VN news ticker: Peter Sagan undergoes minor knee surgery, Vincenzo Nibali exits Tour de France ahead of Olympics

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, July 12.

Photo: BORA - Hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto

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Peter Sagan undergoes minor knee surgery

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) underwent minor knee surgery at his Monaco home. The three-time world champion abandoned the 2021 Tour de France prior to the start of stage 12.

Sagan injured his knee in a crash with Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) in the final 150 meters of stage 3. Ewan did not start stage 4, having fractured his clavicle and sustained other injuries which prevented his continuing the Tour.

“First of all, I’d like to thank the Bora-Hansgrohe management, the team’s doctors, and in particular our Head Doctor, Christopher Edler, for their support and guidance since my crash on stage 3. Secondly, I’m so grateful for all the get-well messages that I received from my teammates, friends, and fans from all over the world. They are greatly appreciated,” Sagan said. “On stage 3, the chainring hit my knee and entered the skin above the patella, leaving a deep wound. We cleaned the wound as much as possible to prevent infection because of the dirt from the chain oil. However, after a few days, an inflammation developed in the bursa on top of the patella, and, unfortunately, I had to abandon the Tour.”

While Sagan was treated for his injuries at the Tour, he developed a superficial infection that persisted and caused him pain and reduced his mobility.

A statement from his team indicated that Sagan is expected to be back on his bike, soon, preparing for the Olympic road race.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step to be named Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team in 2022

Deceuninck-Quick-Step will ride under a new name next season. The team confirmed Monday that it would be called Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team next year.

The Quick-Step parent brand recently extended terms with the team until 2027. Alpha Vinyl is a part of Quick-Step’s flooring portfolio.

“We’re very pleased to continue our decades-long sponsorship of the Wolfpack, and also very excited to link our Alpha Vinyl flooring product range to the team through a new name,” said Ruben Desmet, President of Unilin Flooring, the company behind the Quick-Step brand.

“Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl floors are rigid, 100 percent watertight, ultra-strong vinyl flooring solutions that are almost indistinguishable from real wood or stone – and they can be installed on different types of surfaces, level or fairly irregular.”

The team has been busy renewing contracts of major riders in recent months, with Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Michael Morkov and Remco Evenepoel all commiting to long-term deals.

Vincenzo Nibali exits Tour de France ahead of Olympic bid

Vincenzo Nibali has exited the Tour de France to get an early start on his preparations for the Olympic Games.

Nibali rode into the all-star breakaway of stage 15 of the Tour on Sunday as one final hit-out ahead of the long flight to Tokyo, finishing 11th behind stage-winner Sepp Kuss.

“I think it was a good day, we raced aggressively as the team has been doing since the beginning,” Nibali said Sunday. “Definitely, a last good test to leave the race.”

The Sicilian veteran had entered the Tour as a pre-Olympic form-builder and purposely didn’t target the GC.

“I raced a different Tour compared to my past experience, but similar to 2016 before Rio,” he said. “The Tour is a boost for everyone; you can compare with the top in the world. I think it was the perfect way for me to reach the top form for Tokyo. The feeling is good, but for a race like the Olympics, you need the entire team at the top.”

Nibali will join up with Alberto Bettiol, Gianni Moscon, Damiano Caruso and Trek-Segafredo teammate Giulio Ciccone for the Tokyo road race July 24.

Nibali’s last Olympic appearance ended in disappointment when he crashed on a greasy descent in the hill around Rio, fracturing his collarbone.  At 36 years old, Tokyo could be Nibali’s last chance to hit gold.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step takes most prize money from opening weeks of Tour de France

Mark Cavendish and Julian Alaphilippe have been filling Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s coffers at this year’s Tour de France.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step has come out of the first 15 stages of the race with the most prize monies – a cool €95,320 in total. Jumbo-Visma is the second most monied but some way behind Deceuninck Quick Step after amassing €62,640 via Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert’s mountain victories.

Quick-Step’s prize pot has come courtesy of some €11,000 handed to the winner of every stage. Cavendish and Alaphilippe have taken five stage victories between them to make the Belgian squad by far the most prolific of the Tour.

Monies are also awarded for riders leading the various classifications of the race.

Ineos Grenadiers sit fourth from last with little over €5,000 in what makes for a stark reminder of its disappointing Tour so far.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.