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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. - Aristotle

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Latest completed racing:


UAE Team Emirates for the Giro della Toscana, Coppa Sabatini and the Memorial Pantani

Here's the team's update:

Three races in Italy ahead of the World Championships

With the World Championships coming up, UAE Team Emirates will head to Italy for three one-day races: the Giro della Toscana (18 September), the Coppa Sabatini Peccioli Cup (September 19) and the Memorial Pantani (September 21).

Sports Director Marco Marzano (Ita), will oversee the three races and will direct the following riders:

Giro della Toscana and Coppa Sabatini
– Simone Consonni (Ita)
– Nicolas Dalla Valle (Ita)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)

Marco Marzano : “The route of the Giro della Toscana is selective, Petilli is our rider with the best qualities for this type of race. As for the Coppa Sabatini-Gp Peccioli, it can suit a lot of different riders, as it can also suit a fast finisher: Consonni for example has what it takes to do well. ”

Memorial Pantani
– Simone Consonni (Ita)
– Valerio Conti (Ita)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Rui Oliveira (Por)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)
– Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi wins the Memorial Marco Pantani in 2015

Diego Ulissi, winner of the 2015 race: "In three participations at the Memorial Pantani I had a win and a second place, so I can safely say that I have a good relationship with this race. I’ll be arriving here after a block of racing in Canada and before the World Championships, so it will be a great opportunity to build both confidence and form ahead of this race."

Dylan Van Baarle signs three-year deal with Team INEOS

Team INEOS sent me this news:

Team INEOS are pleased to confirm that Dylan Van Baarle has signed a new three-year contract with the team.

The 27 year old is enjoying his best season to date, taking victories on a personal level, as well as playing a key role in Egan Bernal's Tour de France success.

Van Baarle said: "I'm super happy to sign a new contract with the team. I became a better bike rider here and I want to see the progress continue. Three years gives me confidence and it also shows that the team has confidence in me as well."

The Dutchman took overall victory at Herald Sun Tour to kick off the year, building confidence with a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of his first Tour appearance for the team.

Dylan Van Baarle

Dylan Van Baarle riding in the 2019 Amstel Gold Race. Sirotti photo

On making the squad and excelling in July, Van Baarle added: "This year with Egan winning the Tour it was a dream. Coming into this team it's what I was aiming for – to be part of the Tour team and hopefully winning. With first and second it was a really nice three weeks.

"Going into the Tour I knew I wanted to be there for the guys for as long as possible on the climbs. That's what I did and I was pretty happy with that."

Van Baarle heads into 2020 and beyond looking to progress in his beloved Classics, as well as aiming to improve as a Grand Tour support rider. He added: "I hope I can be on the podium in a big Classic. I also want to be really important in the Grand Tours, helping for even longer than I did this year. That's where I see myself in the next three years."

Key to a series of impressive climbing performances is a new approach to training, including up at altitude with Coach Tim Kerrison. Van Baarle explained: "The real switch actually came when I went to altitude camp in May last year. I was there with Geraint (Thomas) and I learned so much from that camp. Since then I feel like a better bike rider. We trained really hard and we ate really well. That was something which basically changed my career."

Kerrison has seen first-hand how hard Van Baarle has worked and also believes there is plenty more to come from the Dutchman over the coming years. He said: "Dylan has been a great addition to our team. We always recognised his potential, and over the last two years his strong work ethic has seen him develop into one of the most versatile riders in the peloton, showing his strength across one-day races, time trialling and stage races.

"He has quickly developed into a key support rider in our Tour de France team who can be relied on to deliver in all terrain at the highest level. We are sure that Dylan's best years are still ahead of him, and look forward to working together to help him achieve his very ambitious goals."

CCC Team to race the Tour de Slovaquie

The team sent me this

17 September 2019: With the Vuelta a España in the books, CCC Team kicks off another stage race this week at the Tour de Slovaquie, which starts this Wednesday (18 September) with the two semi-stages, the morning road stage and the 7.4-kilometer time trial in the afternoon.

The team will ride aggressively and is eying a good result in the time trial and in the mountains, CCC Team Sports Director, Piotr Wadecki said.

"We are bringing a strong, seven-man roster with riders who are motivated and ready to perform on all kinds of stages, from the mountains to the undulating terrain, and time trials. Kamil Gradek and Gijs Van Hoecke have proved this season that they can time trial very well, while Amaro Antunes and Riccardo Zoidl should be up there with the strongest when the race enters the mountains. Łukasz Owsian, Laurens ten Dam and our stagiaire who will make a debut in CCC Team colors, George Zimmermann, will try to race aggressively and protect the leaders. We don't have a pure sprinter in the line-up but we believe that we can fight for the top places in the race against the clock and in the General Classification," Wadecki explained.

Antunes, is looking forward to competing at the Tour de Slovaquie, which will be his first race since the Tour de Pologne.

"I haven't raced much in the last few weeks so I'm not really sure about my shape and how my legs will react. I will use this race to see how my form is and if the legs are as strong as I expect them to be, then I hope to be in the mix. There are some climbs on the menu, which should suit me but, we will see how the race will unfold. I'm excited to return to racing after a few weeks without competition and I will do my best to deliver a good result," Antunes said.

Zoidl, who raced at the Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián and Deutschland Tour in August, is expecting some aggressive racing in Slovakia.

"I think that my shape is quite good and I'm looking forward to test the legs. When you look at the profiles on paper it seems that every day there is a chance for a sprint. I expect some aggressive racing in the mountains since the first part of the stage is quite hilly. As a team, we need to be very active and look for different opportunities because we don't have a pure sprinter on the roster for this race. We're heading to Slovakia with a group of strong riders and good climbers and the best solution for us to take a good result in the end, is to make an aggressive race."

Riccardo Zoidl

Riccardo Zoidl (shown racing in 2015) will be racing in Slovakia. Sirotti photo

Tour de Slovaquie (18-21 September)

Rider roster: Amaro Antunes, Kamil Gradek, Łukasz Owsian, Laurens ten Dam, Gijs Van Hoecke, George Zimmermann, Riccardo Zoidl

Sports Directors: Piotr Wadecki, Fabio Baldato

Israel Cycling Academy signs Ben Hermans for two more years

Here's the team's update:

Tel Aviv: Israel Cycling Academy has signed its Belgian top rider Ben Hermans for two more years after two successful years with the team.

Ben Hermans

Ben Hermans earlier this year at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race. Sirotti photo

Hermans, who is just coming off from winning Tour of Utah has proved to be a consistent rider that the team can count on to lead it in quality tour stages as its GC man. He won Tour of Austria in 2018 and again in 2019, winning 3 stages there plus two stages in the Tour of Utah and performed well in other races.

“Ben has shown in the last two years the true professional he is with the attention to details and always being ready to race“, said ICA’s pro manager Kjell Carlstrom. “We are delighted to have him for two more years and we can continue to count on him for getting results in a lot of races”.

Ben Hermans: “I enjoyed a good two years with ICA. I came here to get opportunities to win and with the support of the team I was able to do that. This team has raised its level year after year, and I am certain it will continue doing so. That is one of the main reasons I decided to stay: to continue growing and winning. I am confident I can do my part”.

Ben has welcomed the opportunity to Race together with Dan Martin who signed with ICA: “I am looking forward to riding with him and do well together in some classics and stage races. This team is enjoying a very good image and many riders want to join us. There is no wonder why“.

Eurostat import figures confirm: China effectively banned from EU’s E-Bike market

Bike Europe sent me this industry update:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Eurostat import figures for the first half of 2019 clearly point out the effectiveness of the by mid-January 2019 instigated anti-dumping measures on e-bikes imported from China. They proof that the People’s Republic is now more or less banned from the e-bike market of the EU. What rose to a total import of some 800,000 e-bikes in (whole year) 2018, is just a little left over during the first half of this year.

E-bike import from China into the EU’s 28 member states dropped by 91 percent in de first six months of 2019. According to the latest Eurostat import statistics that import totaled 54,643 units. In the same period of 2018, the import total stood al close to 612,000 e-bikes.

Then on 17 January 2019 imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on e-bikes imported from China apply to all kinds of electric bicycles; from entry-level to high-end ones as well as for regular 250-Watt models and speed pedelecs. The European Commission instigated company specific dumping duties that vary from 73.4 percent for the Bodo Vehicle Group, 24.6 percent for Giant Electric Vehicle to 33.4 percent for the majority of Chinese e-bike exporters.

Next to the fact that China is no longer the number one supplier of e-bikes tailored to the European market, there’s more to be learned from these statistics. Like the effect on the average price per imported e-bike. That shows a huge increase; of even 63 percent. During the by China dominated e-bike import in the first half of 2018 that average price stood at 493 euro. In the first half of 2019 it rose to 805 euro.

Another important phenomenon that emerges from the Eurostat figures is that the production of e-bikes destined for EU imports has been moved to, initially, Taiwan.E-bike export from the island to the European Union’s member states doubled in the first half of this year. To be precise it grew by 100.03 percent. In absolute numbers Taiwan exported close to 200,000 e-bikes to Europe.

Also, the import from Vietnam rose in the first half of the year; by 12.7 percent to 114,000 units. But more is to come from Vietnam; not only because of the Vietnam – EU free trade agreement, but also because of lucrative local content rules that the European Union implies for e-bikes made in Vietnam that are exported to the EU. For more on that see Bike Europe’s (free of charge) “Whitepaper on all e-bike dumping implications.” It offers guidelines on the consequences of shifting the e-bike production destined for Europe from China to other Asian countries or to one of the European Union member states.

And regarding the latter; the production of e-bikes in Europe has been growing by such an extent that it can hardly cope with demand. That’s evidenced by the current supply shortages. As the total e-bike import, according to the Eurostat figures dropped 46.5 percent and close to 390,000 units, a big part of that number has switched to production in Europe. And as the e-bike market in Europe continues to skyrocket, more, much more is to come.

You can read the entire story here.

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