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

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

A true man hates no one. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Current racing:

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Larry Theobald of CycleItalia Tours explains the three bike measurements every cyclist should know. Setting up your bike when traveling is easy when you know these three numbers.


Simon Yates wins Paris-Nice stage 6

Yates' Orica-Scott team sent me this report:

Vuelta a España stage winner Simon Yates attacked with 18 kilometres to go on today’s stage six in Paris-Nice to claim an impressive solo victory. The 24-year-old launched a well-timed attack two kilometres from the crest of the penultimate climb and successfully held on to his lead to take the first victory of the race for Orica-Scott.

Despite being his first race of the 2017 season, Yates confidently and courageously rode away from the reduced group of elite climbers on the steep slopes of the Col de Bourigaille.

"I was still quite far down in the general classification before today so I had some freedom,” explained Yates at the finish. “I expected some guys to come with me and work together for the finish but I found myself on my own. I was just full gas to the finish, I gave everything I had.

"There's still a lot of time to take away from Julian Alaphillipe (Quick-Step Floors) but he's such a phenomenal rider. He's one of the best riders of our generation.”

With the stage victory today, Yates jumps up in the general classification to eighth place, one minute 37seconds a drift, but with two hard stages still to come he expressed his motivation to continue for a good placing overall.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates enjoys his win

“I’ll try again but there's a long way to go,” Yates continued. “Today I told myself that if I want to feature in the overall, I have to take some time somewhere. There are still a few difficult days still to come and I can try. La Couillole looks very difficult, I don't know this climb but I saw the profile. There are still a lot of guys down in the GC so I expect a tough race."

With today’s stage a target for the team, sport director Laurenzo Lapage was overjoyed with the victory and acknowledged Yates’ courageous attack at the perfect tactical moment. “Simon started the climb in a really good position,” said Lapage. “The guys did their homework to put him there in the best position at the bottom.”

“It was the perfect place for him to attack as it was all downhill from there except for 1.5kilometres at the end. He was with all the main climbers and a lot of them were also on their own so they could not fully commit to the chase.

“Because it was downhill he was able to take more time and start the last climb in a good place. He took 50seconds on the decent but he was also on his limit at that moment and finished just 17seconds ahead so that says enough. A really impressive victory.”

How it happened:

The stage started with a tough first hour of racing with many riders attacking in an attempt to establish an early breakaway as the peloton split significantly over the first climb of the day. Nobody was given any freedom to break free and it was after approximately 50kilometres of racing that a breakaway formed at the head of the race.

Eight riders worked together and rode out to a maximum advantage of four minutes as the broken peloton behind all regrouped.

Yates remained in good position throughout the day and after 140kilometres of racing the riders began to ascend the Col de Bourigaille for the first time, swallowing up six of the breakaway riders, leaving only two riders, Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortenou) and Alessandro de Marchi (BMC) out front.

Team Sky set the initial pace at the front of the reduced bunch on the final ascent of the 8.1 kilometre category one climb and the catch was finally made.

With the front of the race all back together Yates showed his climbing class with a powerful attack and quickly rode away, constantly increasing his advantage. On the steep decent his lead continued to grow out to 50seconds as he began the final climb to the summit finish in Fayence, a 1.3kilometre ascent with a 9.8% average gradient.

The group behind closed in but it wasn’t enough to stop Yates who stole the show and took the stage victory.

Dennis Moves into the Blue Jersey after chaotic finish in Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3

Here's BMC Tirreno-Adriatico report:

The blue jersey was passed onto the shoulders of BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis on Tirreno-Adriatico stage 3 after a late crash saw Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) take the win in a reduced bunch sprint for the line.

In a similar manner to stage 2, the day’s breakaway was established early with seven riders going clear and extending an advantage of 2’30” after just 15km of racing.

Despite another day over 200km, the pace was high with riders covering 44.9km in the first hour of racing as they headed towards the only categorized climb.  BMC Racing Team kept a watchful eye on the action at the front of the race, as the peloton limited the breakaway’s advantage to four minutes. But, with stage 3 billed as one for the sprinters, the gap started to fall steadily with 100km to go.

The final breakaway rider held on until inside the final 20km of the day before being swept up by the main bunch as they charged towards a fast and furious finale.

With a short and punchy rise in the final kilometer, it wasn’t a straightforward run into the finish with sprinters’ teams battling for position. In the end, the speed of the peloton, and a late crash saw the peloton strung out along the road with Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) finding himself in the best position to power across the line.

With Van Avermaet caught behind the crash, it was Dennis who crossed the line first for BMC Racing Team, earning him the right to wear the blue leader’s jersey heading into stage 4, and the summit finish to Terminillo.

Van Avermaet, Damiano Caruso, and Tejay van Garderen round out the top four places on the General Classification.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis is now in blue

Rohan Dennis:

“You never think about there being a crash in the final kilometer so for me, the most important thing about today’s stage is that no-one was caught up in that. Of course, the silver lining for me is that I get the chance to wear the blue jersey. We are all on the same time, so it feels as though we are just passing the jersey around.”

“I am happy to be in this position heading into tomorrow, but it will be a tough stage. We haven't had a climb like the one at the end of tomorrow’s stage yet, so I am hoping I can do well. For me, that means both being able to test myself and work for Tejay Van Garderen unless I am told otherwise.”

“I have to learn how to climb with the best if I want to do well in the Giro d’Italia later on in the year and this race is really a stepping stone to hopefully becoming a Grand Tour contender. There is no pressure on me; I am just looking to do the best that I can and see where my form is. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. I can learn from it and try to keep improving.”

Team Sky's Tirreno-Adriatico report:

Elia Viviani missed out on a second successive win at Tirreno Adriatico for Team Sky as he was edged into second place by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a bunch sprint.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan wins Tirreno-Adriatico stage 3

Sagan emerged from Viviani’s wheel 70 metres from the finishing line to power past the Italian following a fractured sprint caused by cross winds and crash in the closing stages.

Team Sky worked hard in the last 30km of the stage to create the opportunity for a sprint as a long-term breakaway threatened to ruin the sprints’ fun on a relatively flat finish.

Six riders including Mattia Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec), Andry Grivko (Astana), Mirco Maestri and Luca Wackermann (both Bardiani – CSF), Iuri Filosi and Kohei Uchima (Nippo-Fantini) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale) escaped in the opening stages and were closed down successfully only for Filosi to make a late counter.

But with 15km to go the peloton prevailed and brought Filosi back to ensure the 204 kilometre stage from Monterotondo Marittimo to Montaldo Di Castro would end in a sprint.

Diamondback launches new consumer direct program, ReadyRide

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News sent me this news:

KENT, Wash. (BRAIN) — Diamondback Bicycles has launched a new consumer direct purchasing program that has been in development for more than two years.

The Accell-owned brand is promising aggressive pricing — it says 30 to 40 percent below comparable retail pricing on its premium road and triathlon bike models, including the Podium, Serios and Andean series bikes. Other bike models will be sold at MSRP. Bikes retailing for $450 or more can be shipped directly to the consumer 95 percent assembled. The company says its ReadyRide assembly takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

"We completely overhauled our manufacturing, assembly and shipping process to create ReadyRide," said Steve Westover, vice president of marketing for Diamondback. "While it typically takes a skilled bike mechanic over two hours to build a bike in a shop, Diamondback customers can now build their bikes within minutes. It eliminates a huge hurdle in the selling process and dramatically improves the overall online bike buying experience."

Diamondback offers assembly and tuning tips with many videos on its website. The site says that experienced mechanics can assemble a bike in 10 minutes, while "never-ever" mechanics might take 60 to 80 minutes.

Customers also can choose to have their bikes assembled and delivered by mobile repair service Beeline Bikes at no extra charge. Beeline does not have operations in all markets, however.

Westover said the program allows low retail pricing.

You can read the entire story here.

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