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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Success is the sum of small efforts - repeated day in and day out. - Robert Collier


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Bora-hansgrohe extends contracts of Lennard Kämna, Ben Zwiehoff and Patrick Gamper

The team sent me this release:

BORA - hansgrohe has extended the contracts early of no less than three riders from the successful Giro squad. Lennard Kämna, Ben Zwiehoff and Patrick Gamper will continue to race for the German WorldTeam beyond 2023.

Lennard Kämna winning stage 4 of the 2022 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

"Lennard is definitely an exceptional rider. His talent makes him incredibly versatile, which is of course a very nice situation for us as a team because we can use him in a wide variety of roles. His racing instinct allows him to recognize situations that others don't anticipate and Lenni can make the difference in those moments. He is a real character, has some rough edges and stands up for his opinion, but that is what makes him stand out and that is why he fits so well with us. We will see over the next few years what else is possible in the future. But we will continue to pursue our successful path together, namely taking one step at a time.

As for Ben and Patrick, both are riders we can rely on. Ben has his strengths in the mountains, Patrick on the flat and both were important building blocks of our success at the Giro. We appreciate their loyalty to the team and that's why we have extended the contracts of both." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager

"I am very happy to continue with BORA - hansgrohe and to extend my contract. It has already become clear this season that we are thinking and working in the same direction. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given since 2020 and I think I have been able to convince with some results. We have a lot planned for the future, and I am excited and convinced that together we can achieve great things. This certainly always requires some patience, and above all trust. I feel really taken care of in the BORA - hansgrohe family, and I want to do my part to ensure that we all continue to grow together and hopefully celebrate many successes together in the future." - Lennard Kämna

"It has already been a great season for the team and for me and it is only my second year on the road. I was able to be part of three stage race wins and our Giro d'Italia victory with Jai and the team. Now I'm proud and grateful to continue being part of this great team. The motivation for the future couldn't be greater!" - Ben Zwiehoff

"I am overjoyed to be able to extend with BORA - hansgrohe. The last two years I have been able to develop steadily, and I enjoy the trust of the team and can take the next steps in my career as a rider here. At BORA - hansgrohe I have the best environment that I can imagine. It would be sensational if we could write even more beautiful stories together in the future like our recent Giro victory with Jai. To this end, I will continue to put myself 100% at the service of our team." - Patrick Gamper

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Jasper Stuyven signs a new deal that will see him racing for Trek-Segafredo through 2025

Here’s the team’s announcement:

For the last 10 years Jasper Stuyven has been racing across the world on a Trek bike, longer than any other rider in the Team, and that’s not due to change anytime soon. It all started in 2012 when he was a fresh-faced 20-year-old: Jasper joined the Bontrager Cycling Team, a development team lead by Axel Merckx, where he raced for two years before leaping with both feet into the WorldTour with Trek Factory Racing.

Jasper Stuyven winnin Milano-Sanremo in 2021. Sirotti photo

Fast-forward 10 years. Jasper has matured into a leadership role at Trek-Segafredo, having achieved some great victories along the way. From his first professional win at the Vuelta a España as a neo-pro, to his first monument at Milan-Sanremo last year, Jasper has always been part of the Trek family. It’s rare to see a rider remain with the same team for as long as Jasper has – his new contract will take him to his 12th season with Trek-Segafredo.


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“As many know it’s the team where I turned professional and being on this team since the beginning shows how good of a fit we are. With Trek-Segafredo I have felt welcome, valued and supported since the beginning. We’ve had some great wins and moments over the years and I’d love to add some more in the next three years. Above all it’s the team in which I feel at home and have fun riding my bike.”

What’s next for Jasper?
“During the next three years I’d like to keep building an environment where everyone in the team feels welcomed, valued and gets the maximum satisfaction out of their work, and where personal goals are always team goals and vice versa. Combining that with a team that races as one and has fun being on the road together will help us to share a lot more beautiful moments and victories the coming years!”


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Rick Vosper: Whatever happened with the COVID bike boom?

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this insightful piece by Mr. Vosper:

Anyone who's been in this business since 2018 knows what a wild ride it's been. In 2019 we finished the season with the lowest levels of bicycle inventory in decades, making it the first year since the Great Recession without prolonged and painful discounting of in-season models ... not to mention the weakest year for U.S. bicycle imports since 1982. (Note these figures do not include burgeoning sales of e-bikes, which are counted under different import codes.)

When the first wave of COVID hit in March of 2020, suppliers scrambled to cancel orders from factories in anticipation of fewer riders during "shelter in place" programs. But soon enough, retailers noticed the opposite effect: customers — many of whom hadn't set foot in a bike shop in years — were discovering that cycling could be a fun and healthy alternative to public transportation, or just a great way to get outdoors without involving large groups of people. Instead of tanking, demand for bikes was soaring ... but there was precious little inventory on hand or in the pipeline to respond to it.

To compound matters even further, factories were often locked down due to COVID restrictions, and when those were eased, found themselves with a shortage of workers. Factory orders were being placed years in advance with volumes two to three times what they had been historically. And still retailers couldn't get enough bikes.

It was a new bike boom, many said, one to rival the mid-Sixties and early Seventies.

Except that it isn't.

A deep dive into the numbers
Record numbers of adult riders came into the activity in the first year of the pandemic, and those numbers stayed strong in the second year.

You can read the entire essay here.

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