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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Alex Dowsett Hour Record attempt postponed after positive coronavirus test

BBC posted this news:

Alex Dowsett's bid to regain cycling's hour record has been postponed after he tested positive for coronavirus.

The 32-year-old Briton first claimed the record in 2015 and planned a new attempt at the Manchester Velodrome on 12 December.

Alex Dowsett

Alex Dowsett on a solo break in stage eight of the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

But after his positive Covid-19 test was confirmed, the Israel Start-Up Nation rider revealed that the bid would not take place until next year.

The current record was set by Belgian Victor Campenaerts in Mexico in 2019. Campenaerts set the mark of 55.089 km on 16 April 2019 in Aguascalientes.

Dowsett, who won stage eight of October's Giro d'Italia, suffers from haemophilia A and was planning to raise money for charity.

"I am really disappointed the attempt can't go ahead as planned but my health is first and foremost the priority," he said. "We're looking to announce a 2021 date as soon as possible."

You can read the entire story here.

Kiwi quartet to remain at Mitchelton-Scott

The team sent me this release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT will maintain its strong bond with New Zealand in 2021 after its four Kiwi riders have all agreed to extensions with the team.

Following his first professional victory this season, Dion Smith will be joined by powerhouses Jack Bauer and Sam Bewley for the next two seasons in the men’s team, whilst former New Zealand champion Georgia Williams will race with the Australian outfit’s women’s team for the next 12 months.

Jack Bauer:
Date of Birth: 7 April 1985 (35)
Nationality: New Zealand
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2018
New contract: 2021-2022

Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer riding in the 19th stage of the 2019 Giro d'Italia. Sirottio photo.

After joining Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2018 Bauer has proven to be a valuable asset across the full season calendar, contributing to team Grand Tour campaigns, as well as riding himself into the mix during the Classics season.

“Mitchelton-SCOTT is a highly professional and organised team with clear objectives, and that fits well with me as a rider. I know my roles and goals early in the season, and have great support staff in the team around me. This makes it a great team to a part of, and is why I have enjoyed the past three years with the squad so much. I also really appreciate the riders and staff in the team, and get along well with them, making re-signing with the squad an easy decision.”

Head Sport Director Matt White on Bauer:
“Jack is really reliable, very loyal and has been a great addition to the team in the past three years. He is a great character and a guy you want in the team, you want some older statesmen in your team who lead by example and Jack is one of those guys.

“He has an ability in the Classics and he enjoys racing up there, team time trials, part of our lead-outs and a great part of our engine room for any Grand Tour we go to. Guys like Jack are underrated in certain teams, but certainly not in this one. We appreciate them because at the end of the day they might not be the ones winning races but they’re big cog in the success in this team because of their commitment to our plan and our leaders.”

Sam Bewley
Date of Birth: 22 July 1987 (33)
Nationality: New Zealand
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2012
New contract: 2021-2022

Joining Mitchelton-SCOTT early in its inaugural season, Bewley has developed alongside the organisation to be a key pillar of its makeup both on-and-off the bike.

Despite a run of bad luck, including his most recent broken wrist on debut at the Tour de France, the 33-year-old continues to be a valuable contributor to the team’s ‘engine room’. Off the bike, as the rider representative, Bewley plays a crucial role in the team’s overall culture.

“It’s hard to believe next year is 10 years of this organisation and that I have been here for all that time. It really feels like my home and honestly always has. On this team you can be yourself, you can be open and honest which are the pillars of a successful culture. I have always loved being part of that and am very excited to remain a part of it.

“I have developed and, I guess, changed both as a bike rider and a person since I have been here. I came to this team as a track rider that had never experienced the Grand Tours, now I am part of a team that has had success at those races and that consistently targets them.

“I don’t think you ever stop developing or learning. This team has had some great success but we will continue to push the goal posts out as we tick those things off. I want to continue to improve, adapt and learn these next two seasons. I have a passion for helping the younger guys and I hope to be able to help teach them things while I still continue to learn myself. And of course, I want to be part of winning the world’s biggest bike races.”

White on Bewley:
“Bewls has just had so much bad luck so the last year and a half we haven’t been able to see Sam at his highest level because he has had so many setbacks with injuries. But on the positive side he is a great leader off the bike, a great captain on the road and he is a guy that our younger guys lean on and a great go between for management and our riding group.

“It’s great to be able to have Bewls back and extend with us and with a bit of good luck and a clean run, we should see him back at his physical best which is a great attribute on top of what he does off the bike as well.”

Dion Smith:
Date of Birth: 3 March 1993 (27)
Nationality: New Zealand
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2019
New contract: 2021-2022

Stepping up to the WorldTour in 2019, Smith has continued to demonstrate his versatility and potential in his first two seasons with Mitchelton-SCOTT.

The re-start to the 2020 season has been a particular breakthrough for the 27-year-old who finished an impressive sixth at monument Milan-San Remo and took his first victory as a professional at Coppa Sabatini.

Dion Smith

Dion Smith wins the 2020 Coppa Sabatini.

“The last two years have been really enjoyable, I feel like I have grown and improved as a rider which has a lot to do with being on this team and I want to continue in that direction.

“It was an awesome feeling getting my first win this season, I’ve always come so close but now that it’s under the belt it gives me confidence going forward to aim even higher.

“I would like to continue to grow within this team and continue the dream to win races whether for myself or teammates, it’s such a family environment and I am just glad everything has shaped up for the better after this year.”

White on Smith:
“We had seen consistency in Dion before he joined the team, that’s why we wanted him, and I think we saw some great results this year, in a very reduced calendar, with Milan-San Remo and his first win in Europe.

“Not everyone develops at the same speed, but he is developing and the main thing is that he is getting better and better and we expect that to increase over the next couple of years and it’s exciting times to see how far that development can go.”

Georgia Williams:
Date of Birth: 25 August 1993 (27)
Nationality: New Zealand
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2017
New contract: 2021

A two-time national time trial champion and 2018 road race champion, Williams has at times been able to show her true abilities on the bike, both as a support rider and someone to take opportunities.

Whilst the 27-year-old has battled health issues in recent seasons, Mitchelton-SCOTT is confident her commitment levels and an uninterrupted winter base season will see her back to her full potential in 2021.

“I think the relaxed nature of the team really fits my personality and is the best environment for me. I like how all of us girls really support and believe in each other, I think that’s been one of the keys to us getting results.

“I’m not going to have too many expectations for 2021, I don’t think we will quite be back to a normal season. I will be expecting my level to improve on this year which will hopefully help me be of support deeper into the races. I’m planning on staying in Europe for the winter which will be very different for me but am looking forward to the challenge and the build-up.”

Sport Director Martin Vestby on Williams:
“Georgia has had some tough luck with illness but if she can stay healthy over winter and put in a really good base, she is a rider who is a strong support for our climbing group, but also has qualities that mean she can take her own chances when the opportunity occurs too.

“We’re aiming for a full season with no health interruptions and I think we will then see her step up to the level she has been able to show us from time to time.”

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