Roger de Vlaeminck leads the way at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Evenepoel still unsure of when he will return to racing: Daily News Digest

As we roll through the middle of the week, the cycling headlines include news on some marquee riders as the new season looms as well as an announcement of a continued partnership between a WorldTour team and a bike brand.

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

As we roll through the middle of the week, the cycling headlines include news on some marquee riders as the new season looms as well as an announcement of a continued partnership between a WorldTour team and a bike brand.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Evenepoel still unsure of when he will get back to racing

Remco Evenepoel, who has not raced since he suffered a fractured pelvis and other injuries at Il Lombardia last year, has given an update on his recovery, revealing that things have not progressed as well as hoped over the past few months. The 20-year-old Belgian initially got back on his bike about a month and a half after the crash, but he said on Wednesday that he has had to spend time off the bike again, and is unsure of when his 2021 campaign would get underway.

“I’m not a doctor so I don’t know the specific words but it’s just a bit of pain in the area where the fractures were, so sitting down on a saddle is still quite hard for a few hours,” Evenepoel said. “This needs to be fixed before being 100 per cent on a bike.”

Evenepoel said that he was nonetheless still targeting the Giro d’Italia, which was his main goal last season as well before the crash derailed those plans.

Jakobsen looks ahead to potential return after next surgery

Fabio Jakobsen is also with Deceuninck-Quick-Step at its training camp in Spain as he continues to focus on his recovery from injuries sustained in 2020. Jakobsen suffered numerous fractures in his face and other injuries in a crash on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland five months ago.

Jakobsen is riding again but not yet training at full capacity, with another surgery still to come in February. After that, he will see how things go, with a hope of getting back to racing “one or two months later” if there are no setbacks.

EF Education-Nippo and Cannondale extend partnership

EF Education-Nippo and Cannondale announced on Wednesday that their partnership will continue through 2023.

The team and the bike brand have been together going back to 2015, when the former Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale squads linked up to become Cannondale-Garmin. Today’s EF team continues to compete at the WorldTour level on the road, and EF riders also feature in a number of off-road events as well.

“Our ambitions to build a larger community in cycling are in line with the spirit of EF Education–Nippo,” said Jonathan Geran, director of sports marketing for Cannondale. “We’re all working toward the same common goals – be the world’s favorite team, race with character and heart, and shift perceptions of what people think about bicycles, professional cycling, and its riders.”

Nibali looks to bounce back

Vincenzo Nibali has another busy season ahead of him as he plans to race the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and the Olympics this year. As he told reporters on Tuesday, the Olympics are the big goal, but he’s trying not to focus too heavily on one individual objective this year, saying that “the approach is to go race by race, which is something different from the past, maybe not focusing on just one main goal.”

Nibali’s 2020 campaign did not go as well as he had hoped, as he closed out the year without any victories. He pointed to the challenges of the rescheduled season as having played a part, saying that he wasn’t at his best after the hiatus. He suggested that the younger riders in the peloton were better able to handle unconventional circumstances of stopping racing and picking it back up again months later.

As a new season looms, Nibali is hoping to get back to winning ways.

“The desire to win is always a good motivation to start a new season,” he said. “It’s a great feeling that I love to have. I have a lot of success behind me, many successful seasons, some not so much. For sure, 2020 was one of those, but that can be a starting point for this year.”

Moving Pictures

If you’re a fan of cycling and Lego, you’ll appreciate this excellent recreation of a moment from the 2020 season.

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