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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 8, 2016

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If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell

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BMC to defend team time trial championship

The team sent me this update:

7 October, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team will aim for a third consecutive UCI Team Time Trial World Championship win when they line up in Doha this Sunday, 9 October.

As reigning Team Time Trial world champions, having won in Ponferrada in 2014 and Richmond in 2015, BMC Racing Team is very capable of securing a third title, Sports Director Jackson Stewart said.

"As defending champions there is a lot of expectation on our team to win for the third consecutive year but I think we're lining up with a very good chance of defending our title. We have a great team of pure individual time trialists, who together have really perfected the art of the team time trial, so much so that it was difficult to make the final selection of six riders," Stewart explained.

"We know our form is good, which we saw when these six riders were part of the winning team at the Eneco Tour TTT just weeks ago. At this point we have done everything possible in terms of training and perfecting our equipment, and the riders will race the the BMC Timemachine 01 which was unveiled this week. It all comes down to executing the 40km time trial as best as possible and I think we have the right team for that."


BMC on their way to winning the 2015 world championships

Manuel Quinziato has raced every Team Time Trial world championship for BMC Racing Team since its inception in 2012 and lines up for the fifth time. "It's a special event because the Team Time Trial is really complicated. It's usual an individual sport and here the rules change completely and actually it's probably the most stressful event that we ride so it's going to be hard. The easiest one was probably in Ponferrada because no one expected anything from us, but last year was tough and this year will be even more because we're the favorites," Quinziato said.

"We know we're going to have to fight to the line and probably the podium places will be only 5 or 6 seconds apart, so everything will count. We're really focused and for sure we're ready to give everything we have on Sunday."

UCI World Road Championships Team Time Trial - 9 October, 2016

Rider roster: Rohan Dennis (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA).

Reserve: Tom Bohli (SUI)

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)

But Etixx-Quick Step has it's own plans for the TTT

There's the team's update:

Eneco Tour winner Niki Terpstra shared his opinions on the opening race of the World Championships. For the first time in more than nine decades, the World Championships are taking place in the Middle East, with Qatar set to play host for the competition. The event will kick off this week-end, with the team time trial race, where fifteen 6-man outfits will fight for the top 3 places.

A world champion in the team time trial race with Etixx – Quick-Step in 2012 and 2013, Niki Terpstra is expected to be among the six riders who will start the 40km-long event, during which our outfit will try to recapture the gold medals. With less than 48 hours to go until the start of the race, the 31-year-old Dutchman sat down for a Q&A session.

Etixx-Quick Step

Etixx-Quick Step riding the 2015 team time trial champinships

– Niki, on what did the team worked before flying to Qatar?

During our sessions at the Ursel airfield, we focused on the roundabouts and corners, but also on the way we communicate during the race. When it comes to such a demanding discipline, you have to be focused at all times, feel how your teammates are going and take decisions in a second based on what's happening on the road, and last week's training helped us a lot in this regard.

– What do you think of the course here in Qatar?

It's a typical parcours for this country, with long straights, which will make for some high speeds, and a technical section in the final part. You need horsepower for this race, but also to play it smart until the very end, as the heat is going to be a crucial factor. The race will be pretty close and we mustn't underestimate any of our opponents, because they are all going to bring their A-game.

– On Friday you trained on the course. How was it?

It was really important to do it and get used to the heat, and at the same time to get the pulse of things and feel how fast you can and should go. Tomorrow, the circuit will be traffic-free and and it will be very important to go out there and make the most out of this training. After such a session, you talk with your teammates, ask "Did I do anything wrong?" or "Did I start too fast or too slow?" and know which aspects you can improve.

– What will be the most important thing on Sunday?

To be united and show a big team spirit. These factors can make the difference at the end of the day. We worked together, we are at a high level and very confident that a big result is up for grabs.

Orica-AIS re-signs Annemiek Van Vleuten

The team sent me this news:

ORICA-AIS are pleased to announce the re-signing of 33-year-old Dutch time trial champion Annemiek Van Vleuten after her impressive first season with the team. The former Tour of Flanders winner joined the Australian outfit at the start of 2016, instantly settling in to the team environment bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, having raced in Europe at the highest level for many years.

“We are very excited to have Annemiek back with us for 2017,” explained sport director Gene Bates. “From the start of this season Annemiek has fitted in perfectly with our team and culture. She achieved great victories for ORICA-AIS this year at the Festival Elsy Jacobs, Auensteiner Radsportage and the national championship time trial, so we are very excited about what she can do in 2017.

“Annemiek brings amazing energy, consistency, leadership and professionalism to our team and we couldn’t be more excited about starting the 2017 season with her.”

Van Vleuten has proven to be a key member of the Australian team, contributing to their success whilst pushing her own limits to continually improve. “My first year with ORICA-AIS was a great experience,” explained Van Vleuten. “The professionalism and atmosphere in the team is something that suits my drive and motivation and the way I want to achieve my goals.”

“One of my best personal experiences this year was preparing for the Dutch national time trial with help of Pat Ryan our team mechanic. I won the 30kilometre event with an average speed of 48.2kilometres/hour. I never thought I would be able to ride so fast.”

Aside from winning races, the Dutch rider has displayed on many occasions that she is a valuable team player and selflessly works for her teammates. “When Gracie Elvin won Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik, it was one of my best team experiences,” Van Vleuten continued. “We were in control all day and I enjoyed every minute of the race together with the team.” 

“I was so proud when Gracie finished it off after all our super teamwork and I hope we will rock like that next year from the start of the classic season.

Van Vleuten, who rocked the world with a high-speed crash whilst leading the road race at the Rio Olympic Games, revealed how much she has learnt about herself in the last 12 months resulting in a change of goals for 2017. “The experience I had at the Rio Olympic Games made me think again about my goals for 2017. I never thought I would be able to follow the best climbers uphill and even drop them,” Van Vleuten revealed.

"At 33-years of age I realized I have talents that I was not aware of. Therefore, next season with ORICA-AIS I will focus more on uphill races and time trialing.

"I am very happy we will continue to use Scott bikes next year, their time trial bike is really fast and I have great support from the team with my preparations for time trials events."

Specialized announces new minimum advertised price policy

This is from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized is establishing a new Minimum Advertised Price policy, effective immediately. The company also said it’s hiring a third-party provider to manage MAP monitoring and enforcement.

The news comes on the heels of Specialized allowing retailers to start selling equipment and apparel — not bikes — online through their own websites, and to ship to consumers directly. This change went into effect at the beginning of October and was announced at the company’s dealer event in July. 

Specialized will begin showing retailers’ in-stock inventory on its website through an enhanced dealer locator and product search functionality in January 2017. 

You can read the entire story here.

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