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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, December 23, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Man was made at the end of the week's work, when God was tired. - Mark Twain

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Mitchelton-Scott confirms Sport Director team for 2019

The team sent me this:

Mitchelton-Scott has confirmed its team of sport directors for next season, looking to lead its talented men’s and women’s line ups to even greater things in 2019.

After five seasons with Mitchelton-Scott women, Gene Bates will join the men’s director squad whilst maintaining a Performance Manager role with the women’s team.

With seven years of experience as a road coach at the UCI’s World Cycling Centre, the women’s outfit will welcome Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas who will join Martin Vestby as the two women’s sport directors.

Gene Bates:
“I’m looking forward to new challenges and a new calendar of races the most. I think the men’s team is entering an exciting period ahead, with a real GC focus, and multiple riders capable of winning the overall at Grand Tours. Of course I am nervous, but I think it’s good practice to change and become uncomfortable again.

“My time with the women’s team has been one of the most challenging, but rewarding periods actually. We set out to achieve something big, to really develop what we had and raise the bar in lots of different areas.

“Certainly there were times when I was wondering if what I was doing was right and we were going in the right direction, but I always had great support around me, and now when I look back on the last years I’m proud of where the team is, and where it can go.”

Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas:
“Mitchelton-Scott had a very successful season in 2018 and became one of the best teams in the women’s WorldTour classification. Joining this team means a logical step in my career as DS and coach.

“I’m really looking forward to helping to develop successful performance protocols that will help the team achieve the important goals of the season, but also I’m looking forward to working with the group that has been assembled and that has been so successful this year and keep that progression line positive for 2019.”

Men’s Directors:
- Matt White (head sport director)
- Vittorio Algeri
- Gene Bates (from women’s team)
- Julian Dean
- Mathew Hayman (new, part-time)
- Laurenzo Lapage
- David McPartland
- Matthew Wilson

Women’s Directors:
- Martin Vestby (head sport director)
- Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas (new)

Katusha-Alpecin to race Canyon disc-braked bikes in 2019

Here's the team's release:

Team Katusha-Alpecin and Canyon will cement their position at the forefront of technology within the pro peloton by dramatically increasing their commitment to disc brakes in 2019. The full 24-man squad recently completed a week-long training camp on the island of Mallorca ahead of the new season, enabling riders to fine-tune setups on their new SRAM disc brake-equipped Ultimate CF SLX and Aeroad CF SLX race bikes.

Disc brakes have become an increasingly common sight in the pro peloton over the past three seasons, and not just in the cobbled classics. 2019 will see a continuation of that trend, with the benefits of consistent braking across a broader range of conditions accepted by more riders as a performance advantage when the race is on.

Canyon bike

We'll be seeing more disc brakes in the pro peloton in 2019. Katherine Schafbauer photo

As a diverse sprinter, Nathan Haas is no stranger to the manoeuvres required to be at the sharp end during hectic dashes to the line. He welcomes the shift to discs: “It’s simple: everything is safer. In traffic, descending, but most of all in racing – we can brake more responsively, and so much later. This will be the difference in those finals, especially the sprint finishes. For me there is no reason to use anything else.”

Canyon and Team Katusha-Alpecin now enter their eighth season in partnership. For each of those years, Andreas Walzer has been the linchpin between Canyon engineers and designers, and the team’s riders and mechanics: “We always listen closely to what the other has to say – that’s the secret behind our long partnership. In 2019 we will see the vast majority of riders on disc brakes across all races. The team have proven here that they are one of the most forward-thinking outfits in the peloton, which alongside partners like SRAM makes them a great fit for our technology-first approach here at Canyon.”

This sentiment is shared by the team’s General Manager, José Azevedo: “We have a really competitive bike this year. and our riders will have a good range of options. We are happy to continue our partnership with Canyon and be able to help them with their developments as we work together to have the best in cutting Edge technology.”   

The 30th Giro Rosa is partially revealed

Here's the press release the organizers sent me:

The edition 2019 of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile Elite - Giro Rosa, start to have a shape, as the first and the last two stages have been presented this morning in Udine. Various authorities took part at the presentation, including the Mayor of Udine, On. Pietro Fontanini, the Regional Assessor for Tourism and the Productive Activities Sergio Emidio Bini, the representatives of the Host Cities, Elena Cecchini, 3 times Italian National Champion and Gold Medal in the Team Time Trial at the Innsbruck 2018 Road World Championships, leads the group of the athletes from Italy, and the BTC CITY Ljubljana Cycling Team from the near Slovenia, with the Team Manager Gorazd Penko with some athletes of the roster. Special guest has been the Football Trainer Edy Reja, who comes from Friuli, former coach of important football teams like Napoli.

The 30th Edition of the Giro Rosa, directed by Giuseppe Rivolta, will start in Piedmont on the 5th July with a hilly Team Time Trial of 18 kms between Cassano Spinola and Castellania, hometown of the Legendary "Campionissimo" Fausto Coppi, who was born in 1919, a hundred years ago. Like in 2018 with the historical stage finishes on the Monte Zoncolan and in Cividale, Friuli will be the final judge: Maniago, host city of the recent Paracycling Road World Championships, will be the finish of the Stage 8. The day after, there will be the Gemona del Friuli - Chiusaforte (Malga Montasio): 125.4 kms with uphill finish at 1544 meters, a very hard climb (highest slope 20%, average 8.1%) which was in the route of the Men Giro d'Italia 2013. The stage 10 will be raced between San Vito al Tagliamento and Udine for 118.6 kms and the final, short, cobblestoned climb of the Castle of Udine, which will assign the final Maglia Rosa and the trophy of the 30th Giro Rosa.

Giuseppe Rivolta, Giro Rosa Director:
"The 2019 Giro Rosa will reach an important moment, as it will turn 30 years old, and 100 since the birth of a cycling Legend like Fausto Coppi, who we will celebrate with the Team Time Trial on the Big Start. In the end the Friuli region: our friend Enzo Cainero, the Institutions, are working a lot for Women Cycling. Enzo has been very brave to bring the women's Giro on the Zoncolan, it was historical. The climb of Malga Montasio will be spectacular as well!"

The 30th Giro Rosa will be race between the 5th and 14th July 2019.

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