Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

December 2, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chris Froome to start his 2017 season in Australia at Cadel’s Race and the Sun Tour; Gaimon begins retirement by hunting banned rider’s Strava KOMs; Paddy Bevin on his WorldTour debut: ‘I took a bit of a beating’; UCI and Wanda Sports sign partnership to transform cycling in China; Shane Sutton on short list for Cycling Australia high performance director job; Tom Veelers announced retirement due to ongoing knee injury; Why not Froome as BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year?; Peter Sagan Wins Velo D’Or; Hayman backs Matthews’ team move for green jersey aspirations; Wiggins listed on British Cycling’s 2017 podium programme; Cylance Pro Cycling names men’s roster; No Grand Départ for Portsmouth in 2019, but hopes for a future bid; Controversy brewing over grant for Irish government head’s cycling club; Colombian cycling photographer Horacio Gil Ochoa.

Gaimon begins retirement by hunting banned rider’s Strava KOMs

by Peter Flax

Though Phil Gaimon had the opportunity to keep racing as a professional, albeit likely on a team at a level below his current WorldTour team, he chose to retire from the racing life. However, he is not exactly hanging his wheels up anytime soon. The 30-year-old is very outspoken in what he thinks of dopers in the sport, and is known as much for his writing and witty social media posts, as much as for his racing palmares. So instead of heading to the beach, he is heading to the hills around his Los Angeles home, seeking out Strava KOMs from confirmed dopers — in particular those of Nick Brandt-Sorenson, who agreed to a lifetime ban from USADA for doping offences. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

Gaimon truly became aware of Brandt-Sorenson’s exploits on the slopes of Mandeville in the summer of 2015. Thorfinn had recently taken the KOM from local legend and longtime elite rider Tony Manzella.

On the annual July 4 Holiday Ride that is a popular event with L.A. roadies, Gaimon showed up to help some local strongmen take back the title. Manzella was there, as were then Hagens-Berman pro Diego Binatena and Stathis Sakellariadis, a Cat 1 racer (presently with SPY Giant Ride) who has netted many big SoCal Strava KOMs under the moniker Jungle Cat.

Gaimon singlehandedly towed an increasingly small field up most of Mandeville that morning, and Sakellariadis wound up with the fastest time. (I have not been able to confirm he reached the top first, but such honors are meaningless in the Strava universe.) His time was equal to Brandt-Sorenson’s, so Thorfinn retained his KOM.

“That really opened my eyes,” says Gaimon. “I was training for the Tour of Austria at the time and that was my best 15 minutes of power, ever. I realize that there are a bunch of guys who can out-climb me for 15 minutes, but the truth is I know them all and can name them. That’s when I realized just how lit up this guy was. His time on Mandeville was world class. There are maybe only 60 guys in the world who can ride that fast up that climb solo.”

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