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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, January 3, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team. - Jean-Paul Sartre

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SRAM to sponsor Team Movistar

Here's the team's announcement:

SRAM and the Movistar Team proudly announced Thursday their sponsorship agreement, which will see the Blues using SRAM componentry and Zipp wheels through 2021.

Founded in 1980, the men’s team has featured a long list of dynamic and predominantly Spanish cycling legends who’ve won a significant number of national, world, and grand tour titles. Amazingly, the team had three riders finish in the top ten at the 2019 Tour de France, including a current captain, Alejandro Valverde (ESP). Young Spanish climber Enric Mas, who has garnered several best young rider jerseys, will look to challenge at a major tour in 2020.

Enric Mas

Enric Mas winning a stage in the 2019 Guangxi Tour

The women’s team was introduced in 2018, and is led by Spanish road champion Lourdes Oyarbide and Spanish individual time trial champion Sheyla Gutiérrez. In its short tenure the team has garnered seven national titles, and several major race wins.

The entire team is equipped with SRAM’s wireless RED eTap AXS HRD componentry, and this year will be the entire team’s first season exclusively on disc brakes. SRAM’s AXS gearing features a wider gear range and closer gear progression than traditional systems. While there are numerous gearing options, and riders will make individual determinations for specific races, the women’s team will predominantly ride the 48/35 chainrings, while the men will most often ride the 50/37. Both teams prefer the 10-33 cassette. The team’s wheel inventory includes the entire Zipp Firecrest and Zipp NSW lineup.

“I have been very curious about SRAM and Zipp for many years, and I am excited to be a part of the SRAM family. The componentry and the technology, the support, and how well they listen to the riders is unique and impressive,” said Alejandro Valverde.

“I look forward to racing on the new AXS gearing ranges. The idea of smaller steps between the gears should benefit a rider like me who relies on a consistent cadence when I time trial or climb,” added Enric Mas.

“I always enjoyed racing SRAM, they always make things that benefit the rider, and it’s always cool to race the newest componentry!” stated Barbara Guarischi.

“After 37 years, we are switching to SRAM and Zipp, this is a historic change that we do not take lightly, but we see a great opportunity to partner with technology leaders in drivetrain and wheels,” said Movistar Team General Manager, Eusebio Unzué.

The men will begin their season at the Tour Down Under, while the women’s first race will be the Vuelta CV Féminas.

Tormans Cyclocross team (Circus-Wanty Gobert) reports on GP Sven Nys

Here's the team's report

Quinten Hermans, Xandro Meurisse and Corné Van Kessel started 2020 in the mud in Baal this Wednesday. The trio showed the new Tormans Cyclo Cross Team kit on the occasion of the Sven Nys GP, the 6th race of the DVV Trophy. Hermans and Van Kessel followed Mathieu Van der Poel and Eli Iserbyt from the start.

Mathieu Van der Poel

Mathieu Van der Poel wins the GP Sven Nys.

When Van der Poel attacked halfway through the race, the two representants of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team weren't able to jump on the right train. The muddy terrain in Baal pushed the riders towards mistakes, taking away their hopes to finish on the podium. Van Kessel took a 4th place at the first race of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team, Hermans finished 6th and Xandro Meurisse 20th. A succussful result for the new cyclocross project. Van Kessel and Meurisse will meet again this Saturday in Gullegem, with Hermans joining Van Kessel on Sunday in Brussels.

Corné Van Kessel (4th): "My shape is good, which I showed again today. I made some mistakes during the last laps, taking away my chances to finish on the podium. I'm very confident, but I need some more races to adapt to our new equipment. But I'm happy about my start in the colours of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team!"

Quinten Hermans (6th): "At the start of the race I already felt that Corné was stronger than me today. That's why I made a big effort to close the gap with Van der Poel and Iserbyt at the beginning of the race. We get along very well, and we'll reach the top with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. I'm very happy to see so many people here in Baal supporting us and in particular, our new sponsor Jan Tormans.

"I'm very happy about our new equipment, even if I'll need some time to adapt. I'll continue the acclimatizing in competition this Sunday in Brussels in order to be ready for the Belgian championships in Antwerp!"

Xandro Meurisse (20th): "Cyclocross is my first love, but until yesterday, I was the only cyclocross rider. Quinten and Corné already gave me advice before the race. It's a great feeling to be supported by a whole team and by new teammates!"

GP Sven Nys:
1. Mathieu Van der Poel
2. Eli Iserbyt +0:23
3. Thomas Pidcock + 0:41
4. Corné Van Kessel + 0:47
6. Quinten Hermans + 1:13
20. Xandro Meurisse

Deceuninck-Quick Step and Oakley team up

Here's the team's news release:

Our riders will sport the iconic eyewear in the dozens of races they will participate in across five different continents.

Eyewear and cycling is a natural, given that its athletes that spend so much time outdoors and want to protect themselves from both good and bad weather is natural. Most observers however will not have put much thought into how glasses and sunglasses can help to improve a cyclist’s performance.

2020 sees the start of a new partnership between Deceuninck – Quick-Step and globally renowned sports performance brand Oakley, bringing together two leaders from their respective fields, both of whom are synonymous with being innovative, in their strive to be the very best.

This will see Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s riders sport Oakley’s iconic eyewear during some of the toughest conditions any athlete will ever face. Oakley is known for its High Definition Optics®, which features unparalleled optical clarity and precision along with impact resistance, which can prove crucial when moving through a congested and hectic peloton during the Tour de France, or fighting for position ahead of one of Paris-Roubaix’s brutal pavé sectors.

In addition, Oakley’s PRIZM™ Lens Technology is a revolution in lens optics built on decades of colour science research. Prizm™ lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colours precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility, making it easier for our riders to spot hazards such as potholes or debris in the road, or choosing the perfect line during a fast run-in to the finish.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s excitement to be working with Oakley was backed up by Luxembourg Champion and Monument winner Bob Jungels: “As a team and as individuals, we are always looking at the details that can help up become better. I think most people would look at sunglasses and eyewear as fashion accessories and something to add to the look, but I have been really impressed by Oakley’s PRIZM lenses. As well as the glasses looking stylish, from a sports performance standpoint, they give an amazingly clear vision of the road in front of you. I have already started to notice little details earlier than I used to, which helps with decision making and makes riding a little less stressful.”

It is hoped that the partnership between the two parties, which has initially been agreed for two years, can see both sides continue to push the evolution of sports and cycling technology.

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