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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 6, 2016

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

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. - Leonardo da Vinci

Racing today:

Upcoming racing:

Van Groenewegen wins at Volta Valenciana

This update came from LottoNL-Jumbo: Dylan Groenewegen won the third stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana today. The 22-year-old of Team LottoNL-Jumbo sprinted and in the streets of Alzira to edge out Nacer Bouhanni (Team Cofidis) and Alexander Porsev (Team Katusha). Wout Poels (Sky) remains in control of the overall standings.

The stage was mostly flat with a small breakaway lingering out front, but never far from the clutches of the peloton. Just before the final 10 kilometres, the peloton caught the break and the teams prepared for a sprint. Team LottoNL-Jumbo focused its entire winter on its sprint train, which is bearing fruit already.

Groenewegen wins stage 3

Dylan Groenewegen (yellow/black kit) winning Valenciana stage 3

"What you feed grows," sports director Merijn Zeeman said. "We are already working for some time with the sprint train and this is a good start. We took the initiative at a certain point to pull in the break and the other teams came and worked with us in the lead. In the final, it was hectic but it mostly ran well. We can learn a lot from this and evaluate it, but for now we’ll enjoy the victory. "
The stage started with a third category mountain, which required saving as much energy as possible. At 30 kilometres from the finish, the riders of Team LottoNL-Jumbo protected Dylan Groenewegen from the wind for the final.

"The guys helped me to a fantastic day," Groenewegen said after his victory. Paul, Steven, Tom, Alexey, Koen, Victor, Dennis… they were fantastic. It feels great to win in the first sprint of the season and repay the team’s confidence."

The final was hectic but Team LottoNL-Jumbo remained positioned and dropped off Dylan well in the last kilometre. "I was positioned well and in the last 500 metres, I took the wheel of Bouhanni," Groenewegen continued. "He still had two of his men in front of him. I noticed when he went for the sprint that I could pass but I waited. At the very end, I came up and over for the victory – one for me and the team.”

BMC racing updates

The team sent me two memos.

The first BMC note:

05 February 2016 - Silvan Dillier has finished third, and Philippe Gilbert fifth, on the Hatta Dam climb on stage 3 of the Dubai Tour taken out by Juan José Lobato (Movistar).

A five-man breakaway went away for most of the stage, before the peloton pulled them back closing in on the short, but steep Hatta Dam finish.

BMC Racing Team hit the front of the peloton with one kilometer to go, with Samuel Sánchez bringing Dillier and Gilbert to the final corner, before the last push to the finish.

Dillier's third place finish follows his involvement in the breakaway on stage 2 yesterday, where he picked up 5 bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints.

He now sits fourth overall in the General Classification, 12 seconds behind new race leader Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo). Gilbert is in sixth place, 21 seconds behind.

"It was a pretty hectic finish with some corners and speed bumps. We tried to stay calm until the last moment. I felt really good, I tried to stay with the team. Unfortunately I lost the wheel of Samuel Sánchez who did a really good job in getting us through the peloton smoothly and put Phil in a good position at the bottom of the climb. In the end I got third. It was a nice effort at the end and hopefully I gained a few places in the GC," Dillier said.

"The whole day it was a little bit windy and stressful as you're never sure what's going to happen so you need to be focused all the time, and always have some power on the pedals."

In his first race of the season, Dillier is happy with his form. "My shape is good and I'm also on track with my Track World Championships preparation. I feel good. Yesterday was a nice stage in the breakaway and then today finishing third, so all good so far."

The Dubai Tour wraps up tomorrow with a 137 kilometer flag stage through the heart of Dubai.

And here's the second BMC letter:

04 February 2015, Santa Rosa, California (USA). BMC Racing Team is set to continue the 2016 racing program at the Tour of Qatar from 8-12 February, focusing on the General Classification.

The five-day stage race will be the first race of the season for team leader Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) who is looking to improve on his fifth place in the GC in 2015.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet at the 2015 Tour de France

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said that although the team will be working to support Van Avermaet for the overall win, there are other cards to play. "Greg is the team leader and 100% our priority going into the race, but this kind of racing also allows the riders to find other opportunities so I think we can have Oss and Drucker up there in the sprints, as well focusing our attention on the GC."

Van Avermaet is looking forward to racing after a solid off-season. "I'm ready to race. You train for a reason and that's racing, so it's good to be lining up for my first race of the season at the Tour of Qatar. It's a great race in terms of preparing for the Classics with the wind and the speed."

Rider Roster: Tom Bohli (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Michael Schär (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (UA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER).

Sports Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA)

Mavic sales down 2% in 2015

Here's the report from Bicycle Retailer:

HELSINKI (BRAIN) — Mavic's owner, Amer Sports Corp., is reporting net sales of 783.7 milion euros ($870 million) in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 6 percent in local currencies from its sales in the same period in 2014. Gross margins increased to 43.8 percent from 43 percent in the prior year.

Amer reported that cycling sales through the Mavic brand were down 2 percent for the year in local currencies; due to fluctuating exchange rates, Mavic's net revenue was unchanged from 2014, at 138.5 million euros. In an investor call, president and CEO Heikki Takala said Amer's fitness and cycling business was "slightly down" in the quarter due to restructuring. He said the divisions are preparing "a solid pipeline of building blocks for 2016 and beyond" that will become apparent in the second quarter this year.

You can read the entire story here.

Giant-Alpecin February Cyclo-Cross news

Here an update from the team:

January began with a seventh place finish at the Grand Prix Sven Nys for Team Giant-Alpecin’s Lars van der Haar (NED), followed by a strong second place at the Dutch Nationals, a third place at the penultimate World Cup round in Lignieres-en-Berry and a seventh place at Hoogerheid, the World Cup closer. The racing month of January was finished by a close call at the World Championships as van der Haar took the silver medal in Heusden-Zolder.

“January has been a nice month for me which I've been working towards,” said van der Haar. “I took three second places on the Nationals, the final World Cup ranking and the Worlds. Obviously I hoped for more, but I gave my all and I am proud that my performance peaked at the World Championships.

“For February I hope to finish the cyclo-cross season with some strong results and ideally with another victory."

06/02/2016 - St Niklaas, Belgium
07/02/2016 - Hoogstraten, Belgium
13/02/2016 - Middelkerke, Belgium
21/02/2016 - Oostmalle, Belgium
24/02/2016 - Waregem, Belgium 

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