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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

It is hard to interest those who have everything in those who have nothing. - Helen Keller

Plato's Apology

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Team Sunweb to ride Tour de la Provence

Here's the team's race preview:

Tour de la Provence, FEB 13-16

Arjan Ribbers - Team Sunweb coach:
"We're excited to get our European season underway at the Tour de la Provence. It looks set to be a tough race with a lot of climbing and a summit finish on Mount Ventoux on stage three. Inspired by the team's winning streak in Australia, we arrive with a motivated group of guys ready for their season debut, with Nico making his first start in the team's colours while Sam returns to racing for the first time since last year's Giro. We want to be aggressive and race on the front foot throughout the week, chasing day success. We have two main cards to play with Marc and Wilco, and the rest of the guys will work to protect them and set them up for the stage finales."

Nico Denz

Nico Denz (shown at the 2018 Tour de Romandie) will be riding for Team Sunweb at the Tour de la Provence. Sirotti photo

Nico Denz (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Team Deceuninck-Quick Step also headed to Provence

Here's the team's post:

Famous for its sunny weather, colourful countryside, and fascinating myths and legends which can be traced back to the days before the region became the first Roman province beyond the Alps, Provence will welcome twenty teams this week, including Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at the start of the eponymous tour (13-16 February).

After an almost flat opening stage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where there’s a big chance to see crosswinds that could batter the peloton and break it into echelons, the riders will take on an up-and-down course that will give little respite and has the potential to make for a spectacular race of attrition, which will hit its climax on the gruelling ramps of Les Crêtes.

Surprisingly, considering it’s so early in the season, this won’t be the queen stage of the race, with even bigger gaps expected to come Saturday, when the riders will take on the infamous Mont Ventoux (14.6km, 7.6%), until the refuge of Chalet Reynard. Twenty-four hours later, three classified ascents crammed into the 170.5 kilometers of stage 4 promise an exciting final showdown as the bunch will travel to Aix-en-Provence, the region’s former capital.

Three Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders are set to make their first appearance of the season at the Tour de la Provence: Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, and United States National ITT Champion Ian Garrison. Having delivered the team’s 750th victory in style at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Dries Devenyns will also feature on the Wolfpack’s seven-man roster, together with Rémi Cavagna, Iljo Keisse, and Pieter Serry.

Kasper Asgreen

Kasper Asgreen will start his season in Provence. Sirotti photo

“One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be an easy race. We need to be careful on stage 1, where the race could be fragmented by the winds, before entering the rugged terrain that will lead to some big gaps”, explained sports director Geert Van Bondt. “Our squad blends youth with experience and we are very eager to see our new guys Andrea and Ian at work, to see how they slot into the team and how they react on this first race with the Wolfpack. Kasper also starts his season here, while Rémi, Dries, Iljo, and Pieter have already raced this year and showed a good condition, so we’re going with a high degree of confidence to Provence.”

Les Woodland's Paris-Roubaix: The Inside Story is our book of the week

Here's a short video about Paris-Roubaix and the book with Les Woodland narrating. I think you'll enjoy it:

Taipei Cycle Show canceled. Small May event planned in Taipei

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update:

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Multiple sources in Taiwan and the U.S. tell BRAIN that next month's Taipei Cycle show has been canceled. Exhibitors and other potential visitors have told show organizers they were reluctant to attend because of the ongoing novel corona virus outbreak in China.

The show has not made an official statement. A representative for the show's organizer, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, told BRAIN earlier this week to expect an announcement Friday. The show's website indicates there will be an update Tuesday.

According to one source, exhibitors who made deposits for the 2020 show will have that deposit automatically extended to the 2021 show.

You can read the entire story here.

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