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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, February 15, 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

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger. - Harriet Tubman

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UAE-Team Emirates reports of Tour Colombia stage three

We aren't tracking this race, but we will be posting team reports as the race progresses.

Here's the report from UAE-Team Emirates:

Colombian Juan Sebastian Molano wins the third stage of the Tour Colombia, his first in UAE Team Emirates colours, after 167.6km around Llanogrande. His victory came ahead of Julian Alaphilippe and Diego Ochoa.

Rigoberto Uran

Rigoberto Uran (shown finishing the 2018 Giro d'Emilia) is the new Tour of Colombia GC leader. Sirotti photo

Molano was able to hold his position in the group over four climbs of Alto El Nano unlike the other sprinters. With spark still in his legs, he gave the team its fourth victory of the 2019 season.

The sprinter also now leads the points classification. “It was a beautiful moment, to get my first win with my new team and doing so here in Colombia – it’s fantastic,” Molano said.

“Gaviria unfortunately was not well. I had a big responsibility and I was able to repay the enormous trust given to me by the team.

“I felt great all day, on the climbs my legs were good and I found myself secure in the finishing straight for the sprint. The work of my team-mates getting there was perfect all day. I want to thank the team who kept me going throughout the stage.”

Stage 3 results:
1 Juan Sebastian Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates 3h42’52”
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStepe s.t.
3 Diego Antonio Ochoa Camargo (Col) Manzana Postobon

Overall classification after stage 3:
1 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 7h19’37”

Regarding Molano's comment that Gaviria was not well, here's the note the team sent me:

The decision not to start the Tour Colombia’s third stage was taken between UAE Team Emirates sprinter Fernando Gaviria, who has a viral respiratory infection, and the team’s medical staff.

The desire is to allow Gaviria to fully recover his health in order to return to his best so that he can compete.

“I’m sorry to leave the race and go home, but I have to think about my condition and recover my best health,” Gaviria said. “I’m not able to ride at my best so I think the best decision is to stop myself now. Thanks to everyone, all the fans who’ve always supported me and who I know, who are also supporting me in this moment.”

Team Sky in sponsorship talks with Ecopetrol

Here's the report posted by Cycling Weekly:

Team Sky is in talks with the Colombian president over possible sponsorship by an oil and gas firm from the country, according to reports.

Sir Dave Brailsford is believed to have met with Colombian president Ivan Duque and the head of the sport ministry Ernesto Lucena to discuss the team’s future, including a potential sponsorship by Ecopetrol.

Team Sky’s parent company Comcast is due to pull its sponsorship at the end of 2019, with team principal Brailsford working to secure the squad’s future.

Team Sky

Could this be Team Ecopetrol in 2020: Sirotti photo.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the meeting was to discuss the possibility of Colombian company Ecopetrol taking over, creating the first ever Colombian WorldTour team.

The firm, worth $64 billion (£49 billion), is one of the big four oil companies in Latin America and ranks among the top 25 in the world.

You can read the entire story here.

Garmin takes over Tacx

Bike Europe sent me this report:

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland – Last Tuesday Garmin Ltd. announced that one of its affiliates has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Tacx Onroerend en Roerend Goed B.V., a privately-held Dutch company that designs and manufacturers indoor bike trainers, tools and accessories, as well as indoor training software and applications.

The completion of this acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. For decades Tacx is known for its indoor trainers, including the highly-regarded NEO 2 and the revolutionary NEO Bike, that measures speed, power and cadence. Offering a highly realistic and accurate ride simulation, Tacx trainers allow cyclists to experience lifelike conditions, no matter the weather.

“Tacx brings an entirely new product category to Garmin’s fitness portfolio that expands our reach into the indoor training market,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “Together with Tacx, Garmin will offer a seamless, enjoyable and motivating indoor and outdoor experience for cyclists all year long.”

“We are excited to have the support of a technology leader like Garmin,” said Koos Tacx, CEO of Tacx. “With Garmin’s extensive R&D capabilities and global distribution network, we look forward to working together to further enhance our indoor training products and technologies and bring them to cyclists around the world.”

You can read the entire story here.

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