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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, September 23, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page

When Mozart was asked by a fan for tips on writing symphonies, the composer suggested, "Begin with some simple lieder and work your way up to a symphony."

"But Herr Mozart," replied the fan, "you were writing symphonies when you were eight."

Yes," said Mozart, "But I never asked anybody."

Recently completed racing:

Today's racing:


Eneco Tour stage 4 team reports

Here is Lotto-Soudal's Eneco Tour news:

The riders covered a part of the course of the Flèche Brabançonne in the fourth stage of the Eneco Tour. Right after the start sign was given four riders rode away but they were reeled in with ninety kilometers to go. The finale started for real when the riders got onto the local circuit. Lotto Soudal was very attentive, but they didn’t succeed to create a new leading group. The team set the pace in the peloton and caught the two Astana riders and Jasper Stuyven, who rode right in front of the peloton for a while. Peter Sagan won the sprint just ahead of André Greipel. Only after consulting the photo finish it was sure that the world champion won the stage.

André Greipel: “Of course I’m disappointed that Sagan beat me today. With two kilometers to go there was a crash in the bunch. I was just behind the crash and I had to come back from the fortieth position. Thanks to a big effort of Jürgen Roelandts I still got to the front of the peloton in time. Unfortunately I already wasted a lot of energy. The team took the responsibility today and they made the race very hard. The goal was to make the race hard with ninety kilometers to go and we made it happen. I still felt good in the finale. In the last hundred meters there was a little incident with Démare and Sagan. I had to stop pedaling for a second. I was too late to beat Sagan in the sprint. At the finish line none of us knew who won, but the photo finish showed that Sagan was the fastest one today. It’s unfortunate, but I’m happy with my condition and with the work that the team has done today. I hope that further on in the Eneco Tour, the team and I will be able to show us again.”

Eneco Tour

Peter Sagan (in red) just beat André Greipel.

And here's LottoNL-Jumbo's Eneco Tour news:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen placed fifth in the Eneco Tour’s fourth stage today in St-Pieters-Leeuw. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) sprinted to victory again from a small group and took over the leader's jersey. Jos van Emden holds his third place overall.

Four men escaped in the longest stage of the Eneco Tour, 202 kilometres from Aalter. The peloton kept them close and with 60 kilometres left, they were back in the peloton. Several others tried and made the sprinters’ lives difficult.

“We rode fast today, the cobblestones and the hills made it hard,” Groenewegen said. “A fifth place after such a stage is more acceptable. Halfway through the race, I did not feel very good, but in the sprint, I felt good again."

Again it was a hectic sprint. Groenewegen said that it has been like that in every road stage of the Eneco Tour. "It's like it just does not work. In the final, we were separated because we were caught on the left side after the crash. I jumped on Boasson Hagen’s wheel, but he did not move up and so I started the sprint.”

"It was an exciting day with the bends, cobblestones and hills. That made it very hectic," said Sports Director Merijn Zeeman. “Wagner, Wynants, Leezer and Roosen rode themselves completely empty for the GC men and our sprinter. As planned, we looked after Dylan and made sure he was still in the peloton over the last climb. We brought him into position. It seemed that he was well-positioned, but the crash in the final threw a spanner in the works and prevented Groenewegen from sprinting for victory."

In the overall standings, Jos van Emden holds in third place. Because Andrei Grivko (Astana) took some seconds, he rose to fourth. Wilco Kelderman and Primoz Roglic now sit in seventh and ninth place. The team time trial tomorrow should change things again in the Eneco Tour.

Gilbert and Sánchez Return to Racing at Italian One-Day Races

This release came to me from BMC:

22 September, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will continue the closing end of the European racing season in Italy with five one-day races where Philippe Gilbert and Samuel Sánchez will make their return to competition after abandoning the Vuelta a Espana.

Sports Directors Max Sciandri and Valerio Piva said the eight-rider teams have been carefully selected to suit the various race profiles. "We have strong teams for Giro dell'Emilia and GP Bergelli so I think we can be confident going in. At Giro dell'Emilia it is a great group of climbers and considering most of them were at Vuelta a Espana, their form is good. GP Berghelli is more of a sprint so we have our Classics riders lining up there, with Samuel Sánchez and Philippe Gilbert assuming the role of leader at the two races respectively," Sciandri said.

"Tre Valli Varesine and Giro del Piemonte are hard races but they don't have the tough climbs like Milano Torino which is why we are taking a strong classics team with Philippe Gilbert as our leader. It can be a select group at the finish of these races so it's important to get into the right move. Milano-Torino is an important race as it's similar to Il Lombardia so it will be the last chance to test the legs. With strong climbers like Samuel Sánchez, Darwin Atapuma and Ben Hermans in the team for Milano-Torino, we have a very good chance," Piva explained.

Gilbert, who won Giro del Piemonte in 2009 and 2010, is back to form after abandoning the Vuelta a Espana due to a lingering injury sustained in a crash in the opening week of racing. "My problems are behind me so I'm ready to race. I did Giro dell'Emilia once and it is a hard race but it will be my first time at Tre Valli Varesine so I don't have any previous experience. Although I won Giro del Piemonte on two occasions only the name is the same as the course has changed so in a way this will be like a first time there as well," Gilbert admitted.

Sánchez will make his return to racing after crashing out of the Vuelta a Espana where he dislocated his right shoulder. "After the disappointment of having to quit the Vuelta a Espana, I go back to competition with my sights set on Il Lombardia. Giro dell'Emilia and Milano-Torino have perfect courses for me and I'm looking forward to racing there at 100 percent," Sánchez explained.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Giro dell'Emilia (24 September)

Riders: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Manuel Senni (ITA), Dylan Teuns (BEL).

Sports Director: Max Sciandri

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GP Beghelli (25 September)

Riders: Marcus Burgahrdt (GER), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Taylor Eisenhart (USA), Floris Gerts (NED), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Peter Velits (SVK), Loïc Vliegen (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER).

Sports Director: Max Sciandri

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tre Valli Varesine (27 September)

Riders: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Taylor Eisenhart (USA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Sports Director: Valerio Piva

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Milano Torino (28 September)

Riders: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Ben Hermans (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Manuel Senni (ITA), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Peter Velits (SVK).

Sports Director: Valerio Piva

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Giro del Piemonte (29 September)
Riders: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burgahrdt (GER), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI),Danilo Wyss (SUI) Rick Zabel (GER).

Sports Director: Valerio Piva

EU Is not granting market economy status to China

This important news came to me from Bike-eu.com:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – It got snowed under in the Eurobike news storm, but it’s now official. The Europe Union will not grant China Market Economy Status. This decision means that the current anti-dumping measures on the import of bicycles from China will not be changed and stay in place up to June 2018. When at that time the dumping measures are to be reviewed then they will stay in force up to March/April 2019.

That the EU will not grant China Market Economy Status was already announced end of July. European Commission’s Vice President Katainen and Commissioner for Trade Malmström announced this after a Commission’s orientation debate on 20th July.

A week before the European Commission’s announcement, the European Economic and Social Committee officially stated that, “If we lose the tools to ensure free and fair trade with China, an unacceptable figure of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost. Losses would be concentrated in particular sectors such as aluminum, bicycles, ceramics, electrodes, ferroalloys, glass, paper, solar panels and steel.”

You can read the entire story here.

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