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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 18, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact. - Charles Darwin

Latest completed racing:

The Critérium International comes to an end

Race organizer ASO posted this heartbreaking news:

Critérium International historical results

After seven years of excellent collaboration with the city of Porto-Vecchio, host city of the 100th Tour de France in 2013, Amaury Sport Organisation and the representatives of the community have decided to not renew their agreements concerning the Critérium International. However, the relationships that have developed over time will continue to produce cycling related events.

For its part A.S.O. has taken the decision to end the organisation of the event [it will not be held in 2017]. While the winners have been of the highest quality, the peloton has seen a drop in density, due to the number of events taking place at this time of the season.

2016 Cirterium International

Map of the 2016 edition of the Critérium International, held on the island of Corsica for the last seven years.

Etixx-Quick Step's Ghent 6-Day news

The team posted this update:

Victory in the evening's first Madison race propelled the dynamic duo of Keisse and Viviani to the top of the leaderboard.

Iljo Keisse and Elia Viviani, the two riders of Team LIDL, began the second night of the Gent Six Day on the right foot, just like they did on the opening day, winning the points race and cutting the gap that separated them of the general classification leaders.

This result was followed later in the evening by victory in the team elimination race event and another resounding success, this time in the Madison, where a daring attack and a flawless strategy helped them take a lap on the other teams that are going for the overall win, Bradley Wiggins/Mark Cavendish and Kenny De Ketele/Moreno De Pauw.

From that moment on, it was all about holding onto this advantage and gaining more points, and even though by the end of the night the Madison World Champions managed to take that lap back, Iljo and Elia kept their position in the standings and will now go into the third day of the race with a handful of points over their closest rivals.

General classification:

1. Iljo Keisse/Elia Viviani – 146 points

2. Bradley Wiggins/Mark Cavendish – 141 points

3. Kenny De Ketele/Moreno De Pauw – 164 points (+ 1 lap)

Movistar recruit Carlos Barbero discusses his place in the team

The team posted this:

Carlos Barbero is quite a different rider. It's not about his Mechanical and Industrial Engineering studies at the University of Burgos, so much easier to find riders with such degrees after times where pro cyclists were even lacking basic formation weren't that far away. It's not, either, about being a sprinter in arguably the most GT-focused squad in the whole UCI WorldTour. Above all, the 25-year-old from Burgos, just next to the Basque country in northern Spain, shows an overwhelming clarity of ideas. A man of few, very much measured words, which denote maturity. A value he'll have to prove as he joins the Movistar Team in 2017.

Carlos Barbero

Carlos Barbero in 2015 at the Vuelta a Burgos

“I've taken all steps required: three years into Continental squads, then two seasons with ProConti Caja Rural... and now this opportunity comes, the one that every cyclist seeks for, which is riding the big leagues, the WorldTour. It's a new team for me, yet one I know as I've met practically all riders here in the past. This offer I take on it with a lot of excitement, especially when it comes to racing that bigger, more international calendar. The Movistar Team offers you all things you need to succeed, and I hope I can respond to their confidence."

Coincidentally, two of Eusebio Unzuçe's five signings for 2017, Bennati and him, are sprinters. Though, Barbero's preferences are involuntarily inclined by the fact that “my power-weight ratio makes me do better in uphill finishes than at traditional sprints. Yet I like to take part and dig deep at all sprints at my reach, not only those that suit me better.’”

And thus, the question about his 2017 calendar came. And it exposed Barbero's clairvoyance signaled earlier. “I might be one of those very few, strange riders who don't like Grand Tour sat all. These are for other, different riders. I don't get any driven by them. I prefer to be doing classics or stageraces more adjusted to my abilities.” Joining the Movistar Team also offers Carlos Barbero an opportunity to explore unknown territories. “Races like Milano-Sanremo or Amstel Gold Race are sceneries where I'd like to play. Those are routes that I've seen on TV for my entire life, and now there's a chance I can compete there and live them from inside."

The leap towards the WorldTour has also opened him the doors of a group seemingly grandiose from outside, yet as normal as a group of young lads in another environment would be - which we try to show from here. “Many from this group were already known, after sharing so many years inside the peloton with them. Earlier, they were rivals; now they're team-mates. And I didn't feel anything special when meeting them in Pamplona... because they're normal. You see Alejandro, Dani (Moreno), Nairo… you see them doing such extraordinary things on TV, they're the very best in the peloton, yet when you come across them in person, they're just normal. They're equals, they help to build a group because there's no egos. It might seem strange to see them behave this way, but that might be the key for success. It really helps everyone to feel at ease inside the group quite sooner.”

“My ideal 2017 season? I don't ask for much. I hope the team management to be happy with my job, and of course we'll make the most out of this chance to get as many victories as possible. But we must go step-by-step: getting used to the team system, the WorldTour pace... and letting the other things just happen.”

Giant sees drop in 2016 sales

This came from Bike-Eu.com:

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – Giant Manufacturing Company Ltd saw its total revenues drop by 6.5% in the first nine months of 2016. Total turnover amounted TWD 44.23 billion (€ 1,3bn). The company’s operating income (EBIT) was down big; with 19.9% to TWD 2.4 billion (€ 70.2 mn) compared to the 3 quarters of 2015.

According to Giant’s financial report the company’s own brand business in Europe benefited from an increasing demand of e-bikes. Especially in Germany and France Giant’s this year’s introduced e-bike range saw significant sales growth. In 2017 these bikes will be available in North America and Australia. The Taiwanese producer expects that this range will contribute Giant’s growth in those markets.

Moreover the Japanese market, “Continues to deliver good results for Giant to which the company’s effort in building stronger retail networks contributed. In an interview with Tony Lo published in Nikkei Asian Review in Thailand the Giant Global Group CEO said they plan to increase the number of Giant Stores in Japan over the next three to five years from currently only 25 to, “At least 200.” Moreover, he notes an increasing demand for sports bikes in Japan.

You can read the entire article here.

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