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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
Another big weekend of bike racing looms, but Friday brought its own headlines too, of course, as WorldTour racing is going on in Belgium and other races and riders too look ahead.
Over at the BinckBank Tour on Friday, an Soren Kragh Andersen picked up his third WorldTour win in less than a month. In Italy, riders are gearing up for the season’s second Grand Tour, with former Tour winner Geraint Thomas among them. In a pre-race interview, Ineos Grenadiers’ manager Dave Brailsford spoke further on his team’s Grand Tour plans, which have been a big topic for conversation around the sport for the past two months.
And in France, at least some doubts are beginning to emerge about whether Paris-Roubaix will be run this year.
Read on for more, and enjoy the weekend …
| Kragh Andersen wins stage 4 of the BinckBank Tour
Soren Kragh Andersen continued his breakout season with yet another WorldTour win on Friday in the stage 4 time trial at the BinckBank Tour.
The 26-year-old Dane proved fastest in a very short test in Riemst, covering 8.14 kilometers in 9:59. At that short distance, his six-second margin of victory was a solid one, with Stefan Küng earning runner-up honors on the day and Stefan Bissegger taking third, seven seconds back.
Mads Pedersen put in the day’s fourth fastest time, nine seconds down on Kragh Andersen, to retain the overall race lead. Kragh Andersen now sits second on GC, seven seconds back. Mathieu van der Poel, who will start Saturday’s stage 5 among the favorites, finished fifth in the TT and is now fifth overall, 17 seconds off the lead.
| Brailsford: People ‘misunderstood’ Tour selection situation
As Geraint Thomas prepares to make a run at the Giro d’Italia, Ineos Grenadiers manager Dave Brailsford has said that he feels the team’s Grand Tour plans, particularly the decision to leave Thomas out of the Tour de France, were “‘misunderstood.”
“I think you guys and maybe the way it was explained, misunderstood the whole thing around the Tour,” Brailsford said. “People saw it as a non-selection; it’s not a non-selection when you look at the situation. Everybody came through the confinement in different ways, everybody got to a certain point in their condition, and when you’ve got that factor and got the evidence, you then sit down and agree.”
Brailsford said that he and Thomas discussed the situation and that a decision was made based on form and the other races on the table.
“I’m pleased to be sitting here today and pleased with the decision we made,” Brailsford said. “It’s not a non-selection, it’s deciding how best you allocate your resources.”
| Paris-Roubaix uncertainty
Paris-Roubaix is scheduled to take place in just over three weeks on October 25, but it is not entirely certain that the race will indeed go ahead as coronavirus cases surge in France. The area surrounding Lille, which includes the finishing town of Roubaix, is seeing particularly high case numbers.
La Voix du Nord reports that regional prefect Michel Lalande is monitoring the situation and plans from the ASO to enact safety measures, with local government officials awaiting further decisions from the French government on restrictions.
| Hansen says he will focus on Ironman in 2020
After well over a decade in the pro road peloton, Adam Hansen is branching out. The 39-year-old Australian told Cyclingnews that he plans to shift his focus next season, adding swimming and running to his plate.
“I’m going to change sports,” Hansen told the Cyclingnews Podcast. “I’m going to get into Ironman next year.”
Hansen already has one Ironman under his belt and said that he made the decision in March of this year, although he may still stay within the pro peloton if he can find a team that will give him the opportunity to do both. His Lotto-Soudal team recently notified Hansen and several other veterans that their contracts would not be renewed for next season.
| Roglic’s power numbers from Tour TT and several key climbs revealed
Dutch newspaper AD has published some of Primoz Roglic’s power numbers from key moments at the 2020 Tour de France, shedding some light on the data behind this year’s battle for yellow.
Included in the data shared with AD were Roglic’s numbers from the stage 20 time trial, where Roglic ceded the GC lead to Tadej Pogacar. As AD reports, Roglic averaged 369 watts over the course of the individual time trial to the tune of 5.7 watts per kilogram over 57 minutes and 41 seconds. Specifically on the Planche des Belles Filles portion of his ride on the 20th stage of this year’s Tour, Roglic put out 388 watts over 15:31 for 6.05 w/kg. For a two-minute period towards the end of the climb his output dipped to 334 watts.
Although those are impressive numbers by any estimate, they were only good enough for fifth on the day. The final climb was not his best performance over a similar time span at the Tour. That said, at least according to AD, Roglic “has never ridden” the numbers that would have been necessary to hold off Pogacar’s surge into yellow.
In case you missed it
| Preview: Your stage-by-stage breakdown of the 2020 Giro d’Italia course
Take a closer look at the Grand Tour about to get underway with a stage-by-stage look at the 2020 Giro route.
| Pro Bike Gear introduces lower-priced Stealth saddle and new alloy handlebars
As Dave Rome writes, Pro Bike Gear has just announced several new offerings.
| Preview: The route and riders to watch for the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Some big names are gearing up for a shot at one-day glory in Belgium this weekend. We’ve got you covered with a preview of the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège …
| Preview: The route and riders to watch for the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège
… and make sure to get acquainted with the route and the pre-race favorites ahead of the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège as well.
| Bikes of the Bunch: Ritte ‘Player One’ Ace
This week’s Bike of the Bunch is the unique ride of VeloClub member Kasper Voogt.
Today’s featured image of Soren Kragh Andersen en route to victory on stage 4 of the BinckBank Tour comes from Cor Vos.