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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. - Francis of Assisi

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Vuelta al País Vasco stage one team reports

We posted the report from winner Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Brandon McNulty's UAE Team Emirates:

Just two seconds separated Brandon McNulty from winning the opening time trial of the Itzulia Basque Country 2021.

Brandon McNulty

Brandon McNulty finishing up his superb ride. Bettini photo

The Basque World Tour stage race kicked off with a 13.9 km time trial held in Bilbao on a tricky course. The riders immediately started with a 2.6 km climb with a maximum gradient of 11%, followed by a long stretch of descent to a final ramp of 500 meters with a peak of 19% maximum gradient.

The American from UAE Team Emirates put in a quality performance, completing the course in 17’19 “(average of 48.127 km / h), with victory going to Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) by just 2″ and losing 16” to third place to the Dane, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

Tadej Pogačar finished the time trial in 5th place, 28” slower than that of his compatriot Roglic.

Brandon McNulty: “It was pretty much a case of going full gas on the first climb, recovering a bit on the descent and then just giving it all on the last kick. I’m really happy with this result. Obviously I got close to the win which would have been amazing, but I gave it my all so no regrets. We’re in a really good situation now with me and Tadej high up on GC and looking forward to the days ahead”.

Tadej Pogačar: “I am quite happy with my ride and I am confident for the next stages. I set out probably a little bit too hard but I still managed to finish well so the legs are good. In the rankings 28” separate me from the first position, but in in a hard race like this things can change quickly and in this region the weather can also be unpredictable so anything can happen. Brandon did a great ride too so we are happy with the team performance “.

The second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country will start from Zalla and will end in Sestao after 154.8 km: with the key points coming at the climbs of La Asturiana (7.7 km at 6.2% which peaks at 16 km from the finish line) and from the final ramp of 800 meters at 7.4% average gradient).

McNulty will start tomorrow wearing the jersey of best young rider of the race, while Pogačar will wear the mountains classification leaders’ jersey, having finished fastest on the day’s first climb.

Here's the report from Ide Schelling's Bora-hansgrohe team:

The 61st Tour of the Basque Country commenced today with quite a tough 13.9 km individual time trial around Bilbao. After the start came a long steep climb, followed by a 10 km descent, before the final kilometre, which yet again led uphill with gradients of up to 19 per cent. Emanuel Buchmann opened the race against the clock for BORA - hansgrohe, while Maximillian Schachmann subsequently rolled off the start ramp not long afterwards.

In the late afternoon, Giovanni Aleotti was the last rider from the team to take to the road. With a time of 17:46, Ide Schelling rode a solid race and in the end, his performance was enough to secure him 8th place, the best result of the team today, with P. Roglič taking the win. Max stopped the clock in a time of 17:48, placing 10th, while Wilco Keldermann took 11th with a time of 17:53.
From the Finish Line

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic was the winner of the first stage.

"After the Tour of Catalunya, I took it as easy as possible, so I was pretty fresh at the start today. The parcours suited me very well, with the two climbs and the long descent, but I honestly didn't expect to net such a result. Today was the first time that I really rode full throttle in the individual time trial, and of course it's nice to be rewarded with a top-10 finish." - Ide Schelling

"We are very happy with how today's time trial went. We managaed to place several of our GC riders at the top end of the results, and we have four riders in the top 20, so we are in a very good position, upon which we can build in the upcoming days. During the next stages we will try our best to ride tactically and offensively. All in all, today's stage produced a good team performance all around. The riders are at a high level and have prepared very well, and we are very satisfied with the results today." - André Schulze, Sports Director

Team DSM to race the Scheldeprijs

The team sent me this:

Scheldeprijs: APR 7

Luke Roberts - Team DSM coach:
“Scheldeprijs is traditionally a festival for the sprinters, however this year it may be quite a challenging race with strong winds forecast for the start in Zeeland. Due to that, we’ll have to be alert throughout the day. If it does come down to the expected sprint, we will aim to set up Cees for a top result. Nikias will bring in some experience as road captain, alongside our young group in support where we also see Marius and Casper joining us from the Development program.”

Cees Bol

Cees Bol (shown winning 2021 Paris-Nice stage 2) will be on the Scheldeprijs start line. Sirotti photo

Nikias Arndt (GER)
Cees Bol (NED)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Casper van Uden (NED)

Women's Scheldeprijs: APR 7

Albert Timmer - Team DSM coach
“This is the first edition of Scheldeprijs for the women's peloton and we're looking forward to taking part. Looking at the history of the men's race, it is known as the unofficial sprinter's world championships, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out and a lot of that will depend on the weather conditions; which could make for a tougher race. We want to ride attentively throughout the day to make sure that we're in any dangerous split, helping us to control the race behind. If the day does end in a sprint, then we have a strong lead out to set-up Lorena for the fast finale, where we're aiming for a good result."

Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Wilma Olausson (SWE)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Giant Group sales up 10% in 2020. Net profit up 47%

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Giant Group is reporting that its sales last year were up 10.3% over 2019, to NT$70.01 billion ($2.45 billion). Net profit was up 46.7%, to NT$4.95 billion. Earnings per share was NT$13.19.

Giant said all its sales companies, in the U.S., Europe, and China, saw significant growth in sales and profitability.

"Giant foresees as more consumers are choosing bicycle and e-bike as a means of transportation, leisure and sports, bicycles and e-bikes will become a part of the new lifestyle post-pandemic," the company said.

The company noted that it has been developing and manufacturing e-bikes for more than 20 years. "This investment enabled Giant to acquire key electrical technologies, fast response to the market trends and establish a market position in the e-bike market. E-bike has become one of the key growth drivers for Giant group where last year total e-bike sales grew 28%, representing 26% of the group's revenue."

You can read the entire story here.

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