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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, December 21, 2015

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

Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. - Frank Zappa

How we can use data to prevent cycling deaths

This insightful and useful story was in the Los Angeles Times:

Thanks to writer John Britt for letting me know about this.

To say Los Angeles’s Vermont Avenue is bad news for bicyclists would be putting it mildly. Over the past five years, cyclists have been involved in 230 collisions with cars along this roadway — more than on any other street in the city.

More than 30 of these accidents occurred in just three intersections: West 4th Street, Olympic Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard. A heatmap of bike accidents last year shows Vermont covered with collisions between Beverly and Exposition boulevards. So, what exactly is going on here?

Typically, we think of accidents as random, unforeseeable tragedies. But in reality, we can often predict, analyze and address the root causes of these collisions — if we have the right data.

That’s the approach Sweden has taken starting in 1997, when the country’s parliament approved a road safety program called Vision Zero, which aimed to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to “zero” by making data-driven adjustments to infrastructure. The program has proved a great success. Collision fatalities have decreased since the introduction of Vision Zero, even as traffic volume has increased. In Malmö, its biggest cycling city, for instance, there have been only 16 cycling fatalities in a decade, despite the 100,000 trips per day for the city's 307,000 inhabitants.

The program has since spread across Europe to the U.S., and this year to Los Angeles. In August, Mayor Garcetti announced his intention to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2025, an ambitious goal that my company DataScience is proud to support.

Click here for the entire story with graphics

IAM Cycling headed to Tour Down Under

Here are IAM's plans for January:

IAM Cycling will be flying to Adelaide on January 9, 2016. Once they have arrived, the riders will do their best to overcome the nine and a half hour time difference in order to be able to complete the workouts that directeur sportif Kjell Carlström will lay out for them in order to have the squad ready and competitive starting on January 17th in time for the criterium that will be raced around the streets of Adelaide.

“2016 will be a year of action for our strong and well established team culture.” Michel Thétaz, CEO of IAM (manager of the IAMFUNDS.CH investment firm), wants to see his riders on center stage early in the new season. 

IAM Cycling Sports Manager, Rik Verbrugghe, sets the tone for his protégés even before the first pedal stroke of the year: “We have to be up to the level of the WorldTour.  In Australia, we will bring together a great team with more than one opportunity for success.  We have strengthened the lead-out train in order to give Matteo Pelucchi the greatest chance for success.  And Jarlinson Pantano has what it takes to finish in the top-5 overall.”

Matteo Pelucchi

Matteo Pelucchi will be at the Tour Down Under

IAM Cycling did more than just fill up the spaces in January last year racing around the Adelaide region.  Heinrich Haussler succeeded in taking 5th place in the opening criterium before grabbing 2nd, 4th, and 5th places in the TDU stages.  Meanwhile, Jarlinson Pantano climbed to 9th place overall in the race that was won by Rohan Dennis (BMC).

The number of days that IAM Cycling will spend in Oceania, as the only Swiss member of the WorldTour, before competing in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race, which is scheduled for January 31st, over the same course around Geelong that was used for the World Road Race Championships in 2010.

LINE UP

SPORTS DIRECTOR  Kjell Carlström

People’s Choice Classic (January 17th)

Critérium in Adelaïde 51 km (9h30 – 10h30 swiss time)

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race (Januray 31st)

Tiesj Benoot Belgian talent of the year

This news came from Lotto-Soudal:

Lotto Soudal rider Tiesj Benoot has been elected as Belgian talent of the year. He was one of the three nominees; together with Youri Tielemans (soccer player at RSC Anderlecht) and Ketbi Si Mohamed (taekwondo). For the 21-year-old Benoot it is the coronation of his strong first year as a pro at Lotto Soudal. He made a surprisingly strong debut during the Flemish classics and later this year he showed his skills in the Belgium Tour.

Tiesj Benoot

Tiesj Benoot at the 2015 GP Denain

Tiesj Benoot: “For sure I’m very happy with this prize, but also a bit surprised. When you look at the performances of the other nominees, then I’m honoured that I won with such a difference in votes. Probably because cycling is a real Belgian sport that causes a certain emotion with lots of people and the fact that they can appreciate the development of a talent. It’s a recognition by Belgian professional sports journalists, people who follow sports day in and day out. I was happy to be part of the fifteen nominees. That I was part of the three super nominees was a surprise itself and winning is obviously fantastic.”

“I want to take the opportunity to thank some people. I can call myself a ‘product’ of the youth development of Lotto Soudal in which the National Lottery puts lots of energy. They give young riders the chance to develop from talents to professionals. The fact that I’m elected as the talent of the year is also a reward for their efforts. Secondly, I want to thank my parents and my girlfriend; they know what it’s like to live with a cyclist who focusses that hard on his job. I also want to thank the entire staff of Lotto Soudal and especially manager Marc Sergeant who gives young riders the opportunity and who guides us as good as possible to make sure we can develop into worthy professionals. Off course I also want to thank my co-riders of which several belong to the world top. Training and working together on a daily basis gives a young rider the opportunity to learn from the best and set small steps forward.”

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