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

find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter See our youtube channel Melanoma: It started with a freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames Neugent Cycling Wheels Peaks Coaching: work with a coach! 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,
Tuesday, November 21, 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

The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure. - Lyndon B. Johnson

Latest completed racing:

Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert completes roster for 2018

Here's the team's news about next year's squad:

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

In the margin of the team building last weekend at Hotel Aero44 in Charlerloi, Simone Antonini and Mark McNally extended their contract with Wanty-Groupe Gobert until the end of 2018. Both are loyal riders who can be counted upon. McNally will start his third year at the team, Antonini his fourth.

The 28-year-old Brit Mark McNally, who lives in Belgium (Heist-op-den-Berg) is an offensive rider who was frequently in breakaways the past year. He was in front in important classics as Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem and finished on the podium in Ronde van Drenthe and Eneco Tour the past two years. 26-year-old Italian Simone Antonini is a loyal teammate who is always ready to assist the team leaders and pull hard in front of the peloton.

With this two extensions, Wanty-Groupe Gobert is complete for 2018. The team will be able to count on the combined forces of 21 riders next season. Five riders leave the team. Kenny Dehaes, Robin Stenuit and Guillaume Levarlet will wear another jersey and Frederik Veuchelen and Danilo Napolitano put an end to their careers. "Fré" integrates the staff as trainer. Odd Christian Eiking (FDJ), Boris Vallée (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Timothy Dupont (Crelan-Willems) and Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Soudal) are the newcomers.

Hilaire Van der Schueren:

"Antonini and McNally are two riders who are always willing to do their job. Working in the chase or going in the breakaway can not be underestimated. As a result, their results are sometimes less, but their teammates can thus benefit from their work. "

"On paper we are strengthened for 2018. Now it is up to the riders to deliver performances. With the signing of Bart De Clercq and Odd Christian Eiking we now form a solid team around our French climbing talent Guillaume Martin. With these riders I also hope to perform in the Ardennes classics, that was something we lacked in the past seasons. "

Bart de Clercq

Bart de Clercq is moving over to Wanty-Groupe Gobert for 2018.

"In 2017 Yoann Offredo has proven that he can perform in the big classics. Hopefully he can continue the good work in 2018. I also expect a lot from Frederik Backaert and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck in the cobbled classics. "

"In the sprint we can count on the fast legs of Timothy Dupont and Andrea Pasqualon. Our new Walloon rider Boris Vallée will launch the sprint for them, but if one of them isn't feeling good, Vallée can also take his own chances. "

Simone Antonini:

"I am very happy with my contract extension at team Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Regarding the 2018 season I hope I have no more trouble that unfortunately occured in the last 2 years. I wasn't in top form in most of the classics because of that. My goals are to be able to make a bigger step in the cobbled classics. I want to thank everyone at the team for the trust they have. I have a great feeling with all my teammates. Belgium is a second home for me."

"I would like to be in front on the crucial moments in order to be in support of the team leaders and grasp some good results. I also hope to be in a Grand Tour like Tour de France, if we get a wild card. That would be beneficial for my growth and for expanding my limitations."

Mark McNally:

"In 2018 I want to continue my development. The last two years at team Wanty-Groupe Gobert I have come a long way with a lot of podium places and top tens. In 2018 I would like to make that next step and win a race or two. For the rest I want to keep working hard and take my chances when they arise."

Team 2018:

Simone Antonini, 26 (Italy)
Frederik Backaert, 27
Jérôme Baugnies, 30
Thomas Degand, 31
Tom Devriendt, 26
Fabien Doubey, 24 (France)
Wesley Kreder, 27 (Netherlands)
Guillaume Martin, 24 (France)
Mark McNally, 28 (Great Britain)
Xandro Meurisse, 25
Marco Minnaard, 28 (Netherlands)
Yoann Offredo, 31 (France)
Andrea Pasqualon, 29 (Italy)
Dion Smith, 24 (New-Zealand)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, 26
Pieter Vanspeybrouck, 30
Kevin Van Melsen, 30


Bart De Clercq, 31 (Lotto-Soudal)
Timothy Dupont, 30 (Crelan-Willems)
Odd Christian Eiking, 22 (Norway, FDJ)
Boris Vallée, 24 (Fortuneo-Oscaro)


Kenny Dehaes (WB-Veranclassic)
Guillaume Levarlet (Auber 93)
Robin Sténuit (?)
Danilo Napolitano (Stopped)
Frederik Veuchelen (Stopped)

Mitchelton-Scott sign Brayan Chaves, brother of Orica-Scott rider Esteban Chaves, for 2018

The team sent me this news:

UCI Continental team Mitchelton-SCOTT has confirmed the signing of young Colombian climber Brayan Chaves for the 2018 season.

Looking to follow in the footsteps of older brother Esteban Chaves, who rides for WorldTour outfit ORICA-SCOTT, 20-year-old Brayan is stepping up to the continental calendar with the Chinese-registered outfit after competing at U23 level in Colombia.

“It’s really amazing this opportunity for the 2018 season,” said Chaves. “I don’t have the words to describe how excited I am. I am really happy to be coming to the team and it’s a dream come true to be part of this set up and work towards the future.”

“Of course it would be incredible if I can follow in the footsteps of Esteban with what he has achieved racing for ORICA-SCOTT, that would be really special and it is a great opportunity for me that I want to make the most of.”

With a firm emphasis on development, but also a weather eye being kept on the future, sport director James Victor spoke of the long and short term plans for Chaves.

“Brayan comes to us with an obvious family pedigree from brother Esteban,” said Victor. “The short-term plan is to expose Brayan to a mix of opportunities across varied races to allow to him to find his place and confidence on what will be a steep learning curve.”

“In addition to Tours in Asia that will suit his climbing ability we have a longer term plan to work with Brayan over the next few years with a view to his development following a similar trajectory to that of Esteban and other talented Colombian climbers.”

Brayan Chaves

Date of Birth: 30th May 1997 (20)
Nationality: Colombian
Place of Birth: Bogota, Colombia

Giant plans no change in strategy as revenue softens due to China slowdown

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update:

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)  — It's been a tough year so far for Giant Manufacturing, and its third-quarter results have shown little improvement in its global position as the world's leading bicycle maker.

But despite a 5.3 percent decline in revenue since January, the company is planning no changes in its overall strategy, Giant officials said.

First, the numbers: Overall revenue through the third quarter ended in September was $1.45 billion, compared with $1.46 billion year-to-date in 2016. Profit before taxes was $87.5 million, down 22.2 percent from $106.9 million, while after-tax profits fell 20.3 percent to $63.3 million.

However, Giant has seen a mild upsurge recently in its stock price, trading at $5.27 per share on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Still, that's off some 22 percent since January, when it was trading at $6.79 per share.

Most of Giant's woes can be pinned to its position in China. "China's market performance remains soft as it continues to be affected by a slow economy and bike share programs," officials said in a statement.

The company has significant investments in retail stores and manufacturing in China, but the nation's fascination with bike share has robbed sales from its retail partners, particularly for midrange to high-end bikes. But help may be on the way as a variety of Chinese cities crackdown on what some refer to as a bubble economy in bike sharing programs.

You can read the entire story here.

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