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Hirschi updates, Paris-Nice wildcards, Sicot’s suspension: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

As we cross over the midpoint of the week, the cycling headlines include reports on how the Marc Hirschi split from DSM came about, news of doping suspensions, and wildcard selections for a 2021 race.

Read on for the latest from the cycling world.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s News

Hirschi reportedly set for major salary bump with UAE after parting ways with DSM

After Team DSM (formerly Sunweb) announced a parting of ways with Marc Hirschi, media reports suggest that the rising star is due for a significant salary increase with UAE-Team Emirates, where he is reportedly headed this season.

According to Swiss newspapers Blick and Le Nouvelliste, Hirschi will make something in the ballpark of a million Swiss francs at his new team after racing for much less while on his first pro contract with Sunweb. Meanwhile, Het Laatste Nieuws reports that DSM agreed to let Hirschi go, with the team reportedly preferring to get out of the contract that was supposed to run through the end of this season. Apparently, it took some time to work out the legal details of the split, leading to the announcement in January of 2021.

Further details on what might have led to the parting of ways, or how exactly things unfolded, remain unclear.

Sicot on reduced ban: “What a relief”

Marion Sicot said on social media on Tuesday that she has received a two-year suspension following an EPO positive from June of 2019, and described the outcome as a “relief.” The 28-year-old Frenchwoman had requested a shorter suspension than the standard four years after she said that she had decided to dope following abuse by Marc Bracke, who managed the Doltcini-Van Eyck team she rode for at the time. In October of 2020, the UCI found Bracke guilty of violating the Code of Ethics following an investigation into allegations of abuse and harassment.

The Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), the French anti-doping agency, took the circumstances into account and decided on a two-year suspension for Sicot.

“What a relief to see that my story has been understood by the authorities,” Sicot wrote on Facebook.

Sicot had been provisionally suspended since July of 2019 and will thus be allowed to return to racing this July.

Czech cyclocross champion Hekele banned four years

Emil Hekele, who won the Czech national cyclocross title in 2020, has been banned for four years after testing positive for two different steroids.

The 43-year-old tested positive for oxandrolone and clenbuterol in September of last year, and he blamed the positives on contaminated meat.

Wildcard invites for Paris-Nice

The ASO has announced wildcard invites for three French ProTeams for the 2021 edition of Paris-Nice, which is set to run from March 7 to 14.

B&B Hotels, Arkéa-Samsic, and Total Direct Energie will join the WorldTour teams and Alpecin-Fenix, which is automatically invited to all WorldTour events due to its position atop the rankings for ProTeams at the end of 2020, at the French stage race this year.

The eight-day race will feature some tough stages for the climbers, as well as an individual time trial and a few opportunities for sprinters.

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Today’s featured image comes from the archives of Cor Vos.

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