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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. - Andrew Jackson

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Team Qhubeka ASSOS retains European Champion Giacomo Nizzolo

The team (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) sent me this release:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 23, 2020/ -- His signing is a major coup and follows on from the announcement last week of the team’s continuation into 2021 with its stated ambition as a high-performance, purpose-led team together with ASSOS of Switzerland; and all in the support of the Qhubeka Charity (Qhubeka.org).

Giacomo Nizzolo

Giacomo Nizzolo winning the second stage of 2020 Paris-Nice.

The in-demand Italian, who together with his memorable victories in Plouay and Cittadella, also stormed to WorldTour stage victories at both the Santos Tour Down Under and Paris-Nice in a dynamic start to the year.

His impressive run saw him place second at Race Torquay, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne as well as Circuito de Getxo, and he surged to an excellent fifth place at Milan-Sanremo, to go with numerous other top-10 performances.

His season, disappointingly, was ended by a leg injury sustained during the opening week of the Tour de France where he’d been in the hunt for a first-ever Grand Tour stage victory.

The 31-year-old’s fighting style of riding has captivated and thrilled fans, and epitomises in many respects the team’s fight for its own survival in recent months. Despite his truncated season, Nizzolo still finished 2020 as the 24th ranked rider in the world, as per the official UCI rankings.

Nizzolo’s new deal also follows on the confirmation of the retention of Victor Campenaerts, Max Walscheid, Michael Gogl, Dylan Sunderland, Andreas Stokbro and Domenico Pozzovivo for the 2021 season.

Giacomo Nizzolo:
My decision to stay was because I really feel a part of this team and this project. Qhubeka is an incredible organisation that enables lives to be changed through bicycles, it is something great. Two years ago I was in South Africa and watched on as kids received bikes, it was something very emotional that inspired me during the season, and across my life actually. It’s something that I will never forget.

I’m really looking forward to race as soon as possible again as the European champion and as a part of this new chapter. I feel like the team believes in me 100%, and they’ve created a project which is inspiring and gives me extra motivation; having teammates and staff believing that I’m a leader within the team is something that I really need to enable me to perform.

The addition of ASSOS is special; I felt great with them and I’ve had an excellent relationship ever since they first came on board. I’m super happy to still wear their brand as I think everybody knows that they’re the absolute best out there.

2020 has been a crazy year, of course because of Covid and the crazy situation around the world as well as in cycling. For me in the end it was successful; at the start I had a good winter and then a very good start Tour Down Under and as well at Paris-Nice.

Then I restarted training very hard during lockdown looking forward to perform well at Sanremo, which was one of my main goals. I was good there, really good, and from that point I thought that I could be competitive in trying to win the Italian Championship and the European Championship – and I did, which was great!

At the Tour de France I had a great chance on the first day, I felt great, but a sprint is a sprint and I couldn’t find a way through as I wanted to but that’s life. Then everything was looking good but I started to feel pain due to a rupture (in my lower leg), it didn’t improve so we decided to stop, which was the right decision as ultimately it brought my season to an end.

This environment is what I need to fight for my goals; at the beginning of the season we’ll look towards the sprinter Classics, Milan-Sanremo first of all, and then we’ll start looking at the Giro and the Tour. I think it will be nice to wear the European Champion’s jersey at the Giro as the Italian champion but we’ll still have to consider everything as we look at the calendar.

Douglas Ryder, Team Principal:
I am so happy to have Giacomo continue with us into the future; he has achieved incredible victories this year like the Italian and European Championship titles which have been very special.

He’s been the perfect example of someone who has come into our organisation and through the support he’s received has shone through with his performances on the bike. We have really worked well together and we look forward to continue working hard and improving to be even better.

His commitment to fight every time he pins a number on his jersey for himself, his team and the impact his success has for those less fortunate is inspiring, and talks directly to who we are as a team.

To have the European jersey on the start line, in our colours, is going to be awesome, and to know the type of fighting performances we’ll get from Giacomo means that I’m just absolutely thrilled. Since joining our team to see the way in which he’s taken that next step up, in the environment we have provided, is so gratifying and an endorsement of where we’re going as a team.

Astana-Premiere Tech renews contracts with Ion & Gorka Izagirre, Sanchez, Boaro, Gregaard, Martinelli & Contreras for 2021

Here’s the team’s release:

Seven contract extensions for the Kazakh-Canadian team as Manuele Boaro, Rodrigo Contreras, Jonas Gregaard Wilsly and Davide Martinelli as well as Gorka and Ion Izagirre and Spanish Road Campion Luis Leon Sanchez have re-signed their contracts with Astana – Premier Tech for the 2021 season.

Ion Izagirre, stage winner in this year`s Vuelta a España, re-signed with Astana – Premier Tech for another season:
“Together with my brother I joined the team in 2019. It has been a great two years, therefore I am happy to re-sign for another season. This year had ups and downs, to leave the Tour de France was shattering but winning the stage at the Vuelta a Espana was a happy ending to a challenging season. I am looking forward to 2021 and also to stay in the team with my brother. As always, we have big ambitions and are already in full swing to start the season in good shape.”

Ion Izagirre

Ion Izagirre dishing out some hurt at the 2020 Vuelta a España.

Spanish Road Champion, Luis Leon Sanchez, renewed his contract for another year:
“I am glad to continue with the team, I feel very comfortable here, as it is a familiar team with a professional surrounding. Also, I know my role within the team, even so I get my chances to show myself. I am already many years in the team, since 2015, but my motivation and ambitions remain the same. With my experience I think, I can take the young riders by the hand but will also help our GC leaders to fight for the best results possible. After a difficult 2020 season I am looking forward to 2021, hopefully being again a normal cycling season for us.”

Gorka Izagirre, stays with the team for the upcoming season:
“I am happy to stay, together with my brother, for another year with the team. The 2020 season was, as we all know, a different and difficult one, but our sponsors supported us perfectly. I am motivated to get back into race mode for next year and to ride together with the team as I think we will have a strong line-up. I have some personal goals for the 2021 season and hope I will be able to achieve them."

Davide Martinelli, who had his first year in the team will stay for another season with the Kazakh-Canadian team:
“I am very happy because after a very strange and difficult season due to COVID-19, I hope that we can have a regular 2021 season without any problems. I got the chance to continue working with the team, where I want to show especially in the Spring Classics my potential. For these goals, I am working already now on it to be in the best shape. I really want to thank the team and the management for believing in me, I will give my best to pay off their confidence in me.”

Danish rider Jonas Gregaard about his re-signing with the team:
“I am delighted to continue with the team, which feels like a big family to me. I think, I grew a lot over the last couple of months and I am sure that the upcoming season will be a good one for me but also for the team. I feel comfortable there, the team is working in such a professional way and supported me in every way this year. I am looking forward to wearing another year the jersey of the team.”

Manuele Boaro will continue with the team for another year:
“I am pleased to stay another year with the team, where I feel really comfortable at, therefore I am happy that the team puts the confidence in me for another year. It has been a difficult year for all of us, but I think we had still a good season with good results, I hope we will have a great 2021 season, after some rest I am soon back preparing for the upcoming season with some personal goals, which I want to achieve together with the Kazakh-Canadian team.”

Rodrigo Contreras also stays until the end of 2021:
“Even if it has been a difficult year, it´s been a good one for me, with finishing my first Grand Tour. I am grateful to be another year with the team, as I like the environment, the way they team is working and the people. For now, I am in Colombia slowly getting back into shape for the upcoming season before heading back to Europe.”

Harley-Davidson e-bikes will retail from $3,399 to $4,999

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MILWAUKEE (BRAIN) — Harley-Davidson's e-bike division released pre-order pricing for its four models, three of which will be available in the spring of 2021.

The Serial 1 Cycle Company offers the Rush/CTY Speed ($4,999), Rush/CTY ($4,499), Rush/CTY Step-Thru ($4,399), and Mosh/CTY ($3,399). All are Class 1 e-bikes — with a maximum pedal assist of 20 mph — except the Rush/CTY Speed, which is a Class 3 with assist up to 28 mph, and will be available in the summer.

Pre-orders are eligible for free shipping in the lower 48 states and Germany.

All are Gates Belt-driven by a Brose Mag motor, producing 90nm/66 foot-pound torque. The Rush models utilize an auto-shift hub, the Mosh a single-speed hub.

The Rush/Speed and Rush/CTY have 706wh batteries, while the Rush/CTY Step-Thru and Mosh/CTY utilize 529wh batteries. All models have a handlebar mounted headlamp and LED tail and brake lights integrated into the frame dropouts.

You can read the entire story here.

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