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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 13, 2016

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Lotto-Soudal's Tour de l'Ain report

Today, the first of two hard stages was scheduled in the Tour de l’Ain. A very tough stage awaited the riders as they needed to climb several steep mountains. Many attempts were made in the first kilometres. Among others Tosh Van der Sande tried to get away, but the peloton reacted immediately. Eventually, three riders managed to set up a break. They obtained a maximum advantage of about four minutes. The race really exploded on the Col de Menthières, the penultimate climb of the day, as eight riders decided to attack. Bart De Clercq felt good and he joined the escapees.

The former break was caught a few moments later due to this effort. Afterwards several other attempts were made but everything came back together in the descent. About fifteen riders rode towards the final uphill parts of the race. Again it was De Clercq who showed his climbing skills and he managed to obtain a nice gap together with four other riders. Finally, Sam Oomen accelerated in the last kilometre. No one reacted in the chasing group and therefore the Dutch rider won the stage. Bart De Clercq finished nicely at the third place, Maxime Monfort was tenth. Sam Oomen is also the new leader on GC, Bart De Clercq is third at seven seconds. Maxime Monfort is eleventh at 45 seconds. Everything is still possible on the last stage tomorrow.

Sam Oomen

Sam Oomen wins stage 3 of Tour de l'Ain

Bart De Clercq: “Maybe I could have won today’s stage, but I’m happy with the third place after all. I tried to ride aggressively. I attacked on the final real climb of the day and only a few riders were able to follow me. Several other riders managed to bridge the gap just after the descent. I decided to attack again on the final uphill parts and this time four riders joined me. At the end, Sam Oomen accelerated and no one reacted. Therefore he was able to take the win. I’m a bit disappointed but I’m also third on GC and that’s a good position to start the final stage. We have a very strong team and we are able to control the race. Although tomorrow will be another hard day. When I have the same feeling as today, I’ll try to obtain the overall victory. The final climb is still far from the finish though, it will depend on how the race will evolve. Also Maxime Monfort has still a chance to aim for a good result as he’s eleventh on GC. The condition is really good, the team is in great shape so I’m confident about tomorrow’s outcome.”

LottoNL-Jumbo's Arctic Race of Norway report

Moreno Hofland finished third in the second stage of the Arctic Sea Race. In the Norwegian city Sandnessjøen today, Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s sprinter fell just short of winner Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin) in second.

“It was clear that this race was going to end up in a bunch sprint,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “We did everything we could to put Moreno Hofland in a good position. He was in Danny van Poppel’s wheel. It was a strong sprint, full of top sprinters. Of course, we want to win, but I think that he can be satisfied with this third place. It’s a good result, according to me.”

Danny van Poppel

Danny van Poppel wins stage 2 of the Arctic Race of Norway

“This is a good result,” Hofland said. “The final part of the race was chaotic and it was impossible to build a real lead-out. We anticipated well on that with the team and managed to stay together. Sep Vanmarcke passed me in the final 500 metres, but I chose to take Danny van Poppel’s wheel. We did a good job with the team and I’m satisfied about this result.”

Sharp contrast at biggest bike companies:
Dorel and Giant ‘Bleed’, Accell Booms

This came from Bike-Eu.com

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – In the first half of 2016 Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd. reached total sales of TWD 29,08 billion (€ 833mn). This is down 3.7% compared to a year earlier. The Giant financial results as well as these of Dorel Sports (Cannondale, Mongoose, GT and others) are in sharp contrast to the performance Accell showed over the first half of 2016.

Giant’s net profit (after tax) dropped by 5% to TWD 1.69 billion (€ 48.5mn). In the first half of 2016 Giant produced globally a total of 2.56 million bicycles and e-bikes.

Like Dorel Industries (‘mother’ of Cannondale, Mongoose, GT and other brands) Giant is another big player showing disappointing results over the first half of 2016. This is in sharp contrast to what Accell Group reported on its financials during the first half of this year. Europe’s biggest bike maker recorded a 10% increase in turnover to € 629.7 million. This rise was entirely organic. Accell’s net profit rose by 7% to € 34.0 million.

In the first half of 2016 Accell Group sold a total of 908,000 bikes. The average sales price stood at a big € 541; 23% higher on that of the first half of 2015. Comparing this to the average price per produced bike by Giant, the difference is striking. The average for Giant stands at € 325.

E-bikes and e-MTB’s are causing the contrasting figures at the world’s biggest in bicycle companies. In the first half of 2016 Accell benefitted from its early entrance in the e-MTB market. The turnover in e-bikes increased by 39%. E-bikes are now taking as much as 43% of the total revenue of Europe’s biggest in bikes.
Giant performed better in Europe in the first half of the year compared to other regions. The Taiwan based bike maker forecasts the European bicycle market to remain flat for the whole of 2016, “but e-bikes shall continue to see growth,” says its financial report.

You can read the entire story here.

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