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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. - Dolly Parton

Recently completed racing:


Gijs Van Hoecke joins LottoNL-Jumbo for 2017

The team sent me this news:

Belgian cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke signed a two-year deal through 2018 with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The 24-year-old will leave behind Belgian team Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise.

"I'm already looking forward to starting with team LottoNL-Jumbo and preparing for 2017. Their way of racing suits me so I'm glad I'm going to ride for this WorldTour team,” Van Hoecke said. He is not the first Belgian to make the transition from the Belgian team to the Dutch WorldTour team. "I heard good things from the riders who made the same step. The team works on small details in terms of material, food and time trials. In these areas, I can certainly improve."

The team views him as young, but experienced rider. "Van Hoecke turned professional at a young age,” Technical Director Nico Verhoeven said. “First, he combined track cycling with the road. In recent years, he focused entirely on the road. We want to take the next step with him in his career.

"This year, Van Hoecke showed that he could compete in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. We want to use Van Hoecke in a supporting role in the classics. He can also help power the sprint train."

Steve Bauer becomes BMC's director of VIP services

BMC sent me this release:

31 October, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team today confirmed the appointment of Canadian former professional cyclist, Steve Bauer, in the new role of Director of VIP Services.

Bauer's illustrious cycling career included an Olympic silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles road race, a bronze medal in the 1984 World Championship road race, and nine days in the yellow jersey at the 1990 Tour de France, during which time he raced for 7-Eleven Cycling Team under the direction of BMC Racing Team General Manager, Jim Ochowicz. 

Steve Bauer

Steve Bauer (right, front) getting second to Eddy Planckaert in the 1990 Paris-Roubaix

Following his retirement as a professional cyclist, Bauer formed Steve Bauer Bike Tours, and later Cycle Sport Management which developed a UCI Continental cycling team turning UCI Pro Continental in 2011 and 2012.  Most recently he developed the programming at Milton's new Velodrome, the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Ontario, Canada.

Ochowicz attributed Bauer's appointment to his legacy in cycling and ideal personality for the role.

"With TAG Heuer coming on board as an important partner of BMC Racing Team from 2017 we felt it was the right time to bring someone on to oversee our VIP services and Steve Bauer was an easy choice to make. Steve has exactly the right profile and personality to welcome our guests at races throughout the season, and with his vast knowledge of cycling he will be a great ambassador for BMC Racing Team," Ochowicz said.

"Steve raced for 7-Eleven Cycling Team when TAG Heuer was a sponsor so it's great to welcome Steve back at the same time that we welcome TAG Heuer back in cycling."

Bauer is excited to take on a new challenge within the world of cycling. "I'm super excited to take this challenge which really came out of the blue. Through Steve Bauer Bike Tours we're always hosting VIPs so when Jim Ochowicz phoned me it seemed to be a great fit. I know the sport well, I'm passionate about the sport, logistics and hosting people in an on the road environment is something that I've already done and just being familiar with the BMC Racing Team group is what attracted me to the role," Bauer explained.

"To come back into WorldTour cycling is extremely exciting, especially with such a high level team. BMC Racing Team is obviously one of the top teams on the WorldTour. I'm certainly looking forward to meeting the TAG Heuer team and all of the partners and the people that they'll be bringing to the events. It's a great opportunity and certainly also a challenge, for me personally and also the team, to fulfil VIP services within the sport environment."

Lampre-Merida's final Tour of Hainan comments

Here's the team's final 2016 road race report:

It was the last race day on the road for LAMPRE-MERIDA in 2016.

Roberto Ferrari tried to finally achieve victory in the final stage of the tour of Hainan, crossing the finish line in 2nd position, once again preceded by the unbeatable Walscheid.

The 9th stage of the Chinese race was originally programmed on the distance of 145,5 km with start from Qiongzhong and arrival in Wangning Xinglong, however the flood caused by the pouring rain forced the organizers to change the course, so the riders covered the same course of the first stage, 88,3 km from Wangning to Xinglong.

The main breakaway of the race had four members (Stosz, Zhang Zheng, Kasianov and Bratashchuk) who went clear in the early kilometers of the course, however their maximum advantage was of 2’ because of the control of the sprinters’ teams in the head of the peloton.

LAMPRE-MERIDA’s cyclists focused their attention on supporting Roberto Ferrari, covering him in the bunch in order to avoid the pitfalls caused by the strong wind, and they eventually gave their contribution in the final part of the stage to Giant-Alpecin in neutralizing the breakaway at -5 km.

In the final sprint, Ferrari realized a good performance, however he could not overtake Walscheid: the Italian rider was 2nd, the German one obtained his 5th success.

LAMPRE-MERIDA’s last race in the season gave to blue-fuchsia-green colors the 2nd place (Niemiec) and the 3rd place (Mohoric) in the final general classification of the Chinese race, in addition to one stage victory and to the success in the teams overall standing.

“Nine stages and nine days of satisfactions – sports director Pedrazzini commented – I’m happy for the dedication of our riders which allowed us to have two cyclists on the podium of the final general classification, in addition to one stage victory and to the success in the team's general classification.

The crash of Mohoric in the eight stage prevented us from aiming for victory in the general classification, this is our only regret”.

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