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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, February 26, 2016

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

"Good-by," said the fox. "Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." - from The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

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Bjarne Riis to start new team

This from Reuters:

Former Team Saxo-Tinkoff boss and Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis said on Thursday he is setting up a new team he hopes will compete in cycling's World Tour in 2017.

Riis, 51, won the Tour in 1996 and was feted as the greatest Danish cyclist of the modern era, but subsequently admitted to having doped during his career. Known as "the Eagle of Herning", Riis has been out of the sport since leaving his post as team manager of Team Saxo Tinkoff in March 2015 following the breakdown of his relationship with team owner Oleg Tinkov.

Riis and tinkoff

In happier days, Oleg Tinkoff and Bjarne Riis

"I feel ready and motivated to come back to the sport," Riis told a press conference in Copenhagen, although he said he hadn't finalised how the team would be put together. "I will certainly be involved in a leadership role, as I have been. I won't be involved in everything, but I can see myself in an overall 'helicopter position'," Riis said.

He will be joined by former Saxo director Lars Seier Christensen and they will seek to develop several businesses alongside the team, including simulators and a fitness app. Riis's acrimonious exit from Saxo-Tinkoff was followed by the withdrawal of Danish investment bank Saxo as team sponsor, and Oleg Tinkov has said he plans to withdraw from the sport after the 2016 season. Riis came in for strong criticism from the Danish Anti-Doping Authority, which found in a 2015 report into doping in Danish cycling that he was aware of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in his team, but did nothing to stop it.

BMC's final 2016 Tour de la Provence report:

25 February, Marseille, France: Danilo Wyss crossed the line in second place in today's sprint finish on stage 3 of the Tour La Provence, behind stage winner Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-Quick Step).

Wyss came from behind to edge out Romain Feillu (HP BTP - Auber93) for second place in the bunch sprint.

Final sprint

Stage 3 Tour de la Provence sprint. Wyss is on the far left.

The 173km stage from La Ciotat to Marseille capped off a tough three days of racing, Wyss said. "It was a really hard day. We had a tough start with some big mountains and it was really fast. The final was also hard with some small climbs and the GC guys were trying to attack. We had five guys in a group of around 25 riders so we tried to work to keep our group away from the main peloton."

"Everyone worked well for me and I was able to do a good sprint. They launched the sprint really early and there was some head wind so I was waiting to go at the last moment. It was good preparation here with three days of racing. It was hard and it was good training for Paris-Nice which is my next big objective."

Alessandro De Marchi crossed the line in Wyss' group to remain in sixth place on the General Classification, 12 seconds behind race winner Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie).

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said it was a solid three days of racing at the inaugural Tour La Provence. "The plan today was always to try for the sprint with Danilo. In the last 25km we had really good numbers in the small group that went away and they all worked for Danilo in the sprint. There was a good level of competition at the race so we are happy."

"Danilo has good form going into Paris-Nice and Alessandro as well going into Tirreno-Adriatico. For us it was a good race. With Classic Sud Ardeche and La Drome Classic this weekend and then Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico the week after, I think it was good timing to have a race of this kind in the lead up to the next big objectives."

After a rest day tomorrow, BMC Racing Team will continue to race on French soil with Classic Sud Ardeche on Saturday 27 February and La Drome Classic on Sunday 28 February.

Mavic Owner Amer Sports Takes Over ENVE Composites

Bike-Europe reported this transaction:

HELSINKI, Finland – To grow its slow cycling business (-2% in 2015), Amer Sports Corporation has acquired ENVE Composites. Amer Sports reports that, “the US based company ENVE brings capabilities in carbon technology, and it offers operational scale and synergy benefits complementing our cycling category.”

The acquisition should accelerate Amer Sports Cycling business especially in the United States and provide further expansion opportunities internationally. The acquisition price is USD 50 million in an all-cash transaction. The ENVE product range includes high-end carbon wheels, components, and accessories for road and mountain biking with annual sales of approximately USD 30 million.

You can read the entire story here.

Asia's biggest bike show about to open

Bike-Europe also had this industry update:

Note: In the early 2000's we began importing a lot of high-quality Taiwan-made items. After decades of traveling to the Milan and Cologne shows, we finally made the journey to the Taipei show. We were greeted by a huge show floor filled with high-tech beautifully made goods. It was an eye-opener. The bike industry had changed. Oh, here's the news story.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – More than 1,100 exhibitors are lined-up for the 29th edition of the 2016 Taipei International Cycle Show which will open its doors next week on March 2nd. The revival of the European market as a main export destination for Taiwan’s bicycle industry will have a major impact on the show dynamics.

From March 2 to 6, 2016 the Nangang Exhibition Hall as well as the TWTC Exhibition Hall 1 will be home to the cycling industry get-together, which again takes place concurrently with the Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) 2016. Altogether both shows are expected to attract over 10,000 foreign buyers.

Most notable among the new exhibiting companies is the Japanese bicycle manufacturer Bridgestone. Unsurprisingly, two long time joint booths, the EU pavilion organized by the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and the France Pavilion take part in the 2016 show once again.

Click here for the entire story.

Lampre-Merida headed to GP Lugano

The team sent me this update:

One event in the weekend of Lampre-Merida: on Sunday 28th February, the team of the manager Copeland will race in Switzerland taking part in the Gp Lugano (186 km).

Diego Ulissi will be the captain of the team and he'll be supported by a top quality line-up in which there will be Mattia Cattaneo, Valerio Conti, Kristijan Durasek, Roberto Ferrari, Manuele Mori, Simone Petilli and Xu Gang.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi at this year's Tour du Haut Var

The team will be directed by sports director Pedrazzini, supported by the physician Dr Beltemacchi, the masseurs Della Torre and Gallivanone, the mechanics Bortoluzzo and Chiodini and the drivers Bozzolo and Luigi Saronni.

On the lake shores, Lampre-Merida obtained two victories in the 2015 season: in Gp Lugano with Bonifazio and in the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia (Tirano-Lugano) with Modolo.

"Ulissi knows well the roads of the Gp Lugano and he's in a good condition, so he'll be our captain and he'll try to achieve that goal that he missed in the previous races, when he was in the head of the races in the final kilometers but he could not complete the performances in a winning way - sports director Pedrazzini explained - It will be important to approach the race in the proper way, considering that it will be difficult to chasean eventual attack of more than 10 riders for those teams which won't have cyclists in the breakaway.

Cattaneo, Petilli and Xu Gang will control the first part of the race, while Durasek and Conti are inspired enough to be with Ulissi in the final kilometers.
The experience of Mori and Ferrari will be important too for achieving the goal"

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