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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, June 24, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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Iljo Keisse to miss Belgian road championships

Keisse's Quick-Step team posted this bad news

A nagging health problem takes out the Belgian from the Tour de France pre-selection.

The 35-year-old Iljo Keisse, who has been instrumental in many of our team's successes in the first part of the season, won't join his six countrymen and Quick-Step Floors teammates for Sunday's National Road Race Championships, which will take place in Binche, due to a pleurisy that will sideline him for several weeks.

Iljo Keisse

Iljo Keisse having a better day at the 2015 Giro d'Italia

"I am really sad to miss the Nationals because of this pleura inflammation. This also means I won't be in the selection for the Tour de France anymore, which is really frustrating because I've worked hard to be in good shape for this part of the season and I was really motivated to be on the roster for July. Unfortunately, this is also part of a rider's life. I want to wish my teammates the best of luck in the upcoming weeks and I look forward to rejoining them", Iljo said after this frustrating setback.

Rest is the only therapy for the experienced Belgian, who will need to take three weeks completely off before resuming training.

Jonathan Castroviejo is Spanish time trial champion

Here's the report from Castroviejo's Team Sky:

Jonathan Castroviejo powered to a fourth Spanish national time trial title with a superb ride in Vall d'Alba.

The Team Sky rider was the final man down the ramp as defending champion, and paced his way through the 37.5-kilometre course to take a commanding victory.

A time of 47 minutes and 46 seconds proved unbeatable on the day, with Castroviejo claiming victory by 37 seconds over nearest rival Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain Merida). Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida) rounded out the podium places one second further back.

Jonathan Castroviejo

Jonathan Castroviejo time-trialing at the 2017 Algarve tour.

Friday also saw the Polish time trial championships, with Michal Kwiatkowski taking third place in a hard-fought race.

After spending a memorable year in his national colours in time trials, Kwiatkowski secured a podium finish in Grunwald-Ostróda, 33 seconds back on winner Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Lukasz Wisniowski was also in action and came home seventh.

Mitchelton-Scott team partners with Pirelli tire company

Here's the news release the team sent me:

Mitchelton-Scott is pleased to formally announce a partnership with leading tyre company, Pirelli, ahead of the 2018 Tour de France.

The partnership was officially launched with Simon Yates during the Formula F1 Pirelli Grand Prix De France 2018 earlier today, with the three-time 2018 Giro d’Italia stage winner completing a lap of the Paul Ricard circuit before presenting today’s pole position prize to Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

The long-term technical partnership follows the same approach that has made Pirelli the world’s leading supplier to top level motor races; ensuring joint and continuous development work on the tyres with a view to attaining unprecedented performance levels.

During the months leading up to the Tour de France, Mitchelton-Scott and Pirelli Research and Development personnel have been working together, in a constant exchange of technical feedback to produce the best product.

300,000km have been covered with the new tubular tyres, in races and testing sessions conducted jointly by Pirelli professional testers and by Mitchelton- Scott riders, with multiple WorldTour races already ridden with unbranded product.

Mitchelton-Scott joins a host of world-class athletes and teams using Pirelli across different sports, and COO of Pirelli Business Unit Velo Antonella Lauriola is confident in the partnership’s future outcomes.

“To Pirelli, each bike, each cyclist and each and every racing condition calls for a different product. This is the way we work in motorsport championships too. We are certain that this partnership will yield significant results, not only in terms of race wins, but also and primarily in terms of product development,” Lauriola said.

Mitchelton-Scott High Performance Manager Kevin Tabotta reiterated the importance of the partnership and its potential.

“The tyre is arguably the most important piece of equipment available to a professional road cyclist. There’s an incredible amount of trust that goes into a very small contact patch to the road,” he explained.

“We have been really happy with the development of the tyres. Pirelli have been excellent in the way they’ve communicated with our athletes and taken on board their feedback. We have ended up with a fantastic fast, grippy, comfortable tyre that handles incredibly well.”

The result of the intensive testing and performance validation process, which will continue race after race throughout the cycling season, is the PZero Velo tubular tyre.

A tyre born of the most demanding conditions, which, besides featuring the high efficiency level and grip typically associated with Pirelli products and ideally suited for WorldTour competitions, enables the riders to reach new levels of confidence and control, under extreme conditions.

Among the characteristics it shares with clinchers in the same family, we find SmartNET™ Silica compound, ICS (Ideal Contour Shaping) tyre tread profile, and FGD (Functional Groove Design) – all of them viewed by Pirelli as essential constituents of Velo products, at the design and development stages.

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