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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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Upcoming Races

Here are the upcoming pro races ranked 1.1/2.1 and higher. We'll have complete results and reports for all of them. I will have lots of photos from Sirotti of the Belgian Classics as well.

Ian Stannard wins 2014 Het Nieuwsblad

Ian Stannard wins 2014 Het Nieuwsblad

Saturday, February 28:

Sunday, March 1:

Things Looking Up for European Cycle Commuting

bike-eu.com posted an article today explaining that several breakthroughs in big European cities are helping advance bicycle commuting. The writer said this is important since Paris is suffering air-quality problems, Brussels has traffic troubles and the public transport system in London will not be able to cope with predicted urban growth.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo wants nonresidents' cars banned from central Paris. She said, "In the four central arrondissements, apart from bikes, buses and taxis, the only vehicles allowed will be residents' cars, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles". Hidalgo wants to spend 100 million Euros on cycle commuting, also wanting to double the city's bike lanes and have make ebikes available to rent. If here plans come to fruition you won't be able to park a car in the city's center without a reservation.

Madrid has plans like this as well. Brussels and London are also planning significant investments in cycle commuting. Let's hope this is the start of a world-wide trend.  

Tinkoff-Saxo Plans for GP de Lugano

This came in from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Tinkoff-Saxo is set for Gran Premio di Lugano with a versatile team led by former race winner Ivan Basso. The Swiss one-day race takes place on March 1st in the hilly terrain in and around Lugano, where Tinkoff-Saxo is looking to play the part as main protagonist in a race with an excitingly unpredictable finale.

2012 Lugano finish

Eros Capecchi wins the 2012 edition of the GP Lugano.

"Eight riders will kit up in the distinctive yellow Tinkoff-Saxo colors. Team leader Ivan Basso, who won the race in 2011, will be accompanied by Manuele Boaro, Jesús Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Evgeny Petrov, Oliver Zaugg and season debutants Jay McCarthy and Chris Anker Sørensen.

“We look forward to GP Lugano with expectations, as we want to play a dominant role in this race. Ivan Basso is in good form and will be our team captain. However, it’s a race with different plausible outcomes for the finale, so we we’re fielding a versatile team in order to take into account that the race can be decided in a number of ways”, says Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director at the race Bruno Cenghialta, whose level of ambition is backed by the team race captain.

“My own philosophy, as well as that of the team's, is that when we go to a race, our goal is to win. We will go to Lugano with the explicit aim of, firstly, being the main protagonist, and secondly to win the race”, comments Ivan Basso, who’s racing in Lugano off the back of six hard stages in southern Spain.

"Gran Premio di Lugano features an undulating 185km route, which has historically favored versatile riders with an ability to sustain efforts in hilly terrain. GP Lugano has on multiple occasions been decided in a decimated group at the finishing straight into Lugano. However, the route offers plenty of uphill sections that can be utilized to unleash deciding attacks.

“It's a one-day race, so it's similar to a classic and being a circuit it is similar to a world championship. It's a demanding race that has two climbs that you repeat in each loop and as a result, we expect a tough day”, says Ivan Basso about the race.

"Sports director Bruno Cenghialta underlines that GP Lugano is a race, where the team must field different strategies in order to adapt to the race. “Basso, Paulinho and Hernandez are in good form and should perform well on the climbs. They also come after having ridden a lot in the mountains. However, the race is often decided among 15-20 riders in a select group of tough riders, where Boaro has shown to have good speed in the legs after a strong early-season performance”, says Cenghialta before adding that “the team will pay attention to the early breakaway. On a hilly parcours like this, the breakaway stands a better chance. Guys like Sørensen, Petrov and Zaugg have proven to be durable in these situations participating in long breakaways”.

"Race Preview

Number of stages: 1
Total length: 185km
Kind: one-day race on undulating circuit
First edition: 1981
Last year’s winner: Mauro Finetto

"Race Route: GP Lugano features an undulating 185km route, where a 34km circuit has to be tackled five times after an initial ride of 15km. The race revolves around the city of Lugano in the southern part of Switzerland, where the riders will have to tackle several shorter climbs on each lap. The race is often decided in a sprint amongst a select group of riders, but a lone rider breaking free on one of the final climbs also stands a chance as the terrain makes it difficult to catch a rider with punch left in the legs."

Cult Energy Back Racing after Equipment Theft

This release came in from the Cult Energy team:

"Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s participation in the French stage race, Haut Var, ended abruptly Sunday morning when the team mechanics realized the theft of bikes and equipment worth approximately 300.000 Euros. In spite of a thorough social media campaign, the stolen goods are still missing. However, with an incredible amount of support and practical help from friends and sponsors, the Cult Energy riders will be ready to take part of Saturday’s first Belgian cobblestone semi-classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

"The race is the cobblestone opener in Northern Europe and some of the big classic favorites use the race to test the legs and their opponents. Saturday, the race organizers celebrate the 70th edition of the race, which has been dominated by Belgian riders with 53 victories and among them are Nick Nuyens and Philippe Gilbert. Home turf favorite, Tom Boonen still hasn’t won the race and he will be up against compatriot, Gilbert, Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, former winner of the race Sep Vanmarcke and last year’s winner Ian Stannard.

"About Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s chances in the race DS, Luke Roberts says: “If you’re not targeting at least a top-10 position, you’re not really in the race and we have a few riders capable of finishing with the best. Russell Downing and Martin Mortensen have both trained hard over the winter and they know these races really well so I reckon they will have the best chances for a top position. However, the rest of the group still lack the race kilometers and the experience on the cobbles but they’re motivated and we want to take part of the development of the race to show we’re in there,” says Roberts to underline the fact that he’s continuing the aggressive way of racing.

"The line-up: Russell Downing, Michael Carbel, Alex Kirsch, Martin Mortensen, Michael Reihs, Mads Pedersen, Joel Zangerle and Troels Vinther."

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