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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, April 1, 2016

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

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time. - George Orwell

Recently completed racing

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Shimano Extends road disc brake line

This was posted in Bike-Eu:

OSAKA, Japan – Anticipating on UCI’s final approval to allow disc brakes in professional road racing, Shimano extends its hydraulic disc brake range to Tiagra. Previously Shimano already introduced Ultegra and 105 hydro brakes and Sora mechanical disc brakes while unconfirmed sources state that Dura-Ace road-specific hydraulic disc brakes will be next.

During the 2016 road race season the UCI carefully monitors the use of disc brakes across all divisions of UCI professional road teams with a view to definitively allowing them to be used in road cycling from 2017. If that will be the case the road race market will see widespread use of hydro brakes. A 2015 test with the use of disc brakes in professional road race was already very successful.

Tiagra is Shimano’s fourth level road race after Dura-Ace, Ultegra, and 105. The Tiagra BR-RS405 unit is designed with a flat mount brake caliper and a mechanical hydraulic shifting lever (ST-RS405). The group set comes with a 140mm or 160mm rotor featuring Shimano’s ICE Technology cooling system. This is designed to dissipate heat and provide more braking power when needed, as well as providing consistent braking performance in all weather conditions and with all rim types.

You can read the entire article here.

Tinkoff's final Driedaagse de Panne report:

Note: I also posted this on the Depanne stage 3b page.

Tinkoff's Polish time trial specialist, Maciej Bodnar, had been focused on the final stage time trial at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde since losing a chunk of time on the tough opening stage, and he delivered on his promise to give it everything, racing to victory over the 14.2km course.

It came down to the wire in the end with Maciej finishing in a time of 17'39", less than a second ahead of the other podium places, but it was enough to take the top step of the podium, the second time that he has won this stage after his victory in the 2014 edition of the race.

"Of course I'm extremely happy to win today, it's a really nice victory," Maciej confirmed after his podium duties. "It's nice to take my second win in this race. In addition, the fact that I finished ahead of some strong specialists like Tony Martin is very encouraging for me, and I'm really satisfied with that.

Maciej Bodnar

Maciej Bodnar on his stage-winning ride

"It's a pity that the first day didn't go as planned, and afterwards my chances for the GC were very limited. It was visible that the work to help and support Peter Sagan at E3 and Gent - Wevelgem took its toll on my form. So I'm happy that I've recovered and could take the win today. Also, the fact that I started the TT early meant that I had less time to recover than the guys starting later, yet I still felt very strong which is a good sign. Now I'm looking forward to the next races starting with Flanders on Sunday."

The time trial followed the same route as it has done for a number of years now, racing around the city streets of De Panne, on a largely straight forward course that suits the specialists. There were three hair pin turns to negotiate but the roads were largely fast and open meaning that power was of importance. Maciej won this stage back in 2014, on his way to third place overall in the race, and so he knew what was needed to take victory here.

Pavel Brutt also had a strong ride, finishing 25th, 1'04" down on his teammate. Juraj Sagan and Nikolay Trusov went into the stage in 17th and 19th overall, but with the TT not so much of a focus for either they slipped back to 27th and 20th respectively.

Having followed Maciej in the car during his effort, Sport Director Patxi Villa was very happy with the win. "It was a really strong ride, he was focused, paced himself well, everything went perfectly - he really deserves the win. He was second at the Vuelta time trial last year and is consistently in the top ten, and is still improving, but it all came together today. He showed he's one of the best guys for this in the pro peloton.

"We've lost a few races by very small margins recently so to be on the other side is a nice feeling. It's good for the moral of the team and also for Bodnar. The whole team here did a great job, from the staff to the riders, but at the end he had to do the pedalling. I'm really really happy for him as he's a great guy and works really hard for the team so it's nice to get his reward too."

LottoNL-Jumbo's plans for Vuelta al País Vasco

The team sent me this update:

Robert Gesink will lead Team LottoNL-Jumbo during the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco next week. In the Basque Country, Gesink will be able to show that he progressed during the Volta Catalunya. The Spanish stage race is an important moment for Wilco Kelderman, as well.

Robert Gesink

Robert Gesink

“The development of our riders is always important,” Sports Director Addy Engels said. “For Robert Gesink, this race is shortly after the Volta a Catalunya. He seemed the reach a high level in that race, but the decisive GC days were too short. It’s possible that he needed that race to reach his top form.”

That final step should make sure that he can play a role in the general classification fight in the Basque Country. “Normally, Wilco Kelderman can do that, as well,” Engels continued. “He missed the Volta a Catalunya, though. País Vasco is one of the most difficult races of the year and you have to be in absolute top condition to deliver there. We’re not sure if Wilco has that condition.”

Besides the two overall riders, Team LottoNL-Jumbo takes two guns for the stages. “Paul Martens and Enrico Battaglin are able to compete for stage victories if a bunch is going to the line. Besides that, Bert-Jan Lindeman might have a chance in the breakaways. This race is a new experience for Koen Bouwman. He can ride without any pressure to perform."

Line-up: Enrico Battaglin, George Bennett, Koen Bouwman, Victor Campenaerts, Robert Gesink, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens en Wilco Kelderman.

Sports Directors: Addy Engels en Merijn Zeeman.

And here's Lampre-Merida's Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco news:

Two top riders from Lampre-Merida will led the blue-fuchsia-green team in an important appointment as the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, World Tour race which is scheduled from the 4th to the 9th of April.

Sports directors Marzano and Maini will rely also on a group of young talented riders as Conti, Meintjes, Petilli and Polanc and on two experienced athletes as Mori and Mario Costa.

These are the members of the team's staff: physician Dr Guardascione, masseurs Della Torre, Lima and Napolitano, mechanics Coelho, Pengo and Romanò, driver Luigi Saronni.

After having taken part in the Milano-Sanremo, Ulissi spent a period of training in altitude on Etna volcano, together with two team mates which will be with in in the Pais Vasco who are Mori and Conti: the main goals for the Tuscan riders will be the stage victories.

The other top cyclist of the blue-fuchsia-green team will be Rui Costa, whose ambitions will cover both the stage hunting and the top part of the overall classification.

The young talents Conti, Petilli and Polanc will have the task to join the breakaways.

Meintjes will evaluate day by day his condition: he crashed during Volta a Catalunya and he quitted the race, so he'll need to size his ambitions depending on his fit.

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