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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, September 21, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word. - Andrew Jackson

Bicycle History

Upcoming racing:

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Coppa Sabatini team reports

We posted the report from 3rd-place Gianni Moscon's Team Sky with the race results.

Here's what winner Juan José Lobato's Nippo-Vini Fantini squad had to say:

Juan José Lobato wins the Coppa Sabatini reaching his first victory with the #OrangeBlue jersey and his 15th career victory. It is the victory number ten for the team this season, but with a very special relevance due to the fact that it was an Italian race and that it came in front of very important competitors such as Colbrelli and Moscon. Fourth place also for another #OrangeBlue rider, Marco Canola.

Juan Jos Lobato

Juan José Lobato wins Coppa Sabatini. Sirotti photo

A fast race with an high level of competition today in Peccioli. Six riders in the breakaway of the day, among them Eduard Grosu for the NIPPO Vini Fantini team. Many teams worked behind to close the gap and to stop many actions in the final such as the one of Bardet, Henao and Visconti. In the last km a solo action of Vincenzo Albanese before and then when only 400 meters where missing it is the Spanish rider of the NIPPO Vini Fantini team to anticipate everyone with a strong action. behind him the sprint with Sonny Colbrelli and Gianni Moscon coming second and third and with a very good placement also of Marco Canola closing with a very good fourth place.

A big satisfaction for JJ Lobato on the finish-line, for him and for the team: “I’m so happy for this victory that comes at the end of a difficult year for me. My season began late and then an injury stopped me in the middle of the season. Now I’m feeling good and I’m happy to give back to the team the trust they gave me at the beginning of the year. Winning here in Italy for the team is very important and doing it in front of very important and strong competitors for me is a great satisfaction.”

Lotto-Soudal re-signs Nikolas Maes

The team sent me this release:

Nikolas Maes has signed a new two-year contract with Lotto Soudal and will be riding for the team until the end of 2020. The now 32-year-old Belgian joined the Lotto Soudal team in January 2017, after he had ridden seven years for Quick-Step.

Nikolas Maes: “I feel good in this team, as a sportsman and as a person. That’s why I wanted to extend my contract. I can do my job for the leaders of the team. I love the challenge of aiming for victory in the big races with a leader like Tiesj Benoot or Tim Wellens. When we achieve a good result, it gives me satisfaction. I can enjoy a victory of a teammate in a big race as much as winning a small race myself. As a person I also feel good in this team. I have a good bond with my teammates and I can be myself. That’s important because you are so often away from home.”

“I had a rough start in 2017 because I got ill before the Spring Classic began and it took a while before I was fully recovered. This year I could perform as I wanted. Unfortunately I missed the Ronde van Vlaanderen due to illness, but I could participate in Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race. The highlight of the spring was of course Tiesj Benoot winning Strade Bianche. I hope to continue on the same path the next two seasons. I mainly race in function of the team’s leaders and that role suits me. I will also work for them in the following two years and support them in the big races. Caleb Ewan will also give a new boost to the team and I am looking forward to that new cooperation. I am very excited to keep contributing to the success of Lotto Soudal.”

Ag2r-La Mondiale names its World Championships team time trial squad

They are: Silvan Dillier, Francois Bidard, Alexis Gougeard, Nico Denz, Alexandre Geniez & Gediminas Bagdonas

Nico Denz said, “By winning a stage on the Vuelta, I achieved the goal I had set for myself. We experienced three great weeks where the team really melded together. And for myself, I am quite pleased with my season where I have taken four wins, which has never happened to me before, and then also 11th place at the Giro. I am still motivated for the last races of the season.

Nico Denz

Nico Denz at the 2018 Tour de Romandie

"The course for the World Championships in Innsbruck is reputed to be very difficult, but we are going there without any pressure and with the ambition to work well together. Gediminas Bagdonas, Silvan Dillier and Alexis Gougeard have already proved that they can be very strong in individual time trials, so we will start without worrying about too much. This chrono will be a fantastic way to launch the Austrian week. And for the first time in my career, I will be competing the world road race championships. I am very proud of the trust they have in me.”

As a reminder, Alexandre Geniez will join Tony Gallopin and Romain Bardet for France. Nico Denz (Germany) and Ben Gastauer (Luxembourg) will also be at the start line for the road race. Aurélien Paret-Peintre will line up in the U23 race.

Bike Industry lobbies for tariff reform, but outlook is 'dim'

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — In light of the new 25 percent tariffs approved by President Donald Trump this week, bike industry groups are ramping up their lobbying calling for a reform of the de minimus value — the minimum value of an imported shipment that is subject to U.S. duty collection and Customs documentation.

Individuals who buy goods from overseas don’t have to pay duties on shipments valued at less than the de minimus, which is currently $800. With existing tariffs of 5 to 11 percent, and upcoming tariffs on Chinese goods of 25 percent, that gives the foreign sellers up to a 36 percent head start over U.S.-based vendors, not even counting state and local sales tax.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes are actively lobbying in Washington to lower the minimum, which was raised from $200 to $800 last year, said Specialized's Bob Margevicius, who spoke at a BPSA Supplier Seminar at Interbike on Wednesday. A change to the de minimus requires congressional approval, he said.

Besides endangering jobs in the U.S. bike industry, the current program makes it easier to import unsafe products that don't meet U.S. standards or that are counterfeit.

Compared to the minimus in other countries, the U.S.’s $800 looks unfair, as well. Canada’s de minimus is $15, Mexico’s is $50 and China’s is less than $10.

But Margevicius said the "outlook for long-term change to de minimus is pretty dim. There are a lot of powerful lobbyists who are involved [who oppose a change]." They include delivery companies like FedEx and UPS, large online vendors like Amazon and Alibaba, and even the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. "It's a very strong lobby group and they are fighting even to increase the de minimus beyond $800," he said.

In testimony in Washington last month, ASE's Pat Cunnane called for lowering the de minimus to $50. Cunnane told the U.S. Trade Representative and other members of the multiagency Section 301 Committee that the current de minimus harmed his business and would be even more damaging if the tariffs were approved. ASE is the parent company of retail chain Performance Bicycle and distributor ASI.

You can read the entire article here.

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