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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 10, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. - Dalai Lama

Latest completed racing:

UCI approves new World Tour Regulations

The UCI posted this report, dated November 9:

Tour de France: the Inside Story

Following yesterday’s meeting of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, stakeholders of men’s professional road cycling have agreed a new set of UCI WorldTour regulations for the 2017 season and beyond. These regulations will be published prior to the forthcoming UCI WorldTour seminar, to be held on the 6th and 7th of December in Mallorca, Spain.

The regulations discussed at yesterday’s PCC meeting centred on those concerning the reform of men’s professional road cycling that has been agreed among stakeholders.

Since the commencement of the UCI WorldTeam registration process for 2017, it has become clear that there are 18 candidates for UCI WorldTeam licences. With this in mind, the PCC has decided that for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, a maximum of 18 UCI WorldTeam licences may be issued. In the medium term, the ambition is to strengthen the competitiveness of elite level and therefore to set the maximum number of UCI WorldTeams to 17 in 2019 and 16 from 2020 onwards, with a working group tasked to study this and a number of other topics.

The key elements of the reform that were previously announced are addressed in the revised set of regulations, including an initial period of stability for UCI WorldTeams from 2017, and the incorporation of new UCI WorldTour events into the 2017 calendar (with organisers being given three year initial registrations). The PCC debated further participation rules for events newly entering the 2017 UCI WorldTour calendar, and agreed that those events should invite all UCI WorldTeams but participation would be voluntary.

Finally, it was decided that UCI World Ranking points scale will now be used also to determine the UCI WorldTour Rankings, removing the complexity of two points scales. Other topics concerning rankings were also addressed, including that from 2017, the leading men’s professional road cycling nation award will be based on the UCI World Ranking (with the UCI WorldTour Nations Ranking no longer assessed).

UCI President Brian Cookson, said: “We are pleased that a new set of UCI WorldTour regulations have been agreed. We welcome the robust changes which bring about clearer guidelines in relation to team licensing and provide greater financial stability for UCI WorldTeams, as well as expanding the series globally in a sustainable manner.”

Lars Van der Haar out of competition for several weeks

Giant-Alpecin posted this update:

Lars Van der Haar sustained an injury to his left thigh at the Superprestige Ruddervoorde last Sunday.

Team Giant-Alpecin Physician, Anko Boelens explained: “After a first check-up at the hospital after the race, the initial scans indicated that Lars had suffered a muscle injury. Further medical examinations through an MRI scan revealed a tear in his left rectus femoris muscle. The average recovery time for such an injury is around 12 weeks. Although we hope that Lars’ current minor discomforts are signs of a prosperous recovery. He will now commence his rehabilitation programme.”

Lars van der Haar said: “It’s very disappointing to have another setback. I have worked extremely hard to get back to a good level and to get a new injury is very hard to accept. I have mixed emotions, after finding out the full extent of the injury. I will remain positive because I want to get better again, but I feel quite tired at the moment.”

Norwegian talent Amund Grøndahl Jansen signs for Team LottoNL-Jumbo

The team sent me this news:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will strengthen its 2017 forces with Norwegian Amund Grøndahl Jansen. The U23 national champion will leave Norwegian Team Joker, where he developed as a classics rider with a good sprint. Team LottoNL-Jumbo wants to continue to improve in this area.

"I'm definitely not a climber, I’m a sprinter and a classics rider,” Jansen said."I hope to develop myself in the spring classics with the help of the experienced men in the team."

Jansen broke through this season when he won the U23 Roompot ZLM Tour, a stage race in the Netherlands. He also won the overall classification of the Tour de Gironde and a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir, which gave him the leader's jersey for three days. He closed the year with a fifth place in the Under 23 World Championship.

Now he makes the step from a continental level to a WorldTour team. "I'm very curious about this Dutch adventure,” said Jansen. "From the first moment I had contact with the team, I knew I’d be able to settle in well. As in Scandinavia, the team is very familiar. The Dutch culture is much closer to ours than the French, Spanish or Italian culture."

He is studying Dutch to ease the transition. "It's a tricky language, though it seems much like the Norwegian. The problem is mainly that we use the same words for different things. That makes it difficult.” He will be able to practice in Girona, Spain, where he lives with his new team-mates Alexey Vermeulen and Robert Gesink.

Technical Director Nico Verhoeven followed Amund Grøndahl Jansen over the last years. "We had close contact with his Norwegian team about his development,” Verhoeven said. “He fits in our team because we want to develop young talents to the top.

"Amund has a good sprint in his legs and can definitely handle the spring classics. We want to continue to work on these aspects with him. Also, he will be a good addition in the sprint train and in the classics team to support our leaders.”

UK bike icons Claud Butler and Dawes merge posted this news

BIRMINGHAM, UK – Two of the UK’s oldest bike names, Claud Butler and Dawes, are to merge under the name Tandem Group Cycles, was announced recently. This news comes only one month after it was made public that parent company Tandem Group plc had made staff redundant, a company statement saying the lay-offs were due to, “a challenging environment….exacerbated by the weakness in sterling following the outcome of the Brexit.”

One clear implication of Tandem Group MD Steve Grant talking of the change resulting in a more, “streamlined and efficient operation” is further redundancies. In the six months to 30th June 2016 Tandem’s revenue increased by 10% to GBP 17.1 million (19.2 million euro) but operating profit dropped by GBP 264,000 (296,600 euro) to GBP 500,000 (561,700 euro) reported UK cycle trade publisher BikeBiz. Post-Brexit, Tandem Group plc has also seen a severe reduction in its share value from GBP 200 (224.72 euro) in January to GBP 96.65 (108.60 euro) today.

You can read the entire article here.

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