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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. - Bill Gates

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Revolutions Champion League series finishes in London

Apologies, I'm a couple of days late with this. Here's Team Sky's report:

Ian Stannard and Andy Fenn flew the flag for Team Sky as the inaugural Revolution Champions League series culminated at the Lee Valley Velopark.
The Olympic venue provided a spectacular backdrop across three sessions of racing as WorldTour squads again pitted themselves against the UK and world's track cycling elite.

Continuing their success from the opening round in Manchester, JLT Condor claimed the series victory as their battle with Team Pedalsure went down to the wire in London.

Stannard, back on the track for the first time in 12 months, looked to enliven the early racing but admitted to finding the off-season action tough. For Fenn the race represented his final outing for Team Sky before heading to the new Aqua Blue Sport outfit in 2017.

"It's a great event," said Fenn. "I know these Revolution Series are getting bigger and bigger and this adds another dimension to that. It was great to have a mix of the WorldTour teams and the British riders who are obviously the best in the world [on the track]."

Ian Stannard

Ian Stannard winning stage 3 of the 2016 Tour of Britain

After putting up a battling performance Team Sky slipped down the standings late on to round out the series in eighth. Jon Dibben showed a glimpse of what Team Sky fans can expect from the new signing with a rousing victory in the Saturday afternoon scratch race for Team Wiggins. He will now join up with Sky as the team head to Mallorca to kick off winter training.

Champions League final standings after round two:
1. JLT Condor, 343 points
2. Team Pedalsure, 330 points
3. Maloja Pushbikers RT, 230 points
4. Team Wiggins, 191 points
5. Cannondale-Drapac, 175 points
8. Team Sky, 123 points

And here's what Orica-BikeExchange had to say about the second round of the Champions League:

After last weekend´s Revolution Champions League opener in Manchester, the ORICA-BikeExchange duo, Sam Bewley and Christian Meier returned to England for the grand final of the event in London.

It was Bewley´s first time back in the Lee Valley Velodrome since 2012 when he won an Olympic bronze medal in the team pursuit. Bringing back good memories, Bewley lifted his game excelling in the scratch race finishing in a solid sixth place.

“It has been a hard but fun couple of weekends racing the Revolution Champions league.” said Bewley. “I don’t usually race or train on the track anymore however I have really enjoyed being back on the boards. It is especially nice to finish off the event in London, the last time I raced here was at the Olympics so it holds great memories for me."

For Meier it was also an important, sentimental weekend of racing marking his exit from the world of professional cycling after a long and successful career. “This weekend was my final race as a professional and my final race for ORICA-BikeExchange having spent five years with the squad.” Meier explained. “It has been a nice way to draw a line under things with some hard, fast and fun track racing and I happy I was able to plan my retirement this way.”

The two-day event was split into three sessions with three races per session, JLT-Condor continued to lead the event but with each race Team Pedal Sure closed in and eventually took the lead from JLT Condor p/b Mavic after the second session in London.

In the end, after a total of 18 races over two weekends the Revolutions Champions League grand final was won by the ever consistent JLT Condor p/b Mavic who claimed enough points in the final session to top the leader board.

ORICA-BikeExchange wish Meier the best of luck with his future and are grateful for all his work and commitment over the past five years with the team.

Revolution Champions League overall results:

1. JLT Condor p/b Mavic
2. Team Pedal Sure
3. Maloja Pushbikers
11. ORICA-BikeExchange

Team Movistar profiles new team member Hector Carretero

Héctor Carretero (Albacete, Spain; 1995) went through a certain degree of distress before his leap towards pro racing, as the 27th rider for Movistar Team, was confirmed for 2017. “Rumours were coming around for months, and after a first flurry of them I entered a phase where at times I thought it was done, and the very same day, I felt pissed off as it would never come. The last week before the signing was confirmed was really long for me,” explains the man from La Mancha, whose transfer was announced on the same October 24th his team-mates were gathering for the official pre-season meeting in Pamplona.

“Over at Lizarte, I started doing the same things I’m supposed to do with the Movistar Team: helping out my team-mates, work hard, learn fast and progress one meter at a time. That process will be significantly trickier here as a pro - the jump between under-23 level and the WorldTour is quite a long one. I’m perfectly aware that my work will be obscure, supporting the leader - as long as I don’t have a chance to show what I’ve got inside, which I’m sure will come soon.”

Outgoing, really genial, with a mood that conquers the others from the very first moment, he soon convinced sports leaders Manolo Azcona and Juanjo Oroz from Lizarte that he was ready for the big leagues. All three years he spent as amateur saw him winning at least once, rounding it off with an excellent 2016: five wins, including the Torredonjimeno leg in the Spanish Cup for U26 competitors, as well as a total of 14 top-ten finishes, including GC podiums in prestigious U23 races like the Vuelta a Palencia or the Volta a Castelló.

“As an amateur I was an allrounder, mainly because I’m able to keep good form throughout the season. I don’t know if I’ll remain so utterly unspecialized as a pro (laughs). My goals as a Movistar Team rider - I feel there won’t be much of a change, it’s a matter of remaining strong in all terrains, sticking well into the climbs… and above all, riding strong on the flat. How could I dare not being a good rouleur coming from flatland La Mancha, I wouldn’t be worth a place there!,” jokingly claims Héctor, who has stayed for his first month of training at the beautiful Albacete hills.

Carretero, who will take the account of ‘manchegos’ in WorldTour squads back up to three in 2017 -Sergio Pardilla, now at Caja Rural, was part of the Movistar Team in the last- and share races with the Herrada brothers (“They were like idols to me since I was a little child, big references as sportsmen and human kindbeings, people who triumphs all over the world and living just 50 minutes from your home; it makes me proud to be with them”), also has many people to thank a lot about his signing with the world’s top-ranked team. “First of all, Manolo and Juanjo. They were always telling me there was a chance, but it didn’t depend only on them, also me. There are many people qualified to take this step, and I have to bring them reasons to push so this opportunity could happen.”

“I also think about all teams, directors, trainers… who treated me so well since I took up cycling at the age of eight. I can thank them enough for all chances they offered me. Also, and most importantly, my friends and my family, for their support and help so I could make it here. Life would have been completely different without them.”

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