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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 4, 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 only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable – John Kenneth Galbraith

Today's racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour of Poland stage 6 news

We'll start with report from stage winner Jack Haig's Orica-Scott team:

23-year-old Jack Haig took an impressive solo victory today for ORICA-SCOTT on a tough stage six at the Tour of Poland. The Victorian rider attacked from a reduced front group inside the final 20kilometres and opened up a 50second advantage to claim his first professional victory and the second stage victory this week for ORICA-SCOTT.

The team’s general classification hopeful Adam Yates worked hard to cover the moves in small chasing group behind, eventually crossing the line in ninth place to move up to sixth place overall.

Haig was ecstatic to take the victory today in the WorldTour race on what was a tough and hilly stage. “I’m super happy to get the win today after trying on stage three and coming relatively close, so to be able to try again and have good enough legs to stay away and pull of the win this time was quite special,” Haig explained. “I think to do it on a stage that was so hard and with so many good guys preparing for the Vuelta, it made it even more special.”

“It was also nice to show all the hard work that I’ve put in over the last couple of years and especially the past couple of weeks training in Andorra preparing for this and the Vuelta. Today showed I had good legs to be able to attack the way that I did, stay away to the finish and still have a bit of a gap. It’s a really good feeling.”

Sport director Dave McPartland was pleased the team was able to take their second victory of the week but also acknowledged the great teamwork and commitment from the riders during today's stage. “Today was a dream day for us, everything went perfectly and the whole team committed and worked together so well, so it is great to come away with this win,” said McPartland.

“Once we were on the final lap we tried to use our numbers as we still had four riders left in the reduced front group. Ruben Plaza started it off, followed by Rob Power and they set it all up well as the group reduced even more leaving Haig and Yates in the front.

“Once Jack had a gap, Yates did an awesome job behind covering all the moves, but Jack showed today he had the legs and the engine to finish it off.”

Jack Haig

Jack Haig rides away from the field.

How it happened:

The sixth stage of the Tour of Poland began aggressively with multiple attacks but no riders were able to snap the elastic and break free early on.

It took over one hour for a breakaway to finally establish as three riders, Antwan Tolhoek (Lotto-Jumbo), Moreno Moser (Astana) and Adam Stachowiak (BDC Team) opened up a sizeable advantage.

The peloton settled into a rhythm and the leader's were able to ride out to a maximum advantage of five and a half minutes. The second half of the stage featured tough first category climbs and the leaders time gap rapidly began to drop to just one minute with 50kilometres still remaining.

ORICA-SCOTT began to attack and split the race with Power successfully bridging across to the remaining solo leading rider. As the race headed up the continuous short punchy climbs, the race came back together again but with the front bunch fragmented down to just 25riders including Haig and Yates.

With less than 20kilometres to go the group continued to reduce leaving just 14riders at the head of the race when Haig put the pressure on and was able to breakaway solo, quickly opening up a 45second advantage.

Being no real threat to the overall contenders, Haig was able to maintain his advantage as the kilometres ticked down with Yates waiting patiently behind, covering all the counter attacks.

Haig crossed the line 51seconds ahead of second place with Yates finishing ninth which moves him up two places overall with just one stage remaining tomorrow.

UAE Team Emirates sent me this Poland Tour update:

Rui Costa has garnered an excellent fourth place in the difficult fraction that took the riders to Zakopane, and he has earned two positions in the classification to make it into the Top Ten. Now the Portuguese color bearer for UAE Team Emirates is ninth, 28’’ behind the new leader in the General, Belgian Dylan Teuns.

“Today was a very hard day” says Costa.  “I was at the limit for a long time, but considering how things turned out, apparently so was everyone else. As I was saying, I wasn’t feeling very good, so making it to fourth place and passing into the Top Ten can only satisfy me. Tomorrow will be a very complicated day, considering the first ten riders in the General are all contained within 30 seconds.”

Today’s victory went to the young Australian Jack Haig (Orica), who came ahead of Wout Poels (Sky) and Bob Jungels (Quick-Step), in that order.

Tomorrow is the seventh and last stage of this Tour de Pologne, the Bukovina Resort – Bukovina Tatrzanska, which is a 66 km loop to be repeated twice, with seven GPM primes and a high altitude arrival.

Lotto-Soudal medical updates on Roelandts, Frison & Hansen

Here you find a medical update on three Lotto Soudal riders: Jürgen Roelandts had to undergo hip surgery, Frederik Frison has glandular fever [Mononucleosis] and Adam Hansen is recovering from saddle sore.

Tuesday, Jürgen Roelandts underwent hip surgery at AZ Herentals. The former Belgian champion suffered from impingement. A problem that was bothering him for a while now. An operation was necessary to remove cartilage. Roelandts needs a long rehabilitation and probably won’t be racing anymore this season.

Jurgen Roelandts

Jurgen Roelandts climbs in the 2016 Giro d'Italia

Frederik Frison has glandular fever. The 25-year-old rider was working on his comeback after a crash in the first stage of Quatre Jours de Dunkerque in May in which he incurred a pelvis fracture. At the moment he needs to rest and shouldn’t train. He is closely monitored by the medical staff of Lotto Soudal. When they give the green light Frison can resume his training, but it is impossible to tell when that will be.

Adam Hansen suffered from saddle sore in the last Tour week. The Aussie is taking some rest while the injury is healing.

Victor Campenaerts wins European time trial championship

LottoNL-Jumbo sent me this item:

Victor Campenaerts is the new European champion time trial. It took the 25-year-old rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo 53 minutes and 12 seconds to finish during the 46 kilometres individual time trial. Jos van Emden was Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s second rider in the top ten at the fifth place. It’s already Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s sixth victory on the Bianchi Aquila CV time trial bike.

Victor Campenaerts had a good start. “I felt well from the beginning and my Pioneer confirmed that soon”, stated the new European champion afterwards. “I could maintain a high pace until the finish. I always try to get the best out of my time trials. The fact that this results in an European title is amazing.”

Victor Campenaerts

Victor Campenaerts in the 2016 Vuelta

It’s already the second European time trial title for the Belgian rider. In 2013 he was the best of his continent in the U23-category. “Afterwards, I turned professional. The difference between the U23-category and the professionals is huge. Despite that, I stayed focussed. I made a lot of progress over the past years and I’m very happy with my new jersey after I lost my Belgian stripes because of a crash.”

He beat renowned riders in Danish Herning and took his second victory of the season. “I had much competition today. Maciej Bodnar recently won the time trial in the Tour de France, for example. That says enough. Fortunately, I could beat him today. I’m looking forward to show my European jersey in the Tour of Britain.”

Alberto Bettiol to Join BMC Racing Team in 2018

The team sent me this news:

3 August, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Alberto Bettiol, 23, will join BMC Racing Team's ranks from 2018, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Bettiol has recorded a string of top ten results at UCI WorldTour one-day and stage races since turning professional in 2014. "Alberto Bettiol may only be 23 years old but he has been in the WorldTour for a few years now and has some very good results to his name, even recently at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian where he finished in sixth place against some of the best climbers in the world," Ochowicz explained.

"Alberto has a diverse set of racing skills and we are looking forward to helping him grow with BMC Racing Team when it comes to the Classics and time trials, which I think will be a natural progression for him. It's important to bring on riders who show this kind of potential so we are pleased to welcome Alberto to BMC Racing Team."

For Bettiol, BMC Racing Team represents a chance to race with one of the biggest WorldTour teams. "I've always seen BMC Racing Team as an incredibly professional team, one of the biggest teams in the WorldTour, if not the biggest team. Whatever my role will be, I'll do my best. I am looking forward to the opportunity to race with a champion like Greg Van Avermaet and learn from him and the rest of the team for the cobbled Classics," Bettiol said.

"My goal is to keep growing as a rider, as I have in the last years, and to improve my time trial skills, which is another reason why I wanted to come to BMC Racing Team, one of the best time trial teams in the world."

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

Mikel Nieve moves from Sky to Orica-Scott

Orica-Scott sent me this news:

Fresh off his contribution to a successful yellow jersey defense at the Tour de France, ORICA-SCOTT confirms Mikel Nieve will join their ranks for the next two seasons.

Nieve, one of Spain's most talented climbers, will continue to bolster the growing, maturing general classification group that supports British brothers Simon and Adam Yates and Colombian Esteban Chaves. The 33-year-old’s signing comes as the Australian WorldTour outfit continues to sharpen it’s GC focus following back-to-back white jerseys at the Tour de France and podium finishes at the 2016 Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Nieve, who has supported Chris Froome in his last two Tour de France triumphs, identified the growing talent in ORICA-SCOTT’s squad and the potential that lies ahead.

Mikel Nieve

Mikel Nieve climbs in stage 13 of the 2016 Giro d'Italia

“I especially know Esteban and the Yates brothers,” Nieve said. “Despite being very young, they have a great talent and have achieved important things. I would like to help the team to get more important victories and be part of it. I would like to be in the big races, I would like to be important on mountain stages and being close to those three guys to give them a hand.

“From the outside I've always liked how ORICA-SCOTT work and the atmosphere that is seen between them. I think they have a nice way to live cycling and I want to be part of it.”

After adding Roman Kreuziger to the team last year, sport director Matt White said Nieve is another strong signing for one of the team’s new focuses. “Signing Nieve is bolstering the armada we are building in backing up our young general classification riders,” White said. “Last year we could add Roman Kreuziger and now Mikel comes with the same level of experience. They have both been part of teams that have won the biggest races in the world and he is certainly going to be of great value to our general classification trio.”

Mikel Nieve
Date of Birth: 26th May 1984 (33)
From: Leitza, Spain
Turned Professional: 2008

Major results:

- Two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner (2016, 2011)
- 2016 Giro d’Italia – Mountains Classification
- Vuelta a Espana stage winner (2010)
- Supported Chris Froome to past two Tour de France victories

Interbike heads to Reno-Tahoe for 2018 show

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this important industry update:

August 3, 2017, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike announced Thursday that its 2018 show will be held in Reno, Nevada's, Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

The three-day trade show in Reno will be preceded by a two-day consumer festival at Northstar California Resort in Tahoe, followed by a day-and-a-half-long trade demo event at Northstar before moving inside for the trade-only show at the convention center. Interbike has contracted the convention center through 2022. The full event is being called Interbike Marketweek.

"We're extremely excited about this move for a multitude of reasons," said Pat Hus, the vice president of Interbike. "For the first time in a very long time, we've been able to hit the reset button on Interbike and OutDoor Demo and give the industry something new and fresh that we couldn't do in our previous locations. With the support and investment from the city of Reno we are going to be able to truly create a one-of-a-kind, weeklong celebration and experience around cycling. We also recognize that this is a critical time in our industry and that we need to provide a more cost-effective approach to exhibiting at the show, and we are now able to provide that."

Hus also mentioned that the climate in Reno will allow show-goers to ride bikes to and from the venue, and enjoy lunch outside. The show plans to provide a fleet of share bikes for transportation.

This year's show is at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Convention Center next month.

"Las Vegas has been a great home and we appreciate their partnership over the years," Hus said. "However, Reno-Tahoe gives us an unmatched blend of world-class venue for a consumer festival and the OutDoor Demo, state-of-the-art convention center, fantastic hotel choices, robust nightlife and a more intimate environment of welcome and celebration. Cycling will be the center of attention for the Reno-Tahoe area for the entire week. The Reno-Tahoe experience will be personable, affordable and picturesque for all attendees."

You can read the entire story here.

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