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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash. - George S. Patton

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Lotto-Soudal's Binche-Chimay-Binche report

About 150 riders participated at Binche-Chimay-Binche today, also known as the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke. The peloton had to cover 195 kilometres on a hilly course. Lars Bak and Vegard Stake Laengen managed to set up a breakaway during a very fast first hour. Among others Tosh Van der Sande tried to bridge the gap to the front of the race but the peloton reacted immediately. Nevertheless, the two Scandinavian leaders obtained a nice gap of nine minutes.

After that, the advantage decreased steadily as the speed in the peloton went up. The escapees were eventually caught entering the final lap. A few moments later, some other riders tried to get away with among others Jens Debusschere, but the peloton responded to every attempt. Greg Van Avermaet decided to attack inside the final two kilometres, Jürgen Roelandts joined him together with a few other riders. It was eventually Arnaud Démare who won the race just ahead of Zdenek Stybar. Jürgen Roelandts endured no troubles after his crash in the Tour de l’Eurométropole and he obtained a nice third place.

Arnaud Demare

Arnaud Demare wins Binche-Chimay-Binche

Mario Aerts: “We can be happy with the result and the way of racing today. It’s always better to take the victory of course but a podium place is also a good result. The outcome of the race was perfect for us. Lars Bak was part of the breakaway, Tosh Van der Sande and Jelle Wallays countered a lot of attempts in the finale. Also Jens Debusschere rode a very good race. During the Tour de l’Eurométropole last Sunday, Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts really showed that they are in great shape.

Our aim was to enter the final cobbled section with Jens and Jürgen, but Jens already did a big effort to follow Oliver Naesen in the beginning of the final local lap. Jürgen was able to accelerate after the final corner, but unfortunately Arnaud Démare started his sprint whilst Jürgen and Greg Van Avermaet were hesitating a bit so he took the victory. Jürgen finished at the third place and that’s a great result. Both Jens and Jürgen showed during the past few races that they are ready for the World Championships in Qatar. It was unclear whether Jürgen would endure some troubles after his crash in the Tour de l’Eurométropole, but everything turned out well. Paris-Tours will be the final preparation with the World Championships in mind.”

Liv-Plantur signs Coryn Rivera

The team sent me this news:

Team Liv-Plantur is delighted to report Coryn Rivera (USA) as its fifth and last signing to complete the team’s roster for 2017. The 24-year-old has agreed to a contract for one year, after a three-year spell at United Healthcare Pro Cycling Womens Team.

The American is a very accomplished rider, with a strong ability in the fast finishes. Rivera’s top results include four pro wins to date, taking two stage victories at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen in 2014 and 2015 and winning one stage each at Tour Femenino de San Luis in 2016 and Tour Féminin en Limousin in 2011. This year, she finished second in the National Road Race Championships and won the general- and points classifications at the Joe Martin Stage Race p/b Nature Valley.

On signing with the team, Rivera said: "I am very happy with my transfer and in making the full European WorldTour step with Team Liv-Plantur. Not only is it the right time for me to do it after graduating college, but I also believe that the team, with its structure, beliefs, and professionalism is the perfect place for me. We both want to continue to keep challenging ourselves as individuals and together as a team in a supportive and sustainable environment.

Coryn Rivera

Coryn Rivera

"The roster for next season is unbelievable and I will be humbled to ride alongside them as teammates. Ever since I was a junior, I had always dreamed of racing full-time in Europe. I am now able to have this opportunity thanks to the support of all the people who have gotten me to this point and the confidence that Team Liv-Plantur have placed in me. This will be a huge step forward in my career and I am looking forward to the new challenges."

Coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: "Coryn is an extremely talented rider and has performed very well over the past couple of seasons. We have been following her career for a while and we are pleased to have her join our team. She is a very fast sprinter, but has also shown she can be a good hill climber and her punch is already one of the strongest in the world, and we are very excited with the opportunity of bringing all these qualities together.

"She has the potential to become one of the best riders in one-day racing and we'll help her progress and develop. For Coryn it will be her first full year on the European circuit and we need to give her the necessary time to adjust."

The contracts of Riejanne Markus (NED), Sara Mustonen (SWE), Kyara Stijns (NED), and Carlee Taylor (AUS) have not been renewed. The team thanks them for their efforts and wishes them the best of luck with their futures.

Esteban Chaves re-signs with Orica-BikeExchange

The team sent me this update:

Colombian Esteban Chaves has penned a new agreement with ORICA-BikeExchange that sees the future of the 26-year-old and that of the Australian outfit secured for the next three years.

After a breakthrough season, including podium finishes at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and a history-making victory at monument Il Lombardia last weekend, Chaves has extended his contract to include the 2019 season.

Esteban Chaves

Esteban Chaves win 2016 Il Lombardia

The three-year commitment to Chaves is also one of security for ORICA-BikeExchange, with team owner Gerry Ryan throwing his support behind the team for the foreseeable future. Just days after winning Il Lombardia, where he became the first non-European to win the 110-year-old race and the first Colombian to ever win a cycling monument, Chaves said he had found his home with ORICA-BikeExchange.

“I had a hard start (following a career-threatening crash),” he said. “But the good thing is that every year we set some objectives and every year we meet these objectives and do a little bit more.”

“It has been a special three years with this team and if we continue on this line, good things will come. We have a really young team, there are a lot of strong guys under 30, so if we keep growing together over the next few years we will be really strong in all of the races.

“I am super happy here and it is like one family. I never think to stay here for a couple of years and then look somewhere else because I am 100% happy here. I want to stay here with the people who gave me the opportunity when no one else gave me the opportunity or believed in me.”

Chaves, whose trademark smile has shaped him into a cult figure for the team and its fans, said the team’s growing success comes courtesy of its culture. “There are a lot of things that make this team different to any other team,” the 26-year-old explained. “This team is special and the last week in Italy showed this.”

“We were in the last week of the season for a lot of guys but we feel like it is the first week of the season. Everyone is super excited, happy and laughing. It’s not demanding for us to race or be with the team because we are all really close. This team continues to work, this team continues to believe and the chemistry of this team is real and from the heart. It is special for me to be part of this organisation, this team and this family.”

Sport director Matt White said he is thrilled to have Chaves extend his commitment with ORICA-BikeExchange, as the two parties continue the transition into a formidable general classification force. "For us, Esteban epitomises what this team stands for,” White said. “Guts, humility and leading by example.”

“For someone who has come through a career-threatening crash to come back and deliver on the road and then step up to lead a team in the world’s biggest races, is a testimony to his character. Esteban didn't even speak English three years ago and now he continues to grow as a person and a rider as we continue to grow as a team around him. We are very proud and excited to have Esteban extend his journey with us."

Esteban Chaves
Age: 26
From: Bogota, Colombia
Turned Professional:  2014

ORICA-BikeExchange major results:

-       1st Il Lombardia
-       1st Giro d'Italia - Stage 14
-       2nd Giro d'Italia - General Classification
-       3rd Vuelta a Espana - General Classification

-       1st Abu Dhabi Tour - General Classification
-       1st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 (TTT)
-       1st Vuelta a Espana - Stage 2
-       1st Vuelta a Espana - Stage 6
-       5th Vuelta a Espana - General Classification (including six days in the red leader’s jersey)

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