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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Friday, February 20, 2015

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Bicycle Companies Finally Attractive to Investors

Here's something I never would have expected. Bike-eu.com is reporting that managers of investment funds are finding bicycle companies to be attractive investments. The report notes that golf is losing some if its popularity to the benefit of cycling.

Bike-eu.com says, "Especially in the US this trend is alluring to fund managers because the demographics of cyclists is changing in this market. According to the country's National Sporting Goods Association roughly a third of the riders have household incomes exceeding USD 100,000 (88,000 euro) a year. This is 63 percent higher than 10 years ago."

Shares in Giant have risen 23 percent in the last year.

Lampre-Merida on Trofeo Laigueglia

Lampre-Merida rules again in Trofeo Laigueglia, obtaining the third victory in a row: 2013 Pozzato, 2014 Serpa and 2015 Cimolai.

The Italian rider, born in 1989, gave to the blue-fuchsia-green team the first seasonal victory and he achieved the first personal success in his career (he had obtained one victory in a team time trial in Coppi e Bartali 2010). Cimolai preceded in the sprint of a reduced group Francesco Gavazzi, Tsatevich, Montaguti and Felline.

Davide Cimolai wins 2015 Trofeo Laigueglia

Davide Cimolai wins 2015 Trofeo Laigueglia

The 2015 edition saw the riders compete on a 191,8 km course with two Kom of Cima Paravenna, the Kom of Testico and the hill of Colla Micheri at less than 10 km to go.

Lampre-Merida managed the energies of their athletes in a perfct way, giving the proper contribution to the chase of the main breakaway of the race (4 riders) that was neutralized at 40 km to go and controlling the situation in the final part of the course.

Niemiec was great in closing the gap on three attackers (Zakarin, Stortoni and Felline) at -1500 mt, Cimolai was amazing in finalizing the performances by his team mates with a success.

Cimolai, who turned pro in 2010 and he joined blue-fuchsia-green team in 2012, explained: "I always liked Trofeo Laigueglia, it's a joy to have won this race, especially after that two team mates had conquered it in the recent past.
The path to the victory began in Australia, where I improve my condition. Coming back in Europe I suffered for bronchitis that influenced my performances in Dubai, but when I came back to Italy I focused my attention on recovering the necessayr fit: I came here in Laigueglia and I had morale for obtaining a top result.
The team realized an amazing race, Niemiec was outstanding in supporting me in the final kilometers.

This victory makes me face the hard trainings in view of the next appointments, Paris-Nice and the Classics".

Tinkoff-Saxo on Tour of Oman Stage 3

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel was in the mix of riders sprinting for victory in today’s stage 3 of Tour of Oman. The punchy Dane, who finished 7th on the day, tells that he rode the stage with a dual purpose. He was aiming to secure a good result for the team, while taking some pressure off Sagan’s shoulders in the finale that was won by Alexander Kristoff. However, the stage turned out harder than expected as temperature in the sun rose to nearly 50° C.

Tour of Oman Stage 3 finish

Alexander Kristoff wins stage 3

“Even though most of the stage was pretty relaxed, it became fairly extreme. Our SRM controls said 48°-50° C in the sun, so we had to go back and forth to the team car a lot to make sure we had enough bottles to stay hydrated. I rode the sprint for the team today in order to give Peter a respite from having to fight for stage wins every day. So I took some of the pressure today and Peter rode lead-out for me instead”, commented Matti Breschel after the stage.

After the flat 158km stage around the Al Mussanah Sports City, sport director Sean Yates stated that he wanted to leave the responsibility to the sprinter’s teams.

“Looking at the stage profile, it was a day for the pure sprinters, so together with Trek Factory, they took control of the stage and slowly reeled in the three-man breakaway, which had almost ten minutes after 40k of the stage”, tells Yates.

In the final sprint, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) proved to be the fastest on the line thereby continuing his streak of wins from Tour of Qatar. Matti Breschel finished 7th.

“In the last kilometers, we had a strong headwind on wide roads, so it was tricky to get the timing of the lead-out right. The plan was to give Sagan a day off from his normal responsibilities, and together with Bennati he worked to position Breschel in the sprint. Matti did a good job and I think he enjoyed participating. I mean, he’s a fast guy and he’s showing good form considering the approaching spring classics. But we also have to give credit to Kristoff, who is bloody strong at the moment”, comments Sean Yates.

Matti Breschel is racing in Oman coming straight off the back of Tour of Qatar. With his favored spring classics in mind, he reckons that the action on the Arabian Peninsula is an ideal preparation for him and Tinkoff-Saxo.

“This kind of speed is what we need at this moment. This is a critical part of the season for Peter, Benna and I, as we’re approaching the spring classics. We had some tough days of racing in Qatar with a bucket load of wind, and here in Oman we’re also seeing some real racing. The team showed in in Qatar that we were the strongest together with Etixx-QuickStep. And yesterday, we took control at the front and positioned Rafal and Peter well on an important stage”, evaluates Matti Breschel and continues: “For me it’s important to ride and work together with Peter, as he’s our captain in the Classics. I can tell from looking at him that he’s in a really good shape, which also motivates me. He’s up there among the best on all stages, and it is margins that have separated him from the wins so far”.

Tomorrow’s stage 4 is the queen stage of Tour of Oman, where the favorites will settle the GC on the finishing climb to Green Mountain. Rafal Majka sits in 11th place, six seconds behind best-placed GC rival Alejandro Valverde.

Cult Energy Plans for Tour du Haut Var

This came in from Cult energy:

"Haut Var marks the first French stage race of the season and it takes place this weekend from 21st to 22nd of February. The first stage is launched in Le Cannet des Marures and brings the peloton through Provence to Seillens covering 164 kilometers while the second stage is 194.7 kilometers in and around Draguignan.

Linus Gerdemann

Cult Energy rider Linus Gerdemann in 2014 wearing his Radio Shack kit.

"The first stage holds an uphill finish but both stages are fairly undulating and a significantly entertaining race could be expected. Traditionally, the race has been dominated by French winners like Laurent Jalabert, Thomas Voeckler, Christophe Le Mevel and Arthur Vichot.

"Cult Energy Pro Cycling DS, Michael Skelde said, “Haut Var is a race that ought to suit us with two hilly stages, both of which will provide time gaps in the peloton. The ambition is to play an active role in the finale. I reckon we have a fair chance of getting a solid result. Fabian Wegmann and Rasmus Guldhammer both demonstrated in GP Etruschi that they are on the right path and we will try not to entrust other teams our fate. Even though the race is short, this is our first stage race and I’m looking very much forward to it.”

"Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s line-up: Rasmus Guldhammer, Linus Gerdemann, Fabian Wegmann, Troels Vinther, Gustav Larsson, Romain Lemarchand, Michael Reihs and Martin Mortensen."

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