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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, September 22, 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

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. - Theodore Roosevelt

Current racing:

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David Lappartient unseats Brian Cookson as UCI boss

Here's the story from Reuters:

BERGEN, Norway (Reuters) - France’s David Lappartient won a landslide victory as he was elected International Cycling Union (UCI) president on Thursday, replacing incumbent Brian Cookson, who was seen to have failed to restore the sport’s credibility in his only term.

Lappartient, the European Cycling Union (UEC) president, became the first Frenchman to take charge of the global body since Achille Joinard between 1947 and 1957.

French federation president from 2009-2017, Lappartient won 37 of the 45 votes by the UCI delegates at the governing body’s congress during the road cycling world championships in Bergen, Norway.

In his pre-vote speech, Cookson, a Briton, promised to double UCI’s investment in women’s cycling, while the 44-year-old Lappartient vowed to get rid of the “corruption” that has left UCI with a “disastrous reputation”.

“It is a great responsibility and I will endeavor in the next four years to be worthy of such trust,” Lappartient said.

Cookson, a former British Cycling president, is the first UCI chief to serve only one term. He replaced Irishman Pat McQuaid in 2013 after promising to restore the credibility of cycling but his term was marked by several scandals.

Cookson came under fire this year after a UK anti-doping investigation was launched into Team Sky and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins. Under scrutiny was the delivery to Sky in June 2011 of a medical package after the Dauphine-Libere race and ahead of that year’s Tour.

Wiggins and Team Sky have denied any doping violations.

Brian Cookson and Eddy MErckx

Outgoing UCI president Brian Cookson along with Eddy Merckx at the 2016 World Cycling Championships.

Cookson was on the operating board of Team Sky at the time.

Following the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, the Briton launched the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report. It found collusion between Armstrong and the UCI.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles and banned for life from bicycle racing in 2012 by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after it accused him in a report of engineering one of the most sophisticated doping schemes in sports.

Armstrong, who had long denied using performance-enhancing drugs, admitted to doping in January 2013.

You can read the entire story here.

Simon Gerrans joins BMC

BMC sent me this news release:

21 September, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Four-time Santos Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans, 37, will join BMC Racing Team in 2018, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Gerrans, whose illustrious palmarès includes victory at Milano - San Remo, Liège-Bastogne- Liège and stage wins at all three Grand Tours, is the third addition to BMC Racing Team's roster for the coming season.

Simon Gerrans

Simon Gerrans at the 2016 Tour Down Under

Ochowicz said it was an easy decision to welcome a rider of Gerrans' calibre to BMC Racing Team's ranks. "There are not many riders out there with a palmarès and wealth of knowledge like Simon Gerrans, so we are very excited to see Simon join us in 2018. Simon's experience in all aspects of the sport and his diverse skill set in multiple race situations will make him a tremendous asset to the team. We expect Simon to play a big role in BMC Racing Team's performance from the beginning of the season until the end," Ochowicz explained.

"As a team, we have multiple goals throughout the season and Simon will, in particular, be a high-level support rider for Richie Porte and Greg Van Avermaet, as well as a rider who can make the most of any opportunity that comes his way. We are looking forward to seeing what Simon can do when he puts on the BMC Racing Team jersey next year."

Gerrans is excited to start the next chapter in his career with BMC Racing Team. "BMC Racing Team is a team that I have always admired, not only in their results, but also the professionalism of the organization. Obviously, there has always been a strong affiliation with Australians in the team starting with Cadel Evans, and then more recently with Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis and Miles Scotson," Gerrans said.

"I'm really excited about the position I have been offered in the team. I always saw myself spending the last period of my career in more of a road captain role and passing on my experiences. I'm looking forward to contributing to the team as both a support rider and leader when called upon.

"It's probably a bit early to start announcing specific goals but I hope to get my season started in Australia. There is obviously a Santos Tour Down Under crown to defend with Richie Porte, and it is a race I've always enjoyed and done well at."

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other details of the contract were released.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Danny van Poppel seal two-year deal

The team sent me this news:

Danny van Poppel will join Team LottoNL-Jumbo for the next two years. Van Poppel (24) preferred a transfer to Richard Plugge's team over a longer stay at Team Sky. "It's fantastic to join Team LottoNL-Jumbo. It’s great to see how the team is developing sprinting, as sprinting is my main goal”, Van Poppel says. “However, I’m looking very much forward to the classics too. I know that they suit me, although I wasn’t really able to show that due to some bad luck over the last years.”

Danny van Poppel

Danny van Poppel winning stage five of the 2017 Tour of Poland

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman of Team LottoNL-Jumbo considers Van Poppel a ‘classic talent' and confirms that the new recruit will get his chances in the sprints: “We are proud that Van Poppel has chosen our team above others and that we now have two world class sprinters within our team. We will make Danny even faster and make him a better cyclist."

Combined Ridley/Merckx brands launch dual strategy for US market

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The two Belgian brands Ridley and Eddy Merckx are making their first combined appearance here at Interbike, as the brands unveil their dual strategy.

Ridley's parent company, then known as Race Productions, took over the Merckx brand in June. The company has since been renamed Belgian Cycling Factory NV.

The Merckx U.S. office and warehouse in Mount Kisco, New York, has been closed, and Ridley will soon stop working with West Coast-based Podium Marketing, which has handled U.S. sales, customer service and distribution for several years.

In the U.S., both brands are being represented by a small East Coast office led by Heather Rizzi, who was the U.S. sales manager for Merckx prior to the sale. Rizzi and Phil Capezio, who was U.S. operations manager for Merckx under the previous ownership, are working on a contract basis for Belgian Cycling Factory, which plans to set up a U.S. subsidiary, warehouse and office soon.

Until the brands open a U.S. warehouse, bikes are being air shipped to U.S. dealers from Belgium for a $50 freight charge.

The company is now offering dealers access to both brands, with minimal buy-in requirements.

The Merckx line has been trimmed to five road models: the high-end 525; the carbon San Remo; the Strasbourg carbon gravel bike; the Heritage steel bike; and a carbon gran fondo bike, the Sallanches. The 525, San Remo and Sallanches are available with either rim or disc brakes. To avoid overlap with Ridley, Merckx is no longer offering aluminum, women's-specific, endurance road, triathlon or cyclocross models.

Ridley offers an array of road, cyclocross and adventure models, as well as its recently launched mountain bike line, which includes a carbon hardtail, a full-suspension model and an e-MTB.

"We're thrilled to be able to offer dealers the option of having both brands," Rizzi told BRAIN at Interbike this week. She said Ridley has more dealers in the West, while Merckx is stronger in the East, so the union offers growth potential for both.

You can read the entire story here.

UAE Team Emirates to race in Tuscany

The squad sent me this update:

After a short pause for the World Championships, UAE Team Emirates is getting back to business. The Emirati team will race in Italy, participating in the Giro della Toscana-Memorial Martini (two stages, September 26-27) and in the GP Peccioli-Coppa Sabatini (September 28).

Here are the formations that UAE Team Emirates is lining up for the two Italian races:

Giro di Toscana-Memorial Martini
Darwin ATAPUMA (Colombia)
Matteo BONO (Italy)
Kristijan DURASEK (Croatia)
Filippo GANNA (Italy)
Marko KUMP (Slovenia)
Louis MEINTJES (South Africa)
Aleksandr RIABUSHENKO – trainee (Belarus)
Federico ZURLO (Italy)

GP Peccioli-Coppa Sabatini
Matteo BONO (Italy)
Kristijan DURASEK (Croatia)
Filippo GANNA (Italy)
Louis MEINTJES (South Africa)
Manuele MORI (Italy)
Aleksandr RIABUSHENKO – trainee (Belarus)
Diego ULISSI (Italy)
Federico ZURLO (Italy)

In both races, UAE Team Emirates will be directed by Daniele Righi (Italy) and Orlando Maini (Italy).

Daniele Righi, Sports Director: “As always, the roads in Tuscany offer hilly routes that leave the race open to several outcomes. In particular, in its second stage the Giro della Toscana will feature an interesting arrival in Volterra; we’ll see which one of our riders will be able to combine the kind of agility and explosiveness needed  for this type of arrival. Ulissi will be competing in the GP Peccioli: he has already won this race, he knows how to handle himself and if he comes away from the World Championships in good shape he could contend for a good result” 

Louis Meintjes: “I lived in Tuscany for a few years and I know the routes we’ll be facing in the Giro di Toscana and the GP Peccioli. In the final months of the racing season, in order to make a difference it’s important to still have some energy left in your legs: I hope I can still be competitive.”

Diego Ulissi: “After the world championships, I will return to racing in the GP Peccioli: I like the route; in 2013 I enjoyed a nice victory. It would be gratifying to be able to vie again for an important result.”


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