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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, October 28, 2016

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Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Tour of Hainan stage 6 team comments

Lampre-Merida took 1st and 2nd place in the stage. Here's their report:

After four results on the podium for Roberto Ferrari, LAMPRE-MERIDA realized a double in the 6th stage of the Tour of Hainan, thanks to the victory of Mohoric and the second place obtained by Niemiec.

In the queen stage of the Chinese race (197,2 km from Changijang to Wuzhishan with two categorized climbs of 1st category, the last one at 12 km to the arrival) the impressive cooperation between Mohoric and Niemiec gave to LAMPRE-MERIDA an outstanding victory.

When the bunch began to be selected in the final climb, Niemiec followed the attack by Lutsenko and Ortega in the approach of the Kom, while Mohoric succeeded in pedaling in the first chasing group (ten members); in the downhill to the arrival, Mohoric bridged the gap from the head of the race and he joined his team mate Niemiec and Lutsenko, while Ortega was dropped.
The leading trio managed an advantage of 25” and they restricted sprint was won by Mohoric on Niemiec, Lutsenko 3rd. Seventh place for Mario Costa.

In the general classification, Mohoric and Niemiec are 2nd and 3rd at 3" and 7" to the leader Lutsenko.

Mahoric and Niemiec

Mahoric and Niemiec take first and second places

“I’m very happy for having obtained my first victory in a stages race – Mohoric commented – I was fine, on the final climb I managed my energies and in the downhill I bridged the gap from the leading riders. I was with Niemiec, we exploited our cooperation for winning the stage. Thanks to the team and to Niemiec, today resulted to be a perfect day”.

Niemiec explained: “The stage was suitable for my skill, I followed Lutsenko when he attacked on the last climb and on the downhill, when Mohoric joined me, we agreed that he would have more chances of victories than me in a final sprint.
I gave my support to him and we achieved a very impressive double".

For the twenty-one year old Slovenian cyclist, today marked his second victory in the season (he's the winner of the Hong Kong Cyclothon Criterium), for LAMPRE-MERIDA is the 20th success in 2016.

Giant-Alpecin's Hainan Tour news:

The 197.2km stage provided a difficult test for the riders, with the first real mountains to overcome from Changjiang to Wuzhishan. Six riders mounted an escape at the beginning of the stage and built up a maximum lead of just over five minutes as they passed over the first categorized climb in the early part of the race. However, with Astana tapping a steady tempo at the front of the bunch, their advantage was gradually reduced and the last escapee was swept up inside the final 25km.

From then on it was a fight for positioning and Team Giant-Alpecin were very visible at the front of the bunch ahead of the final climb. As expected the race sparked into life with many riders being dropped including Max Walscheid with 17km remaining. Many attacks took place on the ascent and in the end, three riders went clear. They managed to maintain their gap on the descent and it was Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida) who took the victory.

Max Walscheid

Max Walscheid (yellow jersey) winning his third Hainan stage in a row

For the team, Johannes Fröhlinger was the first to finish in 14th place, 50″ behind the winner. However, Walscheid remains the leader in the points classification.

Coach Arthur van Dongen said: “Today was the first medium mountain stage, with a climb of 7.8km in the finale. From the start, there was a breakaway and we set the pace until the first climb after 78km. After that, Astana took over and on the final climb the bunch exploded.

“Fredrik and Johannes were present in the first bunch of 16 riders, after two small groups at the front. They managed to finish within the top 20, as Max kept hold of the green jersey. Overall it was a good stage and the team showed plenty of fighting spirit for the team classification.”

Here's What Astana had to say about the stage:

“A bit pity that I didn't win the today's stage, but I got yellow jersey, I got polka-dot jersey and also best Asian rider jersey. For now the main goal is to save yellow jersey until the end” - commented Alexey Lutsenko just after the finish.

”Tomorrow we will have a short stage about 120 km, we will need work, to control the breakaways, not allowing dangerous riders to go. 8th stage is also very hard, so, we have to control the race till the end” – concluded the new leader of Tour of Hainan 2016.

On the final climb of the “queen” stage Alexey Lutsenko attacked with two other riders and finished 3rd. Thanks to this result, he became the new leader of the general classification.

He also saved his polka-dot jersey and earned the jersey of best Asian rider.

Riders have three more stages to go, with Alexey’s advantage of 3’ in the GC.

Kenny Elissonde joins Team Sky

Here's the report from Sky:

Team Sky are pleased to announce Kenny Elissonde as the team's fifth and final signing for the 2017 season. Elissonde will join from French outfit FDJ, where he has spent his entire professional career, and pen a two-year deal, taking him through to the end of the 2018 season.

The 25 year old will boost the team's Grand Tour roster and become the first French rider to represent Team Sky since Nicolas Portal retired and Sylvain Calzati departed at the end of the 2011 season.

Elissonde has ridden five Grand Tours, winning a stage of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana aged 22. This year he finished second on the Vuelta's queen stage and just missed out on the King of the Mountains jersey.

Kenny Elissonde

Kenny Elissonde about to start 2016 Vuelta stage 18

Elissonde said: "It's well known that Team Sky is one of the best teams in the world for climbers. I will learn a lot from all the staff and it's really exciting to be with the team. I'm really happy and excited to be a part of the group next year. It's a really big step in my career."

The climbing specialist outlined his ambitions for the coming two seasons and expressed his pride at boosting the team's French roster. He added: "I will try to learn from the team's leaders and be a good team player. I'm still young so it's important for me to learn, do the best I can, and improve at every aspect of the sport.

"I live in Nice and used to train with Ian Boswell and I know [Sport Director] Nicolas Portal a little bit. I spoke with him two years ago so I'm looking forward to getting to know him more. It's very cool to be the first French rider on the team for six years. This is a great opportunity for me."

Shimano reports good European sales

This was posted in Bike-Eu.com:

OSAKA, Japan – Shimano reports brisk sales in Europe since July thanks to the fine weather from July onwards. However, this was hardly reflected in the company’s results published today.

Global sales of the Japan based component maker continues to decline. Net sales of bicycle components dropped by 18.8% in the first nine months of 2016 compared with the same period in the previous year. Net sales of bicycle components decreased to JPY 192,939 million (1.68 billion euro). Shimano’s operating income decreased by more than a quarter (29.4%) to JPY 43,236 million (378 million euro).

According to Shimano, “Bad weather in March and April greatly undermined retail sales of bicycles in Europe, resulting in a higher level of distributor inventories. However, thanks to the good weather from July onward sales picked up and became brisk, leading to a remarkable progress in the adjustment of the distributor inventories.”

The market situation on the North American market was less optimistic as Shimano reports that, “Retail sales of complete bikes remained somewhat weaker than in the same period last year. Nevertheless distributor inventories of bicycles were adjusted to a lower level.”

You can read the entire story here.

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