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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, September 22, 2016

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He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know. – Abraham Lincoln

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Eneco Tour stage 3 team reports

This is Tinkoff's Eneco stage 3 report:

A win on Sunday, third on Monday and eighth in yesterday’s time trial – Peter Sagan’s stellar week has continued with a superb stage win on day 3 of the Eneco Tour in Ardooie, Belgium. Managing to find the smallest of gaps through the middle of the peloton, Peter proved the fastest of the bunch on the second sprint showdown of the race.

The stage saw a nail-biting finish with the day’s break of five only being caught as the sprint opened up. Initially it looked like Peter would be too far back to be able to contest the top placings on the stage, but a show of technical skill and nerve saw the World and European champion find an unimaginable gap and pull clear for a convincing win in the final metres. With the win, Peter moves into second on GC, just three seconds down, and comforts his lead in the red jersey of points leader.

“I think God opened the street for me in the finishing sprint like Moses parted the seas,” Peter joked after the finish, clearly delighted with the stage win. “It was fun and I’m very happy to win here. Thanks again to all my teammates as they did an unbelievable job on the last laps and helped me today. For now, we’re doing very well but we’ll take it day-by-day and see how we are tomorrow and then in the team time trial. Sunday is still some way away but for now we’re doing well and we’ll try to continue like this.”

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan wins Eneco Tour stage 3

The race got underway with a break of five riders pulling clear in the opening kilometres, building an advantage that grew to over six minutes. Much like on the first stage, the sprinters’ teams were keen to pick up the chase, along with that of the race leader, and control the gap ahead of a likely bunch finish.

Their advantage fell as the stage progressed but in the final 20km the five picked up the pace and started to hold off the peloton. A concerted chase from behind eventually brought the gap down but it was touch and go until the final few hundred metres as to whether the break or the peloton would take it.

On the final finishing circuits, Tinkoff applied pressure on the front of the peloton to help close the gap and to also keep Peter in position, and the team once again showed a collective display of strength to help deliver Peter in the right position to be able to contest the stage win. Unfortunately, Michael Valgren was involved in a crash in the sprint and will undergo further tests to asses any damage done.

Sport Director Tristan Hoffman explained the stage in more detail from the team’s perspective. “Our focus for the stage was to concentrate on the final sprint, as the bunch looked happy to let the break take the bonus seconds. There were five guys in front and with 20km to go it was under control but the peloton took its foot off the gas and the gap went out so it was super close.

“When the gap went out we knew we had to help pull and the guys did a good job. I think in the last 15km it was always over 60kmh so it was a hard finish. Then at the end Peter came through like a rocket, it was amazing.”

Tomorrow’s stage covers 201.4km over typical Belgium roads, and the race starts to tackle some climbs and other difficulties, as Hoffman explained. “There are a few hills and cobblestones, and the mix of these in the final could lead to some splits so we will be ready and up there.”

Here's LottoNL-Jumbo's Eneco Tour report:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen placed fourth in the third stage of the Eneco Tour today. In the streets of Ardooie, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won and with the bonus seconds, moved up to second place overall at the expense of Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). Rohan Dennis (BMC) remains the overall leader.

Five riders managed to escape after the start in Blankenberg. They nearly survived, only falling into the group’s claws in the final 500 metres. Sagan sprinted around with the others trying to keep up.

"The sprint was very hectic because the leading group was caught in a full sprint,” Groenewegen explained. “We had to sprint between them and it seemed that only Sagan had no problems with that. It sucks that I only managed fourth. We came here to win bunch sprints, and if you fail, you can’t be happy.

“I'm fine and my speed is also good. I think that I was the fastest today, but I had to hold off too much in the sprint."

"In the final, it was very exciting because many teams began to play poker,” Sports Director Merijn Zeeman added. “There are many interests in the peloton. Some teams ride only for the sprint and others are thinking of the overall. There was little cooperation in the peloton at the start of the stage today.”

The group succeeded, but just, in catching the five riders. "That was not because the peloton rode well, it was more because the riders in the leading group started to look back. Our goal was to get Dylan through the last corner as well as possible. Groenewegen succeeded, but his team-mates lost ground. In the sprint, he showed again that he is good, but unfortunately, he could not open the throttle."

Jos van Emden dropped one place to third in the overall standings, but maintaining his position was not the goal today.

"We are pleased that we have still three men in the top 10 of the standings,” Zeeman said. “Today, we rode entirely for a bunch sprint. Jos van Emden, too. He made every effort to keep Dylan positioned.“

Frankiny set to join BMC racing team in 2017

This release came from BMC:

21 September, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team today announced that Kilian Frankiny, 22, will graduate from BMC Development Team to BMC Racing Team for the 2017 season.

Frankiny, who was a stagiaire with BMC Racing Team in 2015, joins a long list of riders who have made the transition from BMC Development Team.

"We are delighted to have Kilian join BMC Racing Team. Kilian is a very talented rider as we saw when he won two stages, including the team time trial, and the overall victory at Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc this year. Kilian's progression to the UCI WorldTour team is a testament to the success of our development team in nurturing the next generation of cycling talent," BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained.

Frankiny is excited to be staying within the BMC family, particularly being a Swiss rider. "I had four great years at BMC Development Team, which felt more like a family than a team, during which time I learned a lot from the riders who have already transitioned to BMC Racing Team. I had the chance to be a stagiaire last year so I've already seen the high level at which the team operates. It's an honor to be joining a team with such strong riders. I hope to do a good job of supporting the team's goals and if the opportunity is there I hope to have some good results myself," Frankiny said.

Frankiny is the seventh rider to make the transition from BMC Development Team to BMC Racing Team.

REI to replace Novara bike brand with new brand, Co-op Cycles

This item came to me from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — REI is replacing its long-standing house brand for bicycles, Novara, with a new brand called Co-op Cycles. The member owned co-op announced the change and showed a handful of new Co-op bikes at a media preview event Tuesday evening, prior to the opening of Interbike on Wednesday. REI will not have a display at the trade show.

The Co-op bike line, available next spring, includes all new hardtail mountain bikes and "all-road" bike models, priced up to about $2,300. At lower price points, some popular Novara models will be re-branded as Co-op, with new colors and graphics.

The bikes on display had a modern, understated look, with matte finishes with some fluorescent accents.

REI's Paul Calandrella said the line will capitalize on the recent popularity of adventure touring, which aligns with REI's reputation among outdoors consumers. He said the Co-op brand will be used on cycling clothing and accessories and might even be used on tents and other outdoor gear appropriate for bike adventures.

You can read the entire article here.

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