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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, February 9, 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

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. - Heraclitus

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Daryl Impey crowned South African time trial champion for record eighth time

Impey's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

Back-to-back Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey has continued his blistering form at the South African Championships, claiming his eighth individual time trial title in convincing style today in Pretoria.

Impey, who holds the record for the most national time trial victories, dominated the 52km course, starting fast to hold a 41-second lead at the first intermediate check point before increasing his strangehold to over one-minute 11seconds to second placed Stefan De Bod (Dimension Data) by the finish line.

Daryl Impey

Daryl Impey winning stage four of the 2019 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Daryl Impey – 8-time South African Time Trial champion:
"I'm really happy to pull off number eight. Every year I have more pressure coming here and it is obvious that they want to be the first one to 'dethrone' me.

"I rode probably one of my best time trials and definitely some of my best numbers ever. I wasn't sure coming into this year's event as I have done less time trial work than before.

"I started really well but didn't really fade, so I was happy that my condition for Australia hasn't gone too far and hopefully I can repeat it again on Sunday. I am glad today showed who is the strongest regardless of the result on Sunday."

South African Time Trial Championship – Results:
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 57:46:20
2. Stefan de Bod (Dimension Data) +1:11:56
3. Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data) +4:07:89

Team Sky reports on Volta a Valenciana stage three

Here's the team's news:

Ben Swift continued his momentum in Valencia with seventh place from a select group sprint in Chera.

The uphill drag up Salto de la Mora had thinned out the field but still saw a number of sprinters battle it out at the line following a technical finish. Swift slipped back in the final metres but was able to pick up another strong finish, with Diego Rosa and David de la Cruz also finishing amongst an elite lead group.

The result was enough to elevate Rosa up to eighth overall, 20 seconds back on continued race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).

Team Sky had helped keep tabs on a 10-man break during the day, before Salvatore Puccio kept the pace high with a brief acceleration off the front.

Greg van Avermaet

The day's winner was Team CCC's Greg van Avermaet.

Gabriel Rasch -
"It was a big break from the start and a pretty easy pace really for the peloton, controlling the break until Astana started riding. From there on it was full on and pretty fast. It ended up being a hard day with a lot of climbing and small roads. I’m happy Ben could hold on to the group over those last climbs and battle it out at the end.

"Tomorrow the last climb up to the finish is really really hard. It seems like Diego and David have good legs so tomorrow it’s all in for those two. We hope for the best."

What's Next?
The race's queen stage holds a sting in the tail following another day in the hills. The steep Ermita Santa Llucia climb should split up the GC contenders and give us our clearest indication about the destination of the yellow jersey.

Over 100 laid off as ASE sale nears completion; remaining Performance stores to shutter

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News sent me this update:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (BRAIN) — About 95 employees at ASE's facility here — the longtime headquarters for the company's Performance retail division — were laid off Wednesday as it became near certain that the chain's remaining stores will close for good by next month.

The layoffs ended hopes that Performance, once the country's largest bike retail chain with 104 stores and nearly 1,700 employees, would continue to operate brick-and-mortar stores. However, the new owners of the Performance and Nashbar e-commerce businesses told BRAIN they will operate and expand those websites. And the new owners of ASI, the wholesale business that distributes Fuji, Kestrel, SE and other brands, also plan to keep that business alive.

Longtime ASI CEO Pat Cunnane is leaving the company after a transition period. Karen Bliss, who is ASI's chief marketing officer, has been named president and CMO. Ryan Davis, from Tiger Capital Group, has been named interim CEO of ASI. Tiger Capital is acquiring ASI in a joint venture with Advanced Holdings called BikeCo.

Last week a bankruptcy judge approved a $23 million bid by a group of three companies for the assets of ASE, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-November. Final sales closing paperwork was underway Thursday (an outage at Wells Fargo may have been slowing the closing process).

The Chapel Hill layoffs removed almost all management and support staff above the store level for the Performance store chain, which still has about 60 stores open. All of those stores are expected to be closed by March 2, with some closing sooner. Remaining Performance store employees are now reporting directly to Gordon Brothers, the store liquidation company ASE hired soon after filing for bankruptcy protection.

You can read the entire story here.

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