Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

November 2, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Aert and Verschueren defend in Koppenbergcross; Team Novo Nordisk CEO Southerland calls for more nuanced debate on TUEs; Vaughters on WorldTour: A race to the bottom; Shane Sutton responds to findings of internal investigation; Van der Haar returns to podium; Nicholas Roche talks about move from Sky to BMC; RideLondon-Surrey Classic and Velon sign three-year partnership; Phil Gaimon announces retirement; Bahrain-Merida filling out roster, has first training camp; Colin Joyce joins Rally Cycling; Jelly Belly trading gaining European experience with return of Tvetcov; Give your bicycle a ‘boost’; Ride a bike on your stomach.

Phil Gaimon announces retirement

by CyclingTips

One of the more fun riders in the professional peloton, at any level, has to be Phil Gaimon. The 30-year-old American has had a roller coaster time in his ride through the pro ranks, much of it detailed in a book he wrote entitled “Pro Cycling on $10 a Day.” After kicking around the US domestic scene he earned a contract with the WorldTour Garmin-Sharp squad managed by Slipstream Sports.

56th Brabantse Pijl 2016

However, after only a year at the top level he returned to the domestic peloton for 2015. But in 2016 he was again offered a one-year contract with the Slipstream organisation. With that year finished, and no WorldTour offers, Gaimon has decided to move on from the pro peloton. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

Before I signed on for 2016, JV [Cannondale team director Jonathan Vaughters] said that part of my role would was to be an ambassador to sponsors — I’d do some races, but I also needed to be marketable, ride some gran fondos, taking that pressure off some of the team’s top riders. I enjoy that stuff, but on a 10-year mission to be a bike racer, my plan was to train my ass off so he’d want me at the races instead of photo shoots.

If you followed my season, you can guess how that went. I did my best to balance the marketing and the racing, and I even began organizing my own gran fondo to raise money for City of Hope (a cancer research center), and then I’d do repeats up Rocacorba. I was able to play a role in the races to help my teammates, and holy shit did I have a great time, but in the little moments where I could have carved out an opportunity to get a result for myself, I never quite pulled it off, and this was the first year I didn’t win a race.

My best result in 2016 was 11th overall at Criterium International, where I broke my 30-minute power record on the last climb. 11th is great, but if that’s my best, it’s hard to think I have much more upward mobility in the sport. I’m still enough of an athlete to think it would have been in the team’s best interest to keep me, but I can’t say I was surprised when they didn’t offer anything for 2017.

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