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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Sunday, April 26, 2015

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Today's Racing

Today we've got a bicycle race lover's delight. Most importantly, the last of the Ardennes classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège is today. But we musn't forget that in Italy there is the Giro dell'Appennino and in France La Roue Tourangelle is being run.

And...there is a race we haven't been covering, but should have. So we are, starting now. Today is the first stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey. Here's the race's podium history.

Bike Biz News

Segway purchased by Chinese copycat maker:

This just doesn't feel right. But that's not how life is. The good guy doesn't always win. He doesn't always ride into the sunset with his girl knowing he's made the world a better place. That's for the movies and children's stories.

Here's how life really works. Segway, maker of those interesting two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicles has been purchased by Peking-headquartered Ninebot. But here's where the white hats disappear.

Ninebot has been making copycat version of the Segway, prompting Segway, inc. to file a legal complaint against Ninebot for patent infringement. But now Ninebot has announced that with the help of four Chinese investors, it has taken over Segway, Inc.

Tourists on Segways

Tourists getting around Florence, Italy on Segways makes the following report about the deal:

Segway president Rod Keller attended the press conference that was held April 15 in Beijing via live-stream video. He welcomed the deal saying, “The strategic alliance with Ninebot will enable us to provide more intelligent and valuable products for our customers.”

Four Chinese investors are backing the takeover-deal. They are MIUI Technology, Sequoia Capital, Sunwei Fund and Sequoia Capital A Round. Behind MIUI Technology is Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Tech. These four companies are to invest US $80 million in Ninebot while a strategic alignment with the Segway Company is to take place. After this strategic alignment is completed, Segway will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ninebot.

Tour de Romandie is Coming

This came from Lotto-Soudal:

From Tuesday 28th April until Sunday 3rd May the 69th edition of the Tour de Romandie takes place. This WorldTour stage race starts with a team time trial of nineteen kilometres. There’s a short hill at the end, where the first differences between the GC riders can be made. The next day the riders have to cover four climbs, three of second and one of third category. There is a local lap at the end of about fifty kilometres with two climbs of second category. On the third day the riders get a stage with a similar profile. There are four obstacles on the course, two of second and two of third category. Also this time there’s a local lap, of 66 kilometres.

The fourth stage there are three climbs to cover, two of second and one of third category. On day five it’s the queen stage. With four climbs of first category and a summit finish the GC riders won’t keep calm. The final climb is fourteen kilometres long. The GC riders will want to have a good position before the individual time trial on the last day. The time trial of about seventeen kilometres can cause changes in the GC. There’s a hill at the end of the time trial that can play a role in the decision for the overall win.

For Lotto Soudal among other Jurgen Van den Broeck and Maxime Monfort will start in Switzerland, for them it’s the last straight line to the Giro. They will race against last year’s winner Chris Froome. Other GC riders are Rafal Majka, Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana. There are also some time trial specialists on the start list, like Rohan Dennis, Tony Martin and Anton Vorobyev.

Maxime Monfort

Maxime Monfort at this year's Etoile de Besseges

Frederik Willems, sports director Lotto Soudal: “Jurgen Van den Broeck and Maxime Monfort are the GC riders in our selection. We aim for a place in top ten with at least one of them. The team time trial on the first day will be mentally important. We won’t be looking at the ranking but especially at the time difference with other GC riders. The stage takes place around a lake and is not technical, the last kilometres are slightly uphill at a maximal gradient of 4.5%. On Saturday it’s the queen stage with four climbs of first category. That will be a crucial day. In the time trial on Sunday Maxime and Jurgen will have to defend their position in GC. The course is a bit hilly and suits them both.”

“It will be difficult to get a pure bunch sprint next week. In each stage there are climbs and there’s always a chance a breakaway survives. I expect a selection each day and a maximum of eighty riders that go to the finish. When there is a sprint Tosh Van der Sande is our man. Sander Armée and Bart De Clercq can join a breakaway, they are able to stay in front till the finish.”

Team Selection Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Stig Broeckx, Bart De Clercq, Greg Henderson, Maxime Monfort, Jurgen Van den Broeck,  Tosh Van der Sande and Dennis Vanendert.

Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Kurt Van de Wouwer.


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