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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. - T. S. Eliot

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Luka Mezgec to stay with Mitchelton-Scott through 2020

The team sent me this release:

2017 Slovenian triple champion Luka Mezgec has extended his contract with Australian UCI WorldTour team Mitchelton-SCOTT until the end of the 2020 season.

A Giro d’Italia stage winner in 2014 Mezgec joined the GreenEDGE set up in 2016 and has proven to be a valuable and versatile addition, not only within the sprint and classics groups, but also as a member of the Grand Tour squad.

Last year was arguably Luka’s most successful to date with wins at the Tour of Slovenia, the Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic and an impressive triple header at the Slovenian national championships – sealing victory in the road race, Mountain Bike and Cyclo-cross events.

Luka NMezgec

Luka Mezgec in 2014. Sirotti photo

Luka Mezgec:
“I am very happy to extend my contract with the team, which to me is a lot more than just that. The relationship between each other here is amazing and that is a great booster for the work we do.”

“Cycling is a hard sport and if you work in such an environment as we have here in Mitchelton Scott, you can always suffer a little longer, help others more than you think you are capable of and go for the result with support you can normally only dream about.”

Head sport director Matt White:
“Luka is a very fast and versatile rider who knows not only how to win, but also how to support his teammates. He is a lot like Matteo Trentin in the sense that he can work successfully as a leader in his own right or a lead-out guy for a pure sprinter.”

“It’s been great seeing Luka develop over the last couple of years and watch him reach another level, the highlight being his triple national championship crown in 2017. He works very well within the team and is also an intelligent guy who immediately analyses how a race went and what could be improved upon.

“Along with our other opportunists Matteo and Daryl Impey, it’s going to be exciting to see Luka continue to develop with us over the next two years. They are all riders who can win on all kinds of terrain and it’s great for us to have so many strong options going forward.”

Luka Mezgec
Date of Birth: 27th June 1988 (30)
Nationality: Slovenian
Place of Birth: Kranj, Slovenia
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2016

Owain Doull hopes to keep improving in 2019 after agreeing a fresh deal at Team Sky

Here's the post from Team Sky:

Doull will continue to race in Team Sky colours throughout 2019 after two encouraging seasons as a professional.

"I feel like I've learned a lot here," said Doull. "It seems like the obvious and natural place to carry on that progression and hopefully next year I'll see a bigger improvement again in the areas and races that I want to do well in."

Doull, 25, stepped up in 2018 after a frustrating 2017 which saw him miss the early part of the campaign after suffering appendicitis, forcing the Welshman to play catch up.

Owain Doull

Owain Doull at the 2015 Tour of Britain.

A strong support showing in the Classics and consistent performances across a long campaign - which started in Australia and ended in China at the Tour of Guangxi, 10 months later - has helped Doull settle in at WorldTour level. "I found my feet,” he explained. “That first year with the team I felt a little out of my depth. I sometimes felt like I was trying to survive and get through race-to-race. This year I've found that I could have an impact on those races and it's been nice to get back to the level I should have been after the 2016 Olympics."
A Gold medallist in Rio in the team pursuit, Doull's now fully focused on the road as he eyes further improvement in the Classics next season.

"My main aim is the Classics again," he added. "I want to carry on making that progression. I was happy with the difference between my first and second years in the Classics and I think with an extra few percent next year, being that bit better, will allow me to go that much further into the races. I hope that jump will be a big one."

Amer Sports takeover by Chinese companies becoming more likely

Bike Europe sent me this news piece:

HELSINKI, Finland – It started with Amer Sports’ announcement that it wants to sell its activities in the cycling market with Mavic and Enve on 5 September. Now it looks like the entire Finnish holding will be sold to the Chinese companies ANTA Sports Products and FountainVest Partners. Amer Sports last week’s trading update indicates that there are movements taking place that can eventually lead to the Chinese companies taking over all shares in Amer Sports.

What Amer Sports last week’s trading update also made very clear is that there is no reason at all for the sale of the complete holding company of some of the most recognized sports brands in the world. Net sales stood in July – September 2018 at € 757.2 million; up by 9% with organic growth of 3%. In the first nine months of this year Amer Sports’ net sales increased by 5% in local currencies with organic growth at 3%. Sales totaled € 1.8 billion. The company’s brands are (among others) Wilson, Atomic, Salomon, Arc’teryx, Mavic, ENVE, and PeakPerformance.

The Finnish holding received a takeover bid for all Amer shares by the Chinese companies ANTA Sports Products and FountainVest Partners.

ANTA Sports Products Ltd is turnover-wise twice the size of Amer Sports. Listed ANTA Sports recorded 2.1 billion euro turnover in 2017 and marketed its Fila, Descente, Sprandi, Kingkow, Kolon Sport and NBA branded sports products through 11,000 stores in China.

You can read the entire story here.

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