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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die. - Marianne Williamson

Les Woodland's book The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories: A Five Ring Circus is available as an audiobook here. For the Kindle eBook version, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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New law requires athletes to be vaccinated to compete in France

Cyclist posted this:

Government policy in France may see reduced fields for cycling's biggest races in 2022.

France has introduced a vaccine mandate that requires all athletes to have been jabbed in order to compete in the country.

French sports minister Roxana Mărăcineanu tweeted last night that once the new law is introduced, spectators and athletes – whether French or from abroad – would need a vaccine pass.

There is a level of uncertainty on how this will actually impact cycling though, as the law specifically references public buildings, which – aside from the track – wouldn't include actual bike races, so it may be possible to get around this for one-day races like the upcoming GP La Marseillaise or Paris-Roubaix.

The entire post can be found here.

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Kasper Asgreen to start season at Tour de la Provence

Here’s the update from Asgreen’s Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl team:

Only the second Danish rider in history to have triumphed in Ronde van Vlaanderen, the pinnacle of a memorable spring campaign, Kasper Asgreen is ready to start his fifth season with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the Tour de la Provence, a race he has ridden also in the previous two years.

Kasper Asgreen wins the 2021 Tour of Flanders. Sirotti photo

“I had an unforgettable and truly amazing 2021 with the team, but now’s the time to think of what’s to come over the next couple of months. There’s no secret that my aim is to have another strong outing in the cobbled Classics that I love so much. It goes without saying that I would like to win again there, because it gives you such an extraordinary feeling, but it remains to be seen if it will happen. What I can say for sure is that I will try, and at the same time, help the team get the maximum out of those races”, Kasper explained.

Consisting of four stages, including a tough summit finish on Montagne de Lure, the Tour de la Provence will be the 26-year-old Dane’s only race before kicking off his Spring Classics campaign at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and Asgreen is keen on hitting the right notes before going to Belgium.

“Everything went according to plan so far this winter. I stayed out of trouble, had no sickness or injuries, and I’m really happy with where I am at the moment. We’ve done some good training in Calpe and I’m on track for my first race of the season. I have always felt good in France, and I can’t wait for La Provence in three weeks’ time”, the Ronde van Vlaanderen winner added.

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Enrico Poitschke joins Bahrain Victorious as sports director

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the appointment of Enrico Poitschke as a Sports Director for the 2022 season.

The former German cyclist commented: “I’m very happy to join the team and looking forward to the first races. The first training camps are working very well, and I’m glad to be in this organised team with great potential.

Looking at the great results from last season, I’m sure all the riders and staff are motivated for another good season. I hope that I can share my experience and help build on last season, especially in the upcoming classics.”

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Nonprofit mechanics petition for repairable bikes

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this:

DENVER (BRAIN) — Bikes — even, or especially, the cheapest ones — should be repairable, according to a petition to the industry being led by a group of nonprofit bike shop mechanics.

The petition calls on manufacturers to “stop producing and selling bikes that fall apart after a few months of use. These products are harmful to the environment, erode public confidence in the usefulness and joy of bicycles, and waste the money of the mostly poor and working-class people who buy them.”

The campaign’s early supporters are bike techs from nonprofit community bicycle shops and similar programs, the groups that often refurbished used bikes to provide affordable transportation to the needy.

One supporter, Mac Liman of Denver’s Bikes Together shop, said bikes have gotten less and less repairable in recent years. Liman has been a mechanic for nearly 19 years, including 14 at Bikes Together.

“If I get a Huffy from the '90s, chances are I can actually make repairs to it. It will still be heavy, but the steel will hold together,” Liman said.

More recent bikes from big box stores and the internet have threads that shear off when a mechanic tries to replace or adjust components. They have frames that crack, and non-standard parts that can’t be affordably replaced, she said.

“I’ve seen bearing cups that just fall out of hubs, so there’s no way you can rebuild them,” she said.

At Bikes Together, entry-level bike repair classes start with tips on how to identify bikes that simply can’t be repaired, she said.

You can read the whole story here.

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