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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym. - Bill Nye

BikeRaceInfo covered these now completed races:

Coming up:

John Degenkolb hopes to be racing again in under three months

Giant-Alpecin rider John Degenkolb, who was one of the riders hit by a wrong-way driver while at training camp in Calpe, Spain, might be racing again in under three months.

La Gazzetta dello Sport said that after having reconstructive surgery on his left hand, he should be be back to racing in time for some of the classics. He hopes to repeat his Milano-San Remo / Paris Roubaix 2015 double wins.

John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb in the 2015 Paris-Roubaix

Rafal Majka happy with his form

This came from Tinkoff too late to make Monday's news:

Rafal Majka crossed the finish line in today's Tour de San Luis stage [Saturday's stage 6] in seventh place, trailing winner Miguel Lopez by 58 seconds. It was a very tough penultimate stage with a demanding final climb, made even more complicated by a stiff headwind which gave the riders a hard time and caused Majka to fall with 6 km to go.

Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka finishing last year's Milano-Torino

A final 16 km climb with an average gradient of 7.8% and peaks at 12%, marked the stage from La Toma  to Filo Sierras Comechingones, a 159.5 km ride that put a strain on the riders that also had to battle against a nasty headwind.

A three-man breakaway formed today after multiple attacks but was brought back without any major difficulty by the group in the initial kilometers of the final climb. The peloton was fragmented at the finish with an all-Colombian podium, proving the good condition of the South American riders.

"The stage played out they way we had expected" - commented sport director Patxi Vila - "and right to the bottom of the last climb we were in a good position with Majka, Poljanski and Hansen. Rafal probably started a little too soon on the Comechingones, but he felt he wanted to give it a try this and that's fine because we are still in January and you have to test your condition. Later on, he had a minor accident on the climb when he was swept by the fierce wind. He had to make an effort to get back and he paid the price for it. Anyway, I think our condition is very good considering it's the beginning of the season and we are on the right track."

"Today I don't think it was too bad", added Majka, "we are happy with our performance, and I have to thank my teammates because they did a great job by keeping me out of the wind throughout the day."

"Towards the end I lacked some energy, however it is normal since we are in January, so I'm happy with my form being early in the season. Now we'll see how things go in the next races. We hope that Peter Sagan tomorrow", sums up Rafal, "can ride a good stage, because the course is very suited to his characteristics".

The final stage of Tour San Luis, sees the start and the finish line in San Luis, capital of the province of Cujo. A relatively simple and slightly hilly course, with only one KOM of 3rd category that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

Lampre-Merida rider Xu Gang popular in China

This info release from Lampre-Merida:

Cycling is becoming more and more popular in Asia and, especially in China, more and more people are becoming cycling enthusiastic.

LAMPRE-MERIDA, also thanks to the three cyclists who wear the blue-fuchsia-green Champion System kits and who ride Merida bikes, is aware of this passion of the Asian people for the cycling as sport and appreciate how popular are its three athletes Feng (Taiwan), Xu Gang (China) and Arashiro (Japan).

Xu Gang

Xu Gang

The proof of this cycling stars status is the appearance of Xu Gang at the "CCTV sports personality of the year" 2015 award, a very popular and important cerimony which was organized by CCTV, the most important Chinese tv channel.
Xu Gang (photo) was a special guest at the event which took place in Beijing on Sunday: Xu is a cycling hero in China, considering the five national titles he won in his career and for having been the first Chinese cyclists to ride for a World Tour team, when he was a trainee in Lampre-Fondital in 2006 season.

In 2016 Xu, who was born in Shanghai in 1984, will ride in LAMPRE-MERIDA for the third consecutive season, having recently extended the agreement with the blue-fuchsia-green team.

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