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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Rule-following, legal precedence, and political consistency are not more important than right, justice and plain common-sense. - W. E. B. Du Bois

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Dylan Groenewegen sprints to 14th win of the season in Tour of Guangxi

Groenewegen's LottoNL-Jumbo team sent me this report:

Dylan Groenewegen has won the first stage of the Tour of Guangxi. In the streets of the Chinese city Beihai, the rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo sprinted to the win in a bunch sprint. As a result, he leads the World Tour race. It’s the fourteenth win of the season for Groenewegen and the 33rd win for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

After his teammates had controlled the whole stage, Groenewegen was able to start his sprint in a good position. “It was a hectic final”, the rider from Amsterdam recalled. “At the end, a rider escaped on a small climb, but the team closed the gap. We did a good job in the final. I’m very happy that I’ve won the first stage. Big thanks to the team.”

Dylan Groenewegen

Dylan Groenewegen earlier this year.

Groenewegen got a lot of motivation out of his fourteenth win. “It’s important to start a stage race well. And what’s a better start than winning immediately? It gives me motivation for the next stages. Tomorrow, there will be another flat stage. Then we’ll try to win again”, Groenewegen said.

And here's Bora-hansgrohe's Tour of Guangxi report:

Today’s Tour of Guangxi opener in Beihai ended with the expected bunch sprint. A group of six, which went away early, was always under control of the sprinter teams. A late attack from Peter Kennaugh did put BORA – hansgrohe in a comfortable position. Pete’s effort together with G. Moscon forced the other teams to work hard for a sprint finish. Finally, with 3k to go, the duo was reeled in and the lead-out was full on. BORA – hansgrohe moved up late with German Champion Pascal Ackermann. But it was D. Groenewegen who took the win, while Pascal finished 4th today.

01       D. Groenewegen         2:21:45
02       M. Walscheid              +0:00
03       F. Jakobsen                +0:00
04       P. Ackermann             +0:00

From the Finish Line
“Until the last 300m everything worked out pretty well for us. But when Lotto-Jumbo hit the front I missed the opportunity to jump on Dylan’s wheel. I was caught a little on the back foot and couldn’t launch my sprint properly. Therefore, there was no chance in the end to beat him.”  – Pascal Ackermenn

"Even the result is not what we hoped for, the boys did a good job today. We tried it with Pete in the end, as there was tailwind from the little climb with 13k to go. This forced the other teams to work hard, as the duo up front was really strong. In the end Pascal was not in a perfect position today, but also Dylan was really strong. I think there will be more chances the upcoming day, for both, Pete and Pascal.”  – Christian Pömer, Sports Director 

Joe Dombrowski re-signs with EF Education First-Drapac

Here's the news release the team sent me:

Joe Dombrowski has re-signed with EF Pro Cycling for the upcoming season. The American finished fifth overall at the 2018 Colorado Classic and sixth overall at the 2018 Tour of Utah.

Joe Dombrowski

Joe Dombrowski

“It’s not a secret that the last couple of seasons have not been what I wanted results-wise,” said Dombrowski. “I’m focused on doing what I need to do to get back to the the level that I know I’m capable of in races.”

“It’s great to have Joe back,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughers. “He knows our team and has been a great presence here over the years. Joe had a spectacular 2016 season where he was in multiple breaks at that year’s Giro and finished third in the hardest mountain stage. The last couple years have been a bit of a struggle for him, but in the end, talent doesn’t just go away. We want to give that talent an opportunity to rebuild.”

Dombrowski, 27, has raced four seasons in argyle following his move to the American-registered outfit from Team Sky, where he spent his neo-pro seasons.

“This team has a great environment, and having been here a while now, I knew that coming back I would be a part of that,” said Dombrowski. “I would consider my teammates as my friends, and I think that cohesion can go a long way in getting the the most of out of a team and an individual.”

The team's newly announced alternative race program appeals to Dombrowski, who has been an occasional participant in non-road cycling events throughout his career. “Joe was sort of our first index, the first rider we dipped into alternative races, at the 2016 Leadville 100,” said Vaughters. “He competes in some cyclocross, too. We felt like he would be a great fit for some of the alternative racing we’d be doing next season and beyond. We’re all pretty excited about that.”

“My first focus is, of course, on the traditional road calendar, but the alternative race program is also quite interesting. I got my start racing mountain bike and cyclocross. I still jump in the odd cyclocross race in the off-season and in 2016 I raced Leadville with this team,” said Dombrowski. “Cycling's fan base, particularly in America, is a participatory one. It's not the same as the traditional American sports in that sense. Professional road cycling can be quite insular and convoluted. With a participatory fan base, watching races is not what creates a feeling of engagement in the sport.

“My motivation to race in other events in the past has always been as a fun outlet, but I have also found that they develop a strong connection to the cycling community,” Dombrowski added. “It's something I like to see as a way of giving back and engaging with the community that has allowed me to have a career in this sport. I think this project can be just that on a much larger scale, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.”

Like his teammates, Dombrowski has enjoyed the introduction of EF Education First into the team and the sport. “EF has changed things for us in the sense that they feel less like a 'partner' or a 'sponsor' in a traditional sense. They feel more integrated. Almost as though we are truly co-workers,” said Dombrowski. “You get that feeling especially when they bring employees to races and we coordinate on events. It’s been an interesting change. I’ve never been in a team where there hasn’t been a separation between team and sponsor. It’s nice that as owners they’re invested in bringing in some of the positive aspects of a company their size and scope into our smaller team.”

UAE-Team Emirates have signed the Oliveira twins

Here's the team's news release:

In the market for talent, UAE Team Emirates has struck a double bargain: Portuguese twins Ivo and Rui Oliveira, two of the most promising riders in international cycling, have signed on to the team with two-year contracts.

Strength, consistent pacing and speed are among the skills that make up the brothers’ cycling portfolios, along with a technical base forged by track events as well.

Ivo Emanuel Alves Oliveira (68 kg in 185 cm) and Rui Filipe Alves Oliveira (66 kg in 183 cm) were born in Vila Nova de Gaia on September 5, 1996 and in 2017 they debuted as pro riders with the Axeon-Hagens Berman jersey.

In  road racing, Ivo was crowned Portuguese Under 23 time trial champion in 2018 and he won the 4th stage in the Circuit des Ardennes International, while Rui captured the National Under 23 title in the in-line race.

Ivo’s cache of track accomplishments centers on the silver medals he won in the 2018 European Championships and in the individual chase at the 2018 World Championships (he was the first Portuguese to capture a podium in a track World Championship, with a remarkable time of  4’12”365); meanwhile, Rui classified 3rd  (2017) and 2nd (2018) in the elimination race.

13 pro riders confirmed for Lotto-Soudal Ladies team in 2019

Here's the team's update:

The Lotto Soudal Ladies team can confirm the names of thirteen pro riders for 2019. Lotte Kopecky and Belgian champion Annelies Dom will keep on defending the team’s colours next season, together with seven other women of the current team. The four riders who leave the team will be replaced by four newcomers.
One of those newcomers is Thi That Nguyen (21) from Vietnam, who won Dwars door de Westhoek this year. The Belgian Marie Dessart (37), world champion Gran Fondo in the category 35 – 40 years, will also ride in the shirt of Lotto Soudal next year. The team also welcomes the Dutch rider Danique Braam (23), who finished on top ten of Omloop van de IJsseldelta and 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg the previous two editions. The British rider Dani Christmas (30) will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team too in 2019.

The four riders leaving the team are Isabelle Beckers, Valerie Demey, Anabelle Dréville and Marjolein van’t Geloof.

Lotto Soudal Ladies 2019: Danique Braam, Alana Castrique, Dani Christmas, Demi de Jong, Marie Dessart, Annelies Dom, Chantal Hoffmann, Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen, Thi That Nguyen, Julie Van De Velde, Kelly Van den Steen and Fenna Vanhoutte.

There will be three riders in the development team: Emke De Keyser, Julie Roelandts and Cameron Vandenbroucke.

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