the U23 Paris-Roubaix and most recently took out the Baby Giro with three stage wins.
Pidcock is set to race at Imola Road Worlds in the elite category for the first time after taking bronze in last year’s U23 road race.
| Amstel Gold Race still in doubt
Organisers of the Amstel Gold Race have said they’re still waiting on official confirmation about whether this year’s rescheduled race can go ahead.
“We have submitted all plans, both to the UCI and at the national and local level,” said director Leo van Vliet. “The Safety Region will look at this in the coming week. On Thursday we have another conversation and a decision will probably be made on Friday.”
The Netherlands currently has strict requirements for large events as COVID-19 continues to take its toll around the world. If the race goes ahead on October 10 as planned, the start will move from the centre of Maastricht to the nearby MVV Stadium. “The start will be public-free and the climbs will all be blocked,” Van Vliet said. “We use a lot of people for that. And the last kilometres, from Daalhemmerweg to past the finish, are also completely closed.”
| Former Tour winner Joop Zoetemelk hit by a car
Winner of the 1980 Tour de France, Joop Zoetemelk, was hit by a car in Paris on Sunday and was airlifted to hospital.
The 73-year-old Dutchman fractured both legs and an arm but is reportedly in a stable condition. “He has lost blood but, fortunately, his life is not in danger,” said Bernard Thevenet, a friend of Zoetemelk’s and winner of the 1975 and 1977 Tours de France.
Zoetemelk is one of only two Dutchman to have won the Tour de France, the other being 1968 winner Jan Janssen.
| Evenepoel motivated by Pogacar’s Tour victory
Remco Evenepoel is still many months away from racing his bike again, but the 20-year-old is plenty motivated to get back to his best. In fact, after watching the recent Tour de France, he would seem to be more motivated than ever.
“Seeing two 22-year-old guys win the Tour, that motivates me,” Evenepoel said, of the past two winners, Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogacar. “There are three Grand Tours but the Tour de France is a bit above it. It’s the biggest race of the year.”
Evenepoel had planned to race this year’s Giro d’Italia before a horror crash at Il Lombardia prematurely ended his season. He’ll race a Grand Tour next year, he’s just not sure which one.
“I plan to race the Tokyo Olympics, so I will have to make choices, because it is not possible to combine the Tour and the Games,” Evenepoel told RTBF when asked whether he’ll race Le Tour in 2021. “In December, we should know if the Games will take place or not. And there we will see what Grand Tour I will race.”
In case you missed it
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| Giro Rosa gallery: The shots that tell the story
David Powell took some great photos during this year’s Giro Rosa. Here’s a selection of those shots.
Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows Joop Zoetemelk winning the 1987 Amstel Gold Race.