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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, November 11, 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

I don't do drugs. I am drugs. - Salvador Dali

Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

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Mitchelton-Scott reports on Tour of Quanxhou stage two

Following a fantastic start to the Tour of Quanzhou Bay with victory on the opening stage Mitchelton-BikeExchange produced another strong performance on stage two today with Liu Jiankun climbing with the favourites to finish within the top ten up Snow Mountain.

It was always going to be a difficult task for the Chinese outfit to retain possession of Kaden Groves blue leader’s jersey on today’s hilly stage and the Australian sprinter focused instead on trying to keep the green points jersey and helping Liu Jiankun into a good position to tackle the final climb.

After missing out on the first intermediate sprint, the stage one winner was left frustrated in his efforts to keep the green jersey as the breakaway established itself soon after the sprint and the both the points and leader’s jersey were set to change hands by the stage end.

With the objective now shifting to the climb up Snow Mountain it was left to Liu to ride aggressively and the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint. Attacking onto the climb once the earlier break had been caught, Liu’s action sparked a seven rider move that went on to contest the stage.

Last year’s overall winner Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) again impressed, taking the stage win and with it the race lead. Liu rode well until end and crossed the line in sixth place and moved up to tenth on GC with one more day of racing to come tomorrow.

Liu Jiankun:
“Our plan for today’s stage was to keep Kaden’s green jersey and see how we went on the final climb.  At the first intermediate sprint we did a lead-out for Kaden, but with only five riders per team it was quite hard to control the peloton and we couldn’t keep the green jersey after the stage.”

“The last ten kilometres of the stage was hilly, with the final five kilometres completely uphill. I tried to attack with four kilometres to go and soon we formed a seven man leading group.

“With 400metres to go there were many attacks in the group. I did my last attack with 200metres to go, but the final 200metres was steeper than I expected. If I could’ve learned more about the route I could maybe have achieved a better result.”

Tour of Quanzhou Bay stage two results:

1. Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) 02:37:17
2. Mykhailo Kononenko (Beijing-XDS-Innova-Cycling) +0:01
3. Ka Hoo Fung (HKSI-Pro-Cycling-Team) +0:01
6. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:11

General classification after stage two:

1. Max Steadman (Canyon-Eisberg) 04:16:57
2. Ka Hoo Fung (HKSI-Pro-Cycling-Team) +0;07
3. Marko Pavlic (H&R-Block-Pro-Cycling) +0:11
10. Liu Jiankun (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +1:02

Iljo Keisse & Elia Viviani to race Gent 6-Day

Here's the update from Team Quick-Step:

The two Quick-Step Floors riders will team up for the prestigious track event (November 13-18).

The 78th edition of the Six Days of Gent will see many all-star pairings line up at the start in the legendary Kuipke velodrome, a 166.66m-long track that promises to deliver fireworks next week, when the riders will take on different races – points, team elimination, flying lap time trial, Madison, derny, sprint, scratch and 500m time trial – which will determine the final ranking.

Among the teams that will be vying for overall glory will be also the one comprising multiple winner Iljo Keisse and Olympic Omnium Champion Elia Viviani. For Iljo, this will be the 15th participation at the Six Days of Gent, which the now 35-year-old rider has conquered on six occasions: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015, a record this century.

Iljo Keisse

This will be Iljo Keisse's 15th Gent 6-Day. Sirotti photo.

World Champion and European Champion on the track and winner of nearly 30 Six Day events throughout his career, Iljo – who together with Elia will sport a Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey – is ready to give it another go in his home race and try to get the better of his rivals, although the road that lies ahead announces itself as a challenging one.

"The Six Days of Gent is always a special event for me, one to which I look forward every year. I'm happy to be back on the bike and ride with Elia, an Olympic Champion on the track and the most successful rider of 2018 on the road. My family will be there, the fans will come in huge numbers and create a fantastic atmosphere and we'll do our best to get the victory, especially as it's been a few years since the last time I won here."

This past season has been an unforgettable one for Elia Viviani, winner of 18 races in the Quick-Step Floors jersey and European Team Pursuit Champion. After enjoying a well-deserved vacation following his successful Vuelta a España, where he captured three wins which he added to his four Giro d'Italia stages, the 29-year-old Italian resumed training and is ready for an adrenaline-packed week in Gent.

"I'm excited to be going to Gent and riding with Iljo. I'm sure it will be an amazing week, but also a difficult one, because many teams will be aiming for the win. To triumph in such an event you have to be both strong and smart. We are motivated for this, we hope to put on quite the show for all the fans in the stands and to take the overall victory in the mythical Kuipke", said Elia, who will be at the start for the third consecutive year.

Dorel's bike business continues to recover in Q3

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Dorel Industries announced Friday that revenue in its sports division, which includes the company's portfolio of mass and IBD bike brands, rose 6.6 percent in the third quarter, to $219.1 million from $205.5 in the same period a year earlier. The result is the second consecutive quarter of growth for the bike business.

During an earnings call Friday, Dorel president and CEO Martin Schwartz said, "Several new product launches at Dorel Sports benefited all three divisions: CSG, Pacific Cycle and Caloi. ... The Cycling Sports Group had an excellent sales meeting this summer, and dealer reaction was most enthusiastic. Several new Cannondale and GT models in various categories were launched during the quarter, and all have been very well received.

"Pacific Cycle had a very solid quarter. Among the drivers were customers building up inventory in advance of the approaching holiday season, improved parts and accessories shipments, continued growth in the Mongoose scooter line, and strong sales of battery-powered ride-ons," Schwartz added.

Caloi, Dorel's Brazilian bike brand, also had a strong quarter, but its results were undercut by foreign-exchange impacts, the company noted.

"Business there is improving. We've seen some improvement in the real since the end of the third quarter, and we are hoping that continues as well now that they have their election behind them," CFO Jeffrey Schwartz said.

Company officials said they expect the momentum in bike to continue into the fourth quarter.

You can read the entire story here

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