Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 26, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Guardian column: ‘Why I don’t think Froome will win a fifth Tour de France’; Landa: ‘I sacrificed myself without any benefit to the team’ on Izoard stage; BMC Racing announces contract extensions for Bookwalter, De Marchi, Schar, Wyss; Business Insider: Brailsford explains why Froome is so good at winning Tour de France; Nibali set to return to racing at Tour de Pologne in preparation for Vuelta a España; Cycling Australia to allow disc brakes in road racing effective immediately, with exceptions; Quarq launches two new DZero-based power meters; Abbey Bike Tools releases precision Saddle Fit Kit System.

Guardian column: ‘Why I don’t think Froome will win a fifth Tour de France’

by CyclingTips

In a column published Tuesday titled  “Why I don’t think Chris Froome will win a fifth Tour de France,” Guardian writer William Fotheringham put forth several reasons why he thinks it’s unlikely Froome will join the list of five-time Tour winners that includes Indurain, Merckx, Hinault and Anquetil. An excerpt follows below.

One would like to imagine that Tom Dumoulin and Vincenzo Nibali watched this year’s Tour with an eyebrow raised. One would like to hope that both will come to the Tour next year at their best, sensing that there might be more than half a chance to topple the man who has dominated the race since 2013. Each rider offers a different skill set – Dumoulin in time trials, Nibali in his race knowledge and his riding up and down mountains – and the combination of the two of them would add to the challenge for Froome, who lacked seasoned opposition this July.

Next year the opposition will proliferate and most of those involved will have less to lose than this year. Romain Bardet will know that the podium will no longer satisfy France and it would be better to risk all and go down in flames. France has only so much patience with followers. Rigoberto Urán, Daniel Martin and Richie Porte will be older likewise, of course – the same argument of anno domini applies to them as much as to Froome – but they will still threaten.

The only way to beat Team Sky is to disrupt their game plan and prevent them from racing how they want to. This never happened in 2017, partly because Astana’s challenge faltered, partly because there were not enough mature contenders in the race. Teams need to present the multiple challenge, one to attack from distance, one to sit tight and watch.

A combination of Dumoulin and Barguil – backed by the same strong Sunweb team that rode so well this year – could be very threatening, simply because of their contrasting racing styles. So, too, the Yates twins for Orica, who do similar things on the bike but have unique knowledge of each other and unique loyalty. They will be a year older and stronger, with two Grand Tour top-10 finishes behind each of them.

The transfer market – Fabio Aru, Mikel Landa, perhaps even Quintana – will be closely watched but teams of ambition will look to present multiple options on the start line next year in Noirmoutier. Unlike Froome the bulk of the opposition is made up of relatively young riders with headroom for improvement. Potentially he could turn up in the Vendée in 2018 to face a dozen serious threats, many of them younger than him.

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