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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, January 7, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. - Abraham Lincoln

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Orica-Scott take Australian criterium championship double

The team sent me this news.

First, the men's race.

Reigning champion Caleb Ewan has successfully defended his Australian criterium championship with a sprint victory in Ballarat this evening. It was the second win in as many days for the 22-year-old from New South Wales after he, like women’s winner Jessica Allen, won the final stage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Williamstown yesterday.

With just two teammates for company this year, Mitch Docker and Damien Howson worked hard to cover the early moves but it was IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness who created the bunch sprint after putting nine riders on the front of the peloton in the closing laps.

“Coming back to the crits in Australia I do feel a little bit of pressure because I’ve done well here in the past few years,” Ewan said. “We started with a few less guys than we would have hoped and that was always going to make the race hard, but luckily it came together in the end. The race went a bit differently to the past few years but Mitch and Damo did an amazing job to keep the race together, especially against some big teams.

“In the end I got boxed off the wheel in the last corner but I didn’t panic, I knew I could do a long sprint so I started early and made my way to the front.”

Caleb /Ewen

Caleb Ewen winning the third stage of this year's Bay Cycling Classic

Ewan will line up in the men’s road race on Sunday. The sprinter’s previous best result on the course was second in 2015, his debut year in the elite event.

How it happened: The men’s criterium started slowly and built towards its finale.

Solo rider Nathan Earle was the biggest animator of the race moving away solo as the peloton looked unfazed and allowed him to extend his advantage. Eventually a spark lit in the peloton and a move of eight riders, initiated by Travis Meyer and including Docker, launched from the bunch in pursuit of Earle.

The nine riders joined together but never fully committed to making it work, with some supporting their sprint teammates behind. Eventually the race came back together and a host of attacking in the final lap splintered the peloton.

A messy reduced sprint eventuated, with Ewan launching early from the bottom corner to retain his title ahead of Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) and Brenton Jones (JLT Condor).

And in the women's race:

Just one day after winning the final day of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Williamstown, Jessica Allen has once again soloed to victory, this time to be awarded a conveted green and gold jersey as the 2017 Australian criterium champion.

23-year-old Allen, along with 22-year-old teammate Jenelle Crooks, dominated the 30 lap criterium, initiating or marking all of the moves before Allen escaped solo with five laps of the 1.1km course remaining.

“I’m lost for words,” an emotional Allen said on the finish line. “It’s been an awesome few days with Orica and I’m just a bit emotional to be honest. Thank you to my teammates for believing in me. Our main objective was to be aggressive and we did that perfectly.

“There was a few breakaways early on which we weren’t really happy about and then halfway through the race I got away with Jenelle and a few others and this was good because we outnumbered them. Jenelle and I aren’t sprinters so we knew we had to attack. We wanted them to be solid attacks, not useless attacks, and we really did that today.”

Sport director Gene Bates praised Allen and was visibly pleased with the way the team rode. “It really is worth noting the team effort that went into today,” Bates said. “We wanted to create situation where we had upper hand and we did that.”

“We were happy for anyone to be in that situation, including any of our young riders, but it is a full credit to Jess and Jenelle who both rode with incredible intelligence tonight.”

Bates and Allen both recognised the road the West Australian has travelled to land with a gold medal. “Jess has had a hard road,” Bates said. “It took her a long time to find a team that would support her following her 2011 world title, but we are incredibly pleased with how she is fitting in with the group.”

“She is the first to put up her hand to help others, so it’s really pleasing to see her enjoy some success too.”

Allen, who joined ORICA-SCOTT in mid-216, agreed. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “I was pretty close to quitting. For women, we don’t do it for the money, we do it for the passion, and so there was a big question of if I wanted to commit so much and leave so much behind. I did re-assess a bit at one point, but last year I really found my love for the sport again and when I’m happy, I ride well.”

How it happened: After an early and short-lived solo move in the first lap, Crooks initiated a group of six riders. The strength of those who joined her meant the group refused to work together and they were reeled in ahead of the first intermediate sprint.

Allen then attacked just after the sprint and a second effort by Crooks over the top saw her escape with Peta Mullens (Hagen). Australian road race champion Amanda Spratt bridged across with Lucy Bechtel for company but the peloton recognised the threat and chased hard to bring it back together.

A huge race by Crooks saw her make a third breakaway after she followed another attack of teammate Allen, the pair now in a group of five riders with nine laps remaining.

After a number of attacks, it was a move by Allen with five laps remaining that broke her breakaway counterparts and the former junior time trial world champion, finished the race alone to win by 41 seconds.

Jack Bauer is New Zealand time trial champ

Here's the report from Bauer's Quick Step team:

First victory of the season for Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team came Friday morning, when the 31-year-old Jack Bauer cruised to his maiden individual time trial title.

Jack Bauer's aim was to start the season on a high and the Kiwi didn't disappoint, storming to the win at the National ITT Championships, which he raced for the first time in his career. One of the eighth riders to join Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team prior to the 2017 season, Jack lined up at the start of the 40km-long race against the clock in Napier confident and determined to take a victory early in the season and add the ITT title to the road race one he had already conquered seven years ago in Christchurch.

jack Bauer

Jack Bauer racing the prologue at the 2016 Dauphine

The seventh rider to start the race held under the sunny sky of New Zealand, Jack – who was showing the colors of Quick-Step Floors Cycling for the first time this season – put in a huge ride, scorching the up-and-down course and setting the best time at the halfway mark, before improving by a substantial margin the best result at the finish and stopping the clock in 51:54, thus going into the hot seat.

"I am so thrilled to win this national title and to be able to take the national jersey back to Europe for my new team, who have given me all the support I needed for these championships. My new outfit is a really strong one, with many great riders, and you are aware that being part of such a set-up you have to step up your game and that's what I've done", said Jack after claiming the win ahead of Jason Christie and Hamish Bond.

"It was hard today. That course was tough with the climb, and I had forgotten about how dead the New Zealand roads are with the big chip, and added to that the wind was quite strong. The victory makes me happy, as it's very nice to kick off the season like this. I want to thank to my fiancée and to all the people who came here today for supporting me. My next goal is the road race on Sunday and I hope for another strong showing also there, even though I know that it's not going to be easy. To give the team a second jersey would be nice", concluded Bauer after his and Quick-Step Floors Cycling's maiden victory of 2017.

Friday's win was the 40th at the National Championships for the team managed by Patrick Lefevere since its inception, back in 2003.

Bike products on display at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this report:

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Amidst the smart hairbrushes, Augmented Reality Play Doh, Bluetooth-enabled toasters, virtual reality shoes, developer kits for "smart" sex toys (find your own link) and underwater drones for anglers (actually kind of cool), there are a number of bike-related products on display this week at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

The trade show opened Thursday following several days of media previews, and runs through Sunday. It spans 2.5 million square feet and attracts 7,500 media personnel and more than 30,000 buyers. Here's a look at some highlights we've discovered so far (and don't miss the Fisher-Price exercise bike in our New Products section today):

Many CES exhibitors are showing products that may or may not appear in independent retail locations in the coming months and years. But there are a few established brands at CES that sell through bike shops.

Pioneer Cycle Sports is displaying its Expanded Sensor Network, which it first introduced at Interbike. The system collects rider data using a series of 26 sensors (strain gauges, accelerometers and gyro sensors) located on five key locations on the bike and rider – the seatpost, helmet, stem, power meter and shoe. From these sensors, Pioneer is able to display and analyze weight distribution, "ankling" movement while pedaling, and head movement.

Pioneer's Russ Johnston said that while the company does not sell its bike products through electronics stores (the majority of buyers at CES), more and more bike-related retailers are attending CES.

"We do see a handful of dealers at CES. Due to the development of health and fitness as a category and how electronics has entered into the bicycle industry, more retailers are attending this event," he told BRAIN. He said CES is the "ideal venue" to showcase Pioneer's new technology.

"The cycle products are part of the advanced technology area of the booth. We commonly show new products and categories where our technology applies," he said.

Garmin announced a variety of new products on Wednesday, including an updated Fenix 5 smart watch line that is being marketed to cyclists and other outdoor athletes. The company also announced the availability of more third-party apps through its Connect IQ app store. Among the new apps is a Strava Suffer Score, which gives a real-time reading of how hard an athlete is working.

You can read the entire article here.

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