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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, December 2, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. - R. Buckminster Fuller

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Mitchelton-Scott looks back on its successful 2018 season start

Here's the team's post:

As 2018 draws to a close we take a trip down memory lane starting with January when Mitchelton-SCOTT kicked off 2018 in style and as they meant to go on, claiming eight UCI victories between both men and women’s teams, it was a busy month for the squad racing down under in their ‘home’ country.

History was many on many levels with Amanda Spratt becoming the first rider to win back-to-back Santos Women’s Tour’s, Daryl Impey became the first South African rider to win the overall Tour Down Under. Alex Edmondson and Georgia Williams both pulled on their respective national championship’s jersey’s for the first time in their careers and Annemiek van Vleuten made a classy debut of her world time trial champions skin suit, blasting through the streets of Melbourne to win the Jayco Herald SunTour TT.

Here’s a recap of our winners post race reactions:

Alex Edmondson - Australian road race champion
“I’m absolutely speechless. This means a hell of a lot to me, I just want to thank the team for all their work, my family and my coach. It’s a magical day that I’m not going to forget for a long time.

“I came here just to do what I could for the guys and to come away with the green and gold is a dream come true. I think every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold and this isn’t going to sink in for a while.

“You’re trying to make sure you’re doing the right thing for the team, everyone wants to win but you really just want your teammates to win. Today everything just seemed to go my way.”

Amanda Spratt - Overall winner of the 2018 Santos Women’s Tour
“I’m so happy, it’s thanks to these girls they all did an amazing job and it has been a great few days for the team and to win this race for the second time is really special.

“I can’t thank the girls enough for their help after the crash, I was really shaken up and panicking a bit, but Annemiek and Jess stopped with me and they said just try to calm down, follow my wheel and that was so important I can’t thank them enough.

“It is a really big race for us in Australia and we have so much support in this race, there was people out all around the course cheering.”

Georgia Williams - New Zealand Road and TT champion
“It’s awesome to win this title and it is going to be really great to take the New Zealand jersey back to Europe. I don’t think anybody was expecting me to go so early so I think I caught people off guard, but I didn’t expect to put so much time into the peloton.

“It was really cool to see afterwards that my Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates were watching the race and supporting me, I was thinking of them out there today and I knew they would be proud and that put the pressure on me to win.”

Caleb Ewan - Tour Down Under stage 2 winner
“I am very thrilled, it is probably more exciting winning on a stage that you’re a little bit unsure about going into. It was a tricky finish because I didn’t know if I would get up there or not and I didn’t want to make the call from the bottom.

“I think this is probably my best Tour Down Under win because it was on a finish that didn’t suit me and probably suited Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) more, so to get one up on him here, on this finish, is a bonus.”

Caleb Ewan

Caleb Ewan wins stage two of the 2018 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Daryl Impey - Overall winner of the 2018 Tour Down Under
“It is a step up in my career, you get these little stepping stones and you reach bigger mile stones and I’ve proved to myself now, as I’ve always had a little bit of self-doubt.

“Wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France was a magical moment but this is very close to that. I worked really hard for this one and especially knowing how important it is to the team and the sponsors. It was a high-pressure race for us, everyone expects a lot so to top it off with a win is very special.”

Annemiek van Vleuten - Women’s Herald SunTour stage 2 TT
“It’s so good to win in this jersey. I’m so proud and to do it here in Melbourne, in Australia, for my Australian team.

“If you want to win a prologue you have to take risks, but I did a lot of recon of the course so I think that helped and they were calculated risks.”

January 2018 UCI wins:
National championships ITT New Zealand - Georgia Williams
National championships RR New Zealand - Georgia Williams
National Championships Australia – Road Race - Alexander Edmondson
Santos Women's Tour - Stage 3 - Amanda Spratt
Santos Women's Tour GC - Amanda Spratt
Tour Down Under – Stage 2 - Caleb Ewan
Tour Down Under – Overall - Daryl Impey
Jayco Herald SunTour TT - Annemiek van Vleuten

Stéphane Heulot to be Rally Cycling's European General Manager

Here's the team's post:

Rally Cycling announces the hiring of former Tour de France yellow jersey holder and Sojasun team owner Stéphane Heulot. Heulot, who is based in Belgium, will join the team as European General Manager.

“Stéphane will play a fundamental role in the globalization of Rally Cycling,” said Managing Director Charles Aaron. “He will be focusing on sponsorship procurement, race invitations, as well as assist in athlete recruitment alongside Performance Director Jonas Carney for the men’s and women’s teams. Stéphane has a wealth of experience and we couldn’t be more excited to bring him on board.”

After a successful racing career that spanned 12 years and included three days in the yellow jersey at the 1996 Tour de France, Heulot ran the French Professional Continental team Sojasun from 2009 – 2013. His team participated in the Tour de France three consecutive years.

Stephane Heulot

Stéphane Heulot in yellow during the 1996 Tour de France.

Heulot’s diverse experience in the upper echelon of pro cycling gives the team a new voice and a new perspective on the global racing circuit, and what it takes to be successful in Europe.

“I’m happy to be back in professional cycling again,” said Heulot. “I feel that my story in cycling is not over, and with Rally Cycling I have the ambition to do my best. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the riders and raise the overall level of the team.”

Heulot met with Aaron in Paris in late October where the two discussed the possibility of working together. “A long-time friend whom I trust introduced us and I had a very good feeling about our meeting,” said Heulot. “I believe relationships are very important in business, and I trusted my friend, someone would not propose a program or project that is not high quality. With Charles I found that our long-term vision and values were in alignment.”

With a stage win and third overall at the Arctic Race of Norway, the KOM jersey at the Deutschland Tour, and a stage podium at the Tour of Denmark in 2018, the team is extending its international race schedule for a second year in the UCI Professional Continental ranks.

“Every cyclist dreams of racing the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix but it’s important to develop a team,” said Heulot. “We have to paint a very good picture for the public, for the race organizers and the fans. When you take too big of a step, it can have bad results so you have to organize a calendar that’s well-suited to the riders in the team to have the best results possible.”

For Aaron, signing Heulot is the natural next step in the team’s evolution. “With our current leadership team of Jacob Erker, Jonas Carney, Sam Wiebe, and Meagan Hazzout, Stéphane is a key addition to building a best in class organization,” said Aaron. “He understands the importance of spreading our message of health and well-being across the globe and I’m excited to see him fully integrate with this program.”

Heulot will represent the team at the UCI Women’s WorldTour and UCI WorldTour seminars from December 4th – 5th in Montreux, Switzerland before attending the team presentation in Calabasas, CA, USA on January 5th.

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