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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, June 1, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. - Robert Kennedy

Current Racing

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Team Sky's Ocean Rescue Tour De France kit revealed

Team Sky sent me this press release:

Team Sky has joined the Sky Ocean Rescue journey by unveiling a new kit design for the upcoming Tour de France – and pledging to remove all single-use plastic (SUP) packaging from its business operations by 2020.

The new kit design will be worn by Team Sky at the Tour de France (July 7th-29th). It has been designed to help the team stand out in the peloton, with orcas featuring on the back of the jersey.

The riders will also wear a bespoke version jersey, exclusively developed from ocean plastic material, at the Team Presentation.

Team Sky is aiming to raise awareness of this important issue and inspire people in the cycling community and beyond to make simple, everyday changes to stop our oceans drowning in plastic.

Forming part of Team Sky’s ‘Race to 2020’ campaign, the Team’s pledge to #PassOnPlastic is inspired by Sky’s commitment to eliminate all single-use plastic from its operations, products and supply chain by 2020:

Team Sky has already started work with logistics experts and Sky Ocean Rescue partner, Unipart, to help reduce the use of plastics across the Team and are developing plastic-free packaging solutions to fulfil the team’s logistical requirements

Chris Froome

Chris Froome models Sky's Tour de France jersey.

Chris Froome, speaking in the wake of his record-breaking Giro d’Italia victory that saw him claim a historic Grand Tour treble last weekend, has backed Team Sky’s ‘Race to 2020’ pledge, commenting: “It’s great that the team are getting behind such an important issue – one that is having a huge impact in the world we live in today.

“The special-edition kit is fantastic and will really help to raise awareness at the Tour de France, but it’s important that the legacy continues after that, as we look to build on the amazing work Sky have done so far with their Sky Ocean Rescue campaign with our own ‘Race to 2020’ commitment.”

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford Team Sky, said: “Sky Ocean Rescue has been at the forefront of a global campaign on single-use plastics over the last year – and it is making a real difference. We are proud to join this important fight to change behaviour and help save our oceans.

“Like all parts of society, cycling must do more to reduce its reliance on single-use plastic at every level. The nature of our sport means we have a special responsibility to the environment and at Team Sky we want to take a lead. At the upcoming Tour de France, the Team will be wearing a striking new kit design to highlight the issue to a global audience of millions.

“We want to encourage people across the world to think about their own use of plastic and make changes in their everyday life. We are all in a position where we can make a difference.”

Team sky jersey

The back of Sky's TDF jersey.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group CEO, said: “Team Sky’s Race to 2020 pledge, combined with its special Sky Ocean Rescue Tour de France jersey design, is a fantastic commitment to save our oceans. I am so pleased that Team Sky and its riders are getting involved to build on our campaign. Today, we’re calling upon the cycling community to make simple changes and join us to help stop our oceans from drowning in plastic.”

Drawing upon learnings from Sky’s own experience reducing plastic within the business, Team Sky will identify where SUP is used across all operations and suggest alternatives – from implementing ocean friendly washing solutions, through to effective recycling or reusable product alternatives. 

Team Sky will also be encouraging fans to change their behaviour towards SUP through a fan-engagement initiative that uses a specially designed Sky Ocean Rescue bidon, and other tips to reduce SUP whilst enjoying the sport from home or out on your bike.

This collaboration is one of the first of its kind in cycling and with the help of Sky Ocean Rescue, Team Sky will look to work with more partners to help address the impact that single-use plastic is having on the oceans.

BMC Racing Team with multiple options at Critérium du Dauphiné

BMC sent me this update:

31 May, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team is heading to the start line in France this Sunday for the opening day of racing at Critérium du Dauphiné (3 - 10 June) and will be lining up with a competitive roster.

BMC Racing Team is going into the eight-day UCI WorldTour race with multiple cards to play, Sports Director Maximilian Sciandri said. "I think we have three riders, Damiano Caruso, Brent Bookwalter and Dylan Teuns, who can potentially go for the General Classification. Damiano has proved already this year at Tirreno-Adriatico that he can ride for the General Classification, but we will see what happens when we get there as I don't necessarily want to push him too much looking ahead to July."

Damiano Caruso

Damiano Caruso after stage four of this year's Tirreno-Adriatco

"Brent is coming out of a good ride in California, and I think he is a good option and also Dylan. We won overall at a few races last year together so we will definitely be looking at our plan as the race develops. There is also a team time trial to think about, and this is an important stage for us, as always. When we go into a TTT, we pretty much always deliver a good result so, we will try to do the same on stage 3," Sciandri explained.

Damiano Caruso has two main objectives going into the Critérium du Dauphiné. "First of all, the Critérium du Dauphiné is an important test before the Tour de France and I want to try to find the best shape possible here. You always want to be at the top of your condition in July and this race can tell you if you have more work to do or if you're already in good shape."

"I also want to try and get a good result for the team and my approach to the race will be the same as always. I will take it day by day and see where we are at when we reach the team time trial. From there, I can either try to fight for the General Classification or if I am out of that completely, I want to try to go for a stage win perhaps," Caruso said.

Brent Bookwalter and Dylan Teuns are also looking to test themselves in France. "This race is always demanding and I think this year it is split into two parts. The first four days with the prologue, a couple of medium mountain stages and the team time trial and then the last four days which look set to be pretty exciting. We have a mixed team and I think we can all show up and try to do the best prologue that we can before our next collective team goal which will be the TTT," Bookwalter explained.

"After a hard first part of the year, I had a short break before starting again at Hammer Stavanger. It was a short and intense race and provided me with a good warm up to the Critérium du Dauphiné. We will see how it goes day by day, but if my form is good, I am going to give it everything to try to make a nice result," Teuns added.

Critérium du Dauphiné (3 - 10 June)

Rider Roster: Patrick Bevin (NZL), Tom Bohli (SUI), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI)

Sports Directors: Maximilian Sciandri (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA)

GP Lugano: Diego Ulissi leads a competitive formation

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

The GP Lugano on June 3 will be the first post-Giro d’Italia event for Diego Ulissi.
The Tuscan rider will be at the start of this Ticino race along with the following 6 teammates from UAE Team Emirates: Anass Ait el Abdia (Morocco), Simone Consonni (Italy), Filippo Ganna (Italy), Jan Polanc (Slovenia), Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belorussia) and Ben Swift (United Kingdom).

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi time-trialing in the 2018 Giro d'Italia

The team will be coached by technical director Simone Pedrazzini (Switzerland).
“I’ve lived in Lugano for years now, so this race has practically become an at-home event – explained Ulissi – In 2014 and 2016, my last two appearances in the GP Lugano, I came close to success, obtaining 3rd and 2nd place respectively in the final sprint. Usually the race comes down to a limited group of riders vying for victory; it is important to make it into the lead positions in the conclusive laps, this means having reactive legs.”

The team will be well sorted, with all seven athletes capable of being competitive: there will be fast riders like Consonni and Swift, and attackers like Riabushenko and Polanc, not to mention Ganna’s reliability and Ait el Abdia’s eagerness to make a good impression.

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