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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 12, 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

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. - Henry David Thoreau

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Team Sunweb to ride Tour de la Provence

The team sent me this:

Tour de la Provence: FEB 14-17

Matt Winston - Team Sunweb coach: "The four-day race sees an opening 8.9 kilometre time trial on the south coast of France where we expect that the wind will play a big part. Following the opening test, the three road stages are all tough days with between 2400-2600 metres of climbing per day. The team will focus on positioning our young gun Michael ready for the final part of the stages, especially stage two and three. There is a small potential for a sprint on stage four depending on how the peloton race the stage, in which case the team will look to deliver Max [Walscheid] to the finish. Nicholas [Roche] will make his debut as road captain and it will also be the first race for Asjbørn [Kragh Andersen] and myself for Team Sunweb."

Nichgolas Roche

Nicholas Roche (shown in the 2017 Vuelta) will ride the Tour de la Provence. Sirotti photo


Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Lennard Kämna (GER)
Nicholas Roche (IRE)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Max Walscheid (GER)

CCC Team set for back to back Spanish races

The team sent me this update:

11 February 2019: CCC Team will return to the start line in Spain this weekend with two competitive rider rosters lining up at Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia on Friday and Saturday (15-16 February) and Clásica de Almería on Sunday (17 February).

Sports Director Gabriele Missaglia said CCC Team is looking to continue its early-season success at the back to back Spanish races.

“CCC Team will be well-represented at both races this weekend. For all of the riders, with the exception of Jakub Mareczko, this will be the first time they race this year and for that reason, we won’t have a clear team leader for Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia. Instead, we will take each day as it comes and use the race as an important test to see where the riders’ form is ahead of Clásica de Almería, which we will go to with Mareczko as our leader for the likely bunch sprint. However, I am confident in the ability of the riders we have racing in Murcia and I think we can look to make the most out of any opportunities that come our way. Then, with the team working for Mareczko, we will have a really good chance to make a nice result in Almería,” Missaglia explained.

Jakub Mareczko

Jakob Mareczko (shown at the 2017 Tour of Hainan) will be the CCC team leader at the Clásica de Almería.

Jakub Mareczko is looking forward to making his European debut for CCC Team after starting his season in Australia.

“I’m feeling in good shape after the Australian season and I was happy to pick up a third place at my first UCI WorldTour race of the year. Clásica de Almería is another opportunity for me to go for the sprint. It’s still early in the season so there is more work to do in order to be where I want to be but I think my form is good. I am really happy that the team is giving me the opportunity to have a go here and I will definitely give 100% to try and make a good result,” Mareczko said.

Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (15 - 16 February)

Rider roster: Will Barta (USA), Paweł Bernas (POL), Simon Geschke (GER), Jonas Koch (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT)

Sports Director: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA)

Clásica de Almería (17 February)

Rider roster: Paweł Bernas (POL), Josef Černý (CZE), Simon Geschke (GER), Jonas Koch (GER), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Laurens ten Dam (NED)

Sports Director: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA)

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

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

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.

There were also at least a few layoffs made this week at other ASE facilities, including six people let go at ASI's headquarters in Philadelphia. ASI also laid off an employee in California.

Most of those laid off in Chapel Hill are staying on through Thursday or Friday. About 30 people remain employed there, but about half of those positions are set to expire either this month or next.

There were also layoffs announced Wednesday at a call center in Sophia, West Virginia, which serviced Nashbar and Performance customers. The call center, which has been in operation since 1995, had about 25 employees. It was not immediately clear if those positions were among the 95 job cuts announced or were in addition to the 95.

During the bankruptcy, ASE had received inquiries from bike retailers and others about assuming the leases for some of the Performance stores. However, ASE decided to hang on to the leases until after the asset auction in case a new owner of the company wanted to operate them. Head, which was briefly expected to acquire all the ASE assets, had indicated it would keep about 65 Performance stores open.

You can read the entire story here.

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