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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them. - Baruch Spinoza

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

Les Woodland's book Cycling Heroes: The Golden Years is available in the print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Remi Cavagna looks back on his time with Team Soudal Quick-Step before racing with his new team, Movistar, in 2024

Soudal Quick-Step posted this:

The Frenchman on his best moments with Soudal Quick-Step and what makes this team so special.

“When I joined the squad in 2017, I came there after a solid spell with the Klein Constantia team, where I had a great time. I knew nothing about cycling back then, but the staff of the devo team helped me find my place and learn, which was of great use as I progressed. Then, when I travelled to Denia for the first training camp with the big team, I was overwhelmed to realise that I was on the same squad as Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Boonen or Philippe Gilbert. It was something formidable for me, a 21-year-old.

Remi Cavagna wins stage one of the 2023 Coppi-Bartali race. Sirotti photo

The team put me immediately in an environment where I could continue my development step by step, race after race, and year after year, and I will always be grateful for that. They showed a lot of confidence in me, and as I became better and better, I discovered the big races, from Monuments to Grand Tours, something that has helped me arrive where I am today.

One of the most important moments of these past seven years was my victory at the Tour of California. I was on the attack from the beginning, then I dropped my companion with more than 80 kilometers to go and won by seven or eight minutes. It was my first World Tour success and I can say that everything changed after California. Thinking about it now, I can say that is one of my finest wins, alongside the Vuelta stage I got in Toledo in 2019 and the National Championships, two years ago.

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At the same time, it gave me the opportunity to meet many amazing people and form strong bonds that I know will last even if we part ways at the end of the year. It makes me emotional to think about all the great moments I had in the Soudal Quick-Step team, there were so many beautiful races and unforgettable wins with the guys. If I am to name just one, that would be the 2019 Vuelta a España. That was a crazy race! We took five victories, we were in the thick of the action on that insane day to Guadalajara, when we averaged 52km/h and Philippe took the win after what was the fastest stage in the race’s history. It was just fantastic.

This is one of the many moments that will always be in my heart and mind. I know that I will miss everybody, from riders to staff, because as I’ve already said many times in the past, the Wolfpack is and will forever by my second family, but this is cycling. I am sad to leave, but I want to thank everyone here and tell them I will look forward to seeing them on the road next year.”

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Rick Vosper: Top-ten bike brands have shifted significantly since 2010

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this:

Make no mistake: when it comes to bikes, we are still very much a dealer-driven industry. Absent pure D2C labels like Canyon, the enormous majority of both brand prestige and sales dollars for most bike companies comes down to the strength of their dealer networks.

Of course some dealers are more desirable than others. But overall, you need a critical mass of retailers to cover all the major and minor markets in this country or you miss out. Overall brand success does not come from advertising. Not from race teams. Not from a website. Not even, solely, from how competitive your products are. At the end of the day, it's retailers that make the difference between a top-selling brand and an also-ran. Of course those other items I've listed also impact your appeal to dealers. But the bottom line is clear: Gain more dealers over time, your brand strengthens. Lose them, and you weaken. All of which makes the size of a brand's dealer network one good indicator of its overall health.

Christopher Georger's company, Georger Data Services, keeps track of those indicators. For more than a decade, GDS has harvested bike brands' dealer lists to see who's selling what. And periodically, he shares some of that information with BRAIN.

Georger has been developing "The Bike Shop List" for more than 20 years and has over 7,000 addresses for shops offering bicycle-specific products including e-bikes.

One useful bit of information is what Georger calls his "OPB," or Other Popular Brands — that is, important brands beyond Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Cannondale. To make the OPB list, the count of locations is a fact that changes over time, but how the shop considers a brand in their overall offerings and priority is just as important.

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Sun Cycles, for instance, lists every dealer who's ever bought a bike from them, more than 2,000 shops in total. Another brand, who shall remain nameless, bought the GDS Bike Shop List and used it as their Dealer Locator base. Neither of those brands made Georger's OPB list.

This time, Georger went to his archives to compare history: the first from 2009/2010 and a second showing dealer counts from October of 2023. This 13-year perspective tells us a lot about how the brands are doing, both over time and relative to each other.

The Big Four

It's a safe bet that all four brands' dealer footprint is well-established and essentially stable. The most interesting thing about the top four brands (which I've chosen to call The Quadrumvirate) is how little they've changed in 13 years. In fact, Trek, Specialized, Giant and Cannondale (now part of the Pon group), in a slightly different order, were the top brands as early as 2000 if not before, based on my recollection.

You can read the entire story here.

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