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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 23, 2017

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Latest completed racing:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo announces contract renewals for Primoz Roglic and Dylan Groenewegen during team presentation

The team posted this news:

During the presentation of Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s cycling team at Jumbo headquarters in Veghel, manager Richard Plugge announced the contract renewals of Dylan Groenewegen and Primoz Roglic. Both stage winners of the last Tour de France were signed up until 2020.

The contract renewals are typical of the talent development that Team LottoNL-Jumbo advocates. “We have a good plan for the future”, Roglic said during the presentation. This also applies to the former Dutch champion. “It is logical that I renewed my contract", Groenewegen stated. “I have a lot of confidence in the team and the team has a lot of confidence in me.”

In Veghel, the contours of the racing programme of the riders also became clear. New rider Danny van Poppel will challenge the sprints in the Giro and the Vuelta for instance, while the team hopes to successfully play out Dylan Groenewegen in the Tour again. For the general classification, Team LottoNL-Jumbo counts on Steven Kruijswijk in the French stage race. He doesn’t participate in the Giro. After the Tour, he will also compete in the Vuelta, although without ambitions for the general classification.

Kruijswijk: “We think that there is an opportunity to ride a good classification”, Kruijswijk said. “I have competed in the Giro six or seven times. It is nice to focus on the Tour once again. During that race, there’s a lot coming at you, but I’m not new to the peloton. I can deal with it. As a team, we will go to the Tour for team successes and for this we have a very nice squad.”

Steven Kruijswijk

Steven Kruijswijk being well-cared for at the start of the 17th stage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia

Boom: During the spring classics, Team LottoNL-Jumbo aims to perform better than last year. Lars Boom is the main rider for this type of races, although the resident from the Dutch town of Vlijmen is currently facing a physical setback. In mid-January, he will undergo an ablation to remedy cardiac arrhythmia. As a result, he will not participate in the Tour Down Under. To prepare himself for the classics in February he will engage in altitude training. After the spring, Boom will focus at the Tour de France, in which he won the cobblestone stage in 2014.

“It’s a pity that the spring is going be a little different for me”, Boom said. “We have to wait and see how quickly I will recover from the operation. They will enter my body through the groin and then take away the troublesome spot. I’m in good hands.”

In addition to Boom, Groenewegen and Kruijswijk, Roglic and Robert Gesink are normally also making their appearance in the Tour de France. The Slovenian long-range plan states that he will not focus on a classification for the coming year. Like Roglic, Gesink will participate in the Tour to hunt for stage wins and to help leader Kruijswijk. His programme also comprises the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro d’Italia. During the Italian stage race a stage win will be his main objective.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo 2018:

New riders: EENKHOORN Pascal, KUSS Sepp, POWLESS Neilson, VAN POPPEL Danny.


General Director: PLUGGE Richard, Sportive Director: ZEEMAN Merijn, Race Director: VERHOEVEN Nico, Head of Performance: HEIJBOER Mathieu, coaches: BOVEN Jan, DE HAAN Sierk-Jan, ENGELS Addy, MAASSEN Frans, NIERMANN Grischa.

Lars Boom to undergo heart surgery

During the LottoNL-Jumbo team presentation, it was announced that Lars Boom will undergo heart surgery for heart arrhythmia. Boom was orginally scheduled to begin his racing season at January at Australia's Tour down Under. That won't happen. He'll begin his season later in the year.

At the team presentation Boom said, "Fortunately, they can solve everything. I am doing well now and I will have to do a lot of training hours during the first weeks of January. Then I will take a break."

Lars Boom

Lars Boom looking very serious at this year's Tour of Britain.

Final U.S. tax reform plan eliminates bike commuter benefit

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this unhappy news:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The reconciled federal tax reform bill, which Congress is expected to vote on this week, eliminates a bicycle commuting benefit that allowed employers to reimburse workers as much as $20 per month for bike commuting expenses.

The benefit had been retained in the House version of the tax reform bill, but eliminated in the Senate's bill. The reconciled plan, released by the joint conference committee on Friday, sticks with the Senate's elimination.

PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists had campaigned to retain the benefit. According to PeopleForBikes, its supporters sent 3,500 letters to members of Congress in all 50 states, asking that the benefit be retained. It was estimated the benefit cost the federal government $5 million a year.

In a web posting, the League's policy director, Ken McLeod, said, "This is obviously disappointing and a big missed opportunity to reform commuter benefits so that they better serve low and middle income employees who are usually not offered the current commuter benefits and provide incentives for reducing congestion by encouraging people to bike, walk, and take transit — rather than continue our current benefits that overwhelmingly subsidize car commutes for high income workers in congested cities."

You can read the entire story here.

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