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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, January 8, 2016

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

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. - Plutarch

Paddy Bevin wins New Zealand time trial title

This news just came from Cannondale:

Paddy Bevin has been billed as one to watch in his first year in the WorldTour and on Friday he showed the rationale behind the hype as he stormed to victory in the individual time trial at the Big Save Elite Road Championships in New Zealand.

Best known for his prowess in the fast finishes, Bevin wouldn’t be the first Kiwi name to spring to mind for a top time trial result, but the technical nature of the 40-kilometer course worked to his advantage.

Paddy Bevin racing to New Zealand time trial championship

Paddy Bevin racing to becoming New Zealand time trial champ

The 24-year-old targeted the race against the clock as his first early season goal, and with a time of 52:21, he easily overpowered his opposition. Thomas Sully (Drapac) was 1:13 back in second place. Bevin’s former teammate, Joe Cooper (Avanti IsoWhey), rounded at the podium at 1:41.

“It’s a great way to get a run on the board in the first day of the year,” said Bevin. “For me, coming up, making the step, it’s just nice to come in straight away and put my hand up and say: ‘Look, here I am.’ Personally, it was really good to take the win. It was an early season goal and fits in nicely for how the season builds. Obviously for the team, it’s a positive way to start the season.”

“Versatility is a strength I need to have as I make the step up,” Bevin added. “Races get harder and harder and harder. Even if you want to be a sprinter, you have to be good just to make it to the finish. Part of it is training, goal selection, race selection. This time trial is one I circled. It suits me.”

Bevin posted the quickest times from start to finish but said even when he had 20 seconds up at the first intermediate split, he couldn’t relax. The tough course was demanding until the very end.

“It was a really tough day,” said Bevin. “The way you saw the splits come away was a testament to that. It was never sealed. You could have a bad moment and lose time at any point. It was about keeping the rhythm and making sure you had enough to go the whole distance because you had to make something of every meter of that course.”

While doing the double is rare, Bevin remains upbeat about his chances to defend his road title in Sunday’s race.

“It’s a hard one to read,” Bevin noted. “Compared to Christchurch [last year], it opens up a multitude of different ways it can be raced, it can be ridden and it can be won. You have the team aspect and the course aspect, but someone has to cross the line first.”

“I go in with a plan and a few different cards to play,” Bevin added. “If it goes my way, let’s have a go. It would be a big one to back up – two from two.” 

Team Giant-Alpecin presented

The team sent me this news:

Berlin, Germany — Team Giant-Alpecin and Team Liv-Plantur were presented to the media and guests today at the Italian Embassy in Berlin. Team Giant-Alpecin chose the capital of Germany, where the team’s WorldTour license is registered, as the location of the Team Launch for the second year in a row.

Team Giant-Alpecin

Teams Giant-Alpecin and Liv-Plantur at the 2016 presentation

The Ambassador of Italy, H.E. Pietro Benassi, officially opened the presentation in a setting offering a strong association with the history of cycling. Italy has brought the world legendary riders and monumental races such as the Giro d’Italia and Milan–San Remo, as well as the passion of the tifosi and a commitment to extending that passion for cycling to new areas all over the world.

The 2016 lineups of the men’s and women’s teams were presented to the audience, along with the full roster of partners. Title partners Giant and Alpecin and current partner Sunweb have been joined by Renson, the trendsetting Belgian manufacturer of ventilation systems, sun shading systems and terrace covers, as a new key partner for 2016 and beyond.

Team Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: “This year we are continuing to work with a young group of riders who will further develop within our unique elite sports environment based on the ‘Keep Challenging’ approach and principles. Alongside this we will have an enhanced focus on promoting the regrowth of cycling in Germany through grassroots development aimed at both German youth and young talents in the sport. So today is also an important day for German cycling.”

In addition, the team announced the preparation of its development program, which will begin in 2017 in line with the UCI WorldTour reforms and which has the clear objective of becoming the leading and most innovative program in talent development. The program will enable the team to provide a complete grassroots-to-WorldTour structure, offering opportunities for the world’s biggest talents and also ensuring that the best German talents can develop into WorldTour riders.

Spekenbrink continued: “We must thank everyone present here today in Berlin for helping make this a special day in a perfect location, the Italian Embassy in Berlin. It is a great way to kick off our 2016 campaign, and we are once again hugely excited about the coming racing season.”

Team Giant-Alpecin is also pleased to announce that it has re-signed the talented Floortje Mackaij (NED), a key rider on the women’s team, Team Liv-Plantur. The two parties agreed to a commitment of four years, through the end of 2019. Team Liv-Plantur coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: “Floortje joined the team two years ago, and we initiated a development process based on the long term. For us it is a logical decision to extend our commitment to work with one of the biggest talents out there. We consider her a product of our ‘Keep Challenging’ approach, and we are looking forward to continuing to contribute to her development.”

Mackaij said: “I am very happy to renew my contract. I feel very good at the team, where I have the opportunity to grow. Signing for a longer period gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve become stronger. I am still young and so is the team, and I hope we can continue to grow further as a team, too. I hope to show strong results in races that are comparable to last season’s victory at Gent-Wevelgem, and I want to focus on that, as it feels great to compete for the victory in such races. We’ve made a plan with the team, which gives me the structure I need.”

Presentation of the Giant-Alpecin team (in German for first 5 minutes, then it's in English)

Nairo Quintana will start 2016 season in Argentina

2015 Tour de France White Jersey (best young rider) Nairo Quintana will begin his season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, which starts January 17.

The race will be both a good test and training for the Colombian climber. The 2016 edition will have three mountain stages with a hilltop finish. Among his Movistar teammates will be his younger brother Dayer Quintana.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana wearing his white jersey in the 2015 Tour de France. Chris Froome is behind, in yellow.

China Pushes for Market Economy Recognition

Bike Europe sent me this news:

BEIJING, China – China is currently actively seeking to get market-economy status. Once that is established it will have repercussions for the current 48.5% anti-dumping duties on bicycles imported from China.

According to a report in the China Daily, Beijing expects to ‘automatically’ gain recognition as a market economy by the end of the 2016 by the European Union, the US and Canada based on the World Trade Organization accession protocol 15 years after China entered the global free trade system in December 2001.

Once such status is given, the developed economies would not be allowed to levy anti-dumping taxes against China’s exports by using a constructed value based on costs and prices from outside the exporting country.

It does not mean that the anti-dumping duties on bicycles will stop by the end of this 2016. The current anti-dumping measures on bicycles imported from China into the EU member states run up to June 2018. Before the end of that term it is expected that the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA) will lodge a requests to the European Commission for another anti-dumping review. The investigation involved in such a review will take up to 9 months and with that the end of the current 48.5% anti-dumping rate om bikes imported from China is expected for March 2019.

The anti-dumping duty does not apply to the import from China of electric bikes on which a 6% import tax is levied. The regular import tax for bicycles from China as well as other countries is 14%.

The China Daily also reports that the European Commission will give its preliminary assessment on China’s market economy status next week. While most EU member states have recognized China’s reform progress, it is said that countries such as Italy and France have expressed the difficulties they face should the decision go in favour of China.

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