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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw

Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies

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UAE Tour stage two reports

We posted Bora-hansgrohe's report with the results.

Here's the organizer's stage two update:

Abu Dhabi Breakwater – Big Flag, 25 February 2019 – Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team Emirates met all expectations as he won his first sprint on his new team’s home soil, beating former team-mate Elia Viviani from Deceuninck – Quick-Step after he got a dream lead out by top sprinter Alexander Kristoff in Abu Dhabi. Crosswinds made Stage 2 a spectacular one with splits in the peloton before it came down to a bunch gallop. Primoz Roglic of Team Jumbo – Visma retained the red jersey ahead of the uphill finish of Jebel Hafeet.

UAE Tour stage two finish

Fernando Gaviria takes a close win.

The Stage Winner, Fernando Gaviria, said: “This is an important victory, not only for myself but also for my team and all our sponsors. This is a home win. I got a perfect lead out to sprint in optimal conditions. Before Alexander Kristoff, the whole team did a great job all day. I started sprinting with 200 metres to go. I have the legs for more victories before the end of the UAE Tour.”

The Red Jersey, Primoz Roglic, said: “It was quite a windy stage. We had some echelons, but I was in first group, thanks to the help of my team-mates, then everything came back together. I’ve learned from my experience at the Tour de France that I cannot miss the first echelons. I expect a lot of riders to attack me tomorrow. The UAE Tour is my first race after a training camp so I still can’t say how my legs will be tomorrow.”

Stage 3 – DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT STAGE – Al Ain-Jebel Hafeet – 179km
The first of the UAE Tour’s two mountain stages follows another successful course familiar from the Abu Dhabi Tour. The route around Al Ain takes in many of the landmarks – including Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili and Al Ain Oasis – goes up to Green Mubazzarah where the final climb of Jebel Hafeet begins, with its 10km that will make the first real selection of the race.

The final climb goes through a series of wide hairpins on a three-lane carriageway. Gradient around 8-9% with a maximum of 11% at 3km to go. Very short descent on the final km just before the last climb. Final straight on tarmac.

Stage winner Ferando Gaviria's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

Fernando Gaviria wins the first stage available on the team’s home soil at the UAE Tour. UAE Team Emirates’s Colombian sprint star celebrates ahead of Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal).

Fernando Gaviria

Another shot of the stage two finish with Fernando Gaviria (left, in white), just beating Elia Viviani.

Gaviria, who won his third race of the year, capped off stage two of the Tour. Yesterday, the team competed in the team time trial.

“I have to thanks the team for its great work and the attention it gave when the group broke up in the side-winds,” Gaviria said. “They took control of the race, which was big since our sponsors were expecting a lot from us. We had the responsibility to do well. We pulled off a big win. Alexander Kristoff worked exceptionably well for me, bringing me into perfect position for the sprint. He’s one of the strongest riders in the world, and he proved that today in the sprint.

"Now, we will have other opportunities as a team because we have a very strong team here in the UAE for all types of terrain.”

Tension grew when at 100km to race the group split due to cross-winds. The sprinters teams brought it back together later when the wind died down. They kept the speed high for a possible bunch sprint.

UAE Team Emirates protected Gaviria up until 400 metres to race when Kristoff, already a stage winner in the Tour of Oman earlier this month, launched the sprint for Gaviria.

Tomorrow, the riders face the third stage that ends with a 13km climb up Jabel Hafeet. The 179km stage should help shape the final overall classification.

Team Sunweb previews its upcoming races

The team sent me this:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, MAR 2

Marc Reef - Team Sunweb coach: "We have Michael as our leader in the opener of the Flemish Spring Classic season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend. We expect him to play a role in the final of the race, with the final support of both Casper and Søren, who showed his great shape this last week in the Algarve. Michael will take the experience of last year with him, where unfortunately a crash took him out of the race after being in the first group leading up towards the Muur. Both Jan and Asbjørn make their debut for the team and it will also be the first time the Kragh Andersen brothers ride together for Team Sunweb, so it will be a special weekend for them."

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Jan Bakelants

Jan Bakelants will be wearing a Team Sunweb kit on Saturday at the Het Nieuwsblad. Sirotti photo

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: MAR 2

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach: "We're looking forward to the opener of the Classics season this weekend at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with our Women's program. We've had a good preparation period on training camp and our first race in Valencia was another good step for us, so we're feeling confident that we can compete for a top result. Floortje showed good shape in Spain and this will be her first real test in Belgium. We also have a former winner with Lucinda who is motivated to start her season here and Coryn, who was strong on the climbs in Spain and is also a card to play if it comes to a sprint."

Lucinda Brand (NED)
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Julia Soek (NED)

Lucinda Brand

Lucinda Brand will be on the startline for the women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Omloop van het Hageland: MAR 3

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach: "We return to Omloop van het Hageland after taking the win there with strong team work last year. This year Liane will take her chances for a result, she was amazingly strong on the final climb last year and launched the team's final attack. Floortje will also race her second classic of the weekend and with her good shape, we expect her to play a role in the final too. Leah has also podiumed here before and with the final being a bit uphill, she also has a good chance if things come down to a bunch sprint. This will be Pfeiffer's first race with the team and we are super motivated to make it a good one."

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Pernille Mathiesen (DEN)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)

SRAM recalls i-Motion internal gear hubs sold on Electra bicycles and in the aftermarket

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this warning:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — SRAM is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall i-Motion 3 three-speed internal gear hubs with a coaster brake that were sold on some Electra model bicycles with no redundant braking system. The recalled hubs were also sold as aftermarket parts for other bicycles.

The brakes in the gear hubs can fail, posing crash and injury hazards to the rider. SRAM has received five reports of brake failure, resulting in one minor injury to a rider.

Consumers are being told to immediately stop using bicycles with the recalled gear hubs and to contact SRAM or their local bicycle dealer. SRAM will offer to repurchase the affected bicycle at a fair-market, depreciated value, based on the Bicycle Blue Book ( If the consumer prefers to keep their bicycle, SRAM will assist their local bicycle dealer to identify a compatible new hub that can be requested to be installed in place of the affected hub.

The recalled hubs were sold on the following Electra bicycles: Electra Cruiser Custom 3i, Electra Coaster 3i, Electra Hawaii 3i, Electra Hawaii 3i 24 and Electra Straight 8. The bikes were sold at retailers from April 2010 through December 2018 for between $400 and $800. The aftermarket hubs sold for about $90.

You can read the entire story here.

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