VN news ticker: Mathieu van der Poel swaps setup for Strade Bianche after handlebar catastrophe; Primož Roglič raring to go at Paris-Nice

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, March 6.

Photo: Belga/AFP via Getty Images

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Report: Mathieu van der Poel makes late swap for Strade Bianche

Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix team has been forced to switch out its Aeroad Canyon frames for Strade Bianche on Saturday. The German brand Canyon had warned its customers this week to stop using the latest model of its Aeroad after van der Poel raced the final kilometer of Le Samyn on Tuesday with a broken handlebar.

Het Laatste Nieuws reports that Alpecin-Fenix has opted to race Canyon’s Ultimate climbing bike rather than risk a repeat malfunction with the Aeroad in what makes for a highly anticipated clash between van der Poel and Wout van Aert in Tuscany. The Ultimate bike does not use the same handlebar model as the Aeroad.

Movistar and Canyon-SRAM have made similar swaps to their Canyon fleet ahead of Saturday’s race.

Primož Roglič in shape and optimistic ahead of Paris-Nice

Primož Roglič will make his season debut at Paris-Nice on Sunday, and is all in for the win. After a successful block at altitude and buoyed by the performance of young teammates David Dekker and Jonas Vingegaard at the UAE Tour, Roglič is carrying confidence into the marquee French race.

“At the beginning of the season it is always a matter of seeing how everything goes,” Roglič said. “I like the new bike and the disc brakes are a step forward. I also have confidence in the team. When I saw how well the guys rode in the UAE, I couldn’t wait for the start of the season. The altitude training camp in Tenerife went as planned and I want to be the best version of myself in the upcoming races.”

Roglič is racing to win Paris-Nice this week, and will face a stern test from a strong Ineos Grenadiers team. Jumbo-Visma is also sending Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett as it begins to build toward another Tour de France challenge with the Slovenian.

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