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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it. - Harry S Truman

Tour de France: 2020

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2020: The Tour During Covid-19, Better Late Than Never is available in both Kindle eBook and Audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Jumbo-Visma signs three new riders

The team sent me this:

Team Jumbo-Visma has boosted its selection for the coming season with Attila Valter, Thomas Gloag and the experienced Jan Tratnik.

Hungarian champion Valter is honoured with his transfer to Team Jumbo-Visma. "I think this environment is the best for me to develop further. Team Jumbo-Visma is a top team that guides its riders very well to a higher level. Due to the conversations I had with the team management, my confidence was boosted a lot. I’m hoping I can fulfill my potential in the coming years."

Attila Valter in pink at the 8th stage of the 2021 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman believes Team Jumbo-Visma has added a rider with potential in Valter. "We have been following Attila for several years. Both in races and tests we have seen that he has great abilities. We look forward to working with him and helping him reach his potential."

Tratnik is the reigning Slovenian time trial champion and won a stage in the 2020 Giro d'Italia. "I'm proud to be a member of one of the world’s top teams. The team has demonstrated its ability to improve riders. I look forward to contributing to the team's future successes."

Zeeman: "We are delighted with Jan's arrival. Team Jumbo-Visma is ambitious to compete for the win in the biggest races the entire season. Jan is highly valued as a personality and a rider to realise those ambitions."

Gloag, stage winner in last week’s Tour de l'Avenir, is looking forward to his first moments in yellow and black. "I can't wait to be a member of this squad because they have demonstrated their ability to develop new riders. I don't yet have much experience. That is why I want to immerse myself in all facets of cycling in the coming years. With this team, I am in the right place."

Zeeman sees a role for Gloag within the so-called Young Team Jumbo-Visma. "Thomas is a wonderful talent with whom we will work in the coming years. Thanks to a balanced programme, we give him plenty of time and space to improve. Together we will let his talent blossom to the fullest."

Tratnik signs a contract until 2024, while Valter and Gloag commit to Team Jumbo-Visma until the end of 2025. The contracts of Timo Roosen and Lennard Hofstede have also been extended, by one and two years respectively.

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Leah Kirchmann announces her retirement from professional cycling

Team DSM sent me this announcement:

After 12 years as a professional cyclist, Leah Kirchmann will hang up her wheels at the end of 2022; with the Simac Ladies Tour her last planned race with Team DSM before she races the World Championships with Canada.

Spending time with Colavita Forno D’Asolo as her first team before four years honing her craft on the American racing scene with Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies; Kirchmann made the move across the pond fully to join the Team DSM structure in 2016, then known as Team Liv-Plantur.

Leah Kirchmann racing at the 2021 Olympics. Sirotti photo

Immediately finding her feet with the team, 2016 saw the punchy Kirchmann take the win at Drentse Acht van Westerveld before donning the famous Maglia Rosa after an exceptional prologue win at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile. In the years since, Kirchmann has continued to take successes herself, winning a total of 12 races throughout her career, alongside being an invaluable team member, who was always willing to work for others: helping the team to 40 victories since 2016. As the seasons have progressed and Kirchmann has grown in experience, she’s also been an important role model for the younger riders within the team and is the ever-consummate professional.

Kirchmann said: “After 12 years in the professional peloton, I’ve decided that I’m ready to invest my energy in other things away from WorldTour racing. Thank you to everyone who helped me on this journey. I never imagined when I first stepped on a bike as a young girl back in Winnipeg that I would one day compete in two Olympic Games, race professionally and represent Canada proudly for so many years on the international stage.

"I am forever grateful for all the support I’ve received along the way. I’m proud of what I accomplished during my career, and how far I pushed my mental and physical limits as an athlete. I also feel fortunate that I got to help contribute to the success of many teammates during this time – with my favourite victory with the team definitely being the 2017 World Championships TTT win in Bergen. I am so grateful for everything sport has brought to me. I grew up and developed as an athlete surrounded by empowered women who taught me to embrace my strengths, and to not accept the status quo of society. I feel motivated by the momentum behind women’s sport and will continue to help build a better future. If sport has taught me anything, it is that I love to learn and love to embrace big challenges, so I look forward to exploring other opportunities and adventures in this life.”

Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna added: “Leah has been with us since 2016 and has made great steps in her career here, taking some brilliant results on the road and becoming a role model within the team. A true professional, Leah brought a lot of value to us on and of the bike, supporting the team with her strong riding but also being an important and experienced figurehead for the younger riders; helping their transition to elite level racing and making them feel even more welcomed in the team. We’re really happy with the time we have spent together and from everyone at Team DSM, we wish Leah the best of luck and success for what lies next in the future.”

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Arjen Livyns signs with Lotto Dstny

The team sent me this release:

The 27-year-old Arjen Livyns has signed a two-year contract with Lotto Dstny. He will reinforce the Classics squad within the Belgian WorldTour team and be able to go in breakaways. “I am very motivated to show myself.”

Arjen Livyns in 2018

Arjen Livyns has made a name as an offensive rider who is able to do well in the Flemish Classics. “I am very happy to be getting an opportunity to sign for a big team like Lotto Dstny, after 5 years in pro cycling”, says Arjen Livyns. “I am very much looking forward to take part in all the big races with a team that fights for victory: with a clear division of roles, a plan and in a professional environment.”

The Belgian rider from Harelbeke will reinforce the Classics team and be able to show himself in breakaways. “I want to earn my spot in the Classics team as soon as possible”, comments Arjen Livyns. “I call the Flemish Classics home and they suit me well. I would like to improve yet again on that terrain. Next to that, I am an allrounder: I can go a long way uphill and am not afraid to get into the mix in the build-up to the sprint. I am grateful to my current team for all the chances they have given me. But I am also very satisfied to be able to prove myself on a higher level during the years where I will reach my top level.”

Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue welcomes Arjen Livyns to the team. “He has proven to be able to go a long way in the Flemish Classics. Arjen Livyns has an offensive spirit, which is very important to us. During the next years, he will reach the top of his physical capacities. I am convinced that we can help him achieve an even higher level and we will live great moments together.”

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Peloton reports operating loss of $1.2 billion in fourth quarter

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this report:

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Peloton Interactive reported a fourth-quarter net operating loss of $1.2 billion on Thursday as the indoor fitness company continues its downturn following rapid growth during the pandemic. It was the sixth consecutive quarter of reported losses.

Revenue dropped 28%, from $936.9 million to $678.7 million year-over-year. Connective fitness product revenue dropped 55% to $295.6 million, but subscription revenue increased 36% to $383.1 million.

In a letter to shareholders, Peloton CEO and President Barry McCarthy said the losses were because of restructuring changes. Among those changes earlier this year were ceasing all owned manufacturing operations, backing off future domestic manufacturing plans, and subsequently expanding its partnership in Taiwan. Peloton also announced in February the elimination of 2,800 jobs globally.

"The loss reflects the substantial progress we made this last quarter re-architecting the business to reduce the current and future inventory overhang, converting fixed to variable costs, and addressing numerous supply chain issues," wrote McCarthy, who succeeded co-founder John Foley in February. "This progress, plus the reduced cash flow burn, is the positive story behind the headline loss."

You can read the entire story here.

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