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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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Digitalum partners up with Lotto Soudal Ladies

The team sent me this:

Digitalum, a Belgian e-commerce specialist, becomes partner of the Lotto Soudal Ladies Team and their logo gets a place at the front of the shirt of the women. Digitalum had the specific intention to sponsor a women’s team. “With this partnership we want to emphasize that the ICT world doesn’t have to be a predominantly male environment.”

“We went looking for a women’s sports team and we immediately felt a match with Lotto Soudal”, says Diederik Bots, CEO of Digitalum. “The ICT sector mainly is a men’s world and we hope that more and more women find the way to our sector. That’s why we intentionally chose to become partner of a women’s team.”

Lotto Soudal Ladies

Lotto Soudal Ladies get another sponsor.

John Lelangue, General Manager Lotto Soudal: “We are proud to welcome Digitalum as a new partner. We could immediately relate to each other’s philosophy and values. Digitalum guarantees a high-tech approach and with the Lotto Soudal Performance Department we also want to work with new technologies. We are especially very proud that Digitalum specifically invests in our Ladies Team. That perfectly fits the professionalization we are striving for. Women’s cycling is booming and it’s wonderful that not only our existing partners invest in women’s cycling, but that there are also new partners who want to write this story together with us.”

The owners of Digitalum love to cycle too. Cycling as a sport and cycling in general are perfect for meeting new people and for exchanging ideas. That’s why they are member of the business network Voka Fietst (Voka Cycles). “But most of all it helps to clear the head”, says Diederik Bots. “It’s the diversion we all need, especially in times like these when it’s all the more important to think of one’s mental and physical health. Now and then we also try to organize a cycling activity among colleagues in the digital world (Zwift). At Digitalum we are all looking forward to next season to cheer on the entire Lotto Soudal team by the side of the road, when that’s possible again, and hopefully we see many victories from the Ladies.”

Diederik Bots founded Digitalum together with some partners in August 2018. The company offers expertise and solutions for e-commerce and online customer experiences. Immediately, you think of the standard web shops, but Digitalum focuses more on the online B2B portals and online customer experiences. Digitalum has large international players as well as local companies amongst its customers. They work together with Yamaha, Bose, Firestone, Atlas Copco and Jaga, among others.

Diederik Bots: “We help our clients to make the entire process of online transactions as efficient as possible. Therefore we mainly work with local talent, so without the apparently cheap but often inefficient offshore models. We now work with 30 people. Most of them are senior profiles with tons of experience in the matter, so we can immediately offer the right surplus value to our clients.”

“At the moment we have only one woman in our team, but that definitely is not because women are not welcome or because women could not offer a surplus value in a mainly technical company. On the contrary. And we want to emphasize that again with this partnership with the Lotto Soudal Ladies. We can perfectly relate to their winner’s mentality, combined with friendly professionals. It matches the ambition of Digitalum. Our company is expanding and I want to do another call to women in the ICT sector to take a look at our vacancies.”

Team Israel Start-Up Nation to start 2021 season with 10-day training camp in Girona, Spain

The team posted this update:

January 4th (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Team Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) will open the 2021 season at a ten-day intensive training camp near Girona, Spain, starting on January 12.

The training camp will provide the first opportunity for the team, which has brought on nine new riders including cycling legend Chris Froome, to meet and train together for the upcoming season. Some members of the squad will travel straight from the camp to the season’s first series of European races, beginning in Mallorca in late January.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome is getting ready for the 2021 season.

While ISN had originally planned to continue its tradition of holding the season’s opening training camp in Israel, the country has entered its third coronavirus lockdown, forcing a change of plans. The team still intends to visit Israel as soon as late February or March, when the situation allows. Israel has become the world’s leading country by vaccination rate (with over one million people, more than ten percent of the total population already vaccinated), giving real cause for optimism that the ISN squad will soon be able to visit the country.

Acknowledging the current challenges, team co-owner Sylvan Adams said, “We will hold a preliminary pre-season training camp in Spain, as it was impossible to confidently hold the camp in Israel, as we usually do, due to the COVID restrictions and with the borders closed to non-Israelis. So, we intend to do a second camp in Israel as soon as possible.

“We look forward to showcasing ISN’s home country to the riders, especially to our new signings who haven’t attended one of our Israeli training camps in the past. It will be a mixture of riding Israel’s diverse terrain, as well as visiting our world-class tourist and historical sites. These camps have been a big hit with the riders in the past, and we will maintain the tradition of introducing our riders and staff to the team’s home country.”

Girona was the logical location for the team’s first gathering of the season, given that it hosts the Israel Start-Up Nation logistics center in Europe. Many of ISN’s riders reside and train in Girona, which is well-known for its varied terrain, low traffic, and comfortable weather. “For us, Israel is the best location for the training camp,” said team manager Kjell Carlstrom, “but under the circumstances, Girona was a natural choice.”

With so many additions to the squad and ambitious goals for the future, the camp will see the team divided by strength and specialty: General Classification (overall race leadership), Classics and sprinters. “We need to give them the chance to train and learn how to achieve their different goals together. It is critical, with so many new riders and the new goals we have in front of us,” said Carlstrom.

For the team, which is openly focused on its primary goal of becoming a strong force in stage races, it will be the first chance to see the riders expected to lead the way in these races in action.

However, Chris Froome will most likely miss the Girona training camp. The team made the decision that Froome should instead continue his intense training and rehab program in California before returning to Europe to join the team’s racing program.

Paulo Saldanha – the team’s head of performance explained the decision: “Chris Froome, has made great progress with both his rehab and strength work to rebalance his body since his significant injury. After our internal assessment and discussion, we felt it was important for him to continue in his current environment in California. We feel this is most conducive for continuing his progress both on and off the bike.”

The camp will be attended by the team’s co-owners, Sylvan Adams and Ron Baron and all its sports directors. Three media days will take place from January 16-18. They will include special press conferences, intensive training sessions, and conversations with the owners and riders INCLUDING CHRIS FROOME who will join the press conference and other media events via satellite. Chris will also take part in some of the camp meetings via zoom.

The team’s Girona training camp will take place under strict COVID rules, similar to those used successfully in WorldTour races last season.

Dorel (Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, etc) postpones special shareholder meeting to February

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this:

MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Dorel Industries, which had planned a special shareholder meeting for Jan. 12 to vote on accepting an offer to go private, has now delayed that meeting until Feb. 16.

Dorel's board voted unanimously to postpone the meeting "in order to give Dorel shareholders additional time to consider the terms and conditions of the (purchase) arrangement and for Dorel to engage with its shareholders," the company said. "The board believes that the additional time will also allow Dorel shareholders to consider the effects of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on Dorel's operations and financial results."

You can read the entire story here.

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