Your Monday Daily News Digest – National Championships Round-up

by Neal Rogers

June 26, 2017

In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Oliver Naesen, Jolien d’Hoore take Belgian national titles; Steve Cummings, Lizzie Deignan win British road championships; Fabio Aru, Elisa Longo Borghini take Italian national championships; Arnaud Démare crowned French national road champion; Ramon Sinkeldam, Chantal Blaak win Dutch road titles; Mullen and Boylan win Irish road race championships; Other national champions; Valverde – Froome is the strongest favourite for Tour de France; Feeling undervalued, Kristoff delays extending contract with Katusha; Investors flee from Dalian Wanda Group, owners of Tour de Suisse and World Triathlon Corporation; Video – Tour de France official teaser.

Valverde: Froome is the strongest favourite for Tour de France

by Neal Rogers

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lines up at the Tour de France for the tenth time in 2017, completely free of any pressure after his 2015 podium finish. In a team press release, Valverde shared his thoughts on the Tour one week before the start of the race:

“I feel like I’m tackling it in great form, hopefully strong enough to be by Nairo’s side and help my teammates as much as possible. My goal is clear and certain, and I’ve stated it many times: supporting him, nothing else. We’ll be backing Nairo 100%. Anything that happens after that on the road is something we can’t really plan on.

“Obviously, I can’t lose much time on the GC because it serves our team’s strategical interest. If things go right and we both remain up there in the overall standings, our rivals will have to take precautions against both of us – which might turn out to be good for the team.

“I see Nairo very focused on the task. He’s training well, he’s keeping his mind fresh, and even though it’s true he’s tackling the Giro-Tour double for the first time, he’s always done better at the second Grand Tour in the past when he took on the Tour-Vuelta one. I don’t feel like it should be a problem for him.”