More teams at the Grand Tours, Étoile de Bessèges continues: Daily News

The Étoile de Bessèges continued with its second stage, the Giro d'Italia unveiled details of its Grande Partenza for 2021, the UCI rolled out several new rules and protocols, and the ASO announced the wildcard invites for the 2021 Tour de France.

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Thursday brought a number of news items from the pro cycling world as the Étoile de Bessèges continued with its second stage, the Giro d’Italia unveiled details of its Grande Partenza for 2021, the UCI rolled out several new rules and protocols, and the ASO announced the wildcard invites for the 2021 Tour de France, among other news items.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Dupont wins stage 2 of the Étoile de Bessèges

The Étoile de Bessèges, where several big names are riding in their first race of the season, continued on Thursday with its second stage. After a crash-marred run-in, Timothy Dupont took the stage in a sprint.

The last breakaway rider on the day was caught some 10 km from the finish, and then teams began to get into position for a sprint. A crash inside the last 4 km brought multiple riders down, and then more riders crashed with around half a kilometer to go, leaving a small selection at the front to contest the stage victory.

Giacomo Nizzolo launched his sprint from a little ways out on the finishing straight but Timothy Dupont and Pierre Barbier surged past, with Dupont taking the win at the line ahead of Barbier and Nizzolo. Race leader Christophe Laporte finished fifth and held on atop the overall standings.

The ‘super tuck’ will be prohibited under updated UCI protocols

The UCI announced several updates to its rules and protocols on Thursday, with new provisions intended to bolster safety in races. Among the most notable updates was a commitment to enforce a prohibition on descending while sitting on the top tube, a technique often referred to as the “super tuck.”

The UCI said it that it will enforce protocols against the “potentially dangerous conduct of riders,” which will include descending on the top tube as well as throwing bottles onto the road. The UCI will begin to sanction riders who don’t comply starting on April 1 of this year “after a period of adjustment for riders, teams, organizers, and commissaires.”

The UCI also announced that it will draw up standards for roadside barriers for race finales to be implemented starting in 2022, among other new safety provisions.

Grand Tours will be allowed to invite one additional team in 2021

Also included in the UCI’s statement Thursday was the announcement that the three Grand Tours will each be allowed to invite one additional team this year, bringing the count of invited teams for each of the three-week races to 23.

Organizers had requested an increase in the field size, and the UCI approved the increase. It will allow the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España to each invite three wildcard teams to join the 19 WorldTour teams and Alpecin-Fenix, which secured automatic invites to all WorldTour events this year by finishing atop the ProTeam rankings in 2020.

ASO announces wildcards for 2021 Tour

Speaking of wildcard invites, the ASO announced its team selection for the 2021 Tour de France on Thursday.

In addition to the WorldTour squads and Alpecin-Fenix, Arkéa-Samsic, Total Direct Energie, and B&B Hotels-KTM will race the French Grand Tour later this year. That leaves Delko as the lone French ProTeam missing out on an invite.

The 2021 Giro d’Italia will start in Turin

The RCS announced on Thursday that the 2021 Giro d’Italia will start in Turin with an individual time trial of 9 km.

Following the Grande Partenza, the race will stay in the Piedmont region for a sprinter-friendly stage 2 and a hilly stage 3. The Giro will then return to the region later in the race, with a summit finish at Alpe di Mera on stage and a start in Verbania on stage 20.

Ian Stannard takes up DS role with Trinity Racing

British Continental squad Trinity Racing has announced that Ian Stannard will work as a sport director with the team this year. Stannard retired from racing at the end of 2020 due to rheumatoid arthritis. A two-time winner of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a podium finisher at Paris-Roubaix, Stannard was also a key support rider for Sky in Grand Tours, riding for Chris Froome in three of his Tour de France victories.

“I have worked for Ian for over a decade now as a client of Trinity Sports Management, and I could not think of a better guy to bring on board with Trinity to help achieve the Team’s objectives,” said Andrew McQuaid, director of Trinity Sports Management, which owns the Trinity Racing team. “Ian is passionate, knowledgeable, hard working and has a real desire to pass on what he has learnt to the next generation.”

Fayetteville, Arkansas, will host a Cyclocross World Cup race in 2021

Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is set to host Cyclocross Worlds in 2022, will host a World Cup race in 2021.

The third edition of FayetteCross will feature a World Cup event on October 13 of this year at Centennial Park, where the Worlds races will take place in January of 2022.

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