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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Today's Racing

We've got five road races going on right now:

First, the 2.1-rated Volta a Portugal continues through August 9th.

Then there is the World-Tour ranked Tour of Poland, and in the U.S. the Tour of Utah will have it's fourth stage.

Two other stage races run through Saturday, August 8. In Denmark, there is the Post Danmark Rundt and in Spain, the Vuelta a Burgos.

Trek Plan to fight web sales

The world of commerce is growing ever more difficult for store-front retailers as they get battered not only by web retailers, but also by manufacturers, even Chinese factories, that will sell directly to retail customers. www.bike-eu posted this story about Trek's plans to help its besieged retailers.

MADISON, USA – Trek has unveiled a new e-commerce platform designed to make its brick-and-mortar retailers more competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. It was unveiled to US retailers at the keynote address of the company’s annual retailer show and will enable retailers to instantly have an online retail presence at no added cost to them.

Beginning September in the US, consumers will be able to shop at trekbikes.com. Every online sale made on trekbikes.com will result in a service commission, a percentage of the overall sale, paid to the retailer of the consumer’s choosing. The company is supporting its retailers’ new omni-channel strategy with Trek Connect Retail Marketing a suite of digital, direct mail, and seasonal POP assets.

“This is an important investment in the long-term success of our brand and our retailers,” said Trek President John Burke at the presentation. “We believe the most successful companies in the future will all be omni-channel enabled and we are doing everything we can to make sure that future for our retailers is bright.”

Trek Connect E-commerce, available to Trek retailers at no cost, will be supported by Trek Connect Retail Marketing’s programs of seasonal brand campaigns, in-store merchandising, direct mail catalogues, search engine campaigns, automated email, and social media available at a nominal monthly fee.

Retailers that participate in Trek Connect Retail Marketing will also have exclusive access to Trek’s design team for assistance with the creation of visual marketing assets. The product of a two-year long pilot program included over 30 Trek retailers.

“I have been thinking a lot about what Trek Connect means to our customers and the shop David’s World Cycle and it’s really pretty simple: customers not only have more choices than ever but also have less time. Trek Connect addresses both,” said David Sanborn of David’s World Cycle.

Consumers will have the option to ship their online accessories purchases to their home address or to a retailer for pickup, a process referred to as “click and collect.” All bikes ordered through trekbikes.com will be shipped to the retailer of the consumer’s choosing for build and delivery or pickup. Trek retailers will receive a service commission regardless of the consumer’s chosen delivery method.
“Trek Connect will be launched in September,” said John Burke. “As a test market, the US will serve as a development program and enable the company to evaluate the potential for expansion to other markets globally.”

Bodnar wins stage at Tour of Poland

Tinkoff-Saxo was surely happy to send this release:

Maciej Bodnar claimed the victory on stage 4 of Tour de Pologne. The Polish Tinkoff-Saxo rider suffered a hard crash in May at Tour of California, but proved beyond doubt that he has made a full recovery, as he took the win from the three-strong breakaway.

Maciej Bodnar lit the afterburners on the final 250 meters of stage 4 and sprinted his way to a convincing victory after spending the full 220km stage in the breakaway. After crossing the line, Bodnar says with elation:

“You cannot imagine how happy I am with this victory. It is the result of nearly three months of sacrifices and extremely hard work after the crash I had in California. All that work paid its dividends today and it's exhilarating to win a stage at the Tour de Pologne. I wanted very much this victory and went in the breakaway from the first kilometer. All three of us pulled hard and when we had a lead of 11 minutes, approximately 90 kilometers from the finish, I started believing that we could make it”, says Maciej Bodnar, who now sits 2nd in the GC trailing by just 3 seconds.

“Then at 40km from the finish that advantage had gone down to 6 minutes and at that point I was nearly sure the stage win would be played among the three of us in the breakaway. We collaborated very well in the flat part and we felt that the peloton wouldn't be able to reach us. We talked about it and decided to go full gas and take the stage”.

MaciegBpdnar

Maciej Bodnar wins Tour of Poland stage 4

After the 220km stage in undulating terrain, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Bruno Cenghialta underlines that the team plan A played out to perfection: "We are very happy with today's result and Maciej's stage win. Our strategy played out today exactly the way we had planned. Our plan A was to have Bodnar attack early on the stage and he went in the breakaway from the first kilometer. We also had a plan B in case it didn't work out but everything went perfectly and the first breakaway led the race to the finish. The biggest lead they had over the peloton was 11:30 minutes, which gave them the opportunity to reach the local circuit with an advantage of 3:30 minutes. Then it started raining and the peloton wasn't able to reach them", says Cenghialta before adding:

"Bodnar was in top form today, very strong and we scored a great victory. This was our clear goal today. We wanted to attack in order not to bring the sprinters to a bunch sprint. If that hadn't worked out, we had a plan B, to attack with another three riders in order to bring a smaller group to the finish and try having a reduced sprint. However, it wasn't necessary as Bodnar performed brilliantly. The other teams weren't willing to pull hard because they didn't want to lose their sprinters at the final climb with a 10% gradient. They waited too long and by the time they could attack, the breakaway was leading by 4:30 minutes. Since Thursday and Friday are tough stages for Maciej, we wanted to do exactly this today and then focus again on the time-trial on Saturday. Everything was planned today to achieve a very good result and it couldn't have been better! He won!", concludes the sports director.

BMC sent this Tour of Utah report

Bountiful, Utah (USA) - Brent Bookwalter was runner-up, teammate Joey Rosskopf earned "most aggressive rider" honors for his breakaway heroics and the BMC Racing Team took the lead in the team classification Wednesday at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Bookwalter and a reduced peloton containing several BMC Racing Team riders chased down Dion Smith (Hincapie Racing Team), who made a bid for the win in the final kilometer. Logan Owen (Axeon Cycling Team) overtook Bookwalter just before the line while Edwin Avila (Colombia) was third.

"I cannot say enough about my teammates, especially in the last kilometer," Bookwalter said. "I am not a sprinter, so obviously I do not have much experience having good lead outs. But as far as I am concerned, that was a world-class, textbook lead out by Joey and Michi (Schär). I feel bad I couldn't deliver it for them. But it was another day of getting experience and getting closer. It was really close today."

Bookwalter, who was third in Tuesday's bunch sprint finish, moved from sixth to fifth overall on the strength of his best result of the season. He is one of four riders who sit four seconds behind race leader and Stage 1 winner Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team).

"I tried a couple of attacks the last lap at the top of the climb and over the top, but there was a little bit of headwind," Bookwalter said. "After that, I was kind of banking on the sprint. The group was surprisingly big, so it was crucial to have those guys (Rosskopf and Schär) helping out."

Tour of Utah stage 3 sprint

The sprint at the end of Tour of Utah stage 3

Rosskopf earned the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey by first being part of a six-man breakaway that escaped the peloton about 20 kilometers into the 176.1 km race. He then slipped what was left of his escape group to go solo on the first of two laps of a challenging finishing circuit. Last year's "king of the mountains" at this race was finally reeled in about 10 km from the finish.

"It was a pretty demoralizing effort, really," Rosskopf said. "The UnitedHealthcare guys kept us at three minutes - and no more - all day. When you see a team riding like that, you know you have a very small chance of staying away. I was there on the circuits, so I had to try. I did not want to sit up."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said the effort other teams had to put forth to chase down Rosskopf may be more evident as the race continues. Thursday's 204.4 km race includes three categorized climbs and an uphill finish.

"It was nice to race our bikes and really be a part of the race all day - and put stress on the other teams," Stewart said. "For us, we have to kind of wear out these other teams. Our depth in this race is the fact that our guys can go longer and endure each day better."

Cult Energy is at the Tour of Denmark and sent this news

It was an unusually long second stage of Tour of Denmark covering 235 kilometers from Ringkøbing to Aarhus and just like yesterday, it was a thrilling stage with lots of attacks from Cult Energy Pro Cycling's Martin Mortensen and Rasmus Guldhammer. But the stage was decided in a bunch sprint.

Six riders formed the first and longest lasting breakaway and they soon worked up a lead of 7 minutes but the field was not in the mood for games and Astana soon narrowed the gap down. Mathias Kriegbaum (Post Danmark) launched a solo attack from the group but was neutralized due to a series of attacks from among other Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s Martin Mortensen.

Astana continuously tried to keep the pack under control but they were really put to the test way outside the final circuit in Aarhus where the attacks kept flying. Both Martin Mortensen and Rasmus Guldhammer were in promising moves but everone was neutralized.

In the furious sprint for the finish line, Edvard Boasson-Hagen (MTN Qhubeka) took the stage win while there are no changes in the top of the overall classification. Cult Energy Pro Cycling's Michael Carbel finishes 6th.

Edvald Hagen wins Denark stage 2

Edvald Boasson Hagen wins Tour of Denmark stage 2

Mads Pedersen is 6th overall and is still leading the youth classification.

DS, Michael Skelde states: "It was a long stage and that's what made it demanding for some of the riders. We had no intention being in the morning break as we figured it would be doomed unless a big group broke clear. Instead, we waited until the finale where Martin launched the first stinging attack from the field and from then on, it was just attack upon attack. Rasmus made a strong effort as well within the final ten kilometers but it's very difficult to go alone on a circuit like this and with numerous interests behind to close to down. However, I'm happy about the overall effort from the boys and we'll be out there again tomorrow," says Skelde.

Tomorrow's stage is 185 kilometers of up and down throughout the stage and with a demanding and hilly circuit in Vejle.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary