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VN news ticker: Rally Cycling to start Clásica de Almería in new kit; Fabio Jakobsen undergoes surgery, to resume training

Here's the news making headlines for Friday, February 12.

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Rally Cycling to start Clásica de Almería on Sunday in new Pactimo kit

Rally Cycling will take to the start of the Clásica de Almería in Spain, on Sunday, February 14, in freshly updated kit for the 2021 season.

Rally’s freshly-updated kit, from Pactimo, features a simple geometric pattern, with the title sponsor’s name prominently displayed. Supporting sponsors’ and partners’ names are visible in white on the recognizable signal-colored background. The team will be keeping with classic-look black shorts.

Earlier this week, the California-based Rally Cycling squad unveiled new-look Felt bikes in preparation for the start of the season in Spain.

The Clásica de Almería represents itself as an “ideal route for the best sprinters in the world.” Rally Cycling, Movistar Team, and UAE Team Emirates, among others, will line up in Puebla de Vícar for the start of the one-day race.

Fabio Jakobsen takes the next step in recovery process

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) has undergone successful surgery on his jaw and is eyeing a return to training. The operation marks the next step in his recovery after his horrific crash in the Tour of Poland last summer.

“Surgeons drilled implants in my upper and lower jaw and reconstructed the scars in my mouth,” the 24-year-old wrote on Instagram. “For now a week of rest and let the body do its healing. Hopefully next week I can restart training again and build up towards races!”

The Dutch sprinter had indicated last month he was hoping to see racing in the spring should this final surgery prove effective.

Teams confirmed for men’s, women’s Gent-Wevelgem

Officials confirmed teams for the upcoming Gent-Wevelgem for both the men’s and women’s events on March 28.

All 19 WorldTour teams will start the men’s race, with Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic already guaranteed a place in Gent-Wevelgem thanks to end-of-season rankings. The wildcards go to the French B&B Hotels and Total Direct Energie, and to Belgian teams Bingoal WB and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

On the women’s side, Team SD Worx, the team of world champion Anna van der Breggen, and last year’s winner, Jolien D’hoore, will lead off the teams for the women’s Gent-Wevelgem on March 28.

All nine WorldTour teams will race, including Liv Racing, Ale’ BTC Ljubljana, team of 2018 winner Marta Bastianelli, Canyon-SRAM Racing, Trek-Segafredo, and Movistar Team Women, new home to Annemiek van Vleuten. FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Team DSM and Team BikeExchange are also in.

Another 15 UCI Women’s Continental Teams will thus also be present at the start in Ypres. One of them is Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team, the team of two-time winner Kirsten Wild (2013, 2019) and Lisa Brennauer who took the last spot on the podium last year. Also at the start: Valcar Travel & Service, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank and A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team.

Fernando Alonso involved in crash while cycling in Switzerland

Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso will undergo minor surgery on his jaw following a traffic incident while cycling in Lugano, Switzerland on Thursday, officials said.

The two-time world champion is a keen cyclist, and media reports in Spain said Alonso collided with a car and struck his face and head. More details were not immediately available, but he was treated on-site and later transported to a hospital in Bern. Alonso, who was part of an ill-fated effort to save the Euskaltel-Euskadi team in 2014, said recently he might be interested in another effort at creating a pro cycling team.

Olympic chief resigns following series of sexist comments

Yoshirō Mori has stepped down from his role as president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee. The 83-year-old offered his resignation having made a series of remarks about women during a recent meeting, including his belief that “on boards with a lot of women, the meetings take so much time … if their speaking time isn’t restricted, they have difficulty finishing.”

Following repeated apologies in the bid to quell the storm resulting from his remarks last week, Mori has succumbed to growing pressure to step down.

“What is important is to hold the Olympics from July,” Mori said, according to Inside The Games. “It must not be the case that my presence becomes an obstacle to that.”