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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness. - Michel de Montaigne

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Author Les Woodland tells a couple of stories from his book, "The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories"


Peter Sagan tops UCI world rider ranking

Peter Sagan

World road champion Peter Sagan remains the UCI #1 ranked rider

Rank number in parenthesis is previous ranking.

Rank Rider Team Points
1 (1) Peter SAGAN Bora-hansgrohe 5569
2 (2) Greg VAN AVERMAET BMC 3917.25
3 (3) Chris FROOME Sky 3672
4 (4) Nairo QUINTANA Movistar 3639
5 (5) Alejandro VALVERDE Movistar 3059
6 (7) Alberto CONTADOR Trek-Segafredo 3000
7 (6) Jhoan Esteban CHAVES Orica-Scott 2611
8 (8) Romain BARDET Ag2r La Mondiale 2412
9 (9) Diego ULISSI UAE Abu Dhabi 2313
10 (14) Julian ALAPHILIPPE Quick-Step 2201
11 (11) Richie PORTE BMC 2190
12 (10) Alexander KRISTOFF Katusha Alpecin 2158
13 (12) Michael MATTHEWS Sunweb 1994
14 (15) Jon IZAGUIRRE Bahrain-Merida 1969
15 (13) Rui Alberto FARIA UAE Abu Dhabi 1944
16 (22) Daniel MARTIN Quick-Step 1887
17 (16) Tom DUMOULIN Sunweb 1803
18 (20) Arnaud DEMARE FDJ 1706
19 (17) Giacomo NIZZOLO Trek-Segafredo 1691
20 (19) Bryan COQUARD Direct Energie 1667
21 (18) Baptiste PLANCKAERT Katusha Alpecin 1666
22 (29) Ilnur ZAKARIN Katusha Alpecin 1627
23 (27) Sonny COLBRELLI Bahrain-Merida 1567
24 (21) Tom BOONEN Quick-Step 1558
25 (23) Mark CAVENDISH Dimension Data 1545
26 (24) Sep VANMARCKE Cannondale Drapac 1538
27 (25) Bauke MOLLEMA Trek-Segafredo 1529
28 (26) Thibaut PINOT FDJ 1512.5
29 (64) Sergio Luis HENAO Sky 1496
30 (28) Fabian CANCELLARA 1460
31 (30) Nacer BOUHANNI Cofidis 1436
32 (31) Vincenzo NIBALI Bahrain-Merida 1426
33 (34) Tim WELLENS Lotto Soudal 1396
34 (37) Tony GALLOPIN Lotto Soudal 1393
35 (33) Timothy DUPONT Veranda's Willems-Crelan 1366
36 (35) Marcel KITTEL Quick-Step 1354
37 (32) Dylan GROENEWEGEN Lotto NL-Jumbo 1347
38 (40) André GREIPEL Lotto Soudal 1313
39 (36) Rafal MAJKA Bora-hansgrohe 1309
40 (39) Joaquim RODRIGUEZ 1287

Country rankings:

1 (2) FRANCE 13574.5 points
2 (1) BELGIUM 13561.25
3 (3) COLOMBIA 12563.65
4 (4) SPAIN 12147.9
5 (5) ITALY 11169.25
6 (6) GREAT BRITAIN 10362
7 (7) NETHERLANDS 8921.8
8 (8) AUSTRALIA 8380.25
9 (9) SLOVAKIA 6233.5
10 (10) GERMANY 6146.25
11 (11) NORWAY 5297
12 (12) SWITZERLAND 4377.5
13 (15) RUSSIA 4151
14 (14) DENMARK 4075
15 (13) POLAND 4021.5
16 (16) PORTUGAL 3857
17 (19) IRELAND 3560
18 (17) CZECH REPUBLIC 3263.25
19 (18) UNITED STATES 3201.65
20 (20) SLOVENIA 2586
21 (21) KAZAKHSTAN 2345
22 (22) LUXEMBOURG 2257.25
23 (23) UKRAINE 2035.9
24 (24) ESTONIA 1973.25
25 (26) BELARUS 1802
26 (25) IRAN 1743
27 (27) AUSTRIA 1632
28 (29) SOUTH AFRICA 1600
29 (28) ERITREA 1594
30 (30) NEW ZEALAND 1555.25
31 (31) MOROCCO 1413.5
32 (32) CANADA 1412
33 (35) COSTA RICA 1091
34 (33) LITHUANIA 1068
35 (34) ALGERIA 1054
36 (36) ARGENTINA 1020
37 (37) LATVIA 942
38 (38) VENEZUELA 911
39 (39) JAPAN 859
40 (40) CROATIA 751

WorldTour team rankings:

Rank Prev. Team (Code) Points
1 1 BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 2324
2 2 QUICK - STEP FLOORS (QST) 1749
3 4 TEAM SKY (SKY) 1658
4 3 ORICA - SCOTT (ORS) 1497
5 12 MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 1353
6 5 TREK - SEGAFREDO (TFS) 1276
7 7 TEAM SUNWEB (SUN) 1225
8 6 BORA - HANSGROHE (BOH) 1217
9 8 TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN (KAT) 1000
10 9 LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS) 821
11 14 TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO (TLJ) 806
12 10 UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAD) 744
13 18 FDJ (FDJ) 711
14 11 TEAM DIMENSION DATA (DDD) 584
15 13 AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) 568
16 15 ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) 511
17 17 CANNONDALE DRAPAC (CDT) 493
18 16 BAHRAIN - MERIDA (TBM) 426

Greg Van Avermaet targets Milan-San Remo podium

BMC sent this to me:

15 March, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team line up at the first Monument of the year, Milan-San Remo, this Saturday, 18 March with a strong team in support of Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet.

Van Avermaet has shown his form at the early races this season, Sports Director Max Sciandri said. "We saw how strong Greg is with his win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and second place at Strade Bianche. We have a great team in support of Greg, with riders like Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Francisco Ventoso bringing a lot of experience," Sciandri explained.

"As the longest one-day race on the calendar, Milan-San Remo is one of the toughest races these riders will line up at all year. Greg generally thrives in these conditions and the longer the race, the stronger he gets. We're ready to give it everything we have this Saturday."

Having never stood on the Milan-San Remo podium, Van Avermaet is eager to improve on his fifth place result from 2016. "I've come out of Tirreno-Adriatico with good feelings. I'm really happy with my form and I hope to do well in the Classics. Milan-San Remo is a hard race and a bit of a lottery. It's a beautiful race and I love it but you have to have a bit of luck to win, especially if you're not the fastest guy in the peloton. I want to win a Monument this year and Milan-San Remo is my first opportunity so if everything goes perfectly, I hope to have a chance," Van Avermaet said.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermanet wins Het Nieuwsblad

Rider Roster: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Miles Scotson (AUS), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP).

Sports Directors: Max Sciandri (ITA), Valerio Piva (ITA)

Shimano Europe boss Frank Peiffer on omni-channel and
shortening lead times

Bike-Europe sent me this important interview about how the bike business is changing:

EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands – Frank Peiffer leaves no doubt whatsoever about the transformation by the bicycle industry needed to meet the requirements of ever more consumers ordering online. “That has to happen,” he says. Regarding how to make it happen, the MD of Shimano Europe’s bike division presents a clear view, including the ifs and buts that come with it.

Bike Europe interviewed Frank Peiffer for its January/February, 2017 print edition. The interview took place at Shimano’s new European HQ exactly one week after its official opening. It’s an office that stands out design-wise as well as location-wise. He explains what it expresses about market expectations by the world’s biggest manufacturer of bike parts.

“Of course we believe strongly in bicycles and their future. What growth lies ahead is something that nobody can predict precisely with regard to ‘consumption’ and bike sales. But that there is and will be a strong growth in usage is clear. That’s also expressed in the latest trends. It used to be fun and technology related to mountain bikes. Nowadays Europe is setting the trends which are more function-focused.”

What does this new HQ say location-wise with regard to future Shimano products?

“That bikes will have more electronics like many more products used daily. Bicycles will become more high-tech, like cars that have functions such as ABS and traction control. Such accident avoiding functions will also come in bikes. And to create that we are at the right location for forming partnerships with high-tech companies.”

Is it correct to see this new HQ also as an expression of the fact that Europe is by far the largest market for Shimano?

“Correct; Europe is by far the biggest market for Shimano sales-wise. Whether it accounts for close to 50% of all our sales or over 50% is also a question of currency fluctuations.”

Next to e-bike systems I think that soft goods are also getting more and more important for Shimano Europe regarding the Lazer acquisition. What’s the strategy here?

“Lazer is another step in completing our soft goods range. Here’s still quite something to gain for Shimano. We are currently focusing on brand positioning and at this new HQ we are bringing together all soft goods functions for creating more synergies.”

Let’s switch now to the latest trend in the EU market; do you agree to the claim that increasing the speed to market of bikes and bike products will become essential in the coming years when taking changing consumer behavior and rapidly growing online sales into account?

“What’s clear here is that consumers are expecting more nowadays. In particular when taking into account the online services offered for instance by Amazon. The industry has to catch up here with regard to secured availability.”

Increasing the speed to market ability of bike makers in Europe means that lead times have to be shortened. Is this possible for Shimano?

“It’s possible for everybody as this is foremost related to planning. That needs more attention than changing production locations. Basically everybody needs to focus more on planning. However, the industry is relatively bad in planning. What also comes into play here is that everybody looks at their own plate instead of the whole chain. Coordination and accurate numbers is what counts.”

You can read the entire interview here.

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