Mathieu van der Poel in Zolder in 2020. Photographer Mats Palinckx (@matspalinckx) was top 10 finisher in this year's Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards.

UCI confirms that CX Worlds will go ahead as scheduled: Daily News Digest

After some uncertainty, the UCI has announced that CX Worlds will go ahead this weekend.

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

There has been some uncertainty recently over whether the Cyclocross World Championships will go ahead, but Tuesday brought news from the UCI that organizers are planning to move forward with the event.

In other news, Dylan Groenewegen has given his first major interview since the crash at last year’s Tour of Poland, shedding light on the crash itself and what has gone on in his life since then.

Read on for the latest from the cycling world.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

UCI confirms that CX Worlds will go ahead as scheduled

The UCI has confirmed that the world championships in Ostend, Belgium, will go ahead this weekend – with increased safety measures – after some uncertainty amid coronavirus concerns.

“I would like to thank the spirit of cooperation demonstrated by all the players, organisers and competent authorities, who have made it possible to safeguard the Championships for the benefit of the athletes, viewers, partners, and all fans of our sport despite the current very challenging circumstances,” said UCI president David Lappartient in a statement.

While the junior races were previously called off, the under-23 and elite events will go ahead with a “reduction of accredited persons and toughening of sanitary regulations.”

Groenewegen talks crash, aftermath, and return to racing

Dylan Groenwegen has spoken about the crash on the opening stage of last year’s Tour of Poland, which left Fabio Jakobsen seriously injured, and the aftermath of that crash in his first major interview since the incident in Helden Magazine.

“It was never my intention to hurt anyone. It happened subconsciously,” Groenewegen said. “I don’t remember most of that sprint. I may have subconsciously blocked it from my memory. We knew it was a fast finish and I started my sprint early because at those speeds you knew we would soon be at the line. I tried to be as aerodynamic as I could with my head down. I didn’t mean to deviate. I never intended to. Everything went so fast. It was a split second when we both lost our balance. I crashed with 80 kilometers an hour too. The impact of my crash [and everything around me] resulted in a shock. I lost what happened after that.”

Groenewegen said that he and his wife had received threatening mail following the crash.

“We received handwritten letters in the post,” Groenewegen told Helden Magazine. “One of those letters contained a noose we should use to hang our future child. Nine also got messages she should leave me but also from people who wished a miscarriage on her. My parents received threats and insults at their bike shop. It all went way too far and I went to the police. The fact we got protection shows the seriousness of the threats.”

Fortunately, those threats slowed down over time. Groenewegen is currently training as he works towards his return from the nine-month suspension he received from the UCI. He is set to make his first start of the year in May at the Tour de Hongrie.

GP Denain postponed

GP Denain organizers have announced that the event will not take place as planned on March 18.

“The date of the postponement is not yet set, it will soon be taken according to the many organizational criteria and the international calendar,” organizers of the French one-day wrote on Facebook.

Bardet optimistic about new environment as he preps for first season with DSM

Romain Bardet signed with DSM (formerly Sunweb) this transfer season after spending the entirety of his career with AG2R La Mondiale. In an interview with L’Equipe, the 30-year-old Frenchman was optimistic about continuing his career in the new environment.

“At AG2R, I was propelled as a leader from my second pro year and I was never able to evolve in the shadows,” Bardet told L’Equipe. “I was systematically put forward, I had a project to justify and ambitions to keep. At DSM, not only will I be able to work more calmly and more precisely, but in addition, I will be able to do races just to help the team, without the slightest personal ambition. In a way, it will take some form of pressure off me. They are counting on me and my experience, for sure, but I will no longer be the sole leader. It’s up to me to reaffirm myself, to prove that I deserve this status somewhere other than at AG2R.”

A Canyon Ultimate CF SLX is being raffled off in a fundraiser for the St. Augustine’s University cycling team

Canyon is donating an Ultimate CF SLX to be raffled off in a fundraiser for the cycling team at St. Augustine’s University, the first cycling team at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

The bike will be custom-painted in SAU team colors and feature a quote from Major Taylor: “In a word I was a pioneer and therefore had to blaze my own trail.”

You can find out more about the raffle here.

Zwift announces Black Celebration Series

Zwift has announced the launch of the Black Celebration Series, which will get underway in February. The platform says it will host events over the course of the next year that will “celebrate the history, athletes, heritage, and joy the Black community brings to Zwift from around the world.”

Events include social rides and runs on New York routes that will feature guests like Nelson Vails, Ama Nsek, Rahsaan Bahati, and Aisha Praught-Leer, and leaders of the Black Cyclist Network and the Level Up Movement. Zwift also announced the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, an education program, bike shop, and cycling team that works with youth ages eight to 18, as a charity partner for the series.

You can find out more about the Black Celebration Series here.

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Kobe Bryant’s desert bike ride

One year since Kobe Bryant died, it seems like a fitting time to share this story over at Lakers Nation – and referencing an ESPNLA article – on how he incorporated cycling into his training ahead of the Olympics back in 2012.

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