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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. - Susan B. Anthony

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Lotto-Soudal riders recon the Classics

The team sent me this update:

This past weekend, five Lotto Soudal riders did a recon of the Flemish Ardennes, together with sports director Herman Frison. On Saturday Tiesj Benoot, Frederik Frison, Moreno Hofland, Nikolas Maes and Jürgen Roelandts rode about 140 kilometres on the roads of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. One day later, they covered 200 kilometres to memorize the course of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and E3 Harelbeke.

Moreno Hofland

Moreno Hofland (shown winning a stage in the 2015 Tour of Yorkshire) was part of the Lotto-Soudal recon group

Sports director Herman Frison: “Some guys already know the area very well of course, but others much less. And it’s useful to see the hills and cobbles again, also for me. It has been ten months since we raced on these roads and during such a training you see things that could be important in the race. We have chosen to do the recon this weekend because there’s a risk that the weather will be bad a few days before the Omloop and then you can’t move the date anymore. Now we were able to do these recons without stress and without much rain. Such rides are also perfect to test the tubes and tyre pressure.

Team Sunweb headed to Tour of Oman

Here's the team's report:

The peloton takes on the roads of Oman for a six day stage race starting next Tuesday, 14th February. The 2017 edition of the Tour of Oman has the hilliest parcours in the race's history. The race will see a mountain top finish, a hilltop finish, two stages with climbs towards the end of the race alongside two sprint finishes. It's expected that the general classification will be decided on on the decisive Green Mountain, the day before the race finishes. The race provides the toughest conditions of the season so far, and will allow riders the chance to test their legs after the winter break.

Max Walsheid

Max Walsheid winning stage 9 at the 2016 Tour of Hainan

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: "The Tour of Oman is a great race and a good way for all of our riders to start their season. It will be a race to get back into the rhythm of things after a good rest and preparation period during the winter. It is also a good opportunity to go for our own successes early on in the season. We have a good balanced group with experienced riders and we hope for some chances in the sprint where Max [Walscheid] will try to finish the work done by the rest of the team. We're looking forward to a good race in Oman."

GoPro misses Q4 revenue target, posts $115M loss

This piece came to me from Bicycle Retailer & Industry News:

SAN MATEO, Calif. (BRAIN) — GoPro Inc. on Thursday reported a widened fourth-quarter net loss of $115.7 million — its fifth consecutive quarter in the red — and a full-year loss of $419 million, capping a tumultuous year that included production issues and delayed holiday delivery for the company's Hero5 Black premium action camera and the recall of its Karma drone, which went back on sale Wednesday after three months off the market.

Although GoPro posted its second-highest quarterly revenue in company history for Q4, the $540.6 million — up 23.8 percent from a year earlier — fell short of analyst expectations. For the full year, GoPro reported revenue of $1.19 billion, down 26.8 percent from $1.62 billion in 2015.

GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman acknowledged "missteps that led to a shortfall of our revenue guidance" for the quarter, including production issues that compromised product launch volumes and impacted revenue. Slim inventory of Hero5 Blacks spurred many retailers to cancel marketing support for the camera's launch, he noted.

"We believe we missed an important opportunity to capture perishable demand during the holiday," Woodman said.

Still, he characterized 2016 as a successful year for GoPro, rolling out the Hero5 line, the Karma Grip hand-held and wearable stabilizer, the Quik mobile and desktop applications, and the GoPro Plus cloud service.

"We entered 2017 with the most advanced yet simplest-to-use products and services in GoPro's history, and created an experience that delivers the best storytelling solution for the GoPro community. Big investments in hardware, cloud and mobile have yielded a solid foundational experience for our customers — one that we will continue to build upon in 2017," Woodman said.

For the current first quarter, GoPro is projecting revenue of $190 million-$210 million, up from sales of $183.5 million a year earlier but well below analyst expectations for the period.

You can read the entire story here.

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