• Remco Evenepoel sports the leader's jersey and matching mask at the Vuelta a Burgos (Velo)Source: Velo
Surely disc brakes would pretty much be the default choice for gravel now, amirite? Well, not exactly. That's one thing we learned from the resumption of WorldTour and other racing over the weekend.
Cycling Central

3 Aug 2020 - 3:38 PM  UPDATED 5 Aug 2020 - 10:06 AM

Rim brakes on gravel FTW!

Well, not exactly the win in the women's Strade Bianche, the world champion was rockin' disc brakes, but as Nick Squillari pointed out on Twitter, the rest of the podium, i.e. Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) and Leah Thomas (Equipe Paula Ke) opted for the more traditional. 

In fact, just two out of the six riders on the men's and women's podiums opted for disc brakes, van Vleuten and Max Schachmann (third). 

Men's winner Wout van Aert, he of the cyclo-cross/disc brake background, stormed to victory on rim brakes, riding with the same set up in the preceding two editions of Strade Bianche, including the muddier affair in 2018 when he rode for Verandas Willems-Crelan. Van Aert finished runner-up both times. 

Since moving to Jumbo-Visma on the road, he has only ever used rim brakes even at Flanders and Roubaix, but opted for the discs when he jumped back into cyclo-cross over the European winter. 

Lockdown no lowdown

We learned nothing really by comparing how riders spent lockdown i.e. those riding Zwift in strict lockdown in Spain, Monaco, France, Italy vs riders who were allowed out to ride for longer distances. 

Looking at the wins of Remco Evenepoel (the overall and a stage win at Vuelta a Burgos), Wout van Aert and Annemiek van Vleuten (four in the last week!) you could assume those in non-strict lockdown like Belgium and the Netherlands have a bit of an edge, especially when you saw Evenepoel and van Vleuten rack up some epic training rides (Evenepoel 50 times up the Muur van Geraardsbergen, van Vleuten an 11 hour, 400km ride).

But venture just slightly further down the results sheet and it's not counted for much.

Just two quick examples, Mikel Landa (second overall at Vuelta a Burgos) and Mavi Garcia (second at Strade Bianche, second again to van Vleuten - at Nafarroako Klasikoa earlier last week) were both in Spain during lockdown. 

Dive a bit more into the results across all the races and terrains over the last week and it's a bit of a mix of stricter lockdowns vs. not so strict. 

Not sure too much can be inferred from it, but obviously those in exile made up for lost time once they were released but put in some meaningful sessions on the turbo in between feeding their sourdough starters.  

Coronavirus measures - cycling must be vigilant

'The whole health system is a damn joke' - Dillier reacts to coronavirus positive on Strade Bianche eve
The Ag2R rider was all set to travel to Italy for Strade Bianche but was pulled from the race after returning a positive coronavirus test. He told Swiss news site Blick he doesn't believe the test result and said 'it is borderline to simply imprison healthy people.'
Ineos files complaint against Occitanie organisers for poor coronavirus measures: report
Team Ineos has filed an official complaint against La Route d'Occitanie organisers as the crowds aren't going the social distance, Dutch broadcaster NOS reports.

With reports of Team Ineos filing a complaint with race organisers about coronavirus measures at La Route Occitanie and with coronavirus cases blowing up again in most parts of the world, cycling needs to ensure it is ever vigilant about the coronavirus.

There is barely any room for error or turf wars, people's lives and careers depend on it. 

Oh and we're down with the matchy match of the Vuelta a Burgos leader's jersey/mask. 

'Sorry Koen, it's a little bit dirty' - difficult circumstances produce memorable moments

As if racing while the world is dealing with a pandemic isn't hard enough, spare a thought for the women's Trek-Segafredo team at Strade Bianche. 

Some choice individual(s) swiped alll six Trek Emondas off the roof of their truck leaving a mad scramble to muster up spares. 

Ellen van Dijk rode a bike belonging to men's Trek-Segafredo colleague and adopted Australian Koen de Kort. 

And through horrible circumstances come memorable post-race interviews.  

"Sorry Koen, it's a little bit dirty," van Dijk says. "I make sure it will be cleaned. I hope someone will do that for me!"

It was a mixed day for the team. While Elisa Longo Borghini (fifth) and van Dijk (17th) finished relatively strongly in the heat, they had hoped for more. 

Lizzie Deignan also had a bit of a day, suffering contusions after coming down on the white gravel, but she should make a quick recovery.