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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 8, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. - Orson Welles

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UCI suspends Burgos-BH for 21 days

The Spanish Professional Continental team has had three doping positives in the last twelve months: Ibai Salas, Devid Belda and Igor Merino

Here is the UCI press release:

Decision on UCI Professional Continental Team Burgos-BH

Dec 7, 2018, 12:18 PM

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Disciplinary Commission has decided to suspend the UCI Professional Continental Team Burgos-BH for a period of 21 days from 16 January to 5 February 2019 in accordance with article 7.12.1 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) providing for a “Team Suspension” (*).

For the duration of its suspension, the team Burgos-BH is suspended from participating in any international event.

The UCI will not make any further comment on the case.

(*) Following the notification of two Anti-Doping Rule Violations for members of the team Burgos-BH within a twelve-month period, the UCI had referred the matter to the Disciplinary Commission for a decision on the Team suspension in accordance with article 7.12.1 ADR.

Mitchelton-BikeExchange looks back on 2018 season

Here's the team press release:

UCI Chinese Continental team Mitchelton-BikeExchange brought the curtain down on a successful 2018 season in style last month when Australian Kaden Groves took his third win of the season on the final stage of the Tour of Fuzhou, taking the team's tally for the year to eight victories from 21 races.

In addition to those eight race wins, there was national championship success for Niu Yikui at the Chinese Road Championships in July and back-to-back best Asian rider jersey’s at Tour of China I and II for Niu and compatriot Zhi Hui Jiang.

A major success for the team was 20-year-old Rob Stannard who enjoyed a breakthrough year that yielded five race wins including a standout victory in his last race at the prestigious Piccolo Lombardia and third at the Baby Giro d’Italia before moving up to the WorldTour with Mitchelton-SCOTT in October.

Four riders graduating to WorldTour level in two seasons is testament to Mitchelton-BikeExchange’s unwavering commitment to development and although a heavy focus for 2018 was directed to the team’s Chinese riders there were positive signs throughout the team’s international roster.

Liu Jiankun complimented Groves stage win at the Tour of Quanzhou Bay with ninth overall and Colombian climber Brayan Chaves produced consistent performances that earned the 21-year-old a stagiaire role with Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Colorado Classic, Tour of Utah and the Japan Cup.

Chinese all-rounder Sun Xiaolong joined Chaves in WorldTour colours in Colorado and prospective climbing talent Nazaerbieke Bieken showing solid signs of progression after making the transition to the road from high level mountain bike racing.

With such a strong multinational element to the team the results show that the balance was very positive, with Australian’s Harry Sweeny and Sam Jenner providing an experienced spine to the squad and British sprinter Jacob Hennessy showing progressive promise throughout what turned out to be another successful year for the Chinese team.

Sport director James Victor:
“This year was very different to 2017 because we spread our race schedule across Asia and Europe and we still secured some great results.  We made a lot of progress with regard to the ethos that development is the key factor of Mitchelton-BikeExchange.”

“Rob Stannard hit another level before moving up to WorldTour with Mitchelton-SCOTT in October and he showed with five wins that he is well on track with his development. His head is in the right place and he’s on course to become a solid professional after achieving some great results this year.

“Another potentially great find is Kaden Groves. Although Kaden was only with us for half the season he racked up three wins in tough races on Chinese soil. He is raw, developing very quickly and is clearly a talent to keep an eye on.

Kaden Groves

Kaden Groves wins a stage at the Tour of Fuzhou

“Kaden and Jacob Hennessy became our focus in the sprints of the Asia Tour and that proved to be inspirational for our Chinese riders as the team gained results as a unit with stage wins sitting alongside best Asian rider jersey’s and solid GC placings – especially at Tour of China I with Niu Yikui finishing fifth.

“Niu winning the Chinese Road Championships was another highlight for us, a Chinese team having the national champion racing and doing well racing in home tours is further testament to the progress we have made this season.

“It’s pleasing that our Chinese riders have not only learnt a lot through the year but have also achieved results for themselves and as a team. Our support for the development of Chinese cycling is a major aspect of the team and this season we have seen other Asian teams looking to us for how to do things. That’s a real compliment to our riders and staff.”

Key results in 2018:

Tour of Yorkshire 2019 routes announced

Here's the organizer's press release:

The full routes for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race have been unveiled at Leeds Civic Hall.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity led a packed press conference on Friday morning with the Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme.

British champion Connor Swift, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Tanfield and Team Sky rider Chris Lawless were among the many professional riders in attendance along with a host of cycling legends such as Brian Robinson, Mandy Bishop and Denise Burton-Cole. 

The fifth edition of the men’s race will take place between 2-5 May and has been upgraded to HC status by cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the highest category possible for a multi-day race outside of the UCI WorldTour. It encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 150 villages, towns and cities along the way.

2019 Tour of Yorkshire map

Map of the 2019 Tour of Yorkshire

The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race meanwhile, will take place between 3-4 May meaning that for the first time ever, it will be held on a Friday and Saturday to allow more people to celebrate the race. Further new ground is also being broken by the fact both stages will be exactly the same as the men’s, meaning the 2019 edition will be the longest yet at 264km and also the hardest with over of 3,200m of cumulative climbing.


The men’s race will start in Doncaster before heading towards Beverley. On the way the riders will pass Cowick Hall and Howden Minster, and the first intermediate sprint will be contested in Elloughton before the peloton sweeps into Beverley. Not long after they will reach the Yorkshire Wolds and tackle the first classified climb at Baggaby Hill before a brisk descent into Pocklington for a second intermediate sprint. The pace will continue to rise on the brisk approach to Selby where the action will reach a pulsating conclusion right outside Selby Abbey which is celebrating its 950th anniversary.


The world’s top female riders join the action in Barnsley and start in the morning with the men following in the afternoon. Both exit Barnsley in a north-easterly direction and head towards Pontefract for the first intermediate sprint. The route then skirts Leeds and shortly after Leathley the peloton will commence the Côte de Lindley, the first of five new climbs on this year’s route. Then it’s on to Harrogate where the riders have the chance to tackle the exact same circuit being used at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. An intermediate sprint has been added along Parliament Street where the Championships finish line will be, meaning the riders can hone their tactics in preparation for September. Once that loop has been concluded the stage continues north through Ripon and it’s full steam into Bedale for an expected bunch sprint in the centre of this vibrant Yorkshire Dales town.       


The riders will roll out of Bridlington and head into the North York Moors National Park. The Côte de Silpho is looming large shortly after Hackness and the opening intermediate sprint comes just after Harwood Dale. The route then continues north and commences an undulating 52km loop just after Fylingdales. Once the peloton has passed through Robin Hood’s Bay they immediately hit the Côte de Hooks House Farm. Then it’s on to Whitby, and before the riders enter town they will contest a second intermediate sprint in front of Whitby Abbey. The views will be spectacular on the approach to Sandsend and it is there that the Côte de Lythe Bank is waiting. Once the riders have crested that summit the route heads inland and the Côtes de Grosmont and Ugglebarnby are positioned just 7km apart. The loop concludes, the pace is sure to be high as the riders drop into Scarborough. The frontrunners will sweep along South Bay, around the castle walls and onto the now-legendary finish along North Bay. It is here that the winner of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will be crowned before the male riders battle it out in front of another massive crowd.


The Piece Hall is a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage before the riders head into Brontë Country. Haworth’s quaint cobbled Main Street features once again but the real climbing begins on the Côte de Goose Eye. Crossing into Craven, the next classified climb comes on the Côte de Barden Moor. Once that has been crested it’s into the Yorkshire Dales National Park where the riders will contest their first intermediate sprint in full view of Kilnsey Crag. The Côte de Park Rash is the next climb on the agenda and before a gradual descent into Middleham, and the peloton will continue on to Masham before entering Nidderdale. Pateley Bridge is sure to put on a colourful show ahead of the Côte de Greenhow Hill, and shortly after Otley the final categorised climb will be fought out on Otley Chevin. The race then sweeps into the outskirts of Leeds for one last intermediate sprint in Tinshill. The riders will get a great view of Kirkstall Abbey before the action reaches a rip-roaring conclusion along The Headrow in the heart of the city centre.

CCC Team signs up Etxeondo to be technical apparel supplier 

CCC (formerly Team BMC) sent me this release:

7 December 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): CCC Team is excited to welcome Etxeondo as the team’s technical apparel partner from 1 January 2019.

The partnership with Etxeondo marks the start of a new chapter for the team, with Polish shoe and bag manufacturer CCC becoming title sponsor, and Giant joining as the bike and primary technical partner.

CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz acknowledged the quality and craftsmanship of Etxeondo’s cutting-edge race and training apparel.

“We are excited to partner with a technical apparel brand of Etxeondo’s caliber in 2019 to coincide with the new chapter in the team’s history as CCC Team. There are very few apparel brands in the world that can follow the same quality and performance standards that Etxeondo has established and maintained for so many years,” Ochowicz said. “We look forward to unveiling the CCC Team kit next week and launching the partnership ahead of the 2019 season.”

Etxeondo is one of the few brands that design and produce all of their garments in their own facilities, located in the Basque Country, and has a heritage firmly rooted in performance cycling.

Etxeondo's founder Francisco Rodrigo commented “We are very pleased to have entered into this partnership with CCC Team. We are committed to creating the best possible products for them. This is a team with great riders and global appeal. Through our products and technologies, we want to help the team win races”.

The CCC Team kit will be unveiled on Friday, 14 December in Denia, Spain at the team’s pre-season training camp.

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