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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men do. - B. F. Skinner

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Tiesj Benoot extends with Lotto-Soudal

The team sent me this news:

Tiesj Benoot (22) and Lotto Soudal have extended their agreement until the end of 2019. The previous contract lasted until the end of 2017. In 2015, Tiesj Benoot had a remarkable first pro season, with his fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen as the most striking result. The past season, the young Belgian got struck by bad luck in the Ronde, which forced him to forget the rest of his ambitions for the spring. Before, he had already confirmed his talent by achieving some nice top ten results. At Lotto Soudal Tiesj Benoot will get the chance to further build his career in the next three seasons.

Marc Sergeant, sports manager: “The long-term agreement we have with our main sponsors enables us to focus on the future of our team. The confidence the sponsors have in this team, makes it possible to extend the contract of Tiesj Benoot until the end of 2019. It pleases us that Tiesj finds this team the best to further develop himself. He had a very promising start of his career in 2015, as Tiesj already showed his skills quite soon. At first, he continued on the same path in 2016. Just think about his good results at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and E3 Harelbeke. Unfortunately, he crashed during the Ronde van Vlaanderen. That was a huge disappointment for him. Due to the consequences of his crash Tiesj wasn’t able to set good results anymore during the spring. But it’s a fact that Tiesj will be one of the key riders in our team the next three years. By this time we already know his strong points, but not yet his limits. We are very curious to see him develop further. In our team Tiesj finds the perfect environment to grow.”

Tiesj Bennot

Tiesj Benoot

Tiesj Benoot: “My first season as a pro went well, with my fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen as a highlight. The Ronde is a race that appeals to everybody, so everyone remembers that performance. This year, I also set some good results: I got third at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, eighth at Strade Bianche and seventh at E3 Harelbeke where I finished in a group that sprinted for the third place. Afterwards, I crashed in the Ronde where I wanted to set another good result. The crash was the start of a hard time for me. Now I look back on it, I realize it had a positive twist to it as well. That period taught me a lot mentally and it’s good to go through something like that at a young age. It has made me stronger. The past season I actually learned more than last year.”

“Why shouldn’t I extend my contract with Lotto Soudal? I get a role at the side of Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere in the Classics. Lotto Soudal gives me an excellent guidance. All factors are present to let me grow at the right pace and to aim for the best possible results. In 2017, I will start my season the same way as I did the past two years. I will ride eight one-day races in the first half of the season. I will definitely race the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche. Then I will choose three races from this quartet: Milan-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. Afterwards, I will take part in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and then probably in the Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race. Next year, I will ride my first ever Grand Tour. When the spring goes as hoped, that will be the Tour de France. It was already decided earlier to participate for a first time in a Grand Tour in 2017. Of the Grand Tours the Tour is the one which matches my other goals best. The course looks nice, although I realize that a first Tour will mainly be focussed on learning.”

Ag2r reveals its beginning 2017 race program

The team sent me this list of where the riders will begin their 2017 season:

Note, the release also said that Pierre Latour broke a finger bone in his right hand and if my French can be trusted (not a sure thing), he'll be training on the road in three weeks.

Gediminas Bagdonas (Lit)
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (25 février) / Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Jan Bakelants (Bel)
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

Romain Bardet
La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février) / Paris-Nice (5-12 mars)

Romain Bardait

Romain Bardet on the Joux-Plane in the 2016 Tour de France

Julien Bérard
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

François Bidard
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

Mikaël Chérel
La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Nico Denz (All)
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (25 février) / Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Axel Domont
Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Samuel Dumoulin
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) /
Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février)

Hubert Dupont
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) /
Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

Ben Gastauer (Lux)
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) /
Tour d’Abou Dabi (23-26 février)

Cyril Gautier
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Alexis Gougeard
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) /
Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février)

Hugo Houle (Can)
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (25 février) / Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Quentin Jauregui
Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) / La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) /
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (25 février)

Pierre Latour
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) /
Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février)

Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Classic Sud Ardèche - Souvenir Francis Delpech (25 février)

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Christophe Riblon
Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) / La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Rudy Barbier
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février) / Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Clément Chevrier
Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 janvier) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 janvier) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

Julien Duval
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (25 février) /
Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Sondre Holst Enger (Nor)
La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Mathias Frank (Sui)
La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour d’Abu Dhabi (23-26 février)

Alexandre Geniez
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février) / Tour Cycliste International La Provence (21-24 février)

Oliver Naesen (Bel)
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) /
Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février)

Nans Peters
Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) / La Méditerranéenne (8-12 février)

Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)
Tour du Qatar (6-10 février) / Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février) / Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (26 février)

Alexis Vuillermoz
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (29 janvier) / Etoile de Bessèges (1-5 février) /
Tour Cycliste International du Haut-Var Matin (18-19 février)

Cheng Shin Tire to become Bardiani-CSF sponsor

The team sent me this release:

Bardiani-CSF Pro Cycling Team is pleased to announce a new deal with Taiwanese industrial giant Cheng Shin Tire. Team technical partner since 2015, CST decided to increase the level of its sponsorship acquiring the title of #GreenTeam top sponsor. Thanks to this new agreement, CST will be present on shoulders and shorts of team racing kit, as well as remaining supplier of tubular - Stradale - and clinchers - Conquistare and their new product, the Cito.

Bardiani-CSF and Cheng Shin Tire agreed three-year deal thanks the mediation of BIS srl, CST official distributor for Italian, Swiss and Austrian market.

Cheng Shin Tire is a brand property of Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., company founded in 1967 by Mr Luo Jye and now ninth global tire supplier with a revenue in 2015 of 3.67 billions US dollars. With more than 20,000 people employed, 11 factories in three countries (China, Thailand and Vietnam), three administrative & marketing headquarters (in Taiwan, USA and The Netherlands) and one research development department in the United States, Cheng Shin Tire is the largest bikes and motorcycles tire maker in the world. CST offers also a full range of tires for autos, trucks, forklifts, all-terrain vehicles and agricultural, lawn and garden equipment.

Thanks to this partnership Bardiani-CSF will fall within the prestigious and global framework of CST sport sponsorships to promote their brand, which includes, above all, Dutch football team AFC Ajax and Bart Brentjens MTB team.

Sonny Colbrelli

Sonny Colbrelli winning 2016 Coppa Agostoni in Bardiani-CSF colors

“This agreement is a source of pride for our team” said Roberto Reverberi, Bardiani-CSF manager who conducts the negotiation on behalf of the team. “It’s the recognition of the positive work we have done to build a credible and serious sport project, the #GreenTeam, focused on development of Italian talents in modern and global cycling context. Year by year our team has grown, acquiring solidity and distinction. All these factors have been recognized by all cycling’s stakeholders and became the key to conquer the attention of giants like CST. We welcome Cheng Shin Tire in our sport family and we thank the company for the trust they put in our work”.

“This new sponsor addition won’t affect the purposes of the #GreenTeam project and the Italian core of the team. The deal will just offer us the chance for a new quality step. We know that Italian cycling is not living a golden era, but it has a long tradition and a great, undiscovered potential. This is what we transmitted to CST and what convinced them” added Reverberi.

“The new level of the sponsorship between CST and Bardiani-CSF is the outcome of the mother company’s goal to conquer new visibility through a powerful vehicle like professional cycling. It has been a thought out and shared decision. After football -where we’re involved partnering Ajax team- cycling is the popular sport with the highest level of global visibility” affirmed Dr Giovan Battista Vecchi, manager of BIS srl.

“The presence of the brand on Bardiani-CSF kit will be the way for CST to diversify its advertising investments. It will be a new instrument of direct marketing to attract a large audience of fans, not just to cycling product but to the whole range of CST tires. We decided to carry out this strategy through the team led by Bruno and Roberto Reverberi as reliable partner and promoter of an ambitious and distinctive sport project. The positive feedback we received has been a key factor in persuading the Cheng Shin Tire management to boost the partnership” added Dr Vecchi.

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