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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Saturday, October 17, 2015

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

Racing schedule:

Next up: Two important races tomorrow, Sunday, the 18th. In France there is the Chrono des Nations time trial and in Japan, the Japan Cup.

New cycling audiobook

I hope you won't mind if I toot our own horn for a couple of paragraphs, but this is a project I'm really proud of.

We've got both Kindle eBook and Audiobook versions available now of Les Woodland's Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The rise and fall of bicycle racing's champions. David L. Stanley did a wonderful job reading the text for the audiobook version. Here's done several of our books and I'm really proud to be offering his readings.

Here's the scoop on the book:

When more than 100 men or women go racing down a road, inches away from each other, in all weather, over all kinds of roads, the opportunity for a brilliant win or a terrible accident is always there.

For more than a century, bicycle racers have sought glory, but have often found only misery. There can be only one winner, and even that triumph can be mixed with terrible loss. Fausto Coppi, coached by a blind man, set the World Hour Record in Milan during the war while the city was being shattered by bombs.

Cycliong 50 Triumphs and Tragedies

Tom Simpson was world champion in 1965, but by 1967, he was nearly a has-been. Desperate to win the Tour de France, he took an overdose of amphetamines and died by the side of the road of heart failure, probably caused dehydration triggered by the drugs that were to help him win.

Great joy and tragedy so close together.

Join cycling's most accomplished writer, Les Woodland, as he explores the heroic, sometime triumphant side of cycling, all the time reminding us that for every winner in cycling, there has to be a hundred losers. Sometimes their tale is better or sadder than the winner's.

We'll go on a journey around 50 sites of success and sorrow. Some of them, tragically, combined.

You can get the audiobook version here. Prefer to read it? No problem. the Kindle version is only $3.99 and you can find it here.

Do you just want to know more about the book? Click here.

The 2015 cycling season in numbers, from Lotto-Soudal:

Now that the season has come to an end, it’s time to draw up the balance. For Lotto Soudal, it was a record year. With forty wins and the ninth place in the UCI WorldTour ranking, the team can be satisfied with this beautiful season. Only during the wonder year of Philippe Gilbert in 2011, the team ended higher in the WorldTour ranking.

The numbers: Lotto Soudal became ninth in the UCI WorldTour ranking, where they quadrupled their points total in the second half of the season. From 206 at the end of May, when they stood eleventh in the ranking, to 832 at the end of the year. In the second half of the season, Lotto Soudal was the third team to collect the most WorldTour points, after Movistar and Katusha.

Second half of the season 2015 (31/05 – end of the season):

1.Movistar: 876

2.Katusha: 770

3.Lotto Soudal: 626

Together, the five best riders of the Lotto Soudal team collected 832 WorldTour points in 2015: 203 by André Greipel, 195 by Tim Wellens, 127 by Tony Gallopin, 106 by Bart De Clercq, 101 by Tiesj Benoot and Lotto Soudal gained 100 points thanks to the seventh place in the team time trial at the World Championships.

First Lotto Soudal rider in the individual UCI WorldTour ranking is André Greipel on the 24th place, followed by Tim Wellens on the 25th place. Both are the second best rider of their country in this classification (Greipel after Degenkolb and Wellens after Van Avermaet). Tony Gallopin finished 40th (127 points), Bart De Clercq 43rd (106 points), Tiesj Benoot 47th (101 points), Jürgen Roelandts 52nd (82 points), Jens Debusschere 80th (48 points), Maxime Monfort 96th (36 points), Jurgen Van den Broeck 108th (28 points), Tosh Van der Sande 154th (8 points), Boris Vallée 193rd (2 points) and Kris Boeckmans 208th (1 point).

Tpny Gallopin

Tony Gallopin riding in the fourth stage of the 2015 Tour de France

The record of forty UCI wins was established this year thanks to ten different Lotto Soudal riders. This resulted in a shared third place in the ranking of team wins, after Etixx-Quick Step (54), Team Sky (43) and Katusha (40). Last year, the team won 29 times with eight different riders. Next to that, a Lotto Soudal rider was able to finish 47 times on the podium. Both André Greipel and Kris Boeckmans became the rider with the most victories in their country.

The 40 wins:

The Lotto Soudal rider with the most race days and race kilometres of 2015 is Jens Debusschere. The West-Flemish rider has 95 race days, that’s a total of 15,875 race kilometres. Because of this, he’s also the rider with the most race kilometres of all WorldTour riders (only races of the category .1 or above and races where the rider reached the finish). Thomas De Gendt and Maxime Monfort joined him on the Lotto Soudal podium concerning the most race days, with respectively 90 (= 13,547 km) and 88 race days (= 13,512 km). Regarding kilometres, Debusschere wins ahead of Greipel (14,678 km) and Hansen (13,875 km).

This makes up a total of 210,910 kilometres for all the Lotto Soudal riders together. To outline this, we could make the comparison of a team training where the riders cover five laps around the earth.

GC record holder Adam Hansen finished the three Grand Tours this year. Due to this, he’s holding the record of completing thirteen Grand Tours in a row.

Evgeny Petrov renews with Tinkoff-Saxo

Tinkoff-Saxo is pleased to announce that the team has extended the contract with Evgeny Petrov. The 37-year old experienced Russian has inked a one-year deal keeping him on the team ahead of the 2016 season.

Evgeny Petrov notes that he’s pleased to continue riding for team owner Oleg Tinkov and looks forward to a new season supporting the team leaders.

"I'm very pleased to renew with Tinkoff Team for 2016. I have a long relation with Oleg Tinkov and it's always a pleasure for me to ride for his teams. I started back in 2007 and since 2013 I’ve been part of Tinkoff-Saxo. I look forward to supporting our leaders next season in all the races the team will need me. If I am given the chance to have a leading role in a smaller race, I would also be delighted. However, if I were to choose my key strength as a rider that would be my team spirit. I am proud to help in whatever role the team considers the most appropriate”, comments Evgeny Petrov after renewing his contract.

Evgeny Petrov

Evgeny Petrov

“The Giro is a special race for me and I consider it to be probably the most exciting of the season. I finished seventh in 2007 and won a stage in 2010 and I would definitely give it a go again in 2016 if the team thinks I have a place in the squad”, adds Petrov.

Evgeny Petrov turned professional in 2001 for Mapei and had two seasons on Oleg Tinkov’s Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2007 and 2008. Petrov has been a part of Tinkoff-Saxo since 2013 and has offered great support to the captains in several Grand Tours as well as achieved personal results including a solo win on the queen stage of the 2014 Tour of Austria.

Commenting on the decision to offer Evgeny Petrov another stint on Tinkoff-Saxo, Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh notes that experience plays an important role on a team.

“Evgeny is set for his 16th season as a pro rider and he’s one of the grounded and seasoned guys on our squad that can pass on experience to the younger riders. His approach to training and preparation is serious - that’s important at this later stage of a rider’s career and during this season it has meant that Evgeny has played an important role in supporting our team leaders in especially the hillier or more mountainous one-week stage races. We are very confident in Evgeny’s level of motivation and the fact that he expressed a strong desire to stay on the team is also something of great importance”, explains Steven de Jongh.

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