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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

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

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there. - George Santayana

Current racing:

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Bjorg Lambrecht dies after crashing in Tour of Poland

Lotto-Soudal rider Bjorg Lambrecht died following a crash at the Tour of Poland. The 22-year-old Belgian fell in the final 100km of the third stage. He slid on a rainy section of road and crashed into a road culvert. After being resuscitated he was taken to a hospital about 30 kilometers away. During surgery Lambrecht died.

While the tragedy has cast a terrible pall over the race, the Tour of Poland plans to continue.

After Lambrecht's passing, his Lotto-Soudal team posted this:

The biggest tragedy possible that could happen to the family, friends and teammates of Bjorg has become reality today… Lotto Soudal is deeply saddened to inform that 22-year-old rider Bjorg Lambrecht passed away following a crash in the Tour de Pologne today. The entire Lotto Soudal team would like to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends, teammates and all the loved ones of Bjorg. May you rest in peace, Bjorg…  

Bjorg Lambrecht

In better days. Bjorg Lambrecht in the 2019 Leige-Bastogne-Liege.

Tour of Poland stage three reports

We posted the report from stage winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the race results.

Fabio Jakobsen's Deceuninck-Quick Step team posted this race report:

Another stage at the Tour de Pologne, another day animated by three escapees, another hectic bunch gallop, this time in Zabrze, where the peloton had to cover four laps of a flat 6.2km-long circuit. But before that, they kicked off the stage from the Slaski Stadium in Chorzow, which got to host also the first intermediate sprint, before the riders returned on the roads and headed out to the small town in the Silesia region.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step were among the teams prominent at the front, sharing the workload and making sure the attackers would be reeled in before the flamme rouge. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne victor Bob Jungels took the helm of the bunch and put it a mammoth pull, stretching out the field and making sure Fabio Jakobsen would be in a good position for the sprint. The 22-year-old Dutch National Champion had an impressive acceleration and won the stage, but was later relegated by the commissaires, who awarded the victory to Pascal Ackermann (Tour de Pologne).

PAscal Ackermann

Fabio Jakobsen is first across the line, but Pascal Ackermann (head down, yellow jersey) was awarded the stage. Sirotti photo

The race continues on Tuesday with the 173.3km hilly stage 4 between Jaworzno and Kocierz.

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

KOGA Slag om Norg, AUG 11

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"It's a difficult race with a lot of gravel segments and it should be a selective day in the saddle. We arrive with a strong team that will look to support Edo deep into the finale. He's came out of Tour Alsace in good form and hopefully can carry that into this race. Edo has shown well at races like this in the past with a good result at Paris-Roubaix juniors last year."

Line-up:
Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Edo Maas (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Nils Sinschek (NED)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)

BinckBank Tour: AUG 12-18

Michiel Elijzen - Team Sunweb coach:
"We expect that the race will again be one which is decided by just seconds so we will focus on taking those seconds in the intermediate sprints, the short but heavy stage in the Ardennes, the TT and the last stage of the race. We head to the BinckBank Tour with a motivated team. In Søren we have a rider who can go for a strong result in the GC but we also have Marc who showed that he is in good shape at San Sebastian with a great third place and he should also go far into the race. We will look at each stage day-by-day to make the best plan and we will fight for every second on the road."

Soren Kragh Andersen

Søren Kragh Andersen finishing 2018 Paris-Tours the way every racer likes to finish a race.

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Mikkel Bjerg signs three-year contract with the UAE Team Emirates

The team sent me tihis news:

UAE Team Emirates will continue its youth development into 2020 with another young talent, Mikkel Bjerg, signing a three-year contract.

Born in Copenhagen in 1998, Bjerg has proved himself as a top class time triallist, winning the world Under 23 title twice in a row (2017 and 2018).

Team manager Joxean Matxin comments on the signing: “Mikkel is one of the hottest prospects in the world when it comes to the time trial, he holds two u-23 World titles and now to have him along with McNulty they will both be a real force in that discipline.It’s also important to point out how close he has come in his attempts to break the World Hour record, and to do that at such a young age is extremely impressive.

"Mikkel will add great value to our team against the clock. He is not only a great time trial rider: he can become a very versatile cyclist, strong on the flat and on the cobbles and can also do well on the shorter climbs."

Mikkel Bjerg commented on his move to UAE Team Emirates:

Mikkel, why have you chosen to join UAE?
“I opted for UAE Team Emirates because it is a team showing great interest in the development of young riders. It’s really exciting to be part of a World Tour team characterised by a base of experienced riders along with some of the best talents of the new generation, including Philipsen, Pogačar, McNulty and Ardila. In my current team, Hagens Berman Axeon, young riders work together and motivate each other and I think it will be interesting to do it next season with UAE."

You’re excited about the move to a World Tour team?
“I’m more than excited for this step in my career. In the last two years I have had the opportunity to grow up in a perfect environment, which led me to the point I’m finally at now – joining the World Tour. I’m really excited to be stepping up and competing at this level."

What is your goal for the immediate future?
“I would first like to continue to improve, both in road races and in the time trial.
I am aiming also to get some good results, more important is to learn from my experienced teammates and get used to the jump in level."

Trump to impose 10% tariff on remaining Chinese goods (helmets & lights)

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

SHANGHAI (BRAIN) — President Donald Trump on Thursday said the U.S. will impose a 10% tariff on Chinese goods worth $300 billion in annual imports.

The list of goods — the so-called "List 4" — includes bicycle products not previously subject to new Trump tariffs, including bike helmets and lights. The tariff will take effect Sept. 1. Besides the bike items, it hits a range of consumer goods including toys and electronics. On the news stock prices fell Thursday afternoon for retailers, toy makers, and electronics brands, including Apple.

Helmets and lights were excluded from List 3 on safety grounds. Some other bike products were not included in List 3 because they are in the same category as other consumer goods, such as apparel and shoes, which are both included in List 4.

Bike parts and accessories that are imported under Harmonized Tariff System code 8714.99.8000 were not included in List 3, but are in List 4. That includes all parts and accessories that don't have their own specific HTS code, everything from kickstands to toe clips to axle extenders. Last year, the U.S. imported nearly $40 million worth of products under that code. Those products have a pre-existing tariff of 10%, so the total starting Sept. 1 will be 20%.  

You can read the entire story here.

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