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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, May 15, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing. - Woodrow Wilson

Upcoming racing, according to UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Chris Froome may depart Team Ineos mid-season

Before moving on to the news story, a little background. If four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome winner rides the 2020 Tour, he will be 35 years old. The oldest Tour winner ever was Firmin Lambot, who was 36 when he won in 1922.

The oldest post-war winners are Gino Bartali and Cadel Evans who were 34 when they won. Over the Tour's long history, there are several other 33 and 34-year old winners, including Henri Pélissier, Lucien Buysse, Carlos Sastre and Froome. It gets harder and harder for an aging racer to recover from the continual hammering a Grand Tour delivers.

I'm guessing Froome sees the handwriting on the wall and that there are problems being on a team bursting with talent, such as 2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal who was just 22 when he won. And Bernal has already said that at the Tour he won't be taking a back seat to anyone.

Surely Froome will be struggling to be a protected rider on Team INEOS when the going gets tough.

Here's the report from The Guardian:

Chris Froome and Team Ineos remained tight-lipped on Thursday over speculation the four-times Tour de France winner may move to a rival team before this year’s race in order to ensure leadership status.

With his Team Ineos contract expiring at the end of the year, Froome was reported by to be “in discussions” over a mid-season transfer, possibly by early August. The Tour de France is scheduled to start in Nice on 29 August.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome's last Grand Tour win was the 2018 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

In a statement Froome hinted at possibly having won his last Grand Tour with a Dave Brailsford-run team by saying: “I am extremely confident I can return to Tour winning form. Which team that will be with, beyond 2020, I don’t know yet.”

Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, Tour champions in 2018 and 2019 respectively, have recently asserted their claims as the Ineos team’s Tour leaders while Froome, who missed last year’s Tour after a career-threatening crash, is also desperate to return to top form. He has not won a Grand Tour since the 2018 Giro d’Italia and has not won a major race for two years.

“I have no intention of retiring any time soon,” Froome said. “If anything, the crash has given me a renewed focus and drive. I have worked harder than I ever have to get back to where I am. I won’t let that be for nothing.”

Internal rivalries with fellow Grand Tour champions Thomas, Bernal and last year’s Giro winner Richard Carapaz have been brewing and cycling’s transfer market growing fraught as sponsors struggle to fend off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Froome, who will be 35 next week, may be seeking one last lucrative move before the market becomes even more pinched but may have few options. Leading the field for his signature will be Bahrain-McLaren run by the former Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth and headed by former Sky riders Mark Cavendish, Mikel Landa and Wout Poels.

You can read the entire story here.

Diego Ulissi renews with UAE-Team Emirates

Here's the team's press release:

Diego Ulissi has put pen to paper on a new deal that will keep him at the Emirati squad until the end of 2022.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi checking out the course before riding the 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Sirotti photo

The 30-year old Italian got off the mark quickly in 2020 with second place at the Tour Down Under and a top-10 at the UAE Tour, while also helping teammate Tadej Pogačar to a stage win. His versatility and consistency has been a great asset to the team in the past few seasons and is of great value to the team looking forward.

Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal) : “Diego is a very important element for our team. He has shown an amazing consistency performing at the highest level and has proved very reliable in that regard. On and off the bike he is proving to be a good leader, which is important for the team environment and the growth of the group as a whole.”

The six-time Giro d’Italia stage winner has been involved with the UAE Team Emirates project from the very beginning and is keen for the opportunity to continue his successful relationship with the team.

Diego Ulissi: ”I am very happy with this renewal. For years now I have been part of this team which has become a second family for me. I am looking forward to continuing to work together on the UAE Team Emirates project in the next few years and as always giving 100%. We are working well together and the results of the last few years back this up.I want to say thank you to Mauro Gianetti and Matxin for always believing in me and all the staff who allow me to always give my best.“

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