Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

February 3, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Degenkolb wins rough and tumble Dubai sprint; Damien Howson takes Sun Tour lead with solo victory on Falls Creek; Kristoff fires back with win at Etoile de Bessèges, stage 2; Tony Martin solos to win at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Stuyven forging his own path despite past comparisons with Classics kings; Grivko punches Kittel amidst tense crosswinds in Dubai; Should welfare come before winning?; Canyon coming to the US market by summer; Judge rules against lawsuit over Dekker’s tell-all book; Pair recreates 1928 Aussie-Kiwi Tour de France ride in documentary; Cadel Evans joins ride for veterans with PTSD; Video: Crosswinds wreak havoc in Dubai; Skoda ad features career of Bradley Wiggins.

Grivko punches Kittel amidst tense crosswinds in Dubai

by CyclingTips

The strong crosswinds in Dubai caused tempers to flare and even boil over, as Astana’s Andriy Grivko and stage one winner Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) got into a heated quarrel, with Grivko eventually throwing a punch that landed on Kittel’s face. Grivko was subsequently kicked out of the race after the finish and the Astana team issued an apology. However, Kittel was not satisfied with that and is calling for a six-month ban for the 33-year-old Ukrainian rider.

“Today’s race was confusing because of the sandstorm and a lot of teams had to sacrifice many guys in the kilometers before the finish because of this. I think everyone felt how hard it was today, and many guys were on the limit at one point. That made the stage really tough,” said Kittel.

“When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me. I really can’t understand how he can do something like that. I get that riding in the crosswinds is always tense, but it gives him no right to act like that. He could have hurt my eye. It’s a real shame what happened. In the finale, my mind wasn’t 100% on the sprint, but I am happy I have no big injuries and I kept the lead.”

“He sent Bernie Eisel to me that he wanted to apologise, but for what should he apologise –- it’s too late,” he told Cycling Weekly. “There is a very thin line that you can cross. I mean if you have an argument in the race you have an argument, you talk about it OK and maybe even you touch the other guy a little bit, no problem. I have no problem with that.”

It is unclear if the UCI or Astana will take any further disciplinary action.