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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 25, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. - Byron

Latest completed racing:

Pinarello e-Bike press release raises storm

Pinarello's Nytro eBike press release has raised a furor. Here is an interesting follow-up that will bring you up to speed if you missed the initial storm:

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Op-Ed: About that Pinarello story ...

by Lynette Carpiet

Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle

It's Tuesday morning and I pick up my phone to a very angry woman. "How could BRAIN possibly say women can't keep up with men on a bike? How could you publish such views as an industry magazine?" This female racer was infuriated and I could hardly get a word in edgewise.

The issue at hand: Our publishing of Pinarello's press release about their new Nytro e-road bike on Monday.

I tried to explain, this was a press release submitted by Pinarello, and that the statement that had many readers up in arms was verbatim from the company. It was their marketing statement — who they thought this electric road bike appealed to and would be the customer for it. For that reason it was in quotation marks. It's not our view, or even our words.

"Nytro aims at a wide target, from the one that has no time to train but would never miss a weekend ride with friends, to women who would like to follow easily the men's pace, or even the ones who desire to experience cycling as a new way of life, climbing easily and going downhill safely, enjoying every single minute on the bike," the company said.

Our staff edits press releases all the time, taking out superlatives such as "world's greatest, the best ..., the highest performing ...," and the list goes on. Those claims cannot be substantiated and it is our job to present information as factual as we can. But in this case, a statement from the company as to who they're targeting their new e-bike to was not a technical claim but an audience statement.

Some readers questioned our judgment and why we would publish that statement at all, claiming that by doing so we somehow agreed or condoned Pinarello's views. Let's be clear: Bicycle Retailer & Industry News does not support or condone sexist marketing. But we do write and include how a company is marketing a product. To censor their language out would be to inaccurately portray their philosophy or viewpoints.

Shouldn't readers be aware of how brands market their products? For years, many companies have gone about it in a very backwards or ill-fated way and this is clearly one example of how marketing can go wrong.

Twenty four hours after its posting, our story had 21 comments, and cycling websites including Bicycling, Cycling Tips, Cycling News and Cycling Weekly featured stories not only on the release but the Italian bike company's Instagram campaign featuring a female who "always wanted to go cycling with her boyfriend, but it seemed impossible," implying that she couldn't keep up.

With a badly worded press release and corresponding social media campaign, Pinarello's story about its entry into e-bikes was reduced to a commentary about gender in cycling. E-bikes can be an equalizer between riders of different fitness levels, regardless of gender. However, Pinarello's word choice and statement did not express that. It implied that all women need help keeping up with male counterparts.

You can read the entire editorial here.

Briton Hennessy to join Mitchelton-Scott for the 2018 season

The team sent me this news release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT has confirmed the signing of Gent-Wevelgem U23 winner Jacob Hennessy for the upcoming 2018 season.

A successful 2017 season racing for the Great Britain U23 team saw 21-year-old Hennessy take his stand out win at the prestigious Gent-Wevelgem before moving on to an opening stage victory at the A Travers les Hautes de France-Trophee Paris-Arras and fifth place overall.

A talented future classics prospect, Hennessy has speed and stamina in abundance and revels in Northern European endurance racing.

“I’m super excited to be joining Mitchelton-SCOTT for the 2018 season,” said Hennessy. “This year they have shown exactly how strong a team they are, especially with some of their riders moving up to the WorldTour next year and the success they have had in some big races.”

“I would love to be able to follow that progression and this is a great place to try and do that. Obviously I want to win as many races as possible and to achieve that I need to be more consistent and the aim is to try and maintain good form and consistency from January through to October. I would love to be able to focus on some of the early season Spring Classics, I really enjoy that style of racing and I’m really motivated to do well.”

Sport director James Victor spoke of the raw speed and potential Hennessy possesses as well as what will be expected in 2018.

“Throughout 2017 Jacob showed his potential as a strong, fast finisher,” said Victor. “He has been brought to the team to continue his development and also enhance our results and team profile through what we expect to be a busy 2018 season. Covering both the Asian and European racing calendar, Jacob will be relied upon to chase important results for the team whilst allowing his finishing potential to continue to flourish in what has so far been a short career.

“Jacob is still a raw talent that we plan to develop with more exposure to sprint finishes and look to set him on the path of progression towards a WorldTour opportunity.”

Jacob Hennessy

Date of Birth: 10th August 1996 (21)
Nationality: British
Place of Birth: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Turned Pro: 2017

Major Results: 2017

- 1st Gent-Wevelgem U23
- 1st Trophee Paris-Arras – Stage 1
- 4th Grand Prix Priessnitz spa – Stage 1
- 5th Trophee Paris-Arras – General Classification
- 8th Trophee Paris-Arras – Stage 2

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