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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, October 4, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

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Sparkassen Münsterland Giro team reports

We posted the report from winner Alvaro Hodeg's Deceuninck-Quick Step team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team:

Today saw the 14th edition of the Münsterland Giro. The course of approximately 200 km led from Emsdetten to Münster, before taking the peloton towards the finish line at the Münster Schlossplatz.

Compared to last year’s race, the parcours was not as flat, and so lent itself to a sprint finish in the inner city of Münster. A five-man breakaway was the first to get away at the start of the race, with the field letting the escapees go on to ride out an advantage of 6 minutes. The quintet stayed well ahead in the second half of the race, however, under the pace that was set by BORA - hansgrohe, the gap had been reduced to under one minute with 70 km remaining.

Under heavy rainfall, a small group attempted to give chase after the break, but their attempts ultimately remained in vain. Shortly thereafter, the leading group fell apart and the remaining escapees were reabsorbed by the peloton with 50km of racing left. In the last quarter of the race, several riders tried to escape the field, but the BORA - hansgrohe riders remained attentive to these moves, meaning that no one was able to successfully break free from the peloton, until one rider launched a solo attack 20km ahead of the finish line.

After a hard chase by the sprinters’ teams, he was eventually caught on the final lap as the sprint preparations began in earnest ahead of a fast showdown. In the finale, Pascal Ackermann came from behind to position himself well, but was narrowly pipped on the line by Alvaro Hodeg and finished in a strong second place.

Alvaro Hodeg

Alvaro Hodeg just beats Pascal Ackermann. Photo: Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

From the finish line:
“We had a plan today and I think we could have pulled it off, but the race was made difficult due to the wet and cold weather. The guys rode at the head of the peloton and controlled the race well, and we prepared ourselves as well as possible for the final sprint under the conditions. However, they did a lot of work during the day and we didn’t have enough riders remaining in the end to achieve an optimal position in the finishing straight, and so I had to launch my sprint further back. I was also a bit boxed in and didn’t have a clear path until later on. In the end, I didn’t have enough left in the tank to pull past Hodeg, although it was very close. I’m in good form and so I’m a little disappointed with my second place, but that’s bike racing and you have to take these situations as they come.” - Pascal Ackermann

“The race went how we expected it to. Unfortunately, the bad weather and the cold led to us having not as many riders as we’d have liked in the finale. We had a depleted squad in the last 500 m, and so we were not able to prepare the finish perfectly for Pascal, who then had to launch his sprint from too far back. It ultimately wasn’t enough to secure the win, and as such we have to be satisfied with second place” - André Schulze, Sports Director

And here's the report from fourth-place Fernando Gaviria's UAE-Team Emirates:

In a sprint held under heavy rain, Fernando Gaviria crossed the line of Sparkassen Munsterland in 4th position.

On his return to competition after the Vuelta a Espana, the Colombian sprinter held his own on the flat but drenching course in Germany.

The group had thinned out due to the tough conditions and fast pace and though Gaviria arrived in a good position for the sprint, he was unable to pass his compatriot Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quick Step), the winner, and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), 2nd.Third place went to Belgian national champion Tim Merlier (Corendon-Curcus).

Fernando Gaviria: "The cold was the main factor today, and it made things very tough. The team did a wonderful job from the start of the race until the end, always keeping me protected and reacting effectively and quickly in every situation.

"I was aiming for success and I came to the sprint in a good position, but I was missing the legs for the win. I will give my best to come back stronger in the next race."

The next race for Fernando Gaviria will be the GP Beghelli (Sunday, October 6).

Mitchelton-Scott women add Janneke Ensing to team

The team sent me this release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT are pleased to announce the signing of 33-year-old Dutch rider Janneke Ensing, the third new rider to join the women’s team for the 2020 season.

Ensing has been in the professional peloton for 10-years and with that, brings a wealth of experience as she joins fellow compatriots Annemiek van Vleuten and Moniek Tenniglo.

With an all-round skill set, Ensing will strengthen and balance out the Australian outfit, particularly in the hard undulating races.

Janneke Ensing:
“I’m really happy that I can join one of the best teams in the world. I like how Mitchelton-SCOTT is racing, you can see that the team makes a plan and then everybody really works hard for that and I like that many riders also get their own chances.

“When I have raced against the team in the past seasons, I've noticed the team spirit and I think I can contribute to that too. I am a real go-getter and have a positive attitude and I would like to use these qualities with this team.

“2019 was a very good season for Mitchelton-SCOTT and for Annemiek, but every team and every rider always wants to take new steps forward.

“With myself and the two other new riders that the team has contracted, plus the riders that are already in the team, I am sure we can take another step forward and I hope I can provide extra support during difficult races.”

Martin Vestby - Sport Director:
“Janneke is a strong rider, we’ve seen her potential, she’s performed really strongly in some races and I think we are giving her the right environment where she can step up and be on that top level for more or less the whole season.

“She is an aggressive rider that is good to have in the breakaways, she can do a bit of everything and this really fits well in the group that we have for next season.

“Janneke can get over a lot of hilly courses and will be a really good supporter for our main climbers in the team, a bit like our other signing Sofie De Vuyst."

Janneke Ensing:
Date of Birth: 21st September 1986 (33)
Nationality: Netherlands
Turned Pro: 2009
Joins Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2020

Results:
1st Le Samyn des Dames - 2018
1st Boels Rental Ladies Tour - Stage 6 - 2017
2nd Clasica San Sebastian - 2019
2nd Santos Women’s Tour - 2017
2nd Gent Wevelgem - 2015 & 2014

Trump Tariffs cause chaos in North American bike market

Bike Europe sent me this news:

MONTREAL, Canada – Dorel Sports including Cycling Sports Group (CSG; Cannondale, GT, Mongoose among other brands as well as Pacific Cycle and Caloi) is ringing alarm bells on the current situation at the North American bike market. “The impact of increased U.S. imposed Trump tariffs created chaotic market conditions,” stated Dorel President & CEO, Martin Schwartz.

Listed Dorel Industries Inc. is directly hit by the trade war triggered by President Trump between the U.S. and China. It has led the U.S. to charge the import of regular bicycles as well as electric bikes and bike products from China with a tariff ranging between 10 to 25 percent. Earlier the US’ biggest bicycle importer, Huffy Corp, already warned for the devastating impact of these tariffs on bike sales and the American bicycle industry.

According to Dorel CEO Martin Schwartz, “The impact of the Trump tariffs on our businesses was still unclear at the end of the second quarter. We raised prices midway through the third quarter and this has had several negative consequences. Not all competitors nor retailers raised prices at the same time or rate.”

“Retailers have also changed their buying routines,” Schwartz continues. “New price points have caused some consumers to opt for different items creating a considerable product mix imbalance. As well, elevated warehousing costs are still being incurred as the shift in demand has delayed our inventory balancing program.”

“Another factor affecting the third quarter is that some of our large U.S. customers have delayed Christmas 2019 deliveries to the beginning of the fourth quarter. In addition, the recent rise in value of the U.S. dollar has had a negative impact on Dorel’s Sports and Juvenile segments as major currencies that affect our financial results dropped between 3% and 8%.

“Tariffs have also impacted Dorel Sports’ mass merchant business. Although sales have remained strong, the mix has been negative, and gross margins are lower. Sales in the independent bicycle dealer (IBD) and Sporting Goods channels have remained strong and the outlook remains positive,” claims Schwartz.

You can read the entire story here.

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