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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Sometimes a loss is the best thing that can happen. It teaches you what you should have done next time. - Snoop Dogg

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Giro d'Italia stage 16 reports

We posted the organizer's and stage winner Rohan Dennis' Team BMC reports with the stage results.

GC leader Simon Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

Three-time stage winner Simon Yates has managed to retain the pink leader’s jersey after the second time trial of the Giro d’Italia. The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider finished in 22nd position, one-minute 37seconds behind stage winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) and one-minute 15seconds behind closest general classification threat Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

The course:
Unlike the short, punchy time trial we saw back in Israel, today’s longer, more straightforward parcours was one better suited to the time trial specialists.

The first half of the 34.2km route was more-or-less flat before some minor bumps in the second half. Any technical corners, of which there were few, were also in its early and concluding stages.

Today’s winners:
It was Tony Martin (Team Katusha – Alpecin) who posted the first serious time of the day, stopping the clock at 40minutes and 14seconds and holding onto the hot seat for a large portion of the day. The only rider who managed to knock him off his perch was Dennis who recorded an impressive 40-minute flat time over the 34.2km course.

The GC outlook:
Starting the day with a two-minute 11second advantage, Yates managed to hold the overall lead by limiting his losses to one-minute 15seconds to Dumoulin.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates kept the maglia rosa.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) both posted strong times, whilst Yates gained more time on Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).

Dumoulin now sits 56seconds behind Yates with Pozzovivo, who is now third, at three-minutes 11seconds adrift.

Simon Yates – Race Leader/Maglia Rosa:
“I am really happy, I felt good in the first 20-25km. I had a good rhythm and felt like I was going well. I wasn’t losing so much time and I was really trying to hold my position, but in the final ten kilometres I really died a thousand deaths.”

“I thought I would lose a lot more, but I managed to hang on and I am really happy with that. I think after today it will change our tactics for the coming stages and I think, unfortunately for the fans we will have to be a lot more defensive.

“We’ll see how it plays out, there’s quite a big gap to some of the guys behind me now, Tom (Dumoulin) is only 56seconds, but to the others it’s a good gap. There's still a long way to go to Rome. I hope I don't have any bad luck or bad days and I’ll see what I can do.”

Lotto-Soudal sent me this unhappy news about Victor Campenaerts:

Today’s time trial of 34.2 kilometres between Trento and Rovereto was a big goal for Victor Campenaerts. At twenty to two, he was one of the first riders to start the time trial and he covered the course in 41’07”. That time was not enough to compete for the stage victory. Campenaerts eventually finished in thirteenth place, 1’07” down on winner Rohan Dennis. The sixteenth stage of the Giro will be the last for the European time trial champion. After mutual agreement with the sports directors, he decided not to start in Riva del Garda tomorrow.

Victor Campenaerts

Victor Campenaerts riding the first 2018 Giro stage.

Victor Campenaerts: “I am very disappointed with today’s result. It is natural to feel that way if you start the time trial with high expectations. I never received negative signals this week and I certainly don’t want to hide behind excuses. Two days ago, I could produce more power during 40 minutes than I did today. Being a time trialist, that’s just something you don’t expect.”

“During time trials at the beginning of a race, like in the Tour de Romandie, Volta ao Algarve or in Jerusalem two weeks ago, I feel I can compete with the world’s best riders. In time trials that are scheduled later in a race, like in the Tirreno-Adriatico and today, I lose small percentages of my shape. This will be something to improve in the future. Today’s time trial will be my last stage in this Giro. After mutual agreement with the sports directors, we decided that I won’t start tomorrow.”

“I will focus on new goals such as the Critérium du Dauphiné. The French stage race starts with a prologue, and later on there is a team time trial. First, I will take some days off the bike in Belgium and then I will start to prepare for that race, in which I’ll try to obtain a good result. The team got me on board to perform in time trials, so that’s exactly what I will try to do in the Critérium du Dauphiné.”

The opening stage of the Tour des Fjords was also scheduled today. Moreno Hofland sprinted to a second place in Grimstad after compatriot Fabio Jakobsen. Timo Roosen completed the Dutch podium.

Here's Bora-hansgrohe's Giro news:

The stage after yesterday’s rest day saw a 34.2km individual time trial, where R. Dennis took the stage win ahead of T. Martin. The highest-placed BORA - hansgrohe rider was Felix Großschartner, who finished the course 1:28 behind the stage winner in 20thposition. His teammate Patrick Konrad showed as well a solid time trial and is still close to the top ten in the overall ranking.

The Stage
The 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia saw an individual time trial of 34,2kilometres and went through the city of Trento to the finish in Rovereto. The route was at the first part of the race more or less flat but the second part of the race covered some hilly sections. The Intermediate time checks were taken at 12km and 25km. Overall it wasn’t a flat course for specialists as it consisted of many changes in rhythm.

The Team Tactics
BORA – hansgrohe went into today’s stage to protect the 10th place from Patrick Konrad in the overall ranking, he should finish after a solid ride and try to limit any time losses. The plan was that all BORA – hansgrohe riders should finish safe and show a solid ride in today’s tricky stage.

The Race
The German rider Andreas Schillinger was the first BORA – hansgrohe rider, he left the start ramp at 13:28 and completed the 34,2km course with a time of 44:51. T. Martin (Team Katusha) was the man, who crossed the line with a new best time, he finished the race after 40:14 minutes and was able to keep the hot seat for a long time. At 14:15 Giro d’Italia stage winner Sam Bennett started out on the course and the clock stopped after 44:30 minutes. In the late afternoon Felix Großschartner left the start house and showed a strong ride, the Austrian rider crossed the line after 41:28 minutes, which was 20th place in the end. GC contender Patrick Konrad finished safely and is still close to the top ten in the GC. Davide Formolo showed a great time trial performance today, he crossed the line after 41:44, meant 23rd place in the end of today’s stage. As one of the last riders, R. Dennis (BMC) left the start house and crossed the line in a new best time of 40:00 and took the win of today’s time trial.

From the Finish Line
“I felt really good today, normally that kind of course isn’t my favourite but I am satisfied with my result. Now, I want to help my teammates the upcoming stages. – Felix Großschartner

“Felix showed a solid performance today, the course favoured the Rouleurs in the peloton, but he had a good time trial and crossed the line just 1:28 behind the stage winner. Davide was really good today, with his 23rdplace he achieved one of his best results in a time trial stage.” – Jens Zemke, sports director 

And Fabio Aru's UAE-Team Emirates sent this report:

UAE Team Emirates’ Fabio Aru and Diego Ulissi exceeded expectations during today’s Stage 16, as the Italian National Champion and his compatriot secured a top ten finishes in the Individual Time Trial (ITT). Aru, naturally a climbing specialist, made light work of the 34km route as he powered across the finish line to secure sixth, whilst Ulissi produced an equally stellar ride on the Colnago KOne to finish eighth.

The eventual winner, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) finished with a time of  40:00, but the pink jersey wearer, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) holds onto the General Classification lead for another day.

Commenting on the team’s remarkable performance, Aru said: “My performance in the TT has been good. I did not forget the difficulties I faced in the past days, however the Giro goes on and I’ll face every day with serenity. I thank everyone who supported me: the team, my family and the fans, I received many messages of support which made me very happy”.

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru turning in a good stage 16 time trial.

Tomorrow’s Stage 17 could deliver a few surprises. At 155 km and with some moderate but not difficult climbs, the stage doesn’t throw up too many challenges. However, those attackers looking to get into an early breakaway could take advantage of the opening 10 km  ascent as they pursue the various jerseys still up for grabs. The peloton’s best opportunity to reign in the attacking group will be in the final third of the race, where the terrain flattens out and, should they be caught, we will undoubtedly be in for a sprint finish. But riders beware, the final 5km is littered with roundabouts – the last of which is extremely wide and comes just 500m from the finish.

E-Bikes sales now growing all over Europe

Bike Europe sent me this news

DOETINCHEM, the Netherlands – It’s now perfectly clear. The growth in sales of electric bikes which in particular has taken place in the Netherlands and Germany is being followed-up in all European markets. And especially in the most important West European markets for bicycles. After France showed a remarkable e-bike sales growth in 2017, the same holds true for Italy and the UK. With that electric bikes are turning into a major Europe wide trend.
Italy’s industry association ANCMA has presented its market statistics for 2017 while Bike Europe studied sales in the United Kingdom. The result is that in both countries a strong growth in the sale of electric bicycles has taken place in the past year. By the way, the increase is not as big as in France where sales, stimulated through a government subsidy on the purchasing price of an e-bike, recorded a 90% plus. But still, the e-bike markets of Italy and the UK scored double-digit growth figures.

According to industry association ANCMA some 148,000 e-bikes were sold in Italy in 2017. This stands for a 19% increase on the sales total for a year earlier.

Like in Germany and Austria where earlier Market Reports on 2017 sales indicated that e-MTBs are an outright sales hit, also on Italy this e-bike category is, says ANCMA, “the undisputed market leading segment.” The big majority of the close to 150,000 e-bike sold in Italy in 2017 were e-MTBs making up 65% of all sales. But it’s noted by ANCMA that the e-Road segment of the e-bike market could be heading for a fine future starting in 2018 as it brings the public the ability to climb the same mountains as professional racers do in the Giro d’Italia.

United Kingdom
As for the UK; over the past years the shining light of the bike industry here has undoubtedly been e-bikes. For tracking their market development the official government UK HMRC customs import figures for e-bikes have been largely recognised as not reliable in recent years. HMRC realized this and for 2017 introduced a more narrowly defined commodity code that more accurately reflects legal electric bikes. By the way this has been dealt with on a European-wide level with the introduction of new CN Codes for e-bikes as well as speed pedelecs per January 1, 2017.

You can read the entire article here.

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