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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, April 5, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Greg Van Avermaet ready for Tour of Flanders battle 

Van Avermaet's CCC Team sent me this:

4 April 2019: Greg Van Avermaet has his sights firmly set on victory at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, a win that has so far proved elusive for the Belgian’s palmarès.

Greg van AVermaet

Greg Van Avermaet won Paris-Roubaix in 2017. Can he add the Tour of Flanders to his win list?

Van Avermaet will be backed by the same riders who lined up at E3 BinckBank Classic, where Van Avermaet sprinted to third place, Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.

“Greg Van Avermaet may not have stood on the top step of the podium at the Classics so far this year, but he has proved race after race that he is one of the strongest and we have full confidence in him for the Tour of Flanders. In support of Greg, we have our three Belgians; Gijs Van Hoecke, Nathan Van Hooydonck, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, as well as Michael Schär, and the Polish duo of Kamil Gradek and Łukasz Wiśniowski. We are taking seven healthy riders to the start line, all of whom will do the maximum they can to support Greg until the finale,” Baldato explained.

“Greg performs best when the race is super hard and given the length of the Tour of Flanders, it’s the perfect race for him. If everything goes to plan in the race then we expect Greg to be fighting for the win, so we hope this year may be his year.”

With 12 previous participation’s to his name, including three podium results, Van Avermaet recognizes how difficult it is to win the Tour of Flanders.

“Every year, I line up at the Tour of Flanders saying the same thing. I’m strong, I’m confident in my form, and I’m motivated to win. Nothing has changed this year. I know I’m capable of winning the Tour of Flanders but it hasn’t happened yet in my career. I hope to change that on Sunday. The Classics are unpredictable so everything has to go your way. If everything goes my way then I’m confident that I can be back on the podium this year," Van Avermaet said.

“We saw at Gent-Wevelgem how chaotic it is when the race is aggressive from the beginning and this definitely suits me, especially in a race like the Tour of Flanders which is longer and harder anyway. Normally, the race is fairly controlled until we hit the last 100 kilometers or so and then it’s all about positioning, the legs, and a little bit of luck.”

Victory at the Tour of Flanders would add a second Monument title to Van Avermaet’s already impressive career, after securing his first Monument win at Paris-Roubaix in 2017.

Tour of Flanders (7 April 2019):
Rider Roster: Kamil Gradek (POL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL).

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

UAE-Team Emirates reports on Tour of Sicily stage two

The team sent me this update:

Sebastian Molano takes a step forward compared to his first race day after the injury and manages to get on the podium of the Giro di Sicilia’s second stage.

In a bunch sprint, the Colombian sprinter of UAE Team Emirates blasted over the Palermo line, after 236km from Capo d’Orlando, third behind winner Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Riccardo Stacchiotti (Giotti Victoria-Palomar).

Manuel Belletti

Manuel Belletti wins Tour of Sicily stage two.

With today’s podium, Molano retains the leadership of the young rider ranking and climbs to third in the general classification, 12″ from the leader Belletti.

Sports Director Bruno Vicino commented, “Sebastian showed again to have good legs, despite a very long stage and a crash after a few kilometres from the start, fortunately without consequences.

Like yesterday, despite a fantastic job by Ferrari, Molano found himself having to start his sprint a bit too long. It can happen in sprints where there are no trains that take the situation in hand“.

The third stage, 188 km from Caltanissetta to Ragusa, will climb the Serra di Burgio (7.8 km at 5.5% average gradient) at 20.5km from the finish. The race ends on the Ibla, 2.9km at 4.2% average gradient.

Taiwan’s growing E-Bike export to EU triggers questions on local content rules

Bike Europe sent me this:

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Last week’s Taipei Cycle made abundantly clear that there’s a turnaround taking place in Taiwan. The island’s industry is turning to e-bikes and their export to the EU. It’s prompted by the anti-dumping duties now in place for e-bikes exported from China to Europe. It blocks many of the Chinese e-bike exporters and with that offers opportunities for Taiwan makers. But it also raises questions on the rules set by the EU on origin and local content.

Bike Europe received questions from several sources on the European Union rules of origin and the related local content. These questions reflect the anxiety of Taiwan based assemblers for violating European regulations, which can lead to heavy fines. Also importers in Europe could be harmed by the illegal export of e-bikes from Taiwan to Europe. Such importers could be retroactively forced to pay the dumping duties when Customs officials in one of the EU member states judges that regulations are infringed. So here’s an overview of the relevant EU regulations; not only for in Taiwan assembled e-bikes that are exported to Europe, but also for the ones made in Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

When e-bikes are assembled in Taiwan with Made in China drive systems (motor, battery and all electronics shipped from China to Taiwan) that are to be exported to Europe; how does this relate to EU origin rules?

This will come down to violating rules of origin. Exporting e-bikes to Europe on this basis with motor, battery and electronics originating in China means that it is basically a Chinese e-bike as the assembly activities in Taiwan are too limited. The Certificate of Origin must classify it as a China made e-bike.

What if e-bikes are exported from Taiwan to Europe through transshipments meaning that Taiwan is used as ‘middle’ country. The e-bikes will be re-exported to one of the EU member states by using Taiwan Certificate of Origin documents. Is this permitted by EU Customs?

What this ‘re-export’ or ‘transshipment’ boils down to is circumvention of the anti-dumping rules and duties as brought info force in January 2019 by the European Union.

You can read the entire story here.

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