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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 17, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest. - Rodney Dangerfield

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Mitchelton-Scott announces 2019 women's squad

The team sent me this release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT is happy to announce its completed women’s roster for the 2019 season, which will consist of a strengthened group of ten riders.

With eight riders re-signing, the team remains mostly unchanged after they enjoyed their best season to date in 2018, and with two new carefully selected riders coming on-board, complimenting the squad further, 2019 is an exciting prospect.

“2018 was a great year for the team,” sport director Martin Vestby acknowledged. "We have a core group of riders who have developed together throughout the past years and now they are working really well together, understanding each other both on and off the bike and that saw us achieve so many results this season."

"One of our main strengths this year was that we are really a ‘team’ and we will continue that into 2019 with continuing with mostly the same riders."

Throughout 2018 Mitchelton-SCOTT women stepped up a level and, like their male counterparts, became general classification contenders claiming victory in four UCI stage races, including the longest and arguably hardest women's stage race on the calendar, the Giro-Rosa.

These results were achieved after the riders came together, selflessly riding in support of one another and the team's goals. With two new welcomed additions for 2019, Dutch rider Moniek Tenniglo and Australian Grace Brown, the outfit’s support structure is strengthened further which was an important ingredient in forming the 2019 roster.

“I feel we have a good balance of different types of riders for next season and the girls really know each other's strengths,” Vestby continued. “Our two new riders fit well in the team and will provide vital support, adding strength and depth to the support structure and I think it will be a good balance and mix with the 2018 girls."

"The biggest challenge will be in the pure sprinter’s races, but we have proved that we can do good lead-outs and win with different riders when it comes down to group sprints."

After recording an outstanding 26 UCI victories 2018, Vestby believes there’s still room to improve, especially after two key players, Georgia Williams and Lucy Kennedy, were absent for lengthy periods during the season due to injury.

“2019 will be exciting. It will be hard to top the 2018 season but hopefully with less bad luck and injuries we can start with our top team lining-up in major events and it also gives us the room to rotate more races and not burn out any riders. I’m sure that we will see positive effects from that and hopefully even more victories."

“We really built some good processes and routines that strengthen our operations this year but of course there is always a potential to improve more and on an individual level. For me, to continue with this core group is a natural way to continue to move forward.

"I’m sure each of our riders can continue to develop during the next years, they are very determined and confident after having such a great season this year. There is also still a nice touch of competition in the group, many riders have stepped up a level and are hungry for their own results too and this helps to keep them motivated and push the level up as well.

"With Moniek and Grace joining, it will balance the team out and with the rest stepping up their game, I’m positive and looking forward to 2019.”

Annemiek van Vleuten

Annemiek van Vleuten will be racing for Mitchelton-Scott again in 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT 2019 roster:
Jessica Allen - (AUS, 25)
Grace Brown - (AUS, 26) - new signing
Gracie Elvin - (AUS, 30)
Lucy Kennedy - (AUS, 30)
Alexandra Manly - (AUS, 22)
Sarah Roy - (AUS, 32)
Amanda Spratt - (AUS, 31)
Moniek Tenniglo - (NED, 30) - new signing
Annemiek van Vleuten - (NED, 36)
Georgia Williams - (NZL, 25)

Mitchelton-SCOTT Women - Stats:
No. of riders: 10
No. of Australians: 7
No. of internationals: 3 (2 x NED, 1 x NZL)
Youngest rider: Alexandra Manly (22)
Oldest rider: Annemiek van Vleuten (36)
Average age: 28.7

ASE, owner of Performance Bicycle and ASI, files for Chapter 11

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (BRAIN) — Advanced Sport Enterprises, the 2-year-old company that is parent to the Performance Bicycle retail chain, Bike Nashbar and distributor ASI, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday morning. The move is likely to lead to the closure of at least 40 Performance stores in the coming months; the chain currently has 104 locations.

It also could dismantle one of this industry's most vertically integrated large-scale organizations, with direct ties from Asian manufacturing through to brick-and-mortar and online retail sales, as well as wholesale sales to other retailers.

ASE was created as the parent corporation after Philadelphia-based ASI acquired Performance and Nashbar in August 2016. ASI owns and distributes the bike brands Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing, Kestrel, Phat and Tuesday Cycles, and the component brand Oval Concepts. The entire organization has 1,944 employees, including 1,662 who work for the Performance retail operation.

Patrick Cunnane, the CEO of ASE, said the ASI distribution business is profitable but the company was unable to turn around the retail business, which has seen sales declines for the last six years.

"We were undercapitalized from the start," he told BRAIN. "We bought (Performance) because two years ago Performance was heavily in debt to ASI. If Performance had failed then, ASI would have failed. So we would have been in this same position but two years ago."

Cunnane told employees, suppliers and ASI's retailer customers about the plans on Thursday. Retail employees were told on a conference call that some stores would be closing within the next 60-90 days. Employees at some stores told BRAIN that they had already received liquidation signage from a third-party liquidation company. ASE has hired Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to conduct store closing sales.

Cunnane said the business has been listed for sale since May. "I've talked to many, many, many potential buyers." D.A. Davidson & Co., an investment banker, has been marketing the business to potential buyers, including "private equity funds and family offices, 17 strategic parties and seven liquidators," according to court filings. "Potential strategic buyers include both domestic and international bicycle wholesalers and 17 retailers, sporting goods retailers, and other consumer products companies," the filing says. Davidson prepared information to sell the entire company, its wholesale division, or some of its brands.

Chapter 11 protection will allow the company to renegotiate its leases. "When you look at the retail footprint of the business, it's sort of a perfect candidate for reorganization under the protection of Chapter 11," Cunnane said. "We will emerge with fewer retail locations."

He said that under the current store leases, 40 locations are unprofitable and are set to be closed. But Cunnane said leases on some of those stores could be renegotiated to make the stores profitable and more likely to stay open.

"We've been trying to renegotiate those leases since we bought (Performance)," he said. "It's hard to have any kind of leverage because we have about 100 landlords." Performance doesn't own any of its stores. The company owns its office in Philadelphia and its offices and warehouse in North Carolina.

Since the 2016 merger, the new leadership has made some successful changes at Performance, he said. Stores were given more autonomy to cater their inventory to their local market and manage their own social media, for example.

"We tried to be more local and less national," he said. Stores raised some retail prices to match the market and improve margins, and developed procedures to turn inventory better.

You can read the entire story here.

Two-time Olympic cycling medalist Marty Nothstein loses congressional election by fraction of a percent

Here's the report from Yahoo Sports:

Olympic sprint cycling 1996 silver medalist and 2000 gold medalist Marty Nothstein lost a congressional special election race by less than 800 votes, latest poll results are showing.

Nothstein, the most recent American to win gold in track cycling, lost the election against Democrat Susan Wild last week to become the congressional representative for Pennsylvania’s 7th District by about 10 percent. However, representative Charlie Dent vacated his position in the soon-to-be-dissolved 15th District earlier this year, so Wild and Nothstein ran simultaneously for Dent’s position.

You can read the entire story here.

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