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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, February 5, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. - T. S. Eliot

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Final Dubai Tour report from LottoNL-Jumbo

Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen finished second overall and won the young riders white jersey in the Dubai Tour today. He placed 10th in the last stage, 124 kilometres through the streets of Dubai, behind stage winner Marcel Kittel. Germany’s Kittel took home the overall title with an advantage of 18 seconds.

"This week Kittel was very strong," said Groenewegen. "Maybe with a little luck I could beat him, but I still am satisfied about this week. It's a perfect way to start your season when you are a sprinter. I've had fun this week. The race here is nice. Especially today, the crowd was very enthusiastic and everything is well organised here."

Marcel kittel

Dylan Groenewegen finished second twice behind Marcel Kittel in this year's Dubai Tour. Here he is just behind Kittel at the end of stage 1.

After a quick opening phase, it took some time before riders were able to break free. After 50 kilometres, four riders did so under the watchful eye of the peloton. The main pack never let the four stray far.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo put Bram Tankink on the front in the final and working with other sprint teams, the lead diminished quickly. Meanwhile, the rest of the team gathered around Dylan Groenewegen. They brought the leader of the young rider classification forward with four kilometres to race.

In the last kilometre, Groenewegen was blocked from truly participating in the sprint. The Dutch champion successfully defended his second place in the GC and defended his white jersey.

"The lead-out was not what we wanted. We arrived well before, but did not have enough power to keep it up. With 1.5 kilometres to go, I was in 40th place and I thought it was over. I managed to get more to the front in the last corner, but then I had to brake and it was over."

The Dutch champion successfully defended his second place in the GC and defended his white jersey. The week was a success. He finished every time in the top ten in the four stages of the Dubai tour. Twice, he was second behind stage winner Kittel.

"We planned to get through the last corner first, but we see that our train is still not strong enough. We can be satisfied with a second place and the youth jersey," said Sports Director Grischa Niermann.

"The sprint train is not 100% yet, but we have made another step ahead this week. Also, the new guys like Gijs Van Hoecke and Amund Grøndahl Jansen show that they can handle this level. It is now a matter of continued repetition until we really get the sprint train on track.

"You see Dylan made again another step ahead. When you place twice second behind Marcel Kittel, you certainly belongs among the top sprinters."

Thomas Voeckler to defend Tour de Yorkshire title

This release came from the Tour de Yorkshire organizer:

Thomas Voeckler will be back to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title after being unveiled as the first star rider of 2017.

Welcome to Yorkshire announced Voeckler today, who emerged triumphant last year when he broke away with Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) on the final climb of the third stage. He then outsmarted his rival in a two-way sprint for the overall victory along Scarborough’s North Bay.

That win proved the highest-profile success of the season for the Frenchman, who is one of the most celebrated cyclists of his generation. He has earned a cult following due to his attacking style and never-say-die attitude.

The 37 year old has also won four Tour de France stages, held the iconic yellow jersey for no less than 20 stages, and even topped the mountains classification in a glittering career.

Thomas Voeckler

Thomas Voeckler winning in Yorkshire in 2016

Last September he announced plans to retire following this summer’s Tour de France, meaning the Tour de Yorkshire on 28-30 April will be his last-ever appearance on British soil. As such, the Direct Énergie rider will be firing on all cylinders and cannot wait to return to the county which he holds in such fond regard.

Voeckler said: “I fell in love with the Tour de Yorkshire two years ago and it was a huge honour to win it after finishing third in 2015. This race feels like home for me because the crowd are always shouting my name, holding up banners or writing it on the road. I have never seen anything like it.

“I am looking forward to competing in Yorkshire one last time and I hope to have a major impact on the race, however I can.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity is delighted to see Voeckler return for a third successive season and insists he is just the first in a long list of world-class riders to be unveiled over the coming months.

He said: “Thomas has been a tremendous ambassador for the Tour de Yorkshire so I am thrilled he will be on the start line again. His swashbuckling style is a joy to behold and that tenacity has endeared him to supporters young and old.

“Riders of his ilk are what makes the Tour de Yorkshire so special and we will have a stellar field lined up once again in April. The word is now truly out on what a special and well supported race the Tour de Yorkshire is, and with the 2019 World Championships now firmly on the horizon, the interest in the race has never been higher.”

Canyon postpones US market launch to third quarter

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update:

SAUSALITO, Calif. (BRAIN) — U.S. cyclists itching to swing a leg over a Canyon bike will need to wait a little longer. The German consumer-direct brand is now aiming for a third-quarter launch into the U.S. market.

Last spring, Canyon announced that it would begin selling online to U.S. consumers in spring 2017, and that investment firm TSG Consumer Partners had gained a minority stake in the company and would provide the capital needed to set up U.S. sales.

But Frank Aldorf, Canyon's chief brand officer, said in a recent call with Bicycle Retailer that the launch date would move to the third quarter of the year.

The company has secured a warehouse to service the U.S. market in Chino, California. Aldorf said Southern California represents the biggest year-round cycling market for Canyon, so locating a warehouse there is important to be close to its customers.

Canyon USA is also in the process of choosing a location for management of operations and dedicated U.S. customer service. Drew Medlock, former manager of the bike division at Backcountry.com, is helping set up U.S. operations and Richard Wheeler, who has worked at Trek and Specialized in quality control, is managing QC and assembly operations. Canyon U.S. is in the process of hiring other staff. It has also retained True Communications as a dedicated U.S. PR agency.

"We want to launch in the country with 2018 products," Aldorf said. "We want to be here with the latest products and we think it's better if we move it further out so we can offer the latest. We'll have a slight delay here, maybe a couple of months, but we'll offer model year 2018 product."

Aldorf said the company doesn't have a specific launch date set. And Canyon is still determining how many models it will bring to the U.S., but that the Canyon.com website will showcase the line later this year. Consumers will have a chance to interact with the brand "in a variety of ways before we go live in Q3 – everything from places-to-ride events to consumer events," he said.

You can read the entire news story here.

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