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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 12, 2015

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

Giro, Milano-San Remo for sale?

The Italian paper Milano Finanza says that some of Italy's iconic races, including the Giro d'Italia, Milano San-Remo and the Tirreno-Adriatico could be sold. The owner of the races, RCS Mediagroup is being crushed by a giant debt of 440 million Euros.

Milano Finanza says that if RCS becomes unburdened by a lot of its debt and no longer owns the races, it will concentrate on managing the newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

This will represent a huge break with the Giro's history. The race began in 1909 as a promotion to boost the sales of La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The management of RCS denies the report and that the sports group is for sale.

1909 Giro d'Italia

La Gazzetta dello Sport has owned and run the Giro since 1909.

Matteo Bono extends with Lampre-Merida

Here's the news the team sent me:

Eleven and twelve! Adding the 2016 and 2017 seasons to his pro career, Matteo Bono will count 12 seasons with Team Lampre-Merida: the Italian cyclist signed a two year extension of the contract with the team of the manager Brent Copeland, the only team he has raced for in his career.

Four victories as pro cyclist, Bono is an experienced rider and one of the best domestique in the world: he's celebrating his 32nd birthday (November 11th) just after having signed the extension of the contract.

"It's an outstanding birthday, the extension of the agreement with the team is a perfect present for me - Bono said - I always try to give my support to the team, my first goal is to help the captains and I'm happy I can be helpful in leading the young guns of the team. I'm resting for a fewweeks after the end of a very long cycling season, which started for me in January in Australia and ended on October 28th in Hainan.

"I'm looking forward to start the new season, I'll begin training with high morale and being aware I'll be able to give help to the team for two more years. I thank the management and the sponsors of the team".

Matteo Bono

Matteo Bono

Lampre-Merida's team manager Brent Copeland said: "Reliable riders are necessary for strong teams: Bono is fundamental for our group and we're happy we signed a two year contract with him.

"Matteo spent ten years in our team, he's one of the best icons of Italian cycling in a cycling scene that is becoming more and more dynamic and international.

"Bono can assure confidence and experience which are key elements for adding value to the qualities of the team's captains and for supporting the improvement of the young riders".

More aluminum frame production coming to Europe

Not all bike production is going to China. Here's an interesting news piece from Bike Europe:

DOETINCHEM, The Netherlands – Next to the new Triangles factory for making aluminium e-bike frames in Portugal, there is a second frame facility in the making close the Europe’s main markets. The plans for that facility are now being developed.

Rumors are going round for some time that there’s another aluminium frame factory to be set-up in Europe. These rumours say that there’s a Dutch company behind it. This trade journal got the confirmation that these rumours are not unfounded.

Currently the initiative for establishing a 2nd alloy frame producing facility in Europe is in the early stages. As it seems plans are in an orientation phase. The company behind it is an industrial conglomerate capable of a multi-million euro investment.

Rumors on a new bike assembly facility being set-up in Portugal also seem not to be unfounded. This facility will have an annual production capacity in excess of a half million bikes. It is said that machinery is coming in now as the facility is already being set-up.

As reported earlier by Bike Europe, Rodi, Miranda, and Ciclo-Fapril are investing € 14 million in a Portuguese frame facility named Triangles, which will have an initial capacity of 450,000 aluminium frames. For phase 2 another investment of € 5 million is planned, to raise capacity further.

Investing and setting-up aluminium frame production in Portugal is a major move towards adding flexibility to the supply chain of the bike industry in Europe. Currently Triangles is also developing a project with one of the biggest producers of suspension forks. Production is to expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.

Ag2r-La Mondiale update

Here's my best effort at translating the team's news:

Ag2r-La Mondiale had 24 wins in 2015. And now the squad will have its first training camp at Oisans in Vaujany (Isère) from November 16 to the 20th. The riders will engage in physical activities and other preparations for the coming season.

Twenty-eight riders will be there. Canadian Hugo Houle and rookie Jesse Sergent from New Zealand will be absent. They will join their teammate in Gandia, Spain from December 8 to the 18th.

Ag2r

Ag2r time-trialing at the 2015 Tour de France

Here's the 2016 team:

BAGDONAS Gediminas (Lit)
BAKELANTS Jan (Bel)
BARDET Romain
BONNAFOND Guillaume
BéRARD Julien
BIDARD François
CHEREL Mikael
DANIEL Maxime
DENZ Nico (All)
DOMONT Axel
DUMOULIN Samuel
DUPONT Hubert
GASTAUER Ben (Lux)
GAUDIN Damien
GAUTIER Cyril
GOUGEARD Alexis
GRETSCH Patrick (All)
HOULE Hugo (Can)
JAUREGUI Quentin
KADRI Blel
LATOUR Pierre
MINARD Sébastien
MONTAGUTI Matteo (Ita)
PERAUD Jean-Christophe
POZZOVIVO Domenico (Ita)
RIBLON Christophe
SERGENT Jesse (NZ)
TURGOT Sébastien
VANSUMMEREN Johan (Bel)
VUILLERMOZ Alexis

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