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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 10, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. - Samuel Johnson

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Preview of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent with Jasper De Buyst and Tosh Van der Sande

Lotto-Soudal sent me this:

Lotto Soudal teammates Jasper De Buyst and Tosh Van der Sande will be participating in the Lotto Six Days Flanders-Ghent, which takes place from Tuesday 13 November until Sunday 18 November. The duo will be riding in the Captains of Cycling shirt. Jasper De Buyst won the Six Days twice: in 2013 together with Leif Lampater and in 2014 with Kenny De Ketele. In 2015, his last participation, he and Otto Vergaerde finished third. Tosh Van der Sande participated for the last time in 2012. It’s the first time that Jasper and Tosh will form a pair on the track.

Ghent velodrome

Scene from the 2011 Ghent Six-Day. McGann photo

Jasper De Buyst: “Our track trainings are going really well, but you can’t compare that to an actual race. On training you are alone on the track and don’t have any opponents around you, so the circumstances are totally different. You suffer less on training than during the Six Days, when there will be moments that you need to help your partner when he’s in difficulty.”

“With my past, I can’t stand at the start without the ambition to win. Of course it won’t be easy to achieve that goal, but it is possible. As usual, there are strong participants, but I’m not watching my opponents and rely on our own strength. It will depend on small things, the difference between the top three is often small.”

“Resting will be important the following days, just like the preparation on the specific circumstances. From Saturday on I won’t be getting up as early as usual and I will go to bed later, to get used to the rhythm of the Six Days. Tosh and I still have a couple of trainings planned at ‘t Kuipke. I will be happy when we can finally start racing on Tuesday, after all preparations. It’s nice to be back at the start, five years after winning the Six Days for the first time, as a 19-year-old.”

Tosh Van der Sande: “This was the perfect moment to make a comeback in Ghent, because everything falls into place. Jasper is a good friend and we thought this was the right time to ride the Six Days together. We are both riding for the same team and Lotto is main sponsor of the event.”

“Two weeks ago, I came to Belgium to start preparing for the race together with Jasper. Since then we trained on the track almost every day. It had been a while since I had raced on the track, but you don’t lose those skills. Soon, we started riding behind the derny and we trained a lot for the madison. Our condition is fine, but we’ll need to adapt to the specific intensity of the track, which is different from a road race. But we tried to simulate those circumstances the best we could these past two weeks.”

“This will be the first time that Jasper and I are a pair on the track. He is a few years younger and that’s why we never raced together in the youth categories either. Jasper has more experience and more recent experience. He is alert and knows in which events we’ll need to grab points or when we’ll need to gain a lap. Much will depend on the first night. If we don’t finish on the podium, I will be disappointed, because we put a lot of time and energy in the preparation and my season is considerably extended. But I am very motivated. I am happy that I can ride on the track again.”

We have a short photo gallery of scenes from the 2011 Ghent 6-Day as well as some videos from that 6-Day.

Kaden Groves sprints to victory and into the leader’s jersey on stage one in Quanzhou Bay

Groves' Mitchelton-BikeExchange team sent me this report:

Australian sprinter Kaden Groves returned to racing with a bang for Mitchelton-BikeExchange today, sprinting to a convincing win on the opening stage of the three-day Tour of Quanzhou Bay in China.

In his first appearance since the Tour of China II back in September, 19-year-old Groves showed no signs of wanting for form on the short and explosive 80kilometre stage.

Slipping into a breakaway move ahead of the second intermediate sprint, Groves sat on as the group swelled to 21-riders and played the tactical game, doing enough to maintain his position as the group built up a steady advantage on the peloton whilst conserving energy for the coming sprint.

Carrying around 30seconds into the final, Groves showed both power and confidence, timing his effort perfectly and sprinting to the win ahead of two Dutchmen Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN) and Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town) to secure his second victory for the team after winning the final stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake in August.

Today’s win sees Groves move into the race lead with tomorrow’s stage two all set to be a day for the overall contenders, with the standout climb of the race coming right at the end of 109kilometres and a summit finish on Snow Mountain in Chengxiang – a first category ascent over eight kilometres at an average of 6%.

Kaden Groves:
“Today’s race was super-fast and on the typically wide Chinese three lane highways, I knew it would be hard for a move to stick on this kind of course, but it did and that was a pleasant surprise.”

“I was chasing the intermediate sprints, but in doing so that put me at the front of the race and after 50kilometres the group expanded, and we established a breakaway.

“Although we never had an advantage greater than 40seconds it was enough to hold off the bunch. I was confident I could win the stage and I knew what I had to do, it’s great to get the win.

“Tomorrow doesn’t suit me but I will respect the leader’s jersey as best I can and ride to the best of my ability. The summit finish at the end of tomorrow’s stage makes it a climber’s tour.”

Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage one results:

1. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) 01:39:50
2. Roy Eefting (Memil-CCN-Pro-Cycling) ST
3. Ivar Slik (Monkey-Town-Continental-Team) ST

Carmakers moving into e-mobility market: Ford to buy electric scooter startup

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update

DEARBORN, Mich. (BRAIN) — Axios is reporting, based on multiple unnamed sources, that Ford Motor Co. has agreed to buy the electric scooter startup Spin. According to Axios, one source put the price tag at about $40 million.

Spin began operating scooter share programs earlier this year, after previously operating bike share programs. Now it has scooters in about eight U.S. cities and five college campuses.

General Motors announced last week that it will begin selling e-bikes in 2019.

You can read the entire story here.

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