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  1. Team Sky 'vortex' speed suit now illegal under latest UCI regulations

    Updated UCI equipment regulations for 2019 now render the Castelli Body Paint 4.0 speed suit non-compliant. The speed suit featured 'vortex dimples' on the sleeves and was controversially used by Team Sky during the 2017 Tour de France opening stage.

    The updated rules also affect Endura's Drag2Zero speed suit as used by Movistar Team, that also features a textured material on the sleeves to improve aerodynamics in time trials.

    Bioracer's speed suits, which recently dominated at the world championship time trials, feature ribbed sleeves aiming for the same aerodynamic effects as Castelli and Endura's offerings. It is thought the ribbed sleeve design will also become non-compliant.

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    The full update to the UCI rule, in the chapter for Equipment - Section 3: riders' clothing states: "Items of clothing may not modify the morphology of the rider and any non-essential element or device, of which the purpose is not exclusively that of clothing or protection, is forbidden.

    "Modifications to the surface roughness of clothing are authorised but may only be the result of threading, weaving or assembling of the fabric. Surface roughness modifications shall be limited to a profile difference of 1mm at most.

    "The measure of surface roughness modification shall be made without pressure or traction on the clothing.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Tour of Guangxi stage 4 highlights - Video

    Controversial Italian rider Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) took out the Queen stage at the Tour of Guangxi on Friday, soloing to victory at the Mashan Nongla summit and claiming the race lead for his troubles.

    Moscon jumped away from a select group on the 3km final climb, finishing the 152.2km stage from Nanning to the Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot five seconds ahead of Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and eight seconds ahed of Sergei Chernetski (Astana). Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott) was 11 seconds back in fourth, with Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) in fifth with the same time as Verona.

    Stefan Küng (BMC Racing), Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Roger Kluge (Mitchelton-Scott) eventually broke away from the bunch after a contentious first hour of racing, and the lead trio built maximum advantage of 3:20 as the peloton and overall contenders waited for the 3km climb to the finish.

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    EF-Drapac led the chase for Uran, while Trek-Segafredo also helped to set-up Gianluca Brambilla. Quick-Step Floors also chipped in, with Davide Martinelli doing some huge turns on the front. Küng was the final survivor from the breakaway as the chase picked up in the final 15km, but he too was back in the fold at the base of the final climb.

    Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) tried an early attack, but Moson's move with 1km to go proved decisive, giving the 24-year-old his fourth win of the season.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. EF Education First-Drapac sign Sean Bennett

    EF Education First-Drapac announced today the signing of 22-year-old American Sean Bennett from the Hagens Berman Axeon development team. Bennett won a stage of the Baby Giro in June and finished second on stage 3 of the Tour of California to Trek-Segafredo's Toms Skujins.

    “He won a stage of the Baby Giro,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. "He almost won a stage in the Tour of California this year, finishing second to Toms Skujins, who I would say is the guy Sean reminds me of most.

    “When I called Sean up, my question was, ‘Are you a little pissed off that you’ve been looked over while other guys, like Neilson Powless and Brandon McNulty and some other high-profile U23s have been in the spotlight? Does that irk you?’

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    “And he said, ‘Yeah, it does.’

    “I thought, ‘perfect.’”

    Bennett got his start in cycling as a high school freshman, following in his older brothers’ footsteps by joining NICA – the National Interscholastic Cycling Association that was founded in 2009 to develop an interscholastic mountain biking program for high school students across the US.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Bouchard-Hall stepping down as USA Cycling CEO

    USA Cycling announced today that Derek Bouchard-Hall will step down as president and CEO of the federation at the end of this year after just over three years on the job.

    Bouchard-Hall, a former professional racer, took over from longtime USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson in June of 2015. USA Cycling Board of Directors Chairman Bob Stapleton will serve as interim CEO until the federation finds  a replacement for Bouchard-Hall, who "will lead a USA Cycling partner company that will issue a separate announcement next week," according to today's announcement from USA Cycling.

    “Deciding to leave USA Cycling to take on a new role was the hardest professional decision of my life," Bouchard-Hall said in a statement released with today's announcement. "I have loved serving the American bike racing community, and my heart will always remain firmly with USA Cycling. My professional career has focused on improving organizations and setting them on a new path. I am confident that I have done that at USA Cycling, and I am proud of the team we have in place which will continue improving our ability to support our membership.

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    “I would like to thank the Board of USA Cycling for their partnership and support of our work the last few years," Bouchard-Hall said. "In particular, I thank Chairman Bob Stapleton and Vice Chairman Alex Nieroth for their mentorship, guidance and friendship.”

    Bouchard-Hall was brought in as a reformer of sorts after Johnson was accused by at least one cyclist of having knowledge of doping in the US professional peloton in the Lance Armstrong and US Postal era but not acting on that knowledge. Johnson denied the accusations. 

    Bouchard-Hall is a former member of the US national cycling team and is ardently anti-doping. He was a member of successful American-based teams Shaklee from 1994-98 and Mercury Cycling Team from 1998 until he retired in 2002. His career highlights on the road include winning the US pro criterium championships in Downers Grove and competing in international events Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem and Criterium International. He was also a member of the team pursuit squad at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Gilbert: If the riders are united, we can make things change

    David Millar’s attempt to take on Gianni Bugno for the presidency of the CPA rider’s association may have ended in defeat, but Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) believes the furor over the voting process may have the collateral effect of leading to greater engagement between professional riders and their representative union.

    Bugno was elected president for a third consecutive term during the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck amid vocal calls from the likes of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome for a reform of the current voting system in which some rider unions – those of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and North America – vote en bloc, while individual riders from other nations can only vote in person on the day of the election. The Belgian and Dutch riders’ associations withdrew from the CPA earlier this year.

    In the aftermath of the vote, Gilbert’s name was quietly mentioned as a possible future president of the CPA, whose next elections are scheduled for 2021 or if Bugno offers to step down.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews at the Tour of Guangxi in China, Gilbert neither confirmed nor denied his interest in running for the role of CPA president, but he stressed the importance of professional riders forming a strong and united representative body. Gilbert has often defended rider interests, this week taking to social media.  

    “I heard that also, that some people would like me to do this,” Gilbert told Cyclingnews.

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    “It’s almost 10 years that I’ve been helping out, being the link between the riders and the CPA. And I was also back then on the [UCI] Athletes Commission. I did a lot. And the only thing you can say is that only now some riders are waking up and realising that we have a voice.

    “It’s just too bad that they realised it so late, because if we get united we can be a powerful part of cycling. If the riders are united, we can make things change. It’s the only way.”

    Although Millar lost to Bugno by 379 votes to 96, Gilbert believes that the Briton’s candidacy has done the state of the CPA some service.

    “I think we can be thankful to Millar because he made a move and woke up the CPA and now it is more active since then,” Gilbert said. “It’s a good thing.”

    Back racing at the Tour of Guangxi

    Gilbert is currently in China at the Tour of Guangxi, his final race of a 2018 season that risked ending prematurely when he sustained a fractured kneecap after crashing on the descent of Col de Portet d’Aspet at the Tour de France.

    Remarkably, the 36-year-old returned to action in late September and claimed his first win of the season that same day, soloing to victory at the GP d’Isbergues.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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