Your Monday Daily News Digest

by CyclingTips

August 1, 2016

In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Mollema wins Clasica San Sebastian; Kirsten Wild wins women’s Prudential RideLondon; Boonen speeds in to win Prudential Ride London Classic; Valgren continues Tinkoff team’s overall success in Tour of Denmark; Sergiy Lagkuti wins the Tour of Qinghai Lake; Ulissi beats Yates to win Circuito de Getxo Memorial Ricardo Otxoa; Clarke triumphs on stage three of Volta a Portugal; RideLondon sportif crashes delay pro men’s race; Post-Tour crits: The pro wrestling of cycling; The inner workings of the post-Tour de France criteriums; Transcontinental No.4 has begun; Girdlestone still battling effects of severe crash: ‘The most testing 8 weeks of my life’; Altitude Training Camp 2016 – An Post Chain Reaction  

Post-Tour crits: The pro wrestling of cycling

by CyclingTips

The day after the Tour de France many riders head straight to the post-Tour crits in Belgium and Netherlands in these lucrative races. Here you’ll see riders like Chris Froome make heroic solo breakaways on and win bunch sprints. As Ryan Newill writes, it’s cycling’s version of pro wrestling:

Cookson’s UCI oversees the criteriums that are held immediately after the Tour de France. These races are cycling’s version of pro wrestling, replete with choreographed competition, oiled bodies, and pre-selected winners. It’s not uncommon for waifish climbers such as Chris Froome and Fränk Schleck to outsprint a field of tree-trunk-legged kermesse riders on a pancake-flat course. The races would make Vince McMahon proud.

The post-Tour criterium circuit opens the day after the Tour de France ends and rambles on through early September. During the competitively lazy pre-Vuelta weeks, the exhibition races make up a third of all races on the European UCI calendar. All told, there are nearly three-dozen of these events, which masquerade as 80-kilometer criteriums, showcasing the Tour’s jersey winners, stage victors, and hometown favorites in towns across Europe.

For more than 40 years, the promoters of these annual exhibition races have made it abundantly clear to contracted riders who will finish on the podium, and in what order.

To disobey those orders is to risk a sizable appearance fee—up to around $30,000 for a Tour winner—and likely forfeit any future invitations. The peloton’s job is not so much to race as to perform, mixing high speeds with feigned attacks and hard-driving chases. Almost inevitably, a late breakaway leads to a three-man sprint for the win.

Read the full story on Velonews