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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 23, 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

Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther. Thomas Carlyle

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Tour of Guangxi final reports

We posted the report from stage winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the results

Here's the report from overall winner Enric Mas' Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

Enric Mas sealed the first GC victory of his career in Guilin, where the third edition of the Tour of Guangxi came to a conclusion Tuesday morning. The 24-year-old Spaniard from Artà rolled over the line surrounded by his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates, who sheltered him again throughout the day. Their splendid effort helped Enric maintain the five-second advantage he carried in the rankings following his solo win at the Nongla Scenic Area, the climb which gave the standings a meaningful shake-up two days ago, and thus become just the second Spaniard to triumph in a World Tour event this season.

Enric Mas

Enric Mas wins stage four.

Beaming with happiness after he claimed both the red and white jerseys at the last World Tour event of 2019, Enric explained after crossing the finish line what this success meant for him: “Winning the Tour of Guangxi, my last race with the Wolfpack, is something special that I will always remember. I’m delighted to take what is the maiden GC victory of my career and say goodbye to this fantastic team – who believed in me and gave me the chance to turn pro three years ago – in such a manner.”

“I’ve learned a lot over these past seasons, made significant progress and am extremely grateful for the time spent here, as it’s been a memorable run stacked with beautiful moments. This win wouldn’t have been possible without my extraordinary teammates, who gave their all and protected me this week. They are an incredible group, whom I am happy to call friends”, an emotional Mas concluded after nabbing the 745th UCI victory in the history of the team.

For the eighth consecutive year, Deceuninck – Quick-Step concluded the season as the most successful team in the world, with an astounding 68 victories (including two Monuments and 8 Grand Tour stages) netted by 16 different riders in 20 countries across five continents, a testimony of our squad’s fantastic depth and incredible commitment. During this stellar campaign, the Wolfpack were again on a roll as early as January and came out on top in 11 World Tour events for a total of 35 wins in the premier men’s elite competition, a splendid run that in the end resulted in a second consecutive triumph in the UCI World Team Classification.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was nothing short of effusive after Enric Mas’ victory, which brought down the curtain over another vintage season of the team: “It’s been an unforgettable year, from which we can draw a lot of satisfaction, a confirmation of the hard work and commitment we all put in every single day. Concerning Enric, I want to say how glad we are that he showed professionalism until his last day with the team. We are also happy that he has been part of our squad, where we brought him after following him and his progress from a young age. His potential was on display in many races, including last year’s Vuelta a España, and we are sure he will achieve more big things in the future, so we wish him good luck.”

Stage six second-place Sebastian Molano's UAE-Team Emirates sent me this report:

On the 6th and final stage of the Tour of Guangxi (Guilin-Guilin 168.3 km) a Colombian from UAE Team Emirates battled with Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) for the stage win.

However it was not Fernando Gaviria to fight for the sprint, but his compatriot Sebastian Molano. Gaviria was forced to hit the brakes and to slow down coming into the last corner at 300 meters from the finish, as a crash fragmented the head of the group on the wet run-in.

At that point, Molano was quick to read the situation and step-up to contest the sprint.

Ackermann hit-out strong but Molano hitched on to the wheel of the German, managing to overcome Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) and cross the finish line in second position behind Ackermann.

Pascal Ackermann wins stage six

Pascal Ackermann wins stage six ahead of Sebastian Molano.

Molano commented: “I was focused on the task of launching the sprint for Gaviria. Along with Ferrari and our other teammates we fought to be in the top positions, but there was the fall and on the radio they told me to go for it.
I did my best to try and get a good result, second place satisfies me, it’s a nice way to end the season.”

The Tour of Guangxi, final race of the World Tour 2019 calendar, ends the year for UAE Team Emirates with an impressive tally of two stage victories (two from Gaviria) and two second places (Riabushenko and Molano).

In the overall ranking, 20th place for Aleksandr Riabushenko, at 1’15 “from the winner Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

Team Sunweb previews Joris Nieuwenhuis' cyclocross program

The team sent me this memo:

“November and December are months where I hope to see more improvements," explained Nieuwenhuis. "It has been rough going so far but everything is where we expect it to be at this early stage in the season. The main goal for the next two months is to be more consistent: I want to show myself at the front of races and stay there. In December I will also go on training camp with the team where I will focus more on endurance. There are some races in December that suit me well, Namur and Zolder, so I am looking forward to competing at both of them and hopefully getting good results there. Overall though, I want to step up again by making small improvements and showing myself with the best."

Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna added: "Joris has had a solid start to his cyclocross season and he's steadily progressing each race. After his road season he's at where we expected him to be and we're hoping that in the next few months he will continue to improve and pick up a selection of good results."

Race program:
Ruddervoorde Superprestige - 03/11/2019
European Championships - 10/11/2019
Tabor World Cup - 16/11/2019
Koksijde World Cup - 24/11/2019
Zonhoven Superprestige - 08/12/2019
Namur World Cup - 22/12/2019
Zolder World Cup - 26/12/2019
Diegem Superprestige - 29/12/2019

Team Jumbo-Visma hires coach Arthur van Dongen

The team sent me this release:

The coaching staff of Team Jumbo-Visma will be expanded with Arthur van Dongen. The 51-year-old Dutchman worked as sports director at Team Sunweb for the past four seasons. The former rider has an excellent track record at both the highest level and the development level and is known as a passionate and enthusiastic coach.

At Team Jumbo-Visma, Van Dongen will meet numerous old acquaintances, such as Grischa Niermann, Sierk-Jan de Haan and Mathieu Heijboer with whom he previously worked together as sports director.

Several riders of his new team Van Dongen already guided before, such as Timo Roosen, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Mike Teunissen, Lennard Hofstede, Antwan Tolhoek and Tom Dumoulin. When Dylan Groenewegen won the Tour of Flanders as an espoir of the Dutch national team, Van Dongen was the coach as well.

“It’s nice to make the switch to Team Jumbo-Visma”, Van Dongen says. “I am happy with the transfer and I am looking forward to working at Team Jumbo-Visma. At Team Sunweb I was able to make the step to the professional level and I perfectly could have stayed longer, but I’ve been offered a challenging opportunity at Team Jumbo-Visma and I am looking forward to taking it.”

The arrival of Van Dongen is not connected to the transfer of Tom Dumoulin, who also exchanges Sunweb for Team Jumbo-Visma.

Cambodia remains EU’s biggest bike supplier despite threat of losing duty-free status

Bike Europe sent me this:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – There’s again the threat that Cambodia could lose its duty-free export status on regular bicycles exported to the EU member states. That status is allowing companies operating in the country for a 14 percent import duty edge on countries that do not hold such status. It pushed Cambodia to be EU’s leading supplier which also was the fact in the first half of 2019. However, its export to the EU showed a slight drop for the first time in years. Is it a first sign of much more to come?

Are importers of regular bikes like the biggest dealer cooperative in Europe – ZEG – turning their back on Cambodian companies like Strongman, A&J and Asama? In particular as the EU formally informed Cambodia on February 11, 2019 that it had begun a process that could result in the country losing its preferential trading terms because of its poor record on human rights and rule of law. Is that the message that’s behind the 4 percent drop in Cambodia’s export to the EU in the first half of 2019? Are EU importers now getting worried as this is not the only time Cambodia’s duty-free export status for regular bikes to the EU is threatened. Are these EU importers turning to neighboring Vietnam; the country that now has a free trade agreement with the European Union which probably provides a more stable basis for business? Or is a just a minor change to be filtered out in the overall 2019 figures? And also the Cambodia based bike makers are doing all they can to keep their preferential trading terms with Europe.

Fact is that during the first half of this year 835,000 regular bikes were exported from Cambodia to the EU. It makes the country the by far biggest exporter of such products as the runner-up in the ranking of EU’s biggest suppliers of regular bicycles is Taiwan with 546,000 bikes. On third place in this ranking stands China. Remarkable is that import figures from this country show a close to 16 percent rise to 435,000 units. This despite the last August renewed anti-dumping measures on regular bicycles imported into the EU from exporters based in the People’s Republic.

You can read the entire story here.

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