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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 7, 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

You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

TDF volume 1

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Mitch Docker renews with EF Education First-Drapac

Here's the team news release:

Road captain Mitch Docker has renewed his contract with EF Pro Cycling following his maiden season in #PinkArgyle. The Australian has embraced a leadership role within the team, which has proven integral to the team’s success.

“I’m happy that Mitch has re-upped with us,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “On and off the bike he’s the kind of rider who fits in well with this team and the things we try to do. On the road, he’s a steadfast road captain, communicating clearly, keeping guys in the right spots, keeping guys motivated. In the bus he’s a great presence as well — he brings good leadership but also a levity that’s unique. And his podcast and the way he brings fans into the sport is fantastic.”

For Docker, the decision to re-sign was an easy one. “The first reason to stay? The guys. I have loved racing and hanging out with my teammates. I knew from the first training camp at the start of the season that I was going to have a lot of fun with this team,” said Docker.

“Then there’s my race program. It’s great. I’ve loved all the races I’ve done," Docker added. "And finally my role within the team has challenged me not only physically but also mentally. As road captain, I make a commitment to get the best out of myself and my teammates in the races.”

Docker’s commitment at the 2018 Vuelta was a key part of the equation that saw teammates Simon Clarke and Mike Woods snag stage wins at the third Grand Tour of the season. “I was honored to be named road captain of a truly stellar team at the Vuelta,” said Docker. “It was fantastic to see how the team performed – not only the riders but the staff and management, too. The whole team stepped up, and we had a fantastic vibe. It showed in the results.”

The 32-year-old expects to continue to grow in his role and contribute to his team’s ambitions during the Classics season. “My Classics campaign was riddled with crashes this year,” noted Docker. “I feel like I never had the chance to show my best. There’s some unfinished business there.”

The relationship with EF Education First motivates Docker, who traveled to the EF Dusseldorf offices early in the season. “It adds an element of accountability to meet everyone on the ground who stands behind the company and to get a better understanding of who EF is and what they do,” said Docker. “We have a proper working relationship with them. They want to get to know us and make the team as a whole better. It’s very different to any other sponsorship I’ve had.” 

WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic's Jimmy Duquennoy dies from cardiac arrest

Here's the sad news as reported by

WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic's Jimmy Duquennoy has unexpectedly died on Friday evening. His team has said that the 23-year-old's death was a consequence of a cardiac arrest.

The rider became a professional at the Belgian team in 2017 and with it he achieved top-20 spots in races like Dwars door West-Vlaanderen, the Münsterland Giro and the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen. "The WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic team was informed on Saturday morning about the terrible and unbearable news of the death of its rider Jimmy Duquennoy," said the team in a Facebook message.

"Jimmy died unexpectedly on Friday night at his home. He was a 23-year-old man that was the most jovial, kind and open. He started running in our colours before achieving his dream of becoming a professional rider at the Wallonie Bruxelles of 2016."

You can read the entire story here.

Diego Ulissi, headed to Tour of Turkey, re-ups with UAE-Team Emirates

The team sent me this:

UAE Team Emirates will try to shine again this year in the Tour of Turkey, the race they won last season thanks to Diego Ulissi. The Italian rider has just renewed his contract with the Emirati team for another two years (2019-2020), and he will be the beacon for the team in the six stages of this World Tour race, which is taking place from 9 to 14 October.

Sports Directors Marco Marzano (Italy) and Simone Pedrazzini (Switzerland) will deploy these 7 riders:
– Anass Ait El Abdia (Morocco)
– Simone Consonni (Italy)
– Valerio Conti (Italy)
– Kristijan Durasek (Croatia)
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)
– Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland)
– Diego Ulissi (Italy)

Diego Ulissi: “I have fantastic memories of the last edition of the Tour of Turkey: I made the most of the top form I was in, on a very interesting route that was suited to my skills. This year’s route won’t be much different than 2017’s; the stage in Selçuk, on the fourth day of the race, will still be the crucial fraction for the general classification.  As always, in every stage we will have to pay attention to the wind, which could break up the group.

UAE Team Emirates will be well equipped, with a good group of climbers, including Kristijan Durasek, who won in 2015; he will be a very important figure for us. I’m very happy about the contract renewal. It would be lovely, for the team and for me, to close out the season well, with a prestigious result, but I am aware of the fact that the competition will be even tougher than last year.”

The Tour of Turkey will be the last race in the career of Przemyslaw Niemiec. The Polish rider, who made it to sixth place in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, scored the latest of his 15 career successes right here in the Turkish race (the Istanbul stage in 2016).

Przemyslaw Niemiec

Przemyslaw Niemiec wins the first stage of the 2016 Tour of Turkey

A big thanks goes out to Przemyslaw on behalf of the General Manager Giuseppe Saronni and the entire Team, for the professionalism and camaraderie that always set him apart.

Giant and Liv announce new partnership with CCC Team

Team BMC (which is becoming CCC Team) sent me this:

5 October, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA)

Giant and Liv announced today that they will transition away from Team Sunweb at the end of 2018 and begin a new partnership with CCC Team at the start of 2019. The sponsorship includes a pro men's WorldTour squad (CCC Team), an Under-23 men's team (CCC Development Team), and an elite women's team (CCC-Liv Team).

Giant and Liv have been linked with SMS Cycling B.V, the owner of Team Sunweb, for the past five seasons. From racing to product development, the partnership delivered major wins and memorable moments in both men's and women's road racing.

Highlights of the partnership include world championships, grand tour stage wins and a Giro d'Italia title. Together, Team Sunweb and Giant achieved major success at cycling's biggest event, the Tour de France, including winning the overall green and polka dot jerseys in 2017 and scoring an overall podium finish with Tom Dumoulin in Paris this year.

"Pro road cycling is always dynamic with teams and sponsors," said Giant Group Chief Branding Officer Phoebe Liu. "We're always striving to find the best partners to align with our mission to help athletes perform at their best. These partnerships also play a big role in helping us develop better products for cyclists of all levels. We can be proud of what we achieved with Team Sunweb, and we're thrilled to now begin a new partnership with the promising CCC Team."

CCC Team marks the next chapter for Continuum Sports, an organization with a successful track record of managing WorldTour pro road racing teams. Continuum Sports welcomes its new title sponsor CCC and the technical partnership with Giant for 2019 and beyond. CCC, based in Poland, is one of the largest footwear brands in Europe with more than 1,000 stores in 19 countries. CCC will also sponsor a Continental U23 team and become title sponsor of WaowDeals Pro Cycling, the elite women's team that will ride with Liv bikes and gear. The current agreement between Giant and Liv and the three CCC-sponsored teams is set for three years.

"We are delighted to welcome Giant as the bike and primary technical partner of CCC Team," said Continuum Sports General Manager Jim Ochowicz. "In 2019, we will start a new chapter as a team and the partnership with Giant will see our riders race on some of the best bikes in the world. The biggest WorldTour races, including time trials, one-day classics, and grand tours, have been won on Giant bikes over the years which is a testament to their expertise and groundbreaking technology and design. When discussions began with Giant, it was immediately clear that the partnership was a natural fit for both parties so we are looking forward to promoting the Giant brand, our shared vision of continuous innovation, and our passion for cycling from 2019.

"As CCC Team, Continuum Sports will have a new look and new objectives in 2019, so to welcome a technical partner of Giant's caliber gives us the utmost confidence as we approach the coming season. We are excited to work together and reach new success with Giant at the WorldTour level."

The men's WorldTour squad will feature current Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet. One of cycling's biggest stars, the Belgian pro has won Paris-Roubaix and numerous other major one-day classics, along with stages at the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and other stage races around the world.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet winning the 2016 Olympic road race. Sirotti photo

On the women's side, 11-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion Marianne Vos (2008, 2012) will lead CCC-Liv Team. The Dutch superstar, known as one of the greatest women cyclists of all time, will be reunited with Giant and Liv, whom she previously raced with for many years as a member of Team Rabobank.

Full rosters for the pro men's team, U23 development team and Liv-sponsored women's team will be announced later this year.

With more than 20 years of continuous support for road racing at the highest level by Giant, and 10 years of continuous support by Liv, both brands will continue their mission to develop cutting edge bikes and gear to help give racers a competitive edge. Engineers and product developers from Giant and Liv will work closely with CCC Team riders and staff to continue a leadership role in road racing technologies and innovations.

The men's teams will race and train with the latest TCR, Defy and Propel road bikes, plus the Trinity TT bike. The women's squad will race with the Liv Langma along with the all-new EnviLiv aero bike.

All three teams will play a critical role in helping Giant and Liv develop and test high-performance helmets, footwear, saddles, cockpit components, WheelSystems and more.

More details are coming soon regarding this exciting new partnership, including full team lineups and a closer look at the Giant and Liv products that CCC Team riders will compete with in 2019.

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