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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, August 19, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? - A. A. Milne

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Thomas De Gendt and Jens Debusschere discuss their goals for La Vuelta

Lotto-Soudal sent me this:

There are seven Belgians in the Lotto Soudal team for La Vuelta, including the eternal aggressive Thomas De Gendt and fast man Jens Debusschere.

De Gendt has a mission: after winning a stage in Giro and Tour he also wants to triumph in the third Grand Tour on the calendar! His preparation on La Vuelta ran very smoothly.

Thomas De Gendt: “La Vuelta will be my first official race since the Tour. In the meantime I rode five criteriums and I trained ten days in Calpe. Afterwards I was home four days before we came to Nîmes. Although it was actually a bit too hot in Spain, I still managed to train well. It was good to go abroad because I was more focused than I would have been in Belgium. I found the right rhythm to prepare for my next Grand Tour quite soon. It’s the fourth time I do the double Tour and Vuelta. I could rely on my own experience, but I also asked Adam Hansen for some tips. After the Tour your condition is on a high, but you also need to take sufficient rest into account to get rid of the tiredness. It is necessary to maintain the condition, but also to become fresh again. The first week I didn’t train much. In the criteriums I did get a high power output a few times which was good for the body. In Calpe I did training rides of three to five hours. I had an excellent preparation: I didn’t get ill and I had enough recovery.”

“It is my ultimate goal to win a Vuelta stage, as I already won a stage in Giro and Tour. That is something I really want to achieve in my career. I read that at the moment 99 riders were able to win at least one stage in all three Grand Tours. It would be nice to be the hundredth rider in history, but that is not necessary. I’ll be happy if I win the stage, no matter when.”

“I need to be in a breakaway to be able to win a stage, so you can expect an aggressive race from me. There are several stages in which an escapee could take the victory. Although a lot will depend on the tactics of the GC riders like Aru, Bardet, Contador, Froome and Nibali. Will they grant breakaways the necessary advantage or will they firmly control the gap as they did in the Tour?”

Thomas de Gendt

Thomas de Gendt at this year's Dauphiné

Jens Debusschere hopes to be successful in one of the few sprint stages at La Vuelta. He is very confident.

Jens Debusschere: “June was a difficult month for me because I suffered from a back injury, but that has completely healed. The first fourteen days of July I went to Livigno on a team training camp. Afterwards I was home for one week and then I went to Tour de Pologne. The main part of our Vuelta team rode Tour de Pologne. It’s unfortunate that Rafael Valls can’t ride his home race as he crashed on training. The first two days in Poland I didn’t feel well, but that was not unexpected after the altitude training camp. From the third day I got better. I had a good feeling about my condition, but it annoyed me that I couldn’t show myself in the sprints, but not more than that. I left the Tour de Pologne early for the European Championships. Unfortunately I had three punctures in the race, but I could still pull the sprint for Edward Theuns, so I can say the European Championships were a success. Now I hope to benefit from my preparation at La Vuelta.”

“This will be my third participation in La Vuelta, after 2012 and 2014. I am here to try to grab the chances in the sprint, like Gianni Meersman and Jonas Van Genechten did last year. I can compare myself to that type of riders. The sprinters will get four to six chances. Cort Nielsen, Degenkolb and Modolo are some of my opponents and I expect to be able to battle against them. The riders in our team have a free role, but I get the necessary support. In Poland Tomasz Marczynski and Jelle Wallays proved to be the right men to have by my side in the finale. Jelle can take Tomasz and me to the front. Tomasz has excellent steering skills and has no fear, he can get me in the right wheel. The other teammates will do their job if they need to.”

Daniel Martin & Rory Sutherland join UAE Team Emirates

Here's the team's news release:

UAE Team Emirates announces that it has reached deals with the cyclists Daniel Martin and Rory Sutherland to count them among their ranks starting in the 2018 season.

Irish athlete Daniel Martin, born in 1986, who’ll wear the Emirati formation’s colours for the next two years, says he is embracing this new challenge with great enthusiasm. “The opportunity to join an ambitious group backed by globally recognised brands and use my experience to create a team capable of challenging the best in the world was one that I couldn’t refuse. UAE Team Emirates share my vision, my attention to detail and my passion for the sport, and as I enter into the most important years of my career, they offer me the best platform possible to reach my potential and fulfil my sporting goals. To race with such a talented roster under the guidance of a highly motivated and experienced staff is incredibly exciting but I also realise this is more than a team as we work with our partners to not only promote the sport I love but a healthy lifestyle and two wheels on a global scale”.

Dan Martin

Daniel Martin

Australian Rory Sutherland was born in Canberra in 1982, and he’s a pacer with impressive physical abilities. His addition to the organization with an annual contract will broaden the international horizons of President Matar’s formation, extending the continents represented by the ranks of the team as far as Oceania.

“This new challenge offers me the opportunity to work with my good friend Dan Martin while also helping the development of the younger generation of professional cyclists within the team – says Sutherland – I feel an immense sense of pride that the team management has the trust and belief that I can be an asset to the leaders of this team. I feel at this stage of my career my experience can be an important part of the future of the team and as I have progressed in my career I find it more rewarding to support my leaders and guide the younger riders”.

Carlo Saronni, Team Manager for UAE Team Emirates: “We’re moving with the perspective of bringing quality athletes on to the team, athletes with the right motivations to best represent the spirit of our project.
Daniel Martin is capable of excelling both in the in-line races as well as the major tours; we will be able to create the conditions that will allow him to express himself at his best and, with this in mind, we have also secured ourselves the performance of an experienced pacer like Sutherland”.

Canyon goes live with US sales

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News sent me this important cycle business news:

CARLSBAD, Calif. (BRAIN) — Canyon has officially launched sales to consumers in the United States.

The Germany-based company began taking orders for road, mountain, triathlon, and commuter bikes on The first orders were processed Tuesday.

"Thirty years ago I started Canyon, selling parts from a trailer I brought to local races," said CEO and founder Roman Arnold in a statement Wednesday. "Launching sales in the United States marks another great milestone for all of us in the Canyon family, from our design team to our engineers to our top professional riders, as we begin a new chapter of sharing our passion for cycling."

Canyon USA's president, Blair Clark, said, "The past few months have obviously been very intense integrating personnel, an ERP system, a CRM system and web software.

You can read the entire story here.

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