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Bardet transfer rumblings, a virtual Tour de France?: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.

Welcome to the end of the week, which brings with it some more Everesting news, transfer rumblings, and talk of a virtual Tour de France.

For starters, Hannah Rhodes is your now women’s Everesting record holder. Less than a week after Lauren De Crescenzo nabbed the record from Katie Hall, Rhodes stormed to a new fastest known time, racking up 8,848 meters of elevation on Kirkstone Pass in England’s Lake District in an impressive 9:08:31.

Meanwhile, according to reports in Dutch media, Sunweb has an offer out to Romain Bardet, who has ridden with Ag2r-La Mondiale since turning pro back in 2012. Wouldn’t that be an interesting move?

And on the virtual side of things, Cyclingnews reports that the ASO is organizing a virtual Tour de France that would run on Zwift over three weeks in July. Apparently, Zwift is building new routes in conjunction with the event.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news

| Rhodes smashes the women’s Everesting record

Hannah Rhodes has stormed to a new women’s Everesting record, taking over the title from Lauren De Crescenzo with an impressive ride on Kirkstone Pass.

Rhodes ascended 8,848 meters in 9:08:31, nearly 50 minutes faster than the previous record. According to her Strava, she maintained a weighted average power of 215 watts over the course of the ride.

| Sunweb reportedly interested in Bardet

The idea of Romain Bardet riding for a non-French team may sound preposterous, but De Telegraaf reports that Sunweb has an offer out the 29-year-old climber.

Bardet, who has finished as highly as second overall at the Tour de France, has ridden with Ag2r-La Mondiale since all the way back in 2012, but his contract ends this season and Sunweb does have an opening for a Grand Tour leader after the departure of Tom Dumoulin to Jumbo-Visma. Who knows if anything will come of it, but it’s certainly an interesting possibility to ponder.

| Ag2r renews Vuelta KOM winner Bouchard and two others

Speaking of Ag2r, while the future of team’s big GC star remains unclear, the squad did extended the contracts of three other riders on Friday, including reigning Vuelta a España king of the mountains Geoffrey Bouchard.

Bouchard and youngsters Dorian Godon and Aurélien Paret-Peintre will ride on with the French outfit through the 2022 season.

| No Tour de France for Bouhanni

In yet more news from the world of French cycling, Nacer Bouhanni will not be racing the Tour de France (for the third straight year). Although the Frenchman signed with Arkéa-Samsic for this season with an eye toward re-finding the success of his early seasons in the peloton, he will apparently not be doing that at his home Grand Tour, at least not this year, with his team focusing on the prospects of its GC riders (Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil) instead.

“It’s a decision we made together and it’s been carefully considered,” Bouhanni said via his team’s website. “I quickly got used to the idea when the route of the 2020 Tour de France was unveiled. I quickly realized that it was aimed at the climbers above all.”

| Report: ASO planning virtual Tour de France

And speaking of the Tour, according to Cyclingnews, the ASO is planning a virtual Tour de France that will run for six stages across three weekends in July.

Nothing is official yet, but Cyclingnews reports that the event will feature both men’s and women’s racing, with 15 teams already signed on to participate, while Zwift is apparently designing new courses in conjunction with the race.

| North American Handmade Bicycle Show canceled completely for 2020

After initially being postponed to August amid coronavirus concerns, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show has now been officially cancelled for 2020.

“While Texas is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, COVID-19 cases in Dallas are still on the rise,” said organizer Don Walker in press release. “And unfortunately, the governor hasn’t made any plan to allow large groups and events to take place. With NAHBS scheduled to take place in less than three months — and based on what we currently know and predictions for the summer — we’re making the difficult decision to cancel NAHBS 2020 and focus our efforts on 2021.”

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Today’s featured image of Romain Bardet on stage 13 of the Tour de France comes from Cor Vos.

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