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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Thursday, August 13, 2015

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

Today's Racing

Continuing through the 16th is women's 2.1-ranked La Route de France. The Eneco Tour is running and also ends the 16th.

There is also the 2.1-rated Tour de l'Ain in France. It will go through the 15th.

Starting today and running through the 16th is the Arctic Race of Norway.

Adam Hansen poised to break Grand Tour completion record

Currently, Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) has completed twelve consecutive Grand Tours, from the 2011 Vuelta a España through the 2015 Tour de France. I believe he is currently tied with Spaniard Bernardo Ruiz, who accomplished the same feat between 1954 and 1958. Twelve consecutive Grand Tours is the current all-time record.

If he finishes the 2015 Vuelta, which he is scheduled to start, he will be the new consecutive Grand Tour record holder. It will also be his twentieth career Grand Tour start and his seventh Vuelta.

As an aside, only 32 riders have completed all three Grand Tours in one season and Matteo Tosatto holds the all time record for Grand Tour participations at 32. Eduardo Chozas has finished the most at 27 (6 Tours, 7 Giri and 14 Vueltas).

Good luck Adam!

Adam Hansen

Adam Hansen wins 2014 Vuelta stage 19

2014 a good year for European bicycle industry

This news item appeared in bike-eu.com:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – 2014 was a very positive year for the European bicycle industry. EU employment, production and sales in 2014 grew compared to the 2013 figures. This is the outcome of an economic study carried out by CONEBI, the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry.

According to that study, named European Bicycle Industry & Market Profile (BIMP) 2015 with 2014 statistics, bicycle sales in the 28 EU member states was up 2.3%. A total of 20,234,000 bicycles (including e-bikes) were sold throughout the European Union last year.

Production in 2014 increased also; with 5.1% according to the CONEBI study to a total of close to 12 million bikes; again including electric bicycles. With regard to e-bikes the Federation states that sales in this category grew with 25.6% to 1,139,000 units. This total is a low estimate. In its June/July edition, which contained a 2014 Market Report for EU e-bike imports and sales, this trade journal concluded that the 2014 volume of the e-bike, e-MTB and speed e-bike market in Europe stood at 1,325,000 units.

CONEBI states in the press release on the BIMP study that, “The investments the EU bicycle industry has been doing are bringing noticeable results.” Next to a with 5% increased production this is also reflected in an increased number of EU workers employed in the European bicycle, e-bike and bicycle parts & accessories industries. 27.670 is the number of EU workers employed by the industry in 2014 compared to 26.569 EU workers employed in 2013. This is an increase of 4.1%.

Giant-Alpecin announces its Arctic Race of Norway and Vuelta line-up

The team sent this release about the Arctic Race of Norway:

Team Giant-Alpecin heads to Norway with a young team looking to gain experience and battle for results in this spectacular four-day race.

The team will be captained by Thierry Hupond (FRA) who returns to this race for a third year in succession, and he will be joined by the young American Carter Jones, returning from a short break following illness, as well as Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) who returns to racing following his debut Tour de France.

Lars van der Haar (NED) lines up here as he continues to build for the coming cyclo-cross season, and Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) returns to the race he made a debut at last year with the WorldTour team when riding as a stagiaire.

The six-rider line-up is completed by 22-year-old stagiaire Maximilian Walscheid, starting his first race for Team Giant-Alpecin.

"The race presents different opportunities for our riders here, starting with the first two stages where we have sprint opportunities with Ramon and also for Max here too," explained coach Dirk Reuling (NED). "Stage 3 is a tough uphill finish of around 3,5 km, and we will support Fredrik and Lars for the finish here. It should be a nice diverse tour and will show ourselves, and challenge for results every day."

RACE: Arctic Race of Norway (2.HC)

DATE: 13-16/08/2015

COACH: Dirk Reuling (NED)

LINE-UP: Lars van der Haar (NED), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Carter Jones (USA), Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Maximilian Walscheid (GER)

And here's Giant-Alpecin's news about the Vuelta:

Team Giant-Alpecin heads to this year’s third and final Grand Tour of the year following successful campaigns at both the Giro d'Italia and this summer's Tour de France. The main focus for the team will be on day success in the sprint stages. Alongside the sprints the team remains focused on the general development process of our riders.

This year’s Vuelta presents opportunities for different riders to battle for stage wins, over a parcours that features nine summit finishes as the Vuelta celebrates its 70th edition. The race once again gets underway with a team time trial before heading straight into the first uphill finish on day two. The first week continues with both sprint and attacking opportunities as well as a mountain top finish on stage seven.

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb on the pavé of 2015 Tour de France stage 4

John Degenkolb (GER) returns to the race having won the green jersey of points leader in 2014 and will be looking to make the most of the sprint opportunities over the three weeks. Team Giant-Alpecin has a strong line-up to support Degenkolb in this, but one that is versatile enough to challenge across other fronts. Degenkolb will be joined by Tom Dumoulin (NED) who will have an eye on the race's individual time trial on stage 17 as well as the puncheur-stye finishes, together with Lawson Craddock (USA) who showed his progress once again at the Tour of Poland by taking third on the toughest stage of the race.

"Our main goal is to go for stage success with John, as we targeted at the Tour," explained coach Christian Guiberteau (FRA). "With Koen [de Kort], Luka [Mezgec], Zico [Waeytens] and Tom [Dumoulin] we have a strong lead-out for John. With Lawson we are working towards the longer-term development, and will not target specific GC ambitions but rather we aim to help him learn how to behave as GC rider.

"We have shown at the Giro and Tour that we are ready to take any opportunities as they come and on the in-between stages we will look to profit from the breakaway opportunities. In addition we have Tom D here who will look to target the TT along with the classics style stages."

RACE: Vuelta a España (WT)

DATE: 22/08-13/09/2015

COACHES: Addy Engels (NED), Christian Guiberteau (FRA)

LINE-UP: Lawson Craddock (USA), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Koen de Kort (NED), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL)

RESERVES: Bert De Backer (BEL), Cheng Ji (CHN) 

Tinkoff-Saxo riders with ongoing 2016 contracts

As the team management is finalizing the squad for the 2016 season, 14 riders have contracts that run into next year. As existing riders with a clear knowledge of the team philosophy, this group will form an essential and deeply-rooted part of Tinkoff-Saxo’s roster ahead of the next season.

For Steven de Jongh, Head Sport Director of Tinkoff-Saxo, these 14 riders constitute part of the backbone of the team: "These extremely talented riders need no introduction. Their palmares speaks for itself, as they are among the who's who of the professional peloton, with some of them household names".

“Together with some of the soon-to-be-announced extensions, these riders, obviously, form the core group upon which we will build the squad that will tackle the next season's challenging goals. Whether 2015 is their first year with Tinkoff-Saxo or they have been with us for many years, I'm happy and privileged to head such a select group of riders".

"Alberto Contador will be our team leader and will focus on the Tour de France in 2016 while Peter Sagan will be the man that will captain Tinkoff-Saxo in the classics, among other races", concludes de Jongh.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan will be Tinkoff-Saxo's go-to man for the Classics

The Tinkoff-Saxo riders who already have contracts for 2016 are, in alphabetical order: Ivan Basso (ITA), Daniele Bennati (ITA), Maciej Bodnar (POL), Pavel Brutt (RUS), Alberto Contador (ESP), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO),  Roman Kreuziger (CZE), Rafal Majka (POL), Sergio Paulihno (POR), Michael Rogers (AUS), Ivan Rovny (RUS), Juraj Sagan (SVK), Peter Sagan (SVK) and Michael Valgren (DEN).

Tomorrow, August 13, Tinkoff-Saxo will unveil the first names of the current riders whose contracts will be extended into the upcoming season. Further extensions as well as new acquisitions will be announced during the second half of August.

Lampre-Merida's Eneco Tour report:

The Eneco Tour moved from Netherland to Belgium for the 3rd stage, which started in Beveren and ended in Ardooie (171.9 km).

The plot of the race was the same of the first previous ones, with a final massive sprint, and Lampre-Merida gave the role of captain to Modolo, as it had happened yesterday.

In the second stage, the Italian sprinter had obtained the 10th place, today he improved the result, by crossing the finish line in 8th place. The victory was obtained by Boonen, who preceded Demare and Viviani.

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen wins Eneco Tour stage 3

The sprint was characterized by a long approach, which started at 7 km from the finish: all the riders were aware that it was fundamental to enter in the last 2 km of narrow roads in the head part of the bunch in order to aim to a good result.

Richeze and Ferrari led Modolo from the center of the bunch to the front of the group and the winner of two stages in the Giro d'Italia 2015 (Jesolo and Lugano) maintained the good position, trying to accelerate when at 300 meters to the finish line, Demare anticipated the sprint, but he did not succeeded in competing with the recovery of Boonen.

Asselman is still the leader of the overall classification, Modolo is 24th at 15", but the individual time trial which will take place tomorrow will change the situation.

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