BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling historyBikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history
Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. - Frederick Douglass


Epictetus' Golden Sayings

Stoic philosopher Epictetus' Golden Sayings is available in both audiobook & Kindle eBook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team dsm-firmenich's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze: SEP 28

Pim Ligthart - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"Coppa Agostoni will be our first race in the Autumn campaign in Italy as we head into the final block of the season. We want to start this racing block in a good way and will race open-minded, looking for opportunities with a diverse line-up. With Sean and Patrick, we have two guys who can be up there if the race unfolds in a reduced bunch sprint. Together we'll get on the road and race aggressively to get the best result possible here."

Patrick Bevin racing the Schwalbe Classic earlier this year. Sirotti photo

Line-up:
Patrick Bevin (NZL)
Marco Brenner (GER)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Sean Flynn (GBR)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Florian Stork (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Giro dell'Emilia: SEP 30

Pim Ligthart - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"This one-day race in Italy will see a real punchy finish, with the well-known finish at the Santuario Madonna di San Luca and an impressive view over the city of Bologna. We have a really strong line-up here and with Romain, Max and Chris coming out of the Vuelta we will have some firepower to play our cards in the final laps."

Line-up:
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Patrick Bevin (NZL)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Max Poole (GBR)
Florian Stork (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Giro dell'Emilia Internazionale Donne Elite: SEP 30

Albert Timmer - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"Having a nice mix of riders on our roster, we have different cards to play here. The idea is to race aggressively throughout the day and once we approach the climbs, to increase the pace in order to position our finisher Juliette as well as possible. The parcours see a long run-up to the final climb and we can expect real fireworks in the explosive finale."

Line-up:
Francesca Barale (ITA)
Léa Curinier (FRA)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)
Nienke Vinke (NED)

Binche Chimay Binche pour Dames: OCT 03

Kelvin Dekker - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"This is the last race of the season for all riders present. I think we have already had a great season, but together we want to go all in for the win one final time. The course has a challenging final and finish where we can play several scenarios with Charlotte as our sprinter, but also Pfeiffer - someone who is almost made for this finish. We'll have an attacking mindset in the race and we'll see what strategy will suit the best for the win."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Daniek Hengeveld (NED)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Anna van der Meiden (NED)
Becky Storrie (GBR)
Elise Uijen (NED)

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro: OCT 03

Roy Curvers - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"Sparkassen Münsterland Giro is the classic end of the German road racing season. The parcours see some hills which might end up in a reduced bunch sprint. The key is to be attentive in the hilly sections so we don't miss any breakaways and we're always represented in the front with our fast guys. In case everything comes together, we can always set up Casper as a finisher."

Line-up:
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Casper van Uden (NED)

Tre Valli Varesine: OCT 03

Pim Ligthart - Team dsm-firmenich coach:
"Tre Valli Varesine has the same course as last year, which is a punchy lap that might possibly result in a reduced bunch sprint. With Patrick, we have a fast finisher who can be up there, but we will also be ready with guys fresh from the Vuelta and in good shape for an aggressive race."

Line-up:
Romain Bardet (FRA)
Patrick Bevin (NZL)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Max Poole (GBR)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Tre Valli Varesine Women's Race: OCT 03

Albert Timmer - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"We can expect a difficult round in Varese, which will be the last race of the season for our Women's program. We want to show ourselves one final time and race aggressively. Hopefully, we will be able to come into the finale with several riders fresh to position Juliette well to take a good result. With Francesca and Eleonora we have two girls who will be riding on home soil and are keen to show themselves more than ever."

Line-up:
Francesca Barale (ITA)
Eleonora Ciabocco (ITA)
Léa Curinier (FRA)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Nienke Vinke (NED)

find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter See our youtube channel

Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach! Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!


Content continues below the ads

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

Harry Sweeny joins EF Education-EasyPost

The team sent me this news release:

Harry Sweeny is excited to broaden his horizons with EF Education-EasyPost. The 25-year-old Australian will join our team in 2024. It will be his fourth season as a pro.

Harry is still discovering his limits as a racer. As a U23, he won Il Piccolo Lombardia and has since ridden the Tour de France, where, as a rookie, he finished third on a stage and rode onto the Champs-Élysées in the break, as jets trailed red, white, and blue streaks overhead. He has raced Paris-Roubaix in the wet and Liége-Bastogne-Liége alongside his friend, the former winner and local legend, Philippe Gilbert. This year, he finished fourth on GC at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. Harry believes that his best is yet to come.

Harrison Sweeny (Lotto Soudal) & Imanol Erviti (Movistar) finishing stage 12 of the 2021 Tour de france. Sirotti photo

“My biggest ambition for the coming years is to reach my full potential as a rider,” he says. “I love all of the different disciplines within cycling and am really looking forward to exploring them more with EF Education-EasyPost. I would love to be a part of the team that goes to try to win the Tour de France or goes to try to win the Tour of Flanders. I really love winning as a team and getting the most out of myself, so that is really my biggest goal and to really enjoy what I am doing.”

EF Education-EasyPost CEO Jonathan Vaughters is glad to welcome Harry to the team.

“Harry is going to be like a middle linebacker for us,” Vaughters says. “He is a strong guy who can climb and help a rider like Marijn van den Berg in reduced bunch sprints. Harry also has a good nose for a breakaway, so I’m counting on him to continue our tradition of winning stages in grand tours out of breaks.”

Harry would love little more than to do that. He came to cycling late. As a kid growing up in Brisbane, where his family moved when he was a child, he played soccer and rugby and did gymnastics and swam. He took up triathlon as a schoolboy, but focused on cycling when he was a junior and was recovering from a running injury. He started out racing local crits. His athleticism soon shone and he was picked to race the world championships in Richmond, Virginia for the Australian national team.

“That was the most scary experience of my life,” Harry says. “I vividly remember riding along the barriers in the first part of the race. It was pissing rain and there were all these Belgian guys scraping their knuckles against the fences to get positions and I just remember being so scared. So I decided then that if I was going to give it a proper shot, I was going to have to move to Belgium and find out what it was really like.”

That is exactly what Harry did. He moved to Europe to race, first for a small junior team in Belgium, and then for two years with the Australian Institute of Sport squad, which was then based in Italy, before moving back to Belgium for his final year as an U23.

“My first few years in Europe were really amazing,” Harry says. “I was a young kid, living the life. It was really exciting. I was away on what was basically a holiday, trying to make it pro. Actually the hardest time that I had in Europe was my first year when I made it pro and it sort of settled in that this would be my life for the next 15 years or so. That was actually a really scary moment. You realize that you don’t really know anything about the place where you live. My whole time as an U23 I was trying to live on as little as I could, so if I never made it I wouldn’t have to sell things when I went back to Australia. I went four years without having a toaster for example because I didn’t want to buy one in case I didn’t make it. But then as soon as I signed pro I realized that I had to rebuild my life, make new friends, find hobbies. I was missing all of the things that I had in Australia that I didn’t really realize that I had the whole time that I was growing up. When you are an U23, it is a really transitional period in your life and it is really easy to just sort of coast through it and it doesn’t really matter what happens, but as soon as you actually make it then it is about figuring out how to make it work and how to make the most out of it.”

EF Education-EasyPost’s international character is a big draw for Harry for that reason. On the teams he has raced for in the past, he has often been one of the few foreigners. Our team is made up of riders and staff from dozens of nationalities. Most of them know what it is like to build a life far from home and can help with all of the little difficulties that come with that. Our multicultural make up helps us to expand our outlook and think beyond traditional ways of doing things too.

“My whole background since I started cycling is the furthest from tradition that you could have,” Harry says, “especially when you compare it to other guys, like the Belgians who have been doing it since they were six years old. The thing about the team that is really attractive to me is the open-mindedness about, not only how you get into the sport, but around the racing and the lifestyle. The team will take into account how the riders perceive things and how that affects performance as opposed to having a really traditional mindset, where it is like, this is what works and this is what we are going to do. You really see that with the other projects that the team has. Lachy Morton, for example, is really inspirational. You are not just one thing, where that is all you can be in the team.”

Harry is a lot more than a bike racer. He is a keen cook and he loves to go camping and hiking with his girlfriend, an environmental scientist, near their adopted home in Andorra. In the winters, he loves to ski. And he is a YouTuber.

“I actually got into that when I was at an altitude camp in Isola, up in the mountains on the border between Italy and France,” Harry says. “I went up there the week the station closed, so there was seriously not a person within 50 kilometers of me. It was one of the most boring times in my life: super cold, snow all through the mountains. Not even a supermarket was open within 20 kilometers of me. It was really, really isolating. I remember thinking: imagine having all of this time and having nothing to do with it. No one was making videos that were actually good, and I’ve always liked picking up things and learning new skills, so it became a bit of a challenge to see how good I could get at it. It has become a bit of a hobby. I like editing and learning about all of the technology behind it when I have time, and people love it.”

Watch out for Harry on RaceTV. He is going to bring an exciting perspective to our team next year.

“I love the camaraderie in professional sport and being in team environments,” Harry says. “I think that the main reason that I love being a pro is that I really enjoy having mates to go through hard times and good times and be in that performance environment. That is what makes it really special for me and why I enjoy it. It is not so much for winning that I am a pro cyclist. It is more for the enjoyment of the sport and the enjoyment of the people around me.”


Content continues below the ads

Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach!

Soudal Quick-Step to race Circuito Franco-Belge

Here’s the team’s news

[Ed: this is not a race BikeRaceInfo covers]

More than twenty climbs, including some old acquaintances – such as the Trieu-Kokteberg – and a punchy uphill finish will contribute to what could be a race of attrition this Thursday, when the peloton lines out for the 82nd edition of the Circuito Franco-Belge.

Soudal Quick-Step has won this event several times, most recent of these victories being that of Fabio Jakobsen, in 2021. Now, the 190.6km course between Tournai and Mont-De-L’enclus is more tailored to the attackers, and the Wolfpack will aim to be among those shaping the race. Kasper Asgreen, Dries Devenyns – who is set to compete on home soil for the last time in his career – Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Stan Van Tricht and Louis Vervaeke are the seven riders pinning on a number for our penultimate outing of the month.

Dires Devenyns winning the 2020 Cadel Evans Grear Ocean Road Race.

“It will be quite a special race for Dries, not only because he will compete for the final time in Belgium, but also as the finish will be close to his home. He will be part of a very strong and motivated team, comprising Classics riders and light climbers. As for the race, it’s going to be a hard and demanding one. From Tournai, where we start, we will go into the Flemish Ardennes, where the climbs will come in quick succession. We have a chance to do a strong race and we hope to get a good result”, said sports director Iljo Keisse.


Content continues below the ads

Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Mavic returns to North America with Vermont office

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

Mavic, which was acquired in 2020 out of receivership by the French investment group Bourrelier, has had no presence in the U.S. market since at least that time, leaving retailers and consumers to struggle to find repair parts and service.

Now the legendary French brand has opened an office in Vermont, which will handle sales and service in North America.

“We are thrilled to be back in the USA to address the needs of our North American customers with our new Mavic Service Center in Waterbury, Vermont,” said Jean-Michel Bourrelier, CEO of Mavic USA. “We are also very excited to unveil many new products in the coming months, relevant to the U.S. market and local riders. We hope that American gravel, mountain and road riders will be able to experience our new wheel technologies and discover our new apparel that celebrate the long-standing history of our brand.”

Raymond Lanctôt LTD became Mavic’s Canadian distributor in late 2020 and has serviced retailers and consumers there. U.S. retailers say Lanctôt has advised them on Mavic issues, even though the company doesn’t sell into the U.S.  The Vermont office is responsible for servicing North American consumers, retailers and distributors, including Lanctôt.

The Vermont service center office has already consolidated service and repair parts from Mavic’s former U.S. facilities in Massachusetts and Utah and is bringing in new inventory starting this fall, including 2024 model year wheels and apparel. The company expected a shipment of its new Cosmic Ultimate 45 Disc carbon wheels in September. The new wheels won a design award at Eurobike this year.

“We’ve got a good amount of older parts and buffer stock, so we have solutions for customers trying to keep their wheels going or who need new wheels,” Josh Saxe, Mavic’s sales and marketing manager for North America, told BRAIN in a phone interview.

In a company statement, Saxe said, “We'll be bringing our perspective directly from the field to inform what comes next.

“We have a lot of new and exciting products to share, and while our focus absolutely includes the sales and marketing around these products, we are emphasizing supporting our customers both new and old, while also participating in our local community and grassroots efforts."

Mavic was established in 1889; 2023 marked the 100th anniversary of its first-use of its now iconic logo, and the company plans to celebrate that anniversary with a variety of products this year.

Amer Sports sold Mavic in 2019 to Regent, a California investment group that also owns Alta Cycling, the parent of Diamondback, iZip and Redline. (Amer, now owned by China’s Anta Sports, continues to own ENVE Composites). However, Mavic’s French operations entered receivership soon after, and eventually Bourrelier acquired the company. Bourrelier resumed some manufacturing and product development in Europe but did not open a U.S. office until this year.

You can read the entire story here.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary