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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 15, 2016

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It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S Truman

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Alberto Contador signs with Trek-Segafredo

Here's the news from the team:

Trek-Segafredo is proud to confirm that 33-year-old Alberto Contador will be joining the pinstriped team in 2017. Contador, who needs little introduction, has won all three Grand Tours in addition to numerous other victories and is arguably one of the best stage racers of the modern era.

Trek-Segafredo is also pleased to welcome climber Jesús Hernández and staff member Steven de Jongh.

Contador: “I am thrilled about the opportunity that is in front of me. Trek-Segafredo is a very attractive and ambitious project that really inspires me. I had some excellent conversations with the team management, and we have a lot of goals and priorities in common. The big objective is to try and win the most important races on the calendar - first and foremost the Tour de France.”

“The sporting side was the key point in my decision. This team is focused on performance, and there’s a really strong group of riders with experience in all kinds of terrain, not only the mountains. I like that it’s such an open, international group of riders. I am convinced that this team can provide me with the best structure and bring me in the best conditions to the races. I race to win, and I am determined to get intensely invested in this team.”

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador about to start the Vuelta's second stage

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Alberto is a formidable rider and a real fighter. He’s a champion. There is really no one like Alberto in the current peloton, and we are very happy to welcome him to the team. With Alberto, I believe we are taking the next step in developing our team. Next year we’ll be stronger and all-around better and broader.

Jesús Hernández, Contador’s trusted teammate from 2000 to 2005 and from 2009 to present, is also joining Trek-Segafredo: “I am really happy to come back to Trek because I also rode a Trek bike in 2009. Alberto is like my brother and coming back with him to the Trek family is really something special. It means a lot to me.

“2017 will bring once again a new experience and so I am really looking forward to starting the next season with renewed ambition. Obviously, my main ambition is to support Alberto and the other leaders of the team. When they are happy with my work, I will be happy as well.”

Finally, the team is welcoming Steven de Jongh to the staff of the team. He joins the existing group of experienced sports directors at Trek-Segafredo. He has been supporting Alberto Contador from the team car since 2013 and is a trusted colleague of the Spaniard.

Guercilena: “It goes without saying that I am very happy to welcome Steven de Jongh to our team. We were looking to enlarge our group of directors for quite some time now. Next year the race calendar will be more extended, and we will have more riders on the team. With an excellent director such as Steven, our group of very experienced and equally outstanding directors will be more versatile.”

Team LottoNL-Jumbo takes several contenders to the Eneco Tour

This came to me from the team:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will start the Eneco Tour with a strong selection on Monday, September 19, in Bolsward. The seven-day stage race includes a time trial and a team time trial before ending on September 25 in Geraardsbergen.

"It's a special, this WorldTour race partly covers Dutch roads, and as a Dutch team, we are eager to show ourselves," Sports Director Merijn Zeeman. “We’re aiming for success on several fronts: the general classification, the time trial and the sprint with Dylan Groenewegen.

"For the general classification, we don’t have a top favourite, but three riders who have a chance to compete for the prizes. Kelderman has already shown that he can be good in the Eneco Tour. With the finish in Geraardsbergen, we have Sep Vanmarcke. And we are supporting Primoz Roglic in the standings. Considering his future, this is a good race to try to go for the GC."

Primoz Roglic: "I would like to aim for the top in the GC,” Roglic said. “The time trial on the second day is a goal for me. This year, I found out that I can race a good time trial, so I hope to be able to do so also in the Eneco Tour. I also want to make a good contribution in the team time trial.”

It is Roglic’s first time in the Netherlands and Belgium to race. “As was often the case this season, it is a new experience for me. The stress due many traffic obstacles and narrow roads is what I’m not looking forward to!

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic having a good day at the 2016 Giro 'Italia

"It is a home race for the team, and I think that with this strong selection, we can surely show some good things. I’m ready to help the team to race the best possible Eneco Tour."

Kelderman: Wilco Kelderman placed third overall last year, so is hoping for some more of the same success in 2017. He regrets the lack of an Ardennes stage, but is looking forward to the time trials.

"It's always nice to race in your own country, I am therefore more motivated,” Kelderman said. “My goal is to ride a good classification again. We can score well in the team time trial and the individual time trial. In these stages, the GC will be made."

Sprinting with Groenewegen: "In Britain, we again stepped up in the formation of the sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen. In the Eneco Tour, we want to continue down that path,” added Zeeman. "Dylan wants the wins, and we want to go for them with him. It is important that we place Groenewegen for the sprints because in recent months, he has become faster. We have to ensure that he can use that speed."

It is not a given that the team will take home a stage win, however. "The competition is stronger and there are many more teams that want to participate in the sprint,” said Zeeman. “It is also a good test for us to see how our sprint train operates in the Eneco Tour.”

"We became a better sprint train in the last race, if we can evolve further then our goal of a stage win should be reached,” Groenewegen said. "Once the team puts me in the right position and I have a clear line, I can win a stage. With a strong sprint train supporting me, I’m motivated for this important race."

Line Up: Jos van Emden, Dylan Groenewegen, Wilco Kelderman, Tom Leezer, Primoz Roglic, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner, Maarten Wijnants

Sports Director: Merijn Zeeman & Mathieu Heijboer

Van Avermaet to be Honored at Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem

This release came to me from BMC:

14 September 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Greg Van Avermaet will lead BMC Racing Team's 7-rider roster at Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem this Saturday, 17 September, where his Olympic Road Race victory will be celebrated.

Van Avermaet, who won the 2014 edition, will be motivated for the win, Sports Director Valerio Piva said. "We're going to Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem with a strong leader in Greg Van Avermaet who will line up after his win in Montreal last Sunday. Greg won this race two years ago and will be motivated to win again as it's his first time racing on home soil since the Olympic Games. We have a solid team in support of Greg and we'll be looking to race aggressively," Piva explained.

Greg van AVermaet

Greg van Avermaet winning the Montreal race

Van Avermaet is lining up with good form after racing in Canada. "It's always nice to race in Belgium with the crowds and after my win at the Olympic Games I think it will be extra special. I've won the race before and I'd like to continue my good form and good results this weekend at Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem," Van Avermaet said.

Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem (17 September) rider roster: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Floris Gerts (NED), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Peter Velits (SVK), Taylor Eisenhart (USA)

Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA)

Lampre-Merida's Coppa Bernocchi report:

LAMPRE-MERIDA (Bettini photo) did not succeed to hit the big target in front of the cameras of the crew from CNN International which was at the Coppa Bernocchi for shooting a reportage about the blue-fuchsia-green team.

Sacha Modolo, who was the captain of the team which was directed by Marco Marzano (who could not have in the selection the trainee Ravasi, who was selected in the Italian National team for the Under 23 European championship race which will take place on Saturday 17th September), missed a top result in the massive sprint at the end of the 192 km of the race with start and arrival in Legnano.

The race was won by Nizzolo.

Giacomo Nizzolo

Giacomo Nizzolo winning the Coppa Bernocchi

"It was not one of my best days, probably because of the hot weather and of the intense pace - Modolo, 32nd in the race standing, explained - However, I tried to do my best, also because my team mates had been great in supporting me and in piloting me in the head position in the approach of the last kilometer of the course. Unfortunately, I did not cover properly the last turn and I was overtaken by may athletes, so I missed the opportunity to participate in the fight for the top positions".

Sports director Marzano commented the performance by the team: "We missed our main targets, which were being in the breakaways and obtaining a top result.

Despite these failures, I could appreciate the good team work in supporting our captain, especially by the trainees Masnada and Troia, who were as efficient as the more experienced riders Ferrari and Niemiec.

Sacha will have another chance in the Coppa Bernocchi".

Good late Summer weather turns around Halfords' cycling results

This came from Bike-Eu:

REDDITCH, UK – Any continued doubts that Brexit might impact consumer confidence and cycle sales on the UK seem to have receded as major UK bike retailer Halfords posted 20 week results to August 19th up 1.9% on the same period last year.

This pickup will be welcome news following their 13 week results in July showed cycle sales growth impacted by poor weather and their earlier April figures had showed a 1% decline compared to the same period last year.

However, absolute cycle revenue growth for the August figures, with sales from Cycle Republic, Tredz and Wheelies factored in, saw 11% growth. These were not quoted in the 1.9% like for like growth figures as they were not all part of the Halfords group at this time last year. Cycling parts, accessories and clothing sales showed a strong 6% like for like growth over the August period too.

It seems good weather in later summer and the launch of branded bikes from Olympians Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott in early July helped turnaround the previously disappointing figures.

You can read the entire story here.

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