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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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

Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates

Current Racing:

Upcoming racing:

Tinkoff headed to Langkawi

The team sent me this update:

Tinkoff is heading to Malaysia for the eight-stage Tour de Langkawi with a squad where young riders take a prominent role. Jersper Hansen will be Tinkoff's man for the GC and the sole mountain stage while Michael Kolar and Erik Baška will take their chances in a race that traditionally favors sprinters.

Jesper Hensen

Jersper Hansen winning a stage at the 2015 Tour of Norway

Tinkoff will rely on young but versatile riders and will field Jersper Hansen, Michael Kolar, Erik Baška, Evgeny Petrov, Michael Gogl and Juraj Sagan.

Jan Valach, Tinkoff's Slovak sport director, will cut his teeth in the Malaysian race as he will be taking a leading role for the first time since he joined the team. "I am very motivated and I will strive to do my best for the riders, the staff and the entire team. I wouldn't say I'm nervous but it is, undoubtedly, a big responsibility to be the head of the squad in the race", commented Valach on his new role.

"Tour de Langkawi is a fast race and out of the eight stages, seven are better suited to sprinters and just one favors the climbers. For that reason, I think we have the right mix of riders to tackle the race. We bring two young sprinters, Michael Kolar and Erik Baška, who will be the ones to go for the sprints. Jesper Hansen, who took sixth overall last year, will take the reins in the queen stage and will count on Evgeny Petrov's help in the tough climb to the finish. Juraj Sagan and Michael Gogl will provide valuable support in the sprints and the climbs as well as join the breakaways", said Valach.

With the bulk of the team competing in Europe, Valach considers the Tour de Langkawi a good opportunity for the young riders to prove themselves and get racing miles under their belts.

"They are sprinters and I consider it very good to give them this chance. We have seven stages where we can assess their form and there are plenty of opportunities for them to perform. For example, the second stage features two small climbs, with 15km to go. The second climb is three kilometers long and a selection will probably take place there, leading to a reduced sprint at the finish. There are also stages with fast sprints, for pure sprinters, and I think that Kolar and Baška have what it takes to have a shot in both cases", commented Valach.

Valach sees the shape of the riders on the ascent at this stage of the season. "Gogl raced in Tour Down Under and Dubai Tour and I consider his condition to be good. He's a skillful young rider, a team player and worked very well in Australia to support Jay McCarthy in the sprints. Kolar took part in Dubai and managed to get two top-ten finishes against some of the world's best and strongest sprinters. I think his legs are ready for a good result".

"Baška was also in Dubai and took ninth in one of the stages. I think that with a bit of luck and if we play our cards right, he could have a good result as well, and hopefully, together with Kolar get a stage win for the team. They are strong, fast and we will do what is required to help them", said Valach.

Hansen will head to Malaysia, leading the team's efforts, on the back of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and the high-altitude camp in Sierra Nevada. "Last year I finished sixth in the GC and my goal now is to do better. In Argentina I wasn't able to perform as I was ill but I now start feeling definitely better. I got speed into my legs and I will try to give my best for the team", commented the young Dane.

Hansen will count on Petrov's support for the shorter but all-important fourth stage from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands where the race is expected to be settled among the climbers. The stage finishes atop a 30km climb that becomes challenging in the final 15km.

"For Petrov this will mark his race debut in 2016. He has a long season ahead and the guys will work to place him with Hansen for the decisive climb of the queen stage. Last but certainly not least, Juraj Sagan showed his early-season form in Dubai, and I feel confident he will perform wherever the team requires it", concluded Valach.

Specialized licenses Hed patent

This interesting piece of news was in Bicycle Retailer:

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (BRAIN) — Specialized and Hed Cycling announced that the two companies are collaborating on product development and that Specialized is licensing Hed’s patent for aerodynamic rim shaping and design.

The patent, No. 8,888,195, was filed by Hed in June 2009 and was approved by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office in November 2014. The patent allows designers to predict and design in a stall angle to the wheel in order to optimize the wheel for certain wind angles.

“We can predict the angle the stall will happen based on the tangent angle between the rim edge and tire edge. What it’s predicated on is having the widest area of the rim being wider than the tire. With traditional road bike wheels, that’s not the case, the tire is wider than the rim. This patent applies to bulge-shaped rims where a rim is wider than the tire. That’s what we use to predict stall angle in a wind tunnel,” said Greg Kopecky, who handles PR for Hed Cycling.

Click here for the entire story

Newest UCI World Rankings

Here are the top 40:

Numbers in parenthesis are the previous ranking

Rank Name Nation Team Age Points
1 (1) Simon GERRANS Australia OGE 36 755
2 (2) Richie PORTE Australia BMC 31 485
3 (4) Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA Colombia SKY 29 405
4 (3) Jay MCCARTHY Australia TNK 24 370
5 (5) King Lok CHEUNG Hong Kong, China HKS 25 320
6 (6) Peter KENNAUGH Great Britain SKY 27 316
7 (21) Edvald BOASSON HAGEN Norway DDD 29 315
8 (29) Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE Spain MOV 36 307
9 (14) Diego ULISSI Italy LAM 27 305
10 (37) Arthur VICHOT France FDJ 28 292
11 (12) Marcel KITTEL Germany EQS 28 276
12 (7) Leigh HOWARD Australia IAM 27 275
13 (8) Mark CAVENDISH Great Britain DDD 31 270
14 (9) Andrea FEDI Italy STH 25 260
15 (10) André GREIPEL Germany LTS 34 255
16 (11) Grega BOLE Slovenia NIP 31 250
17 (16) Alexander KRISTOFF Norway KAT 29 250
18 (360) Vincenzo NIBALI Italy AST 32 245.75
19 (13) Michael WOODS Canada CPT 30 245
20 (15) Fabian CANCELLARA Switzerland TFR 35 239
21 (31) Thibaut PINOT France FDJ 26 223
22 (24) Gianluca BRAMBILLA Italy EQS 29 220
23 (22) Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL Spain AST 33 207
24 (17) Sam BENNETT Ireland BOA 26 205
25 (27) Francesco GAVAZZI Italy AND 32 205
26 (28) Wouter POELS Netherlands SKY 29 203
27 (18) Yukiya ARASHIRO Japan LAM 32 200
28 (35) Domenico POZZOVIVO Italy ALM 34 200
29 (19) Philippe GILBERT Belgium BMC 34 195
30 (20) Giacomo NIZZOLO Italy TFR 27 195
31 (23) Adrien PETIT France DEN 26 188
32 (25) Ruben FERNANDEZ Spain MOV 25 180
33 (74) Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ Spain MOV 26 175
34 (26) Michal KWIATKOWSKI Poland SKY 26 170
35 (76) Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI Spain MOV 27 166
36 (30) Dries DEVENYNS Belgium IAM 33 165
37 (-) Romain BARDET France ALM 26 165
38 (52) Tony GALLOPIN France LTS 28 160
39 (32) Aleksei TCATEVICH Russia KAT 27 158
40 (43) Nacer BOUHANNI France COF 26 157

You can click here for the entire ranking list

And here's the complete nations ranking:

Rank Name Points
1 (1) AUSTRALIA 2410
2 (2) ITALY 1780.75
3 (3) FRANCE 1433
4 (4) SPAIN 1406
5 (5) GREAT BRITAIN 1082
6 (6) BELGIUM 951
7 (7) COLOMBIA 949.25
8 (12) NETHERLANDS 680.33
9 (8) GERMANY 653
10 (11) NORWAY 632
11 (10) NEW ZEALAND 597
12 (9) SWITZERLAND 583
13 (13) JAPAN 431
14 (15) RUSSIA 426
15 (16) SLOVENIA 417
16 (14) HONG KONG, CHINA 395
17 (20) POLAND 332.5
18 (17) KOREA 326
19 (18) CANADA 304
20 (19) IRAN 298
21 (25) CZECH REPUBLIC 236
22 (32) DENMARK 233
23 (21) IRELAND 229
24 (34) PORTUGAL 219
25 (35) UNITED STATES 215
26 (22) MOROCCO 207
27 (39) SOUTH AFRICA 183
28 (28) ERITREA 177
29 (27) ARGENTINA 169.5
30 (23) VENEZUELA 168
31 (24) UKRAINE 148
32 (26) NAMIBIA 142
33 (29) CHINESE TAIPEI 135
34 (31) MONGOLIA 123
35 (46) KAZAKHSTAN 101
36 (30) LITHUANIA 98
37 (33) BELARUS 95
38 (37) AUSTRIA 87
39 (36) LATVIA 80
40 (38) VIETNAM 75
41 (40) COSTA RICA 72
42 (41) ESTONIA 53
43 (42) ALGERIA 53
44 (43) EGYPT 51.65
45 (49) LUXEMBOURG 49
46 (44) KYRGYZSTAN 25
47 (45) SWEDEN 20
48 (-) PHILIPPINES 19
49 (47) SLOVAKIA 18
50 (48) SAUDI ARABIA 16
51 (50) RWANDA 16
52 (51) ALBANIA 13
53 (52) THAILAND 10
54 (53) ETHIOPIA 10
55 (54) MEXICO 9
56 (55) TUNISIA 6
57 (56) URUGUAY 6
58 (57) UZBEKISTAN 5
59 (-) INDONESIA 3
60 (58) INDIA 3
61 (59) BRAZIL 3
62 (60) CAMEROON 3
63 (61) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 3

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