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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Mitchelton-Scott head to Adelaide for Tour Down Under

The team sent me this update:

After a successful campaign at the Australian championships, including three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals, Mitchelton-SCOTT has named its teams for the Santos Tour Down Under.

Women’s Tour Down Under:
Unbeaten at the event since its inception in 2016, Mitchelton-SCOTT is expecting one of the most open races in history when it arrives in Adelaide for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under which begins on Thursday, 16th January.

The four-day race is without a major climb in 2020, removing the platform that has seen multiple world championship medallist Amanda Spratt win the last three editions and opening up the options from within the Australian outfit and from rivals.

Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Women’s TDU (16-19 January):
Jessica Allen (AUS, 26)
Grace Brown (AUS, 27)
Gracie Elvin (AUS, 31)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 31)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 32)
Georgia Williams (NZL, 26)

Gracie Elvin

Gracie Elvin will be at the Tour Down Under.

Men's Tour Down Under:
In anticipation of one of the toughest editions yet, Mitchelton-SCOTT will field one of its strongest line-ups in history at the Santos Tour Down Under next week.

The Australian outfit returns with back-to-back reigning champion Daryl Impey, his fellow 2019 Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates and a well-balanced team with sights set on another overall title, including newly crowned Australian champion Cameron Meyer.

The re-introduction of Paracombe for the third time in history and first time since 2017 gives the climbers another prospect to launch an attack, and its combination with Willunga makes it one of the toughest courses Adelaide has to offer.

Mitchelton-SCOTT at the TDU (19 – 26 January):
Jack Bauer (NZL, 34)
Luke Durbridge (AUS, 28)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 23)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 28)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 35)
Cameron Meyer (AUS, 32)
Simon Yates (GBR, 27)

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The squad sent me this schedule:

Santos Women's Tour Down Under, OCT 16-19

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"We're excited to get our season underway at the Women's Tour Down Under; it is the first time that we will have raced here so we are all looking forward to it. Before travelling to Australia we gathered at the Keep Challenging Center for some training in a climate control room to adapt to the heat we will face during the race, so we're prepared for the conditions as best as possible. The four stages offer opportunities for the sprinters and puncheurs, with stage three the toughest and the one that is expected to decide GC. We want to bring Leah, Liane and Juliette as fresh as possible into the finale of each stage so that we have multiple cards to play in the unpredictable stage finishes. Julia will be road captain and we'll also see British duo Pfeiffer and Anna start, with Anna making her debut for us."

Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Anna Henderson (GBR)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Julia Soek (NED)

Schwalbe Classic: OCT 19

Luke Roberts - Team Sunweb coach:
"Our season kicks off Down Under with the Schwalbe Classic, which is a very fast and flat criterium in the city centre of Adelaide before the Tour Down Under itself gets underway two days later. The race normally ends in a sprint and it is expected to do so again this year so it will offer us a good chance for our new Italian sprinter Alberto, who makes his debut, to chase a good result with support from the rest of the team."

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Jai Hindley

Jai Hindley will race both the Schwalbe Classic and the Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Santos Tour Down Under: OCT 21-26

Luke Roberts - Team Sunweb coach:
"The Tour Down Under has a good mix of opportunities for the sprinters, with the traditional Willunga Hill stage and the return of the finish in Paracombe the two stand-out GC days. We bring a young and diverse team to the race and look to take our chances throughout the race. With Chris [Hamilton] sidelined due to injury Jai, Robert and Michael will be our climbers that will be up there on the tougher stages where we hope to get a good GC result, particularly with Jai who is in good shape. In the flatter sprint stages there are a couple of good chances for Alberto but there are also some more difficult sprints which could suit Max's abilities, with Asbjørn and Florian assisting them in the lead outs."

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Customs ruling means e-bikes excluded from tariffs

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this update:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has ruled that e-bikes fall under the same category as electric motorcycles and therefore share an exclusion, granted in September, from the Trump administration's Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. The decision means importers of Chinese e-bikes are now exempt from paying the 25% tariff the administration imposed in August 2018. Importers should be able to collect previously paid tariffs as well.

"These rulings bring much-needed clarity to lingering questions concerning current product exclusions and their application to e-bikes," said Alex Logemann, PeopleForBikes' policy counsel. "We are grateful to see additional complete bicycle categories beyond kid's bikes receiving badly needed relief from the Section 301 tariffs," he added, referring to the tariff exclusions for kids bikes granted in the last month.

When the US Trade Representative announced the exclusion in September, it was at the request of an electric motorcycle importer. E-bikes have shared a Harmonized Tariff System import code with electric motorcycles and other two-wheeled electric vehicles, but the exclusion announcement, like most such announcement, cautioned that the exclusion was being granted specifically as written in the Federal Register, which said it applied to "Motorcycles with electric power for propulsion," with motors with less than 1000 watts of power. At the time, experts including Logemann cautioned that e-bike importers should await a clarifying ruling before assuming that the exclusion applied.

You can read the entire piece here.

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