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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything. - Alan Watts

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Greg LeMond news

I was fortunate enough to receive this from writer Daniel de Visé:

I wanted to share some news regarding Greg LeMond & my book, The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France.

I wrote the LeMond bio in hope Greg might finally get the recognition he deserves, and it looks like that might be happening. The House of Representatives voted this afternoon on legislation to award Greg the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill still has to pass the Senate and the president’s desk, but that’s now looking increasingly likely.

LeMond: The Comback

The Comeback is available from Amazon in print, Kindle eBook or Audiobook versions. You can find it here or just click on the cover image.

I am told the medal is one of our two highest civilian honors, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Congress created it as the "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions." George Washington got one. Recent recipients include Jackie Robinson, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.

Greg is up for the medal because of Rep. Mike Thompson, from Napa. Congressman Thompson first contacted me last October. He had read my book, and he wanted to find a way to recognize Greg as an American hero. We corresponded for several months, and I learned in June that he had decided to introduce legislation to award the Gold Medal to Greg. I helped his staff with the wording.

I always felt Greg's achievement was bigger than cycling -- to me, it's the greatest comeback in sports and just a great American story. Congressman Thompson agrees. The medal would put Greg in the company of our great athlete-heroes: Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Roberto Clemente, to name a few.

Here is the press release from congressman Mike Thompson:



Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that his bipartisan bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to cyclist Greg LeMond has passed the House. This bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. A statement from Thompson and LeMond are below.

“Greg LeMond is a world-renowned cyclist and one of the greatest American athletes in history. The only American to win the Tour de France, LeMond’s career has been marked by victory after victory, selfless support for his teammates, and incredible comebacks, all while maintaining the highest standards of healthy athletics and clean competition. His career embodied some of our most cherished values – selflessness, perseverance, excellence, and sportsmanship – and LeMond has spent his life supporting children and young people, ensuring many others can experience the joy of cycling. Today I’m proud the House passed my bill to honor Greg LeMond’s lifetime of success, both as a cyclist and a stellar member of our community.”

“I am truly humbled to be recognized for my career by the U.S. House of Representatives. Cycling changed my life for the better and I’ve been proud to help bring this great sport to so many across our nation. For years, it’s been my deep honor to represent the United States on the world stage,” said LeMond. “I hope this award continues to bring cycling to many more as the sport has the potential to help everyone be healthier and more active. The bike plays an important role in our modern mobility and infrastructure, and it can only get better from here.”

Here is our 1989 Tour de France results page.

Leezer, Lindeman, Martens and Wynants re-sign with Jumbo-Visma

Jumbo-Visma sent me this release:

Team Jumbo-Visma has renewed the contracts of Tom Leezer, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens and Maarten Wynants until the end of the 2020 season.

Merijn Zeeman emphasizes the role of the quartet. “Tom, Paul, Bert-Jan and Maarten are real team players”, the sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma says. “They are very important for our team leaders and they also support the development of our young talents. I am very satisfied with the fact that they are loyal to our team.”

Leezer is happy to be part of the Dutch squad for the coming year as well. “I have been racing for the team for almost fifteen years. I have had a good year and enjoyed building successes. I am very happy that we will continue to do so together.”

Tom Leezer

Tom Leezer riding the 2014 Tour of Flanders. Sirotti photo.

Martens feels confident. “I am very happy and proud that I will continue to be part of this successful team. I have helped it grow in recent years. I hope to help many young talents. My experience is really appreciated in this way”, the German road captain says.

Lindeman feels at home at Team Jumbo-Visma. “It’s great that I can ride for such a great team. I feel at home here and therefore I am very happy with my new contract.”

Wynants endorses those words. “I have experienced the development of the team from up close”, the experienced Fleming says. “I look forward to fulfilling the role of road captain for another year. The ultimate dream is to win a monument with this team next spring.”

Floris De Tier, Neilson Powless and Danny van Poppel are leaving Team Jumbo-Visma.

Victor De la Parte returns to racing at CRO Race 

De la Parte's CCC Team sent me this:

30 September 2019: CCC Team will line up for the first time at the newly-named CRO Race (Tour of Croatia), starting 1 October, which will serve as Víctor de la Parte’s first race back after crashing out of the Vuelta a España.

Victor De la Parte

Victor De la Parte's best result was his overall win in the 2015 Tour of Austria

De la Parte will be joined by a team of climbers at the six-day stage race, where the focus will be on a top ten result in the General Classification and a stage win.

“We won’t be lining up at CRO Race with one leader as we have multiple cards to play depending on how the race plays out. Victor de la Parte will return to competition after fracturing his scapula at the Vuelta a España so we will see how he goes. He is definitely motivated but, of course, missed out on some racing and training so we will take things day by day. Riccardo Zoidl and Amaro Antunes are in good shape so we will see what they can do, especially on the stage five summit finish, as this will be the most important stage for the General Classification,” Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.

“We also have Serge Pauwels, Laurens ten Dam, Joey Rosskopf, and our stagiaire Georg Zimmermann, who will have their eyes on stage wins as well as supporting the team for the General Classification. We are lining up at CRO Race for the first time as a team so, we are motivated to get out there and finish the season well.”

De la Parte is eager to test his form in Croatia, where he previously finished third overall in 2016.

“After the crash in the Vuelta a España, I had to stop for a few weeks and afterward, it was hard to start again because my body was tired but in my mind, I was motivated to finish the season well. I’ve now had a few good weeks of training so I feel pretty good and I think we can make some nice results at CRO Race. I’m really motivated because crashing out of the Vuelta was a hard reality to face when I was so motivated for my race on home soil. A good result in Croatia also helps me to mentally enjoy the off-season,” de la Parte said.

“I was approaching my recovery with the idea of racing in Croatia. My biggest goal will be to look for a stage that suits me and to enjoy racing again. I think, as a team, we can achieve a nice result and for me, it’s a chance to get back into racing before I finish my season with the Italian races.”

CRO Race (1-6 October)

Rider roster: Amaro Antunes (POR), Victor de la Parte (ESP), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Georg Zimmermann (GER), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT).

Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Valerio Piva (ITA)

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro: OCT 3

Michiel Elijzen - Team Sunweb coach:
"We have good memories at the race with Max winning here last year in the reduced sprint finish. We arrive at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro with a confident team after our recent success at Omloop van het Houtland, and we're looking to defend our crown here. We have Max and Cees, who both can deliver strong sprint efforts after a tough day in the saddle, so we will look to keep them as fresh as possible and set them up for the finale."

Nikias Arndt

Nikias Arndt (shown winning stage eight of this year's Vuelta) will ride the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro

Nikias Arndt (GER)
Cees Bol (NED)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Lennard Kämna (GER)
Max Kanter (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Max Walscheid (GER)

Giro dell’Emilia Internazionale Donne Elite: OCT 5

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach:
"Emilia is a tough race that ends with a tricky two kilometre long climb, which normally decides the race. This is our first time competing at this race but the whole team is very motivated to do well. With Liane, Floortje and Juliette we have three good options to play on the final climb, or in any attacks before the finish."

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)

Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli Internazionale Donne Elite: OCT 6

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach:
"Beghelli looks like it could be a day for the sprinters but it is also possible to create a breakaway over the hills that could stay away until the finish. We have a strong team here and will look to be present in any dangerous attacks earlier in the day. Towards the finale if it is coming down to a sprint finish, then the team will work to protect and set up Susanne."

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)

Il Piccolo Lombardia: OCT 6

Jelle de Jong - Team Sunweb coach:
"Il Lombaria is a beautiful race and one that the guys are very motivated to do well at. It is normally a tough race, with the action usually starting on the famous Madonna del Ghisallo climb. After that point a race winning move can go on any of the tricky hills so we will need to be active at the front. We arrive at the race with Felix as the team leader, who will be promoted to the WorldTour next year, and the guys will work hard to make sure he is well positioned and feeling good for the important parts of the race."

Felix Gall (AUT)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Ben Katerberg (CAN)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Nils Sinschek (NED)

Tre Valli Varesine: OCT 8

Arthur van Dongen - Team Sunweb coach:
"Tre Valli Varesine is the first of three Italian one-day races and we arrive with a strong and motivated squad. It is normally a very attacking race so we will look to make the race hard and be involved in any serious breakaway or attack. In the finale we aim to bring Wilco into a good position so he can make it into any late attacks, like last year, where we hope to go for another good result."

Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Martin Salmon (GER)

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