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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Mathew Hayman's racing career is coming to a close

Hayman's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

2016 Paris-Roubaix champion and Mitchelton-SCOTT road captain Mathew Hayman has penned a note on his cycling future. Hear from him below:

The time has come for me to make a very difficult decision, one that I wrestled with for months, mainly out of fear of what my life would be like without being a professional athlete.

I have long forgotten what it’s like to not have a race program. Cycling has defined me for so long, but increasingly the other all-consuming constant in my life, my family, has been battling for my attention and they now need to be my priority.

I feel I have been fortunate to have ridden for some of the biggest teams, in both budget and heart in the peloton. I have ridden with some of the most talented riders, and been surrounded by staff who have a passion for the sport. I have looked forward to leaving for the next race for the last 19 years and I have enjoyed far too many hours on far too many team buses.

Mathew Hayman

Mathew Hayman wins 2016 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

There are too many people who need my thanks, who I am forever grateful to for their help in many different facets of my career. Naming them would not only take too long, but would also mean I would mistakenly omit someone. You know who you are and I thank you for your support and sharing in my passion for this sport, together we have been through many highs and lows. Thank you.

But, having said that there is one person, or family, that needs to be mentioned. This man and his generosity have changed the sport of cycling in Australia.

Gerry Ryan and the Ryan family have made it normal for there to be a team that Australians can call their own on the world stage. But more than that, I think his generosity to the sport has made it a fact that there is a pathway for any young Australian boy or girl who dreams of riding and winning the biggest races in the world, not only in this team but across the sport.

I never dreamed of riding for an Australian team, it was talked about when I first turned professional, but I didn’t dream it would ever happen during my career.  Either I stayed around too long, or Gerry is able to dream bigger than most. I thank you on behalf of the Australian cycling community.

I have won a few races here and there, been a part of teams that have won many more, but I am sure I will be remembered for one race in particular and I could not think of a better race to have my name associated with.

I fell in love with Roubaix early in my career and it has at times felt that the race was just tormenting me. Seventeen times I raced from Compiègne to Roubaix and every single time it was an amazing day, but in 2016 I lifted a (surprisingly heavy) cobble above my head. It was the single proudest moment in my sporting career, a culmination of all the trying, learning and never quitting. Always keep riding.

To be an athlete at this level you have to be self centred, selfish, driven, hungry (literally and figuratively) and spend most of your life tired. I look forward to freshening up and giving back to my biggest fans, the fans who don’t watch me race, couldn’t care less about my results, Harper, Noah and Elodie.

Kym, my wife, has always been there for me behind the scenes, the longevity of my career can be attributed to her support of me and our family. If she’s taught me anything in all our years together, it’s to leave before the party goes bad.

So with that, I will leave this party. My last race is due to be Tour Down Under 2019. 

BMC names riders for Team Time Trial World Championship

BMC sent me this:

18 September, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team today announced the six riders who will line up at the UCI World Championships Team Time Trial this Sunday, 23 September in Innsbruck, Austria.

Hailing from six different countries, Patrick Bevin, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Stefan Küng, Greg Van Avermaet, and Tejay van Garderen will take to the start line of the 62.8 kilometer race against the clock.

BMC

BMC riding the World's Team Time Trial Championships in 2017. Sirotti photo

Sports Director Jackson Stewart highlighted the riders' strength in individual time trials and their collective power in the team time trial discipline. "It is a long course and with the significant climb, we had to design our roster accordingly. We are a team with a lot of time trial talent and therefore it is always difficult to select the six riders for the World Championships Team Time Trial. This year, I think we have selected the right six guys for the job, riders who are the best in the business on the flatter sections but can still tackle the climb as well," Stewart said.

"The difficult part of this last World Championship Team Time Trial is how to pace into the climb and still do a good climb to have enough riders together for the final kilometers. I think the course is much simpler from a technical standpoint than last year's course, but the climb will be a big factor and we selected riders accordingly."

Having won in 2014 and 2015, and twice runner up in 2016 and 2017, BMC Racing Team will target the title for the last time in a tribute to late team owner Andy Rihs. "It is no secret that the team time trial is one of our favorite disciplines and one that we have targeted for many years. For us, it is disappointing that this will be the final trade team time trial at the World Championships but this will serve as extra motivation to claim the gold medal for the team, and particularly in memory of Andy Rihs," General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

"Andy gave us, and the sport of cycling, so much, so to win the final Team Time Trial at the World Championships in the BMC Racing Team skinsuit would be incredibly special."

UCI World Championships Team Time Trial (23 September)

Rider roster: Patrick Bevin (NZ), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA)

Reserve: Miles Scotson (Aus)

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Allan Peiper (AUS), Marco Pinotti (ITA)

Trump approves tariffs on Chinese goods including $1 billion in bike products, effective next Monday

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — President Donald Trump on Monday said he had approved tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China, including about $1 billion in bicycle products.

In a statement, Trump said the tariffs will take effect on Sept. 24, at 10 percent until the end of the year, when they will rise to 25 percent. These tariffs are on top of current duties on bike imports.

"Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports," Trump said.

"As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and our country itself. My administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack."

The short time frame before the tariffs take effect means that suppliers will face an unexpected 10 percent charge on imports that are already in transit but arrive after next Sunday.

The U.S. Trade Representative said safety products, including bicycle helmets and bike lights, were among the 297 product categories removed from the list of proposed tariffs. The USTR said consumer electronics including as smartwatches, industrial chemicals, safety products, and child safety furniture like high chairs were exempted.

This is the fourth round of tariffs to affect the U.S. bike industry this year. Tariffs on steel (of 25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent) took effect in March, raising material costs for U.S. manufacturers. In July, 25 percent tariffs on bearings and some GPS units took effect, and in August, Chinese-made e-bikes and e-bike motors were hit with a 25 percent tariff.

Many members of the bike industry, organized by PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, testified against this round at hearings in Washington late last month. The tariffs hit virtually all bike related items out of China, including complete bikes, frames, components, tires, wheels, inner tubes, auto racks and some other accessories. Additionally, the tariffs affect some non-bike specific items that the industry uses, including hand tools, nuts and bolts, and other machinery.

PeopleForBikes Alex Loggeman said the group was disappointed by the decision and called the 25 percent tariff "unsustainable."

"We are deeply concerned that this $250 million annual tax increase for the bicycle industry will risk domestic jobs and make bicycles less affordable for Americans," said Loggeman, PeopleForBikes director of state and local policy.

"The Administration's findings under its Section 301 investigation are not aligned with what the bicycle industry has experienced.  Our industry has not been impacted by the underlying theft of intellectual property or advanced technology in China that is the basis for this action. We have aggressively fought against these tariff increases and worked tirelessly to educate decision makers on our industry, our supply chain, and the impact these tariffs will have. Tonight’s news is disappointing and seemingly well outside the intent of the investigation," he said. 

BPSA's president, Adam Micklin, told BRAIN, "The BPSA and PeopleForBikes are aware of the tariffs news regarding a possible reduction to 10 percent but we have not had a chance to fully review the list.

"We're going through the list now of the products and items affected as we realize this is critical information for our members," Micklin said. Micklin and much of the rest of the U.S. bike industry was in Reno Monday to attend Interbike.

You can read the entire story here.

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