Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 27, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Navardauskas takes Bahrain-Merida inaugural win in San Juan TT; Greipel sprints to win in Challenge Mallorca opener; Kirsten Wild just pips Chloe Hosking in Race Melbourne photo finish; Sam Bennett sprints to victory at Race Melbourne, the Cadel’s Race curtain-raiser crit; Mark Cavendish: Merckx’s Tour de France record is now a realistic target for me; Cyclocross worlds preview: In Bieles, a new chapter will be written between the sport’s two young stars; French teams dominate wildcard selections for Tour de France, Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné; Retired pro cyclist Tom Zirbel shifts to triathlon; World Championship course proving to be a challenge; Former pro talks about battle with depression, suicide attempts; Vuelta a San Juan, stage 3 highlights; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour preview; Video: Tony Martin off to rocky start with Katusha-Alpecin.

Cyclocross worlds preview: In Bieles, a new chapter will be written between the sport’s two young stars

by Neal Rogers

The outcome of the 2017 elite men’s world cyclocross championship, held Sunday in Bieles, Luxembourg, will almost certainly be the climactic endpoint to one of three equally unconventional storylines.

First: Young former world champion misses first month of season returning from knee surgery, battles with current young world champion during heart of season, has scary race-ending crash a month before worlds, and wins to reclaim rainbow jersey.

Second: Current world champion, also young, dominates early season, finds himself on losing end of several epic battles with young former world champion, overcomes late-season knee injury, and defends rainbow jersey.

Third: Slightly less-young rider misses first half of season due to hamstring injury, slowly claws his way back to top, profits from late-season breakdown of two former world champions, and peaks at perfect moment to take first world title of his career.

While anything can happen in a cyclocross race, there is a very good chance that Sunday’s world championship will be the final chapter in one of these season-long narratives, written and performed by Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, and Lars van der Haar, respectively.

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