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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. - Fran Lebowitz

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche & Tirreno-Adriatico will be run despite Coronavirus

Cycling Weekly posted this:

Milan – San Remo, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico are to go ahead as planned despite coronavirus fears, race organizers RCS have said.

Strade Bianche

Here's the map of the men's Strade Bianche.

An email was sent out to all participating teams on Monday morning, Het Laatste Nieuws reports, following doubts the Italian races scheduled for March would be postponed after the coronavirus outbreak in the Southern European countries. A number of sporting events in Italy have been cancelled as authorities look to contain the spread of the virus, including Serie A football games, while certain areas in the Lombardy region have also been placed on lockdown.

RCS has added the caveat that the situation could still change and then cancellations or alterations could be required, with Italy experiencing a 50% increase in confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend.

The Italian sport company, who also organizes the Giro d’Italia, saw many of their employees placed under quarantine at the UAE Tour, with fears their March events could be cancelled if their organization remained trapped in a hotel on another continent.

You can read the entire story here.

Team Sunweb's upcomng races

The team sent me this:

Umag Trophy: MAR 4

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"We travel to Croatia with a motivated team, aiming for a good result. Umag Trophy normally ends in a sprint finish so we will work to set up Niklas for that scenario, with Leon and Marius supporting him in the lead out. The rest of the guys, with Hannes making his debut for us, will work to keep them safe during the day but also be active at the front and cover any dangerous breaks."

Line-up:
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

Strade Bianche: MAR 7

Marc Reef - Team Sunweb coach:
“Strade Bianche is always an exciting race and we are aiming for a strong result with Tiesj, who is a former winner here, and Michael. They both have a good period of preparation behind them, with Tiesj riding strongly in the opening weekend in Belgium and Michael feeling good after an altitude block. Both are ready to play a role in the race that is famous for the sections of dirt road and steep hills throughout the parcours. Robert was part of the final group last year and he will look to support them deep into the final, alongside the rest of the team."

Tiejs Benoot

Tiesj Benoot wins the 2018 Strade Bianche.

Line-up:
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Robert Power (AUS)
Ilan Van Wilder (BEL)

Women's Strade Bianche: MAR 7

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"Strade Bianche has a route that offers a hard day in the saddle and a tough test for the peloton. Floortje and Liane have shown they are in good form in this early part of the season after a win in Australia for Liane and a podium for Floortje last weekend. We will work to keep them both safe and bring them deep into the finale, where we're aiming for another satisfying result. Wilma makes her debut for us at the race which will be a good experience for her and her development."

Line-up:
Alison Jackson (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Wilma Olausson (SWE)

Poreč Trophy: MAR 8

Bennie Lambregts - Team Sunweb coach:
"Like the Umag Trophy, the Poreč Trophy is a race that normally ends in a bunch sprint finish but with the more demanding circuit, a group could stay away to the finish. Last year Florian [Stork] made that group for us and finished in third place. The team will aim to protect Niklas throughout the day and set him up for the finish if it ends in a sprint, but we will also look to be aggressive and make sure we are in any important breakaways."

Line-up:
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Ludvig Anton Wacker (DEN)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

Paris-Nice: MAR 8-15

Matt Winston - Team Sunweb coach
"We head to Paris-Nice with a strong team that will be looking to be involved on every stage. We will ride to set Cees up on the sprint days and keep working with our lead out train to bring him into the best position to sprint from. We will need to be on our toes in the opening four stages as the weather could also really affect the race and we will aim to be sharp for any moments with strong cross winds. As we head further south we will turn to our climbers to target the stages and hold a good GC result on stages six, seven and eight."

Line-up:
Cees Bol (NED)
Nico Denz (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)

Mikkel Honoré medical update

Honoré's Team Deceuninck-Quick Step posted this news:

Following his crash in yesterday’s Royal Bernard Drome Classic, Danish rider Mikkel Honoré was examined in hospital, where it was revealed that he has suffered three small fractures in his back. A small fracture in vertebrae L2 and L4, and fracture of the processus transversus T5.

After consultation with our team’s medical staff, it was decided that Mikkel would not need any further treatment, but will be required to take two weeks full rest, away from cycling.

Speaking of his injuries, Mikkel said, 'I am very disappointed as it has come at time when I was feeling in good form and looking forward to the coming races. I will be patient and look after my recovery in order to try and come back strong as soon as possible’.

Everyone at Deceuninck – Quick-Step wishes Mikkel a speedy recovery.

Ag2r La Mondiale to ride Le Samyn

The team sent me this update:

Ag2r Sport Director Nicolas Guille:
It’s an unusual race with a lot of action. You have to expect bad weather, and it could be very nervous. We want to complete this first block of classics by racing with ambition. We could see during the weekend at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne that Clément Venturini was riding very hard. Julien (Duval) as well as Lawrence (Naesen) will certainly be anxious to perform in the race and fulfill their roles for the team. I also think Alexis Gougeard, who missed the opening weekend, will be keen to make the most of this race. It will be up to us to take the initiative.”

Alexis Vuillermoz

Alexis Vuillermoz will soon be back in action. Here he wins the 2019 Drome Classic.

THE NUMBER: 239
Two hundred and thirty-nine days after the Tour de France, his most recent race, Alexis Vuillermoz will resume competition at the Volta a Catalunya (March 23-29). Last August he was sidelined after he broke his kneecap in a training accident.

Rapha moves North America office to Arkansas

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — After more than 10 years in the road cycling hotbed of Portland, Oregon, Rapha is now moving its North America offices to Bentonville, Arkansas.

Since 2017, the London-based brand's majority owner has been RZC Investments, controlled by Steuart and Tom Walton, the grandsons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The Walton brothers have been active in promoting Bentonville as a cycling destination and bike-friendly community. The Waltons also are investors in Arkansas-based Allied Cycle Works.

The company said the move was driven by Rapha's launch of a mountain bike apparel line this year.

"(Bentonville's) proximity to the emerging OzTrails MTB network, the incredibly fast-growing gravel landscape and the continuing emergence of Northwest Arkansas as a cradle for all kinds of cycling development will help to foster this direction and the impact that Rapha North America can have in the US and beyond," said Jake Rosenbloum, the head of Rapha North America.

You can read the entire story here.

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