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Thursday Shorts

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Canyon have emailed owners of their new Aeroad to stop riding it and instructed their pro teams to switch to older models or move to the Ultimate frame, all following the break in Mathieu van der Poel’s handlebars in Le Samyn. Cautious? Certainly given the same bars held up for his Alpecin-Fenix team mates and Tim Merlier won the race. But while there are lots of theories doing the rounds – mechanics over-tightening bolts, crash damage from Kuurne – nobody knows what happened and the company wants to find out what it is. Van der Poel can rewrite the sports codes sometimes but his sponsors can’t take the same risks.

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Preview

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It’s the openingsweekend. The Belgian racing season begins and with a difference: everyone is supposed to watch from indoors. One of the best features of the spring classics in Belgium is how the public turn out, these are more than bike races to the locals so it’ll be an odd day without people, frieten and beer although last year showed us it could be done. It should still be a great race and here’s the usual preview with the route, contenders, TV times and more.

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2021 Giro d’Italia Route

The Giro d’Italia route is out. Most of it had leaked but today’s presentation has given the full route the stamp of approval and all the important details such as stage distances and all the important climbs. It’ll run from 8-30 May. Here’s a closer look at the route with geography, song lyrics, data and trivia…

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2021 Critérium du Dauphiné Route

The route for the Critérium du Dauphiné is out. The race will be held between Sunday 30 May and Sunday 6 June and there’s little for the sprinters and plenty for the climbers. The final two stages look more tasty than any of the Tour de France’s mountain stages. Some notes on the route…

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The Dream Job

You’re paid to ride a bike and not just any bike but a top of the range one that’s cleaned and tuned daily by a mechanic. If you’ve had a hard day’s riding, a massage awaits. Roads are closed for you to race on, even the Champs Elysées are reserved, a privilege normally reserved for visiting heads of state. But has the fun gone out of it? Tom Dumoulin thinks so, Thibaut Pinot has said similar things and there are others who haven’t made the headlines who’d agree.

Now pro cycling is just that, a professional activity and work can be tedious. But things are changing and riders who started the sport only a few years ago are noticing the changes and added pressures.

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New Safety Measures And The Supertuck

Did you know the UCI is going to ban the “supertuck” position? It’s been all over the media in recent days, it’s hard to escape the news. Last week cycling’s governing body issued a detailed press release and among them was a line about descending while sat on the top tube, which we’ll get to in a minute, but the substantial issue has to be the breadth of safety measures coming. A lot is about to change and it needs to be done right.

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Riders To Watch For 2021

A look at ten riders to watch this year. They’re not all hot tips to fly up the rankings, some are picked to see how they or their team can handle questions and challenges ahead and to build on past achievements.

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GP La Marseillaise Preview

Traditionally the season-opener for the French calendar, this Sunday’s GP La Marseillaise is now the first pro race for everyone. It could also be the last for a while given several early-season Spanish races have been scrapped and sanitary restrictions are likely to be tightened in France meaning more races in February could be called off too (Update Saturday AM: the French government has brought in new measures but it looks like upcoming races can continue).

All the more reason to enjoy this one, starting with a race preview with the usual look at the course, the contenders and the TV schedules…

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