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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, July 30, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

We have the best government that money can buy. - Mark Twain

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Max Schachmann, Lukas Pöstlberger and Cesare Benedetti extend with BORA – hansgrohe

The team sent me this release:

The current German Champion has extended his contract with the team from Raubling for four years. Lukas Pöstlberger and Cesare Benedetti will also ride in the colours of BORA - hansgrohe for the following two years.

Max Schachmann

Max Schachmann enjoying 2020 Paris-Nice.

“I have always said that with Max, we’re planning for the long term. He’s a perfect fit for us and I think he sees it the same way. With his overall win at Paris-Nice, he has also established himself as a stage racer. It remains to be seen how far he can be developed further along this path, but Max definitely has a number of other qualities. We want to help him find his place over the next coming years.
Cesare has certainly already found this place. He has become one of our most important helpers and is a very good all-rounder. With his stage win in the Giro last year, he not only gave us a fantastic gift, but he also rewarded himself for his endless commitment to the team. CeCe is a real pillar of strength at BORA - hansgrohe.

"Lukas is also a complete rider. He’s able to support a sprint train on flat terrain or in echelons, but is also very strong on medium mountain stages. That makes him very valuable as a team player. In the Northern Classics, he also has his chances to take on a leading role from time to time. At races such as E3 and Dwars Door, for instance, he has already demonstrated his potential on such parcours. However, I think he still has more to offer us yet.” - Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

“I’ve been able to progress very well within this team and feel very much at home here. So it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to our future together and also to the trust that has been placed in me with this new long-term contract. At the moment, I am quite versatile as a rider, and we want to find out together over the coming few years in which races I have the greatest potential. That will be an exciting endeavour, and at BORA – hansgrohe, I feel that I will be perfectly supported on this journey.” - Maximilian Schachmann

“Over the last few years since we’ve been riding at WorldTour level, I think that I have really found my role within the team. I feel very comfortable there, and together with BORA – hansgrohe, I still have a lot of plans to fulfil. I am very grateful for the trust that the team has placed in me. Especially during these difficult times, I am glad that I already know what I can concentrate on in the forthcoming years.” - Cesare Benedetti

"I feel very much at home at BORA – hansgrohe, and so I’m pleased that we’re able to continue on a common path together. With my versatile riding style, I can certainly contribute a lot to the team. In return, however, I’ll also receive the opportunity to ride for myself whenever the chance arises. Of course I’m looking forward to rewarding the team’s trust in me. My heart is set on the Belgian classics, and I now have the requisite routine to perhaps pull out a surprise or two there in the future. - Lukas Pöstlberger

Jumbo-Visma signs Dutch U23 champion David Dekker

The team sent me this update:

David Dekker will join the 2021 squad of Team Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch U23 champion is coming over from SEG Racing Academy and signs for two years with the World Tour team of manager Richard Plugge.

Twenty-two-year-old Dekker conquered the red-white-blue Dutch champion jersey in the U23 category last year. Earlier this year he managed to win the Dorpenomloop Rucphen and the Ster van Zwolle.

This is the transfer that Dekker had in mind. “I am very happy that I signed with Team Jumbo-Visma. Besides the fact that it is a Dutch team, the team is growing tremendously. Currently, this team is one of the best teams in the World Tour. I think I can make optimal use of the facilities that Team Jumbo-Visma offers to become the best cyclist within my capabilities.”

“If you look at the past few years, I think this is a logical step in my career”, Dekker continues. “I have made great strides in my development. With that I enforced this transfer. I hope to focus on sprinting in the coming years. I can learn a lot from a big sprinter like Dylan Groenewegen.”

Team Jumbo-Visma’s sportive director Merijn Zeeman is looking forward to the see Dekker in his new jersey. “David has developed well at Metec in recent years. This spring, he finally broke through at SEG Racing Academy with good performances in the few races that were held. We think he is a talented sprinter, who can continue to grow in our structure. He is going to have many opportunities. In recent years, we as a team have learned a lot from training Dylan. David can take advantage of that.”

Fewer controls, more positives

The MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible) sent me this:

This is the surprising finding our last update on the "Credibility figures" delivers to us in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic - all sports included, mid-year, compared to the results on the same day last year.

Facing a decrease in the number of doping tests due to the scale of the situation, on May 23 the WADA conceded that public health came first, before the fight against doping.

However, an observation is to be made: the number of alleged doping cases that came to light has increased as at mid-2020, compared to last year. We have identified 227 cases in the first half of the year, compared with 190 mid-2019 - even if our records are not meant to be regarded as exhaustive, given that some procedures remain confidential.

We must not draw hasty conclusions from these elements, because several cases released in the first half of 2020 can refer to tests performed last year. This is the reason why there is a lag between the date the sample is taken and the date the case is made public. Some of the sports federations make the choice not to communicate on a positive test before the case was concluded and the athlete effectively banned. The UCI, among some other federations such as the IAAF, prefers a more transparent approach by deciding to communicate on the alleged cases upon the commencement of the proceedings - that resulting in the provisional suspension of the athlete involved.

The comparison between cycling and athletics stops there: the number of cases reported in our sport follows a downward trend compared to last year. 7 is a twice-lower total for cycling versus 2019, as it should also be noted that only one rider among them is a member of a WorldTour team.

The many riders contesting in the UAE Tour were first placed under a lockdown order in late February, an order that was extended to the majority of Europe shortly after. Those health constraints not only led to the interruption — or the cancelation — of all scheduled races, but they also clearly had an impact on antidoping tests outside of competition. It is worth noting, though, that the last race before global lockdown, Paris-Nice, had allowed Dr. Pierre Lebreton, our referring doctor, to carry out cortisol tests on MPCC member teams, and that all tests had returned negative in accordance with our movement’s rules.

Provided that the health situation doesn't make this impossible, the main cycling schedule is expected to be resumed from the beginning of August. What is in store for the second half of 2020 regarding the fight against doping? In a release aimed at the athletes, the WADA made a first step in answering this question by stating its determination to overcome the delays with extra targeted controls. Athlete are now warned!

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