David Duffield dies aged 84
David Duffield, the iconic cycling commentator, died at the age of 84 this weekend. Duffield's former colleague at Eurosport, Carlton Kirby, communicated the news on Sunday, saying that he passed away after suffering a heavy fall.
Duffield, born in May 1931, became one of the most recognised and well-loved voices in cycling with his idiosyncratic delivery and ability to capture the audience's attention for several hours on end, day after day, during the Tour de France.
"He was a giant for Eurosport," Kirby told the Eurosport website. "He was a lot of people’s way into cycling because, more than just a commentator, he was a proper entertainer. He was able to carry long stages where nothing would happen with great skill and great aplomb and his voice was so engaging."
Duffield spent most of his professional life in the cycling industry, having worked for Raleigh following time as an amateur racer, where he particularly excelled on a tricycle. Tributes to Duffield flowed in on social platforms on Sunday.
Retired British pro David Millar wrote: "R.I.P. David Duffield. Nothing but a positive influence on my life. Brilliantly bonkers and so generous of spirit. Great tricyclist to boot."
Broadcaster Gideon Coe said: "Thank you David Duffield. Loved his commentary. Warm expertise mixed with minute detail of tdf route and, often, dining experiences."
Jonathan Castroviejo in hospital with fractured vertebra
Jonathan Castroviejo has been hospitalised with a fractured vertebra following a crash that occurred after the conclusion of the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve on Sunday.
The Spaniard was riding down from the Alto do Malhao towards the team bus when a spectator jumped out into the road and collided with him. He was immediately taken to Faro hospital with pain in his neck and left shoulder. Medical tests revealed fractures to his sixth vertebra and ulna.
The 28-year-old Movistar man remains in hospital awaiting further medical reports and a decision on when he will be able to return home to Spain.
Oli Cookson joins Dimension Data
Oli Cookson has joined the Dimension Data team's management ranks in the capacity of performance and technical partner manager. Cookson, the son of UCI president Brian Cookson, joins after spending five years at Team Sky in an administrative role.
"I am incredibly pleased to be joining Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka after initially contacting them at the beginning of December and having previously followed this exciting project for the past seasons," said Cookson in a statement from the team.
"I know I will develop professionally and personally and I am very motivated to work with such incredible people and sponsors, to integrate their technology and systems into performance and operations within the team. Personally, I am very much looking forward to learning and working with the African riders and as part of this I am also moving with the family to Lucca to work from the team’s hub where many staff, coaches and riders are based."
The South African team also announced that Patrick Baransky, a former sponsorship manager at a bank, has joined as operations and logistics manager.
Neo-pro Roglic surprises his team with fifth overall at Volta ao Algarve
The 26-year-old Slovenian, who stepped up to WorldTour level after three years with the Continental Adria Mobil outfit, was third on the Alto de Foia summit finish, and sixth on the Alto de Malhao on the final day, with a solid time trial in between. He ended up fifth behind esteemed names in Geraint Thomas, Ion Izaguirre, Alberto Contador, and Thibaut Pinot.
"Primoz delivered another very strong performance. It’s a big surprise that he’s able to grab the fifth place in the general classification with Aru, Contador and Thomas on the start line. He can be very proud of that," said sports director Merijn Zeeman in a statement from the LottoNL-Jumbo team.
For his part, Roglic was encouraged by the performances he managed to produce.
“I’m still struggling a little bit with positioning for climbs. My men protected me very well and I’m thankful," he said. "It became a mental fight in the end and I’m good at that. I just keep on telling myself that the finish line is close and that I must keep on giving everything I have. I’m very happy with the result I grabbed this week. This really motivates me.”