National Championships are being contested around the world this weekend and in the coming week, and the best place to find the full results of every race is, of course, at the reliable procyclingstats.com
Without listing every result from every nation, here are six things that are worth a mention:
- In Rwanda, Didier Munyaneza won the senior title at the age of 21. No paragraph about Rwandan cycling would be complete without a reference to Joseph Areruya (Delko Marseille), who was 6th in the road race after winning the time trial earlier in the week.
- Max Kanter (Development Team Sunweb) finally won a race by successfully defending his German road race title. Kanter’s ability to finish everywhere but the top step of the podium has been notable this season (7 podiums, 1 win), so he will be relieved to break his duck at last.
- Another rider to consistently be there-or-thereabouts this season is Portuguese Rui Oliveira (Hagens Berman Axeon) whose 15 top-10 placings in 2018 had not included a victory until he took his country’s national U23 road race title on Saturday. It was a golden weekend in the Oliveira household, as twin brother Ivo won the U23 time trial.
- Andreas Leknessund (Uno-X Norwegian Development Team) rode to overall 2nd place in the combined Elite/U23 Norwegian time trial, finishing only 7 seconds behind Edvald Boassen Hagen (Team Dimension Data) over a 43km course. Leknessund can also climb mountains, as his 2nd place at Goulier Neige in the Ronde de l’Isard shows, so with Tobias Foss not firing this year, Norway’s overall leader for the Tour de l’Avenir appears to have nominated himself, in this his first year as an under-23 rider. Torjus Sleen (Uno-X Norwegian Development Team) won the Under-23 road race and placed 4th in the elite road race to complete a good week for the team. More of them later…
- Edoardo Affini (SEG Racing Academy) followed up his day in the Baby Giro’s maglia rosa by winning the Italian U23 title, with fellow Baby Giro stage winner Alberto Dainese (Zalf Euromobil) coming in second. Affini won the title one day before his 22nd birthday and will wear the tricolore jersey for the remainder of the season, before he ages out for 2019.
- The USA road race is being streamed live on YouTube, here.
Savoie Mont Blanc
Felix Gall (Development Team Sunweb) was the standout under-23 rider at the UCI 2.2 Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Finishing in the top 10 on 4 out of 5 stages, the Austrian also came 6th overall and won the youth category.
Marc Hirschi (Development Team Sunweb) finished in 10th place overall.
Self-service petrol station magnates Uno-X have signed a deal with the Norwegian national federation to further their involvement in the country’s under-23 programme.
The company already sponsors a Continental development team, and contributes financial and operational resources to Norway’s Nations Cup involvement, but the new contract allows the Uno-X backers to increase their reach into selection for the Nations Cup team, as well as rider testing/profiling.
Whether the increased involvement will generate a conflict of interest (real or perceived) will become clear when the decisions – in particular selection for national squads – start being made. Symbiosis of a commercial team sponsor and national federation can be problematic, as Team Sky and British Cycling found out to their cost. However, in Great Britain’s case it was the calling into question of practices at Team Sky which tarnished the reputation of the governing body, and there is no reason to believe the same issue will apply here.
Tour de l’Avenir invitations
Invitations have gone out to the top 15 teams in the Nations Cup rankings for August’s Tour de l’Avenir. Twenty four teams will start in Grand Champ on 17 August, so not being on the automatic invitation list need not be a problem (which is good for The Netherlands, which has just 1 NCup point this season).
Read more here.