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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
As we head through the midpoint of the week – or whatever you’d call the last day before a holiday for those of us in the United States – the cycling headlines offer more of the contract updates we’ve been seeing over the past several days but also the story of a tough training crash, a big name’s thoughts ahead of his first ‘cross race of the season, and more.
Read on for the latest from the cycling world.
| Astana extends Lutsenko, completing 2021 roster
The squad that will race as Astana-Premier Tech next season announced Wednesday that its roster was complete for 2021 with the re-signing of Alexey Lutsenko. The 28-year-old all-rounder, who counts two Kazakh national titles each in the road race and the time trial, has been one of the team’s most successful riders in recent years.
Among his most notable accomplishments are stage wins at both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, a pair of overall wins at the Tour of Oman, and GC titles the Tour of Hainan, the Arctic Race of Norway, and the Tour of Almaty.
“I think, I have improved significantly over the last few years and achieved many great results, which have been my goals for many years,” Lutsenko said. “Despite a difficult year, I still had a good season. Of course, the stage win at the Tour de France was the best moment. I am happy that the team wants to continue our journey. I am looking forward to achieving new goals and developing further as a rider. I will stay another year with this team, which makes me really happy. The team believes in me and shares my visions and goals.”
| Cherel sustains multiple injuries in training crash after dog runs in front of him
Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Mikaël Cherel suffered a collapsed lung and fractures to his collarbone and ribs when he crashed during a training ride after a dog ran in front of him. The 34-year-old Frenchman described the incident in a post on social media on Tuesday, explaining that the dog had gotten away from its owner and run into the road. Cherel hit the deck, and then the dog owner apparently left the scene, but others were quickly on hand and Cherel was taken to a nearby hospital.
“Since then, the CT scan has revealed a double collarbone fracture, 2 broken ribs and a pneumothorax,” Cherel wrote. “As they say, it could be worse.”
Cherel will undergo surgery at some point in the future, depending on the situation with his lung injury.
| Arkéa-Samsic manager Hubert two months after Quintana inquiry: ‘Today I don’t know much more’
In an interview with Ouest France, Arkéa-Samsic manager Emmanuel Hubert said on Wednesday that he has not received much more information on the investigation that saw police search the hotel rooms of Nairo and Dayer Quintana and Winner Anacona at the Tour de France two months ago.
“Today, I don’t know much more,” Hubert said. “The only thing I can see is that everyone is free, and everyone has the right to practice their profession.”
The Quintana brothers were questioned after French police reportedly found “100ml of saline and injection equipment.” Quintana said in a statement that police had “seized vitamin supplements that were perfectly legal, although perhaps unfamiliar to the French authorities.” A doctor and soigneur who had been in preliminary custody were later released.
Since the week of the search and subsequent questioning, hardly any news has emerged about the status of the inquiry. Hubert said Wednesday that he had not received much more information from authorities over the past two months and noted that he thought that “if he [Quintana] had had to be indicted, he already would have been.” As things stand, Hubert is focused on his team’s 2021 plans.
“Already, I believe more than ever in the presumption of innocence,” Hubert said. “Now I have a team, staff, and all this must continue, that’s clear.”
| Van Aert keeping expectations modest ahead of his first cyclocross race of the season
Wout van Aert is set to begin his cyclocross season this weekend at the X²0 Badkamers Trofee race in Kortrijk, and he’s keeping his expectations modest ahead of a battle against many riders that have already been racing for several weeks. According to Sporza, van Aert has said that “it is not realistic” for him to be at his best right away.
“Do not forget that I will ride against the best in the world on Saturday,” he said. “Those men have worked here all summer, my run-up period is much too short.
| Rally signs Breck, Bemis, and Ray
Rally announced on Wednesday that it has signed Holly Breck, Madeline Bemis, and Olivia Ray for 2021.
Breck has experience racing in both North America and Europe, having spent time at Sho-Air Twenty20 and Cylance earlier in her career. Ray, New Zealand’s national criterium champion, and American up-and-comer Bemis both join the team after strong collegiate careers.
In case you missed it
| The dictator, the oligarch and the UCI president
Rather than trying to sum up Iain Treloar’s excellent investigative journalism work in only a single sentence or two, we’ll just say that you should really check out his latest piece.
| Cannondale’s new bike packaging is better for the environment, your bike, and mechanics
As Ronan Mc Laughlin writes, Cannondale is switching to fully recyclable packaging for all of its bikes.
Today’s featured image of Bernard Hinault at the Tour de France comes from the archives of Cor Vos. All told, the Badger won five Tour titles – when did he nab the first?