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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. - G. K. Chesterton

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Another unfortunate setback for Heinrich Haussler

This is from Haussler's Bahrain-Merida team:

Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

It is with great pity that we announce that our rider Heinrich Haussler had an unfortunate accident this morning while training close to his home in Germany. He was doing his last specific training workout when he crashed and broke his right collarbone. This accident comes in the time when Heinrich was feeling well and recovered after he missed most of last season with his knee injury.

“I was fortunate enough to get to the hospital quickly and treated very well on arrival but unfortunately the fracture was confirmed, I’m pretty confident and very determined that I’ll be back on the bike very soon. My form was very good as I had a great training camp with the team in the past few weeks in Calpe.The only bad thing is that I can’t be with the team now and race in Dubai. I feel and believe that this is just a small setback compared with what I’ve been through last year. I’m not really worried, was a bit unfortunate, but the determination is higher then ever, and I’ll be back soon.” – Heinrich is all positive.

Hainrich Haussler

Heinrich Haussler climbing in the 2016 Giro d'Italia

Our GM Brent Copeland: It’s very unfortunate for Heinrich to have crashed at this time of the season as his physical condition was really coming on well and both the medical staff and the technical staff were very pleased with his progress, however as always we like to look at the bright side of these circumstances and it is still early in the season and once the operation is completed we are sure Heinrich will be back to competition as soon as the medical staff give the go ahead, he is determined and positive minded as always and this is what makes us believe he will be back racing with the best as soon as he recovers!
The teams medical staff will have a full report tomorrow after the operation is completed.

Filippo Ganna podiums for the first time in a stage race

Ganna's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this news:

Filippo Ganna, 21 years old, finished on the podium of a stage race for the first time in his young career by taking third overall in Argentina’s Vuelta a San Juan today.

The young rouleur, already individual pursuit world champion and reigning European champion, placed fourth in the second stage, runner up in the time trail and won the final under 23 classification. After the time trial, he held the race leader’s jersey for two days.

The Dubai Tour next month is now on his radar in an effort to refine his form ahead of the upcoming track world championships from February 28 to March 4 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.

Filippo Ganna

Filippo Ganna racing in the Vuelta a San Juan.

“I cannot help but being proud of how my team took on this Vuelta a San Juan,” said Ganna. “We fought, we defended the leader’s jersey as far as we could, we tried to retake it, too. I’d say that we honoured the race with our team.

“I have to be particularly satisfied with my improvement that I’ve made over the last year and I hope that this is a good omen for the 2018 season to come.”
Nizzolo, won last stage of the Vuelta a San Juan 2018. Second place for Max Richeze and third place for Jose Hodeg, both of the Quick-Step.

Stage results
1 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 2:55:23
2 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
3 Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Quick-Step Floors

Final general classification
1 Gonzalo Najar (Arg) S.E.P. de San Juan 19:03:43
2 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Medellin +51”
3 Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates +1’11”

EF Education First-Drapac targets sprint stages in European season opener

The squad sent me this preview:

Two new sprint signings headline EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale’s seven-man roster for the 69th edition of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

“I think Valencia is a really good opportunity for us to start playing a little bit with our new sprint capabilities in Dan McLay and Sacha Modolo,” said EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “That’s what I’m looking for this week more so than a general classification performance.”

The five-day race runs from Wednesday January 31 – Sunday February 4. The race opens and closes with projected sprint stages. Two climbing stages and a team time trial are sandwiched between the likely sprints.

Pierre Rolland represents the only true climber amongst the #PinkArgyle’s seven-man squad, which largely consists of Classics riders – all of whom will race for the first time this season in Valencia.

Pierre Rollanbd

Pierre Rolland racing in the 2017 Giro d'Italia, stage 15

“For the climbing days, stage two and stage four, we can go into the breakaways,” said sport director Ken Vanmarcke. “We’ll see what’s possible. Maybe on the second stage the break has a real chance to stay in the front, and even if not, then somebody gets a really good training day.”

While the Volta Valenciana squad has had plenty of good training days leading up to the race’s start on Wednesday, those training days have been filled with all sorts of non-training activity, too. EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale held its annual training camp in Girona in the build-up to the race. The days were filled with photo shoots, POC helmet fittings, Cannondale product information sessions, all sorts of team meetings and sponsor meet-and-greets.

“For this team at this time, my expectations are somewhat tempered as they’re coming off a busy training camp,” said Vaughters.

Vanmarcke’s expectations are slightly less measured: “With the two sprinters we have there, we have to go for a win. There are two sprint stages, and we tried everything on the Parcmotor Castelloí circuit last Thursday. We have to go full on the sprint days.”

McLay eagerly anticipates the challenge. “Between me and Sacha, I expect we’ll find our way and have a good go in the sprints,” said the Manxman. “There will be a little bit of learning, but there’s no point in hesitating. We’ll give it our best effort.” 

And for stage three team time trial? “There will be a nice taste of blood in the throat on Friday, I reckon,” said McLay. 

EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale for 2018 Volta Valenciana:

Director: Ken Vanmarcke (BEL)

Matti Breschel (DEN)
Sebastian Langeveld (NLD)
Dan McLay (GBR)
Sacha Modolo (ITA)
Pierre Rolland (FRA)
Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL)
Sep Vanmarcke (BEL)

Team Sky announces Valenciana squad

Sky sent me this news:

29 JANUARY 2018: Team Sky will continue the European road season this week with a strong lineup at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Team Sky have tackled the event twice since it returned to the cycling calendar in 2016, and will be hoping to continue a strong run of form in the Spanish stage race. Wout Poels won the race overall two years ago and returns to lead the team’s challenge across the five days (31 January – 4 February).

Wout Poels

Wout Poels racing in the 2016 Valenciana Volta

The Dutchman is joined by David de la Cruz, Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Diego Rosa and Ian Stannard.

Looking forward to his first start of 2018, Poels said: “I’m really looking forward to this season. I finished 2017 off strongly at the Vuelta a Espana and now it’s time to get back in the game and try to get some nice results.

“Naturally sixth place at the Vuelta gave me a lot of confidence. I hope I get more opportunities to do more things like that in the Grand Tours. For now, I’m just excited to get back to racing, starting this week.”

Sport Director Servais Knaven will be calling the shots from the team car, and explained the plan for the week ahead.

Knaven said: “Wout is going to be the leader and he is aiming to win the race again, like he did two years ago. I saw him in Mallorca and he’s feeling good. He’s got no issues, he had a good winter and he’s up for going full gas this week. We have a few cards to play but Wout will be the leader.

“David de la Cruz is really excited to start the season and is in good shape as well, and Diego just had a son, so for sure he will be motivated!”

From a general classification standpoint Knaven also broke down the race. “There are two days for GC. There’s a 30km team time trial on Friday and a mountaintop finish on Saturday. That will be important and we have a strong lineup for that TTT. Hopefully the guys will be able to take time on the other GC contenders - that would be great and that’s the aim. Then you’re in a good position for the mountaintop finish on Saturday, but if we have to make time back then we have a strong team who could make the race hard.

“It’s always good to have a TTT in a stage race. There’s not so many in general so it’s good to have it. It’s good practise for the new guys in the team but also, when you have a strong team, it could be a good start for GC as well. We’re really focused on that TTT - it’s a big goal for the week.

“The route is different again compared to last year and the year before, but it is similar. Two days for the sprinters, one day for the climbers, and last year we had a TTT as well. There’s a day with a pretty steep climb in the final where we expect a pretty small group to contest the finish. There’s a bit of everything so it’s a good race to start the season.”

Frank the Welder increases capacity, makes space available for retail

When we owned Torelli Imports, Frank the Welder repaired our TIG-Welded frames and did beautiful work.

This piece came to us from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (BRAIN) — Longtime OE frame maker Frank Wadelton is moving his operations into a new 12,000-square-foot factory that will give him room to increase production capacity and extra space to rent to like-minded entrepreneurs.

The building is on busy Route 5 in this Southern Vermont town on the Connecticut River. Wadelton is a partner in the corporation that bought the building, and his framebuilding business, FTW, will rent roughly a third of it. He said a machine shop is expected to take another third. The rest of the space could be used for a coffee shop, tap room, bike rental operation or something similar, Wadelton said.

FTW moved to Vermont about 14 years ago. The company has done product development for brands that include Sinister bikes, Christini Technologies, Motivate, Structure Cycles, Spooky Cycles, Vynl Race Bikes and Serotta Design Studio. FTW currently manufactures frames for Vynl, Spooky and Serotta, soon to be joined by John Parker's new brand, Underground, and Fatbikeskis, a new company marketing a ski blade that replaces the front wheel on fat bikes.

You can read the entire story here.

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