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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Friday, June 5, 2015

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Today's Racing

The Tour de Luxembourg is currently running. Today's stage goes from Ell to Walferdange and it's 186.3 kms long. It's a hilly stage with five first-category climbs and four second-category ascents.

Starting Sunday the 7th is the Critérium du Dauphiné. We've got a full-race map and stage one map and elevation posted.

Fuel Cell Powered E-Bikes Being Tested

Hot Spit! Bike Europe reports that the French postal service is testing 12 hydrogen fuel cell powered ebikes for general use:

Two years ago Cycleurope displayed the first prototype of its Hydrogen bike. Now it’s no longer science fiction as the French postal service ‘La Poste’ has started testing 12 of the bikes for future general use.

Two years ago Cycleurope launched its remarkable ‘Alter’ e-bike as a joint development with Pragma Industries and Ventec. Pragma Industries is specialized in developing hydrogen fuel cells particularly suitable for portable applications and electric mobility. Ventec is a leading French company in the production of Battery Management Systems (BMS) for lithium batteries.

The three companies developed the world’s first bicycle to use a hydrogen fuel cell. “Highly environmental friendly and highly economical are the main features of this new means of powered transport,” said the press release issued by the three companies, which furthers with, “The Alter bike is making use of several technological solutions including a new breed of hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen chemical storage in recyclable canisters, as well as hybrid electronic architecture balancing power needs between the Li-ion battery and the hydrogen fuel cell.” At the presentation it was said that the planned sale start of the Alter Bike under the Gitane brand name is in 2016.

Click here to read the entire Bike Europe article

BMC for Critérium du Dauphiné

BMC sent this note regarding the Dauphiné

Tejay van Garderen headlines the BMC Racing Team's roster for the Critérium du Dauphiné in his final lead-up race to next month's Tour de France.

Van Garderen won a stage of the Volta a Catalunya earlier this year, finished runner-up at the Tour of Oman and was the third-place finisher at the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné.

"I am excited to get back into racing, as I haven't pinned a number on my back since Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 26)," van Garderen said. "I have trained well at altitude and have done some good course reconnaissance. Now the race fitness is the last part of the equation in order to be ready for my main goal in July. The Dauphiné is the perfect race for this."

Tejay van Garderen

Tejay van Garderen as he won stage 4 of the Tour of Catalonia

Among those joining van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team's roster are Santos Tour Down Under winner and past world hour record holder Rohan Dennis and 2008 Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez, who won a stage of the Dauphiné in 2013.

The eight-day race begins Sunday.

Riders: Rohan Dennis (AUS), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Michael Schär (SUI), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA).

Sport Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Max Sciandri (ITA).

Lotto-Soudal Happy at Tour de Luxembourg

Lotto-Soudal must have enjoyed writing this news:

Today André Greipel won the first stage in the Tour de Luxembourg. After 212 kilometers, our German sprinter was faster than Enrico Gasparotto and Daniele Ratto. It’s his fifth victory of the season. Thanks to his good prologue yesterday and the bonifications today, Greipel becomes the new leader in the general classification. 

Andre Greipel wns stage 1

André Greipel wins stage 1

The break of the day was formed by six riders: Matt Brammeier, Tom Devriendt, Mike Terpstra, Federico Zurlo, Pit Schlechter and Rick Ampler. They took a maximum bonus of 6’25, but Cofidis and Lotto Soudal kept control of the situation. At 25 kilometer from the finish, Brammeier, Terpstra and Schlechter went alone, but the chasing bunch was too strong. Lotto Soudal prepared the sprint perfectly and Greipel won quite easy.

André Greipel: “ I can understand that it seemed quite easy on the finish photo, but that was thanks to a fantastic lead out. Dennis Vanendert en Boris Vallée did a great job to chase down the break together with Cofidis. In the last 30 kilometer, it was a little bit cat and mouse, but we caught the break with less than five kilometer to go. At three kilometer from the finish, Kenny Dehaes and Sean De Bie pulled for almost 2k and we had still four riders left for the final kilometer.”

Cult Energy's Tour de Luxembourg Report:

The 212.6 kilometer long first stage of Tour of Luxembourg was dominated by six escapees who broke clear from the gun. However the rather flat course from Luxembourg to Küntzig made the chase easy for the sprinter teams who joined forces and pulled back the escapees. In the furious bunch sprint, André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) proved to be superb while Cult Energy Pro Cycling's Alex Kirsch retained a solid position in the GC by finishing 14th today.

Matt Brammeier (IRL/MTN-Qhubeka), Tom Devriendt (B/Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Mike Terpstra (NL/Roompot), Federico Zurlo (I/United Healthcare), Pit Schlechter (Leopard) and Rick Ampler (D/Differdingen-Losch) were the riders in the day-long breakaway. The pack was chasing too hard too soon and almost caught them with 50 kilometers from the finish line, which could have caused a series of counter-attacks. So the field decided to play a little game of cat and mouse and let the break have a little more time in the limelight. However, the fun was over with 5 kilometers to go and as expected the day was concluded with a stage win for Greipel who won by several bike lengths.

Cult Energy Pro Cycling's Alex Kirsch finished 14th, Fabian Wegmann 16th and Troels Vinther 20th. A part of the plan to stay out of freak accidents in the finale:

"The most important thing today was to stay out of trouble and we knew there was a small climb with two kilometers to go so we went to the front and I finished in the first part of the pack just according to plan. I was only happy to see the breakaway form from the start of the stage so the peloton would remain relatively calm and eventually start the chase. Tomorrow, we face a more demanding course with numerous climbs and hopefully, we'll have a rider in the first group across the finish line," says Cult Energy Pro Cycling's Alex Kirsch after the stage.

Fabian Wegmann

Fabian Wegmann was 16th today

Kirsch is now 9th overall - 8 seconds behind André Greipel.

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