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

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

I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone's imagination. - Hunter S. Thompson

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Stan’s NoTubes wins court ruling in patent dispute with Specialized

This news was in Bike-Europe:

BIG FLATS, USA – In a long-fought battle between Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided to uphold a previous ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which had declared Stan’s NoTubes US Patent to be valid.

“We are pleased to have reached a positive conclusion regarding our rim design patent. The court’s decision further strengthens our patent portfolio,” said Stan’s NoTubes co-owners Stan and Cindy Koziatek.

Last February 2, the Federal Circuit heard arguments from Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized. At oral argument, the Federal Circuit panel appeared to credit evidence showing the industry’s rapid adoption of Stan’s ZTR™ rims and praise for their patented features and suggested that this objective evidence helps demonstrate that the claims of the 7,334,846 patent are valid.

This case began in 2008 when Specialized released rims that Stan’s NoTubes alleged to infringe their patent. Stan’s NoTubes decided to protect its proprietary technology by suing to stop Specialized’s alleged infringement. A judgment was entered against Specialized in that case in 2015. “Specialized redesigned its Roval wheels many years ago, and settled the underlying case this summer.  Accordingly, we will not pay a license fee or damages,” says Koos de Boer of Specialized Europe.

Click here for the entire story

UCI checks 90 bikes for mechanical doping at Med Tour, finds none

The French cycling site directvelo.com reports that at the ongoing La Méditerranéenne stage race the UCI examined 90 bikes, looking for hidden motors, called "mechanical doping". None were found.

Here's the story on Directvelo's website. You can use Google translate to render it into English.

BMC pleased with Greg van Avermaet at Qatar Tour

The team sent me this release:

12 February, Doha, Qatar: Greg Van Avermaet has secured his first podium place for 2016, finishing third overall at the Tour of Qatar behind Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

Manuel Quinizato finished in fourth in the General Classification and Michael Schär in tenth, setting BMC Racing Team up to take out the Team Classification.

Van Avermaet started the day in second, and Quinziato in third, before bonus seconds gained in the final sprint, won by Kristoff, rearranged the final GC order.

It is a good way to start the season, Van Avermaet said. "I'm happy with the week here in Qatar. I like this kind of racing. It's always a big fight to be in position and be up there, and I think it's really good preparation for the Classics and the rest of the season. You do a lot of speed work here, and at every corner you have to be up there."

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet at the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico

"The team did a great job here working together and making sure I was in the right position. I really have to credit their efforts here and it shows that our work together in the off-season at the training camps has paid off."

"Now I'm off to Oman where it is a little bit hillier and a bit more relaxed. Every day here it is stressful with the winds and the speed. There are a lot of stages for me in Oman, and probably some sprints better suited to me."

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato is satisfied with the team's performance at the five-stage race.

"We were of course still trying to win the race as we went into the final stage today, and to keep Manuel on the podium. It was a strange final stage with strong head and tail winds, so it was hard for the team to make the race really difficult, like we like to do. I'm really satisfied with the performance by all of the team. All of the guys were working well together everyday."

Baldato is confident heading into the Tour of Oman where the same team of seven riders will be joined by Richie Porte. "The guys are in good shape for the Tour of Oman. Greg is going well and I think Oman is a better race for him and Richie Porte is also on the way over from Australia to join the team. I would like to win a stage with Greg."

Lotto-Soudal headed to Ruta del Sol

I got this update from the team:

The 61st edition of the Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucía, or Ruta del Sol, presents itself as a very tough race where the climbers will get what they want. From Wednesday 17 till Sunday 21 February 2016 the peloton will ride in five stages through the beautiful landscape of Andalusia.

The first stage is a warmup. Three hills are on the menu in the beginning of the day, after that it’s a sloped course towards the finish. The sprinters will certainly try to fight for the victory. Day two will be a different thing. The first 160 kilometers are flat but afterwards the riders need to climb a steep hill, that is situated about twenty kilometers of the finish. No doubt there will be attacks, the punchers and the riders who can ride a fine descent are a bit advantaged here.

Stage number three is again something for the climbers. Four climbs are on the course, the last one is at fifteen kilometers of the finish. There’s a chance that the breakaway can last till the end, but also the GC riders will show themselves.

On day four, an individual time trial of 21 kilometers is scheduled. Underway there’s a tricky hill of one kilometer but with percentages up to twenty per cent. This time trial will definitely determine the positions on the GC. The final stage will be very interesting. Four mountains need to be surmounted and there’s an uphill finish. The fight for the GC will absolutely take place on this final ascent.

Lotto Soudal starts in this Spanish stage race with among others Bart De Clercq, Tim Wellens and Maxime Monfort. They’ll ride against riders such as Alejandro Valverde, Bauke Mollema and Tejay Van Garderen. Last year’s top two riders, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, will not be present this year. Rider Louis Vervaeke and sports director Bart Leysen give a little preview.

Louis Vervaeke: “My first race of the season was the Challenge Mallorca and I had a good feeling afterwards. The first day I was part of the sprint train of André Greipel and he won. It’s very pleasant to celebrate a victory together with the teammates, especially when you played a role in it. In the third stage I was in the right breakaway and I felt really strong. I tried to get away at the end but I ended up in the top twenty.”

“The shape is very good at this moment. Last year's Ruta del Sol wasn’t a success for me because I was involved in a massive crash. I had to leave the race due to a severe concussion. It’s quite clear that I want to perform better than previous year. There are a few stages that I like and perhaps I may obtain a chance to show something.”

“After a training week with the team in Mallorca I travelled to Torremolinos to have another training week together with Tim Wellens, Sean De Bie and Jasper Stuyven. It’s a bit of a combination between training and relaxing. My girlfriend came to visit and that was very nice. The weather is lovely, sunny but a bit windy though. It’s perfect weather to maintain the shape. Next week I travel from here to the Ruta del Sol.”

Bart Leysen: “I have the feeling that the course is slightly tougher in comparison with previous years. The second and final stage will determine the GC, together with the time trial. Stage two contains a heavy climb at about twenty kilometers of the end and on the final day there’s an uphill finish. There’s also a tough climb in the time trial. It will be a matter of chosing the right gear and losing as less time as possible.”

“We aim for a stage win, after that we’ll see how the race will evolve and who will go for the GC. Bart De Clercq and Tim Wellens are guys who can both handle a tough stage and ride a decent time trial. Also Louis Vervaeke is in a good mood, he showed in Mallorca that he’s ready and that he’s in a good shape. He’ll certainly have his chance when it’s possible. Maxime Monfort and Jelle Vanendert are the most experienced riders in the selection and they can guide or coach the others. Tosh Van der Sande is someone we can rely on in the sprints. It will be a matter of being awake from the beginning. If we ride like the previous weeks,aggressively and with dedication, we’ll have a good chance of winning a stage.”

Selection Ruta del Sol: Bart De Clercq, Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

Tomasz Marczynski will ride the Ruta del Sol instead of Sean De Bie, because Sean De Bie will replace Marcel Sieberg in the Volta ao Algarve due to illness.

Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Mario Aerts.

Stages

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