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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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Team Mitchelton Scott reports on Tour of Britain stage four

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Stage two winner Matteo Trentin lost his overall race lead today at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, by just one second, after Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) sprinted to the stage victory, taking valuable bonus seconds on the line to snatch the race lead.

Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel wins stage four.

Mitchelton-SCOTT made a huge effort throughout the day, animating the stage once again by always having numbers at the front of the peloton, controlling the breakaway and attackers. Trentin remained in control and was at the front through all the splits and finished the stage in ninth position, three seconds down on the stage winner Van der Poel, which proved to be just one second too many to hold on to his overall race lead.

Like previous stages, within the opening 20kilometres of the race a breakaway was able to form. Two-riders jumped away from the bunch and opened up a two-minute lead and on the first classified climb of the day, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), made the junction across to the leaders to form a trio.

The three escapees all started the day just 17seconds down on Trentin, the race leader, and therefore stood as the virtual leaders.

Taking responsibility once again, the team sent Edoardo Affini and Jack Bauer to the head of the peloton to set the tempo to gradually reel in the trio.

With help from other teams as the race entered the final 50 kilometres, two of the breakaway riders were swallowed up over the undulating terrain with just Van Baarle fighting on ahead, maintaining a lead of over one-minute.

On the final classified climb with 35kilometres to go, the solo leader was swept up and the race split to pieces. The peloton shattered into various groups due to a fierce tempo set up the narrow ascent with Mitchelton-SCOTT remaining with strength in numbers, with four-riders making it into the select front group of around 40.

With 10kilometres to go, three new riders broke away and Cameron Meyer, Luke Durbridge and Alex Edmondson led the chase at the front of the bunch in attempt to reel them back in.

Finally the catch was made inside the final 500metres as Van der Poel blasted up the road, past the trio of leaders, and distanced the bunch to claim the stage win by three-seconds.

Trentin now sits in second place overall, just one-second down on Van der Poel, and holds onto his lead in the points classification with four-stages still to go.

Matteo Trentin - Second Place Overall:
“The guys rode amazingly today, Edoardo (Affini) and Jack (Bauer) again from the start and then when we got to the climb I was able to stay in the first group and I could just sit there then and wait for Cameron (Meyer) Luke (Durbridge) and (Alex) Edmondson to come back.

“Then we decided to jump into the moves without controlling but then it started to get a bit too messy so we decided to take over again going into the finish. It was working for a while but then as predicted a move could sneak away.

"Going into the finishing kick, I had good legs until 100metres to go and then I just exploded. First of all we have to recover from today, because today was a really demanding day for everyone. I think every single rider today had a really demanding day.

"Lets see tomorrow if I can sneak a couple of seconds and then we will see, the time trial will be the deciding point of the race.”

Matt Wilson - Sport Director:
“It was a super impressive ride by all the guys to control the race for the second day in a row, from start to finish. Today was probably the hardest day of the tour and so I'm just very, very impressed by the guys and it is still all to play for.”

Greg van Avermaet eyeing return to the podium in Quebec and Montreal 

Van Avermaet's CCC Team sent me this:

10 August 2019: Former Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal winner Greg Van Avermaet will return to the start line in Quebec and Montreal this Friday and Sunday respectively, where he hopes to continue his success at the WorldTour one-day races.

Greg Van aVermaet

Greg van Avermaet winning GP Montreal in 2016

Van Avermaet, who stood on the top step in Montreal in 2016, lines up as one of the pre-race favorites with seven podium places collectively at the two races to his name, Sports Director Steve Bauer said.

“Greg Van Avermaet is in great shape and, as we see looking at the previous seven editions of both races, he always finds good legs at the two races so it is only natural that Greg is our outright leader in Quebec and Montreal this week. He will have some strong support with Simon Geschke, Serge Pauwels, Michael Schär, Joey Rosskopf, Łukasz Wiśniowski, and Josef Černy completing the team. Having placed in the top ten every time he has lined up in Quebec, including five times on the podium, Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec is well suited to Greg’s strengths. However, this year the course in Montreal has increased to almost 220 kilometers so the two extra laps could play in Greg’s favor with the additional kilometers causing more fatigue in the peloton, which is when Greg can dig deep and really make the difference,” Bauer said.

“Although we have a pre-race favorite in Greg, the team will need to be on their A-game. Both races can be difficult to control and the punchy profiles can work in the favor of a small group of strong riders going clear. Our guys are healthy, ready. and motivated to get Greg back on the podium for the fourth consecutive year.”

Van Avermaet is taking confidence from his recent races ahead of the Canadian races. “I always look forward to racing in Quebec and Montreal as these are two of my biggest goals of the season. I felt good at Bretagne Classic - Ouest France last week and I think my legs were better than what the result suggested. I always seem to have good legs at this time of the year and with the World Championships in Yorkshire serving as extra motivation, I have put in a solid block of training so, I hope it pays off in Canada,” Van Avermaet said.

“Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and Montreal are tough races which suit my style of racing, especially as I like to sprint at the end of a long, hard race so we will be looking to make the races as hard as possible. I think we will have a good indication of how everyone is racing before the World Championships and see what needs to be done to fine-tune my form in the next couple of weeks.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec / Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal (13 & 15 September)

Rider roster: Josef Černy (CZE), Simon Geschke (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA, Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)

Sports Director: Steve Bauer (CAD)

Primoz Roglic continues for the next four years with Team Jumbo-Visma

Jumbo-Visma sent me this release:

Primoz Roglic will continue to ride for Team Jumbo-Visma in the coming four seasons. The one-year rolling contract has been extended until the end of 2023. The 29-year-old Slovenian, who is currently in the lead in the Vuelta a España, says he feels at home in the team of CEO Richard Plugge.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic is currently the GC leader at the Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo

In a video on Team Jumbo-Visma's channel, Roglic's contract extension was announced with the cooperation of PSV Eindhoven director Toon Gerbrands, multiple world darts champion Michael van Gerwen, Barcelona FC football player Frenkie de Jong and Dutch singer Jan Smit. With a nod to his much-discussed ski jumping history, they check with Plugge that the successful rider cannot be tempted to switch to another kind of sport. Plugge responds to this by retaining Roglic for the next four years.

“I like the way this team works. I am enjoying being part of it," Roglic said. "It's all about collaboration. Together we can achieve great goals. As a cyclist, I entered this team as a relative beginner and I have developed with the help of the team. I received opportunities and support. It all went quickly. For me, but also for the team. We have now reached a nice level together and I really believe that we can achieve even more. I have won some races in recent years, but you always aim for more and for the highest.

"We are still improving and our best has not yet been reached. The team and I have brought each other to a higher level and that really gives me a feeling of connection. We want to get the best out of me, but also out of the team. Only then will we see how far we can really get. We insist on growth and development. We will continue to invest energy in this, even if it is a process of years."

Roglic did not hesitate when he was offered a contract extension. "No. Why? I am happy with the role I have. The most important argument for staying is that I get opportunities here. I like to win. I have that option within this team. So I didn't have to think about it for long. I feel at home here, so why not? I hope to bring motivation and inspiration within the team, so that we can continue to fight together to be the best."

Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma, underlines Roglic’ words. “We are proud and happy that Primoz will stay with our team. It is a reward for all the hard work of many people in recent years. Primoz has developed enormously in recent years as a person and as an athlete, just like the team. In the coming years we will continue to jointly focus on growing and getting better in all possible areas.”

Eurobike transforms from dealer to industry show

Bike Europe sent me this industry update:

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – Last week’s 28th Eurobike indicated that the world’s biggest bike show is transforming from a retailer/dealer show to a more industry – business focused fair. As this year even Accell Group with its German market leading brands like Haibike and Ghost did not exhibit in Friedrichshafen, Eurobike 2019 attracted less dealers. But that didn’t affect the relevance of the Friedrichshafen show as product and procurement managers turned up in big numbers.

After September 4, 5 and 6 the conclusion was clear. Fewer visitors in the form of dealers turned up but it does not mean that Eurobike loses its reputation as being the platform for the bicycle industry. The reason for this is simple but also remarkable. Because all major brands may have said goodbye to Eurobike; this does not apply to the staff of those brands. And especially for their marketing, product and procurement managers. Together with representatives of the smaller brands as well as wholesalers and distributors; that’s the audience that matters for exhibitors.

Future participation of the big brands?
This development is reason for the Eurobike organizers together with these major brands to consider how they can participate in the show. No, not in a way like in the past because those brands now have their own dealershows. But in a way that appreciates and recognizes their importance within the industry. This is now being discussed and is still very much in the planning phase, said Eurobike show manager Stefan Reisinger.

The reduced number of visiting dealers also led to another interesting development. This year’s show was easy to reach without having been stuck in traffic around the fairgrounds for hours. A sweet relief to all regular Eurobike visitors!

You can read the entire story here.

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