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While the Giro d’Italia peloton enjoys a day off, over in Spain, a whole other set of big names is gearing up for the last Grand Tour of the year.
Among those big names are Richard Carapaz and Chris Froome. According to the latter in a pre-race press conference, the Ineos Grenadiers team is built to support the former.
Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma has officially made the long awaited announcement of its new women’s team for 2021, and the roster has some firepower, with superstar Marianne Vos set to come aboard.
And speaking of Jumbo-Visma, the squad will be on new bikes next year, as will a few other squads, in a three-team swap.
Read on for more …
| Froome backs Carapaz as Ineos leader at Vuelta
As he gears up for his final Grand Tour with the Ineos Grenadiers after more than a decade in the organization (previously known as Team Sky), Chris Froome is not entirely sure where his form is, having spent the past year working his way back from a serious injury.
He is heading into this Vuelta a España with ambitions of his own, but he also seems comfortable working for 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz, who seems to be his team’s main option right now.
“We’ve got a great team here to support Richard as much as possible,” Froome said ahead of the race. “We’ll take it one day at a time and hopefully finish on a high note.”
With two Vuelta titles on his career palmares (to go with four at the Tour de France and one at the Giro), Froome is certainly in the contenders conversation at this year’s Vuelta in his own right, but he is going to see how things play out in the early goings before talking too much about his own chances, saying, “After the first few stages, I will be able to have a more clear plan for the rest of the race, and know what kind of job I can fulfill at that point.”
| Jumbo-Visma officially announces women’s team headlined by Marianne Vos
After months of rumors, Jumbo-Visma officially announced its new women’s team on Monday, unveiling the whole roster at once, with multi-time world champion Marianne Vos headlining the squad.
Joining Vos at the new team will be Jip van den Bos, Riejanne Markus, Anouska Koster, Nancy van der Burg, Romy Kasper, Aafke Soet, Teuntje Beekhuis, Julie van de Velde, Pernille Mathiesen, Karlijn Swinkels, and Anna Henderson.
On the management side, the team will be led by former Parkhotel Valkenburg manager Esra Tromp.
| Mitchelton-Scott, Jumbo-Visma, and Sunweb swap bike sponsors
Three big teams announced new bike sponsors on Monday.
In what amounts to a three-way swap, Mitchelton-Scott will ride Bianchi bikes next season, Jumbo-Visma will ride Cervélo bikes next season, and Sunweb will ride Scott bikes next season.
Mitchelton-Scott has spent the past nine seasons on Scott bikes, with the brand taking on a title sponsorship role in 2017. The squad is expected to race under a new name in 2021. Jumbo-Visma has ridden on Bianchi bikes since 2014. Sunweb has ridden Cervélo bikes since 2019.
| Majka signs with UAE-Team Emirates
Two-time polka dot jersey winner Rafal Majka will join UAE-Team Emirates next year, the team announced on Monday.
Majka, 31, counts three Tour de France stage wins on his career palmares along with an overall Grand Tour podium finish at the 2015 Vuelta a España. He is currently in sixth overall at the Giro d’Italia.
“With Rafal, our group of climbers is getting a strong boost,” said UAE Team Principal Mauro Gianetti in a statement. “We are sure that in addition to being a solid wing-man for Tadej Pogacar, he will also be able to target his personal ambitions and be given some freedom.”
| CADF closes investigation into removal of object from Evenepoel’s pocket
The Cycling Anti-doping Foundation (CADF) announced Monday that it has closed its investigation in the removal of an object from Remco Evenepoel’s jersey pocket after his crash at Il Lombardia.
“After having heard from all concerned persons, including the rider and the team representatives, the CADF concluded that no anti-doping violation was committed and considers the matter closed, unless new elements are subsequently brought to its attention,” the CADF said in a statement.
The investigation was initially opened after footage of sports director Davide Bramati taking something out of Evenepoel’s jersey pocket circulated on social media. Deceuninck-Quick-Step said publicly that the item in question was “a small bottle containing nutrition products,” and that Bramati had taken it out of Evenepoel’s pocket so that he could be more comfortable as he put onto a stretcher.
In Monday’s statement, the CADF provided little detail on the investigation or its findings, and said that it would “not provide further comment” on the subject, but the matter is now closed.
| Two team staff members test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Vuelta
Vuelta organizers and the UCI released a joint statement on Monday regarding the results of pre-race coronavirus testing.
According to the statement, one staff member from Sunweb and one from Bahrain-McLaren tested positive for COVID-19 in the testing done so far. At this point, no riders have returned positive results.
| Bouhanni out of Driedaagse De Panne after COVID-19 positive
Nacer Bouhanni will miss Wednesday’s Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne race after testing positive for COVID-19, Arkéa-Samsic said Monday.
Bouhanni sprinted to fourth at last year’s race, the first WorldTour edition of the event.
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As Dave Rome writes, Peak Design has launched the Mobile, a phone mounting accessory ecosystem.
Today’s featured image of Richard Carapaz at the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.