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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 5, 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

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books. - Sigmund Freud

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Samuel Sanchez positive for dope

Team BMC sent me this sad news:

Statement Regarding Samuel Sánchez Anti-Doping Violation

04 October, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team was previously informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) of a potential anti-doping violation for the presence of GHRP-2 and its metabolite, in an out-of-race anti-doping control for Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez.

In accordance with BMC Racing Team's zero tolerance policy with respect to doping violations and UCI regulations, Sánchez was immediately suspended from BMC Racing Team. At the request of Sánchez, his B sample was analysed at the WADA accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. The analysis of Sánchez' B sample confirmed the presence of GHRP-2 and its metabolite, as found in his A sample. At that time, Sánchez' contract with the team was terminated with immediate effect.

Samuel Sanchez

Samuel Sanchez

It wasn't all bad news at BMC. The team sent me this update about the team's participation at Il Lombardia:

04 October, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): After claiming fourth place at Giro dell'Emilia, Nicolas Roche will lead BMC Racing Team at Il Lombardia this Saturday October 7, the second-to-last UCI WorldTour race of the year.

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Maximilian Sciandri said the team has multiple cards to play at the last Monument race of the season. "We saw at Giro dell'Emilia that Nicolas Roche is in great shape and can do well in these hilly Italian races. So, I think Nicolas can do well again this Saturday. Alessandro De Marchi is also looking strong and motivated after the UCI World Championships, and that's exactly how you need to go into a tough race like Il Lombardia if you want any chance of a good result, you need the legs and you need the motivation," Sciandri explained.

"It's a selective course. It's more concentrated in the final section and personally, I think it's probably not as hard as last year's course. The finish is in Como but from the Madonna del Ghisallo onwards, it's a rollercoaster all the way to Como. The weather seems like it will be good and we'll play our cards in the best way possible."

Roche is feeling good after testing his legs at Giro dell'Emilia. "Coming out of Giro dell'Emilia with fourth place was a good indication of where my form is at the moment. The two races are quite different and maybe the short, steeper climbs of Giro dell'Emilia are more suited to me but I'm confident I can do another good result on Saturday," Roche said.

Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche

"Il Lombardia is definitely one of the toughest, if not the toughest, one-day races of the year so it would be nice to wrap my season up well. We have a strong team and as long as the legs are good on the day, I think it will be a good race."

Il Lombardia (7 October 2017)

Rider Roster: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA).

Sports Directors: Maximilian Sciandri (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Team Sky's Gianni Moscon accused of 'intentionally' causing FDJ rider to crash as payback for racism row

This story appeared in the U.K.'s Telegraph:

Team Sky face further embarrassment after it emerged on Wednesday that Sébastien Reichenbach had claimed Gianni Moscon intentionally caused the Swiss to crash during Tuesday's Tre Valli Varesine race in Italy.

Moscon, 23, made headlines earlier this year after the Team Sky rider admitted to racially abusing Kévin Reza – an FDJ team-mate of Reichenbach's – for which he was handed a six-week ban from competition by his team, though has yet to receive any censure from the International Cycling Union, the sport's world governing body.

Following a strong performance at the Vuelta a España when the Team Sky rider proved he had the grand tour credentials to go alongside his obvious talents in the tough one-day races, the Italian was disqualified from last month's road race at the world championships after he was filmed taking a tow off team manager Davide Cassani who was seen handing him a 'sticky bottle'.

Despite issuing a stiff denial, Moscon has now been accused of "deliberately" causing Reichenbach to crash out of the one-day Tre Valli Varesine race with the Swiss saying he will file a complaint to the Italian police and UCI.

Gianni Moscon

Gianni Moscon at this year's Paris-Roubaix

"I’m filing a complaint against Gianni Moscon because he intentionally put me on the ground," Reichenbach told Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

"It was intentional. Several riders saw the action and are ready to provide testimony on my behalf. He deliberately threw himself against me. On a descent, the accident could have had even more serious consequences. My team, FDJ, has encouraged me to file a complaint. They will support me."

FDJ claimed on Tuesday night that Reichenbach's crash, which left him requiring surgery after fracturing an elbow, "was caused by the dangerous behaviour of Gianni Moscon".

Reichenbach added he believed Moscon was "settling scores" after the Swiss had tweeted about "imbeciles" using racist language following the incident with Reza in April.

You can read the entire story here.

Team Quick-Step Floors to race Milano-Torino

Here's the Quick-Step team's update:

Our team returns to the semi-classic created nearly a century and a half ago for the first time since 2012.

Superga, the spectacular hill which overlooks Torino, one of Italy's most important cities, will be the main attraction of Thursday's Milano-Torino, a race which in the past years has enjoyed a revival that saw it become an important fixture on the calendar, thus attracting many top names who stopped here on their way to Il Lombardia.

Held on a 186km-long course, the race should be a quiet one until the final 24 kilometers, when the riders will tackle Superga for the first time. A regular climb, averaging 9.1% over 4.9 kilometers, Superga will thin out the peloton and even see some riders try to attack from afar, in an attempt to build a substantial gap there and on the technical descent that leads back to Torino or to pave the way for their leaders before the second and final ascent of the iconic hill, with five kilometers to go.

Ten days after sparking life into the Bergen World Championships with a big attack that brought him very close to victory, Julian Alaphilippe returns to action in what will be his Milano-Torino debut, a race which teammate Daniel Martin will ride for the first time since 2013, when he placed 11th.

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe will ride his first Milano-Torino

The Irishman – whose never-say-die attitude was put on display throughout the season in both stage races and one-day events – will try to be again among the protagonists in the Italian semi-classic where Quick-Step Floors will rely also on Gianluca Brambilla, Laurens De Plus, Dries Devenyns, Ronde van Vlaanderen champion Philippe Gilbert, Giro d'Italia maglia bianca Bob Jungels and Davide Martinelli.

European industry files anti-dumping complaint on E-Bike imports from China

Bike Europe sent me this report:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) filed an anti-dumping complaint with the European Commission. “Dumped Chinese e-bikes are flooding the EU market,” said EBMA Secretary Moreno Fioravanti.
“European e-bikes are undercut and overwhelmed on their home market by heavily subsidized, illegally dumped Chinese e-bikes which are sold below the production costs,” explains Moreno Fioravanti. “The import of e-bikes from China have been increasing quickly and have now exploded. Imports in the first seven months of 2017 already exceed the entire 2016 import volume. E-bike imports from China into the EU increased from virtually zero in 2010 to more than 800,000 units in 2017. Therefore, we have filed a complaint with the European Commission, calling for the registration of imports and urgent anti-dumping measures on e-bikes from China. We are also preparing an anti-subsidy complaint. We urge the European Commission to investigate the unfair trade practices of Chinese e-bike exporters as soon as possible.”

EBMA reports that, “more than 430,000 Chinese e-bikes were dumped into the EU in 2016, representing 70% of all e-bikes imported from outside Europe. Chinese imports in 2016 showed a massive 40% volume growth compared to the previous year. With over 90,000 direct and indirect skilled workers, the EU bicycle industry has invested over €1 billion in e-bike development in 2016 alone. Hence, major EU investments, innovation and competitiveness, as well as substantial employment and the protection of the environment, would be at risk without the imposition of measures,” said Fioravanti.

EBMA data shows that an annual e-bike production in China of 51 million units. With an annual consumption in China of 28 million e-bike, the Chinese industry is said to have an overcapacity of 23 million units. “This is ten time the total market volume in Europe,” said Moreno Fioravanti. “Next to that the 13th five-year plan of the People’s Republic of China’s did set a clear goal for 2020 to ‘increase the export of e-bikes drastically’ and the production volume ‘of middle and high-end bicycles and lithium battery e-bikes will be increased year by year.’”

You can read the entire story here.

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