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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, December 4, 2015

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

“If it takes ten to kill me, I’ll take nine and win”—Tom Simpson, who died in the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France of a combination of amphetamines, alcohol and the day's blistering heat.

Chris Froome's testing data released

To answer critics who don't believe two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome earned those victories as a clean rider, he underwent testing at the GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance Laboratory in London.

The complete story of his results has been published on line by Esquire magazine. You can read it here.

There are three sets of data, one from 2007, another from this year's Tour de France and the third from the tests performed in August.

About the data, he said, "Hopefully, it's going to satisfy some of the questions asked. I know what I've done to get here. I'm the only one who can really [know] 100% that I'm clean. I haven't broken the rules. I haven't cheated. I haven't taken any secret substance that isn't known of yet. I know my results will stand the test of time, that 10, 15 years down the line people won't say, 'Ah, so that was his secret'. There isn't a secret."

Team Sky

Team Sky protecting 2015 Tour de France winner Chris Froome during the final stage

During the 2015 Tour Froome was subjected to considerable abuse. The Sky team's cars were pelted with rubbish and drinks while Froome was spat upon and even had urine thrown on him.

A senior scientist at the GlaxoSmithKline lab said Froome's VO2 max numbers are "close to what we believe are the upper limits for humans."

It will be interesting to see if this has any affect upon the perception of Froome's performance.

Eddy Merckx doubts Froome data release will silence critics

In an interview in the British Telegraph, Eddy Merckx told why he thought the release of Froome physiological data would fail to silence doubters.

The article says:

Eddy Merckx tuts disapprovingly and shakes his head. “No, I don’t believe in that,” he says. “If that is [what the future holds] it’s the end of cycling.” We are discussing Chris Froome’s decision to submit himself to independent physiological testing, the results of which will be made public in Esquire magazine on Friday.

Merckx, it seems, is not a fan of the move. Like Alberto Contador, Froome’s great rival, who said recently that the tests would do nothing to appease the doubters, Merckx fears it will do little to shut up the sceptics and will lead only to misinformation. “For me it’s impossible,” he adds. “You cannot prove you are clean.” Others, Sir Dave Brailsford being a notable example, beg to differ.

Eddy MErckx and Patrick Sercu

Racing greats Patrick Sercu and Eddy Merckx start the 2015 Ghent 6-Day

Here a link to the full story

Lotto-Soudal & G&V Energy Group extend partnership

The team sent me this press release:

In 2012, G&V Energy Group, number one on the market of independent petroleum companies in Belgium, started a partnership with the Lotto Soudal team. This collaboration is now extended till 2020.

G&V Energy Group is especially active in the exploitation of petrol stations in Belgium, with stations mainly located in West and East Flanders, Brussels and Hainaut. The group exploits around 170 stations, of which a hundred by the name of Esso and the others by the own name G&V. Next to the exploitation of petrol stations, the CAPS Fuelcard is the second main pillar of the group. With this card, users can go to more than thousand petrol stations in the Benelux; not only the own stations, but also those from the partner networks.

Andre Greipel

André Greipel at the 2015 Tour de France teams presentation ceremony showing the G&V logo on his chest.

The logo of G&V Energy Group is already displayed on the riders’ shirts; next year the logo of the CAPS Fuelcard will be visible on the right shoulder.

Xavier Dewulf, CEO and co-owner of G&V Energy Group: “The CAPS Fuelcard is a multi-brand card, this means that it’s accepted in petrol stations of different brands in the Benelux. Next to the petrol stations of the G&V Energy Group and the ones of our partner Esso in the Benelux, you can use the card in the stations of our partners: Texaco BeLux, Desimpel, Maes, Heite, Van Raak and Bruno. This results in a total of over thousand locations. For the moment, it’s the biggest Belgian network for a multi-brand card that can be used in the Benelux. There’s also an App available, the CAPS Fuelfinder, with which the cardholders can search the nearest petrol stations where they can use the CAPS Fuelcard. With this card, we aim for self-employees, SME’s and bigger companies.”

“Our partnership with Lotto Soudal runs till 2020. As a Belgian company, we are very delighted that we’re working together with a team from our own country; that’s where our priorities are situated. We know it needs some time to acquire brand awareness as a cosponsor, meanwhile we found our place in the Lotto Soudal story. To promote the CAPS Fuelcard as well, we chose to renew the partnership for another five years. Through cycling, we don’t only acquire brand awareness but it also gives the opportunity to network. That happens on events and openings of petrol stations. The Lotto Soudal team bus is often used on those occasions.”

In 2013 G&V Energy Group gave the team a brand-new bus, they will supply the team with another one by the end of 2016.

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