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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, June 21, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. - P. J. O'Rourke

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Bernard Hinault says the peloton should go on strike if Chris Froome is at Tour start

Here's the story from the Agence France-Presse:

RENNES, France (AFP) — Five-time Tour de France [and 3-time Giro and 2-time Vuelta] winner Bernard Hinault has called on riders at this year’s race to strike in protest at the presence of “cheat” Chris Froome, who has found himself in the doping spotlight after an adverse test.

Froome was found to have twice the permissible amount of asthma drug Salbutamol in his system during September’s Vuelta a Espana, which he won. Salbutamol’s status as a “specified” substance grants Froome the right to continue racing while anti-doping authorities review his case. The 33-year-old Briton won May’s Giro d’Italia, becoming the first man to hold all three grand tour titles at once since Hinault in 1983, and he is set to hunt for a fifth Tour de France title this July.

Froome insists he has not broken any rules, but Hinault says he is a cheat and as cycling authorities dither, rider power should now be exerted.

“If the international authorities don’t sanction him it’s up to the other cyclists to shoulder the responsibility,” Hinault told AFP.

“If the racers accept a cheat on the race then that’s their problem!”

Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault in 1985, a year he won both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

Hinault, who has been an outspoken critic of Froome over the past few months, challenged the peloton to strike on the opening day of the 2018 Tour, a ride from Noirmoutier to Fontenay-le-Comte along the Atlantic coast on July 7.

“The peloton should just stop and strike, saying, ‘If he’s on it, we’re not,’” Hinault said.

VeloNews posted the entire story. You can read it here.

Team Sky sent me this response to Hinault's comments, which I have posted in full:

Thursday 21st June 2018

Team Sky respond to Hinault comments

Team Sky have today issued the following statement following comments made by Bernard Hinault regarding Chris Froome.

A Team Sky Spokesperson said:

'It is disappointing that Bernard Hinault has, once again, repeated factually incorrect comments about a case he clearly does not understand.

‘His comments are irresponsible and ill-informed. Chris has not had a positive test, rather an adverse analytical finding for a prescribed asthma medication. As an ex-rider himself, Bernard will appreciate the need for fairness for each and every athlete. And at the current time, Chris is entitled to race.

‘This process would normally be confidential to protect the athlete and establish the facts. Unfortunately, it was leaked. However, both Chris and the team are following the process that has been put in place by the UCI.

‘It is clearly a difficult situation which no one wants resolved more quickly than Chris and the team.

‘Chris and Team Sky are fully-focused on the upcoming Tour de France and won’t let these uneducated comments affect our preparation for the greatest race in the world.’

UCI clears Gianni Moscon in Sebastien Reichenbach case

FDJ's Sebastien Reichenbach had argued that Sky's Gianni Moscon had caused Reichenbach to crash in the Tre Valli Varesine race in 2017. Moscon denied the allegation, saying that Reichebach had crashed because his hands had slipped from the bars on a rough road. There already was bad blood between the two because Reichenbach had accused Moscon of posting a racist tweet about Reichenbach's teammate Kevin Reza.

Moscon can can ride the Tour in support of Chris Froome, unless Bernard Hinault get his way about Froome (see above story).

Gianni Moscon

Gianni Moscon in the leader's jersey after stage four of the 2018 Dauphiné

Here's the press release from Team Sky:

Team Sky has today (Wednesday 20th June 2018) issued the following statement regarding the dismissal of Gianni Moscon’s UCI case.

A Team Sky spokesperson said: ‘Team Sky welcome the decision by the UCI to dismiss the case against Gianni Moscon.

‘It has been a lengthy process during which an independent panel heard evidence from all parties and found that there was not a case to answer.

‘These were serious allegations which Gianni and the Team have always strongly contested.

‘We back Gianni and he has our full support. We are pleased he can now get on with racing with a line now drawn under this episode.

‘He is a very talented young bike rider who will have much to contribute to the Team over the coming months and years.’

US proposes 25% tariff on China-made e-bikes

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. bike industry has been drafted into the trade war between China and the U.S.

Chinese-made e-bikes, which include bikes sold by Trek, Giant, Raleigh Electric, Pedego and other brands, would be subject to a 25 percent tariff under a proposal released Friday. The tariff, which could take effect in a matter of months, would increase the retail price of the bikes by hundreds of dollars, perhaps enough to make them uncompetitive with e-bikes made elsewhere, and dampening interest in one of the bike industry's most promising sectors.

The electric bikes are included in a list of 284 product codes, representing $16 billion in imports, released by the Trump administration. The list will go through a public comment process, including public hearings, before the U.S. Trade Representative decides whether each product code should be subject to the tariff. The process is likely to take several months.

Also on Friday, the USTR released a list of 818 product codes, representing $34 billion in imports, that it has already determined will be hit with the 25 percent tariff starting in July. That list includes at least some bike GPS units (see separate article on the GPS tariff).
The bike industry is developing a strategy to participate in the public comment process, while also lobbying the administration and Congress in hopes of getting e-bikes removed from the list.

"It's certainly a significant cause for concern," said Katy Hartnett, director of government relations for PeopleForBikes. "It's going to be all hands on deck for the bike industry. We are going to need all the help we can get."

PeopleForBikes is working with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and other groups to develop a campaign to remove e-bikes from the list. The USTR announced details of the public comment process on Wednesday in the Federal Register. A public hearing is scheduled for July 24 in Washington, and the deadline for written comments is July 31.

E-bike brands are also looking at other options, including moving production and/or assembly from China to Taiwan, Europe or the U.S.

You can read the entire story here.

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