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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 18, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

If it's the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number? - Robin Williams

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Campenaerts wins the Ruta del Sol time trial

Here's the report from LottoNL-Jumbo:

Victor Campenaerts won the Ruta del Sol’s time trial today in Córdoba, Spain, with one second over Alejandro Valverde. It's the first win of the season for Team LottoNL-Jumbo. It was his first time to race in the discipline this season and the first win since the Belgian time trial championships last summer.

"Everything today was good, my preparation was good and the race went perfectly for me,” he said. “We worked hard as a team and it is nice that it pays off with a victory. Several weeks ago, I felt in good shape. This was the first individual time trial and we made every effort possible to have a good one here. We've been to the wind tunnel and adapted my equipment as well as possible.

"The course was not in my favour, a little too much climbing, but I managed to use all of my power. I kept a high pace and I handled the curves perfectly. Even if I'm riding alone, this feels like a team victory. I could save some energy in the last few days and made sure that I arrived at the start line relatively fresh. When the moment neared I became nervous, but the team around me makes sure that I stay calm. Grischa Niermann coached me for the first time and I really liked that."

Grischa Niermann made his debut as sports director behind Victor Campenaerts. It went in the best possible ways. "It was exciting, especially when we heard that Valverde was going well at the halfway point,” Niermann added. “We were not sure it would turn out well. It is nice that it succeeded anyway.

"Technically it looked perfectly from the car. He approached the corners well and kept in a good position for a long time. In the descent, he went 80 kilometres per hour.

"We reconned the course a number of times this morning. That paid off during the race. Trainer Mathieu Heijboer told us that Campenaerts with this form would not be far from the victory and Campenaerts proved it."

H3 Publications shuts down Road and Decline magazines

I post this story with great sadness. In an earlier life when I owned Torelli Imports, I had the great pleasure to advertise in and work with Road magazine, owned by the always fun and kind Dave House. The publishing world has changed and Mr. House has closed down his H3 Publications.

Here's the story in Bicycle Retailer and Dealer News:

VALENCIA, Calif. (BRAIN) — H3 Publications owner Dave House has closed down industry titles Decline and Road after a 13-year run. The staff of six employees at H3's headquarters in Southern California were let go Tuesday morning, sources said.

Calls and an email to House seeking comment were not returned this week.

Both Decline and Road had recently transitioned to a digital-only format, with the November/December issues as their last print editions. Both titles published three digital-only editions, including their annual Buyer's Guides. The March 2017 issues were their last.

You can read the entire story here.

SRAM stops remaining internal gear hub production

Indiciative of more changes roiling the cycle industry, Bike-Europe sent me this story:

SCHWEINFURT, Germany – In a 14 February dated letter to its OEM customers, US component maker SRAM announces a “discontinuation of its internal gear hub (IGH) production”. As a result there will be no IGH production for model year 2018. According to SRAM-Europe all larger OEM customers have been informed on this right in time, meaning before the mentioned letter was mailed.

Effective May 1, 2017 the internal gear hub platforms Automatix, I-Motion 3 and Dual Drive including the Pulse systems will be brought to bed. The production of all other SRAM’s IGH’s, the T3, P5, S7, G8, I-Motion 9 and E-Matic was already stopped earlier.

What’s exactly behind SRAM decision to take its IGH from the market? According to industry insiders the entire IGH business fell victim to increasing e-bike sales: “Especially the market share of bicycles specified with an IGH are suffering from the e-bike popularity. Those IGH’s we still produce are used on bicycles in the price range between 700 to 1,000 euro. Today consumers spend a little bit more money and buy e-bikes. Particularly the mid motor e-bike category, which represent a large part of the market, mainly relies on derailleur shifting. Moreover the market of the 3-speed IGH business was hit by fierce price erosion. Today they are on mass merchant bicycles being sold for killer prices down to 199 Euro.” This is certainly not the market SRAM is aiming for.

In the letter to the OEM customers SRAM announced to “discontinue the production of all internal gear hubs, shifters and spare parts. Regrettably, the associated business has declined to levels that do not make it appropriate for our key suppliers. Please send your final order as soon as possible, but not later than 3 March 2017. Each order will be reviewed case-by-case by customer service and confirmed if it can be fulfilled with available inventory and production capacity.”. Spare parts will be available as long as on stock. Current products carry the legal warranty.”

You can read the entire story here.

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