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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 1, 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

Everything is practice. - Pele

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Here's a neat invention to help you deal with your sunglasses while you are riding. I know few people in the bike industry who know more about and care more about bikes than Kenneth, the ShadeVise's inventor.

Lotto-Soudal turns into Lotto-Fix ALL for Paris-Nice

The team sent me this:

Just like last year, Lotto Soudal will turn into Lotto Fix ALL for Paris-Nice (05/03 – 12/03). Fix ALL is a product of name sponsor Soudal, it’s an adhesive and sealant. If you want to search for Tony Gallopin and co during the Race to the Sun don’t look for the red jerseys of Lotto Soudal, but search for the blue and white shirt of Lotto Fix ALL.

Marko Heijl, Sponsoring & PR Manager Soudal: “Once a year, a team can ride with a special shirt and just like last year, we want to use that opportunity to make publicity for Fix ALL. Fix ALL is our glue kit that can be used for a range of purposes. Fix ALL is for sale in a lot of countries where cycling is popular and where Lotto Soudal is racing throughout the year. Of course the participation of Lotto Fix ALL in Paris-Nice will create the necessary publicity during the live broadcasts but we will also set up an online campaign with among other a fun video. Last year, Tim Wellens made the success complete by winning the last stage in Nice. At Soudal, we hope for another victory in Lotto Fix ALL outfit next week.”

Lotto-Fixall jersey

The Lotto-Fix All jersey for Paris-Nice

A new outfit, asks for an adjusted bike. Ridley Bikes created a special design for Lotto Fix ALL in Paris-Nice.

Jochim Aerts, CEO Ridley Bikes: “When they told us that Lotto Soudal would become Lotto Fix ALL in Paris-Nice we didn’t hesitate to create a special design. The frames were lacquered in our factory in Belgium and that’s why we could supply the team with new frames in only six weeks. We decided to sell the frame as a limited edition.”

BMC leads new UCI World Rankings

This update came from the UAE team:

UAE Team Emirates captain Rui Costa’s first place at this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour has seen the team directed by general manager Saronni jump straight into fifth place on the UCI WorldTour team rankings.

The Portuguese rider sealed the overall General Classification race win at the fourth and final 143-kilometre Yas Island Stage, held exclusively on the Yas Marina Circuit, thanks primarily to his stunning victory in the third stage that finished at the summit of Jebel Hafeet.

Rui Costa

Rui wins his stage

Rui Costa made history in landing the team’s first GC victory, and became the first UAE Team Emirates rider to win under the new team banner.

The Portuguese is expected to next line-up for the team at the famous Tirreno-Adriatico race in a couple of weeks, and may then make his debut at the Giro d’Italia, the first of the iconic ‘Grands Tours’.

UCI WorldTour rankings (as of February 26 after Abu Dhabi Tour)

1- BMC Racing Team 1210 pt
2- Orica-Scott 1077 pt
3- Bora-Hansgrohe 923 pt
4- Team Sunweb 923 pt
5- UAE Team Emirates 695 pt
6- Katusha-Alpecin 633 pt
7- Quick Step-Floors 578 pt
8- Trek-Segafred 558 pt
9- Dimendion Data 483 pt
10- Lotto Nl-Jumbo 407 pt
11- Team Sky 379 pt
12- Cannondale-Drapac 359 pt
13- Ag2R La Mondiale 331 pt
14- Lotto-Soudal 315 pt
15- Astana 282 pt
16- Movistar 180 pt
17- Bahrain-Merida 114 pt
18- FdJ 68 pt

Team Sunweb headed to Strade Bianche

The team sent me this:


The Classics season continues at the men's Strade Bianche on Saturday, 4 March. Riders are tasked with a 175km route through Tuscany, Italy. The course features 11 gravel sectors which make up over 60km of racing, giving this race a unique feel to it compared to other Classics. Alongside these challenging gravel sections, riders are faced with various steep climbs with an uphill ascent to finish the day in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

"For Strade Bianche we will aim for another good result," said Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED). "After a solid start from the team in Australia, Oman and Abu Dhabi we hope that as a team we can build on the performance shown there. We have a well rounded team with riders such as Georg and Wilco to support Tom deep into the final. We also have riders with cyclo-cross backgrounds like Mike and Ramon who's experience will play an important role on the difficult gravel sections. The demanding finale suits the likes of our riders, but with a course as unique as Strade Bianche it could come down to a battle between anyone. I expect that the race will see a fight for the line between a small group of riders in the streets of Siena."

RACE: Strade Bianche (WT)

DATE: 04/03/2017

COACH: Aike Visbeek (NED) 

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will reward Topcompetitie winner with trainee contract

This came to me from LottoNL-Jumbo:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will reward the leader of the Dutch Topcompetitie young rider classification with a trainee contract. The contract will start in August, just before the last race in the prestigious league. Besides that, the Dutch WordTour team becomes the main sponsor of the jersey for best young rider.

“Talent development is key for Team LottoNL-Jumbo. It doesn’t start with our own talents, but it starts at the level of the club competition. Over there, we’re working together with cycling club De Jonge Renner," Managing Director Richard Plugge said.

“The partnership with the Topcompetitie suits our philosophy of talent development. We want to win on top, but we also want to encourage development of cyclists. It would be great if we have our own development team at a continental level. But for now, the trainee contract is a good initiative for the Topcompetitie, the rider, as well for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.”

The Topcompetitie is a classification of eight Dutch races. To begin with De Ster van Zwolle this Saturday. Because the contract starts in August, the team will announce the trainee after the individual time trial on July 9. Riders under the age of 23 may take part in the young rider classification. The competition has three flat races, three hilly races in Limburg, an uphill time trial and a flat time trial.

In 2015, Twan Castelijns won the Topcompetitie. Now, he has been a Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider since 2016.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo has been involved with the Dutch Topcompetitie for a long time. Race Director Nico Verhoeven has been part of the board of directors since the beginning.

“It’s nice that a Dutch WorldTour team sees and embraces the importance of the Topcompetitie”, organiser Flavio Pasquino said. “By stepping in as a sponsor and as a partner, they support the Topcompetitie not only on financial base, but also in a sportive way. That’s laudable.”

World Sporting Goods Industry Federation on disc brake accidents

Bike Europe reported on the industry's view on this controversial subject:

OSTERMUNDIGEN, Switzerland – In the past 10 months the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), representing the bicycle industry, has been withholding public statements to the various comments on disc brakes by riders. Seeing the current accusations, after the road race accident with the involvement of Owain Doull and Marcel Kittel at stage 1 of Abu Dhabi Tour, the Federation has released the following clarifying statement.

The WFSGI says, “Twice within the last 10 months riders and other stakeholders of the cycling sport accused disc brakes of having caused injuries to a rider or their material. The WFSGI has taken these complaints very seriously and investigated both accidents in order to have a clarification before making any statement.”

Ventoso accident Paris-Roubaix 2016: The WFSGI asked forensic doctor Ulrich Zollinger based in Bern, Switzerland to analyze the wound of Francisco Ventoso as well as the entire course of his accident.

Accident report forensic doctor

The WFSGI also commissioned the German bicycle accident investigator Dirk Zedler to make an independent investigation & risk assessment of the same accident as well.

Accident report Zedler

Doull accident Abu Dhabi 2017: The WFSGI continues its statement with, “The investigation into the accident of Owain Doull is still ongoing and the available material is being studied carefully. After the first material and image investigations, we can say that a disk brake accident can, most likely, be excluded. See also here:

Disc brake – cut test by VeloNews

Disc brake stopping by hand – Tom Boonen

“The UCI has installed a working group consisting out of members from the WFSGI (Industry), the rider representative CPA, the team’s organization AIGCP and the UCI itself. This working group closely monitor’s the trial of disc brakes in road racing, reported incidents and studies potential improvements for the usage of disc brakes in road racing. The experts from the different organizations in this working group are empowered for making proposals to the UCI equipment commission.”

The WFSGI statement says further, “Today the industry provides both brake systems and leaves the decision as to which system to use (rim or disc) to each team and/or rider. A fact that was confirmed by all riders using disc brakes in races so far. The industry encourages riders to make some first experience and testing with disc brakes before they provide comments. Safety is a major concern to the industry and this towards all cyclists. One of the concerns in pro racing is the fear of different brake performance within the peloton leading to potential incidents.

"It shall be known that some material/combinations currently used in pro racing already show a clear difference in brake performance. Some combinations may not even live up to the legal requirements set by international standards (CEN/ISO) for commercial bicycles.

"That’s why the UCI working group has identified this key point and is looking into ways to improve the level of safety for pro riders by enforcing minimal standards of brake performance. That can be taken as a starting point to eliminate concerns of different braking performance regardless the brake system used.”

You can read the entire story here.

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