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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 16, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh. - Rumi

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Mitchelton-Scott confirm 2019 men’s squad

The team sent me this:

Mitchelton-SCOTT has confirmed its 25-rider men’s squad for the upcoming 2019 season, looking to build on one of the team’s most successful seasons to date.

The Australian outfit recorded 38 UCI victories, including 17 WorldTour wins, six Grand Tour stages and their first Grand Tour victory at the Vuelta a Espana, in 2018.

In 2019, the focus will remain heavily on Grand Tour general classification success, as well as the Flemish and Ardennes Classics period.

“We want to continue our success in the Grand Tours, continuing to back our GC riders for overall victory and the Classics are also still a focus for us,” head sport director Matt White declared. “We have a Flemish and Ardennes group that are capable of winning up there and it’s still a very big goal for the team.”

“It’s exciting for us and our fans to carry the momentum into 2019. This year has been one of our most successful years, we want to carry on that success straight away from January onwards.

“We can go into next season with another degree of confidence and self-belief, and line up in the three Grand Tours knowing that we have done it once and the challenge for us is to keep doing it.”

Now with three established general classification leaders in 2018 Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates, twin brother Adam Yates and Colombian Esteban Chaves, Mitchelton-SCOTT has options for Grand Tour success.

Simon Yates

2018 Vuelta winner Simon Yates enjoying his victory

Whilst developing the trio, the outfit has also been focussed on developing a dynamic squad around them and has achieved an element of depth that allows the team to focus on races throughout the full 10-month calendar.

“We’re a team that couldn’t target one Grand Tour with a general classification rider not too long ago,” White recalled. “Now we target three Grand Tours a year and basically with different groups.”

“When you look at our three Grand Tours from 2018, not too many guys doubled-up. There were 19 different riders that participated in our three Grand Tour campaigns.

“There’s certainly a degree of depth in our team now and that shows with the results we were able to achieve in our ten months of racing.”

Regeneration: The Mitchelton-SCOTT squad remains at 25 riders, with the introduction of seven new faces to the team.

American Brent Bookwalter (34) and Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay (27) are the two experienced recruits, whilst the other five additions – Edoardo Affini, Nick Schultz, Callum Scotson, Dion Smith and Robert Stannard – provide an injection of youth, all 25 years of age or younger.

“We are losing some experienced riders from the team but every team needs to regenerate and we are in a growing phase as well,” White explained. “We have our established leaders, and that is clear, but we are also thinking ahead to back those guys up for the longer-term goals as well as short term.

“We’ve got some really exciting young talent coming into the team and the average age of our team has dropped. These young talents come from different facets of our sport as well, from time trial specialists to climbers to developing classics riders. I am really happy with the final make up of our group, our future looks very exciting.”

Mitchelton-SCOTT Men for 2019:
• Edoardo Affini (ITA, 22) – new signing
• Michael Albasini (SUI, 37)
• Jack Bauer (NZL, 33)
• Sam Bewley (NZL, 31)
• Brent Bookwalter (USA, 34) – new signing
• Esteban Chaves (COL, 28)
• Luke Durbridge (AUS, 27)
• Alex Edmondson (AUS, 24)
• Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 27) – new signing
• Jack Haig (AUS, 25)
• Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 22)
• Michael Hepburn (AUS, 27)
• Damien Howson (AUS, 26)
• Daryl Impey (RSA, 33)
• Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 29)
• Cameron Meyer (AUS, 30)
• Luka Mezgec (SLO, 30)
• Mikel Nieve (SPA, 34)
• Nick Schultz (AUS, 24) – new signing
• Callum Scotson (AUS, 22) – new signing
• Dion Smith (NZL, 25) – new signing
• Robert Stannard (AUS, 20) – new signing
• Matteo Trentin (ITA, 29)
• Adam Yates (GBR, 26)
• Simon Yates (GBR, 26)

Plus, Mathew Hayman (AUS, 40) until 20th January.

2019 Mitchelton-SCOTT – Men’s Squad Stats:
• No. of riders: 25
• No. of Australians: 10
• No. of internationals: 15 (3 x NZL, 2 x GBR, 2 x ITA, 1 x COL, 1x ETH, 1 x DEN, 1 x RSA, 1 x SLO, 1 x SPA, 1 x SUI, 1 x USA)
• Youngest rider: Robert Stannard (20)
• Oldest rider: Michael Albasini (37)
• Average age: 27.64

Note: Statistics for the 2019 season do not include Mathew Hayman who will ride to the Tour Down Under only.

Here's Mitchelton-Scott/BikeExchange's Tour of Fuzhou stage two report:

The first sprint stage of the 2018 Tour of Fuzhou ended in chaos with a heavy crash splitting the bunch in the closing metres as Kaden Groves, managing to avoid the carnage showed his form with second place for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.

Close to 45kilometres were covered over an attack filled first hour of racing, but only one rider managed to gain a significant advantage on the peloton, Joey Van Rhee (Monkey-Town) had just over one-minute with 60kilometres still to race.

Team Hengxiang were parked on the front of the peloton for most of the stage, protecting race leader Lyu Xianjing. The attacks kept coming as more riders tried to clip off the front to link up with Van Rhee, but only two made it to form a trio with 40kilometres to go.

Crosswinds swirled across the coastline as the bunch lined out, less than a minute behind the three leaders and despite their efforts the trio could not stay together and only one rider was left out front at 40seconds going into the last ten kilometres.

All in for the sprint, the peloton ramped it up on the approach to the final with MBE working hard to keep Groves in contention and the field coming back together in the closing five kilometres.

The German national team took the peloton by the reigns in attempt to dominate the lead out with two kilometres to go and they never left the front.

As the sprint unfolded a nasty crash occurred in the second line of riders and totally disrupted the finish, Groves was just ahead of the crash and although boxed in still managed to finish second behind stage winner Leon Rohde (German- Cycling-Team).

Kaden Groves:
“Team Hengxiang controlled the stage very well from the off today, in support of the yellow jersey and it was super-fast, typically wide Chinese roads so nobody was getting away in the final. “

“The boys helped me a lot in going into what was a sketchy final to position me near the front. I had to kick early but I was being held on the barrier and I had nowhere to go. On a positive note I had good legs today so that fills me with confidence to try again tomorrow in another possible sprint finish.”

Tour of Fuzhou stage two results:

1. Leon Rohde (German- Cycling-Team) 02:37:27
2. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
3. Joey Van Rhee (Monkey-Town-Continental-Team) ST

General classification after stage two:

1. Lyu Xianjing (Hengxinag-Cycling-Team) 05:08:48
2. Ilya Davidenok (Beijing XDS-Innova-Cycling-Team) +0:04
3. Hanibal Tesfay (Eritrea) +0:06
13. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +1:19

New trend emerged at Taipei Cycle Show: Airless Tires

Bike Europe sent me this:

TAIPEI, Taiwan – What stood out at the Taipei International Cycle Show held earlier this month were that airless tyres and the use of inserts in bicycle and e-bike tyres seem to becoming a new trend. Nexo, AirFom and Tannus are the new suppliers of such inserts that have to eradicate punctures.

Tannus claims that its “Armour” is the first insert on the market that is aimed at using a tube setup as opposed to tubeless to enable an improved mounting, provide the rider better flat protection and for the sportive rider the ability to ride at lower PSIs without ever getting a pinch flat. Available in 2019 for 29” and 27.5” MTB sizes as well as a several 700C sizes (35-40), the Armour is aimed at all riders, with a focus on off-road cycling and commuting.

The Armour has been developed with Tannus’s familiar Aither technology. Tannus CEO and Head of R&D Youngki Lee, said: “We have the ability to change the properties of the Aither material for different performance. In comparison to the Aither airless tyres, the Armour foam compound is lighter, provides better rebound and shock absorbing.” The development focus was an easy to mount, yet durable and lightweight insert, which has a better rolling resistance than others in the market. Extensive lab and field tests confirmed the superior design and function already.

Designed to be used in conjunction with a clincher tyre and inner-tube combo, the Armour sits between the inner-tube and tyre. At its thickest point, the top of the Armour is ~15mm, which, combined with a tyre, provides in excess of 20mm of puncture protection. The walls of the Armour are ~2mm thick and totally encase the inner tube, providing additional lateral protection from punctures to the sidewall as well as pinch flats. The Armour design allows riders to lower their tyre pressure, whilst at the same time ensuring ultimate protection to their rims. In the unlikely event you get a flat tyre, you can also run on the Armour without any problems under 10km/h, which could be a real lifesaver.

You can read the entire story here.

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