Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Jakob Fuglsang extends with Astana for two more seasons, Jumbo-Visma creates a development team, Canyon updates the Inflite. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Astana extends Jakob Fuglsang
Jakob Fuglsang has spent the last seven seasons with Astana, and now he’s set for two more. The 34-year-old Dane has signed a two-year extension with the Kazakhstan-based WorldTour squad.
“As everyone could see this year, I’ve really found my spot and I had a great support team around me, from riders to staff and sports directors,” Fuglsang said via the team’s announcement. “This year is my best season ever so far and I am still motivated to show more.”
Fuglsang has enjoyed the biggest results of his career over the past few seasons, winning two of the last three editions of the Critérium du Dauphiné and this year’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Although his resume in the Grand Tours features only one career top 10, he remains one of Astana’s marquee three-week racers, along with Miguel Ángel López.
Both are set to start at the upcoming Vuelta a España.
“Jakob was super strong during the first half of the year and he just missed some luck at the Tour de France,” said Astana manager Alexandr Vinokourov. “However, now he is going to start at La Vuelta, where, I am sure, he will turn his luck back. In the next years we will continue supporting Jakob as one of the team’s leaders and I think he will reach the new height of this sports.”
Good stuff from Ellen Noble, who helpfully explains the joke below her original Tweet if you’re (understandably) not plugged into the Twittersphere.
Benoot wins Denmark opener
Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) picked up the second pro win of his career on Wednesday on stage 1 of the Tour of Denmark, a hilly, 169.7-kilometer stage in and around Silkeborg.
The 25-year-old Belgian, who was recently announced to have signed for Sunweb in 2020, capped off a strong day for Lotto-Soudal, with teammate Gerban Thijssen nabbing runner-up honors. Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took third.
Van Aert’s return timeline remains unclear
Wout van Aert continues to recover from the leg injury he sustained in the crash that knocked him out of the Tour de France, and at the moment his ability to race this cyclocross season remains a question mark.
“It is a secret hope, but I still hope that I can ride a number of ‘crosses this winter,” van Aert said in a video update from Jumbo-Visma on his recovery.
Van Aert’s crash in the Tour’s stage 13 time trial left him with a muscle injury, and according to van Aert and his doctors in Belgium, the operation he initially received at the hospital he was taken to in France was not carried out correctly. Although he has since undergone successful surgery, he is still on crutches, and limited in what he can do in rehab, leaving his ability to race this ‘cross season unclear.
“Given the severity of the injuries with loss of muscle and tendon tissue, there is still no insight into the final prognosis, but we are working towards a full recovery,” said sports surgeon Toon Claes, according to Het Nieuwsblad. “Possibly, careful cycling may be envisaged within three weeks.”
Jumbo-Visma announces development team
In happier news for Jumbo-Visma, the Dutch WorldTour outfit has announced the creation of a development team, with 13 up-and-comers under the age of 20 signed for the 2020 season.
The Jumbo-Visma organization – formerly Rabobank – had the Rabobank Development Team until 2016, and a revived squad was an important objective for manager Richard Plugge.
“I am very proud that, after the disappearance of the Rabobank Development Team, that we’ve been able to set up a development team with the help of Jumbo and Visma,” Plugge said.
Robert De Groot, who has worked with the team in the past, will head the development squad, while veteran lead-out man Robert Wagner, currently with Arkéa-Samsic, will move into a sport director role after he retires from racing at the end of this year.
Culey wins stage 3 at the Tour of Indonesia, Lyons takes race lead
Wednesday was a big day for Australians racing the Tour of Indonesia. Marcus Culey (Sapura) attacked to win stage 3, 32 seconds ahead of a chasing group led over the line by Rohan Du Plooy (ProTouch) in front of third-placed Yudai Arashiro (Kinan).
Culey’s compatriot Angus Lyons (Oliver’s Real Food) finished in the same group, surging into the overall race lead. He now enjoys an advantage of over two minutes to Ryan Roth (X-Speed United), although the next two stages will put the GC hopefuls to the test with some tough climbs.
Dempster wins Veenendaal-Veenendaal
31-year-old Australian Zak Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy) won the the Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic, a UCI 1.1-ranked event in the Netherlands.
The veteran pro topped Martijn Budding (Beat) and Nick van der Lijke (Roompot-Charles) in the hilly race to take the highest-rated one-day victory of his career.
Pidcock recovering after Tour de l’Avenir crash
British star prospect Tom Pidcock, the reigning under-23 world cyclocross champ and winner of the under-23 Paris-Roubaix this spring, is recovering after crashing hard during stage 6 of the Tour de l’Avenir. The Wiggins-Le Col rider suffered cuts and bruises on his face after hitting the deck in the last kilometer of the stage, in which he looked to be in contention for victory before going down.
“Thanks for all the messages everyone,” he wrote on Instagram. “Just starting to come round, I don’t really remember much at the moment but I remember enough to know what Instagram is and was also told I was going to win which is a bit s—. Anyway I’ll live to fight another day.”
Canyon updates 2020 Inflite with new builds and colors
Canyon has released its 2020 Inflite cyclocross bike with new builds and paint schemes. With three different build levels, the top-tier model, CF SLX, is Inflite’s race steed with “ultra high modulus” carbon fiber frames. The CF SLX frames comes in two build and colorways, the 9.0 Team and 9.0. If you’re a Mathieu van der Poel fan, the 9.0 Team is set up like the Corendon-Circus Team bikes for the 2018/19 season.
The 9.0 Team is built up with Shimano Ultegra Di2 RX groupset, weighs 7.60 kg, and costs AU$6799. The 9.0, on the other hand, is built up with Force eTap AXS groupset from SRAM weighing 7.40 kg and costs AU$6599. The 9.0 comes in a yellow and black paint scheme.
Still want the benefits of carbon but for a little less money? The CF SL build options give a more affordable spec level like Shimano Ultegra and SRAM Rival drivetrains, and aluminum wheels. The CF SL builds start at AU$3299.
For the more approachable price point, Canyon also offers an aluminum version of their Inflite called the AL SLX. The aluminum Inflite is an entry level cyclocross bike with a carbon fork, built with SRAM Apex and costs AU$2499.
Crankbrothers expands dropper range, now with 27.2mm options
Crankbrothers has expanded and updated its Highline dropper post range, now catering to gravel and cross country riders seeking a 27.2mm dropper post. The overhauled range is said to offer faster return speeds and simplified install.
The Highline posts are now split into two price points, with the Highline 7 (US$300) offering a more sophisticated cartridge and components that include a four year warranty, while the US$200 Highline 3 offers a simpler build and two year-warranty.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Jakob Fuglsang on the Tourmalet at the 2019 Tour de France. Photo: ©kramon