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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 25, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. - Miles Kington

Latest completed racing:

Team Dimension Data presents 2017 kit and assesses 2016 season

Here's the team's update:

The 2016 cycling season concluded a couple of weeks ago and once again it has been an incredibly successful one for Africa’s leading professional cycling team. Based out of Johannesburg, Dimension Data for Qhubeka managed to win 32 races this year, while climbing the podium more than 70 times. 5 stage wins, a "Yellow" and "Green Jersey" at the Tour de France was also among the achievements as was the team’s first ever win in a special category at a Grand Tour, taking home the "Best Climber" classification of the Vuelta a Espana.

Staying at the Southern Sun, The Cullinan, Dimension Data for Qhubeka is currently preparing for the upcoming season in the Western Cape. It is the first time the 2017 team meets. Over the last few days the riders went out on several training rides and spent some time with its main sponsors Dimension Data, Deloitte and Cervélo, to name a few.

Earlier today the team presented itself to the public at the scenic Cape Town Waterfront. In an engaging event all 28 riders were introduced to fans and media. Lead by Mark Cavendish, Omar Fraile, and Daniel Teklehaimanot the team also revealed its fresh new look.

In recent years the 5-finger-salute has become synonymous with our African team. The hand will once again feature on the back of the jersey. However, the jersey also reveals 28 smaller hands. Subtly printed on the green livery they symbolize the children who receive help through the way how our 28 riders are racing, through the amount of awareness they are able to raise for Qhubeka and through their way of competing at the highest level of our sport. During this weeks training camp each of the riders will personally give a child a Qhubeka bike at a distribution ceremony, thus offering a direct link. Furthermore, the team will also be echoing Qhubeka’s new call to action #DoYourPart, an innovative way to contribute to the charity. Supporters can now fund single parts or a complete bike to help mobilising people in Africa. To find out more, go to doyourpart.qhubeka.org.

"We had some incredible success this year. The amount of exposure that we got for Qhubeka was beyond of what we could have imagined, stepping up to the World Tour. That’s what we want to build on to do more. We want to do more together as a team, with our partners and fans and raise more than the 5.000 bikes that we raised this year."

Douglas Ryder, Team Principal, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka: "2016 was a year that fulfilled many dreams and out performed our expectations as a team, with our partners and the Qhubeka charity. Our goal for 2017 is to be even better together, better in the way we integrate as team mates, better with our partners and better connected to our fans. With this team of incredible individuals we look forward to building on our successes of this year."

Dimension Data for Qhubeka will take on the 2017 season with riders from 12 different nations. Once again the team will race ambitiously as it has set itself some serious goals. Racing to race awareness for the Qhubeka charity, the following 28 riders will sport the colors of the African team:

Igor Anton (Spain), Natnael Berhane (Eritrea), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Mark Cavendish (Great Britain), Stephen Cummings (Great Britain), Mekseb Debesay (Eritrea), Nicolas Dougall (South Africa), Bernhard Eisel (Austria), Tyler Farrar (USA), Omar Fraile (Spain), Ryan Gibbons (South Africa), Nathan Haas (Australia), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (South Africa), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (South Africa), Ben King (USA), Merhawi Kudus (Eritrea), Lachlan Morton (Australia), Adrien Niyonsuti (Rwanda), Ben O’Connor (Australia), Serge Pauwels (Belgium), Youcef Reguigui (Algeria), Mark Renshaw (Australia), Kristian Sbaragli (Italy), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eritrea), Jay Robert Thomson (South Africa), Scott Thwaites (Great Britain), Johann van Zyl (South Africa), Jaco Venter (South Africa)

Dimension Data

Team Dimension Data presents its 2017 kit

Jeremy Ord, Executive Chairman, Dimension Data: "As the team’s title sponsor, 2016 was an exhilarating year for Dimension Data. Team Dimension Data’s achievements over the past two years has ignited the enthusiasm and interest of millions of fans – not only in South Africa and Africa, but across the world. We’re proud to be part of the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka ‚family‘, and are committed to making a signifcant contribution to the future success of the African youth by continuing to support the team and the Qhubeka charity."

Tom Galizia, Deloitte Principal and Sponsorship Lead: "The arc of this one-of-a-kind cycling team will continue to rise in 2017 on the back of another magical season. Deloitte and our people are proud of our 28 riders and a cast of the best sports directors, coaches, mechanics and support team who act everyday with a true sense of purpose on and off the bike. Giving a bike to a child through Qhubeka, allowed us to do our part and make a tangible and measureable impact 1,000’s of times this year and we are just warming up."

Antoine Ballon, Head of Marketing, Cervélo: "This team continues to amaze us all. Whether from a pure fan side or from the industry one, the success and enthusiasm they demonstrated all over the globe fighting for the right cause is something no other team can match. We are proud to be their partner of choice for the bikes. We cherish the relationship we have with the riders to keep making our bikes better. 2015 was great, 2016 has been amazing. We are looking forward to seeing where Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is going to take us in 2017 on Cervélo bikes."

Gent-Wevelgem organizer adds upaved rural roads to 2017 route

To honor World War 1 fighters, the riders will take farm roads near important battlefields. The organizer put out an extended release explaining the three sections of the "Plug Streets", which will total 5.7 km:

Ghent-Wevelgem 2017: looking back at one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of war.

Ghent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields travels once again along the Flemish Fields that were once the backdrop of the Great War on Sunday, 26 March 2017. The contest pays tribute with its itinerary to the 600.000 victims who met their demise in Flanders Fields. A detour will be made through the Plugstreets, in and around Ploegsteert, to commemorate the Christmas ceasefire of 1914.

Life on the Western Front was certainly no joke in the winter of 1914. Both combating sides (the allies on the one side and Germany on the other side) had dug themselves in after the war ended in a stalemate. The Northern European landscape looked quite remarkable: there were two opposing trench systems reaching from the North Sea coast to the Swiss border with no man's land and barbed wire fences in between. More or less permanent facilities were erected on both sides, such as underground rooms, shelters, stoves and toilets. It was freezing on the Western Front on Christmas Eve 1914. No further offensives were therefore expected. Both sides tried to make the best of it.

The Germans started to celebrate Christmas first: there was some drinking and here and there a Christmas tree appeared or a lantern above the trenches. Somewhere a soldier began to sing Silent Night, Holy Night. The British felt they had to do something in return and sang ‘The First Noel’. The Germans applauded and then commenced with ‘O Tannenbaum’ and so it carried on.

The following day, on Christmas Day, soldiers came out of their trenches from both sides on the front. Field services were held in full view of the enemy without a single shot being fired. Both parties waved to one another and a few brave soldiers walked into no man's land to greet one another. Small groups were initially formed; the groups then became bigger until hundreds of soldiers eventually stood by one another in some places. They were shaking hands; they offered one another a light and exchanged gifts: cigarettes, sausages and cigars, canned stew, tobacco and London newspapers.

In some places they even played some football. The most legendary match was between the British and the Germans in the Saint-Yvon region, near Ploegsteert. The Germans won with 3-2. The UEFA Christmas Truce Monument was inaugurated by Michel Platini in Komen-Waasten on 11 December 2014.

This spontaneous ceasefire was obviously much to the displeasure of the commanders. It affected the discipline; soldiers could indeed come to think that the enemy was also only human. The carefully crafted image of the enemy had to be preserved at all cost. Both sides carried out justified measures in order to avoid this in the future. Nevertheless, there was already a twinning again during the Christmas of 1915, though on a smaller scale. The army leadership was furious, once again. In the autumn of 1916, orders were drawn up with a command to execute those who fraternized. There was no more ceasefire that winter and also not in the one of 1917.

However, there was a moment of peace on earth in 1914. The guns and cannons fell silent for a moment. There was room for Christmas just for a short while; for a little bit of camaraderie and humanity.

There has never been talk of such a spontaneous rapprochement between the besieged during any other conflict. It is and remains one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of war.

“Christmas Eve was celebrated this way in a fraternal mood. The Germans brought nice things. They also had plenty of wine. Our soldiers could offer nothing in return. As the hours passed, everyone pulled back to his trench and soon gunfire crackled again No man’s land. [...] There was an investigation, the military tribunal got involved and the station commander was called to account. Second Lieutenant Naviau, a Walloon, got demoted. One must leave the soldiers well alone.” (Belgian soldier Rik Reynaerts)

Hans De Clercq, sports manager at Ghent-Wevelgem: We enjoy a massive exposure as World Tour Tier 1 competition. Ghent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields is broadcast around the world; from Norway to Australia, from Mexico to Thailand.
By integrating the Plugstreets in the itinerary, there will be combat once again, although this time, luckily, by bicycle. In addition, we also pay tribute to the victims and the viewer can commemorate the fallen in an appropriate manner.
We would therefore like to be the link between the sport in the year 2017 and the unfortunate past of 100 years ago. ‘Let us never forget how they combated for us!

Your can read the entire release here.

We are in the process of posting complete results for every edition of Gent-Wevelgem. You can find them here.

New high speed impact-resistant carbon fiber arriving

Bike-eu.com sent me this news:

HEERLEN, the Netherlands – There’s a new breed of carbon fibers arriving. They are suited for use in bike frames, parts as well as in bike wear; products prone to high impacts. In particular as the new fibers are handling impact forces significantly better.

The new carbon fibers have been developed by Royal DSM. This is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM and its associated companies generate annual net sales of about € 10 billion with approximately 25,000 employees. The Dutch company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

Through one of subsidiaries named Dyneema a carbon fiber composite has been created that offers dramatically better impact resistance. This carbon fiber composite also outperforms other materials on tension, compression, bending and impact loadings. Next to that this composite doesn’t splinter. All this, as Royal DSM says, “Opens the way to new and exciting applications.”

You can read the entire story here.

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