BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel Melanoma: It Started With a Freckle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks frames Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Bianchi cycle clothing Advertise with us! CycleItalia cycling tours

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 7, 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

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. - Samuel Johnson

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team Sky's interview with Michal Kwiatkowski

The team posted the former world champion's assessment of his 2017 season:

As Michal Kwiatkowski sits back to reflect upon what he describes as an ‘amazing’ 2017 ahead of his final race of the season, Saturday’s Il Lombardia, he keeps coming back to four main performances: his wins at Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, his strength at the Ardennes, and his ride in support of Chris Froome at the Tour de France.

But ‘Kwiato’ has been flying all year, and neglects to mention his dominant win at San Sebastian, his new status as the Polish national time trial champion, his podium finish at the Volta ao Algarve, strong team rides at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Criterium du Dauphine, finishing fifth overall at the Tour of Britain… The list goes on.

And yet, at the end of such a sensational 2017, it’s easy to forget that 2016 wasn’t so easy for the popular Pole. Injury and illness restricted Kwiatkowski and, although his class still shone through on occasion, it was a tough first season in Team Sky colours. What changed?

“I had amazing support from the team during the winter and I was… maybe not confident, but I had my wings back during training,” he explains. “I started to believe. But winning San Remo was a bit unexpected, as was performing for three weeks at the Tour. I had amazing support from the team during the winter and I was… maybe not confident, but I had my wings back during training."

With his wings well and truly back, Kwiatkowski came close to adding another famous victory to his palmares during the Ardennes, finishing a narrow runner up at Amstel Gold and a hard-fought third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege - the ‘race of his dreams’. While the wait for his first La Doyenne win continues, he was happy just to be back in the game this year.

Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski wins 2017 Strade Bianche

“I was always in the game to win the races,” he continues. “That’s what I expect. We all know how sport is - there are so many guys fighting for victory and the most important thing is we were always there - at the races I won, Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, but also those we lost, like in the Ardennes.

“I was there, fighting for the victory – I just missed that little something to win. That will keep me hungry for next season.”

Being good for so long has slowly started to take its toll on Kwiato and as the conversation turns to this weekend he’s honest about his chances: “I would love to do Lombardia well, but the season has been very long. For sure, we will be up there as a team and we will try to do our best to win the race.

“Even if I am not there for the victory I know I can do a lot of work for some of the other guys. We will see how the race goes. It’s the last Monument and of course I would love to do it well, but if any of my teammates can win it then we will go for it.

“That’s the strength of our team - we can play a few cards in these races. Let’s hope a Team Sky jersey will be on the top step of the podium. It’s been a very long year. The longest period for me was my preparation for the worlds. I skipped a little bit of racing to try to freshen up after the Tour and I was really motivated to do well in Bergen.

“We did pretty well in the team time trial [Team Sky finished third], but I missed a medal and the position I wanted in the road race [Kwiato finished 11th]. So that was quite a long period and is maybe why I’m not feeling 100% now. If there are any signs that I can progress with those two aspects while not losing my ability to sprint and fight in the wind, then I would like to try."

Although impressive, few people were surprised by the former world champion’s big wins this season, yet not many people saw his ride at the Tour de France coming - including Kwiatkowski himself.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to ride for such a big team aiming to win a Grand Tour. It was something I will never forget. Racing every day, trying not to lose time, fighting until Paris; it was a great experience. I didn’t expect my body to be able to do it so well for three weeks, so that was something new to me. I hope I can do it again!”

With that ride in the bank, has the idea of leading a Grand Tour team started to appeal?

“Of course performing for three weeks as I did gives you a little bit of hope, but to win a Grand Tour you need to be good at time trialling and super good with climbing.

“If there are any signs that I can progress with those two aspects while not losing my ability to sprint and fight in the wind, then I would like to try… First maybe at a stage race like the Dauphine or Paris-Nice, then if the opportunity comes along for sure I would like to look at leading a Grand Tour in the future - just like G has done.

“He’s taken a similar path to me and this year [at the Giro] he was unlucky, but for sure he would have been up there to fight for the GC. He made lots of little steps to prove himself as a leader for a Grand Tour.”

For now though, Kwiatkowski’s early goals remain broadly the same for 2018: “I like the way I was racing and training this year - for sure there will be some small changes, but at the end of the day I would love to do well in the Ardennes, race at the Tour - and target the world championships. That’s always a big goal.”

Get ready for more of the same from Kwiato.

Lotto-Soudal previews Paris-Tours

The team sent me this update:

Paris-Tours will take place one day after the Tour of Lombardy. Unlike the latter, the French race suits the sprinters very well.  The Eure-et-Loir region has hosted the start of the race since 2009 and this year’s edition will have its start in the city of Brou. The riders will cruise on a 234.5 kilometers course without real difficulties, except the Côte de Beau Soleil and the Côte de l’Epan, which are both situated in the last ten kilometers. The fast men must therefore remain attentive, as attackers have also been able to take the win in the past. After André Greipel’s win in de Omloop Eurometropool van de Westhoek and Jasper De Buyst’s victory in Binche-Chimay-Binche, the two riders will be back in action for Lotto Soudal. They can count on a strong team to set them in a good position for the sprint.

Frederik Willems, sports director for Lotto Soudal: "The weather conditions are often a very decisive factor in Paris-Tours. Depending on that, it can either finish with a bunch sprint or with a couple of attackers only. The race is also 235 kilometers long and not all the riders are still able to perform on such distance. Condition and motivation are two of the most important factors to compete for victory at the end of the season. André Greipel rode a very good sprint last weekend in the Eurométropole Tour and that probably gave him a lot of confidence. Even after such a long season, he is still in good form. He is definitely our main card to play on Sunday. Jasper De Buyst showed last Tuesday in Binche that he is also in great shape and depending on the situation, he will either help André Greipel or sprint for himself. We’ll be riding in Paris-Tours with experienced riders who know what it takes to play a role in the finale."

Jasper deBuyst

Jasper de Buyst just won Binche-Chimay-Binche. He'll be at Paris-Tours.

Line-up Lotto Soudal for Paris-Tours: Lars Bak, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, André Greipel, Moreno Hofland, Nikolas Maes, Tosh Van der Sande and Enzo Wouters.

Sports director: Frederik Willems

Orica-Scott re-signs Amanda Spratt

The team sent me this release:

ORICA-SCOTT are pleased to announce the re-signing of the Santos Women’s Tour winner Amanda Spratt for the 2018 season.

The 30-year-old has been with the Australian outfit since it’s inception in 2012 and has developed a lot over the past seasons, always a selfless team player and this year establishing her role further as one of the team leaders.

The former two-time Australian champion enjoyed one of her best seasons to date in 2017 and is delighted to remain within ORICA-SCOTT, feeling settled and at home with the Australian outfit.

Amanda Spratt

Amanda Spratt wins the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in 2016

“I have been with the team since it first started in 2012 and it's really become like a family to me,” Spratt said. “Of course you always wonder about change and look at options but this year there was a real sense of excitement for what the team is creating for next season.”

“I am really grateful to Gerry Ryan and Shayne Bannan in particular for keeping the team going and investing so much into us. I know we will pay them back and I am already excited about getting stuck into the 2018 season.

“This year really felt like a year where I made some big steps forward, having some big goals like the Giro-Rosa really challenged me. At first it was a case of training to be in the best position possible to support Annemiek (Van Vleuten) but during the Giro-Rosa we realised that my shape was really good and I could be there in most of the finals.

“This was really exciting and motivating for me and the whole experience of the Giro-Rosa for the whole team was really something special.”

The New South Wales rider believes the balanced environment within the team is what enables her to perform at the highest level, constantly learning and taking inspiration from her teammates as they strive forward together to achieve goals.

“The thing I really love about the team is the feeling we have amongst the riders and staff,” continued Spratt. “We have a lot of fun together off the bike but know when it's time to be serious on the bike. Even more, I find that I am constantly inspired by my teammates and this in itself helps to lift you as both a person and a rider.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with Annemiek, it’s special to have someone like her in the team and I feel lucky to have her as a teammate. I really feel this season in particular I have learnt so much from her, she is proof that set-backs only make you stronger and that you should never settle for the level you are at. There is always room for improvement.”

Sport director Gene Bates feels Spratt contributes a lot to the team’s dynamic and is pleased to see her remain within the team for another season as an important team member.

“We are very excited to have Amanda back in the team for 2018,” said Bates. “Amanda has had the best season of her career this year and provides not only a great option in the tougher races, but fulfils a vital leadership role within the team.”

“Amanda continues to develop each season and next year we will see her shaping up as one of our crucial riders in the toughest one-day and stage races. We are very proud and happy to continue our commitment and relationship with Spratty and can’t wait to see her in the team colours again next year.”

Amanda Spratt

Date of Birth: 17th September 1987 (30)
Place of birth: Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Turned Pro: 2012

Key results

2017
-        1st Emakumeen XXX. Bira - Stage 2
-        1st Santos Women's Tour - General Classification
-        1st Santos Women's Tour - Stage 1
-        1st Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic - Stage 2
2016
-       1st National Championship Australia - Road Race
-       1st Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
-       1st Internationale Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen - Stage 6
2015
-       1st Giro del Trentino Alto Adige - Sudtirol
2012
-       1st National Championships Australia – Road Race

SRAM recalls 7,000 Avid direct-pull brakes because a rivet can loosen

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this important news:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — SRAM is conducting a recall with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission of 7,000 Avid SD7 direct-pull rim brakes, sold in the aftermarket and as original equipment on an ElliptiGo model.

According to the CPSC, a rivet in the brake assembly can loosen or disengage, resulting in brake failure, posing crash and injury hazards to the rider. SRAM has received five reports of loose or detached rivets. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers are being told to contact SRAM at 800-346-2928 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Fridays or online at sram.com.

The recall involves the Avid SD7 bicycle mechanical rim brake. There is a date code stamped on the back of the brake arm with the date format DDMMYY representing the day, month and year of manufacture.

You can read the entire story here.


Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary