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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 4, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. - Desmond Tutu

Latest completed racing:


Team Sky announces clothing partnership with Castelli

The team sent me this update:

Team Sky are delighted to announce a new performance kit partnership with Castelli. The team will be the only WorldTour outfit wearing Castelli clothing and will race and train in the brand's kit from January 2017.

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We’re really excited to be able to announce this partnership between Team Sky and Castelli. Castelli will be more than a kit supplier, they will be an innovation partner. Castelli has a long history of breaking new ground when it comes to kit and design. We will continue to push hard to make sure our riders have the best clothing and equipment, and we’re already excited about some of the ideas Castelli are working on with us."

Castelli will supply Team Sky’s race kit, which will feature a brand new design for the 2017 season. The jersey design contains a mix of British and Italian influences, and the graphic celebrates every victory from Team Sky’s first seven seasons.

The classic Breton shirt served as the inspiration but has been reimagined in a data pattern with each stripe on the jersey, short, mitts, socks and cap representing a specific Team Sky victory. The longest lines are the four Tour de France victories, with Chris Froome’s 2016 victory immediately below the Sky logo on the chest.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome in the 2017 Sky jersey

Brailsford added: “We spent a lot of time thinking about our new kit and what we wanted it to represent visually. We wanted to find a way of celebrating the success we have had as a team, but also to make sure we keep our mind firmly on the future. As a team we still have an enormous amount of goals we want to achieve and, through the design of our new kit, those will always be at the forefront of our thinking. We’ve maintained the design elements which our kits have become well known for, such as the blue line, but produced something ambitious and unique to Team Sky.

“We’re delighted with the results and we hope our fans will love it as much as the riders do.”

Andrea Peron, Castelli’s race performance director, said that the performance goals of Team Sky are a “natural fit” for Castelli. He said: “Castelli and Team Sky share the same drive for results-driven innovation in everything we do. Team Sky has a structure and the resources to help us continuously give our athletes a performance advantage.

"Whether it’s aerodynamics, foul weather protection or solutions that let the riders train more comfortably, we’re looking at every opportunity for an advantage.”

Steve Smith, Castelli’s brand manager, said: “Team Sky’s relentless pursuit of results means that they expect the maximum from their technical partners. We’re looking forward to being pushed. But the Team Sky internal performance group will be an invaluable resource to help us make sure that every rider has an advantage every time he’s on the bike.”

The short dashes on the jersey represent one day race and stage victories, while the medium length lines represent multi day stage races, with the number of stages determining the length of the line. WorldTour races are blue lines, while non WorldTour races are white. The front of the jersey is made up of victories by 2017 team members with the exception of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour win which has a special place in Team Sky history.

Michel Thétaz looks back on IAM Cycling team

The team posted these reflections by team boss Michel Thétaz:

Editor's Note: 2016 is the team's final year.

The end of the 2016 season has arrived, and the record for the IAM Cycling team is quite extraordinary. They succeeded in capturing stage wins at the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Suisse, and two stages at the Vuelta a España! Nevertheless, the team did not succeed in finding a co-sponsor. Consequently it will not be continuing in the professional peloton into 2017, which would have been its fifth year. Michel Thétaz, founder of IAM and the eponymous Swiss cycling team, announced that it would disband at the end of the season on May 23rd, which was the second rest day of the Giro d’Italia.

The moment has come for Michel Thétaz to talk about the future, but not without reflecting on his involvement and investment in the world of professional cycling. “First of all, I would like to thank everyone who came from fifteen countries, all of whom worked for the same purpose, with the same vision and enthusiasm, which never wavered even in the final stretch. It was an extraordinary human and sporting adventure, and presented a unique opportunity to spread our brand values at the highest level.” The team was in fact the perfect ambassador for IAM and the range of IAMFUNDS.CH investment funds, which are now known not only in Switzerland, but around the world as well.

Matias Brandle

IAM Cycling rider Matthias Brändle

IAM Cycling has also offered a new impetus to the youth of Swiss cycling, giving them a leg up in their efforts to prove their talents in the coming years. On the strength of the team’s results in 2016, “the IAM Cycling adventure continues… but in different forms.” In fact, IAM will work along with the IAM Cycling structure to support various cycling events that will include the IAM Champex Challenge. That is an event that has already taken root, and will complement the partnership with “Give it all – Cycling for Children”, which is an initiative established by UNICEF at Crans-Montana, in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Since the team started in January 2013, the Swiss squad, which earned its place in the WorldTour, did so in a manner that testified to the truth that with the strength of discipline, patience, and vision, one can succeed without cheating or cutting corners.

Credit Suisse expects continued decline of Taiwan bicycle exports

This came from Bike-Eu.com:

TAIPEI, Taiwan – In the first 8 months of 2016 Taiwan’s bicycle and e-bike export dropped by 25.6% compared to the same period in 2015. According to Credit Suisse Group AG export volumes will continue to diminish in 2017; in particular to China. Bicycle shipments from Taiwan to Europe and North America are forecasted to stabilize next year.

According to Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Jeremy Chen, “Taiwan’s bicycle makers might see their shipments decrease by 10% in next quarter.” Credit Suisse kept the rating of the country’s major bicycle manufacturers Giant and Merida at ‘under-performing’. Both reported declines in accumulated sales in the first nine months of the year.

Main reason for the further decline of Taiwan’s export would be the weak global demand for low to mid-end bicycles. But especially the weak Chinese market is a, “Key factor that needs to be monitored closely as inventory levels have remained higher than expected.” The study of Credit Suisse was published by the Taipei Times this week.

You can read the entire story here.

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