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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Romain Bardet to skip Giro d’Italia and ride Tour de France in 2019

Cycling Weekly summarized L'Equipe's report:

Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) will skip an opportunity to debut in the Giro d’Italia to focus on the Tour de France again in 2019.

Bardet, second in the 2016 Tour de France behind Chris Froome (Sky) and sixth in 2018, could not resist his home race after seeing the route announced.

“Until then, doubts remained,” he told L’Equipe.

“But when I put the two race routes side by side, it was very clear. This is one of the first times I really saw the many opportunities available for our team.

“And as we know that the challenge of doubling Giro-Tour, playing for places on the podium, remains very difficult for me. I still prefer to focus on the Tour de France.”

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet on Alpe d'Huez in the 2018 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Bardet has never raced the Italian Grand Tour with so many mountain passes that could suit his climbing physique.

French and with a home team, the Tour de France is too big of a race to ignore. For the 2019 edition, announced in October, the organiser included a low amount of time trialling: 27 kilometres plus a 27-kilometre team time trial. The Giro d’Italia has 58.5 kilometres of time trials in 2019.

Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), second in the Giro and Tour this year, said that he is unsure about racing the Tour.

You can read the entire story here.

And here's the orginal story in L'Equipe (in French).

Mitchelton-Scott riders react to Gavia Pass inclusion in 2019 Giro Rosa

Here's the team's update:

2018 Giro-Rosa winner Annemiek van Vleuten and third place finisher Amanda Spratt are pleased to hear the latest news that one of their biggest goals for 2019, the 10day Giro-Rosa will feature a summit finish atop the iconic 'Passo di Gavia.'

After conquering the mighty Zoncolon earlier this season, the Mitchelton-SCOTT duo are pleased to see more famous and brutal climbs added to the women’s tour, making it a real battle for the overall title and continued progression in women's cycling.

Annemiek van Vleuten - 1st 2018 Giro-Rosa
“I was very happy to hear the news that the Gavia will be in the Giro-Rosa next year, I know the climb very well because I always go for altitude training in Livingnio which is very near. I think have have ridden it about ten times and it is usually at the end of my long training after six hours, and it is super high so you will feel the altitude there. It is very special to climb it in an race and especially to finish up there.

“I am very happy the organisers are taking women’s cycling very seriously, they always do in the Giro-Rosa, I think it was already in 2010 we finished at the top of the Stelvio and as a rider that just started my career, that was something I will not forget very easily. It makes the Giro something special to finish on an epic, iconic climb. It think it is very good from the organisers and for the progression of women’s cycling.

"I am always super motivated to come back but it makes me even more excited to set some goals again to win the Giro and winning last year on the Zoncolon was so cool. It is very good for women’s cycling to add a climb that everybody knows, it gives more body to the tour."

The ten day race will run once again in July, from 5th to the 14th, however the full route is yet to be announced next March, after dominating in the 2018 edition, Van Vleuten has some stages she hopes to see on the route list.

“For next year on my wish list is another uphill time time, I would not mind that but also a flat time trail, maybe that is even better for me because usually you can get rid of more of the climbers. For sure if they add a TT and if I can ride there in my rainbow jersey that would be very nice and also a prologue to start the Giro is always nice. It was good this year to start with a team time trial, it really emphasises that it is a team performance."

“My recovery has been going very well, eight-days ago was the first time I could go back on the bike with click in pedals and now I am slowly progressing and I am thinking in two weeks to go to the sun and start a bit more my proper training.”

Annemiek van Vleuten

Annemiek van Vleuten winning the 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Sirotti photo

Amanda Spratt - 3rd 2018 Giro-Rosa
“When I read the news of the Gavia being one of the finishes of the Giro-Rosa next year I was just really excited. There is so much history on that climb and it is such an iconic climb, I can’t wait to race up it.

“I do think it’s great that the organisers include these really tough and hard stages. The Giro is the only Grand Tour that we have, so I think it’s important that it has a good combination of all different types of stages and the really hard climbing stages like the Gavia will really show who the strongest riders and climbers in the race are.

“Reading this news makes me extra excited for next season. I have some really big goals and some new projects as well but it’s no secret that the Giro will be one of them. As a team we will once again target the win there so it gives me a lot of motivation to already hear about such an exciting stage. I know with the team we are capable of achieving great things there.

“The altitude will definitely be a factor in this stage. The Gavia is not far from where I base myself at altitude so I have ridden the climb before and I know I will be able to train on the climb more beforehand. It’s gives me a lot of motivation for my training camps next season.”

The Gavia
Where: Italy
When: Women’s 2019 Giro-Rosa 5-14th July
Top altitude: 2,621 metres
Bormio side: 25km, average 5% gradient
Ponte di Legno side: 18.9km, average 8% gradient
First featured in the men’s Giro d’Italia: 1960

Floyd Landis challenges Trump administration on attorney general

USA Today published this story:

The legal fallout of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal isn’t quite over yet and now is headed to a confrontation with the Trump administration. In the latest postscript to the decades-old saga, former pro cyclist Floyd Landis is challenging the legitimacy of the acting U.S. attorney general, Matthew Whitaker.

The challenge relates to a settlement in the civil fraud lawsuit that Landis filed against Armstrong in 2010. Most of that case ended this year, but part of it had been pending when President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker to replace Jeff Sessions on Nov. 7. 

After reaching a settlement on that matter last week, Landis now is questioning the validity of the agreement because it required consent from the Justice Department under Whitaker.

You can read the entire story here.

Is E-Bike motor market getting overcrowded?

Bike Europe sent me this report:

TAIPEI, Taiwan – At last July’s Eurobike it was clearly noticeable; the earlier this month held Taipei Cycle Show once more underlined this trend. It’s about the fact that the number of e-bike motor providers continues to grow strongly. Among the newcomers are some formidable multi-billion euro multinationals with a long history of serving the car industry. Taipei Cycle 2018 again showed that e-bike motor supply continues to grow strongly. Is the motor market becoming overcrowded?

There are two main factors that cause the rapid growth in the supply of e-bike motor systems. The first and most important has everything to do with favourable market expectations. It’s forecasted that the e-bike motor market will grow into a multibillion business.  Recent market research indicates an annual growth rate of over 6% in the period up to 2025. Next to that projected growth the second factor that is pushing e-bike motor supply is in the fact that the automotive industry stands at the eve of a major turn-around. The electrification of cars triggers producers of fuel pumps, radiators or complete engine blocks, for example, to focus on other markets. And especially markets that are easily accessible. They consider the bicycle sector as such an easy, without the need for high investments, to penetrate market that could compensate in part for the loss that these companies without doubt incur with an ever-increasing electrification of cars that will continue in the coming years.

You can read the entire story here.

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