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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. - Susan B. Anthony

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Tour of California will not be run in 2020

Here is the short post the Tour of California organizer's posted on Facebook:

Thank you, fans. It’s been an amazing 14 years. “AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, today announced that they will put the Amgen Tour of California race on hiatus for the 2020 racing season.”

And here is the full press release from AEG:

LOS ANGELES (BUSINESS WIRE) - AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, today announced that they will put the Amgen Tour of California race on hiatus for the 2020 racing season.

Todej Pogacar

2019 overall winner Todaj Pogacar beating Sergio Higuita to win stage six.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “While professional cycling globally continues to grow and we are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race. This new reality has forced us to re-evaluate our options, and we are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021.”

The race has become California’s largest annual sporting event, contributing more than $3.5 billion¹ to the state’s economy over the years. Each year since 2006, the cycling road race has showcased some of today’s best known and most decorated international cyclists, including numerous World, Olympic and National Champions. The international competition also carries the distinction of being the only U.S.-based event that has both its men’s and women’s races listed on the UCI WorldTour calendar while being the only event of its kind that concurrently produces men’s and women’s stage races that offer equal prize money.

“On behalf of USA Cycling, I would like to thank AEG, Kristin and her team for providing an outstanding showcase for the sport in America and for our American Athletes,” said Bob Stapleton, Chairman of USA Cycling. “We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”

The competition has also been praised for creating a global platform to feature current and next-generation U.S. cyclists, showcase the picturesque state of California, introduce the sport to millions of new fans and promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle.

Klein continued, “I would like to sincerely thank the teams, the cyclists, sponsors, volunteers, elected officials, host cities, and all of the fans that helped make the Amgen Tour of California ‘Americas Greatest Race.’ Most of all, I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of my team who have tirelessly worked alongside me, each and every year, to develop the renowned event. I also would like to thank our governing body, USA Cycling, UCI and Amaury Sport Organisation for their continued support.”

“We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Amgen for their incredible support and partnership from day one,” Klein added. “We are proud to have stood together with them to create this amazing legacy.”

Past men’s race champions have included Tour de France General Classification Winners Egan Bernal and Bradley Wiggins; as well as Tour de France Stage Winners George Bennett; Levi Leipheimer; Michael Rogers; Peter Sagan (record 7-time Tour de France Points Classifications winner, and record 17-stage winner at the Amgen Tour of California); and Tejay van Garderen. Additionally, 10-time Stage Winner Mark Cavendish has won 30 stages at the Tour de France (2nd all-time for both races).

The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM has featured an equally impressive field of competitors including three-time Olympic gold medal winner Kristin Armstrong; current race champion, Olympic gold medalist and world champion, Anna van der Breggen; Chloe Dygert, Olympic silver medalist, current UCI world time trial champion and six-time UCI gold medalist; and Coryn Rivera who in 2019, at age 26 holds 72 national titles.

¹Based on an economic impact by Beacon Economics

Team Sunweb signs double British U23 champion Anna Henderson

Team Sunweb sent me this release:

Team Sunweb are delighted to announce that current U23 British road race and time trial champion Anna Henderson joins their Women’s program, with the 20-year-old racing in the team’s colours for 2020.

Anna Henderson (GBR):
A talented rider, Henderson has shone both on the British domestic and international scene over the past two years. In 2018 she took two wins in the Tour Series on tricky parcours, and victory at the national circuit championships. This season has saw Henderson continue her development on the international stage, picking up a strong second place overall at the Tour de Belle Isle en Terre – Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames. The highlight of her year was the double at the British national championships, winning both the road race and time trial at U23 level. The former result also saw her finish second in the elite race; showing her potential as a talented young rider.

“I’m looking forward to joining Team Sunweb next year and taking another step up in my career,” explained Henderson. “The team has a very professional environment with various experts and they are known for their good pathway to develop riders. I’m excited to get started in the Women’s WorldTour and learn from the other strong and experienced riders on the team.”

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “Anna is a new kid on the block in women’s cycling after taking up the sport late in 2016, having formerly been a junior slalom champion skier in Great Britain. She’s still young and has showed her potential several times at UCI level this season, highlighting herself as a classics style rider with a strong sprint. Anna visited our Keep Challenging Center earlier in the year and she impressed us with her qualities. We’re looking forward to working with her next year and helping her to continue to improve.”

Taiwan takes major steps in E-Bike production learning curve

Bike Europe sent me this:

TAICHUNG, Taiwan – The transformation of the Taiwanese industry from producing traditional bicycles and the appropriate components to e-bikes is in full swing. “Traditional bicycles are becoming e-bikes and that requires an all new approach to production, distribution and marketing,” says Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) chairman Michael Tseng. “The Taiwan industry is now fully focused on e-bike engineering as we continue to strive our best to cover the needs of the global market.”

In the first nine months of this year the country’s e-bike export skyrocketed by over 130 percent as reported by this trade journal last week.

This increase in volume also requires fundamental changes at components suppliers. “E-bike frames are more complex compared to the ones for regular bicycles. This caused lead-time delays in the past,” says Alex Lin of frame manufacturer Sunrise at a media event for which the company opened its doors last week. “Production is now at full speed again after we have gone through a learning process of this complex product. It’s no problem for us anymore to fulfill the required lead-times.” Even the in-tube frames are no longer a production issue for Sunrise, claims Alex Lin. “Cutting the down-tube to make the opening for the battery is now just one of the steps in the process, no longer a complicating issue.”

You can read the entire story here.

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