eTap Q&A, Thomas all-in for Tour, sprinters show early speed: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

We answer your eTap AXS questions, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome both want to win the Tour de France this year, Matteo Trentin and Bryan Coquard show fast legs early, and we found some waterproof gloves. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.


Story of the Day: Your eTap questions, answered

SRAM debuted its new eTap AXS 12-speed road drivetrain and Eagle AXS mountain bike gear yesterday. We published in-depth stories on both, but many of you still had questions. We pulled a couple from the comments section, our VeloClub Slack group, and social media, and had James Huang answer them.

Q: Since the front derailleur and rear derailleur in this new AXS system appear to be aware of each other, does the front derailleur do auto-trim like the Di2 systems? – changrenyong

Nope, no auto-trim.

Q: Why no 50×34 front combo? Combined with a 10×33 rear you would have all the gear you would ever want. – Rob Arena

A 50-10T would be a HUGE top end; the equivalent of a 55-11.

Q: Is there a new rim brake coming? Why the delay in rim brake AXS? – Kayce

Nope, same rim brake caliper (and disc brake caliper, for that matter). And lower demand for rim brakes, I’d guess.

Q: I have a bike with 11 speed Sram Rival, a 42T chainring and a 3T 9-32T cassette. I’m assuming that my current Rival brakes will be compatible with this new groupset, thus allowing me to keep my existing Quarq DZero, buy a new cassette, XDr driver, rear mech and shifters? – paulinfrancis

The drivetrain components are 100% *not* compatible with any 11-speed stuff. Different chain width, different chain roller diameter, different profile to the chainring and cassette teeth. Unfortunately, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition, at least as far as the drivetrain parts are concerned. The only things that transfer are the brake calipers and batteries.

Q: When is Force eTap coming? – Flavio

April!

Have more questions? Drop them in the comments below.


Race Radio

Thomas won’t ride the Giro
Geraint Thomas won’t ride the Giro d’Italia and will focus his entire season on defending his Tour de France title. Chris Froome will do the same, which should make July quite interesting.

Thomas had previously left open the possibility of focusing on the Giro this season, which would have left the Tour open for Froome’s attempt at a fifth title. Froome recently told Corriere della Serra that the Welshman “has a score to settle” with the Giro, and that the route this year matched him well.

Thomas doesn’t disagree, but won’t jeapardize his Tour defense in search of a maglia rosa.

“The Giro feels like unfinished business and I wanted to think about that,” Thomas said to the BBC. “Maybe I’ll race it next year but this year has always been about the Tour.”

Trentin fastest in Valencia
Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) outsprinted Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Ben Swift (Sky) to win the second stage of the Volta a Comunitat Valencia. Overnight leader Edvald Boassen Hagen (Dimension Data) finished fifth and held on to his overal lead.

Mitchelton-Scott took advantage of a tricky finale to put sprinters like Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE) on the back foot.

“We knew that the second position was the maximum position to come out of the roundabout to win the stage,” Trentin said. “When you leave the roundabout so close to the finish, for sure if you are in fourth position then the guys in front start sprinting and you are still cornering. I preferred to just give it a go as the first guy and I came really fast, so it was a good move.”

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Coquard wins Etoile-Bessèges opener
Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) won the opener of Etoile-Bessèges over Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) and Pierre Barbier (Natura4Ever).

Vital Concept is currently in a fight for one of the last two wildcard slots available for this year’s Tour de France. Early season results will play a key role in deciding which Pro Continental teams get a golden ticket to the Tour.


Meme of the day


The CyclingTips Podcast


Tech News

A waterproof glove to match your shoe covers
Best known for its latex shoe and toe covers, Californian company VeloToze have now joined the glove market. The new “Waterproof Cycling Glove” is 95% Neoprene and 5% nylon, creating an extended cuff (designed to slip under the sleeve of a rain jacket) glove that’s said to be waterproof, windproof and comfortable.

Black with a reflective logo is the only colour choice at this point, with three sizes on offer. They’re priced at US$48.

This isn’t a real a product, but should be


Happy Birthday to …

The top sprinter of 2019 thus far, Elia Viviani, who turns 30, and American Ian Boswell, who turns 28.


In case you missed it …

SRAM Red eTap AXS first-ride review: More than just another sprocket

Representation matters in cycling, too

Feature Image: Geraint Thomas at the start of the final stage of the 2018 Tour de France, by Kristof Ramon.

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