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Quintana set for return to racing: Daily News

Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

Tuesday brought news of Nairo Quintana’s plans to return to racing following his recovery from knee surgery. Quintana will make his first start of the year later this month at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, which he won last year.

In other news from the world of cycling, organizers of the Women’s Tour announced a five-year live broadcast deal and organizers of Tirreno-Adriatico unveiled the route for this year’s race.

Until next time, readers.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Quintana eyes return to racing

Following a lengthy recovery from knee surgery, Nairo Quintana is back to training and eyeing his return to racing at the upcoming Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

The 30-year-old Colombian explained in an interview with Radio Caracol that the healing process following surgery on both knees to treat cartilage issues was complete after 12 weeks. Now, while he has not yet reached his top level, he is working his way back to form and looking ahead to the 2021 season.

“It is logical that I am not at a great level, because the injury set everything back, but in general terms, we’re going well,” He said. “Little by little, I’m getting my condition back. We have already returned, as you have seen on social media too, to training on the bike, and the sensation is good.”

Quintana’s season will get underway at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (which he won last year) later this month, and then he will head to Tirreno-Adriatico (which he won in 2017) and then the Volta a Catalunya (which he won in 2016). He also confirmed that he is interested in racing the Giro d’Italia this year before the Tour de France, although his Arkéa-Samsic squad will have to receive an invite to the Italian Grand Tour.

The Women’s Tour will be broadcast live

The Women’s Tour will be broadcast live for the first time this season after organizers secured a five-year agreement with Eurosport and GCN for live broadcasts for both the Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain.

Both races were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are currently set to go ahead this year. The Women’s Tour is scheduled to run from June 7 to 12, with the men’s Tour of Britain set to run from September 5 to 12.

Tirreno-Adriatico route unveiled

Organizer RCS sport unveiled the route of this year’s edition of Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, revealing that the challenges on tap at the seven-day stage race will include a summit finish at Prati di Tivo.

After three stages likely to be of most interest to those focused on winning stages, the fourth day of racing at Tirreno-Adriatico will bring the GC favorites to the fore with some tough climbs culminating with a trip to Prati di Tivo, 14.5 km in length with an average gradient of 7%. Stage 5 will be another tough one, featuring a finishing circuit with several short but steep climbs. After a day for the fast finishers, the race will close out with a time trial in stage 7 in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Plenty of big names are expected to take on the race, which gets underway on March 10, with Tadej Pogacar, Vincenzo Nibali, Wout van Aert, Peter Sagan, and the aforementioned Nairo Quintana among the many, many notables slated to start.

Vuelta a Madrid cancelled

Organizers announced on Tuesday that the 2021 Vuelta a Madrid has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The four-day race was set to run from February 6 to 9, but joins a growing list of early-season events that won’t be happening as planned.

Bunki Bankaitis-Davis dies at age 63

American cycling star Danute “Bunki” Bankaitis-Davis passed away on January 29 after battling cancer for seven years.

Bankaitis-Davis was both an Olympian and a former world champion, having ridden to a world title in the team time trial for the United States in 1992. She also counted podium performances at races like the Tour de France Feminin and the Coors Classic on her long list of career accomplishments. After she retired from racing, Bankaitis-Davis went on to a career as a scientist while continuing to stay involved in cycling, serving on the USA Cycling Federation’s Board of Directors, the United States Olympic Committee Athletes Advisory Council and Sport, Science, and Technology Committee, and the USA Cycling Athlete Selection Committee.

Zwift bans two riders for falsifying data

Zwift has banned two more riders from “official Zwift Cycling Esports events” for falsifying their data.

Antonina Reznikov and Selma Trommer have both received six-month bans. In both cases, the sanctions were delivered after “Zwift’s automated systems” identified that power data from Zwift Racing League events may have been altered. Zwift then analyzed the data and determined that the riders had changed their power data prior to submitted it to Zwift.

Reznikov initially denied having edited the data prior to submitting it to Zwift, but then acknowledged that she had done so. Trommer also initially denied having altered data but then acknowledged that it had been edited, without taking responsibility for having done so himself. Reznikov’s sanction started on January 11 and Trommer’s started on January 18. While banned from official Esports events, both riders can continue to ride on Zwift.

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