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

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. - Rene Descartes

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Hungarian time trial champion Attila Valter completes CCC Team’s 2020 roster

CCC Team sent me this:

25 November 2019: Hungarian time trial champion Attila Valter will turn professional with CCC Team in 2020 after a standout debut with CCC Development Team in 2019, which has secured the 21-year-old a WorldTour contract.

Valter, who claimed an impressive win on stage nine of the Tour de l’Avenir and took fourth place at Il Piccolo Lombardia, is the final addition to CCC Team’s 28-rider roster.

“Attila Valter is a rider with enormous potential and we are looking forward to welcoming him to CCC Team where he will have the chance to continue his development as rider. Despite his youth and relative inexperience, Attila has demonstrated his skill and abilities on the bike at the U23 level and we believe he has a big career ahead of him. For this reason, we have decided to graduate Attila from CCC Development Team to the WorldTour team for the 2020 season and accelerate his progression,” CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

“Attila’s win at the Tour de l’Avenir was an indication of what he can do and with his climbing and time trialing versatility, Attila already has an excellent foundation on which we will build with the expertise of our performance team. It is particularly exciting to welcome a Hungarian cyclist to CCC team in 2020, a historic year for cycling in Hungary with the start of the Giro d’Italia in Budapest. Hungary is also an important market for our title sponsor, CCC, so we are excited to see Attila stay with CCC-sponsored teams.”

Valter is excited to make the step up to the WorldTour as a neo professional and learn from the experienced riders at CCC Team. “Of course, this is a dream come true for me. Stepping up to the WorldTour after just one season with CCC Development Team makes me extra happy and motivated, because it means I'm taking the "steps" fast , which is always a goal for me. Not only the fact that I will be riding at the highest level, but the fact that I will ride and learn alongside riders like Greg Van Avermaet, Matteo Trentin and Ilnur Zakarin is something I can hardly believe,” Valter explained.

“I want to keep progressing in the following years and I hope I can achieve something great with CCC Team in the 2020 season already. I hope to have a consistent season and do my maximum in every race. At this stage, my friend Barnabas Peak and I will be the only Hungarian riders in the WorldTour level, so it's something I can be really proud of. I believe that next year with the Giro d’Italia starting in my country, the cycling culture will change and Hungary will have a bright cycling future ahead.”

Valter joins teammates Michał Paluta and Kamil Małecki from CCC Development Team in CCC Team’s 2020 roster, as well as new recruits Matteo Trentin, Ilnur Zakarin, Fausto Masnada, Jan Hirt, Pavel Kochetkov, and Georgs Zimmermann.

CCC Team in 2020:
Will Barta (USA), Patrick Bevin (NZ), Josef Černý (CZE), Víctor de la Parte (ESP), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Simon Geschke (GER), Kamil Gradek (POL), Jan Hirt (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Fausto Masnada (ITA), Kamil Małecki (POL), Michał Paluta (POL), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Szymon Sajnok (POL), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Attila Valter (HUN), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL), Ilnur Zakarin (RUS), Georg Zimmermann (GER).

Sofia Bertizzolo will not join Movistar Team’s 2020 roster

Here's the team's release:

The Movistar Team announced Monday that Sofia Bertizzolo will not be able to join its roster for the upcoming 2020 season.

Initially confirmed, back in August, as one of the four signings for Eusebio Unzué’s women’s team next year, the Italian has seen her transfer to the Telefónica-backed squad frustrated by legal constraints, derived from her contractual relationship with the Polizia di Stato.

The regulations regarding UCI Women’s WorldTour teams, a category the Movistar Team is aiming for in 2020 through a WWT license, prevent the existence of dual work contracts, which in practice keeps Bertizzolo from starting her contract with the Blues on January 1st. After exploring every option available, and establishing that it is impossible to properly combine both situations, the Movistar Team can only wish Sofia the best with her future sporting endeavours.

The women’s Movistar Team roster for 2020 now features eleven riders: three signings – Katrine Aalerud, Jelena Erić and Barbara Guarischi – and eight members of the 2019 team: Aude Biannic, Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Eider Merino, Lourdes Oyarbide, Paula Patiño, Gloria Rodríguez and Alba Teruel.

Rick Vosper: Shimano’s new gearbox + e-bikes = the future of just about everything

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

Even as smart and well thought-through as it clearly is, the true significance of Shimano’s new gearbox patent in the e-bike era is its potential to redefine how disruptive new technologies can succeed in the bicycle business. And that has huge implications for the health and long-term direction of the industry itself.

The bike boom of the 1970’s was created and defined by a disruptive product technology: the drop-bar racing-style bicycle, and more importantly, by its derailleur drivetrain. Some number of chainrings up front, some number of cogs on a freewheel in the rear, and the whole system enabled by one or more increasingly sophisticated derailleurs to move the chain around.

Functionally, the whole point of the derailleur drivetrain was to allow a cyclist to go faster and farther over more varied terrain with less effort. Almost as an afterthought, it also created the enthusiast-driven market paradigm that has defined the bicycle — not to mention the bicycle business — to the present day. The larger question of whether a particular cyclist even cared about faster/farther/easier didn’t merit serious consideration.

Bicycles were defined by a simple equation: their efficiency in turning human effort into forward motion. The quality (and generally, price) of a bike was defined by how efficiently it solved that equation. And the definitive aspect of that solution was easily packaged and sold as weight savings. Everything else — frame and component stiffness, aerodynamics, “ride quality” (whatever that means), was secondary, at least in sales terms.

Mountain bikes were just derailleur drivetrains adopted to go off roads and to more extreme conditions. Suspension only existed to help them get there. Exotic materials, aerodynamics, frame geometry, new wheel and tire and pedal designs, none of that stuff altered the fundamental equation or the paradigm behind it.

To be sure, weight gain could be tolerated by the market if the offsetting performance benefits were high enough: think BMX or mountain bike durability, or weight-adding yet successful innovations like brake-lever mounted indexed and/or electronic shifting, aero frames and components, suspension systems and dropper posts. All were evaluated against their increase in weight.

At the end of the day, weight ruled supreme, less by virtue of its actual value in solving the efficiency equation than for the fact that it was so darned easy to quantify. Even UCI limitations on minimum bike weight didn’t stop the consumer market. Across comparable designs, the lighter bike was (almost) always better … and always pricier.

The other side of the equation — power input —could be tweaked through elements like bike fit, positioning, and rider fitness to squeeze out a few more watts. But on the sales floor, that was effectively a fixed variable. At least until the addition of a secondary motor, first in the form of the moped and more recently and successfully, as the modern e-bike. Even today, weight is still a primal factor driving e-bike price and in evaluating e-bike quality.

What the industry has critically failed to notice is how fundamentally the advent of e-bikes has altered the efficiency equation and therefore, disrupted the faster/farther/easier paradigm. Until Shimano’s new gearbox design, that is. And there are plenty of other potential disruptors available, both now and in the pipeline.

The ultimate value of a gearbox drive — whether from Shimano, Pinion, Intra Drive or others — lies in how it can integrate with the e-bike format to create a seismic change in how we think about bicycle performance. It’s heavier, it’s marginally less mechanically efficient, but with a secondary power source available, these are now secondary considerations in how we evaluate bicycle performance.

You can read the entire piece here.

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