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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true. - James Branch Cabell, though often attributed to J. Robert Oppenheimer

Latest completed racing:


Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere reflects on the coming racing season

Here's the post from the Belgian team:

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team's CEO shared his thoughts and hopes ahead of the new season, which is due to start in a few weeks.

As we have just kicked off a new year and find ourselves on the ramp to the new season, I want to thank everybody who has been involved in and part of Quick-Step Floors' amazing 2017 journey, from riders to staff, and from sponsors to fans. The 2017 season was exceptional, not only in terms of the quantity of our victories but also in the quality.

A total of 59 victories, 30 on World Tour level, one Monument, 16 Grand Tour stages and I could go on. On top of that, we also notched up 60 additional podiums last season, which means we were there even in the races we didn't win.

I am proud that we were able to win from the very first race to the last, from January to October, with 14 different riders. It tells a unique story about the team we have here. As I have liked to say before, should we put a wine label on this season it would say Grand Cru Classé Exceptionnel – a truly extraordinary season.

At the end of the 2017 season we said goodbye to riders who have played important roles in the success of the team over the years, but as we have seen, the next generation of leaders, die-hard kilometer zero pullers, domestiques, sprinters and punchers is flourishing. I have the greatest confidence that we have the right combination of experienced riders who can take on the responsibility and live up to the very high expectations and pressure, and young talents who will be ready to take a few steps up the ladder.

Nothing will, however, be possible without a strong fundament. I have always seen, or, treated my team as a construction of a house. A house needs a strong fundament to be a strong house, and for me, the fundament of the team is the staff; the soigneurs, mechanics, bus drivers, doctors, physiotherapists – everybody around the team. They make the difference.

Team Qick Step Floors

Team Quick-Step Floors will back this year, trying to make life tough for the other teams.

Riders usually sign for 1-2-3 years, they are coming and going, that is the life of a rider, but I have people around me who I have been working with for 20-25 years. I feel very fortunate for having around me these people that I can trust and rely on.

Something I feel very proud of is to see all the fans we have around the world. No matter where we go, our buses are surrounded by fans who come to see the riders and cheer for them. Last year, we opened the door to them with the movie "One Year In Blue", and I think a lot of people saw something they didn't expect; how the squad works and is run, how riders can be stressed before and after the races, how much dedication everybody around the team puts into their work.

This year, we are launching several new exciting projects with the goal of bringing our fans even closer to the team. One of them is the Quick-Step Floors Bike Experience, where we offer fans and cycling enthusiasts an amazing opportunity to spend a few days close to the team – with on and off bike experiences – at some of the biggest races in the world.

2018 will be the team's 16th year in the peloton, which is a performance as remarkable as the plethora of victories we have achieved since Quick-Step Floors' inception. What are my hopes and thoughts for this year? Of course, to continue at the top, to win races and show why we are one of the best teams in the history of this sport.

But we also hope to entertain, deliver fireworks on the road and beautiful cycling moments and engage with all our fans around the world in the upcoming season. We want to make of this season a thing of absolute beauty, just as we did in the past years, with the same enthusiasm, ambition and hard work.

On behalf of the Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best to you and your families! We are looking forward to seeing you on the roads for some spectacular cycling races.

Mitchelton & BikeExchange team up to sponsor new-look continental team

The team sent me this release:

After a successful debut season, GreenEDGE Cycling’s UCI Continental team will continue under a new look and name – Mitchelton-BikeExchange - in 2018 The Chinese-registered outfit will wear a similarly designed Giordana jersey to the WorldTour men’s and women’s teams but with a distinctive Chinese colouring.

Mitchelton-BikeExchange

The 2018 Mitchelton-BikeExchange jersey

Mitchelton continue their sponsorship of the team despite their additional contribution to become naming-rights sponsors of the WorldTour outfits next year.

“Whilst the WorldTour sponsorships gives us world-wide promotion, we have already seen throughout 2017 that the Continental team can give us more direct promotion in Asia,” general manager Andrew Ryan explained. We look forward to promoting our estate to this market and welcoming even more international guests to our new Mitchelton Hotel and Day Spa.”

Following a WorldTour naming-rights stint in 2016, BikeExchange, the leading marketplace to buy or sell any bike, accessory, component or part, also return next year. BikeExchange are very happy to be re-partnering with this great team and culture,” BikeExchange CEO Mark Watkin said.

“We have been fortunate to be a part of the growth within the cycling industry for over 10 years, now operating across eight countries; through our media platforms we want to share the beautiful sport of cycling further. The partnership will once again help tell the BikeExchange story; supporting retailers, brands and riders to find buy and sell everything bike.”

The team has already announced four riders for the 2018 season, including the return of Australian’s Sam Jenner and Harry Sweeney and the addition of Briton Jacob Hennessy and Colombian Brayan Chaves, brother of WorldTour rider Esteban Chaves. Selections are currently underway for the Chinese contingent of riders, with further announcements expected in the coming days.

“We are thrilled to welcome back BikeExchange and Mitchelton as major partners of our organisation,” GreenEDGE Cycling’s owner Gerry Ryan said. “It’s a pleasure to work with innovative Australian companies that are quickly advancing into real, global establishments.”

“After a very successful debut season, that included 42 podiums and 10 victories, we are excited to take this team to another level in 2018.  It’s Chinese essence with remain, and we are excited to sign the country’s most exciting young talent, but we are also happy to add a more international element with the signings of Jacob and Brayan.”

Mitchelton-BikeExchange will debut the new look at this week’s Australian Championships.

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