Quintana set for return to racing: Daily News

Bunki Davis (third from left) on the podium with the US women's team time trial squad at Worlds in 1992.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Tuesday brought news of Nairo Quintana’s plans to return to racing following his recovery from knee surgery, the announcement of a five-year live broadcast deal from the organizers of the Women’s Tour, and a route unveiling from the organizers of Tirreno-Adriatico, among other news items.

Stepping away from the news of this racing season, the cycling world has lost former Olympian and world champion Danute “Bunki” Bankaitis-Davis, who passed away on Friday. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Quintana eyes return to racing

Following a lengthy recovery from knee surgery, Nairo Quintana is back to training and eyeing his return to racing at the upcoming Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

The 30-year-old Colombian explained in an interview with Radio Caracol that the healing process following surgery on both knees to treat cartilage issues took about 12 weeks. Now, while he has not yet reached his top level, he is working his way back to form and looking ahead to the 2021 season.

“It is logical that I am not at a great level, because the injury set everything back, but in general terms, we’re going well,” He said. “Little by little, I’m getting my condition back. We have already returned, as you have seen on social media too, to training on the bike, and the sensation is good.”

Quintana’s season will get underway at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (which he won last year) later this month, and then he will head to Tirreno-Adriatico (which he won in 2015 and 2017) and then the Volta a Catalunya (which he won in 2016). He also confirmed that he is interested in racing the Giro d’Italia (which he won in 2014) this year before the Tour de France, although his Arkéa-Samsic squad will have to receive an invite to the Italian Grand Tour.

The Women’s Tour will be broadcast live

The Women’s Tour will be broadcast live for the first time this season after organizers secured a five-year agreement with Eurosport and GCN for live broadcasts for both the Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain.

Both races were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are currently set to go ahead this year. The Women’s Tour is scheduled to run from June 7 to 12, with the men’s Tour of Britain set to run from September 5 to 12.

Tirreno-Adriatico route unveiled

Organizer RCS sport unveiled the route of this year’s edition of Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, revealing that the challenges on tap at the seven-day stage race will include a summit finish at Prati di Tivo.

After three stages likely to favor those focused mostly on winning stages, the fourth day of racing at Tirreno-Adriatico will bring the GC favorites to the fore with some tough climbs culminating with a trip to Prati di Tivo, 14.5 km in length with an average gradient of 7%. Stage 5 will be another tough one, featuring a finishing circuit with several short but steep climbs. After another day for the fast finishers, the race will close out with a time trial in stage 7 in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Plenty of big names are expected to take on the race, which gets underway on March 10, with Tadej Pogacar, Vincenzo Nibali, Wout van Aert, Peter Sagan, and the aforementioned Nairo Quintana among the many, many notables slated to start.

Bunki Bankaitis-Davis dies at age 63

Danute “Bunki” Bankaitis-Davis, a marquee rider on the US and global racing scene in the 1980s and 1990s, passed away on January 29 after battling cancer for seven years.

Bankaitis-Davis was both an Olympian and a former world champion, having ridden to a world title in the team time trial with the United States team in 1992. She also counted podium performances at races like the Tour de France Féminin and the Coors Classic on her long list of career accomplishments. After she retired from racing, Bankaitis-Davis went on to a career as a scientist while continuing to stay involved in cycling, serving on the United States Cycling Federation’s Board of Directors and the USA Cycling Athlete Selection Committee as well as the United States Olympic Committee Athletes’ Advisory Council and Sports, Science, and Technology Committee.

Vuelta a Madrid cancelled

Organizers have announced that the 2021 Vuelta a Madrid has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The four-day race was set to run from May 6 to 9, but joins a growing list of events that won’t be happening as planned this season.

Zwift bans two riders for falsifying data

Zwift has banned two more riders from “official Zwift Cycling Esports events” for falsifying their data.

Antonina Reznikov and Selma Trommer have both received six-month bans. In both cases, the sanctions were delivered after “Zwift’s automated systems” identified that power data from Zwift Racing League events may have been altered. Zwift then analyzed the data and determined that the riders had changed their power data prior to submitting it to Zwift.

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