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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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

Racing schedule:

This is World Road Championships week. Yesterday we had the Women's Juniors and the U23 Men's individual time trials.

Today the Junior Men's and Elite Women's individual time trials will be run.

Bicycle sunglass holder Kickstarter campaign

Here's the press release from Shade Vise:

Kenneth Acklin has been riding, repairing and improving bicycles since he was 11 years old. Drawing on more than four decades of experience, the innovative Utah bicycle technician created and patented the Shade Vise, a lightweight, stylish accessory that holds sunglasses securely when riding.

"The Shade Vise is the world's first and only device that protects your sunglasses on your bike and in between rides," said Acklin. "It takes less than two minutes to install on your bike, and provides a long-term solution for riders of all skill levels."

Shade Vice

Shade Vise

Inspired by cyclists, and designed by cyclists especially for cyclists, the $30 Shade Vise solves the problem of scratched lenses, broken frames and lost sunglasses, according to Acklin. It allows riders to slide sunglasses in and out using one hand while riding without touching the lenses.

"I think the Shade Vise is a truly unique product that serves a need for all cyclists," said Todd Linscott, owner of Torelli Bicycle Company. "I can't wait to have one on my bike."

Shade Vice

Another view of the Shade Vise

On September 14th, Acklin is launching a 30-day Kickstarter funding campaign to purchase the molds and materials needed to manufacture the Shade Vise in quantity using all U.S. components.  Contributing to the campaign at Kickstarter will help make the Shade Vise a reality for the estimated 67 million U.S. cyclists as well as the 2 billion bicyclists around the world.

"The Shade Vise is one of those 'why didn't I think of that?' products that we will all be using soon," said cyclist Bill McGann, McGann Publishing and author of "The Story of the Tour de France."

Acklin's in-depth research shows that a frequent cyclist has to replace sunglasses 2.7 times per year at an annual cost of more than $400. "Because our Shade Vise has a five-year money back guarantee, it could save a cyclist as much as $2,000 in replacements over that time period," he said.

Currently, many cyclists take their sunglasses on and off several times while riding, in response to changing light and weather conditions. But trying to store those glasses on a helmet or tucked into a shirt is far from ideal and leads to lost or damaged glasses. Finding convenient storage for those shades at home is another issue. After all, no cyclist wants to waste time searching for shades when getting ready to ride.

In a recent video (, Acklin spoke about his passion for riding over the past 44 years and how bicycle technicians – like the famed Wright Brothers – are problem solvers. "I've worked in bicycle shops from Pennsylvania to California, doing every kind of job as a technician and mechanic, earning a reputation for making things work," he said.

Using that experience, Acklin spent several years studying how to develop a simple and easy solution, before designing and field-testing the Shade Vise on many different kinds of bike. "There is no compromise on the quality and workmanship of this product," he said. "There is nothing else on the market that fills this worldwide need."

Lotto-Soudal's elite men's time trial preview

On Wednesday the world’s best male time trialists will take part in the World Championships elite time trial. Belgium has selected Yves Lampaert and Jurgen Van den Broeck. The time trial course in Richmond is 53 kilometres long. What’s the best possible result?

Jurgen Van den Broeck: “Wednesday is kind of the most important day of the last part of the season. After the federal coach told me I was selected, I started the specific preparation for this race. The result will partly depend on the shape of the day, and that is hard to predict, but I want to aim for the highest possible result I can get. You mainly put pressure on yourself to set a result as good as possible, although I actually have nothing to lose and can only gain something. Nobody wants to fail, and on a good day a lot is possible. I know the course now and it will come down to seconds.”

Jurgen Van de Broeck

Jurgen Van den Broeck time trialing at this year's Tour of Poland

“I rode the Vuelta in function of this time trial, so I couldn’t go full every day in Spain. Apart from the physical aspect it’s mainly important to be mentally fresh, to give all you got during one hour, to search and go across your pain limit. The Belgian time trial championship and the time trial at the Giro gave me confidence, more than the ones in Romandie or Poland, because those were over shorter distances. I want to represent my country as good as possible, a World Championship is always special. You have to get in the right mindset in the morning, get in the zone and just cycle towards the goal.”

BMC signs Floris Gerts

Santa Rosa, California - Floris Gerts, a stagiaire this year for the BMC Racing Team, will be part of the BMC Racing Team in 2016, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Monday.

Ochowicz said the 23-year-old Dutchman is a promising classics specialist who has shown his potential while riding for the BMC Racing Team since last month.

"This is yet another confirmation of the quality of the BMC Development Team," Ochowicz said. "Floris has earned the right to graduate from where he is today and join the BMC Racing Team in 2016."

Gerts finished third Saturday at Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem. At the Aviva Tour of Britain earlier this month, he had been as high as third overall on the general classification before a crash forced his withdrawal. He started the season with the BMC Development Team and won the Under 23 edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in July. In March, he was victorious at Dorpenomloop Rucphen and Stage 6 of the Tour de Normandie.

"The BMC Racing Team is really the best team for me," Gerts said. "I was already really happy at the BMC Development Team because of the atmosphere and philosophy. Everybody can have their own results while riding together as a team. With the BMC Racing Team, it is the same. There is a lot of appreciation when you do something for the team. In the end, it is a real team effort and it feels like family, which is great."

Gerts said he aspires to learn from the team's veterans while contributing whenever he can.

"I can hope for some bigger races - like the WorldTour ones - to have a good role in helping the leaders," he said. "In the small races, I hope I can show myself. It would be nice to win and make some steps in that way and become stronger and get results when I have a free role."

Tinkoff-Saxo sending 17 riders to the Worlds

Tinkoff-Saxo must have been pretty happy to send out this press release:

Tinkoff-Saxo will field no less than 17 of the team’s 30 riders throughout the World Championships in Richmond with six riders having participated in Sunday’s TTT, while two riders will take on the ITT before 15 riders will embark on the final, contested Road Race.

With the World Championships taking place in late September, reaching Richmond with 17 riders in the best possible shape off the back of a long season has been a challenging feat.

“We’re happy to see that more than half of our team riders take part in the World Championships this year. I see it as a testimony not just to the general level on the team but also to the professionalism of our riders. They’ve all had a long season and many of them come almost directly from the Vuelta - but they remain motivated, otherwise you wouldn’t be at the Worlds. It’s a special honor to represent your country, it only happens once a year and the rainbow jersey, whether from the ITT or Road Race, is a prize that inspires the riders”, says Steven de Jongh.

While Peter Sagan, Michael Rogers, Michael Valgren, Manuele Boaro, Maciej Bodnar and Chris Juul-Jensen took part in Sunday’s team time trial, where the squad’s ambitions were stopped by a 60km/h crash, 15 of the team’s riders will be at it again during the week, pending last minute changes.

Maciej Bodnar and Chris Juul-Jensen will embark on the race against the clock Wednesday, while the full list for Sunday’s grand 259km finale is as follows:

Christopher Juul-Jensen

Christopher Juul-Jensen will be riding against the clock Wendesday

Slovakia: Peter Sagan, Juraj Sagan and Michael Kolar. Denmark: Michael Valgren, Matti Breschel, Chris Juul-Jensen and Michael Mørkøv. Poland: Rafal Majka, Maciej Bodnar and Pawel Poljanski. Australia: Jay McCarthy. Russia: Pavel Brutt. Italy: Daniele Bennati. Croatia: Robert Kiserlovski. Czech Republic: Roman Kreuziger.

“In general, despite crashes, injuries and unforeseen accidents, we feel that we, together with the riders, have managed to plan their season in a way that allows them to be ready for what it takes to be competitive in a 259km race like this. Additionally, several of them will also do the individual time trial, where a rider like Bodnar stands a fair chance of reaching a top result”, comments Steven de Jongh before adding:

“The Worlds Road Race is something unique. It’s a waiting game and we are going to see some of the bigger nations taking responsibility. Peter Sagan is one of the big favorites, Slovakia might not have the strength in numbers as other nations but it goes without saying that we all think that he deserves a top spot after fighting continuously throughout the season”.

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