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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 16, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap. - Kurt Vonnegut

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Patrick Bevin ruled out of Tour Down Under

Bevin's CCC Team sent me this bad news:

15 January 2020, Adelaide (AUS): Patrick Bevin will miss the Santos Tour Down Under after undergoing treatment for an episode of cardiac arrhythmia.

Bevin experienced an irregular heartbeat during training with an electrocardiogram (ECG) later confirming supraventricular arrhythmia, which has since been treated.

PAtrick Bevin

Patrick Bevin winning stage two of the 2019 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

“Patrick Bevin was admitted to the Calvary Wakefield Hospital in Adelaide after noticing some irregularities in his heartbeat during training. Patrick does not have a history of heart problems however, an electrocardiogram detected an episode of supraventricular arrhythmia. Fortunately, this is a non-life threatening condition and is quite common, but it did require immediate treatment to regulate the heart rhythm,” CCC Team Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Testa explained.

“Thankfully, Patrick experienced this episode whilst with the team and we were able to treat the arrhythmia immediately. We will continue to monitor his recovery and run further tests as a precaution however, as we are less than a week out from the race, Patrick will not be in a position to line up at the Santos Tour Down Under. Patrick will return to New Zealand, where we are confident he will make a full recovery and will be able to resume his racing program shortly.”

Bevin is understandably disappointed not to return to the Santos Tour Down Under, the first goal of his season, after winning a stage and leading the race in 2019.

“It’s disappointing to miss the race after preparing all off season for it and especially after coming so close to the win last year. I was looking forward to returning and trying to repeat my success however, it’s definitely a case of being safe than sorry and the timing has made it impossible to race here in Adelaide,” Bevin said.

“I feel completely fine now and it’s now just a matter of rest and recovery to ensure it doesn’t happen again. With the solid block of off season training in my legs, I’m confident I can still have a strong start to the season one month later than planned.”

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck is en route to Adelaide to replace Bevin in the team’s roster.

“Obviously, this is an unexpected change to my program but I am looking forward to starting my 2020 season in Australia. I’ve raced the Santos Tour Down Under once before in 2016 and really enjoyed the racing and the atmosphere,” Van Keirsbulck added.

Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)

Rider roster: Josef Černý (CZE), Simon Geschke (GER), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Szymon Sajnok (POL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP) Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL).

Quotes from the Women's Tour Down Under pre-race press conference

The organizer sent me this sampling:

Amanda Spratt, Mitchelton-SCOTT:
The live streaming is a fantastic step up. I’ve been involved in every Santos Tour Down Under since its inception. I see the race growing in a really smart way. It came with equal prize money, now with live streaming people can realise how exciting women’s racing is. It’s not a predictable course this year. It’ll be harder to win again. No one knows where GC is going to be made. As a team, we definitely have other cards to play. Grace Brown is in incredible form, Lucy Kennedy is going very well too. My family is here to watch, so the Australian summer of cycling is more pleasure than pressure. A fourth win would be amazing. I love everything this race has to offer, but the biggest priority is to keep the jersey in the team

Leah Kirchmann, Team Sunweb:
Team Sunweb is really excited to be here for the first time. Being a Canadian, it feels amazing to be racing in summer conditions, rather than riding a bike in Canada in January. We had a training camp in December and everyone is motivated to start the year. We’re going to look for opportunities this week.

Leah Kirchmann

Leah Kirchmann at the 2019 Giro Rosa

Ruth Winder, Trek-Segafredo:
Coming from California, I’m really excited to be back in Adelaide. We’ve got a really strong team. I’m excited to start racing.

Chloé Hosking, Rally Cycling:
There’s a circuit race, so being the Australian criterium champion, I’ll be able to wear the green and gold stripes, so it’s really exciting, but I don’t think it’s the only stage I can win. With my new team, this will be an opportunity for us to race with each other in the peloton and get to know each other. A more dynamic race helps that as well whereas in a mountain top finish, it’s just about surviving. It’s fantastic that it’ll be televised. Aussies come to this race in form. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see domestic riders beating the international.

Kimberley Conte, Race Director Santos Women’s Tour Down Under:
This is the 5th year of the race being on the UCI calendar. It’s very exciting to see the race continue to develop, and I’m really proud to be part of it. For the first time we have live streaming and the course has changed a bit. No hilltop will be decisive, we’ve mixed it up a little bit and chosen a dynamic course to provide opportunities to riders who are fit and willing to attack. It’s great to organise the first race of the season and see Team Sunweb and FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope here for the first time.

Cycling Team Israel Start-Up Nation and Formula 1 Williams Racing Team will collaborate next season

Here's the team's Facebook post:

The news was confirmed by ISN team co-owner Sylvan Adams following a special ceremony in Tel Aviv when Israeli racing driver Roy Nissany (25) was officially presented as the new Test Driver for the Formula 1 team.

Mr. Adams, who also serves as the president of the Roy Nissany F1 racing team, said: "The Williams car will feature the Israel Start-Up Nation logo, and there will be cross-marketing and product development between the two programs. ISN is the third professional cycling program to have a collaboration with an F1 team, after Mercedes' partnership with team Ineos and the Bahrain-McLaren joint venture."

"Roy Nissany is a longtime friend of the two Israeli "Guys" on ISN (Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv), making this partnership extra sweet. I am hoping to earn ISN new fans from the F1 world, and conversely, the same for Williams amongst ISN's many supporters. 2020 will be an exciting year."

Indeed, the 25-year-old Nissany has shared what he feels like a common destiny with the best Israeli cyclists who both completed a Grand Tour in the last two seasons, the first Israelis to do so. "I feel like all three of us are putting the Israeli flag on the map. They are doing it for Israeli cycling, and I am trying to break new ground for the Israeli motorsport. I follow them closely and feel almost like we are in the same team, especially with the help of Mr. Sylvan Adams, who is giving us the opportunity and the tools to succeed. Of course, it is up to us now. They are competing for Tour de France history, and I long to become a full-time F1 race driver. We all root for each other".

Sagiv has repeated the same theme: "I am so excited for Roy. It's a great step he has taken, and I wish him the best to fulfil his dream. I do not doubt that he will".

Nissany, who began his journey in motor racing at the age of 14, comes to Formula 1 following two very successful seasons in Formula V8 3.5, where he secured thirteen podium finishes and reached pole position seven times. Nissany's achievements include two consecutive victories at the Silverstone track in the UK, plus wins at Italy's Monza track, France's Paul Ricard circuit, and Jerez in Spain. Nissany competed in the Formula Two championship in 2018 but missed last season due to injury.

Adams began working with Nissany approximately a year ago, understanding that his talent provided another opportunity to place Israel on the global sporting stage. With no suitable infrastructure for Formula 1 racing in Israel, Adams decided to actively support Nissany's ambition to join Williams and Formula 1, becoming president of his management group.

Nissany said: “Today, I achieved the goal which I set for myself many years ago, to become a Formula 1 driver. This is a very exciting moment, not only for me, but also for everyone who has been with me along the way over the years. Formula 1 reaches a huge audience of fans, and I am so pleased that they will now get to know Israel through the motor racing track."

Mr. Adams expressed his confidence that this is just the first step for Nissany: "Today's announcement that Israeli race car driver Roy Nissany has signed a contract to be the 2020 test driver for the Williams F1 Racing team is the first step in his ascension to assuming one of the two F1 pilots positions at Williams as early as next year.”

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