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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, September 23, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. - George Bernard Shaw

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Shimano recalls 760,000 Dura Ace & Ultegra Hollowtech road cranks after receiving 4,500 incident reports

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this important alert:

Shimano says 760,000 11-speed Hollowtech road cranksets will need to be inspected for signs of delamination. The affected cranks — Dura-Ace and Ultegra models manufactured prior to July 2019 — can separate and break; the company has received reports of 4,519 incidents of cranksets separating, and six reported injuries, including bone fractures, joint displacement and lacerations.

The cranks were sold by dealers as aftermarket and OE components from January 2012 through August 2023 for between $270 and $1,500.

Reports of the cranks' failures have been widely reported on social media and cycling sites, including VeloNews. Asked why it took so long to issue a recall, Shimano told BRAIN, "Shimano monitors any warranty issues that arise with all products. We are not able to go into the specifics of the process and timing with CPSC."

Consumers with cranks with production codes that match the recall are being told to visit a bike dealer for inspection. Consumers with cranks with the codes and which show signs of bonding separation or delamination will be given a replacement crank and installation. The company told BRAIN it expects fewer than 1% of the inspected cranks will require replacement.

The production code is on the inside of the cranks.

Shimano has manufactured special recall replacement cranks that are based on 12-speed crank arms with special chainrings to work with 11-speed drivetrains. The special chainrings will be available from Shimano for replacement when they wear out. Some replacement crank lengths and chainring combinations will be unavailable. For example, some Ultegra cranksets with 53-39 chainrings will be replaced with 52-36 chainrings. Dura-Ace 180mm cranks will be replaced with 177.5mm cranks. There are other substitutions in a "Substitution Details" document that retailers can access.

Here is a recalled Shimano Hollowtech Road Ultegra FC-6800 crankset.

If the consumer has purchased an affected crank with a third-party power meter installed, such as a Stages, Pioneer or 4iiii power meter, Shimano will accept the crank back and return a new crank without a power meter and compensate the consumer.  The compensation rates start at $300 for a single non-drive side power meter to $500 for a dual-sided meter.

The replacement right side cranks are not compatible with the spindles of the original 11-speed left cranks. 

The replacement cranks will start shipping the week of Oct. 10. The company said it will ship replacement cranks to retailers after Shimano receives the old crankset and confirms it is eligible for replacement (Shimano reserved the option to return cranks that it does not deem eligible). It said when the replacement cranksets are in stock, the total process will take 10 days or less. 

Retailers who are eligible to participate and opt-in are being compensated $75 in the U.S. and CA$100 for Canadian retailers per qualified inspection and documentation.

The recalled models have printed "Ultegra" or "Dura-Ace" logos on the arm. The affected models are pre-July 2019 production and have the following two-letter production code on backside of the crank arm where the pedals are attached: KF, KG, KH, KI, KJ, KK, KL, LA, LB, LC, LD, LE, LF, LG, LH, LI, LJ, LK, LL, MA, MB, MC, MD, ME, MF, MG, MH, MI, MJ, MK, ML, NA, NB, NC, ND, NE, NF, NG, NH, NI, NJ, NK, NL, OA, OB, OC, OD, OE, OF, OG, OH, OI, OJ, OK, OL, PA, PB, PC, PD, PE, PF, PG, PH, PI, PJ, PK, PL, QA, QB, QC, QD, QE, QF, QG, QH, QI, QJ, QK, QL, RA, RB, RC, RD, RE, and RF.

The recalled model codes are ULTEGRA FC-6800, FC-R8000, DURA-ACE FC-9000, FC-R9100, and FC-R9100 P.

You can read the entire story here.

Here is the Consumer Product Safety Commission official recall notice.

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Tour de Luxembourg team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Ben Healy's Team EF Education-EasyPost with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Marc Hirschi's UAE Team Emirates:

Marc Hirschi took a fine 2nd place in a rain soaked stage 3 at the Tour of Luxembourg. Adverse weather conditions added to the difficulty of the intense, hilly stage from Mertert to Vianden (168.4km) which was won by a daring solo move by Ben Healy (Education First Easypost).

Marc Hirschi winning the Coppa Sabatini earlier this year.

UAE Team Emirates controlled the pace at the head of affairs for much of the day with Michael Vink and young Jan Christen keeping tabs on moves going up the road. Healy made a long-range attack with -35km to go and held it to the line with Hirschi teaming up with Dylan Teuns (Israel Premier Tech) to limit the losses behind to 15’’ which brings the Swiss rider up to 2nd overall in the general classification.

Brandon McNulty sits 6th at 47’’ in GC and will look to move up the rankings tomorrow in the ITT in Pétange (23.9km).

Hirschi: “When the bunch reduced myself and Brandon tried to attack the group and I managed to slip away in he end. Healy was already far up the road and was the strongest today but I was happy to take 2nd. Tomorrow I’ll give my all in the time trial, the condition is very good so I hope I can do a strong ride.”

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Here's the report from third-place Dylan Teuns' Team Israel-Premier Tech:

When stage three of Tour de Luxembourg finally got underway, the riders knew the stage would be a wet one, but Dylan Teuns showed his spirit and pressed on regardless of the extreme weather. He climbed to third on the stage, moving him to third place overall with two days of racing left.

Dylan Teuns earlier this year. Sirotti photo

The queen stage of the Tour de Luxembourg was always going to be tough, as with a long time trial coming the next day, the climbers and puncheurs had the opportunity to gap the time trial specialists in the overall classification. This meant that from the first climb, the pace was very high. Once the day’s breakaway was caught, EF – Education First’s Ben Healy led a solo attack on the peloton. On the final categorised climb of the day, Marc Hirschi (UAE) attacked, but Teuns saw his opportunity and went with him. Despite chasing hard together, Teuns and Hirschi were unable to catch Healy, who took the win. At 75 meters to go, Hirschi attacked, and Teuns could not quite catch him, and settled for third on the day.

“It was a super hard stage because of the weather, it was very extreme again with a lot of rain, and the climb on the circuit was really hard,” Teuns explained. “It was just a matter of picking the right moment to follow the right attack. When I was able to, we still had to chase Healy, and we couldn’t quite catch him.” Having climbed to third on the day, Teuns has moved up to third overall on the general classification, but knows he has more to give. “In the end third is good, and there’s still two days ahead to get a good place on GC, so we will see how the next days go.”

Sports Director Oscar Guerrero was pleased with Dylan’s performance and determination, and happy with how the team reacted to the tricky stage.

“The race went well for us, with a small break, and giving the responsibility to other teams. The idea was to attack on the last two ascents of the climb, but we didn’t have the legs because of the hard pace and the weather. We waited for the last time, and at the top, Dylan attacked with Hirschi and they got a small gap. They were following Healy who was in front by thirty seconds, but they couldn’t get to him. He finished 18 seconds ahead of Dylan, and 46 seconds of the main group. I’m very happy with the performance of the team again today. We had good spirit, and I’m happy with Dylan, as he fought until the last meter to win the stage. He showed that is getting better and better in every race. Now he is third on the GC, but we still have two days ahead to keep fighting for the best GC, and the last stage.”

Tomorrow’s stage sees the riders take on a 24 kilometer time trial, where the overall victor of the Tour de Luxembourg could be decided.

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And here's the Luxembourg Tour report from Archie Ryan's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Archie Ryan has made a strong impression on the third stage of the Tour of Luxembourg. The young Irishman of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team attacked several times on the local laps around Vianden and saw his determination rewarded with sixth place. Ben Healy won the stage.

It was Ben Healy who won the stage.

In the final of the rain-soaked queen stage, the difficult Montée de Niklosbierg had to be conquered three times. Healy attacked on the second passage, forcing the Jumbo-Visma team to chase. Ryan initially tested the competition with some fierce accelerations before making some real attacks on the final lap. The 21-year-old Irishman could not escape due to EF’s efforts but fought to sixth place on the wet cobbles. Tiesj Benoot finished tenth.

"We wanted to go for the win today”, sports director Maarten Wynants said. "Tiesj was our man to do it, but he didn't feel as good as we'd hoped. We were also up against an incredibly strong Healy. Luckily, Archie rode a good race. He managed to get away with the best climbers on the steepest parts. That's an excellent performance from such a young rider.”

Wynants was hopeful that the peloton could still get back to the front. "Archie's chances of closing the gap were very slim. The climb was followed by a valley where the breakaway rider was basically at a disadvantage. So, it seemed important to use our strengths across the board. But today, it was a different scenario. Sam Oomen and Koen Bouwman returned strongly to help, but sixth place was the maximum we could achieve.”

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