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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
With about four months to go until the start of the Tour de France, the oddsmakers are liking Egan Bernal as the top favorite, but beyond that it’s a pretty open field of contenders.
Any prognosticators out there may be interested to know, then, that the defending champ himself has weighed in on the debate. In an interview with El Tiempo this week, Bernal said that he sees 2019 Vuelta a España winner Primoz Roglic as his top rival for this year’s Tour.
For sure, the Slovenian looks like a real challenger. More generally, the battle of the tridents between Ineos and Jumbo-Visma is shaping up to be a good one – although could it be another member of either team that ends up on the top step of the Tour podium? Or perhaps neither?
We’re looking forward to seeing the favorites do battle in the months ahead.
Until next time, readers!
| Bernal: Roglic is my biggest rival for the Tour
Among the variety of subjects that Egan Bernal touched on in an interview with El Tiempo ahead of this week’s Tour Colombia was the field of contenders for this year’s Tour de France. The defending champ said that he sees Primoz Roglic as his biggest rival.
“He is a rider that has won the respect of everyone in the peloton,” Bernal said. “He was number one in the rankings last year, he won the Vuelta a España, he was on the podium in the Giro d’Italia, he does well in the time trial, he climbs well, he’s very consistent.”
| Freeman could face anti-doping charges
The Times reports that former British Cycling and Sky doctor Richard Freeman could face anti-doping charges before his medical tribunal concludes.
According to The Times, UK Anti-Doping had initially planned to wait until after the tribunal, but is considering moving forward with anti-doping charges following a series of delays that have pushed the expected conclusion of the tribunal to October, with the statute of limitations window set to close in May of 2021.
| Rivera wins queen stage at Langkawi, Celano takes race lead
Kevin Rivera climbed to victory on stage 4 at the Tour de Langkawi, topping Danilo Celano and Artem Ovechkin at Genting Highlands.
Celano’s strong ride on the queen stage propelled him into the overall lead, with stage 1 winner Yevegeniy Fedorov dropping to second in the standings and Ovechkin now in third.
| No Olympic track appearance for Cavendish
Mark Cavendish had been hoping to secure a place in the British track cycling team at the upcoming Olympics, but the Manxman will miss out after not being selected to the British squad for the track World Championships.
As the BBC explains, Cavendish needed to either race in a World Cup event or at Worlds to be eligible for Olympic selection. The Olympic medalist and multi-time madison world champ did not race the final round of the World Cup in Canada last month, however, and he was not among the recently announced list of riders named to Team GB for the upcoming World Championships.
| Socially Speaking
John Degenkolb officially has a cobbled sector named for him at Paris-Roubaix. Organizers bestowed the German Classics rider – who won the race in 2015, has worked with Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, and also helped save the Paris-Roubaix juniors race – with the honor on Monday.
View this post on Instagram
there is still no words that describe my feelings. as I heard the story for the first time, honestly, i thought it must be a joke. I could not imagine the honour to receive my own pave at the queen of all classics, in the hell of the north, at my favourate race, at the course of @parisroubaixcourse . a pave named JOHN DEGENKOLB. and on top one of the most prestigeous ones. one of the longest and hardest ones of the race. to imagine this is ways too big for me and still it‘s such a big honour to receive that kind of award.. you can’t imagine how overwhelmed, impressed, happy i am.. this is definatelly ways upon every expectation you could develop in your wildest dreams starting a career as professional cyclist. I mean. I won the race. but 100 others did that as well. I won the @letourdefrance edition of it, but as well, other riders did that before.. it‘s incredible and I have to say thank you very much to everybody who made this miracle happen. but it is not only pure joy it is as well a responsibility. a big one. not all of you may know that I am ambassador of @amisdeparisroubaix. a wonderful group of cycling enthusiast who spend their free time to protect the racecourse as it is. to keep cycling culture alive. to guarantee that the race stays as hard as its first edition back in 1896. you may have heard as well about last years trouble of the paris roubaix juniors race and yes, it was my idea to help. immidiatelly. but I wanted to make this public. not to expose the person john degenkolb. no, to show a wider bunch of people that our beloved sport, my profession cycling, that we do not only need the big races, the classics, the giro, the tour, the national races like my homerace @eschbornfrankfurt , or the hell of the north here, paris roubaix.. no,before all that we need a solid base to support the youngsters, to secure their races as well.. to show them how cool cycling is.. this support is the base for all. for our daily work. there were so many people who helped immidiatelly.. and this pave is a tiny little bit as well their pave. without the community, the fans and their dedication to the sport I would not stand here now with tears in my eyes.. danke merci
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Today’s featured image of Egan Bernal in time trial mode at the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.