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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 5, 2016

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

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant

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Giro d'Italia team news

This release came from Cannondale:

Joe Dombrowski on how he met Rigo, our leader for the Giro

I first met Rigoberto Uran at my first training camp as a professional rider. We were stationed at the Hotel Vanity Golf in Puerto de Alcudia, Mallorca. He didn’t introduce himself, but I suppose he didn’t really need to either. “Hey, Giovane!” in his Spanish accented Italian was the first thing he said to me when he walked into the room. I don’t know if Rigo knew my name or not, but “Giovane” was right. I was the baby-faced neopro and I was thrown into the deep end of pro cycling with Team Sky.

I ran into Rigo on several occasions that first year at races and camps. We were both part of the machine that is Sky, but Rigo never really seemed to fit the mold. In a team that obsessed over data and employed somewhat scripted racing tactics, Rigo seemed the antithesis. He was more about attacking on a whim than gauged efforts, and his charismatic persona could override any furrowed brows over antics that might have been perceived as, well, disruptive.

Joseph Dombrowski

Joseph Dombrowski winning 2015 Tour of Utah stage 7

Rigo left Team Sky for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step at the end of that year, and while we were no longer teammates, I still watched him in the races as a fan. I like riders with a bit of style, and on that front Rigo most certainly delivers.

Fast forward a year, and I had made the jump to Cannondale Garmin. As an American rider, an American team seemed like a good fit, and I felt much more at home. Later on in the season, the rider transfer market was in full swing, and I was asked by the team what I thought of Uran. I didn’t prod, but I figured there was some interest in signing him so I gave my opinion. Rigo is easy going and fun, yet the actions that shape his persona make him a natural leader, a guy you want to ride for without need for a big speech at the front of the team bus. Additionally, the guy looks like pretty smooth on the bike.

The Giro is coming fast now with the big send off at Friday’s prologue. Rigo is our leader, and we’ve got a strong team built around him. No grand tour is easy. The start in Holland will promise plenty of stress in the peloton, and the 10 climbs that summit over 2,000 meters will dole out suffering and high probability of nasty weather. Regardless of the circumstances though, with Rigo in the front seat of the team bus, you can bet there will be plenty of laughs along the way.

Rigo’s our leader going into the Giro because we like his toughness over three weeks. He’s a resilient, smart racer. Consistency is key to winning a grand tour, and that’s what I see in Rigo right now. He’s finished second on GC twice at the Giro, and has two stage wins. Hey may lack the raw horsepower of Nibali, but he’s a deeply intelligent rider. And as a person, he’s the guy the rest of the team wants to support. They love the guy.” - Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters

And Lotto-Soudal sent me this Giro update:

On Friday, 6 May, 2016, the Giro d’Italia will start in Apeldoorn. For our sprinter André Greipel it will be his fourth participation. The Gorilla already obtained one stage win. Also this year André will be the leader in the sprint for Lotto Soudal. There are six or seven sprint opportunities so the German from Rostock will certainly try to do something.

Andre Greipel

André Greipel

André Greipel: “I already obtained a few nice results during my previous participations in the Giro. It was clear since the beginning of the season that I would ride more or less the same races as last year, the Giro being one of them. We’ll again try to obtain a stage win, just like last year. In my opinion, there are six or seven opportunities and I hope to win at least one of them. The most important competitors will be some respected names such as Sacha Modolo, Marcel Kittel and Elia Viviani. But also a few young talents like Caleb Ewan and Jakub Mareczko will try to show themselves.”

“The past few months were quite hard for me. Maybe this was even the hardest spring of my career so far. It became a period with a lot of injuries and crashes, I never felt superb during the races. Last week I came back in competition in the Tour of Turkey after a rest period. The goal was to get some race rhythm and to participate in the sprint. I won a stage mainly due to a very strong team performance. I think that the condition is okay and that I’ll be able to perform well. I also hope for a bit of luck and that I won't be involved in a crash. The weather forecast is good for the opening weekend in Holland and that’s always a positive thing.”

“We won’t aim for the points jersey beforehand. Firstly, we’re going to try to win a stage. But when you perform well in the important stages, the points will follow automatically. It will also depend on how the race will evolve of course. We’re going to Italy with an atypical team. Greg Henderson and Marcel Sieberg won’t participate, they had a hard time during the spring Classics. Nevertheless, some other very experienced riders such as Adam Hansen and Lars Bak will be part of the team. Also Jürgen Roelandts already proved that he’s able to play an important role in the sprint preparation. A young rider like Sean De Bie will also give his all and he’ll certainly show himself.”

And here's Giant-Alpecin's Giro update:

This Friday the first Grand Tour of the season kicks off in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, only a few steps away from the team's Service Course. The 9.8km opening time trial will be followed by two more stages in Holland before the race moves back home to Italy. 

Nikias Arndt (GER): "The Giro is a tough race, but I like it and it has several opportunities for us as a team. The goal for me is to make the best out of the sprint stages, where I will have some chances already during the first week.

"After the first week of racing it becomes a bit harder and I personally hope that I can get some good results on the tougher sprint stages, where some of the fast guys don't make it to the finish in the reduced bunch. I am in good shape at the moment and we will take it day by day. I just arrived yesterday and I felt a good spirit within the team. It's going to be hard but I think that we have what it takes to get some strong results."

Nikia Arndt

Nikias Arndt

Tom Dumoulin (NED): "The Giro is very special this year with the start in the Netherlands. Utrecht last year was amazing, it was like riding through a wall of noise. I couldn't even hear the radio properly and I hope I can get that same feeling again this year.

"The general classification won't be my target for this year's edition. I will be focusing primarily on the time trials on stage one and stage nine, as well as the uphill time trial, which should suit me very well. If you want to go for the overall classification in a Grand Tour these days you need specific preparation and have to go to altitude camp.

"I haven't done the recon of the time trial yet. Tomorrow will be the first time. Last week, in Romandie I only saw the course in the morning of the time trial itself. I did it one time on the bike and once in the car and that was sufficient. I’m confident with this approach."

Chad Haga (USA): "I am still not in perfect shape yet, but I am satisfied at the moment. Every race that goes by I get a bit more comfortable. I am able to hold my position better and get my job done without thinking so much about the risk of crashing.

"For this year's Giro, I would like to get a result at some point and I will take each opportunity as they come. If I can just accomplish everything that I am capable of and hold nothing back I will be happy.

"Of course, it would be amazing if Tom gets the pink jersey. It would be a win first of all for the team and the first for Tom this year. If we get to ride in support of that it would be really great, but it is only one stage out of 21 so they will still be plenty of opportunities to get a result."

Marc Reef (NED): "Our target is to go for a stage victory. We'll have different opportunities in the time trials and the sprint stages. With a strong line-up of riders we will be able to support this in terms of chasing down the breaks and also for the lead-outs. On top of that, we will apply an offensive strategy to aim for stage results from possible breakaways that survive until the end with guys like Tobias, Chad and Georg." 

Bardiani & CSF renew team sponsorship

This good news came from the team:

Bardiani Valvole and CSF Inox, title sponsors of the #GreenTeam, are pleased to announce the sponsorship renewal for 2017 and 2018 seasons. For the team led by Bruno and Roberto Reverberi is an important confirmation to strengthen the only and completely made in Italy entity as well, since many years, an hotbed of talents.

For Luca Bardiani, Chairman and CEO, and Emanuela Bardiani, Managing Director, the choice to continue the partnership with the #GreenTeam is a natural consequences of the path took up in 2013.

“After four years we feel that #GreenTeam project, launched together with CSF Inox and Reverberi family, reached only half of its potential. Team’s features and ethic values are widely recognized, now it’s the moment to get them stronger. We see a valuable human capital who deserves to be supported. We’ll do as much as possible to allow the team to grow again” said Luca Bardiani.

“We decided to continue the sponsorship to aim for new and more important goals. For our family, cycling means passion and investment. It’s an extraordinary instrument to promote our brand. In our company there’s a strong sense of belonging to the team, and we’re really proud of this. At the same time, we have great results in terms of return of image. Wherever you look our choice, it’s winning” reaffirmed Emanuela Bardiani.

For CSF Inox, supporter of Reverberi’s teams since thirty years, its a choice that follows the tradition, as explained by group President Cav. Rolando Paterlini and CEO Andrea Ferrari.

“Our group has grown at the same speed of the teams we sponsored. Now, with #GreenTeam project, we’re sure we have brought our relationship to a higher level. We launched a sport team with a strong identity and we’re happy we can strengthen it with Bardiani. We extended this synergy because we feel the team, and our companies as well, can reach again great successes” explained Cav. Paterlini.

“The passion for cycling has been the flame of the partnership between CSF Inox and Reverberi family, but the success of the investment allows to keep it alive. We really believe in the #GreenTeam, we invest money and energies, we are proud of it. We have the same values and the same working method. Deciding to continue together has been a natural choice” added Andrea Ferrari.

“First of all we want to thank sincerely Bardiani family and CSF Inox founders Rolando Paterlini, Aldo Pattacini and Ettore Cattelani having trust in our work” said Bruno and Roberto Reverberi. “During the 35 years of our sports group, this partnership is one of the strongest and more ambitious. Modern cycling is always more and more global and competitive, it’s hard to create a project built on young riders and with a national footprint. Especially for medium dimension team as we are. We aim the #GreenTeam project can leave a more and more evident mark”.

Bike Sector in Russia Preparing for Difficult Season

This report came from Bike Europe:

MOSCOW, Russia – As the Russian economy suffers from a severe crisis Moscow’s bike show Velo-Park proved an indication on how the bike business is coping at the start of a new season. The move to a smaller hall in which also the Moto-Park show merged, signaled that companies were getting ready for a difficult season.
The 12th Velo-Park show took place from March 11 to 13. As usual the show took place at the modern Crocus Expo exhibition complex just outside Moscow. Though this year it moved to a smaller hall.

Shimano had a big presence at Velo-Park 2016 occupying a booth straight at the entrance. Normark, the Russian distributor of the Japanese parts maker, told to expect an increase in sales due to higher demand for maintenance parts as people buy less new bicycles. Next to that the Shimano distributor signaled a market shift to more basic bikes with lower level components. This could also spark demand for replacement parts during the season. The Shimano staff also told that repair workshops are being started. In particular in regions where people traditionally earn less than in Moscow or other major cities.

Striking this year was also that very few reps from Chinese parts makers were at Velo-Park. The reason is that currently lots of business with Russian customers is being done via webshop ‘AliExpress’. This online business could prove to be a risky venture as the Russian Government is preparing new rules on cross-border deliveries. Currently  there are no custom taxes for orders under 1,000 euro. This limit could be set as low as 22 euro;  which will kill online orders from abroad altogether. However, it has to be noted that that these changes are being discussed for three years now and that there’s no convenient system for paying custom taxes on noncommercial shipments and there are no signs of such a system being set-up.

You can read the entire article here.

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