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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

When I get a little money I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. - Erasmus

Latest completed racing:


Astana outlines 2017 team plans

The team put out this report:

Last weekend, a meeting of Astana Proteam management was held in Astana. In the course of this meeting, the team  management summed up the past season and outlined the tasks for the next year.

Along with General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov, the capital of Kazakhstan was visited by the Team Sports Manager Dmitriy Fofonov, as well as by Alexander Shefer, Giuseppe Martinelli, Stefano Zanini, Maurizio Mazzoleni, Dmitriy Sedoun, Sergei Yakovlev, the Sports Directors, and Bruno Cenghialta, a newly-qualified Sports Director.

As part of the visit, a meeting was held under the guidance of the President of the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation, Mr. Darkhan Kaletayev, where the reports on the current year results of Astana Proteam, a professional cycling team as well as Astana City and Vino 4-ever continental teams were listened to.

So, having finished the season with the win of Alexey Lutsenko at the Tour of Hainan, this year, Astana Proteam won thirty four victories, seven of which belonged to the Kazakhstani riders.

"I think we had a successful season, we won the grand tour with Vincenzo Nibali and won a large number of victories in other races. Especially pleasant fact is that seven victories were won by our Kazakhstani riders," Alexandr Vinokurov, the General Manager, said.

As for the next year, Astana Pro Team also expects many changes.

"In the course of the meeting, we showed a renewed uniform of the team that in the new year will get a more modern design, by maintaining, at the same time, traditional turquoise colour of jersey, so loved by the fans. We select Giordana instead of Moa factory," Vinokurov continued.

The team also expects changes with regard to bicycles. As known, the riders of Astana will use the bicycles of Argon 18 brand beginning from 2017.

In addition, it was announced that in the new season the team will include 28 riders, 9 of which will appear for the first time in the colours of the Kazakhstan's professional team. The issue on inclusion of one more Kazakhstani "neo-pro" into the team is under consideration.

In the course of the workshops, the Sports Directors also drew up a competitive calendar of riders for the next season. Thus, it became known that the main goal of the team will be the Giro d'Italia, a grand tour, where Fabio Aru, an Italian Captain of the Team will go on his marks. The Sports Directors are planning to appoint Jakob Fuglsang, a silver medalist of the last Olympiad and Miguel Angel Lopez, a Colombian rider as the captains at the Tour de France. As for the Vuelta a España, according to preliminary information, Fabio Aru will once again go on his marks.

Fabio Aru

It looks like Fabio Aru will ride both the Giro and the Vuelta

"Traditionally, it is planned to include the Kazakhstani riders, Andrey Zeits, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev and Alexey Lutsenko into the team to participate in the grand tours. Maybe, we will also try Daniil Fominykh and Artyom Zakharov," the General Manager of Astana said.

In addition, the date of a traditional team presentation also became known.

"We decided to make a presentation in honour of the 25th Anniversary of Independence of our country in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. I think, it is very symbolic, the more that the team wears its name. So we invite all in Astana on December 11 -  we will bring there the whole team, and it will be a great event, come!" Alexandr Vinokurov concluded.

Team Sky announces two rider signings:

Here's the teams release about Diego Rosa:

Team Sky are excited to confirm the signing of Diego Rosa for the 2017 season. The 27-year-old Italian moves from Astana after a successful 2016 campaign, when he cemented his reputation as one of the finest climbers in the sport.

Rosa has played crucial team roles at all three Grand Tours during his career and was runner up at the recent Il Lombardia, capping a season that saw him finish 10th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and win stage five at the Tour of the Basque Country.

Diego Rosa

Diego Rosa's famous stage 5 finish at this year's Tour of the Basque Country

Speaking after penning a three-year deal, Rosa hailed his 'dream' move and outlined his future ambitions. He said: "Joining Team Sky is a dream come true and I'm very excited to pull on the jersey. It's a big step forward in my cycling career and I'm sure Team Sky is the best environment for me to grow and mature as a rider. My ambitions are in-line with those of the team: to work hard together to achieve important results. I'm ready to support the team's leaders in Grand Tours and do well in the one-day races that suit my skill set."

Rosa is Team Sky's fourth signing for the 2017 season, joining Owain Doull, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Lukasz Wisniowski as new arrivals.

And here's the Sky Team announcement of Jon Dibben's signing:

Team Sky are excited to confirm the signing of Jon Dibben ahead of the 2017 season. The 22 year old becomes the latest young British prospect to join the team after an impressive year that saw him dovetail track and road programmes.
After taking a rousing points race world title on the track in London, Dibben then switched his focus to the road for the second half of 2016, securing a top 10 in the world championship road race, as well as eye-catching stage results at the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir.

With second place at the under-23 Tour of Flanders also hinting at a very bright future, Dibben joins WIGGINS team-mate Owain Doull and compatriot Tao Geoghegan Hart as Team Sky's three neo-pros for the 2017 campaign.

On signing for the team Dibben confirmed: "It's very exciting. It's going to be a big change and obviously a big step up, going from Team WIGGINS and an academy which is very track-focused, to go into the biggest cycling team in the world. It's certainly a large step up and it's a great opportunity to get into the big leagues and see what it's all about.

"Obviously I know Owain and Tao - they are two of my best mates - so it's good that we're all joining the team together. It's certainly a whole new environment and a different lifestyle. It's a big change and it's something I'm looking forward to."

We caught up with Dibben as he prepares to join up with the team over the winter to get his thoughts on a successful 2016, and becoming the newest member of Team Sky.

Team Sky: Have you been pleased with what you've achieved on the road this year? You've had some really strong results.

Jon Dibben: I think on the road it was a really good year. I hit the ground running at my first couple of races in April. I targeted (under-23) Flanders and that went well. And then once Olympic track selection was made I then really focused back in on the road, and under-23 races like the Tour de l'Avenir and the road worlds. Maybe at the worlds I didn't get exactly the results that I wanted to but it was the first time I'd had a consistent block on the road. I really enjoyed it and it certainly made me feel that this was what I wanted to do for the next few years, and to commit 100 percent to the road.

TS: What are your impressions of the team from the outside looking in?

JD: I've come across the team at training camps and I've ridden against the team at races like the Tour of Britain. They are a team who deliver with the results that they get and they get a lot of respect in the bunch. They do their own thing and they do it well. It's a privilege really to be joining the team.

TS: Do you have any early aims and objectives in mind for 2017?

DB: Looking towards the future will be a big target in 2017 and I'm excited to start participating in the races. You're main job as a pro is just to be on it from January to November - the whole year you need to be consistently good. So it's just getting used to that constant high level, rather than this year where I had my targets and I went in as a team leader. Next year will be much more about learning how the pro racers ride, and the volume of racing I imagine will step up to double if not more. So it will be about getting used to that.

Amer Sports (Mavic) focuses on growth through omni-channel expansion

This came to me from Bike-Eu.com:

ANNECY, France – Amer Sports restructured its go-to-market organization recently. The restructuring focused on consumer centricity through a switch to Omni-Channel strategies which has to ensure growth.

Amer Sports, the Finnish sporting goods conglomerate (2015 turnover 2.5 billion euro) that in the bicycle sector includes Mavic and ENVE Composites, announced its restructuring and Omni-Channel focus through its Chief Commercial Officer Michael White. He said, “Consumers’ habits and practices are changing. To create growth through Omni-Channel expansion, we set up our team to embrace those changes.”

According to Amer Sports, “The Omni-Channel model means putting the consumer first, in contrast to a product or channel-centric mindset. Omni-Channel encapsulates all the ways we interact with consumers. It involves delivering an excellent consumer experience at every touch point. Therefore, it encompasses both the online and in-store experience, irrespective of whether these are in-house or managed by an external retail partner.

“Today, consumers want a seamless experience. We cannot deliver it if we have a siloed organization. So, we made the decision to bring our retail, e-commerce, and wholesale organizations together.”

You can read the entire article here.

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