BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel The Story of the Giro d'Italit, volume 1 Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors - Plato

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Vuelta a España stage 11 team reports

Here's the report from stage winner Miguel Angel Lopez's Astana team:

Miguel Angel Lopez, the young climber of the Astana Pro Team, crossed all alone the finish line of the stage 11 with the arms in the air.

It was a very difficult stage, characterized by the bad weather with rain and low temperatures. The stage has been very selective since the first flat part with a very high rhythm.

The attacks arrived on the last climb to Calar Alto, around 15 km to go.

Miguel Angel Lopez was very smart to wait for the perfect moment to attack, around 1 km to go, and no one was ready to react. Thanks to today’s victory, Lopez conquered the 10th position in the GC at 4:11.

Not the best day for our Fabio Aru who suffered a bit the rain and the low temperatures, despite this he kept his 7th position in the GC, even if the gap from the leader has increased to 2:57.

“I’m so happy about this victory because it come after a very difficult period, after my injuries – said a very happy Miguel Angel Lopez – the stage has been very difficult with the rain and the cold… at least on the final climb I still had some energies and I waited for the right moment to attack.”

“It was a very good victory even because is the second for us in this Vuelta and today is also a very important day for Kazakhstan: have the Astana jersey as first on the finish line in the Kazakh Constitution Day add much value to this result” concluded the Colombian.

Miguel Angel lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez wins Vuelta stage eleven.

Tomorrow, 12th stage from Motril to Antequera Los Dolmenes, 160.1 km, 2522 meters of positive drop, most of which concentrated in the second half it could be a stage for the breakaway.

Chris Froome extended his GC lead. Here's the report from his Team Sky:

Chris Froome took second place in tricky conditions on stage 11 at the Vuelta a Espana to extend his race lead out to over a minute.

The Brit hung tough in freezing conditions atop to the Calar Alto and was able to push beyond a number of his GC rivals, upping his lead margin to one minute and 19 seconds at the race’s halfway point.

Froome edged his way into second across the line to claim six bonus seconds, finishing alongside rivals Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb). The trio came in 14 second back on stage winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), who accelerated clear on the steep final ramps.

Once again the red jersey received unwavering support from his teammates across the cold and wet 187.5km test. With two first-category climbs rounding out the day, it was David Lopez and Salvatore Puccio who took it up to set a tempo. Puccio led an ever-decreasing group over the top of the Alto de Velefique as the roads thankfully began to dry out.

With the day’s original 14-man break whittled down to just three riders ahead of the final ascent, Gianni Moscon put in an impressive turn to pull the group back into the clutches of the peloton. The young Italian was also instrumental in shutting down an acceleration from Nibali and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo). Mikel Nieve was the last man on the climb, and was able to shepherd Froome with attacks firing up ahead.

Despite looking like he may be about to slip back, Froome powered back to the head of the group and quickly put time into his rivals. With the likes of Fabio Aru (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Nicolas Roche and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) all losing time, the stage proved to be another good day for Froome at the head of the race.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome leads Nibali and Kelderman up the final climb

After the stage Froome explained how the final attacks played out as he monitored his rivals on the summit finish. He said: “I'm very happy with the outcomes from today. It was a very selective day for the GC. To finish second, I couldn't ask for much more than that, other than stage victory, but when (Miguel Angel) Lopez went he was extremely strong.

"I figured for me the most important thing was to follow Vincenzo Nibali and stay with the favorites. Lopez was the most impressive today with his attack to win the stage, but otherwise I was more concentrated on staying with Nibali seeing that (Esteban) Chaves was already dropped and Alberto (Contador) was on the limit.”

And Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida team posted this update:

“I wanted to win, but I console myself looking at the new ranking.” It’s a Vincenzo Nibali tired but satisfied on the finish line in Calar Alto. “It was a very difficult day with so much rain and two long and challenging climbs, but at the end I’m happy”.

“I have to thank the whole team for the great work have done for all the stage: Visconti was on the day’s break and he helped me on the last climb off, my brother Antonio and Pellizotti marked a very good climbing pace”.

“In the last 3 kilometers, I tried to surprise my rivals but I have found a lot of front wind and a Lopez that the in final has gone stronger. I have recovered several positions in the GC and this is an important result. Froome is proving to be really in a good shape and it will not be easy to beat him”.

Nibali finished 3rd behind the winner, Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez and after the race leader Chris Froome. Thanks to his performance, Vincenzo is now 2nd  with a 1.19 gap from the British rider.

“Vincenzo was very good – says Head of Performance Paolo Slongo – but it’s important to emphasize the great teamwork. In the standings we have recovered and in the weekend we will find another hard climbs”.

Meanwhile, after two challenging stages, the 12th will bring the peloton from Motril to Anteguerra after 160 kilometers. The route also has a long first category ascent – the Puerto del Leon, 17k with an average slope of 4.9% – but that ends at 60 kilometers from the finish line and then too far to attempt a decisive attack.

Here's Lotto-Soudal's Vuelta report:

Today a mountain stage was scheduled at La Vuelta, from Lorca to Calar Alto. After an uphill start the route took the riders over flat roads before they had to conquer two first category climbs in the last fifty kilometres. Like yesterday, it took many attempts before a break was established. After fifty kilometres, fourteen riders managed to leave the bunch behind. One of them was Sander Armée. The peloton didn’t grant them more than four and a half minutes advantage. In the run-up to Alto de Velefique Orica – Scott took control of the peloton. On the climb their rider Simon Yates bridged to the front group, Atapuma did the same. The front group had fallen apart on the first kilometres of the climb. Armée had survived that selection, but was distanced in the descent. Eventually, he got 25th at 3’47” of López.

Atapuma, Bardet and Yates reached the bottom of the climb to Calar Alto together. Not long after that, Yates was distanced, while the group with GC riders followed at two and a half minutes of the leading duo. With less than eight kilometres to go Bardet and Atapuma got caught by a group with Froome, Contador and Nibali. Miguel Ángel López attacked from that group at the end and won on Calar Alto. Chris Froome maintains the leader’s jersey.

Sander Armée: “Before the break of fourteen riders was established I had already attacked a few times, but we had never gotten a sufficient lead. The first kilometres of the stage were uphill, but afterwards it was mainly flat and slightly downhill which made the tempo didn’t drop. On one moment the road started going upwards again and I got away with thirteen others. Probably the peloton got tired. It is always difficult to predict when the decisive moment will be. Yesterday it took almost hundred kilometres before a break was established.”

“I was satisfied with how the front group was composed. I thought Bardet would have a big chance of winning the stage if we should stay up front. We didn’t get a sufficient lead though. And when Orica started riding in the bunch we definitely knew we wouldn’t make it. We still maintained a high pace on the first climb and I could stay in the first group. Then we got to the descent. The road was still wet and in the first corner I slipped. From then on I started thinking too much and slowed down. I lost half a minute. That’s a pity, but it is what it is. You know it will be difficult for a breakaway rider to win on a day like this, but it is worth the attempt. I will definitely try again. I don’t know if that will be tomorrow, that will depend on the legs.”

UAE Team Emirates’ line-up for Bruxelles Classic and GP Fourmies

The team sent me this update:

UAE Team Emirates has two events coming up in Belgium and France. On Saturday, September 2nd, they will compete in the Bruxelles Classic (201.3 km) and on Sunday, September 3rd, they will ride in the Gp Fourmies (205 km).

For both races, Sports Director Daniele Righi will call on the following riders:
– Simone Consonni (Italy)
– Roberto Ferrari (Italy)
– Filippo Ganna (Italy)
– Andrea Guardini (Italy)
– Marko Kump (Croatia)
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)
– Seid Lizde (Italy), trainee
– Oliviero Troia (Italy)

“The Bruxelles Classic is a good opportunity for the sprinters, while the Gp Fourmies features a route that’s a little more selective, which usually leads to a group 40-50 riders jostling for success in the final sprint,” explained Sports Director Daniele Righi “The weather could influence the race, considering that foul conditions have usually made these two tests more difficult.
Recently, Kump has been our rider who has been in the best shape; he has earned some really good placements, so he will try to take advantage of his speed, especially in the Bruxelles Classic.
If the Gp Fourmies turns out to be selective, Consonni has what it takes to try and stand out in a bunch sprint.”

Marko Kump: “Recently, I have been in top form, which I hope can continue to carry me through, even in the races after these. I know these two races, the routes suit me; if I end up in the conditions to fight for a good result, I know I can be competitive.”

#SaveArgyle crowdfund campaign: Fairly Group offers $2 million match challenge

The Cannondale-Drapac team's owner sent out this appeal:

Slipstream Sports announced an Indiegogo campaign on Wednesday with the goal of crowdfunding at least $2 million to #SaveArgyle. Fairly Group has made a seven-figure commitment to Slipstream Sports and, along with other key supporters, has issued a “match challenge” that starts out with up to $2 million.

“I’m overwhelmed by the response and level of support at the grassroots level,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports. “There are hundreds of thousands of fans across America and the world who want to see Slipstream continue to create a platform for America’s best riders to compete, and they have inspired us and Fairly Group. I’m grateful to Fairly Group for taking the lead, not only with a financial commitment but also by offering to deliver assistance with a strategic plan to ensure our future.”

The Fairly Group commitment is, at minimum, a seven-figure amount and scales upward, based on matching offers by other fans and businesses. The motivation? To allow Slipstream Sports to continue its unprecedented legacy of success in competing in cycling’s top professional races, including the Tour de France, where the team recently finished second overall with Rigoberto Uran and fielded the only three Americans in the race.

“American pro cycling has a rich history of competitive excellence and Slipstream has carried the torch for many years, having developed many of America’s best cycling talents and taken them to the Tour de France,” stated Alex Fairly, President of the Fairly Group. “Our ethos is built on our willingness to step into our client’s most difficult challenges, and our goal in making this commitment is to provide a spark that continues to ignite the flame of support for America’s best pro cyclists competing on cycling’s WorldTour stage.”

Vaughters recently announced an unexpected shortfall in the sponsorship funding necessary to field a WorldTour team in 2018. Fans responded to this news by asking the team to set up a crowdfunding page. Fairly Group was inspired by the movement and answered the call with a seven-figure commitment, issuing the ‘matching challenge’ to other businesses and individuals to join them by offering a significant level of financial support.

About the #SaveArgyle Indiegogo campaign

When news of our uncertain future broke within the cycling world, #GreenArgyle fans rallied around this team. We have been humbled and inspired by the show of support. The most common response we heard was “crowdfund” — and so here we are. We are proud to see our fans band together and become part of a movement to #SaveArgyle. Crowdfunding may be a different way of doing things, but it’s fair to say we’ve never been conventional.

When our friends at Fairly Group caught wind of the calls to crowdfund, they rose to the challenge. Fairly Group and other generous supporters have committed $2 million to the team for 2018 as part of a “match challenge” to our fans and other businesses in an effort to #SaveArgyle and preserve America’s pro cycling legacy and future. Every dollar donated to the #SaveArgyle Indiegogo campaign, up to $2 million, will be matched by Fairly Group and other key supporters.

A tiered reward structure offers perks from $25 – $50,000 that include insider content, #SaveArgyle swag, name on sponsor page of website, invites to ride with the team, POC team kit and helmet, team bikes and invites to training camps, races and into the team car. Donations will only be processed if the team continues in 2018.

Visit the #SaveArgyle campaign to learn more and donate.

BMC Racing Team strengthens 2018 roster with multiple contract extensions

BMC sent me this press release:

30 August, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team's 2018 roster will be strengthened by the re-signing of Damiano Caruso, Jempy Drucker, Joey Rosskopf and Francisco Ventoso, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Caruso, Drucker and Rosskopf all joined BMC Racing Team's ranks in 2015, while Ventoso is in his first year with the team. Ochowicz said the four riders bring a depth of talent and experience to the team and have been instrumental in BMC Racing Team's success in 2017.

Damiano Caruso:

"Damiano Caruso is one of our strongest climbers and plays a key role in the team's Grand Tour ambitions. As we saw this year, Damiano was a crucial support rider for Richie Porte throughout the year and then when the situation called for it at the Tour de France, he stepped up as our leader in difficult circumstances. Damiano is more than capable of getting his own results whether it is a Grand Tour stage win, or a strong General Classification result at a stage race, as we saw this year at the Tour de Suisse, and this kind of versatility is very important. With Damiano at their side, I think any of our riders have the utmost confidence in him," Ochowicz explained.

Caruso, who has finished in the top ten overall the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, has enjoyed one of his most successful years including second overall at the Tour de Suisse and 11th at the Tour de France.

Damiano Caruso

Damiano Caruso racing at this year's Tour of Switzerland.

"It was an easy decision to re-sign with BMC Racing Team. Jim Ochowicz likes how I work and I like the team and how it works, so there was no reason to even think about changing teams. I'm happy to continue working with this team, with the riders, with the staff and the management. This year has been a good year for me and for the next year my goal will be to continue to grow as a rider. Our most important goal as a team is to win the Tour de France and I want to be a part of that. For me, it is important to support the team as much as possible and also go for my own results, like this year at the Tour de Suisse, so I'm happy I will be doing that with BMC Racing Team," Caruso said.

Jempy Drucker:

Vuelta a España stage winner Drucker has proved his speed by sprinting to stage wins at the SkodaTour de Luxembourg and VOO Tour de Wallonie this year.

"Jempy Drucker is a very versatile rider so when it comes to the Classics, time trials and sprints, we can count on Jempy. He's also one of the best bike handlers thanks to his experience in cyclo-cross. Jempy has three wins so far to his name in 2017, including the Luxembourg national time trial championship, and as we saw at the 2016 Vuelta a España, he is capable of sprinting against some of the best riders in the world. We had our most successful classics campaign in 2017 and Jempy was instrumental as a support rider for Greg Van Avermaet so we are pleased to see Jempy extend his contract," Ochowicz said.

"At BMC Racing Team we are provided with the best equipment in the world and with the way the team is structured, it is one of the best in the world. I am happy that we mutually agreed to extend my contract. I want to improve and get better every year. I have made a lot of progression in the past three years so I want to continue that way. I hope to play an important role again in the sprint classics and help the team try and repeat that same success that we had this year with Greg Van Avermaet as leader, and finally win the Tour of Flanders! This year I have had a few wins so I want to continue to take the opportunities I have from the team in 2018," Drucker explained.

Joey Rosskopf:

In his third year with BMC Racing Team, Joey Rosskopf, winner of the 2016 Tour du Limousin, became US national time trial champion.

"In the three years that Joey Rosskopf has spent in BMC Racing Team he has continued to grow as a rider and has the potential to develop even further. His strength as a time trialist was validated this year when he became the US national time trial champion which was fantastic to see, particularly for us as a United States-registered team. For a team that values time trialling as much as we do, Joey is an excellent rider to have in our ranks for this discipline, but also as a support rider and someone who can get his own results, which we saw in 2016 when he won the Tour du Limousin. Joey gets the job done and he does it well, so it is great to re-sign Joey beyond the 2017 season," Ochowicz said.

"I have been with BMC Racing Team for three years now, and I think that returning for yet another season with the team is a huge advantage. Racing with the same organization for multiple years has allowed me to feel more and more at ease with my surroundings. In addition, each year I seem to grow more confident in and affectionate towards my teammates, riders and staff alike. My improvement in time trials this year is largely due to the amount of energy the team was willing to invest in me for this specific discipline of cycling. I may not have had a meteoric rise in the sport, but in 2018 I look forward to continuing to work hard and progress as a competitor little by little," Rosskopf added.

Francisco Ventoso: Former Spanish road race champion, Ventoso has played an important support role at many of BMC Racing Team's victories in 2017, including Greg Van Avermaet's victory at Paris-Roubaix.

"We welcomed Francisco Ventoso in 2016 and immediately it was clear that he is a rider who fits in very well at BMC Racing Team. Francisco brings a wealth of experience and has already played an important role in many of our victories this year. With more than a decade as a professional cyclist, he is also a very good road captain and we can count on him in any race situation, so Francisco is a great asset for us. As a Grand Tour stage winner, Francisco is another rider who will take an opportunity when it comes his way and support the team whenever possible," Ochowicz said.

"I really like riding for BMC Racing Team. In my first year with the team I have found a really nice spirit in the group and a good atmosphere for racing. So, I'm happy to continue next year. I want to keep learning and racing, which is my passion. 2017 has been once of the most beautiful years of my career because I started at the Santos Tour Down Under winning with Richie Porte, won a lot of classics with Greg Van Avermaet, I had a really nice Giro d'Italia with Tejay van Garderen and now here at the Vuelta a España, we won the team time trial. So it has been a really nice season for me. I hope to keep getting better and better and help the team to important victories, like I have done this year," Ventoso explained.

Sky announces Tour of Britain line-up

Team Sky sent me this news:

Tour de France stars Geraint Thomas, Michal Kwiatkowski and Vasil Kiryienka will all start in Edinburgh

Thomas and Owain Doull return home to Wales for final stage in Cardiff

Olympic gold medallist Elia Viviani and Brit talent Tao Geoghegan Hart complete the line-up

30TH AUGUST 2017:

Team Sky has announced its line-up for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which starts in Edinburgh on Sunday (3rd September).

Welshman Geraint Thomas, who took the Yellow Jersey at this year’s Tour de France with a stunning victory in the opening time trial, is included in the six-man squad. He will return home to Cardiff for the final stage next Sunday (10th September) alongside fellow Welshman and Rio Gold Medal winner Owain Doull, who is in his first season with Team Sky.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas in yellow at this year's Tour de France

Two more of the stars of this year’s Tour de France team will also line up in Edinburgh. Former World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski has had an incredible year, winning the Milan – San Remo ‘monument’ Classic along with victories at Strade Bianche and San Sebastian. He then turned in what Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford called an “MVP performance” at the Tour de France, playing a starring role in Chris Froome’s fourth overall victory.

Former World Time Trial Champion and fan favourite Vasil Kiryienka has been a key member of Team Sky’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France squads this year. Italian sprinter and Rio Gold medallist Elia Viviani will be targeting stage wins at the Tour of Britain and hoping to continue his impressive run of recent victories.

Completing the squad, and adding to the British contingent, is Tao Geoghegan Hart. One of the brightest young talents in the peloton, Londoner Geoghegan Hart has enjoyed an impressive first year with Team Sky, playing a key role in the team’s victory at the inaugural Hammer Series race in June.

Ahead of the race, Geraint Thomas said: "The support from the British fans is always fantastic and it’s going to be great to race at home. We’ve got a strong squad coming and I’m really looking forward to it. Coming back to Cardiff is going to be special and it’s something the Welsh guys have been talking about since the route was announced. I’m sure the fans will do us proud”.

Third generation looks to keep Campagnolo relevant and growing

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this story about the iconic parts maker:

PUERTO DE MOGAN, Gran Canaria (BRAIN) — Davide Campagnolo, 36, sticks out in the riding group that heads out of Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria. The son of Valentino Campagnolo and grandson of company founder Tullio Campagnolo, he’s unusually tall and towers over many of the American journalists who are here to test Campagnolo’s long-awaited hydraulic road disc groupsets in early May. But as a key part of the development team of H11, he’s interested in hearing feedback from this particular group.

The middle child of Valentino, Davide, along with an older and a younger sister, is part of the third generation of Campagnolos who are being groomed to continue the company’s long legacy, which started back in 1933 with its first patented product — a quick release. He oversees 10 engineers who work on strategic new product at the company, including developing new technologies like those in Campagnolo’s new H11 groupsets.

Davide has worked for the family business for seven years, starting in cycling apparel, a division that was shuttered years ago. He then worked in the company’s product development department alongside project managers. With product development split into two — the core business and strategic new product/technologies — his responsibilities have evolved into the latter, though in his role he’s also able to provide input and feedback to other areas of the company including quality control, marketing and sales.

Davide works closely with his father, whom he describes as a workaholic. “He absolutely loves his job. He’s a product guy and he’s very involved and focused,” he said. Though Davide didn’t get to know his grandfather, Tullio, who died when he was only 2 years old, he describes him in much the same way that he describes his father. “He was a workaholic for sure and dedicated most of his life to the business and to building the company,” he said. That was why he had Valentino so late in life, at age 50, Davide added.

Valentino didn’t have the luxury of time. He took over the business at a young age. He was 33 years old when Tullio passed away, and has followed in his footsteps. “He’s there before everyone gets there in the morning and there after everyone leaves in the evening, and on Saturdays his car is sometimes there too,” said Joshua Riddle, who handles PR and communications for Campagnolo. “It’s not a Monday-to-Friday 9-to-5.”

Davide’s road into the family business has been a curvy one. After graduating with degrees in physical fitness/therapy and communications/politics, he joined his father. But the stint was short lived. After six months he felt he needed a taste of the outside business world. “I wanted to have other experiences,” he remembered. “These things were not appreciated by my father obviously, but this was my choice. At the time, I felt I could wait, so I started working in a completely different market.”

He worked in cardboard tube manufacturing and in banking, where he eventually worked his way up to financial adviser and consultant, selling many of the bank’s products. After gaining some work experience outside of his father’s company, he decided to return. “I felt I was ready,” Davide explained.

You can read the entire story here.

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