Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

July 8, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: Marcel Kittel narrowly three-peats on Stage 7 of Tour de France; O’Connor solos to victory on Stage 5 of Tour of Austria, Denifl retains GC lead; Lucinda Brand takes solo win at Giro Rosa despite late-race crash; Winder take a second stage win at Tour de Feminin; Italian Claudia Cretti in critical condition with brain injury in Giro Rosa crash; MTB world champion Nino Schurter invites Peter Sagan to race off-road; Meet Philippa York: Robert Millar first high-profile cyclist to go public about gender transition; Armstrong co-defendants reach $158K settlement in federal case; Video: Heartbroken fan creates ‘Since U Sagan’; Video: Inside the Quick-Step Floors bus on Stage 6, Marcel Kittel’s second stage win; Video: Orica-Scott’s Backstage Pass, Tour de France Stage 7; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 7 highlights

MTB world champion Nino Schurter invites Peter Sagan to race off-road

by Neal Rogers

Cross-country world and Olympic champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) has invited Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to make the best of his newfound time away from the Tour de France by racing off road.

“@petosagan come and ride some mountain bike races,” Schurter wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Here you are more [than] welcome. Makes anyway more fun, or? ????”

Schurter, 31, is a five-time elite world champion, and was the U23 world champion in 2008, in Val di Sole, Italy — the same event where Sagan won a junior world title. Sagan, 27, switched to the road and has won two world road titles, as well as a European championship and the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The last time Sagan faced the Swiss champion was at the 2016 Olympic cross-country race in Rio de Janeiro. Though he started in a back row that was all his own, Sagan entered the first climb in a five-rider group with Marco Fontana, Victor Koretzky, Shlomi Haimy, and Schurter — and ahead of former Olympic champions Julien Absalon and Jaroslav Kulhavy. Sagan punctured out of the lead group as it approached the start-finish line at the end of the first of seven laps, and finished a lap down on the leaders.

Schurter, who has won all three World Cup cross-country events in 2016, has already faced a world champion from another discipline this season, finishing just 26 seconds ahead of former world cyclocross champion Mathieu van der Poel at Albstadt, Germany. Undefeated in 2017, Schurter is the heavy favorite for this weekend’s World Cup race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.