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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 11, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. - Soren Kierkegaard

Current Racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Team Movistar will be racing in Murcia

Here's the team's update:

9 FEBRUARY 2017: Following their victorious campaign at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with Nairo Quintana, the Movistar Team will be back racing on Saturday as they take on the 37th Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia. The southeastern Spanish event was forced to keep the Cresta del Gallo finishing climb out of its 2017 parcours due to road damage, yet it conserves the Cat-1 Collado Bermejo as toughest point of a 183km route which also includes Cat-3 hills Aledo and Gebas.

Alejandro Valverde and Rubén Fernández - the latter making his 2017 debut after jaw injuries in the winter - will be the main attraction for a race where the telephone squad, directed by José Luis Laguía, will also feature Gorka Izagirre, brilliant at the Tour Down Under before a crash ruined his GC crashes. The seven-man roster for Murcia is completed by Jasha Sütterlin, Jorge Arcas, Antonio Pedrero and Marc Soler.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde will be on the start lines in Spain this weekend

Valverde will leave a spot for Carlos Barbero at the Clásica de Almería on Sunday, the UCI 1.1 race offering again a sprinters' course on its 190.9km route from the Andalusian province's capital and Roquetas de Mar. All other six participants in Murcia, with Laguía as DS, will repeat their appearance, the Blues set to help out both Barbero and Sütterlin, remarkable in the TDU, as sprinting guns.

Van Avermaet headlines BMC's Tour of Oman team

BMC sent me this news:

10 February, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Greg Van Avermaet returns to the start line at the Tour of Oman next week, where he will be looking for stage wins at the six-day race.

Van Avermaet is backed by a strong team and collectively the riders will look for different opportunities, BMC Racing Team Sports Director Valerio Piva said.

"The Tour of Oman is traditionally a tough race and this year the level of competition is high, so we're expecting a good race. We know that Greg is in good form and motivated, and we also have an ambitious team to support him, including riders like Martin Elmiger and Kilian Frankiny who not only race for the first time this season but make their debut with BMC Racing Team," Piva explained.

Having narrowly missed a stage win in 2016, Van Avermaet is motivated to continue his good start to the season. "The 2017 season has already started win a win and time in the yellow jersey in Valencia, so I'm looking forward to continuing my season at the Tour of Oman. It's a hard race but my form is good, so I'll be on the look out for stage wins where possible," Van Avermaet said.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet

The Tour of Oman will be Van Avermaet's last race before the Classics season gets underway in Europe.

Tour of Oman (14-19 February)

Rider roster: Jempy Drucker (LUX), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).

Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA)

Lotto-Soudal headed to Spain

Here's the team's racing news

This weekend seven Lotto Soudal riders will race the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (11/02) and Clásica de Almería (12/02), two one-day races in the south of Spain.

The Vuelta a Murcia on Saturday is 182.7 kilometres long. There are three climbs on the course. Two got the label third category and in between there’s a first category climb: the Alto Collado Bermejo (1201 metres of altitude). After the riders have reached the top of the last climb, they still need to cover 39.2 kilometres to the finish in Murcia, mainly downhill.

On Sunday, the riders will participate in the Clásica de Almería. In that race of 190 kilometres they need to climb less than the day before, the highest point is not even at 400 metres above sea level. The last twenty kilometres towards the finish in Roquetas de Mar are as flat as a pancake.

Herman Frison, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We chose to add the Vuelta a la Región de Murcia and Clásica de Almería to our race programme so the riders would have more race days before the Belgian opening weekend. Up till now they rode Challenge Mallorca or Grand Prix de la Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges. Now it’s the Spanish double and next week Benoot, Debusschere, Frison, Roelandts and Wallays will take part in the Volta ao Algarve which lasts five days.”

Jurgen Roelandts

Jurgen Roelandts will be racing in Spain

“Last year Philippe Gilbert beat Alejandro Valverde in Murcia in a sprint of a small group. Tomorrow Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin and Jürgen Roelandts will be our main contenders. If we beat Valverde and his Movistar team we will be close to victory. The Clásica de Almería is less hard and often ends with a group sprint. On Sunday we count on Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts, but also Ties Benoot and Tony Gallopin can set a good result on that course.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Tony Gallopin, Jürgen Roelandts, Tosh Van der Sande and Jelle Wallays.

Sports director: Herman Frison

Sagging sales in Vista (owner of Camelback, Giro, Bell & Blackburn)
hunting sports division prompts lawsuit

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News sent me this news item:

By Marc Sani

SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — Vista Outdoors is facing a $5 million lawsuit over allegations that it misled investors about the financial condition of its shooting sports division during a six-month period from Aug. 11, 2016 through Jan. 13, 2017.

Patrick Lentsch is suing Vista claiming that its executives failed to state the true financial status of the company's Outdoor Division. That division designs, develops and manufacturers ammunition, long guns and related accessories for hunters, law enforcement and the military.

Vista also owns Camelbak, Giro, Bell and Blackburn. Vista is a conglomerate with 50 brands in its portfolio with annual sales projected at more than $2.7 billion for its fiscal year ending March 31. The company has not filed a response to the complaint and a spokesman was not immediately available to talk to BRAIN on Tuesday.

Named in the lawsuit are Mark DeYoung, Vista's chairman and CEO, Stephen Nolan, senior vice president and CFO, and Vista's former Outdoor Division president, Kelly Grindle.

It was a $400 to $450 million "impairment" charge, which the company announced Jan. 11, that prompted Lentsch to sue the company in Utah's U.S. District Court. Vista's offices are in Farmington, Utah. According to the lawsuit, Vista executives issued press releases and other financial guidance after its first and second quarter for the fiscal year noting the strong performance of its shooting sports segment. The company also filed quarterly reports with the Security and Exchange Commission reaffirming its projected financial results.

But on Jan. 11 Vista announced it was taking a non-cash intangible asset impairment charge. These are essentially accounting expenses that represent meaningful changes to a company's financial standing that can reduce earnings but may not affect short-term capital or cash flow.

You can read the entire story here.

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