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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 29, 2016

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Tour of Hainan stage 7 team comments

Here's Giant-Alpecin's report:

Team Giant-Alpecin rode the race to plan, helping to set up the stage for a bunch sprint. The stage of 127.4km saw a break of seven riders go clear from the start, gaining a maximum advantage of three minutes before the chase really kicked in behind. Cheng Ji, Fredrik Ludvigsson, and Tom Stamsnijder were doing the work for the team on the front of the peloton and with 5km remaining, everything was back together.

Max Walscheid was set up perfectly by his teammates as the race headed into a tricky and hectic finale. Walscheid kept his cool and took the right line to come through in front and finish off the job perfectly.

Max Walscheid said after the stage: “The stage went according to plan with the breakaway ahead and we were able to control the gap. For me it was the toughest stage today. The strong headwind made the sprint difficult and I had to time it perfectly. The guys were fighting hard and I managed to find a gap and sprint to victory.

“I am very happy with this win and to extend my lead in the points classification. It has been a great week of racing and I look forward to Sunday for another sprint opportunity.”

Max Walscheid

Max Walscheid (in green jersey) wins Hainan stage 7

Coach Arthur van Dongen added: “We are very satisfied with this success and to take our fourth victory of the week is just fantastic. From the start our goal was to set up the sprint and we knew we had a good chance with Max.

“The team performance was excellent and it was another good lead-out from the guys, which was essential for this win. We worked hard for this one and it’s great to see the work rewarded.”

GC leader Alexey Lutsenko's Astana team had this to say about the stage:

“Today everything went according to our plans– we tried on the finish and saved the yellow jersey. Guys are working for 100%” – commented the sports director Sergey Yakovlev.

“Tomorrow we have the final battle – very important stage. First 100 km are flat and soon we have the mountains. I think, it will be a very hard stage, where we will do our best to save the jersey” – he concluded.

The shortest stage of Tour of Hainan 2016 finished as expected with bunch sprint won by Max Walscheid from Germany.

Alexey Lutsenko saved his leadership in GC.

Tomorrow riders will have another mountain stage of Tour of Hainan, which could make final changes in general classification of the race.

Lampre-Merida sent me this update:

LAMPRE-MERIDA succeeded in being protagonist once again in the Chinese race: after the impressive double achieved by the duo Mohoric-Niemiec, today the blue-fuchsia-green team obtained the 5th place in the mass sprint thanks to Roberto Ferrari.

The 7th stage of the Tour of Hainan was short, 127,4 km, and it started from Wuzhishan and finished in Sanya, after that the riders covered two categorized climb (3rd category hill after 6 km in the race and one 2nd category hill at -73 km).

The main breakaway of the race went clear few kilometers in the race, with 7 athletes (Kurek, Vaubourzeix, Sulzberger, Voropayev, Ma Guangtong, Kononenko and Samokhvalov) who had a maximum advantage of 3’15”.

After the last climb of the course, the teams of the sprinters took the head of the bunch at -20 km and LAMPRE-MERIDA’s too (photo 7Cycling) contributed to the chase by Troia, Mario Costa and Xu Gang, bridging the gap to the breakaway at -2km.

In the sprint, Roberto Ferrari exploited the support by his team mates Mohoric and Zurlo to reach the head position after the last bend at -800 meters, then he started his progression which allowed him to be in the top 5: he was 5th, victory for Walscheid on Jones and Andriato.

No changes in the general classification, Mohoric and Niemiec are 2nd and 3rd at 3” and 7” to the leader Lutsenko.

The next stage will be crucial for the general classification: 165,8 km from Sany and Qiongzhong with four categorized climbs.

“The stage had a regular plot, we did not work in the front of the bunch until it seemed that the breakaway had strong chances to reach the arrival – sports director Pedrazzini explained – We gave our support to the chase at 8 km to go, we felt that it was necessary to offer once again to Ferrari the opportunity to battle in the sprint and Roberto succeeded in obtaining a place in the top 5”.

SRAM claims victories in retail pricing

This was in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — U.S. visitors to European-based e-commerce sites like Wiggle and Chain Reaction have seen something new when they searched for SRAM products in recent months: nothing.

The Chicago-based brand has developed policies that prevent those and some other offshore sites from selling into the U.S. market as part of an overall strategy to maintain consistent retail pricing worldwide and help brick-and-mortar retailers get better margins on aftermarket sales of SRAM products, including SRAM, Avid, RockShox and Truvativ branded items.

Wiggle and Chain Reaction continue to sell SRAM products to European web shoppers, generally at full retail prices. U.S.-based websites also continue to sell SRAM, but are required by SRAM's minimum advertised price policy to advertise full retail pricing.

Jason West said reining in aftermarket pricing has been a priority at least since he took over as vice president of aftermarket and retail sales in 2011. West has worked for SRAM in various roles for more than 20 years.

"We do care about where our products are positioned in the marketplace; that's an important part of who we are," West told BRAIN in a recent interview. "The IBD channel should earn a reasonable margin because there is certainly a value added there."

You can read the rest of this important story here.

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