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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Are you better off than you were four years ago? – Ronald Reagan

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Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

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Thomas De Gendt renews his contract for two years with Lotto Soudal

The team sent me this:

On Lotto Soudal’s training camp in the Vosges, Thomas De Gendt (33) announced extending his contract with the Belgian World Tour team until the end of 2022. De Gendt had an agreement with the team until end 2020.

Thomas De Gendt

Thomas De Gendt about to start stage 12 of the 2019 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

“It was so obvious for me. It never entered my mind to change teams. Why should I?”, Thomas De Gendt said.  “I know this house already for six years. Honestly, I have never been interested in another team. Lotto Soudal knows me and gives me the freedom I need, a freedom that I would never get somewhere else. In the past, we have won many nice races together. I am convinced that together we still have nice years ahead of us.”

As a multiple winner of stages in Grand Tours - Tour (2x), Giro and Vuelta - Thomas De Gendt will continue to focus on stage races.

“For the classics we have other champions such as Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens and John Degenkolb. I will help them where I can. My personal dream is to win a stage in the ten biggest stage races. As I have already won in Catalunya, Paris-Nice, Suisse, Romandie and Dauphiné, I just miss Tirreno and País Vasco. Unfortunately, this will not be possible in 2020 but I hope to achieve it in the coming years, with the support of the team.”

“I am happy to see that Thomas loves his current environment,” General Manager John Lelangue adds “He can win races but is a perfect team player as well. This contract extension is good for the stability and continuity of the team. Thomas understands that Lotto Soudal really has a vision. Moreover, he has been so successful and loyal to the team. We need him. With Thomas we continue to build on the team’s future. More agreements will be announced soon."

James Knox: “Ready to restart the season in Poland”

Knox's Deceuninck-Quick Step team posted this:

The 24-year-old Brit – now in his third season with Deceuninck-Quick Step,  talked about racing and training in the mountains, where his main forte lies.

I have really enjoyed it at Val di Fassa. I love being somewhere new and discovering news roads, and the Dolomites is a beautiful area with amazing mountain passes and views and excellent roads. I have done a lot of hard climbs during the camp, so in terms of training it has been fantastic. And, of course, it has been special to be back amongs the team after such a long time.

James Knox

James Knox enjoying the hills of the ninth stage of the 2019 Vuelta. Sirotti poto

Lockdown wasn’t easy, not having any races since early Spring wasn’t easy, so joining the Wolfpack for this 18-day training camp in Val di Fassa has been a welcome change. There has been a great atmosphere here and everyone is desperate to get back to racing as soon as possible, so it’s been a really productive get-together.

This sort of camp for me as a climber really serves a purpose. Not only do I get to train in the high mountains, which is an area that I would like to succeed in, but also staying at altitude I believe really helps me. And then there is also the team environment here, which is not quite like a race, but as a team you push each other on and we train harder than we would as individuals.

I still have a bit of time until my first race, but this is the final piece of the puzzle as far as a big block of training and from here on in I will just be fine-tuning to make sure that I am ready to race when I start in the Tour de Pologne, on August 5. It will be my second presence there, after last year’s edition, when I cracked the top 10 overall. I had a great time there and from Poland I went on to having an amazing Vuelta a España. Of course, things will be different now, but on the other hand, nothing has changed in that I am in eager to get back racing and will hopefully have good legs, be it riding for myself or helping the guys out.

I’m not afraid of suffering in a race, it’s part of what being a pro rider means. At the start of the race I try to work out the suffering and getting my mind around it. Often, if the climb isn’t hurting you, it is other factors like the weather and working out if it is too hot or if it is too cold. From there I try to take the big days step by step, knowing that I have a long way to go and that I need to stay calm and think about eating and drink properly. Sometimes I can find a happy place sitting in the wheels and I try to distract myself from what is ahead, and just focus on my job and helping the team be up there and get a good result.

LeMond Bicycles moves $2 million closer to launch

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (BRAIN) — LeMond Bicycles LLC recently raised a bit over $2 million in a private placement investment, possibly bringing the company closer to launching a bike line using technology developed by Greg LeMond's other business, LeMond Carbon. The three-time Tour de France champion founded both companies in 2016.

In an email Thursday, Greg LeMond told BRAIN that he could talk about his company's plans in the bike market in a couple of weeks. A Tennessee news site reported Wednesday that LeMond is moving its bike business and its carbon fiber business from Oak Ridge to West Knoxville.

A Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Wednesday shows that on July 1 the bicycle company sold securities worth $2,029,178 out of a total offering of $4,608,000. The SEC Form D filing is sometimes filed on the sale of securities to a small number of select investors. The form contains minimal information about the investment besides the offering amount and names of executive officers, board members and promoters of the company issuing the securities.

LeMond has been in and out of the bike market since at least 1986, the year he won his first Tour. He licensed his name to Trek Bicycle for use on bikes for 13 years starting in 1995. In 2008 Trek ended the agreement, with Trek president John Burke saying that LeMond "has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole." LeMond sued for breach of contract and the suit was settled in 2010, with Trek agreeing to pay $200,000 to, a charity supported by LeMond.

At the 2013 Interbike show, LeMond launched a limited edition of 300 LeMond-branded frames and bikes made by Time in France. LeMond's company also distributed Time frames and pedals in the U.S. for a time. In 2014 LeMond announced he was selling a US-made steel frame, called the Washoe, through a consumer-direct website.

In 2016 he launched a new Tennessee-based company, LeMond Composites, which had rights to new technology developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for low-cost, high volume carbon fiber manufacturing. At the time, Greg LeMond told BRAIN that he learned of the technology while researching options for a new bike line. He said the technology would be ideal for bike frames but that the new company would first focus on sales to other industries, including the auto, aviation, and wind power industries.

The following year, LeMond Composites licensed carbon manufacturing technology from Deakin University in Australia in a 20-year deal reportedly worth $44 million. Late last year, LeMond and Deakin announced that the technology had been shown by an independent organization to enable carbon production at less cost and energy use than other methods. At the time, LeMond said it was operating a pilot carbon fiber manufacturing line at Deakin University's facility in Australia and was raising capital for a full-scale industrial carbon fiber production line it hoped to launch in 2021.

You can read the entire story here.

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