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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 21, 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

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. - Niccolo Machiavelli

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Emile Idée: Tour’s oldest living stage winner turns 100

VeloNews posted this wonderful piece by James Startt:

Winner of stage 13 of the 1949 Tour de France recalls racing in Nazi-occupied France and winning his national championships.

“My only rival is Emile Idée.”

So Fausto Coppi announced in a yellowed headline in an aging newspaper tucked away in a drawer. At first glance, Emile Idée glances over it as he shifts through the numerous articles that recall his career as a punchy rider and respected time trialist. But then he pauses. “I don’t know why Coppi said that. But yes I was a pretty good time trialer.”

Emile Idee

Emile Idée in his prime

In fact Idée, who turned 100 years old on Sunday, was more than pretty good. During World War II and the years after, Idée was simply one of the best riders of his generation. Sure he may not be a household name in the annals of cycling, but he twice won the French national championships as well as the Grand Prix des Nations—the world time trial championships of the day. And twice he finished second to Coppi, who had obvious respect for the French rider. And today he is the oldest living stage winner of the Tour de France.

In a pre-COVID world, more stories would likely have been written about Idée. After all, the Tour de France was originally scheduled to finish this past Sunday, July 19, on his birthday.

Idée’s career would also have likely been even more remarkable if it were not for the outbreak of World War II. Turning professional in 1941, he was forced to spend his early years racing where he could in Nazi-occupied France.

“We did a lot of track racing and then some road racing,” Idée told VeloNews during a recent conversation at his home south of Paris in Marolles-en-Brie. “There were still some races, but there weren’t any spectators. People were just scared.”

You can read the entire story here.

Fox drops offer to acquire Mavic, but about 13 potential buyers remain

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

GRENOBLE, France (BRAIN) — Fox Factory has removed itself from the bidding to acquire Mavic SAS, which is in receivership in France. However, about 13 other groups, including several with ties to the bike industry, have expressed interest in the company. On Thursday French judicial administrators in charge of the company reviewed their proposed plans.

In May, Mavic entered receivership, a status similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S., intended to help a company restructure debts while under management and protection of a trustee. One difference, at least in this case, is that in considering competing bids and plans the French commercial court places a priority on preserving jobs, while U.S. bankruptcy courts prioritize satisfying creditors. 

The French administrators are expected to announce a decision at the end of this month. Besides preserving jobs, the court is keen to hear plans for how potential owners would extricate Mavic from its former owner, Amer (which was acquired by a Chinese sports group last year). Mavic continues to share a building with Amer's Salomon brand near Annecy, and Mavic continues to pay Amer for production and services at Amer-owned facilities elsewhere in France and Eastern Europe. While Mavic has several hundred employees in France, it also indirectly supports scores of Amer employees.

Fox looked into acquiring the brand, Fox Factory's Chris Tutton confirmed to BRAIN.

"We did get into due diligence with Mavic but after a deep dive I have decided to pull our bid and remove Fox from the process," Tutton said. "That said, we are certainly looking to make acquisitions inside the bicycle industry if the fit is right for our brands."

You can read the entire story here.

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