Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 6, 2016

In Saturday’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Terpstra takes win at Dwars door het Hageland; McCabe continues young rider wins at Utah; Haas wins Burgos, stage 4; Ezquerra solos to win in strange Portugal stage; Henderson leaving Lotto-Soudal but is committed to extending career; Frank Schleck announces pending retirement; Sep Vanmarcke inks contract with Cannondale-Drapac, boosts team’s Classics potential; Adrien Costa: A mind that moves mountains; Meet the only female mechanic on the Pro Road Tour; Jess Varnish on decision to speak-up about British Cycling issues; Meet Laos’ entry in the Olympic road race; Cyclist saves man from jumping off bridge; Woman assaulted for cycling too slow; Rwandan cycling team movie in the works; 2016 Japan Cup preview; Team GB on the Rio road race; Stybar films wet conditions inside the athlete village

Meet Laos’ entry in the Olympic road race

by CyclingTips

Tiny Laos, the least-populous country in southeast Asia, for the first time qualified a rider for the men’s Olympic road race. 25-year-old Ariya Phounsavath is the only professional cyclist in the country that is known for poor quality and traffic jammed roads.

“I have always loved to bike. If I don’t practice every day, it stresses me out. It’s like a smoker not to able to smoke a cigarette. It’s the same feeling.”

His father, a French expat, ran the only serious bike shop in the country. “I grew up cycling. It’s in my blood. When I was little, I would see my dad race with his friends. It’s always been my passion.”

Phounsavath’s first major win was the 2013 Southeast Asian Championships and he turned pro soon after, racing on a ProContinental team in Asia and Europe.

His entry in Rio comes as a wildcard which is given based on the riders’ palmares, including 16th at the 2014 Tour de Langkawi. Phounsavath will be the only rider from an Asian developing country and it took a major fundraising and sponsorship effort to get him to the start line in Rio.

Click through to read more at Forbes.