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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way. - Albert Camus

Current racing:

Tour de France: the Inside Story

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Latest completed racing:

Victor Campenaerts World Hour Record Attempt - One Day to Go

Campenaerts' Lotto-Soudal team sent me this final update:

“The last days before the Hour Record attempt are not hard to fill. Three weeks ago, I could already have predicted how they would go. That is exactly what gives me peace and confidence. The tough training sessions are over; now it is important to still stimulate the muscles a bit. In terms of nutrition, it is time for carbo-loading, which means eating as many carbohydrates as possible. Fats, fibers and proteins are mostly eliminated, but even for an effort of 60 minutes, my muscles still need to be fully charged, which is at least as important as the Classics riders in Paris-Roubaix. Throughout the day, I have to take ten to twelve grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight to fill my tank. ”

Victor Campenaerts

Victor Campenaerts after stage seven of the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

“The moment of truth is getting closer. My body is totally ready for it. Mentally, I am pretty relaxed due to the perfect preparation. My schedule is minutely planned. Meanwhile, my body has completely adapted to the special biorhythm: getting up at 5 o’clock and going to sleep at 20 o’clock is very easy now.”

“During the past few days, a number of people have arrived in Mexico: Valérie from Lotto Soudal, Toon from Ridley, Wim from Energy Lab, Gert from Golazo; they are all people I know well, which makes it nice to have them with me. The Belgian journalists have also arrived; of course they are familiar with cycling, making the cooperation run fluently. My father arrived on Sunday, together with some friends. During almost all my top performances, he is present or he was in the team car. So he wanted to be here too. By the way, he even made a song about the attempt, called "Full Gazz," and here in Mexico we made some images to integrate into the video clip. I think the song is catchy and it is in everyone’s head."

Here's BikeRaceInfo's World Hour Record page.

Lotto-Soudal previews Tour of Turkey

The team sent me this update:

The Tour of Turkey will be covered from Tuesday 16 April until Sunday 21 April. The 55th edition of this WorldTour stage race offers a varied course, as both sprint stages and summit finishes are included. Sports director Bart Leysen talks about the race and the ambitions of Lotto Soudal.

Bart Leysen, sports director at Lotto Soudal: “This is an ideal race for our riders in the run-up to the Giro. A couple of guys, such as Caleb Ewan and Roger Kluge, have not – or only partly – participated in the Flemish Classics. After Milan-San Remo, Ewan had planned a resting period. In Turkey, he is able to go for victory in every stage, except for the very hard summit finish on the penultimate day. However, a finish on a short steep climb is within his capabilities, as he has proven in the UAE Tour. Besides, the stages are usually not very long, so this race functions perfectly as a preparation towards the Giro. Ewan targets the sprint stages there as well. "

Jasper de Buyst

Jasper de Buyst winning a stage in the 2017 Wallonie Tour.

“Jasper De Buyst will make his comeback in Turkey. He recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained during his crash in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. In the run-up to the sprints, Kluge and De Buyst will normally be the penultimate and the last rider, respectively. However, we certainly do not want to overload him after his injury, so those positions could possibly still switch. With Rasmus Byriel Iversen and Enzo Wouters, we have two young riders in a supporting role. Carl Fredrik Hagen and Harm Vanhoucke can handle the uphill parts really well. Although the Tour of Turkey is a WorldTour race, the field of participants is a little less stronger than in other major stage races. So I expect that they can achieve great performances, especially in that all-determining stage on Saturday."

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Jasper De Buyst, Caleb Ewan, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Rasmus Byriel Iversen, Roger Kluge, Harm Vanhoucke and Enzo Wouters.

Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

Tiesj Benoot medical update

Benoot's Lotto-Soudal team sent me this news:

Plato's Crito

Tiesj Benoot has been further examined today after his crash in Paris-Roubaix yesterday. Although the consequences could have been much worse, the rider is seriously injured.

Team doctor Maarten Meirhaeghe: “The scan showed that Tiesj has a fracture at the end of his collarbone. He won’t need an operation. Besides the bruises, the cuts and the abrasions, he has a large torn muscle in his upper leg. The first couple of weeks, he will need to rest, obviously. In case the wound heals well, he could restart training on the rollers.”

Tiesj Benoot: “After a flat tyre, a bike change and my first crash, I was chasing with Wout Van Aert. At a road narrowing, a team car had to stop and dodge abruptly, causing me to crash into its back window. I have never felt so much pain before in my hip and upper leg. If I am being optimistic, it’s better to have this kind of injury now than in the Omloop, but of course it is a bummer. I hope to be able to train on the rollers again in a few weeks, to not let the rest of my season be in jeopardy.”

Colombian racer Jarlinson Pantano fails EPO test

Here's the Agence France-Presse report:

Trek-Segafredo's Colombian Jarlinson Pantano has failed an out of competition doping test for the blood booster EPO, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Monday. "In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair," the UCI said on Monday.

Jarlinson Pantano

Jarlinson Pantano wins a stage in the 2018 Tour of Catalonia.

American outfit Trek is one of road cycling's top teams, and have riders such as Australia's Richie Porte and Germany's John Degenkolb on their books.

EPO is a doping product which helps deliver oxygen by boosting the amount of red blood cells.

It has been the culprit in high profile cases such as the action against former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

The 30-year-old, who won a Tour de France stage in 2016, was provisionally also suspended by his team, on news of the out of competition test.

"Jarlinson Pantano Gomez was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of Erythropoietin in a sample collected during an out-of-competition control on 26 February 2019," the UCI said in their statement.

"The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample."

Pantano was Colombia's time-trial champion in 2017 and has also won stages at the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour of Catalonia.

Pantano's Trek team said they were deeply disappointed. "In accordance with our zero-tolerance policy, he has been suspended immediately," Trek said.

UAE-Team Emirates to race Brabantse Pijl

The team sent me this:

The UAE Team Emirates still races in Belgium, this time at the Brabantse Pijl, scheduled for Wednesday, April 17. Over he 196,2 km race from Leuven to Overijse, the cyclists must cover 31 climbs.

Neil Stephens (Aus) will direct the following six riders:
– Tom Bohli (Sui)
– Rui Costa (Por)
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Ivo Oliveira (Por)
– Rui Oliveira (Por)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)

The roster is half Portuguese, led by the 2013 World Champion in Florence, Rui Costa.

Rui Costa

Rui Costa in the 2017 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo.

“It will be my first participation in the Brabantse Pijl and, since I like to test myself in new competitions, I am very happy to have the chance to debut in this race,” Rui Costa said. “I come from a month in which I focused on training. The work was good, even if it was marked by the training incident at the end of March. I won’t race with particular pressure, but I have the will to fully test what my condition and to get in tune with the atmosphere and rhythm for the Ardennes Classics“.

SRAM acquires PowerTap from Saris

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — SRAM has acquired the PowerTap line of bicycle power meters from Saris. The product line includes the PowerTap P2 Pedal power meters and the PowerTap G3 Hub power meter line. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

SRAM said it plans to incorporate the PowerTap power meter products into its Quarq product portfolio, which includes DZero power meters, ShockWiz suspension tuning assistants, and TyreWiz tire pressure sensors.

"Way back in 2006 when I started Quarq, PowerTap was the dominant power meter solution. The accuracy and durability of PowerTap hubs were the standard of power meter performance and set a high bar for us to meet," says Quarq founder Jim Meyer. "It's very exciting to now bring PowerTap products into the SRAM/Quarq product family. The future product opportunities are enormous."

"We are proud of our accomplishments in the power meter sector," Saris' president and COO, Jeff Frehner, said. "We took a product category exclusively available to pros and made it accessible to all athletes looking to reach their highest potential. Today marks the start of a new generation of Saris. While PowerTap is leaving the Saris portfolio, we are excited to grow our product offerings across current and future categories."

You can read the entire story here.

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