Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 25, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gaviria wins San Juan opener in confusing finish with peloton misdirected; Nicole Cooke critical of British Cycling and UK Anti Doping, questions Team Sky; Behind closed doors at the Tour Down Under with Katusha-Alpecin; Pauwels and van der Poel post doping control forms on social media; Nizzolo nursing knee injury, delays season start; Costs for 2015 Grand Depart city of Utrecht rise again, shortfall nearly 600,000 euros; Irish team for CX nationals after all?; Bart Wellens rides the World Championship course; Dutch sprinter Laurine van Riessen joins Matrix Pro Cycling; Montana lawmaker drafts bill to ban cycling on rural roads; 12th Brompton World Championship announced; CyclingTips to livestream Race Melbourne, the Cadel’s Race curtain-raiser criterium; Motorcyclist, driving in bike lane, meets karma.

Behind closed doors at the Tour Down Under with Katusha-Alpecin

by Matt de Neef

It’s not often that a WorldTour team will let journalists behind closed doors, to see the inner workings of a team at a professional bike race. But at this year’s Santos Tour Down Under Katusha-Alpecin were good enough to do just that. CyclingTips’ Australian editor Matt de Neef spent a day with the now-Swiss-registered outfit to see what life is like for a WorldTour team at Australia’s biggest race. Here is an excerpt:

It’s the morning of stage 2 — a much-anticipated stage with a crucial uphill finish to Paracombe. It’s a day that’s likely to shape the overall classification, if not decide it. Gennady begins by congratulating Belgian rider Baptiste Planckaert on his seventh place a day earlier, before turning his attention to the race ahead.

He’d like to see one of his charges get up the road if a big-enough breakaway group starts to form. “If group of six, seven, eight riders — if somebody is there we are safe all day,” he says. But a breakaway isn’t the day’s main objective — the plan is to deliver Tiago Machado and Dutchman Maurits Lammertink to the base of the steep final climb inside the 10-15 spots in the peloton. The remaining five riders on the team have license to attack once Tiago and Maurits are in position on the final climb, if they want to and if they can.

“Be sure nobody [is] on the wheel. If you go alone, just full gas,” Gennady says. “Tiago and Maurits can sit on the wheel of guys who will be chasing. Maurits and Tiago … if you go from the beginning, it’s not possible to do this plan. Just wait as long as possible and then when the steep part is finished …”

The hope is that Tiago and Maurits will be able to follow the best climbers in the race and be there at the finish; to post a strong result and set the team up for a good result overall. But that hope is tempered by the knowledge that just about anything can happen out on the road.

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