Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

February 2, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel doubles up at Dubai Tour; Danny van Poppel claims prologue victory at the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour; BMC wins Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana TTT; Démare wins Etoile de Bessèges opener; Vos, van der Poel follow-up Worlds disappointments with wins; Contract secured: Nathan Earle in career-best form and ready to get back on the winners’ list; 30 feet above a very different finish line: Masters racer recounts life-saving recovery after harrowing crash on bridge; Renowned cycling photographer Graham Watson retires; Advocacy group calls 10 day sentence for drunk driver who killed cyclist ‘unacceptable’; Colorado legislature considering adopting ‘Idaho Stop’ law; Video: Highlights from the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Races; Backstage Pass: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Contract secured: Nathan Earle in career-best form and ready to get back on the winners’ list

by Matt de Neef

The final months of 2016 were challenging for Nathan Earle. The 28-year-old’s Drapac team was folding, he didn’t have a ride secured for the year ahead, and with a newborn child at home, retiring wasn’t an option. He also wasn’t ready to give up racing — he felt as if he had plenty more to give. But he was running out of options and running out of time. Fast forward to January and things are much different for the Tasmanian. He’s found himself a contract, he’s had an impressive start to the year, and he’s genuinely excited about what 2017 might bring. Here is an excerpt:

While his Ukyo team begins its season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain today, racing against 12 WorldTour teams, Earle is still in Australia, ready to line up at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. He’s again racing for the Australian National team and with a hilly parcours, Earle should have another chance to shine before he turns his attention to racing for his Japanese team. He’s not sure exactly which races he’ll be doing this season, but he has a fair idea of where they’ll be.

“I think it will be a really good mix of local Japanese and Asian racing, that middle sort of 2.2, 2.1 and 1.1 racing in Asia and Azerbaijan and Korea and things like that,” Earle said. “And then also some Spanish racing … which I’m pretty excited about. Maybe [I’ll] go to Girona and hang out with some of the guys there for a bit in between.”

Earle believes the lower-level racing that will make up the bulk of his season is just what he needs to rediscover his form and, hopefully, earn him a place in a bigger team for 2018. After all, it was in Asia that Earle really established himself in 2012 and 2013, ultimately leading to a contract with Sky.

“Doing some of the smaller races will be good for just that more aggressive racing, less stress, aggressive racing which will I think will be good to take me back to my roots a little bit as well,” he said. “But then we’re going to have a mix of much better quality racing as well, higher category races.”

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