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

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Matt White appointed as GeenEdge’s Director of High Performance & Racing; Chard, Clarke & Valls join as Sport Directors

Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s owner GreenEdge Cyclng sent me this announcement:

GreenEDGE Cycling is pleased to welcome onboard three new sport directors for the 2023 season and a new role for former Head Sport Director Matt White.

Canadian Shawn Clarke and Briton Megan Chard will join the women’s WorldTour team for the coming season, extending the women’s sport directors group out to three, while former professional cyclist Rafael Valls is welcomed into the men’s squad.

2018 Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey with Matt White. Sirotti photo

After spending the past 11 years at GreenEDGE Cycling in a Head Sport Director position for the men’s team, White moves into a broader role in 2023, bringing his invaluable experience to become the ‘Director of High Performance & Racing’, which will see the Australian overseeing both the men’s and women’s WorldTour teams.

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“We are extremely pleased to make the announcement of Matthew White’s new role within the team for 2023. We feel this is an area which needs more attention to detail and there are few people within professional cycling with the level of experience that ‘Whitey’ has. As an organisation we are continuously looking for improvements all-round and this new role will help us improve in many of the team’s performance areas, so it is definitely a new and exciting approach for us.

"We are just as excited to also be welcoming a new sport director to the men’s team and two new sport directors to the women’s team. Having Megan and Shawn joining us in the women’s team brings a huge amount of enthusiasm, motivation as well as extra resources, which is important for us to balance the workload between all staff members involved in the performance area.”

Matthew White - Director of High Performance & Racing:
“As an organisation always looking to evolve by improving and refining its practices, my new role as Director of High Performance and Racing will enable me to work across the high-performance spectrum in both the men's and women’s teams. We have some new Sport Directors and performance staff joining both teams in 2023 and I will be able to assist them to grow and develop their skills in our team’s unique culture.

"The role change presents more opportunities for people to step up and lead at different races, and I am really looking forward to working more with the women’s team compared to previous years, to continue their team growth and evolution.”

Shawn Clarke – 2023 Women’s Sport Director:
“I am super excited to be joining GreenEDGE next year, it's something I have been working towards for a long time. With my time at the national team, with all the work I did there with the development and junior teams and then with the elite riders at world championships and Olympics, I think I have a pretty broad skill set that I’m really excited to bring to GreenEDGE. And obviously I can learn a lot from Martin, Meg, Whitey, and Marco Pinotti.

"Team BikeExchange-Jayco is a really good corporate environment, they treat the staff really well and there is a really good camaraderie between the riders. It is a team that’s well known for working hard but having fun together and that is exactly what I was looking for - it’s a dream come true for me. I’ve spent a lot of time now with Martin and Meg, I think we have a really good crew, we work super well together and I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

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Megan Chard - 2023 Women’s Sport Director:
“I’m very proud and excited to be joining GreenEDGE Cycling, I’ve met most of the staff and riders now and it looks like we have a great group for next year, so I’m really motivated to get started. I’ve been working with various teams in the UK and believe I have a lot to bring to GreenEDGE but I’m also looking forwarding to learning a lot myself, working alongside Martin and Shawn.

"It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m committed to getting the most of it and believe that with the group we have, we can achieve a lot next season and into the future. It’s an exciting moment to be joining such an organisation and it will be a nice step and the first time the team has had a female sport director.”

Rafael Valls - 2023 Men’s Sport Director:
“First of all, I want to thank Brent Copeland and Matthew White for giving me this great opportunity to join one of the teams that has been in the WorldTour for many years. Switching almost directly from the bike to the team car is a great challenge for me but I am convinced that I will be able to contribute a lot to the development of this very interesting project. I’m very happy to be part of GreenEDGE and I can't wait to start the new season.”

The staff:

Brent Copeland (RSA) – General Manager
Matthew White (AUS) - Director of High Performance & Racing

2023 Women’s Team Sport Directors:
Martin Vestby (NOR)
Megan Chard (GBR)
Shawn Clarke (CAN)

2023 Men’s Team Sport Directors:
Vittorio Algeri (ITA)
Mathew Hayman (AUS)
Tristan Hoffman (NED)
Dave McPartland (AUS)
Andrew Smith (RSA)
Rafael Valls (ESP)
Pieter Weening (NED)


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Mike Teunissen is leaving Team Jumbo-Visma and looks back on wearing the Yellow Jersey in the 2019 Tour

Team Jumbo-Visma posted this:

Mike Teunissen will leave Team Jumbo-Visma after competing for them for four years. At the Belgian Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, he will continue his career. Hearing his name will prompt many cycling enthusiasts to think of the 2019 Tour de France. We reflect on his incredible stage victory and yellow jersey as the first Dutchman in thirty years.

The professional peloton is preparing for a new Tour de France in Brussels. “It was the first time in a long time that a sprinter had a chance to take the yellow jersey”, Teunissen recalled. “We had a world-class sprinter on the team in Dylan Groenewegen, and we had been working towards this stage all year. We wanted to take the yellow jersey with Dylan and write cycling history."

That scenario was trashed a few kilometres before the end. Groenewegen crashed, and Teunissen made the most of the situation. “I heard there was a crash behind me. When I turned around, Dylan was gone. I wasn’t sure, but I thought he would be there. He couldn’t have just vanished, of course. I tried to make the best of it”, Teunissen remembered.

Mike Teunissen (head down on right) just beats Peter Sagan to win 2019 Tour de France stage one.

The rest is history. In the sprint, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider defeated Peter Sagan by a tire width, making him the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey since 1989. “I felt like I had won. But because it was so surreal to me, I began to have my doubts. I never anticipated this. It appeared out of the blue. Really a fantastic day”, Teunissen said with a smile.

“I shared the room with Dylan. I recall that neither of us could sleep. He was still suffering from the crash, of course. I still had to think things through. The Tour is the Tour. Nothing else can be compared to it. The amount of media coverage had a significant impact on my team and me”, the Dutchman said. “Fortunately, Dylan did win a stage after that. That was also our goal for that Tour. He will never again have a chance to win the yellow jersey, though.”

“I had that yellow jersey framed, and it has a nice spot in the corridor so I can look at it every day. And as of recently, there is another jersey hanging next to it”, Teunissen refers to the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey that he got to wear for one stage this year. “I am eternally grateful to the team for that. The opening time trial in Utrecht was extraordinary. You encounter this wall of sound immediately after starting at the first corner. I had never experienced that before.”

Teunissen in yellow with Eddy Merckx holding the stuffed lion. Sirotti photo

Teunissen also recalled his victories in Dunkerque and the ZLM Tour and Wout van Aert’s Tour stage win on the Champs-Élysées in the 2021 Tour. “I have experienced so many great moments with Team Jumbo-Visma. I will always be grateful for what that time in my career has given me.”


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Patent Watch: Do expiring patents let new products flourish?

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this interesting piece by Alan Coté:

Patents are often mentioned as limiting the release of a new product from more than one manufacturer. Which of course, is exactly how the patent system is intended to work. Does it follow that when a patent expires, the floodgates open and wider product offerings hit the market?

Intellectual property rights come mainly in three types: trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Trademarks are a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies goods or services, and can carry on perpetually — there’s no future expiration for the names Coca-Cola, Trek Bicycles, etc., so long as they continue to be used. Copyrights currently have a term of the author’s life plus 70 years (with some variations) — after that, rights are in the public domain. Consider the numerous Sherlock Holmes movies and TV shows in the last decade. The copyrights expired, and the floodgates opened.

Utility patents, meanwhile, have a much shorter life, spanning 20 years from when an application is filed (design patents, which protect ornamental appearance, expire 15 years from the date of grant). When a patent expires, the rights claimed in the patent move into the public domain, meaning anyone is free to make, use, or sell the invention.  Pharmaceuticals going “generic” when an underlying patent expires is a good example.

Many, or most, bike-related patents expire without anyone noticing. But for a handful of patents, industry members anxiously await an expiration to bring out their own product. One industry member who worked at Shimano in the 1980s remembers the company waiting “to pounce on those opportunities” when a patent expired.

The classic, transformative example, though almost 40 years old, is the patent on the slant parallelogram derailleur.

Scroll back, and Japanese component maker Suntour was a major component supplier, reportedly selling twice as many rear derailleurs as Shimano in the early 1980s. One reason: Suntour had patents in various countries that covered a derailleur quite unlike other offerings at the time. The design used an L-shaped derailleur body, with a swinging parallelogram positioned at an angle (the “slant”).  This resulted in the pulleys being spaced more closely to each rear cog as the bike shifted. This reduced the amount of “overshift” required at the shift lever, resulting in smoother, more predictable gear changes compared to other derailleur styles.

Suntour’s patent expired in 1984. Not by coincidence, in 1985 Shimano released an entirely new shifting system, SIS. It included the first commercially successful, high-end indexed shifting system, with the slant parallelogram derailleur design essential to making it work. The advantages of Suntour’s derailleur design were undeniable, and by the end of the decade, Campagnolo and others had also switched to the same design. The same basic slant parallelogram configuration is still used by virtually every rear derailleur today, whether mechanical or electrical.

You can read the entire essay here.

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