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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 12, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

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Current racing:

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Moreno Hofland wins Famenne Ardenne Classic

Hofland's Lotto-Soudal team sent me this report (we don't currently cover this race in our results):

Moreno Hofland won the first edition of the Famenne Ardenne Classic, which started and ended in Marche-en-Famenne today. The course was 195 kilometres long and included no less than nine KOM prizes. As soon as the flag dropped, the battle to get into the breakaway was very intense but six riders were ultimately allowed to go clear. Boucher, Kooistra, Maynard, Molly, Rusnac and Seynaeve were granted a maximum advantage of 3’30’’. A few kilometres from the first passage on the line, Molly accelerated and the front group was consequently reduced to four riders. After a second acceleration, only Maynard and Molly were left at the front. Their stunt at the front didn’t last long, and the peloton caught them with 49 kilometres to go. Wanty-Groupe Gobert set a very hard pace on the penultimate ascent of the Côte de Charneux, which allowed Martin and Meurisse, and a bit further Budding, to go clear.

Lotto Soudal didn’t panic as Sander Armée and Maxime Monfort led the chase at the front of the peloton. The three escapees were reeled in with six kilometres to go and Tosh Van der Sande then made sure Moreno Hofland was in an ideal position for the sprint. The Dutchman crossed the line in first place, ahead of Emiel Vermeulen and Maxime Vantomme.

Moreno Hofland: "I am very happy with this victory, I had to wait for almost two years for it so it makes the win a little bit more special. We knew this morning that the race would be difficult to control and that everyone would look at us. After the start a small group went clear and we began to control the pace. Sean De Bie worked for almost hundred kilometres all by himself. We then decided to wait a little bit to see what the other teams would do. We expected Wanty to try something because they had a strong team today.

"When Martin, Meurisse and Budding went away on the penultimate lap, the team kept the situation under control and Sander Armée and Maxime Monfort closed the gap. We had settled that if I was still part of the front group at the top of the last climb, I would do the sprint. Attacks were flying in the finale but our team was strong and a sprint was inevitable. Tosh Van der Sande led me out perfectly and I launched my sprint 200 meters from the line. The finish was a little bit uphill and I'm glad I could finish it off after all that my team mates had done. It's definitely a team victory today."

Laurens de Plus crash update

Team Quick-Step Floors posted this news:

The Belgian, who crashed heavily last Saturday, will return on the bike next month. Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season, was also Laurens De Plus' last outing of 2017, but unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he didn't bow out as he had wanted, after crashing into a ravine off Muro di Sormano while chasing lone leader Mikael Cherel, some 45 kilometers from the finish.

The Belgian was immediately attented by the race doctors and taken to the Cantù hospital, where he was kept under observation for 24 hours before traveling to Herentals for further medical examinations, which revealed a small avulsion fracture of the lateral part of the tibial plateau on the right knee.

"I was afraid that my knee was severely damaged, but fortunately it isn't that bad. The doctors even told me that I've been really lucky with the outcome, as it could have been much worse. My thoughts are also with the other riders who've crashed there, I wish them all the best. It's not the best way to end the season, but I'm looking on the positive side, which is that we're in the off season now and I have time to recover before joining the team for the December training camp", said Laurens De Plus, who'll have to walk with crutches in the next two weeks, before observing four weeks of relative rest.

BMC Racing Team to line up at the inaugural Tacx Pro Classic

BMC sent me this release:

11 October 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team is heading to the start line for the final time in Europe this season at the inaugural Tacx Pro Classic on Saturday, 14 October.

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Valerio Piva said the weather will play a crucial role in the evolution of the race. "While this is a new race for 2017, we know the area well, and the wind will definitely be a key factor in the outcome of the race especially on the open roads. We aren't going in with a specific leader, and we know that every rider is capable of seizing opportunities as they arise. Plus I think both Floris Gerts, and Bram Welten, who we know have fast finishes, will be motivated about riding in the Netherlands," Piva said.

Floris Gerts is looking forward to racing on home soil at the Tacx Pro Classic. "For me, there are not many races that are so close to home. It has been a long season, so this extra boost will be nice. I'm ready to give it one last go in Europe before leaving for my last race in China," Gerts explained.

Tacx Pro Classic (14 October)

Rider Roster: Silvan Dillier (SUI), Floris Gerts (NED), Ben Hermans (BEL), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Bram Welten (NED)

Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA)

Next generation of E-bike drive systems has arrived

Bike Europe sent me this interesting piece:

DOETINCHEM, the Netherlands – For industry insiders the conventional e-bikes as we know them today are only an intermediate step in the development from the mechanical bicycle to a full electric bike. The next stage in e-bike development is now ready for the market: chainless drives.

Presented as a start-up in the bicycle market, the Danish company Bike2 Aps showed their 100% electric drive system at Eurobike. The concept was already award-winning at the Seoul Cycle Design Competition several years ago.

The chainless drive has multiple advantages for all kinds of Light Electric Vehicles and presents more design freedom. Perhaps of even more importance is the low maintenance of the full electric bike as there is no wear of mechanical drive train parts like chains and chainwheels.

At first glance the Bike2 has many parallels with the well-known Korean Mando Footloose introduced in 2012. According to Bike2 Aps their next generation drive system has various innovative features to improve the riding experience like the easy start from stand-still. Two switches on the handlebar are used to set the assistance and the gear versus cadence. The assistance interface provides the user the possibility to vary the support of the motor from standard to up to three times the power put on the pedals.

You can read the full story here.


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