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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 4, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

A great artist leaves us with the feeling that something is right with the world. - Leonard Bernstein

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour of Hainan stage seven report from new race leader Jacopo Mosca's Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia team:

Here's what the team had to say about Mosca's stage win

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The scenario is changed at the Tour of Hainan that today has seen the riders in a battle on some difficult climbs but the final result has still been the same. Six win on seven stages for the team Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia with Jacopo Mosca that has achieved the victory in his first season as a pro and that is now the new leader of the general classification replacing his team mate Jakub Mareczko.

The Piedmontese rider was part of a breakaway from the beginning of the stage with many riders losing ground on the last KOM of the day with the top at 12 kms to go. The Spaniard Prades and Dutchman De Maar, who attacked from the peloton, were the only riders able to resist at the action of Mosca.

50" was the gap on top of the KOM and because of this in the last kms the leading trio started to slow down waiting for the right moment to attack. De Maar tried two times but with 200 metres to go Mosca was able to overtake him and at the same time to resist at the comeback of Prades.

Jacopo Mosca

Jacopo Mosca is the man of the day.

In the general classification Mosca has 3" advantage on Prades with two stages to go of a Tour of Hainan that gets better and better everyday for our team that has put another rider in the top 10, Alex Turrin who ended in 8th place.

2017 Season Wrap: Back-to-Back Tour de France white jerseys & ongoing progression for Orica-Scott

The team sent me this season review:

The 2017 season came to a close at the inaugural Tour of Guangxi for ORICA-SCOTT last week with the Australian outfit able to look back on another positive campaign that included 26 UCI victories and saw the continued progression and development of the team’s young Grand Tour contenders.

The year began well with Caleb Ewan dominating the sprints at the Santos Tour Down Under with four stage wins before compatriot Damien Howson produced a breakthrough performance to take a stage win and the overall title at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

Ewan’s stage success continued at the Giro d’Italia in May, sprinting to the win on stage seven and contributing to the team’s 13 WorldTour victories of the season, whilst in July, Simon Yates mounted a successful defense of the Tour de France best young rider jersey.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates went home from the Tour with the white jersey.

Yates emulated brother Adam in 2016 by winning the white jersey and also recording a top ten overall finish with seventh place after notching early season wins at Paris-Nice on stage six and at the one-day Gran Premio Miguel Indurain.

General manager Shayne Bannan spoke highly of the team’s continued progression and development. “There has been some fantastic moments throughout 2017 and some special achievements,” said Bannan. “Clear highlights being Simon Yates’ performance at the Tour de France, winning back-to-back white jersey’s is very significant and also Caleb’s win on stage seven of the Giro d’Italia.”

“We are still really developing as an organisation, particularly in relation to the Grand Tours and we have three really exciting and young GC riders in Simon and Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves who all competed in two Grand Tours for the first time this season.

“The reason behind this was their physical development for the future and we need to remember that these three guys are a lot younger than their GC competitors and we are really excited to be part of their development, especially when you factor in the new signings we have made for next year and how that will strengthen the squad.

“Caleb’s progression and results this season have been excellent, his performances have shown maturity and it’s really great to see how quickly the whole sprint train has gelled and come together in a short space of time."

We take a look back at some highlights of the 2017 season:

Season starts on song with more dominance down under:

Ewan’s four stage wins out of six at the Tour Down Under kicked off 2017 with a bang and also continued ORICA-SCOTT’s rich history of success in the first WorldTour event of the season.

Quickly followed by Howson’s breakout GC victory at the Herald Sun Tour a couple of weeks later, the Australian summer proved to be another fruitful hunting ground for the home team.

Bannan: “Having the season start in Australia is very important to the team, we are registered in Australia, we have a lot of Australian fans and we only get to race there in January & February. I’m really proud of the way the riders approached January as they do each year, we have won a lot of races in Australia, but it is the way the guys race that is the most impressive and that was evident again in 2017."

Paris-Nice and the one-day victories:

Magnus Cort kick started early spring for the team with a convincing victory in the Spanish Clasica de Almeria that went on to set the scene for another WorldTour win for Ewan at the Tour of Abu Dhabi and repeated success for Adam Yates at the Italian one-day race GP Industria & Atigianato.

Simon Yates bolstered the WorldTour tally and continued the early season form with a mature performance at the prestigious Paris-Nice stage race. Taking a win in the mountains on stage six and a top ten overall with 9th place.

Bannan: “That period really showed the progression of our younger riders, Adam & Simon and Caleb and it was great to see the continued development of these guy’s and to see the Yates brothers start their winning ways in Europe.”

Pais Vasco, Romandie and Ewan strikes at the Giro d’Italia

Veteran Swiss star Michael Albasini always hits form in late spring in time for the Ardennes Classics and the Tour of Romandie and this year proved to be no different. A stage two win at Pais Vasco preceded eighth in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and swiftly followed by an opening stage win in Romandie as Simon Yates went on to finish second overall.

Ewan’s only previous Grand Tour stage win came at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana, but he chose a special time to get his second at the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia

Bannan: “Michael is really an evergreen rider, he’s like a good bottle of wine that gets better as he ages, his consistency and professionalism and the way he approaches the sport is very impressive. Caleb had a little bit of bad luck in the first week of the Giro, but the team certainly got it together on stage seven and it was great to see Caleb get his first Giro stage victory and also the contribution from the team.”

History repeats itself at the Tour de France

After brother Adam achieved it in 2016 it was now Simon’s turn to earn the mantel of the best young rider at the Tour de France and he didn’t disappoint. A string of consistent performances saw Simon become only the second Briton to win the jersey and the twins the only brothers in history to share the honour.

Bannan: “Simon’s development at this year’s Tour de France was something special to watch and I think we will see another step up from him next year. For twins to win back-to-back white jerseys at the Tour de France is something very special.”

Haig rides high in Poland and a triplet for Ewan at the Tour of Britain

Jack Haig broke his WorldTour duck with a memorable solo ride on the penultimate stage of the Tour of Poland, taking his first professional win and eighth overall before going on to solid performances at the Vuelta a Espana.

British soil has proved productive for Ewan in 2017 with two-second places, the points classification and time in the leader’s jersey at the Tour de Yorkshire before going on to take three stage wins at the Tour of Britain in September.

Bannan: “Caleb continued his winning ways and it was great to see him and the team perform so well and consistently at the Tour of Britain, but one of the highlights of the year for me was the progression of Jack Haig. Jack stepped up to another level this year and his aggressiveness and confidence at the Tour of Poland is something we will continue to enjoy in 2018.”

Slipstream Sports reveals 2018 race and training kit at Rouleur Classic

The team sent me this release:

Slipstream Sports formally unveiled the 2018 Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale kit at the Rouleur Classic in London on Friday afternoon. Swedish road champion Kim Magnusson donned the race kit, created by apparel, eye and helmet partner POC, on stage alongside Slipstream Sports founder and CEO Jonathan Vaughters, sport director Andreas Klier and POC’s head of sports marketing Sara Laurell.

Long-time fans of the American-registered squad will note the distinctive argyle pattern for which Vaughters’ team has become known is retained in the kit design, featured in the green band on the jersey sleeve and bib cuffs. New for the 2018 season is the distinctive pink of incoming title partner EF Education First.

Slipstream jersey

2018 Slipstream Sports jersey front.

Slipsteam sports jersey

And from the back

“When we began the kit design process with our team partners we started by studying the peloton,” said EF Education First worldwide creative director Joel Hladecek. “It became clear pretty early on that we’d need to do something very bold to help the team cut through the visual clutter. Fortunately, EF has spent five decades opening the world through education, understanding and uniting people across borders and cultures, and giving them the tools to communicate.”

“From a design perspective, we’ve learned a thing or two about capturing peoples’ attention, no matter where they are in the world,” Hladecek added. “It’s one of the reasons we’ve come to use a shocking, disruptive pink as part of our brand. It’s universally exciting and always demands attention. We decided to employ the strength of that color as a primary element in the design of the team kit. But as you can see there is a lot more going on in the new kit design than shocking pink.”

“From the inception of the team, we’ve always tried to push the boundaries of design and color,” said Slipstream Sports CEO and founder Jonathan Vaughters. “This kit is no exception. It is bold. But don’t lose track of the subtle argyle we’ve included. It’s been over a decade of argyle, and we are happy that will continue.”

The race jersey features the characteristic two-tone paneling and the lines of POC. A white panel dominates the front of the jersey below a smaller pink panel. From the back of the jersey, the reverse holds true, with the pink panel commanding the majority of the real estate and enhancing the bold contrast for safety and visibility. Black shorts feature the Drapac, Cannondale, New Balance and POC logos.

“It was a pleasure to work with our new friends and the partnership group at Slipstream Sports, including Drapac, Cannondale and POC, whose teams each contributed valuable components to the final design, and together, really did something uncommon,” said Hladecek. “Normally, the challenge when designing a kit like this is that you have many partners all vying for attention, each with their own design constraints and demands. I’m quite proud that this group came together and harmonized our brands in a way that make this kit feel considered and intentional. In some way I think our solution is what we would have done with complete freedom, and that says a lot.”

In addition to the race kit, a specific training kit for 2018 was introduced at the Rouleur Classic. The training kit, which has a noticeably different color palette, adds further security for riders during training rides, especially when they are out on public roads.

Commenting on the new kit, POC CEO Jonas Sjögren, said: “The new race and training kit, which we have designed with our team partners, focuses on the importance of visibility. Contrast paneling and the use of specific colors is a reflection of our commitment to rider safety during a race or training rides on open roads. In particular, the panel design and lines on the rear of the jersey improve the perception and recognition distance of a rider by creating a recognizable profile further away.”

“Ever since we released our first road specific collection, AVIP, in 2014 we have been vocal advocates for enhanced rider safety through innovative technology and visibility, we are proud to work with a WorldTour team which operates in a unique, high-performance environment,” Sjögren added. “The experience and feedback we gain from the riders is an important tool which allows us to continually improve, innovate and refine our award-winning products and further support our safety mission.”

The 2018 season is the fifth season that Slipstream Sports has partnered with POC. From 2014 – 2016, POC supplied Slipstream Sports with helmets and eyewear. From 2017, POC became the official apparel partner, supplying all apparel and accessories in addition to helmets and eyewear.

“POC is always ahead of the curve, whether it be with safety or with design,” said Vaughters. ”We couldn’t be prouder of helping them introduce the future, today.”

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