Valgren to Dimension Data; De Las Cuevas dead at 50: Daily News Digest

Valgren to Dimension Data; De Las Cuevas dead at 50: Daily News Digest

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

The most promising rider from Denmark is leaving a successful Kazakh team for a less-successful African team. A former French national champion has died at age 50 in what is being described as a personal tragedy. Wout Van Aert’s Vérandas Willems-Crelan team is sweeping up at the Tour of Denmark. Riders are abandoning the Volta a Portugal with heat stroke.

Story of the day: Valgren to Dimension Data in 2019

One of the breakthrough riders of the 2018 season will transfer to one of the least successful teams of the 2018 season. Dane Michael Valgren, winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Amstel Gold Race this spring, will leave Astana to ride for the African team in 2019 and 2020. Valgren also finished fourth at the Tour of Flanders.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,” Valgren said. “It’s a big opportunity for me to go to a team that’s keen on really building its classics squad. I really look forward to working with the guys on the team and I see a big future there for myself.”

Dimension Data has struggled in 2018, with injuries to Mark Cavendish and Bernie Eisel; the team has taken just five professional wins in 2018, and no WorldTour victories.

In other contract news, Trek-Segafredo riders Koen de Kort and Markel Irizar will be returning with the team in 2019. Irizar has signed a one-year contract renewal, while de Kort will ride in team colors through 2020.

Former Dauphiné winner De Las Cuevas dies at 50 years of age

Former French national champion Armand de las Cuevas has died, aged just 50 years of age. The time trial specialist is being mourned by those who knew him, including the current owners of the Movistar team. He rode with the predecessors of that squad, Reynolds and Banesto, between 1989 and 1993, helping Miguel Indurain to overall victory in the 1992 Tour. He also competed with the Casino and Amica Chips squads.

De las Cuevas’ results include overall victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Route du Sud, Étoile de Bessèges and the Vuelta a Burgos, wins in the GP Ouest France, the Grand Prix de Romandie, the Clásica de San Sebastián and the Grand Prix des Nations. He also took a stage plus ninth overall in the 1994 Giro d’Italia, and stage wins in the Tour de Romandie and Paris-Nice.

After his career he lived on the island of Réunion, where he died on Thursday. According to French media, his passing is being described as a personal tragedy.

Peter Kennaugh: “Banning TUEs could be a good idea”

British rider Peter Kennaugh is no longer part of Team Sky, but has nevertheless seen the scrutiny the team has been under in the media over the Bradley Wiggins TUE investigationand the Chris Froome salbutamol case. The Manxman believes there is a simple solution: get rid of therapeutic use exemptions altogether.

“If I need a TUE because I have a bad injury, I am more than happy not to race,” he told CyclingTips recently. “From my point of view, I think that could be a good idea. And if you look at the document that was released on the amount of TUEs that were used by teams in the last ten years or whatever, you see how little there are now. Obviously they are not that important, are they?”

Click through to read more on Kennaugh’s view on the use of TUEs, as well as Tramadol, in the pro peloton.

Race Radio

Vérandas Willems-Crelan wins again in Denmark

Belgian Pro Continental team had a perfect day on Stage 3 of the Tour of Denmark, with 24-year-old Belgian Tim Merlier taking the field sprint in Vordingborg while cyclocross world champion Wout Van Aert safely finished in the bunch to defend his GC lead. Merlier won the sprint ahead of Riccardo Minali (Astana), Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF), and Mihkel Raim (Israel Cycling Academy). A 19km time trial is on tap for Saturday; the race ends Sunday with a flat 199km stage finishing in Frederiksberg.

Scorching heat at Volta a Portugal putting riders’ health in jeopardy

Temperatures nearing 50°C (122°F) at the Volta a Portugal have put riders’ health into jeopardy, as the race has seen riders forced to abandon with heat stroke. On Thursday, the Caja Rural-RGA team announced that Joaquim Silva, one of the top riders in Portugal, left the race with heat stroke.

On Friday, Danish rider Louis Bendixen (Team Coop), who finished third in the prologue on Wednesday, announced that he also had to abandon due to severe hydration and kidney failure.

Firefighters have been called in to hose down the riders along the route. The weather forecast for the remainder of the race remains extreme; there has been no announcement from the race organization, or the UCI, to enforce the UCI’s extreme weather protocol, which was enacted in 2016. In an interview with Portugese site Ojogo, race director Joaquim Gomes said that, “If, at any moment of the stage, there is any occurrence of great gravity, a part of the stage may be neutralized.”

Picture of the day

The CrossFit Games held a criterium earlier this week in Wisconsin, sponsored by Trek Bicycle. A field of 40 men, and another field of 40 women, did 10 laps of a 1.2km course on the grounds of Madison’s Alliant Energy Centre. Adrian Mundwiler won the men’s race, while Kristin Holte won the women’s race.

Moving Pictures

A few more from the 2018 Tour de France

Video from the Tour de France keeps rolling in, including this “Best of” clip from onboard cameras used throughout the race. And below, American sportscaster Dan Patrick interviews Lawson Craddock (Education First-Drapac) about spending the entire Tour as lanterne rouge, racing with a broken shoulder.

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