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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, October 5, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. - A. A. Milne

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Floyd Landis is starting a pro cycling team - with the money he got from Lance Armstrong

Here's the report from Bicycling Magazine:

Floyd Landis wanted closure.

Some people asked if he had it in April, when the lawsuit he brought against Lance Armstrong was finally settled. After all, Landis walked away with $1.1 million—his cut of the $5 million settlement Armstrong paid to his former U.S. Postal Service teammate and the federal government. It marked the end of a drawn-out court battle that had begun in 2010, when Landis first brought the suit.

But no, Landis didn’t feel closure then.

His harshest critics were still out there, and the thing they said that got to him most was that Landis had done it all for the money: Doped his way to his 2006 Tour de France win—a title that was later stripped from him for testing positive for testosterone. Wrote the famous 2010 email to USA Cycling that exposed the systemized doping on U.S. Postal, implicating himself, Armstrong, and other teammates. Sued Armstrong, with the federal government as his co-plaintiff, for defrauding the Postal Service of taxpayer money. With the case settled, Landis had what he wanted, the haters said. He had his big pile of money.

But Floyd Landis didn’t have what he wanted. Because, quite simply, he still felt bad. He had hurt the sport of cycling. He wanted to make things right.

Now, the 43-year-old said he finally feels some of that long-sought closure. On Thursday morning, he announced what he’s doing with the money from the Armstrong settlement. He’s funneling it back into cycling—by starting a UCI Pro Continental team.

“I spent a lot of time through the years thinking about what I could possibly do to demonstrate that this really wasn’t about money,” Landis told Bicycling. “For me, it matters. I can’t buy back my reputation from everyone and this isn’t an attempt to buy it back. It’s the only thing I can really do to demonstrate that, look, cycling did a lot of things for me and it also did a lot of things to me, and I did a lot of things in cycling that I, and a lot of people, to this day still wish didn’t exist.”

The team will be sponsored by Floyd’s of Leadville, the successful mail-order business Landis started in 2016 that sells cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a derivative of hemp that is claimed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. The team is already licensed with the UCI and will race all major events on the UCI Pro Continental circuit, like the Amgen Tour of California, the Tour of Utah, and the Colorado Classic. The team will also have a presence at events in more popular emerging disciplines, like gravel races, gran fondos, and competitive experiential events like the Haute Route.

You can read the entire story here.

BMC team rosters announced for trio of Italian one-day races

The team sent me this schedule:

4 October, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will head to the start line of Giro dell'Emilia on Saturday (6 October) and Milano-Torino and Gran Piemonte next week (10 and 11 October) with three competitive rider rosters.

Sports Director Valerio Piva said that Dylan Teuns will lead the team at the first two Italian one-day races. "We will start with Giro dell'Emilia and that is a difficult race especially when we reach the finishing circuits which will see the riders go up the steep climb to San Luca six times. I think this is a final for Dylan and he will be our leader for this race. Then, it will be a similar situation for us at Milano-Torino with the uphill finish on the Superga climb also suiting Dylan's strengths. Damiano Caruso and Alessandro De Marchi have also shown recently that they are in top shape and I think they can be protected riders too at the first two races," Piva explained. 

Dylan Teuns

Dylan Teuns racing in the 2018 Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo

"Gran Piemonte is a different race this year and it's a flat race so I am expecting it to be one for the sprinters. We don't have a pure sprinter in our selection so we will take this race as it comes and see if there is something that we can do. We have strong teams for these three races and I think the rest of the guys can look to take opportunities and try to move in the early breakaways."

Teuns is feeling confident in his form going into the trio of races.

"I am looking forward to these three one-day races. Last year, I had really good legs at Giro dell'Emilia but unfortunately, I had a mechanical in the final so, I am motivated about seeing what I can do there and at Milano-Torino. The finish of both of these races suits me and I am feeling good right now, my shape is still good at this late point in the season. We will have to wait and see what happens but hopefully, as a team, we can do three good races," Teuns said.

Giro dell'Emilia (6 October)
Rider Roster: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Alexander Evans (AUS), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Dylan Teuns (BEL)

Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Milano-Torino (10 October)
Rider Roster: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Alexander Evans (AUS), Freddy Ovett (AUS), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Dylan Teuns (BEL)

Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Gran Piemonte (11 October)
Rider Roster: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Alexander Evans (AUS), Freddy Ovett (AUS), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Dylan Teuns (BEL)

Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)

EF Education First-Drapac's Mike Woods discusses the World Road Championships

The team sent me this:

EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale's own Mike Woods rode to a bronze medal this past Sunday in the UCI Road World Championships in Austria. After the race, Woods took a moment to answer some questions about the day:

1. How did the race play out compared to what you had discussed as a team?

The race played out pretty much as we had expected.  I am really fortunate to be riding for a federation (Cycling Canada) that is open to consultation and to ride for a team (EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale) that has been so supportive of me this season.  Our federation director Kevin Field, and my coach Paulo Saldanha, are well aware of the strong relationship that I have with Juan Manuel Garate, and they worked with him to try to get an idea of how the race would play out.  Ultimately the goal for me was to play off of France and use Alaphilippe as my reference.  When we hit the final climb, all I had were three riders in front of me, Thibaut Pinot, Romain Bardet, and Julian Alaphilippe.  At that point, things had gone so to plan that I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming.

Elite Men's Road Race

Alejandro Valverde wins the elite men's road race. Woods is in light blue, on the left. Sirotti photo

2. What went right for you? Anything go wrong?

A lot of things went right for me this race.  My teammates rode well, we had representation in the breakaway and I had great legs. The only thing that went wrong, really, was the final 150m.  When Valverde opened up the sprint with 300m to go, I couldn’t believe it; I thought I was going to beat him.  However when I kicked it into my final gear and started to come around him I began to cramp super hard in both my calves and hamstrings.  I started pedalling squares and went from thinking I would win the race to worrying if I would have enough momentum to carry myself across the line in front of Dumoulin.

3. What was your strategy in the finale when you found yourself in a race-winning position?

I had a lot of confidence in my sprint, so my plan was to simply wait until 150m to go.  I think this was the right move, but I unfortunately missed my final bottle, and I cramped up super hard.

4. When Tom tagged on, how did that change the dynamic of the group?

Once Tom caught us, all cohesion went out the window, however, with such little distance left, and with him having to bridge across while the rest of us worked together I knew he would probably be pretty gassed from the effort.

5. Bronze. What was the immediate emotional reaction? How do you feel now?

Immediately after: disappointment. I can’t believe I am saying that now, but when I crossed the line that is what I truly felt. I honestly thought I was going to beat Valverde with even 200m to go, but once I started to cramp, I saw that fade away. No matter how good you are, you don’t get many opportunities to see yourself winning a world championships inside 300m to go. To be that close, and have it go away because of cramping, in that moment, was disappointing, but now, after having 24 hours to think about it, I am over the moon. I didn’t sleep last night; I was that excited. To be a bronze medalist at the World Championships is something that I could not have dreamed of when I was working behind a teller stand at a bank a few years ago.

6. Beyond the one day result, how do your recent performances shape your confidence and goals?

I think I started to show glimpses of these types of performances last year, however this year I feel as though I have really stepped up my consistency and shown that now, as long as I am healthy, I can contend against the best riders in the world. This confidence and inner-belief is making racing at the WorldTour a lot less scary and a lot more fun.  When I first started racing at this level, I spent half of my races in fear of crashing or getting dropped. I feel like I am now seeing bike racing far differently, and when it goes well, it is damn fun.  As I get ready for my final few races this year and start shifting my focus to next year, I just hope I can continue to learn from these past results and use this perspective to continue my progression in this sport and inspire more kids to get on bikes and more fans to cheer for a Canadian kicking it in the WorldTour.

Start and finish locations for 2019 Tour de Yorkshire announced

The organizer sent me this release:

The eight host locations for 2019 Tour de Yorkshire have been unveiled by organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O).

The stages for the fifth edition will begin or end in:

The Tour de Yorkshire will take place between 2-5 May and the 2019 edition has been upgraded to HC status by cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the highest category possible for a multi-day race outside of the UCI WorldTour.

At the press conference in Leeds, Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL also confirmed that Redcar will be a host town for the 2020 edition, and that the 2019 route will include the circuit in Harrogate which will be used in the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s always exciting to unveil the host towns for the Tour de Yorkshire and this year is no exception. We’re thrilled that Bedale will be making its debut as the town gave the riders an amazing reception when they passed through earlier this year, and I’m sure Redcar will also excel in 2020. The other locations have already proven themselves as more than worthy recipients and we cannot wait to return.

“The full route will be announced on Friday 7 December but we felt it was important to confirm the inclusion of the Harrogate circuit as the sport’s best riders are already planning their trips to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships and the Tour de Yorkshire will be the only chance they get to sample that circuit under race conditions before then.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France at the A.S.O, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire is a true success story and in just four years it has grown to become one of the best attended and most dramatic races on the cycling calendar.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with such a great team at Welcome to Yorkshire and I know our eight start and finish locations will put on a real show in 2019.”

Next year’s Tour will once again see the return of the Tour de Yorkshire Ride sportive and give the chance for Tour Makers to volunteer on the race route and help welcome the millions of spectators.

Many of the host towns announced are also home to Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, a direct legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire, which aim to offer every child in Yorkshire access to a bike. So far 54 libraries have opened across the county and over 6,000 bikes have been donated.

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