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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. - Rene Descartes

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Tour of Norway: MAY 28 - JUN 2

Arthur van Dongen - Team Sunweb coach:
"Tour of Norway is a nice race with a good mix of terrain and different stages. We bring a young team to the race and aim to work on the development of the riders with Roy as captain, using his experience to guide the team throughout the race. For the sprints the team will work for Cees, who is in good form after his strong win in California. We'll also look to position Marc up there in the GC and will aim for a good result there."

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Cees Bol (NED)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Florian Stork (GER)

Roy Curvers

Roy Curvers will ride the Tour of Norway. Sirotti photo

Rund um Köln: JUN 2

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"Rund um Köln is a tough race, taking place on a difficult parcours. The race is often decided in a sprint finish but there is a possibility the race can split up in the hills before the finish circuit. We will look to ride attentively as a team and be ready for any attacks that are made. Felix and Leon will look to cover those moves in the hills while the team will work to set up Marius if the race ends in a sprint. We're really motivated to do well at the race and get a good result."

Line-up:
Felix Gall (AUT)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Nils Sinschek (NED)
Xandres Vervloesem (BEL)

Paris-Roubaix Espoirs: JUN 2

Albert Timmer - Team Sunweb coach:
"We go to Paris-Roubaix with a very strong line-up, aiming to make the race as hard and as aggressive as possible. We have several guys who should be there in the finale and we will look to use that to our advantage. The guys we have at the race enjoy riding on the cobbles and they are looking forward to the challenging parcours. Of course, we also have a former winner of this race with Nils, who won it back in 2017, and we're aiming as a team to repeat that success again."

Line-up:
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Edo Maas (NED)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Jarno Mobach (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)

UAE Team Emirates to ride Tour of Norway

The team sent me this:

Bystrøm and Kristoff head the team roster for the Scandinavian race.

The UAE Team Emirates remains in Norway and, after the Hammer Series in Stavanger, will participate from in the Tour of Norway. The 2.HC race runs from May 28 to June 2.

Six riders will wear the Emirates team colours:
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Bel)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)

 Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland will ride the Tour of Norway. Sirotti photo

Sports Director Simone Pedrazzini (Sui), “The Tour of Norway will offer stages every day with tough elevations: there will be no massive climbs, but many hard ramps that will make the finishes less predictable.

We can count on a good group for the sprints, with Ferrari and Bystrøm supporting Kristoff. Mori and Riabushenko will have to be ready to cover possible moves from afar. Sutherland will be called on for his experience“.

Vincenzo Nibali looks to the final week of the Giro d’Italia

Here's the update from Nibali's Bahrain-Merida team:

Team Bahrain Merida captain Vincenzo Nibali and Sports Director Alberto Volpi met the media at the NH Orio al Serio Hotel, where riders and staff members are spending the second rest day of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Vncenazo Nibali

Vincenzo Nibali finishes stage 14. Sirotti photo

The Shark – after training this morning trained on the rollers due to bad weather – seemed relaxed and confident ahead of the final decisive week of the Corsa Rosa.

“A very tough week awaits us” Vincenzo explains “We’ve already done some difficult stages, but starting from tomorrow we all be more tired. In general I feel right, because I know my worth. I don’t want to say more, but I know that I can do well in this Giro. I don’t take nothing for granted. The Giro is unpredictable as always. I don’t know what will be the good strategy if to try to gain seconds day by day or give a ‘ko punch’ to my rivals in one stage. This is a very tactical Giro and we saw many phases of study so far”.

Tomorrow’s stage will feature a new route, without the Gavia climb – because of the risk of avalanche. “This change will take something out for sure. We will still have to face the Mortirolo that is a brutal climb anyway”.

Sports Director Alberto Volpi agrees “It was the Queen stage with the Gavia, but Mortirolo is a very hard climb and with the risk of rain it will be more complicated, not only for climbing, but especially going downhill”.

Lotto-Soudal riders in Spain at altitude training camp

The team sent me this update:

While the Giro is still in full swing, some other Lotto Soudal riders are already focusing on the races in the months to come. Tiesj Benoot, Maxime Monfort, Jelle Wallays and Jens Keukeleire are now on an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in southern Spain. Tiesj Benoot gives a little insight into his daily schedule.

Tiesj Benoot

Tiesj Benoot is currently in Spain, training in the Sierra Nevada. Sirotti photo

Tiesj Benoot: “I am here to improve my shape towards the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. The Sierra Nevada is ideal for that because of the good weather conditions, the altitude of 2,200 metres and the nice roads, so I like it here. Our training rides vary from short and intensive ones to long and easier ones. Of course that includes a lot of kilometres uphill. The typical daily routine for us is as follows: get up, eat, train, eat, rest, eat and sleep. In between, we look at the Giro and I also brought some books with me to prepare for my exam. Sometimes we go to the gym to do exercises. I really enjoy the serenity here. I will stay here until 9 June together with Maxime Monfort, while Jens Keukeleire and Jelle Wallays will return home on 5 June. "

“In the Tour de Suisse, I want to regain my good feeling, because I haven’t raced since Paris-Roubaix, which is two months ago. I hope to battle for a stage win in the Tour de France. I also aim for a nice result in the Belgian national championships, but it is difficult to really make a goal of that as it is always a special race. This year, the road Nationals will take place in my home town Ghent. Obviously, I would love to conquer the national jersey but the flat course in the finale won’t make it easy for me.”

Bicycle industry showed some sales growth in April, latest BPSA figures reveal

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — After a dismal first quarter, the U.S. industry turned a corner in April according to new wholesale bike sale figures released by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association on Tuesday. Improved weather conditions in many regions probably contributed to the budding sales growth as the second quarter began.

The BPSA's Sell-in Reports for April showed wholesale bike sales were up 16.9% in dollars and 2.7% in units. While not spectacular growth, it's an improvement on last month's report, which showed a decline in unit sales and only a 0.7% growth in dollars sales, contributing to a 20% decline in unit sales in the first three months of the year.

The report, compiled by The NPD Group for the BPSA, shows wholesale sales by participating association members to retailers, including IBDs and others. Because the report tracks wholesale sales, some of the timing is determined by preseason order deliveries and not directly tied to sales demand at retail.

You can read the entire story here.

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