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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday January 29, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Play is the work of childhood. - Jean Piaget

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UAE Team Emirates reports on Vuelta a San Juan stage one

This came too late for me to include in yesterday's news post:

Fernando Gaviria opened his UAE Team Emirates chapter in the best way possible by winning the opening stage of the 2019 Vuelta a San Juan.

Fernando Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria takes the first stage.

After 159.1 km from San Juan to Pocito, he sprinted ahead of Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). The three hold the same top spots in the overall classification of the Argentine stage race, with Gaviria now in the leader’s jersey.

“I’m super happy when I win,” Gaviria (35 victories as pro) explained. “Above all because I have changed teams and I was looking for a confirmation. The UAE Team Emirates is improving year after year and becoming the strongest in the world and I’m happy to be apart of this project.

"In my old team, I learned so much and now I’m bringing all of that knowledge with me in my new chapter. I want to thank my team because they worked so well even if we are young, we have so much talent. We prepared very well in the winter and in the last days here in San Juan before the race. In the sprint, I was very relaxed because knew that I could win.”

Tomorrow the riders will race the second stage between Chimbas and Peri Lago Punta Negra. The stage covers 160.2km, with five climbs over the top of the Punta Negra (3rd category). The finish line is 2.5km after the top of the last climb and should make for a tough day for Gaviria and the other sprinters.

Stage 1 results
1 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 3h50’12”
2 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) s.t.
3 Sam Bennet (Bora-hansgrohe) s.t.

General classification after stage 1
1 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 3h50’02”
2 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) 4″
3 Sam Bennet (Bora-hansgrohe) 6″

Lucas Hamilton to lead Mitchelton-Scott at Herald Sun Tour

Here's the news from Mitchelton-Scott:

Fresh off a crucial support role for Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey, 22-year-old Lucas Hamilton will be given the opportunity to step up as the leader for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

The Australian, who captured the eyes of many on the Corkscrew and Willunga climbs in Adelaide, will battle some of the best climbers in the world, including Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (EF Education First), when racing gets underway on Wednesday.

Mitchelton-SCOTT team:

Sam Bewley (NZL, 31)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 22)
Damien Howson (AUS, 26)
Nick Schultz (AUS, 24)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 22)
Dion Smith (NZL, 25)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 20)

The Course:
Starting and finishing with criterium-style stages in Phillip Island and Melbourne, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour has two stages that will be crucial to the general classification battle on days two and four.

The second stage to Churchill features a late climb, with gravel, before descending into the finish line, whilst the penultimate stage returns to the Mornington Peninsula for four ascents of Arthurs Seat, including the final climb to finish.

The Competition:
With the strongest field the race has seen in several years, the general classification battle will be hotly contested. World class climbers Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (EF Education First) will start as favourites, and will provide a good learning experience for Mitchelton-SCOTT’s young Australian leader in Hamilton.

The Past:
Mitchelton-SCOTT has won four overall titles at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour since the team’s inception in 2012, including a top-three clean sweep last year. Former champion Damien Howson returns to the team line up and will be a crucial support rider for Hamilton.

Lucas Hamilton:
“The Arthurs Seat and Churchill stages will be the key stages. Obviously with Arthurs Seat being a hill top and Churchill having a climb 12km from the finish, they will be the two most important stages, but I’ve ridden around this area a little bit and it can be quite windy, so I think even the in between stages can open up some aggressive racing if teams decide to race it that way.

“It’s the first time I have led this team at a Tour, it’s new for me at this level, so I’m looking forward to it. 

“We will obviously give it everything for a result and I would love to get on the podium. The Sun Tour has a high quality field this year with Richie and Woodsy here. They will be the key guys and favourites, but I will give it my best and hopefully we can be up there.”

2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Men:
Wednesday, 30 January – Phillip Island (97.9km)
Thursday, 31 January – Wonthaggi to Churchill (127km)
Friday, 1 February – Sale to Warragul (161.6km)
Saturday, 2 February – Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat (112.9km)
Sunday, 3 February – Melbourne (89.1km)

Head's bid to buy ASE (Fuji, Kestrel, Performance, etc) assets turns messy

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent met this update:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (BRAIN) — Head's bid to buy the assets of Advanced Sports Enterprises has become "problematic," in the words of one of ASE's attorneys, or "a gosh awful mess," in the words of the bankruptcy judge.

At a sales hearing Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Kahn did not approve Head's $21.5 million offer for the assets and told the parties to renegotiate a purchase agreement and come back to him next week with a new offer to consider.

Head's attorney said the company understood that the purchase included about $9 million in cash that ASE had on hand, in addition to other assets. ASE's lawyers, as well as those of its major secured and unsecured creditors, said they had no such understanding.

Head said it wants a new auction or for ASE to agree to include the cash. ASE's creditors said they will not consent to a sale that includes the cash, and said a re-auction would cost time and money that ASE doesn't have.

The cash is largely the proceeds from ongoing liquidation sales of ASE's inventory and would normally go toward paying back ASE's creditors, along with proceeds from the auction. The inventory was specifically excluded from the auction.

Importantly, the lawyer for Wells Fargo Bank, ASE's largest single creditor and first in line to receive proceeds from the ASE estate, said the bank would not consent to a sale that included the cash. ASE owes Wells Fargo more than $20 million.

Attorneys for ASE said if they can't reach an agreement with Head, they would revisit an offer made at the auction by a group of bidders led by Taiwan's Ideal Bike. The Ideal group bid $22.5 million, but ASE chose to accept Head's offer for several reasons.

The Ideal group's bid was not designated a backup bid at the close of the auction, and Judge Kahn said he was unlikely to allow the bid to assume that role.

"That would seem to disregard the process we have set up," he said during the hearing.

You can read the entire story here.

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