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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

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Lotto-Soudal's final 2019 Tour de France report

I got this too late to post yesterday:

Caleb Ewan ended his first Tour de France with a phenomenal highlight in Paris! On the iconic Champs-Elysées, the Australian powered with a superb sprint to his third stage victory in this Tour. That way, Lotto Soudal leaves a very successful Tour with no less than four stage victories.

Caleb Ewan

Caleb Ewan wins on the Champs-Elysées

The curtain fell on the 106th Tour de France with a closing stage between Rambouillet and Paris. After the traditional parade towards the French capital, the riders reached the City of Light with about sixty kilometres from the finish, where the pace was immediately increased. Four riders tried to avoid the much-anticipated bunch sprint with a brave attempt. However, a bunch sprint for the victory had to take place on the Champs-Elysées and that is exactly what happened.

During the entire finale, Lotto Soudal sprinter Caleb Ewan was kept perfectly at the head of the peloton. In a royal sprint, the Norwegian Boasson Hagen tried to surprise everybody by going early but Caleb Ewan launched an impressive sprint and like a jack-in-a-box, he powered to his third stage victory in his first Tour de France!

Tour de Pologne: Diego Ulissi leads UAE Emirates Team

The team sent me this:

Monday 29 July, 2019: A few interesting additions to the UAE Team Emirates squad to tackle the seven stages of the Tour of Poland from 3 to 9 August.
Diego Ulissi will be the key figure for DS duo Marco Marzano (Ita) and Bruno Vicino (Ita) while Fernando Gaviria and Valerio Conti make a welcome return to action after both being ruled out with physical problems in the last few weeks.

The complete seven rider team to take-on the Polish World Tour challenge:
– Simone Consonni (Ita)
– Valerio Conti (Ita)
– Fernando Gaviria (Col)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)
– Edward Ravasi (Ita)
– Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Fernando Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria returns to action in Poland. Here he wins a Tour of Poland stage in 2016.

The parcours will offer sprinters three chances to go for the win in the opening days, with stage 4 concluding on the tough Kocierz climb. These are followed by a couple of middle mountain stages with the final two days being very challenging : the Zakopane-Zakopane stage features no fewer than five cat.1 climbs and the traditional stage of Bukowina – Tatrzanska is set to decide the winner.

Diego Ulissi (winner of a stage in the 2013 edition): “Taking part in the Tour de Pologne is always a pleasure and it’s a race that motivates me.
I’m going here motivated and with the goal of fighting for a stage win.
The route this year will be particularly challenging, to be in with a shot we will need to be consistent everyday “.

Fernando Gaviria (two wins in Poland in 2016): “The Tour de Poland will be a significant event for me, since it will mark the return to racing after the forced stop due to knee problems.

I’m looking forward to savouring the atmosphere of the race and I’m curious to see what level I can sustain having recently done a block at altitude.“

Vista Outdoor (Bell, Giro, Blackburn) lays off 14 at Bell/Giro headquarters in Scotts Valley

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — About two months after announcing that it planned to reinvest in its bike helmet and accessory brands, Vista Outdoor has layed off 14 people at its Scotts Valley facility, which houses the Bell, Giro and Blackburn headquarters. The layoffs represent about 10% of the work force at the facilty.

According to sources at the company who spoke with BRAIN, the layoffs were across departments at Bell, Giro and Blackburn, including employees in engineering, design, testing and marketing. The layoffs included several long-serving manager in those departments, the sources said.

Rocky Krivijanski, the vice president of strategic communications for Vista Outdoor, told BRAIN, "I think the best way to describe it is that we’re right sizing our workforce in a tough market."

In May, Vista Outdoor announced that it recorded sales of $2.06 billion in its most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31. That represented an 11% sales decline. The company said the decline was across most of its major product categories, including ammunition and in its Outdoor Sports division, which includes its Action Sports bike-related brands, Bell, Giro, Blackburn, Copilot, and CamelBak. The sale of its eyewear division last summer also contributed to the smaller annual sales figure.

Vista plans to release its first quarter financial report Aug. 8.

Vista first announced in early 2018 that it would sell off its firearms business and the bike brands — but not CamelBak — as part of a brand portfolio realignment. In November 2018 it said it was in no rush to sell the bike brands.

Then in May, CEO Chris Metz said the company had re-evaluated the bike brands’ potential and current status.

“We came to the conclusion that those brands (Bell and Giro) can return to growth and display the leadership economics we expect from the brands in our portfolio,” he said. “However today with the current state of that business we don’t believe we’d get the offers we’d want to see, so we’re going to spend some time to improve the brands’ performance to get them to where they rightfully should be.”

You can read the entire story here.

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