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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, February 10, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

As I have said so many times, God doesn't play dice with the world. – Albert Einstein

God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen. - Stephen Hawking

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Serge Baguet dies at 47

Former Belgian road champion Serge Baguet died Thursday morning after losing his battle with colon cancer.

Baguet rode as a professional from 1991 to 2007, riding for the Lotto, Vlaanderen 2002 and Quick Step teams. In 1996 he stopped racing for three years, working as a roofer. In 2000 he restarted his racing career.

His most notable victories:

Team Quick Step Floors headed to Tour of Oman

Here's the team's update:

Six stages, 13 classified climbs and a mountain finish are on the menu for the eighth edition of the race.

Once again, the Tour of Oman welcomes the peloton with a challenging course, which will provide plenty of opportunities to sprinters, attackers and climbers alike early in the season. It goes without saying that of the six stages, the most important will be the one concluding atop Jabal Al Akhdhar, "the Green Mountain", a 5.7km Hors Catégorie ascent averaging 10.5% which is set to feature on the penultimate day of the race.

A stage winner at the previous edition, when a daring attack on the final descent to Al Bustan opened him the road to his maiden victory in the Quick-Step Floors jersey, 24-year-old Bob Jungels returns at the start, thus continuing his adventure in the Middle East, after recently completing the Dubai Tour, where he was a quintessential part of Marcel Kittel's impressive lead-out train.

Bob Jungels

Bob Jungels

Following a successful campaign in Argentina, where he kicked off his season in spectacular style at the Vuelta a San Juan by becoming the first ever road rider to win a race on a disc brake-equipped bike, Tom Boonen will be another important rider of the Quick-Step Floors setup, which will also include Eros Capecchi, David De La Cruz – who's coming off the back of a strong Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – Laurens De Plus, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Niki Terpstra.

Daryl Impey wins his sixth national time trial title

This news came from Impey's Orica-Scott team:

South African Daryl Impey has impressed once again at the national championships to claim his sixth time trial title today in Wellington, Western Cape. The victory today puts Impey into the history books as the first South African to win the time trial title six times, having beaten David George’s record of five titles since the race was first held in 1997.

“No-one has ever had six time trial titles here so it that is quite nice to have that achievement as well," explained Impey. "In 2012 I didn’t ride the nationals so it works out that in the elite nationals I have won this event each time I have raced.”

Daryl Impey

Daryl Impey at the Tour Down Under

Using his experience, Impey blasted around the 39.8kilometre course in a time of 49minutes and 14seconds to finish almost two minutes faster than his closest rival.

“It started off well, I think I paced it really well and from the start I could feel I was having a decent day,” Impey continued. “I could see I was putting time into Reinardt (J V Rensburg) early on and that was a good confidence booster and I kind of learnt a bit from last year how to pace it.”

“It all worked out really well and I felt like I still had something to give so I was pretty chuffed with the effort in the end. I thought Reinardt would be the second best guy but Willem Smit was obviously also having a very good day, and once I knew I was putting that amount of time into Reinardt I knew I was quite safe.

“It’s not normal you put that amount of time into other guys but I had a really good day today and it was a course that really suited me.”

The South African National Road Race Championships takes place on Sunday 12th February, where Impey will be back in action aiming to bring his national coloured road jersey to Orica-Scott.

South Africa National Time Trial Results:

1. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) 49:14
2. Willem Smit  +1:56
3. Reinardt J V Rensburg (Team Dimension Data) +2:42

Team LottoNL-Jumbo goes sprinting in Algarve and climbing in Andalucía

Here's the team's latest update:

After the Volta a Valenciana and the Dubai Tour, team LottoNL-Jumbo will continue with two European stage races. A number of climbers start in the Ruta del Sol on Wednesday, February 15, and on the same day 300 kilometres west in Portugal, the sprint train races the Volta ao Algarve.

Volta ao Algarve:

In the Volta ao Algarve, team LottoNL-Jumbo starts with the sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen. Compared with Dubai Tour, there are some changes. Lars Boom and Robert Wagner will join the train.

Primoz Roglic will join the team and race for general classification. The Slovenian placed third last year on the Alto da Fóia, which is the spot of the second stage in 2017. Roglic closed the 2016 edition fifth overall.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic after the 9th stage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia

Groenewegen will have opportunities to sprint in the first and fourth stages, days that should suit a mass sprint. The third stage time trial covers 18 kilometres around Sagres. It will be an ideal opportunity for Roglic and Boom to show their TT legs.

Volta ao Algarve 15– 19 February 2017

Riders: Lars Boom, Dylan Groenewegen, Gijs Van Hoecke, Tom Leezer, Primož Roglič, Timo Roosen, Robert Wagner, Maarten Wynants

Sports Director: Frans Maassen

Soigneurs: Dries Bos, Ferry Hommerson, Patrick van Doorn

Mechanics: Niels van der Kuur, Dirk Janssen 

Vuelta a Andalucía, Ruta Ciclista Del Sol:

When Algarve starts, so does the Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol – or simply the Ruta del Sol. The team’s young riders will debut here in Spain. Antwan Tolhoek and Floris Tier will race in the team’s yellow kit for the first time.

The Ruta del Sol will run over five days, much of it climbing. Despite the number of climbing metres, only the second stage ends uphill. After 178 kilometres the queen stage finishes at the Será la Peña del Águila.

The Belgian time trial specialists Jurgen Van den Broeck and Victor Campenaerts can enjoy themselves in the third stage, a time trial over 12 kilometres between Lucena and Cordoba.

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 15-19 February 2017

Riders: Jurgen Van den Broeck, Victor Campenaerts, Stef Clement, Martijn Keizer, Bram Tankink, Floris De Tier, Antwan Tolhoek

Sports Directors: Grischa Niermann, Sierk Jan de Haan

Soigneurs: Luc Schiemsky, Gerard Spierings, Anthony Devliegere

Mechanics: Dirk van de Ven, Hans van Vianen

Hero Cycles Evaluates Buying Stake in German bike maker MIFA again

This news came to me from Bike Europe:

LUDHIANA, India – India’s biggest bicycle maker is reconsidering a bid for troubled German bike maker MIFA.

A Hero Cycles’ team of four top officials is now in Germany for making a fresh bid on the company that currently is in a state of preliminary insolvency. MIFA is in dire need of an investor and some 4.5 million euro to save it from solvency by March 1, 2017.

With the Hero Cycles officials arriving in Germany it looks like that MIFA is not a closed chapter for the Indian company. Fact is that Hero Cycles MD Pankaj Munjal numerous times said to be looking for a production base in Europe; in particular with an eye on its growing e-bike market. The company recently opened a design center in Manchester, UK and acquired Avocet last year.

You can read the entire story here.

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