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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Current racing:

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Peter Sagan's Team Bora-hansgrohe reports on Vuelta a San Juan stage one

Here's the team's race update:

The 2020 Vuelta a San Juan started with an undulating 163.5km circuitous route, starting and finishing in San Juan. While the parcours wouldn’t trouble the peloton, with this being the first race of the season for many riders, it was certain that there would be attacking, fast-paced riding from the start.

The break formed early on, with a group of seven leading the way for much of the stage, holding the chasing peloton at bay with around a minute’s advantage most of the day. On the third and final pass of the day’s climb – the third category Alto Punta Negra – there were signs of strain in the escape while the bunch was slowly reducing the gap and with the distance remaining dipping below 50km, it was here that the seconds started falling away until the catch was made, with more than 30km still to race.

With no further attempts to escape, the sprinters’ teams took to the front for the final 10km. A crash with just under 3.5km to go shook the peloton, but with the BORA-hansgrohe riders pushing hard on the front, the team came through unscathed to protect Peter Sagan in the finale. The sprint started early, and putting the power through the pedals on the last long sweeping left hand bend ahead of the line, Peter took sixth position in the fight for the finish in what was a close, fast-paced sprint.

Rudy Barbier

Rudy Barbier wins the first stage of the Vuelta a San Juan. Bettini photo

From the Finish Line:
"Today was a difficult day, especially because of the hot weather conditions. Thanks to my teammates I was in a very good position in the final kilometres, but the sprint started very early. That’s why some other riders who came from behind could reach a higher speed in the end. The good news is that my legs felt very good all day, so I’m looking forward to another chance tomorrow." – Peter Sagan

"The Vuelta a San Juan kicked off today in very hot conditions, with a 163km-long stage that had three categorised climbs and 1,200 metres of altitude gain. Our strategy was to set Peter Sagan for the expected sprint finish and stay with Matteo Fabbro in a good position. He took sixth on the line and I think this was the best we could achieve today." – Jan Valach

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

The team sent me this update:

Race Torquay: JAN 30

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"After taking confidence from the Women's Tour Down Under where we performed really well, we arrive at Race Torquay with a lot of ambition. The race takes place on an interesting circuit of 13 kilometres that we will complete eight laps of. With the short climbs attacks could likely result in a breakaway getting clear, but the race equally could end in a sprint. Our line-up means that we have multiple cards to play to be aggressive, cover attacks and go for the win. If we get a sprint then the team will work to set up Leah for the finish."

Leah Kirchmann

Leah Kirchmann is scheduled to ride the Race Torquay

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Anna Henderson (GBR)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Julia Soek (NED)

Race Torquay: JAN 30

Luke Roberts - Team Sunweb coach:
"The race this year moves from the Formula 1 circuit in Melbourne down to the beachfront at Torquay. The lap is not as flat as the old course and there is a small climb in there, but nevertheless we expect that it will come down to a bunch sprint. It will be a good opportunity for us to work on our lead out train. We'll set the sprint up for Alberto and I think after what he showed at the Tour Down Under, we have a good chance of getting a top result."

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Elite Women's Race: FEB 1

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"This is the first Women's WorldTour race of the year and we're looking forward to it after a good week of racing at the Women's Tour Down Under. Last year the finale of the race proved to be difficult and we expect it to be similar this year, with a hard pace on the last climb. Liane proved her shape with second place on GC last week so we'll work to set her up for the final climb. If it comes back together for a reduced sprint then the finish suits Leah perfectly."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Anna Henderson (GBR)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Julia Soek (NED)

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: FEB 2

Luke Roberts - Team Sunweb coach:
"The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a race that can go either way. It can be won by the sprinters who can survive the climb, like Nikias [Arndt] did for us in 2017, or it can be for a strong select group that can get away on the climb and stay away until the finish. We will have both bases covered, like we've done in previous years. Robert and Jai are in great shape so they will be up there to cover the final attacks on the climbs. Max is also in good shape and he will be our guy should it come down to a select group sprint finish."

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Proposed oil drilling under Moab's Slickrock Trail should concern industry, Ashley Korenblat says

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this important news:

MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — The iconic Slickrock Trail and environs are not in imminent danger from oil and gas development — if the industry and others step up to oppose proposed extraction leases on the area, said Ashley Korenblat, a bike industry veteran and managing director of Moab-based nonprofit Public Land Solutions. "We have a good chance of winning, but not if we do nothing: funny how that works," Korenblat told BRAIN on Thursday.

The Bureau of Land Management has received a nomination from the oil and gas industry to open a lease auction on two BLM land parcels that cover parts of the 10.5-mile trail and the adjacent Sand Flats Recreation Area. A public comment period opens Feb. 20.

Korenblat has written a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to oppose the plan. She is asking members of the bike industry to sign the letter, now posted on the PLS website. Companies that want to sign the letter are being asked to email Korenblat with company name, your name, and the city and state.

"We have to do stuff. If we speak up we have a really good chance of winning this one because it's ridiculous," she said. Key to her argument is that the land generates more revenue as a recreational resource than it would as a source of oil. She also noted the Sand Flats Recreation Area is a rare recreational collaboration between the BLM and local government.

Korenblat, who is also the co-owner of tour company Western Spirit Cycling and Outerbike, said the proposed leases should concern the mountain bike industry and all communities that are developing trail systems on public lands.

"It shows what the Trump administration is planning. The bad news is the current administration has this policy called 'energy dominance' which has led to plans for leasing every nook and cranny of our public lands. That is a problem for cycling in a bunch of ways, but we weren't expecting something quite this dramatic to pop up."

You can read the entire article here.

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