Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
February 23, 2016
Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates
- February 23 - 25: Tour de la Provence
- February 24 - March 2: Le Tour de Langkawi
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.
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.
Newest UCI World Rankings
Here are the top 40:
Numbers in parenthesis are the previous ranking
|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|
And here's the complete nations ranking:
|5 (5)||GREAT BRITAIN||1082|
|11 (10)||NEW ZEALAND||597|
|16 (14)||HONG KONG, CHINA||395|
|21 (25)||CZECH REPUBLIC||236|
|25 (35)||UNITED STATES||215|
|27 (39)||SOUTH AFRICA||183|
|33 (29)||CHINESE TAIPEI||135|
|41 (40)||COSTA RICA||72|
|50 (48)||SAUDI ARABIA||16|
|63 (61)||DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||3|