Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 20, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Roglic solos to Tour de France stage victory in Alps, Aru loses GC time; Kittel forced to abandon Tour de France after crash, cedes green jersey to Matthews; David Lappartient makes radical pitch for Brian Cookson’s UCI presidency; After postponed awakening from coma, Claudia Cretti shows first signs of awareness; UCI, transgender athlete settle human rights application to promote inclusive sporting environments; Cascade Cycling Classic issues statement after criticism of UCI women’s prize purse; Photo of Pawel Poljanski’s bulging veins reaches mainstream media; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 17 highlights; Video: ‘How cool is that?’ Michael Matthews gets police escort to team hotel after Stage 16 victory.

Kittel forced to abandon Tour de France after crash, cedes green jersey to Matthews

by Neal Rogers

Assuming he makes it to Paris intact, Australian Michael Matthews (Sunweb) will win the green points jersey for the first time in his career Sunday on the Champs Elysees. Matthews earned an additional 20 points on rival Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) by riding into the day’s early breakaway of 31 riders and taking the day’s only intermediate sprint point, at Allemont, 47km into the stage.

Kittel, who had been caught up in a crash 20km into the stage that also took down Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) and Warren Barguil (Sunweb), did not ride into the breakaway and earned no points; the difference between Matthews and Kittel was just nine points with three road stages remaining. That fact became moot, however, as Kittel abandoned the race on the Croix-de-Fer, succumbing to injuries sustained in his crash.

“I am very disappointed and I don’t know how to describe my feelings at the moment,” Kittel said. “To go home with five stage victories is great, but to go home because of a crash and before hitting Paris is a major disappointment. I couldn’t do anything to avoid that crash and lost some skin on my shoulder, back, elbow and hip, which are a bit swollen. I tried to carry on, but pedaling was just painful, especially as in the last couple of days I had to fight with stomach problems and a cold. Now I will take some time to recover before returning to racing and I’m confident the joy of winning five stages at the Tour de France will help me overcome these difficult moments.”

Matthews now leads the classification with a total of 364 points, 160 points ahead of Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).

“After getting 50 points yesterday I knew that it was game on,” Matthews said. “I knew beforehand that I had to be active to get those 20 points today and was aware that even if I did get those points it was still going to be difficult. You never want to see a guy out of a race like this, it’s been such a good battle up to this point and I hope Kittel is okay.”