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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. - Margaret Mead


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 in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Upcoming racing

Latest completed racing:


Team DSM’s upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

UAE Tour: FEB 09 - 12

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach:
"We are looking forward to starting the new season with our Women’s program at the first edition of the UAE Tour. The first day should likely end with a bunch sprint, while we could see some echelons on stage two. On the third day, we will see the big GC fight with the climb of Jebel Hafeet, before an expected sprint on the last day. Our goal will be to focus on the sprints with Charlotte as the team's finisher and work on the new setup with our sprint train. On the mountain day, we will look after Esmée before she can test herself on the tough climb."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Daniek Hengeveld (NED)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Maeve Plouffe (AUS)

Figueira Champions Classic: FEB 12

Pim Ligthart - Team DSM coach:
"The inaugural edition of this Portuguese one-day race will be our first race in Europe this season. We would like to get the same momentum going on European soil as we did across the world with the strong results and performances from the team in Australia and Argentina. Figueira Champions Classic on paper looks like a hard final with some steep climbs like we see at Liège-Bastone-Liège before a flatter finish. We will race with an open mind and look for opportunities with Oscar and Kevin if the race explodes on the climbs."

John Degenkolb, who will be at the Figueira Champions Classic, finishes the 2021 Gent-Wevelgem. Sirotti photo

Line-up:
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Jonas Hvideberg (NOR)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

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Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames

Team Astana Qazaqstan with Mark Canvendish to race Muscat Classic and Tour of Oman

Here’s the team’s update:

Astana Qazaqstan Team will take part in two events in Oman: Muscat Classic (February 10th) and Tour of Oman (February 11th to 15th).

Rider roster: Mark Cavendish, Alexey Lutsenko, Yevgeniy Fedorov, Manuele Boaro, Harold Tejada, Leonardo Basso, Martin Laas.

Mark Cavendish winning stage three of the 2022 Tour of Oman.

Sports directors in race: Alexandr Shefer, Stefano Zanini.


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EF Education-EasyPost discusses racing clothing

Here’s the team’s post:

Every morning, we pull up our socks and hope we’re not violating Article 1.3.033 [at the bottom of the page]. Now, the fashion police are looking into our uniforms as well.

From the start, we set out to disrupt bike racing with Rapha and now know we’re not finished, because this year’s asymmetrical socks have knocked the pro-cycling design critics’ right off. There must be a left one and a right one!! Right? There’s even a Twitter account dedicated to our sock styling. Are they on right?

However Neilson Powless puts on his kit, it seems to work for him. Sirotti photo

Last year, the critics might have been justified. By the third week of a grand tour, it was Borja the bus driver’s job to make sure that no bleary-eyed bike racer walked down his steps and into the glare of the TV cameras with an F on his left foot and an E on his right. We are, after all, EF Education-EasyPost. This year, Rapha saved him the trouble. Every one of our socks reads EF. Each pair just comes with one light pink and one bright pink sock. Which goes on the left foot and which on the right? There must be an answer.

Don’t ask the racers. Alberto Bettiol likes bright on the left and the light on the right, until he doesn’t. James Shaw tends to go bright-right and light-left, but is starting to wonder if he is doing it wrong after so much online discussion. Jonas Rutsch tried to look it up. Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters seems to have sided with the critics—light on the left and bright on the right. And JV isn’t just the boss; he is famous for his sartorial swagger. Jonas is going with JV.

To set matters straight, Jens Keukeleire decided to do some research. He is a bit old-school, and his theory was that the socks should match the shoulder patches on our jerseys, so light-left and bright-right; however, his aero socks were in fact colour coded the opposite with the lighter sock on the right and brighter one on the left. He concluded that the same must hold for his road socks. That was an authoritative argument, Tom Scully thought, until Sean Quinn told him he had debunked it. Sean noticed that the bright pink aero sock is in fact a different shade of pink to the road sock, so no law can be drawn from one to the other. It’s not binary. We’ve got socks in the three different pinks from our jerseys.

Maybe Łukasz Wiśniowski’s approach was as good as any all along. He leaves it to the weather. If it’s raining, he goes light-left and bright-right, and if it’s sunny he’ll wear bright-left and light-right.

Looking at race wins, so far this year, Neilson Powless went light-left, bright-right for his victory at Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille. So did Marijn van den Berg when he won the Trofeo ses Salines-Port d’Alcudia. And Alberto Bettiol wore the same when he won the prologue at the Tour Down Under. We’re not superstitious, but…

To be sure, we asked Rapha designer Santi Roig Dinarès. He says, “For us, the design journey doesn’t stop once the kit has been produced. We want both riders and fans to interpret the kit in their own way and bring a little personal style to the bike. We want to give people the chance to express themselves in how they dress, all through a pair of socks.”

That settles it. There is no left or right, or there is, but every rider gets to decide for themself—and no one else—every morning when they pull up their socks.

Now we just have to worry about that other aesthetic rule: Article 1.3.033. Breaking that one costs Swiss francs.


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Specialized ends women's cycling clothing brand Machines For Freedom

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this:

Specialized Bicycle Components has shut down women's clothing brand Machines For Freedom, which it purchased from founder Jennifer Kriske five years ago.

The decision to end the brand comes at a time when the industry is becoming more aware of the need to make clothing to fit people of all sizes.

"By leading the progressive revolution of size, inclusivity, representation, and diversity within the cycling space, and focusing on the underrepresented women's category, Machines was a beacon of inspiration," founder Jennifer Kriske said in a statement to BRAIN, after announcing the closure on Instagram. "I am saddened but hopeful that the legacy will live on. I have been cycling through feelings of both grief and gratitude. For the past decade, Machines' influence in the cycling industry has been undeniable. Our industry-leading fit process changed the game for women of all shapes and sizes, and we challenged an industry to consider riders that have been overlooked for generations."

When Specialized acquired the brand in 2018, it described the purchase as "a bold investment in women's leadership." When reached for comment on Tuesday, Specialized issued a statement expressing gratefulness for the brand's inspiration to serve women riders.

"While dissolving the brand was a tough decision on both parties, the lessons learned during this partnership will continue to influence and guide the way Specialized makes women's product for the years to come."

Kriske began Machines For Freedom in 2014 before searching for a partner with the goal of filling a need in the women's cycling apparel market. Marley Blonsky, co-founder of All Bodies on Bikes, credited Machines For Freedom for enhancing her cycling enjoyment.

You can read the entire story here.

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