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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Welcome to the end of the week, with a big weekend of bike racing ahead!
Friday’s headlines featured news of an update to the UCI’s COVID-19 protocols, extensions of multiple kinds, and an update from the defending Tour de France champion.
Egan Bernal looked to be in excellent form in the early goings of the Critérium du Dauphiné, but he ultimately pulled out of the race, citing back pain. A day before the start of the Tour, he has acknowledged that while things have improved, he is still experiencing some pain. Bernal says he is hoping to get better over the course of the race.
Read on for more …
| UCI adjusts “two-strike” COVID-19 protocol
One day before the Tour de France, the UCI has updated its COVID-19 testing protocols after concerns from teams about the impact of false positives.
In a change from the previous iteration of that protocol that called for the removal of a team if any two individuals within the team – riders or staff – tested positive for COVID-19, teams will now be removed from the race only if two riders test positive for COVID-19 within a seven-day period.
Additionally, organizers will now make an effort to carry out followup tests after a positive result in an attempt to confirm that initial positives are not false positives.
| Bernal hoping back situation improves
On the eve of the Tour de France, Egan Bernal has said that he is still experiencing some of the back pain that led to his withdrawal from the Critérium du Dauphiné, but that he is hoping his situation will continue to improve.
“I am still in a little bit of back pain to be honest, but I’m much better than I was at the Dauphiné,” he said. “I was in really bad pain there, but I’m getting better now. I’m hoping to to work on my back trying to recover during the Tour, especially for the last week.”
| Terpstra will ride on with Total-Direct Energie in 2021
Niki Terpstra will stick with Total-Direct Energie for another season.
Terpstra, 36, joined the squad last year after eight years with the Quick-Step organization that saw him collect two Monument wins and several other strong results. He has dealt with injuries in his time at Total-Direct Energie, but the French ProTeam announced Friday that Terpstra had signed a contract extension to stick with the squad through 2021.
| Stephens and Gigante among several extensions at Tibco-SVB
Tibco-SVB has signed multiple riders, including both Lauren Stephens and Sarah Gigante, to contract extensions.
The squad announced Thursday that it had extended several of the members of its race-winning virtual Tour de France squad. Stephens, Gigante, Leah Dixon, Kristen Faulkner, Nina Kessler, and Emily Newsom will all be riding on with the team into 2021.
In conjunction with the announcement of those contract extensions, the team also said that it was seeking another sponsor, with team founder Linda Jackson saying that the organization is “seeking a third partner” alongside its two current sponsors, “to enable our team to acquire WorldTour status.”
| Groupama-FDJ will ride Lapierre bikes through 2023
The Groupama-FDJ team’s long-running partnership with Lapierre will continue for a further three seasons.
The French team has partnered with the French brand since all the way back in 2002, and on Friday, Groupama-FDJ announced an extension of that partnership through 2023.
| Koo goes big (literally) with new Spectro and Demos sunglasses
Italian sunglass brand Koo — sister brand to helmet maker Kask — has announced two new sunglass styles ahead of their debut at the Tour de France.
The Spectro is the larger of the two by far, with a generously sized shield-type lens and a dramatically extended upper section designed to expand the rider’s field of view, especially when their head is down. An adjustable nose piece provides a bit of fine-tuning for riders with smaller or larger noses (one additional nosepiece is offered aftermarket for those with lower-profile noses), and four vents promise to minimize fogging at slower speeds.
Koo is offering the Spectro in five stock frame-and-lens combinations with a retail price of US$179 / AU$280 / £169 / €179.
The Demos also uses a one-piece lens and a similarly oversized level of coverage, but with a more rounded shape that should work better for smaller faces. As with the Spectro, the nosepiece is adjustable (and there’s a separate nosepiece available here as well).
Demos is offered in seven frame-and-lens combinations, each with a retail price of US$159 / AU$240 / £129 / €159. A separate pink-hued lens for low-light conditions (58% VLT) is available for either style for US$49 / AU$68 / £35 / €40.
In case you missed it
| Your guide to the 2020 La Course route, contenders, live streaming and more
Abby Mickey has all the info you need ahead of La Course.
| Trek’s revamped Procaliber carbon hardtail is now a mid-priced racer
As Dave Rome writes, Trek’s Procaliber looks like a solid choice for those seeking a mid-priced hardtail for racing.
| Photo Gallery: A socially-distanced Tour de France teams presentation
Photos from the Grubers and Cor Vos and words from Iain Treloar tell the story of an unusual teams presentation ahead of the Tour.
| This tilting indoor bike will have you ‘crushing your A-game,’ apparently
Iain Treloar takes a closer look at the Bowflex VeloCore.
| A first look at Scicon’s new Aerowing and Aeroshade eyewear
Scicon has two new eyewear models offering large-coverage lenses and customizable fit, among other features.
Today’s featured image of Egan Bernal and the Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France teams presentation comes from Cor Vos.