There remains lots of speculation surrounding the late closed season move between DSM and UAE for Swiss all-rounder Marc Hirschi.
As far back as January, Cyclingnews were reporting on the presence of a NDA between his old team and him.
There have been leaked stories to the effect that DSM felt there was a lack of transparency from their former star man and that his relationship with Fabian Cancellara was not the best thing.
Whilst I cannot say specifically what is being alluded to here (as I don’t want suing), its pretty clear that aspertions are being cast against Hirschi.
This is not only tough for the rider themselves (if there is nothing mirky in his alleged lack of transparency), but is also a blow for a sport that is currently hanging its hat on the new generation of riders being different to those that went before them, and in a number of ways.
This is a shame for lovers of the sport who unless the NDA is broken and more details are given will be left watching the guy who lit up last summer with a different and more negative perspective.
I hope there is a way out for both team and rider whereby any ambiguity is cleared up as this stinks and is hanging over his starting racing this season in the Drome next week.
I do love a good cliche. Sadly todays headline isn’t one! but we will go with it anyway.
Marc Hirschi has been one of the heroes of the tour so far with his stage 2 breakaway followed up by heartbreak 1.5km from home on the 2nd mountain stage.
But he kept his levels of self belief high and on a cat 2 climb used his Sunweb team to get him placed off the front before he put down the power and rode away from a group of hilly route specialists including Max Schachmann and Julian Alaphillippe.
With his recent 2nd and 3rd placed finishes no doubt playing on his mind, Hirschi didn’t let off the gas until well inside the barrired area at the finish and this time there were tears of joy as he landed his first (of no doubt many) professional wins.
Yesterday saw an Ardennes type stage with the race continuing across the belt of France. Surprisingly, the stats gurus were saying that despite no massive major mountain passes this one had the most VAM of the whole Tour.
There was a decent sized breakaway with good quality riders away for most of the day and this time it was Schachmann who was caught late on in the stage. His team mate Leonard Kamna being dragged across to him by Dauphine champion Dani Martinez.
Despite Bora have two riders in this break, Martinez bided his time before unleashing a great sprint to take the win.
Further down the climb Tadej Pogacar and yellow jersey Primoz Roglic escaped the remaining favourites with Egan Bernal off the pace.
Two great riders of Tours de France past left the race after a crash. Bauke Mollema and Romain Bardet. I wish both a speedy recovery.