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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, December 30, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Geraint Thomas awarded OBE

Here's the news release from Thomas' Team Sky

The 32 year old enjoyed a stellar 2018, triumphing at the Criterium de Dauphiné in June before becoming the first Welshman ever to win the Tour de France in July.

Just a fortnight after winning the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award, Thomas has now added to his successful 2018 with an OBE in the New Years Honours list, which recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK.

The OBE - a Queen’s honour given to an individual for a major role in an activity - stands for Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and follows on from the MBE Thomas was awarded in the 2009 Honours List following his GB Olympic success in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas (shown in the 2019 Tour de France) will be awarded an OBE. Sirotti photo

A delighted Thomas expressed his pride at being honoured once again, commenting: "This is an amazing honour. 2018 will always be a year I remember for everything I achieved around both the Dauphiné and especially the Tour.

"This is the icing on the cake and I am so grateful to everyone who played a part in helping me get recognised once again. I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store, as we look to create more history as a team."

Nibali contract talks ‘on hold’ in wake of blockbuster McLaren deal

Velonews posted this news update

Negotiations with Nibali on hold while team finalize details with new partner, who return to cycling following previous involvement with Team Sky and Specialized.

The blockbuster deal to add the McLaren Group as an ongoing partner with Bahrain-Merida put contract extension talks on hold with Italian superstar Vincenzo Nibali.

Team officials said that negotiations to keep Nibali in a Bahrain-Merida jersey beyond 2019 have been shelved temporarily while the details of the arrival of its high-profile new partner McLaren are finalized.

Vincenzo Nibali

Vincenzo Nibali racing up Alpe d'Huez in the 2018 Tour. Sirotti photo

“The negotiations have been put on hold with the McLaren deal,” said general manager Brent Copeland. “With the new partnership coming on board, we preferred to wait.”

Copeland underscored there is mutual interest from both sides to extend Nibali’s contract, but said the expansive talks with the McLaren Group — which joins as a permanent, long-term partner in a 50-percent joint venture announced earlier this month — meant contract negotiations were put on ice until the deal was complete.

The Bahrain-Merida team was founded in 2017, with Nibali at the gravitational center of the squad. Nibali’s natural first choice would be to stay with the team that was founded in part based on his close relationship with Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa dating back to 2015.

You can read the entire story here.

Lucinda Brand wins cross race in Bredene, Belgium

Brand's Team Sunweb sent me this:

Team Sunweb's Lucinda Brand (NED) has secured another spectacular win at Brico Cross in Bredene today, taking a lead in the last lap healthy enough to raise her bike in victory across the line.

Lucinda Brand

Lucinda Brand winning a cross race earlier this year.

Brand said: “It was a heavy, fast course with a lot of wind. The ground was also pretty sticky, but I had a good start. At the end of the first lap Compton had a small crash which meant that the group split. I managed to ride away from the rest along with Loes Sels. She was riding very strong and put me under pressure. On several occasions I increased the speed but I couldn’t drop her - she was super strong. On the last lap I tried to do one final, hard attack and then she finally cracked. It's super nice to win, also with it being my last race of 2018. Now it's time to get a little rest and do some more training before another hard fight in the nationals."

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