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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own happiness, the happiness of others. - Paramahansa Yogananda

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

New bike book: Peloton Legends: The Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era

Had a great new bike book cross my desk this week, Peloton Legends: The Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era, by Eric Bowen.

Mr. Bowen has written a book that is a joy to read, to thumb through, or just open any page at random and find, for instance, Fiorenzo Magni, ranked 19th. There is a picture of the great racer, some quick career stats, a short history of Magni's career and then a deeper statistical examination of Magni's career.

I don't know if Peloton Legends will settle bar fights or start them, the info is there either way.

You can get the book directly from the author:

Peloton Legends

CCC Team confirms calendar ahead of return to racing

The team sent me this update:

14 July 2020: CCC Team today confirmed its revised race calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season starting with Vuelta a Burgos and featuring a triple race program in August.

A busy schedule in early August will be key for CCC Team’s riders to put the finishing touches on their extended training block, Sporting Manager Stever Bauer said.

“We are now two weeks out from Vuelta a Burgos so we are very much at the business end of our race preparations. We have 16 riders currently training at altitude in Livigno ahead of our return to racing at the end of the month. Our goal when creating our calendar for the remainder of the season was to maximize the number of races in early August and give all of our riders the opportunity to get back to the start line as quickly as possible. For this reason, we have locked in races such as Vuelta a Burgos, La Route d’Occitanie, and Tour de l’Ain to build up to the key WorldTour stage races in August and to ensure none of our riders are left sitting on the sidelines,” Bauer explained.

“All 28 of our riders will return to racing by the end of the first week of August in what will essentially feel like the start of a new season. Running a triple race program will stretch our resources but our goal is to get back to business and start winning some races. At this stage, our calendar is comprised of 130 race days which will see most of our riders race an average of 35 days in the condensed four month season.”

Matteo Trentin will headline CCC Team’s roster at Vuelta a Burgos, while Greg Van Avermaet will line up at Strade Bianche, and Ilnur Zakarin will return to the start line at the Tour of Poland.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin will be at the Vuelta a Burgos. Sirotti photo

The Grand Tours:
CCC Team President Jim Ochowicz outlined the team’s Grand Tour plans which include both General Classification and stage win aspirations.

“We currently have a long list of 14 riders for the Tour de France so we will finalize our selection after the early August races once we can gauge rider form after such a long break. We will be lining up with three clear leaders in Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin for stage wins, and Ilnur Zakarin will provide an option for the General Classification and climbing stages,” Ochowicz confirmed.

“Patrick Bevin will line up at the Giro d’Italia this year with his eyes on the time trials, as well as the UCI world championship time trial which will mean forgoing the Tour de France. Bevin will be joined by Jakub Mareczko who will be our card to play in the multiple sprint stages, and Alessandro De Marchi plans to complete an ambitious Tour de France and Giro d’Italia double. After his Tour de France debut with CCC Team, Zakarin will return to the Vuelta a España, where he was third overall in 2017, and will be joined by Víctor de la Parte.”

Having raced just five days with CCC Team at the UAE Tour, Zakarin is looking forward to getting back into racing and lining up at the team’s ‘home race’, the Tour of Poland.

“I’m excited to restart the season properly and get back to the start line, particularly at the Tour of Poland which is, of course, a really important race for CCC Team. Then my focus will be on the Tour de France. With eight or so mountain stages, I think there are some good opportunities for me and as a team, we will have multiple cards to play in the different terrain. Then, if everything goes to plan, I will line up at the Vuelta a España which is, of course, a special race for me after my podium result in 2017. We have to be thankful to have every race day this year so I will take every day as an opportunity and hope to achieve some nice results for the team,” Zakarin said.

The Classics Team:
After racing together at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne, Van Avermaet and Trentin will re-unite at Milano - San Remo.

“Despite the changes in the race calendar, all of my goals remain largely the same and I will focus on the Classics and the Tour de France. I will restart my season with Strade Bianche, a race I still hope to win, before continuing the Italian block with Gran Trittico Lombardo and Milano - Torino and then Milano - San Remo. Then it will be nice to race on home soil at the Tour de Wallonie before lining up at Bretagne Classic and the Tour de France. I think these races will give me a good preparation before the Tour and help me to get to my top shape. It’s going to be strange to line up with not many races in the legs but at the end of the day, it’s the same for everyone. After the Tour de France, I’ll be turning my attention back to the Classics with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Gent Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, and Paris-Roubaix on my program. For me, it doesn’t matter what time of the year we race the Classics, I know I’ll be just as hungry to win in October,” Van Avermaet said.

Trentin will join Van Avermaet at the Tour de Wallonie and Bretagne Classic in preparation for the Tour de France.

“It’s finally time to race and I’m really looking forward to it. At the end of the day, lockdown in Monaco allowed me to rest mentally so I was really ready to restart training properly and now I’ve been back on the bike for a couple of months. My shape is good and it’s getting better at altitude. My focus in the first part of the season will be Milano - San Remo and the Tour de France and then the second block will be all about the Classics. But I think there will not be much of a moment to breathe. It will be full gas from start to finish and I’m really looking forward to that and getting together with the guys again,” Trentin added.

2020 race calendar:

Annemiek van Vleuten raring to return to racing

Van Vleuten's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

With a one-from-one record in the rainbow jersey, having claimed victory in her first and only race of the 2020 season, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 37-year-old Annemiek van Vleuten is more motivated than ever to return to racing after a lengthy period away from competition.

Annemiek van Vleuten wins Het Nieusblad

Annemiek van Vleuten wins the 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

The road world champion will make her first race appearance since February on Thursday 23rd July, as she lines up for Emakumeen Nafarroako then Clasica Femenina Navarra, before returning to the white roads of Strade Bianche as reigning champion the following weekend.

“It is really good to have all kinds of races on my program, I will take it race by race at the moment, but I have the focus that I want to be good for the 1st of August for Strade Bianche which will be a really important race,” Van Vleuten explained.

“In the lead-up to Strade I will have three races in the Basque Country which are really nice to get into the rhythm of things, so I look forward to starting racing there. It is great they have organised three races in the area, it makes it worth the travel and I think it will be really good to have three races in my legs and for the team as it is such a long time ago since we had a race stress.”

As expected, the Dutch star has high ambitions for the shortened and modified season but is staying relaxed and open-minded that anything can change in any moment in these unprecedented times.

“After Strade Bianche I will just keep my fingers crossed that everything will still be on the program and that the health situation will relax a little bit,” Van Vleuten continued. “I will then look forward to La Course and from then on it will be full gas without rest.

“I will not be focusing on specific parcours, many are not confirmed, so I will just have a goal to generally be at a high level rather than focus only on mountains for example; like in the case if it was going to be a very hilly edition of the Giro-Rosa.

“It is a challenge for all riders to be very flexible this year. For riders that like to have everything really under control it may be a problem for them, but I am not usually that kind of rider.”

Lining-up as reigning champion in multiple WorldTour events such as Stade Bianche, Giro-Rosa, Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes and the road world championships, even with their close proximity and wide variety of terrains and distances, Van Vleuten is confident she can handle the diversity of these races and is eager to make the most of the 2020 season and her time in the world championship jersey.

“People ask me if I have too much on my program, but I will feel super lucky with every race that I can race this season and I just have to focus on being in optimal shape. I am confident I can race in all the races and on different parcours,” Van Vleuten concluded.

Van Vleuten - Confirmed 2020 Race Program:
• 23/07/20 Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa
• 24/07/20 Clasica Femenina Navarra
• 26/07/20 Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria
• 01/08/20 Strade Bianche
• 29/08/20 La Course by Le Tour de France
• 01/09/20 - 06/09/20 Boels Ladies Tour
• 11/09/20 - 19/09/20 Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile
• 21/09/20 World Championships – Time Trial
• 26/09/20 World Championships – Road Race
• 30/09/20 La Flèche Wallonne Féminine
• 04/10/20 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes
• 10/10/20 Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition
• 18/10/20 Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres
• 25/10/20 Paris-Roubaix Femmes
• 06/11/20 - 08/11/20 Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta

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