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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther. - Thomas Carlyle

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Les Woodland's book Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories is available as an audiobook here.

Julian Alaphilippe looks back on racing in the Rainbow Jersey

Alaphilippe’s Team Deceuninck-Quick Step posted this:

“I had already won in rainbow one month earlier at Tirreno-Adriatico, but I came to the start of Flèche Wallonne very motivated to show that I had a strong head and to give everything for my goal of conquering the Mur de Huy again. In the first races of the season, I hadn’t won that much, and while this didn’t stop me from having fun every time I pinned on a number and proudly wore this beautiful jersey, I really wanted to raise my arms again, and Flèche was the perfect place to do it.”

Julian Alaphilippe wins the 2021 Flèche Wallone. ASO photo

“The team was again outstanding on that day, working hard, sheltering me at all times and putting me where I had to be at the bottom of the last Mur de Huy ascent. It’s the legs that make the difference on the Mur, and I was on top of my game when it mattered. The fact that I could taste victory again in more than a month at this race that I love so much made everything even more beautiful and gave me an extra boost for the second half of the season.”

“There I arrived with extra motivation after the birth of my son, Nino. That alone made the Tour de France even more special. I knew that the opening day, with its punchy finale in Landerneau, suited my characteristics, and I could once again rely on a fantastic team, who helped me navigate that nervous stage and make it harder for the fast men in the peloton.”

“On the last climb, the guys ramped up the pace and I went really early, sensing there was an opportunity to open a gap. A short glance over the shoulder confirmed that I had taken the right decision, as I already had a small gap, so I continued to push and push. Arriving alone at the finish and having plenty of time to dedicate the victory to my son is something that will always stick with me. The yellow jersey that came with it and the fact that the team celebrated its 100th Grand Tour stage win was just the cherry on the top of a perfect and unforgettable day.”

“I had four victories during my first spell as World Champion and every single one of these felt special. From Brabantse and Tirreno to Flèche and Le Tour – they were all unforgettable, as there’s never easy to win in the rainbow jersey. I am happy with how things went and I hope to enjoy another beautiful season with the best jersey in the world on my shoulders.”

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Urška Žigart signs with Team BikeExchange for another season

The team sent me this announcement:

Former Slovenian time trial champion Urška Žigart has signed on for another season with Team BikeExchange after a successful debut season in 2021.

The 24-year-old soloed to victory on stage four of the Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana Feminas in May, her debut victory for the team, and has continued to develop as a WorldTour rider in her first season as part of the Australian outfit.

2022 will provide another opportunity for the Slovenian rider to build on her climbing talents in the biggest races on the calendar.

Brent Copeland, General Manager on Žigart:
“We are happy to have Urška with us for the upcoming season, we have believed in her since we first signed her, and she has proven to everyone that we made the right choice. She achieved a great victory at this year’s Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana Feminas and she has been racing at high level throughout the entire season in WorldTour races and honestly, I feel she can still improve a lot. With her determination, hard work and love for our sport, I don’t think we will be disappointed by her.”

Urška Žigart:
“I’m very proud and happy to renew my contract with Team BikeExchange for another year. It’s been a year full of new experiences, which I’ll never forget, especially my first international win in Valenciana.

Coming here to Team BikeExchange was like coming into the wild, because I didn’t know anybody, how the team worked or how I’d fit in, but I was pleasantly surprised by everything. I’ve learned so much this year, on and off the bike. It helped me improve in so many aspects and I’m looking forward to keeping on working and carrying the momentum into next year.

Everybody in the team helps me to bring out the best in myself and helps me with my weaknesses and I feel like I’ve found my place here. I love how encouraging everybody is, hardworking and professional, but also family-like and we all just enjoy what we do. Next year, there are quite a lot of changes coming, both new people and new sponsors who are bringing some freshness into the team. I can’t wait for 2022 and to see what we can achieve.”

Urška Žigart:
Date of Birth: 4th December 1996 (24)
Nationality: Slovenian
Joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2021
New Contract: 2022

Top Results:
1st 2021 Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana Feminas – Stage 4
1st 2020 Slovenia Time Trial Championships

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Specialized buys BikeSource locations in three states

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components announced Monday it has acquired the BikeSource retail chain, which has stores in Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina.

The company said the stores will retain the BikeSource name and current employees. Founder Marc Eisenberg said he will continue with the company.

Eisenberg, who founded the first BikeSource in 1985 in Columbus, Ohio, said as the industry emerges from the pandemic-driven sales surge, he could see the writing on the wall.

"While bicycle retail, like all other retail, has been steadily evolving, COVID really accelerated things," he said. "Ultimately, I see the current bicycle retail model as one that has been failing for quite some time, but within a disciplined business, was sustainable. After getting over the euphoria of success we had during the pandemic, I realized two things: First was that we were at the top of our game and that is always the best time to get out. Secondly, I realized that the model is broken and that the 'new normal' would be far more challenging if not perilous. We need to have better resources at all levels which are not affordable for small independent operators."

BikeSource has had a long relationship with Specialized and Eisenberg said the decision to sell to the company was easy.

"I have had other opportunities to sell the company to other bike chains or to the rich hobbyists wanting a slice of the bike shop dream, but none made sense for me, my employees, or my customers. I see where the industry is going and Specialized is going to have a big dog in the fight," he said.

You can read the entire story here.

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