Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

April 26, 2016

In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Pello Bilbao wins Tour of Turkey, stage 2; Hampsten on the Extreme Weather Protocol: I’m seeing bike racing turn into numbers, not glorious battles; How the Race Was Won: 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège; Michael Rogers announces immediate retirement from cycling due to ongoing heart issues; Rivera, Powless win Joe Martin Stage Race; Sagan returns to mountain bike racing; Colorado pro cyclist’s memory gone after crash; 2017 Tour de France start details emerge; Strava launches Global Bike to Work Day to help improve cycling infrastructure; Video: Orica-GreenEdge backstage pass: Liège-Bastogne-Liège; Video: Life as a pro mechanic

Hampsten on the Extreme Weather Protocol: I’m seeing bike racing turn into numbers, not glorious battles

by VeloClub

Difficult conditions at Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège acted as a reminder that the weather can be a big challenge for riders. That will likely be even more pronounced in the high mountains of the upcoming Giro d’Italia. The UCI’s Extreme Weather Protocol was introduced to put limits on the conditions riders have to race in, but has led to some debates. The 1988 Giro d’Italia Andy Hampsten gives his thoughts, and argues that an essential part of cycling could be lost if the right balance isn’t found between caution and challenge.

Picture two moments from cycling’s past. Eight years apart, one a Classic, the other a Grand Tour. Both affected by brutal weather, freezing temperatures and snow. Both brutally hard on the riders, but also part of cycling’s legend.

The first, the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. With two thirds of the peloton calling a halt in the conditions, Bernard Hinault attacks 80 kilometres from the line and solos in almost ten minutes clear of the next rider. Shattered at the finish, the frostbite he suffers causes lingering issues with the circulation in his fingers. But the victory is one of the most impressive of his career.

The second is the 1988 Giro d’Italia. Or, more specifically, stage 14 of that race. Run off in awful conditions, it scales the Gavia climb, where a blizzard and muddy conditions upend the race. Erik Breukink wins the stage, but American rider Andy Hampsten takes over the race lead and grips the Maglia Rosa until the end.

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