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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, September 27, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too. - Aldous Huxley

Current racing:

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UCI World Championships, Junior Mens Road Race commentary

The race organizer sent me this press release:

USA sealed their second rainbow jersey and added another two medals to their overall tally at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships as Quinn Simmons won the Junior Men’s Road Race ahead of Italy’s Alessio Martinelli and his compatriot Magnus Sheffield.

Quinn Simmons

Quinn Simmons becomes the Junior Mens World Champion.

The American team was active right from the start and after thinning out the field, Quinn made his winning move on the first of three laps of the Harrogate circuit. The 18 year old sprung clear with 33km to go on the short, sharp Oak Beck climb and never looked back as he soloed to the biggest win of his fledgling career.

Quinn triumphed by a 56-second winning margin, with solo pursuer Martinelli taking the silver medal before Sheffield outsprinted three rivals for third.

Once again, the weather gods played their part in the drama. Richmond was bathed in sunshine at the start of the day as huge crowds, including hundreds of local schoolchildren, packed Market Place to see the riders away.

The conditions deteriorated on the 106.6km trek to Harrogate, but that didn’t stop the Dales looking  spectacular as the peloton wound their way through Buckden, Burnsall and Blubberhouses. Giant land art dotted the route and images of Bolton Castle, Kilnsey Crag and Bolton Abbey were among the landmarks being beamed to millions of people across the globe.

By the time the riders hit the Harrogate circuit with 41.5km still to go the heavens had truly opened, but yet again, that didn’t stop thousands of fans lining the now-famous drag up to the finish line.

Not surprisingly, it was on that third and final lap where Simmons received his loudest cheer of the day, and the Coloradan even had time to snatch his national flag from family at the side of the road before celebrating his hard-fought victory.

Alfie George led Great Britain home in seventh place meanwhile, and fellow Yorkshireman Sam Watson was 28th. 

USA rider Quinn Simmons said: “It was always the plan to try and win solo and my training’s been aimed at that. Everything went perfectly today. The roads here are rolling and heavy, and that was a long distance for a junior race. Add the rain into that mix and it wore a lot of people down – which worked to our advantage. When the course was revealed I knew it’d suit me and it’s been my goal ever since. To win solo with a flag passed to me by my family is probably the coolest experience I’ll ever have in my life. The support here was crazy as well – the largest crowd I’ve ever experienced in a junior race. I loved it all and I’d definitely like to come back to Yorkshire in the future.”

Great Britain rider Sam Watson said: “It was a tough route – up and down all day – and made even tougher by the wet conditions. I ride these roads all the time and I never knew you could actually ride them that quickly. Being local, there was quite a lot of pressure on me but I’m able to deal with that quite well. This whole Championships has been an amazing experience and even though I didn’t come away with the result I wanted, the crowds were absolutely fantastic and they definitely kept me going.”

Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley said: “The was a superb performance from Quinn and he deserves that win – it was an excellent effort. It was a real war of attrition out there and cycling is a tough sport. Once again, the support on the roadside was amazing. The land art in places like Catterick and Carperby was just fantastic and hopefully we’ll see much more of it in the coming races. 

“These Championships are enabling communities to get out and celebrate where they live, and we’re able to say thanks for that by featuring them on the TV and in the live commentary.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Commercial Director Peter Dodd said: “That was a gruelling day in classic Yorkshire conditions. Those junior riders will know they’ve been in a race today. Like Andy mentioned, the amount of land art was remarkable and you don’t normally get anywhere near that amount for a Junior World Championships. It was great to see, just as it was that so many schoolkids were out there lining the route as well, being inspired by the world’s best young riders.”

Pro Teams reject key elements of the UCI Reform 2020: “Classics Series”

The Association of Men’s Professional Road Cycling Teams sent me this:

The AIGCP (the association of men’s professional road cycling teams) hereby confirms that it has informed the UCI that it rejects the current approach and proposed regulatory framework for setting up the anticipated UCI Classics Series as part of the 2020 Reform.

AIGCP’s support for the 2020 Reform approved in September 2018 was conditional on setting up the envisaged competition of one-day races (“Classics Series”) on a consensus basis with all stakeholders, including the teams with their riders, and on the basis of an inclusive business plan and ownership model where the rights of all parties would be recognised and respected. Such Classics Series was meant to be a stepping stone towards the true reform that men’s professional road cycling needs: to change the current broken economical model which over the years has done much harm to the sport, not only the teams and their riders, but also to many race organisers.

However, the teams lament that no substantial progress has been made in this regard. In fact, the teams’ and riders’ rights are neither being recognised nor respected and the current approach and proposed regulatory framework do not deliver on the promised structure which would finally enable the stakeholders to realise the economic change that this sport desperately needs.

Accordingly, the AIGCP has formally informed the UCI of its rejection of the Classics Series as it is being implemented by the UCI and that no team or contracted rider may be associated with any such Classics Series without the express consent of that team.

Finally, the AIGCP remains committed to contributing to the realisation of the principles of the UCI Reform 2020 it supported in September 2018. 

Wahoo Fitness acquires pedal maker Speedplay

Bike Europe sent me this news:

ATLANTA, USA – High-end bicycle pedal expert Speedplay has been taken-over by fitness equipment specialist Wahoo Fitness. “The Speedplay product range is complementary to our increasing line-up of high-quality indoor- and outdoor-cycling products,” announced Wahoo. The purchase price remains undisclosed.

San Diego based Speedplay is Wahoo’s second acquisition within three months since the company took-over the indoor training app ‘The Sufferfest’ last July. The self-acclaimed ‘leading developer of training apps and networked fitness equipment in indoor- and outdoor-cycling’ Wahoo wants to turn Speedplay’s technological leadership into new products in the category pedals.

You can read the entire story here.

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