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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 6, 2016

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Men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage - they've experienced pain and bought jewelry. - Rita Rudner

Recently completed racing:

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Van Avermaet to lead BMC racing team at Paris-Tours

This update came to me from BMC:

5 October 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will line up at their final European race of the 2016 season this weekend when an eight-rider squad heads to Paris-Tours in support of Greg Van Avermaet.

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said that he is confident in the abilities of all the riders to help produce a strong result for the team. "We are going to Paris-Tours with a clear leader in Greg Van Avermaet who won the 2011 edition. It's the last one-day classic and the final race for BMC Racing Team in Europe for the 2016 season so we are definitely motivated to take home the win. We know Greg is in great form and we have a strong team to support him on Sunday," Ledanois commented.

Van Avermaet is hoping for repeat success after podium results at previous editions of the race. "Paris-Tours is always a race I look forward to as I've had success there in the past with my win in 2011 and I was on the podium last year. It's my last chance to race before the UCI World Championship Road Race in Qatar so it will be a good chance to test my form and get some more kilometers in my legs before the road race, which is my last big goal for the season," Van Avermaet added.

Silvan Dillier

Silvan Dillier (shown winning a stage at last year's Arctic Tour) will ride Paris-Tours

Paris-Tours (9 October)

Rider roster: Silvan Dillier (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Fabian Lienhard (SUI), Michael Schar (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Loic Vliegen (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER)

Sports Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA)

Lampre-Merida will ride Japan Cup

The team sent me this news:

Japan Cup will be one of the races in which LAMPRE-MERIDA will participate in the late part of the season.

The Japanese race, which is scheduled on the 23rd of October in Utsonomiya, is a very important appointment for the blue-fuchsia-green team, which won the race five times and obtained the 2nd place with Ulissi in the 2015 edition.

The quality of the lineup which will be directed by Bruno Vicino will be very high: the local hero, Yukiya Arashiro, and Manuele Mori (winner of the 2007 edition) will be the key riders and they'll be supported by three riders, who are Matteo Bono, Mattia Cattaneo and Simone Petilli, whose qualities suite very well the characteristics of the course.

Katusha extends several riders' contracts:

Here's the team's update:

Team KATUSHA is happy to announce that more riders have extended their contracts with the successful WorldTour team. Both riders and management were keen to continue the partnership of the previous years.

Russian rider Maxim Belkov (31) will start his sixth season with the team. The former European TT champion is one of the most professional riders in the peloton. His team devotion is legendary. Belkov has already five Tours of Italy under his belt, including one stage win.

Maxim Belkov

Maxim Belkov

In his three seasons with Team KATUSHA, Russian champion Pavel Kochetkov (30) proved to be the indispensable teammate for the mountains. In 2015, as well as 2016, Pavel finished the Giro successfully, as well as the Vuelta. In 2015 he wore the mountains jersey for a number of days in the Giro d’Italia. This season he excelled in the Russian championship in Sevastopol.

2017 will be Alberto Losada’s (34) seventh season with Team KATUSHA. After six years of flawless collaboration, continuation of the partnership between the Spanish rider and the team was obvious, despite the retirement of Joaquim Rodriguez. Losada has been the right hand of Purito Rodriguez for six seasons. After 15 Grand Tours, Alberto Losada is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton.

Former Portuguese time trial champion Tiago Machado (33) is the prototype of the all-rounder. He climbs well, he has a good TT in the legs and he has the utmost devotion to the team. Tiago doesn’t like cobblestones but Team KATUSHA has other champions for those races. Machado is the perfect stage race rider. Like the other riders, Machado inked a one-year deal with the team.

Last but certainly not least, Ángel Vicioso (39) starts his 19th season as a pro rider, his sixth for Team KATUSHA. Vicioso is a real miracle man, having survived severe and serious crashes. After each crash he came back stronger, even last year by winning the Gran Premio Indurain after a complicated pelvis fracture. Ángel Vicioso, a former Giro d’Italia stage winner, is fast in the sprint but most of all performs faithfully for the team. In 2016 he was one of the mainstays for Joaquim Rodriguez and Ilnur Zakarin in the Tour de France.

- It is amazing how some riders can be devoted and work just for one goal, the team. All our leaders will confirm it: without Maxim, Pavel, Alberto, Tiago or Ángel they would never have obtained their nice victories. These riders are as proud of the Grand Tour stage wins from the leaders as if they would have won themselves. It is for me an honor to have them with us. All five are part not just of our team, but of our family.  They are not “winners” themselves in the results column, but they allow us to win, - said Team KATUSHA General manager Viacheslav Ekimov.

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