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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. - Isaac Newton

Tour de France: the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour de France: The Inside Story - Making the World's Greatest Bicycle Race is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Current racing:

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UAE Tour stage two news

We posted the report from stage winner Mark Cavendish's Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team with the results.

Here's the report from sprinter Sam Bennett's Bora-hansgrohe team:

The second stage of the UAE Tour took the riders over 173 km of flat terrain from Hudayriyat Island to Abu Dhabi Breakwater and ended, as yesterday, in a bunch sprint. After the three-man breakaway was caught, BORA - hansgrohe had yet another chance to finish on the podium with Sam Bennett. Strong winds made the race difficult in some sections and the team from Raubling remained largely tucked away in the peloton. With less than 20 km remaining, BORA - hansgrohe moved to the front and placed Sam in a good position for the finale. Unfortunately, despite an impressive leadout from Danny van Poppel, the Irish rider was boxed in on the finishing straight and was unable to contest the sprint.

It was Mark Cavendish who won stage two. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Sport

"It was a nervous day in the peloton due to the wind conditions. Because I'm not yet at full fitness, I had to be careful here. The guys were really amazing. Ryan, Shane and Danny did an incredible job to set me up for the finale, and they brought me into a good position. However, when it came down to the last moment, I just wasn't able to launch my sprint as I had hoped. But we're here to practice and we're already working very well in our second race together, so it's only up from here." - Sam Bennett

"As expected, the stage came down to another bunch sprint. It was very windy, which made the race quite nervous for everyone at first. Our goal was of course to ride for the sprint and gain some more practice here, essentially to really find ourselves as a team. The final sprint was facing into a headwind and was quite hectic. However, it worked out quite well up to that point, with all the guys being together in the finale. Everyone did their job, but ultimately, Sam just lacked that bit of racing practice. However, there are still some chances for us in the sprints and I think the team is working well together, which is very important to see." - Rolf Aldag, Sports Director

Here's the UAE Tour stage two report from third-place Pascal Ackermann's UAE Team Emirates:

After a top-10 finish yesterday, Pascal Ackermann showed his growing form with 3rd place on the second stage of the UAE Tour from Hudayriyat Island to Abu Dhabi Breakwater (176km).

Ackermann was guided in the final by veteran leadout specialist Maximiliano Richeze and showed a fast turn of speed in the final straight, just getting blocked in and unable to get past stage winner Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).

The new recruit joined UAE Team Emirates this year and was called into the squad last minute to cover the withdrawal of Fernando Gaviria who was ruled out with Covid-19.

He is showing good form in a field packed with world class sprinters.

Ackermann : “It was a nervous start with a lot of wind so it was important to move together as a team and stay protected. After we survived the crosswind we worked towards the sprint. Richeze did a great job and brought me up perfectly to the wheel of Cavendish. Unluckily I couldn’t finish it off because I got a bit blocked but I’m happy that we were able to be up with the other sprinters and it gives me confidence for the last two sprints that are coming. Now we’ll work towards the GC for the next couple if days.”

Tomorrow the race for the General Classification really begins with the 9km pan-flat time trial starting and finishing in Ajman.

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Team DSM’s upcoming racing

The team sent me this preview:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite: FEB 26

Phil West - Team DSM coach:
"We're excited to get our classics campaign underway at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend. It doesn't seem like long ago we were at our first winter training camp, discussing how we would approach the race and here we are; everyone is really motivated for it. As always in the classics we expect some hard and tough racing and we want to ride well as a group throughout the day to create the best opportunities for us. The slight change of route could see more attacking racing so we need to be sharp from the flag drop. We want to try and play our numbers well with John and Nils, who have recently returned from a good altitude camp, our finishers for the day."

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Nico Denz (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Nils Eekhoff (shown at the 2019 U23 World championships, in orange) will be at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sirotti photo

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad-vrouwen elite: FEB 26

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach:
"Omloop marks the start of our classics campaign and we're all looking forward to it. During the race we will look for opportunities through aggressive racing in the hill zone. With the Molenberg out of the parcours, then it could potentially be a bit of different race than we seen in recent years. Yet, it will be still hard enough to split things up, especially with the Muur and Bosberg combination deep into the final of the day. We believe our strength for the race is in the width and depth of our squad and we hope to create numbers, and as a result opportunities for us in the front, by being attentive and through aggressive racing."

Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne: FEB 27

Phil West - Team DSM coach:
"Sunday sees us take on the second part of Opening Weekend at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, and another tough day out. Traditionally, the race is more likely to end in a reduced group sprint finish but like a lot of classics, the attitude of the peloton and any inclement weather can split the field up. Once again, we want to be present towards the front of the race and be attentive for any dangerous moves that might go clear, making sure our Team DSM jersey is visible through some good teamwork and kicking off our classics campaign with some aggressive racing, with John and Nils as our finishers."

Tobias Lund Andresen (DEN)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvidberg (NOR)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)

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Omloop van het Hageland: FEB 27

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
"The route for Omloop van het Hageland has changed slightly this year, with a big 30 kilometre loop on stereotypical Belgian roads; with a lot of up and down, narrow roads and changes in direction. We will look to create opportunities in that section of the course and then see what the race situation is like after that. We have a strong group here who can ride aggressively at the front, but if the weather or attacking racing hasn't split things up, then we will work towards setting up a sprint with Lorena as our finisher in the finale."

Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Le Samyn: MAR 1

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"Le Samyn is normally a really hard day out in the saddle with typically poor spring weather conditions often making for an even harder race. Our main goal for the day is to ride offensively throughout, so that we can come into the pre-final and final of the race with as many numbers in the front group as possible. We have a nice mix of riders in the team, with some of our Development program riders getting the opportunity to race alongside our Men's program, with everyone motivated to do well. We want to show ourselves in a good way with that offensive racing and we'll head into the finale with a more open approach but also with some fast guys who can finish from a group sprint scenario."

Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Enzo Leijnse (NED)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Le Samyn des Dames: MAR 1

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
"At Le Samyn we have three riders making their debut for us, with Elise and Francesca starting their first elite race, while Léa also dons our jersey for the first time in a race. It's the first race of the season for most of our squad here so we will focus on the basics such as riding together as a team and communicating well with each other. Yet we also want to look for opportunities on the three laps of 26 kilometres, which feature some hills and four cobble sections, making for a tough race. We want to be present in numbers at the front so that we can go on the attack, or if the day ends in a group sprint, then we will work to set up Megan as our finisher."

Francesca Barale (ITA)
Léa Curinier (FRA)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)

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Court dismisses complaint against Trek Bicycle by owner of Prize Trek app

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (BRAIN) —  A U.S District Court judge has dismissed a case that a mobile game app maker had filed against Trek Bicycle after Trek challenged the game maker’s trademark registration.

Jchon Perkins owns Prize Trek, a mobile app game that a 2017 Associated Press article described as “a powerful marketing tool that can provide small businesses with free advertising for life." Players "participate in a scavenger hunt and win valuable cash and prizes sponsored by local businesses," the article said.

After Perkins, in 2018, applied to register "Prize Trek" with the Patent and Trademark Office, Trek Bicycle filed an opposition, saying the game’s name could be confused with its trademark for Trek.

Trek and Perkins were unable to settle the dispute. However, in 2019 the USPTO overruled Trek’s opposition and granted Perkins the trademark.

In early 2021 Perkins sued Trek, charging that the bike company's opposition to the trademark registration had delayed the app's development and market entry.

Representing himself, Perkins alleged claims of unfair competition, tortious interference with a business relationship and restraint of trade.

Your can read the entire story here.

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