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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, April 22, 2016

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

Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we'll find it. - Sam Levenson

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Philippe Gilbert will not ride Lège-Bastogne-Liege

BMC sent me this update:

21 April 2016, Chaudfontaine (BEL): BMC Racing Team today announced that Philippe Gilbert will not line up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège as intended.

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr Max Testa provided the following update. "After evaluating Philippe's condition today, including his fitness level and the pain from his fractured finger, we agree that it is in his best interests to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège," Dr Testa said.

Philippe Gilbert

Gilbert winning this year's Tour of Murcia

"In Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne he hasn't been able to sit straight on the bike which has caused some back issues and early onset fatigue on the bike. After discussing with Philippe and team management we all agree that it is in his best interest to focus on his recovery before the Giro d'Italia which is only two weeks away. Realistically it doesn't make any sense to take the risk of a crash or worsening of his back pain on Sunday."

Although disappointed, Gilbert agrees that it is the best decision. "The pain from my fractured finger and the side effects this creates, including changing my position and being twisted on the bike, means it's not comfortable to ride, let alone race at this intensity," Gilbert said.

"After giving it a go in Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, I have to be realistic and focus on my recovery and getting back in shape for the Giro d'Italia. I can't race to the best of my ability or even help the team, so I'll head home to Monaco and recover well in the good weather and be back on my usual training schedule as soon as possible."

Joey Rosskopf will replace Gilbert in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège team.

French Sports Retail Chain Sets Up E-Bike Outlets

This news showing how fast the e-Bike market is moving in Europe was in Bike-Europe:

SASSENAGE, France – French multi-sports retailer Go Sport Groupe is launching a new chain of specialised cycling stores. The new retail chain is branded BIKE+. It has been set-up in view of, “The developing cycle market marked by a rising range especially with the appearance of electric bicycles.”
Go Sport Groupe operates more than 500 stores in France and abroad and has 4,600 employees. Apart from the Go Sport branded shops the company also operates Courir and Twinner stores.

BIKE+ stores are to be opened at locations with a high potential in the cycling market. Go Sport will also integrate BIKE+ as specialised ‘shop(s)-in-shop’ in already existing sport stores. The first five BIKE+ shops have opened their doors and are located in Paris and in four other French towns.

You can read the entire story here.

Giant-Alpecin reveals Giro d'Italia long list

Here's the team's news release:

THE FIRST GRAND TOUR OF THE SEASON, THE GIRO D’ITALIA IS FAST APPROACHING AND TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN CAN NOW REVEAL THE LONG-LIST OF 13 RIDERS FROM WHICH NINE WILL BE SELECTED CLOSER TO THE TIME.

This year’s Giro is very special as it starts in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, on 9th May with a 9.8km individual time trial, only a few steps away from the team’s Service Course. This is followed by two more stages in Holland before the race moves back home to Italy.

The 2016 edition should present the team with opportunities for more than one rider to compete for a stage victory. Two riders who will definitely be on the start line this May are Tom Dumoulin (NED) and Nikias Arndt (GER). Dumoulin will be making his Giro debut next month, aiming for a stage victory in one of the time trials. For Arndt, there are many early chances to go for a stage win with the flat stages in the first week of racing.

Nikia Arndt

Nikias Arndt is on Giant-Alpecin's Giro long list

Coach for the Giro d’Italia, Marc Reef (NED) said: “It is the first Grand Tour of the season and our target is to go for a stage victory in the time trials with Dumoulin. Secondly, our focus will be on stage success in the sprint stages where in the first week there should be several opportunities for a bunch sprint. Finally, when the stages become more challenging, we will use an offensive strategy and give ourselves and our riders the best chance for a good result.”

HERE IS OUR LONG-LIST: Nikias Arndt (GER), Bert De Backer (BEL), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Caleb Fairly (USA), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Cheng Ji (CHN), Carter Jones (USA), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Georg Preidler (AUT), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL)

Gesink will lead LottoNL-Jumbo at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Here's the note that came from the team:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo aims for a top 10 result with Robert Gesink this Sunday in Belgium’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic. Just like in the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, Gesink has Bert-Jan Lindeman, Enrico Battaglin and Paul Martens to support him in the final.

Bert-Jan Lindemann

Bert-Jan Lindeman will be at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

After his 15th place in La Flèche Wallonne, Gesink explained that he wasn’t explosive enough to finish in the top 10. For this reason, Team LottoNL-Jumbo is going to create a scenario where he can take advantage of his capacities.

“Robert is able to ride extremely hard for quite a long time,” Sports Director Addy Engels explained. “We saw on the Cauberg and the Mur de Huy that he is strong, but not enough to win. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a totally different race and I think that he can finish top 10 in it.”

The weather could help him. “They predict bad weather,” he continued. “It’s going to be cold and that will change the race seriously. If the forecast is right, the front men will be isolated earlier, so the finale of the race will be longer. That’s why I think that we have to choose the same tactics as we employed in the Amstel Gold Race. With bad weather, it will be harder to control the race, so it’s more advantageous to make a move before the final climb.”

“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is one of the toughest one-day-races of the year, especially when it’s cold and rainy,” Gesink said. “It will be a day of attrition probably and a many riders will be dropped. The front men will show themselves only in the final of the race. That was the story during the past Ardennes Classics, and it might look like we’re not racing hard, but the pace at that level that makes it barely possible to attack. I want to play a role in the race’s final and deliver a good result. Tomorrow, we do another recon. We’re going to take a look at the new roads in the finale.”

Line-up: Enrico Battaglin, Bram Tankink, Koen Bouwman, Robert Gesink, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens, Alexey Vermeulen and Dennis van Winden.

Sports Director: Addy Engels.  

Lampre-Merida will race Tour of Turkey

Here's the team's update:

During the weekend, Lampre-Merida will race in Turkey, where in 2015 Kristijan Durasek won the 2015 edition of the Tour of Turkey.

In this year's edition (21 April-1 May), the blue-fuchsia-green team, which will be directed by the duo Vicino-Righi, will line-up, in addition to Durasek, Chun Kai Feng, Roberto Ferrari, Ilia Koshevoy, Sacha Modolo, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Simone Petilli and Xu Gang.

The staff members will be the masseurs Conti and Negri, the mechanics Rinaldi and romanò and the physician Dr Pollastri.

"It will be difficult to repeat last year success, also because Durasek is recovering from the crashes which occurred in the Giro dell'Appennino - sports director Vicino explained - However, Kristijan is tenacious and he'll give the best to be competitive. We will also rely on good climbers such as Niemiec, Koshevoy and Petilli, who will all try to demonstrate their value in view of a possible participation in the Giro d'Italia.

"Modolo will tune his feeling with the speed and with the team mate Ferrari: last year, he obtained one victory which was prelude to the two successes he got in the Giro d'Italia. The Asian duo Feng and Xu will have freedom to join the breakaways".  

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