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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson

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Nationale Sluitingprijs-Putte Kapellen report from LottoNL-Jumbo

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Moreno Hofland placed third in Putte-Kapellen today. Team-mate Mike Teunissen joined the leading group and lasted until the final, which saw Belgian Roy Jans (Wanty) beat Timothy Dupont (Willems Verandas) and Moreno Hofland in a sprint.

"It's nice to end the season with a podium spot,” Hofland said. “In Paris-Tours, I was not able to sprint because I felt sick. I recovered nicely. I had to wait and see how I felt. I was not at my top level, but I was fortunate to sprint.”

The course covered 11 laps or 189 kilometres. A massive group of riders crashed at 20 kilometres remaining and the peloton broke into pieces. "I was right there, when suddenly riders braked and crashed in front of me. Also behind me, they fell. I was lucky."

After the crash, Hofland and Zhi Hui Jiang were the only LottoNL-Jumbo riders in the first group. “Jiang rode well for me and showed to be strong, so we were able to sprint for the win,” Hofland added. “The final was chaotic with a number of sprinters, but also riders who still wanted to attack. It made it difficult to prepare for the sprint. I kept a watch on the top men, but arrived too soon in front."

"Zhi Hui Jiang showed that he has become stronger,” said Sports Director Addy Engels. The crash proved decisive in the outcome. “He was in the right position in the first group when the crash happened. The crash split the peloton and we lost a number of key men for the sprint train.

Roy Jans

Roy Jans wins Putte-Kapellen

"We thought to ride aggressively and keep Moreno on hand. It’s always wait and see if we are able to sprint or not, depending on which teams go clear in the break. It was not like in Paris-Tours with many sprinters’ teams. The race went fast. The riders must have been thinking, just one more race and our season is over.”

Three new riders for Lotto-Soudal Ladies

The team sent me this update:

Three women will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team next year. The Belgians Annelies Dom (30) and Kaat Van der Meulen (21) make the transfer from the Lensworld – Zannata team. The Dutch rider Puck Moonen (20) is now riding for Autoglas Wetteren. They all signed a contract for one season.

Annelies Dom: “There are several reasons why I chose to join Lotto Soudal. First of all this team is already part of the women’s peloton for many years. It’s great to see how Dany Schoonbaert successfully led this team during all those years. In the past, talented riders could set the last decisive step in their development by riding for this team. Just think of Jolien D’hoore or Lotte Kopecky this season. Lotto Soudal gives riders the chance to complete themselves. Another reason to choose for this team is the fact that Lotte Kopecky rides for this team. She really has the capacities to become a very good rider and I think it’s wonderful to help another Belgian reach the highest level. Lotte deserves the trust of the riders around her and she is always grateful. Kaat Van der Meulen, my teammate of the past two years, will also join Lotto Soudal and that’s also an extra reason to ride for this team. Also she invests a lot in her career and is talented. I hope she can further develop herself in this team and I will gladly help her.”

“After a bet with Kaat I started riding on the track as of this year. Together with her and Lotte I ride the team pursuit. I notice that event suits me and I definitely want to continue with it. It’s great that the three of us are now riding in the same team. That will definitely be useful, it will create more confidence. At Lotto Soudal I get the chance to keep riding on the track. On the road I like to ride in the wind. I am not slow when I reach the finish with a small group and I love the spring races with short hills and cobbles.”

Puck Moonen: “The first contacts I had with this team immediately felt right. I felt really comfortable talking to Liesbet De Vocht for example. I can learn a lot from here, I’m sure. I’m at the start of my cycling career and it’s my goal to set a new step next year. I want to do my work for the team. I also want to further discover my own strengths. I like time trialling and in the future I definitely want to focus on that. I love to suffer. It’s a short effort during which you fight with yourself. I also like pulling at the head of the bunch, that way I will also contribute to the team. I like stage races as well, because I notice I get better as the race continues.”

“During the winter I also ride some cyclo-crosses. The road season is more important, but I like to combine it with cyclo-cross. It also comes in handy for riding on the road. It helps to better steer the bike and it’s good as interval training. At the moment I’m also combining cycling with studying. I’m in my first Bachelor rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy. Also that’s an advantage, because I will definitely learn useful exercises.”

Kaat Van der Meulen: “I chose to join Lotto Soudal because I can combine the track and road at this team. On the track I mainly ride the team pursuit, scratch and points race. Annelies Dom and Lotte Kopecky are also part of the team pursuit squad and it’s nice to be riding in the same road team all year long. I want to keep riding on the track the next years. The performance of Jolien D’hoore in Rio makes me dream of the Olympics.”

“Sprinting is my strong point on the road. Riding on the track can only improve my sprint skills and make me stronger. A course doesn’t need to be completely flat for me, it can be a bit hilly. I love riding on gravel. I need variation. In 2017 I hope to become stronger by working towards goals together with the whole team. It would be great to win a race myself, but I will definitely help my teammates as well. It’s fun that Annelies Dom joins the same team, we complete each other.”

Orica-AIS re-signs two riders

Here's the team's update:

ORICA-AIS has re-signed world championship medallists Katrin Garfoot and Rachel Neylan, strengthening the squad with proven performers for 2017. The news comes just hours after Garfoot collected a women’s time trial bronze medal at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Doha overnight.

In an impressive performance, Garfoot finished just eight seconds off gold medal pace with Amber Neben (USA) claiming the rainbow jersey in a time of 34minutes 37seconds for the 28.9km course.

Katrin Garfoot

Katrin Garfoot

After narrowly missing out on a medal in 2015, Garfoot remains as eager as ever in her pursuit for the top step of the podium. "I'm happy to be on the podium this year since I failed it by a few seconds last year," said Garfoot. "I wish it was a bit better but I’m happy to work on that for next year. I was fourth with 10seconds last year," she added. "I'm third with eight seconds this year. I want first place one time before I finish my career."

Garfoot has had a season full of ups and downs in 2016, but the current Australian and Oceania time trial champion has continued to bounce back and is looking forward to the 2017 season. “I am happy with my 2016 season overall,” said Garfoot. “Starting at the Santos Tour Down Under and national time trial championships. It has been a great year despite being disappointed with my performance at the Rio Olympic Games.

“I found it great to see how we improved our racing as a team this season and I am excited about how we will be stepping up next year.”

Joining her in 2017 will be Rachel Neylan, who also enjoyed world championship podium success when she claimed the silver medal in the road race in 2012. Continuing to progress at 34-years of age, Neylan has gone from strength to strength having enjoyed a successful season without the injuries that have plagued the Australian rider in the past.

With clear goals and ambitions, Neylan is looking forward to growing even further in the 2017 season. "I'm thrilled to re-sign with ORICA-AIS,” Neylan explained. “I’ve learned and grown a lot in this team environment over the past 18months and I am looking forward to building on that positive trajectory. It's been a challenging 12months with highs and lows but feel that I am stronger by all accounts and ready for the next chapter in my career.

“I’m still furthering myself in many facets as an athlete and a bike rider and I am excited to embrace the 2017 season with fresh ideas and ambitions."

Katrin Garfoot
Date of Birth: 8th October 1981 (35)
Nationality: Australian
Place of birth: Germany

2016 results:
-       1st National Championship Australia - Time Trial
-       1st Oceania Championship - Time Trial
-       1st Santos Women's Tour - General Classification
-       1st Santos Women's Tour - Stage 1
-       1st Tour of Qatar - Stage 1
-       1st Chromo Champenois - Time Trial
-       3rd UCI Road Cycling World Championships – Time Trial

Other results:
-       1st 2015 Oceania Championship - Time Trial
-       1st 2013 Oceania Championship - Road Race
-       3rd 2014 Commonwealth Games – Time Trial

Rachel Neylan
Date of Birth: 9 March 1982 (34)
Nationality: Australian
Place of birth: Sydney, Australia

2016 results:
-       2nd Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
-       3rd National Championship Australia - Road Race

Other results:
-       1st 2015 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
-       2nd 2015 National Championship Australia – Road Race
-       2nd 2012 UCI Road Cycling World Championship – Road Race

Decathalon changing retail strategy

Bike-eu.com sent me this report:

VILLENEUVE D’ASCQ, France – The world’s biggest retailer in sporting goods as well as bicycles looks to be switching to a new strategy. After opening many, many superstores in as many countries – total store count stands currently at close to 1,100 in 30 countries – Decathlon is now targeting the set-up of smaller scaled outlets in particular in city centers.

Decathlon’s new strategy became clear with the opening of the company’s 9th store in the Netherlands. This new location fits the store profile of the new strategy as it is located in the city center of Eindhoven and has a limited total floorspace of 1,000 square meters.

Compared to other Dutch Decathlon stores the new one in Eindhoven is small. For instance Decathlon superstore in nearby Best has a total floorspace of 5,200 square meters. Here the sporting goods retailer offers all products for 65 different sports. The much smaller store in nearby Eindhoven offers a less wide product range. However, according to Decathlon, instore touchscreens offer possibilities to see and order the complete range. The online ordered products can subsequently be delivered through the store or at the consumer home address.

Your can read the entire story here.

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