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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 14, 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

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. - Galileo

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Team Dimension Data reports on Tour of Oman stage one

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Mark Cavendish clinched his second top-three finish of the year as he finished second in the opening stage of the Tour of Oman.

The stage was won in a bunch sprint by Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) with Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) third and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in fourth. This result follows on Cavendish’s stage three victory at the recent Dubai Tour.

The 162.5km stage from Nizwa to Sultan Qaboos University saw an early breakaway of four riders stay away for most of the day. Maxime Farazijn (SVB), Pierre Luc Perichon (FST) Conor Dunne (ABS)) and Brian Van Goethem (RNL) managed to extend their lead to over 3 minutes in the first 100km of the race, but the peloton comfortably controlled the gap to around a minute in the latter stages.

As expected, the break was reeled in by the teams who had sprint ambitions with just under 10 kilometres to go, setting up a final sprint. Our riders worked to protect Cavendish through the race and in the last corner, he was placed just outside the top five. He had work to move up into place for the last km. Cavendish claimed second in the sprint with the rest of his teammates safely over the line after a solid performance.

Tour of Oman

Byan Coquard wins the first stage

Nic Dougall – Rider: “We just looked after Cav and also after Merhawi (Kudus) because we’re looking at him for the GC. In the final we just tried to protect Cav as much as possible but obviously we didn’t have a full sprint lead-out team for him so he was happy to follow the other teams and surf some of their trains so he was in a pretty good position. He did a really good sprint for second. We’re looking forward to the next couple of days which are a bit harder and should suit the climbers a bit more. We’re looking good for the rest of the week.”

Lotto-Soudal headed to Volta ao Algarve

Here's the note I got from the team:

The Lotto Soudal riders have arrived in Portugal for the Volta ao Algarve. This five-day stage race starts tomorrow and contains a time trial of 20.3 kilometres on Friday. European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts will ride his first time trial for Lotto Soudal.

Victor Campenaerts

Victor Campenaerts time trialing in the 2016 Vuelta

Victor Campenaerts: “We did a recon of the time trial course today and it is pretty technical. There are some fast descents with corners and two hills. The first hill is only 150 metres long, but very steep. After the top it doesn’t go downhill right away and I like that. The second hill is steep too and is 500 metres long. You ride full speed towards the bottom.”

“It’s a course for time trial specialists and I’m glad about that. It will be crucial to divide your energy and not to lose much speed uphill. After the hills you need to make sure to go quickly back to 53 or 54 kilometres an hour. I had already taken a look at the course on internet, but it is an advantage to have been able to do a recon today.”

“It’s still early down the season and I want to reach my top shape by the opening time trial of the Giro at the beginning of May, but the goal is clear: I want to win on Friday. With Stefan Küng, Tony Martin and Ryan Mullen I have some strong opponents, but it will be a disappointment if I don’t finish on top five.”

“I had a good preparation ahead of the Volta ao Algarve. After Challenge Mallorca I stayed one more week on Mallorca to train. Back home I took some rest and the last days I put some pressure on the legs. Saturday I did one last intense time trial training. That preparation can be compared to last year, when I won the time trial at Ruta del Sol. I have a good feeling now too.”

Frederik Willems, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We aim for a good result on the first, third and fourth stage. On Wednesday and Saturday a sprint stage is scheduled. Jasper De Buyst and Jens Debusschere will both sprint once this week and do the lead-out on the other day. That way, they can both do a sprint. Jens will be riding Tirreno-Adriatico next month, while Jasper will be the lead-out for André Greipel in Paris-Nice. Both riders will also race in the Belgian opening weekend. Victor Campenaerts has his mind set on the time trial. The course contains all what a time trialist likes.”

“We’ll see what to do on Thursday and Sunday. Thursday there’s a summit finish in Fóia after a climb of fifteen kilometres. We will either choose for a breakaway or wait if the race remains closed. On the last day, the race will probably be more open. That stage ends on a steep climb with parts up to ten per cent.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Victor Campenaerts, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Jens Keukeleire, Nikolas Maes, Lawrence Naesen and Jelle Wallays.

Sports director: Frederik Willems and Herman Frison.


World Cup Virtual Cycling event to be held in Los Angeles

The organizer sent me this short note:

CVR World Cup virtual cycle (racing on indoor trainers while navigating through virtual landscapes) is coming to the Velo Sports Center in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Virtual cycling

CVR is holding their upcoming CVR World Cup LA race at the Velo Sports Center (at Stub Hub Center, Home of the LA Galaxy). Share in the fun, and root for your favorite cyclists, as they compete for OVER $100,000 in cash and prizes Experience amazing professional cycling competition on Zwift’s indoor, interactive, MMO, virtual cycling platform.

Here are the CVR World Cup LA details:

March 25th, 8:30am -7:00pm

Velo Sports Center
18400 Avalon Boulevard
Carson, California 90746
(310) 630-2073

(Located on the Campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills)

Click here for free tickets.

Trek closes warehouse in Spain, consolidates operations

Bike Europe sent me this industry news:

MADRID, Spain – To improve the service level to its retailers, Trek decided last November to close its warehouse in Spain. “We better serve our customers directly from our European warehouse in the Wychen, the Netherlands,” said Olivier Pelous Trek’s General Manager in Spain and Portugal.

2017 proved to be successful for Trek Bicycles in Spain and Portugal. In the Spanish trade magazine CMD Trek’s General Manager in the two countries Olivier Pelous stated, “our turn-over increased by 6 percent to 25.4 million euro in 2017.”

Treks’ gateway to the European market, the ‘Netherlands Central Inventory’ (NCI) distribution center, is based in Wychen, a Dutch/German border town. Trek’s NCI can handle all shipments within 24 or 48 hours, depending on the distance. The lead times for dealers and distributors further away from Wychen, such as in Scandinavia and Italy, is from 48 to 72 hours at the maximum.

“With NCI we can give our dealers direct access to a much larger stock, faster and without any additional costs.” Trek’s representative on the Iberian Peninsula adds that, “For next year we expect that 80 percent of our sales will be manufactured in Europe. It allows us to simplify our supply chain tremendously while we can also speed up lead times to our retailers.”

How important speeding up the supply chain is for Trek was put forward by Oliver Pelous, stating, “In a sector that has become more competitive than ever, it is clear to us that in addition to offering an attractive brand and a competitive product, our success is based on being the best supplier for the stores.”

You can read the entire story here.

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