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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
Today was the final rest day of the Vuelta a España, and that means only one week of the last Grand Tour of 2020 remains. It seems like the season has been going on forever with all the racing jammed together, but we will still be sad it is over next Monday.
Even without any racing today there were still a few news drops, including some exciting contract extensions and some insight into the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.
Read on for more …
| Trek-Segafredo has announced extensions for five of their riders
Trek-Segafredo today announced that they will be holding on to Toms Skujins, Gianluca Brambilla, Jacopo Mosca, and Matteo Mischetti for the next two years. They also announced an extension for Koen de Kort for one more season. The team is keeping much of the core team the same. They have already announced extensions for a few of their top riders, including Mads Pederson, the 2019 World Champion), Jasper Stuyven, and Bauke Mollema.
“In a season like the one that is about to end, we thought it was important to send a signal of confidence and incentive to the whole group,” Luca Guercilena, General Manager, said in the team’s press release.
| Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta course reveal
The final Women’s WorldTour race of the year is next weekend, November 6-8. Very little had been announced about the three-day stage race, other than the dates and the change from two to three stages until today.
With only four days to go until the race start, it’s a bit late for the route announcement, although there had been rumors that the race would no longer take place in Madrid due to COVID-19, which could have been the reason for the delay.
The race will start with an 82.2 km slightly hilly stage from Toledo to Escalone containing three categorized climbs, followed by a 9.5 km individual time trial in Boadilla del Monte, and finally a 99.2 km flat circuit in the Madrid city center.
Stay tuned to CyclingTips for a race preview later in the week.
| L39ION of LA go Continental, add Skylar Schneider and Kendall Ryan
L39ION of LA, the elite crit squad helmed by Cory and Justin Williams, has announced the creation of a co-ed Domestic Elite team headlined by Skylar Schneider and Kendall Ryan, as well as the creation of a men’s UCI Continental squad.
In addition to Schneider, fresh off three years with top Women’s WorldTour team Boels Dolmans, and Ryan, a stage winner at the Tour of California, the team also picked up 24-year-old Avry Howes, as well as the brothers Ama and Imeh Nsek, who have both spent time with the US National development squad. Angel Munoz rounds out the Domestic Elite side of the team.
| Equipo Kern Pharma steps up to UCI ProTeam in 2021
The Equipo Kern Pharma team, formally Equipo Lizarte, will make the jump to UCI ProTeam status next season. Based in Spain, the team has previously been home to current Vuelta leader Richard Carapaz, Marc Soler, and Andrey Amador.
Juanjo Oroz, former professional rider and current team manager, made it clear in the press release about the team’s upgrade that their primary goal is a wild card invite to the Vuelta. Once achieved, they are hoping to win their home Grand Tour someday, with a step by step plan to do so. “From 2023 on, we want to contend for a podium there. We will do that by keeping our team together, by trusting the talent of our young riders and growing along with them. We want to be the best option for their sporting careers to thrive.”
| Bjarne Riis on NTT sponsor search: ‘Things aren’t looking great’
The roller coaster ride continues for the NTT team. It all started with a positive addition to the team at the end of 2019. NTT gained Bjarne Riis and his business partner Lars Seier, originally the two planned to buy a share in the team, however, the purchase did not go ahead.
As the pandemic worsened questions arose about the continuation of NTT Pro Cycling. The technology company did not renew their title sponsorship of the WorldTour team and in September Doug Ryder, the owner of the team encouraged his riders to search for new contracts.
Still, there was a glimmer of hope ten days ago when La Gazzetta dello Sport reported signs of a sponsor to replace NTT. That hope came to an end today when Ekstrabladet published an interview with Riis in which he said, “We don’t have a sponsor at the moment and it’s getting late. Things aren’t looking great.”
2020 strikes again.
In case you missed it
| Why Elisa Longo Borghini’s National Championship victory matters so much
When Elisa Longo Borghini won her second road National title, and the second National title of 2020, after winning the Individual Time Trial in August, it was an emotional win.
| Omens from the past: Tao Geoghegan Hart at the U23 Paris-Roubaix
The French film “Rêves d’Enfer” follows a handful of aspiring neo pros as they prepare for the 2015 U23 Paris-Roubaix. One of the young riders featured in the film is 20-year-old Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia.
| A week on the couch and an eye on the future: A chat with Jai Hindley
After narrowly missing out on winning the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia, Jai Hindley spoke to the media about his surprising Grand Tour successes and what he hopes to achieve in the future.
Today’s featured image of Trek-Segafredo at the Tour of Flanders was taken by one of the Grubers.