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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 26, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish. - Ovid

Upcoming racing:

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Matti Breschel back with Slipstream Sports in 2018

The team sent me this release:

Slipstream Sports is excited to announce Matti Breschel will wear argyle in 2018. The Dane spent the 2016 season riding for Cannondale-Drapac, leaving for Astana at the end of the year. He’s back on a one-year deal that will see him focus on the classics and grand tours.

“It’s great to be back,” said Breschel. “I’m really happy. I never really wanted to leave the team. I was a bit sad when I’m left, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to return.”

“During Matti’s first year with us, he wasn’t really able to perform to his usual standards,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He was sick for most of the spring and he crashed out of the Tour. He’s a huge talent, and we’re confident his experience and horsepower will be vital to our young team.”

The squad Breschel returns to is markedly different from the one we rode for in 2016. “We’re a much stronger squad in 2018, especially on the classics side,” said Breschel. “That’s where I fit in, and I’m looking forward to helping Sep [Vanmarcke]. He’s the guy that can finish it off, and we didn’t necessarily have that the last time I was here. It’s going to be a real challenge to get him up for the win, but I think we’re up for it. We’re one of the stronger teams in the classics on paper – that’s the way I see it at least.”

Breschel has recorded 21 professional wins during a career that has spanned 14 seasons. His first victory was a stage win at Post Danmark Rundt in 2007. His most recent win was at the same race in 2015.

Matti Breaschel

Matti Breschel winning at the 2015 Tour of Denmark

“I would love to start winning again or maybe just one win would be enough,” said Breschel. “But if we can win a classic, a big one, or if I can be part of a winning team in a grand tour, that would be great, too. I realize those are pretty high expectations, but I’m really motivated. This is a strong squad with some really interesting names on it, and I definitely think we can do big things next year.”

Cedric Vasseur new Cofidis general manger, replacing Yves Sanquer

Here's the team's news posting, please forgive the loose translation.

In an ever more competitive sporting world, professional cycling teams must find the levers that will enable them to sustainably guarantee that they remain at the highest level of the sports pyramid. For our team, which competes on the European continental circuit, we need to win a wild card in the main events of the World Tour circuit. The only way to achieve this is to be an essential team, thanks, in particular, to good results. This was, unfortunately, no longer the case in recent years.

The results were not at the expected level, and the media visibility of Cofidis was affected. It was urgent to get the team back on track, with a new project and on a new basis. For that, it needed a man who best embodies this new impulse. It will be Cédric Vasseur, new General Manager of the team.

This 47-year-old trained engineer knows the world and the actors of professional cycling. After retiring from his sports career in 2007, Cédric Vasseur chaired the International Association of Professional Racers for two years. But it is mainly through his consulting activity that he became known by the public, commenting on the biggest TV events on the RTBF or French Television, for example.

Cedric Vasseur

Vasseur as a racer and now, to be a team manager.

His various experiences have allowed Cédric Vasseur to stay close to the bike industry, while taking an external look at the evolution of cycling. It is this new and different look that will allow him to build a new ambitious, motivating and realistic project for the Cofidis-Crédits Solutions team.

Thierry Vittu, President of Cofidis Competition: "I chose to entrust Cédric Vasseur with the responsibility for the team because he is a man I know well and who has all my confidence. We share the same values, the same convictions. I offered him a challenge, and I know he is happy and eager to work on it. We are on the same wavelength, him and me."

Jim Ochowicz: Celebrating BMC Racing Team's success in 2017

BMC sent me this update:

25 October, 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA). The 2017 season officially wrapped up yesterday with the final stage of the Tour of Guangxi and I'm proud to say that 2017 has been one of the most successful seasons in BMC Racing Team's history. We are finishing the season with 48 wins, the highest number ever recorded by our team and by a long way too. Of the 48 wins, 22 were at UCI WorldTour races and six were national titles. Not only did we win a lot of races, but more than half were at the highest level possible which is a testament to our riders and the entire organization. We are also very excited to see Greg Van Avermaet win the UCI WorldTour Individual Ranking after what has been an incredible year for Greg. This is a great achievement and recognition of Greg's success in 2017, as is BMC Racing Team's third place overall in the UCI WorldTour Team Ranking.

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet racing at Paris-Roubaix this year, which he won.

As a team, we are proud of all 48 of our wins. This season was in some ways a year of firsts for many of our riders. Seeing Greg ride into the velodrome in Roubaix, after an already-stellar spring classics season, and deliver his and BMC Racing Team's first Monument win was truly impressive. Miles Scotson won the Australian Road Race Championship in his first race with BMC Racing Team, Richie Porte won the Santos Tour Down Under for the first time, Ben Hermans won his first stage race at the Tour of Oman, Silvan Dillier and Tejay van Garderen experienced their first individual Grand Tour stage win, and Dylan Teuns claimed his first professional win at the VOO Tour de Wallonie and then went on to win another seven more races, including the overall title at the Tour of Poland, all in a space of two months. Of course, these are just a handful of examples of our victories throughout the season and every single rider, whether they were the one on the top step of the podium or the rider pulling at the front of the peloton to do their part, deserves to be congratulated for their contribution to the 2017 season.

In 2017, we welcomed TAG Heuer, ASSOS of Switzerland, and Vittoria to our already strong portfolio of partners. It is thanks to our title sponsor BMC Switzerland and all of our partners that we are able to be at the start line day in, day out and win races. The support from our partners is invaluable so I can't do anything more than say a big thank you to our network of partners for their support throughout the season. We look forward to working with our existing and new partners in 2018 and representing them in the best possible way.

Looking to 2018

In 2018, we will reduce our rider roster from 29 riders to 24 riders which is aligned with our race calendar and the reduced number of riders per team at certain races next year. We are saying goodbye to a number of riders who are moving on or retiring, many of whom have been with BMC Racing Team for quite a few years. I want to say thank you to these riders and wish them all the best in the coming years. We are excited to welcome four new riders to the team: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Patrick Bevin (NZ), Simon Gerrans (AUS) and Jürgen Roelandts (BEL). All four of these riders bring a wealth of experience and a diverse skill set to the team, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do in the BMC Racing Team kit. We have a strong team and we will continue to work hard to achieve our collective goals in 2018.

Finally, thank you to all of our fans for their support throughout the year. Whether it's cheering the riders on at the roadside or from home around the world, we wouldn't be where we are without our fan base.

Here's to continuing our success in 2018!

Jim Ochowicz
General Manager, BMC Racing Team

BMC Racing Team 2018 Rider Roster:

Patrick BEVIN (NZ)
Damiano CARUSO (ITA)
Alessandro DE MARCHI (ITA)
Stefan KÜNG (SUI)
Richie PORTE (AUS)
Nicolas ROCHE (IRL)
Michael SCHÄR (SUI)
Francisco VENTOSO (ESP)
Danilo WYSS (SUI)

EU industry wants more measures to limit E-Bike imports from China

Bike Europe sent me this update on the growing controversy:

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Last Friday, 20 October 2017, by the European Commission announced investigation on the alleged dumping of e-bikes on the European markets by China, more measures are to come. At least that is what the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) is aiming for. EBMA also initiated the dumping investigation.

In order to limit the flow of dumped e-bikes from China which, according to EBMA, “are flooding the EU at an alarming rate and at artificially low prices,” two more measures are requested for by the industry association.

The two measures that EBMA wants, are the immediate registration of Chinese e-bike imports and an investigation on huge subsidies granted by the Chinese government to e-bike manufacturers.

As for the immediate registration of Chinese e-bike imports Moreno Fioravanti, EBMA’s Secretary General, says “We have asked the European Commission for this as it will allow the EU anti-dumping duties to be imposed retroactively.”

It means that at every European port the e-bike import from China will be scrutinized for its origin per manufacturer in China as well as for the importing company in the EU. This brings the possibility to charge the anti-dumping duty or the provisional duty once imposed afterwards on the importing company.

The other extra measure EBMA is also aiming for is to have the European Commission to instigate an anti-subsidy investigation on e-bike manufacturers in China. Moreno Fioravanti says on this “Chinese e-bike exporters benefit from massive subsidies from government bodies at every level in China. Those subsidies have encouraged enormous e-bike manufacturing overcapacities, which are then dumped in the EU.”

The EBMA Secretary General also claims “EBMA and the EU manufacturers of bicycles, e-bikes, and components are firm believers in free trade, but trade must also be fair. Injuring domestic producers through imports which are dumped and heavily government-subsidized is against the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. We have asked the Commission to order the registration of Chinese e-bikes as soon as possible so that the blatant disregard of trade rules by Chinese e-bike manufacturers can be stopped quickly. We are confident that the Commission will make a thorough analysis and confirm the massive scale of dumping from China which is injuring EU producers and destroying sustainable manufacturing jobs, Innovation, growth and investment in Europe.”

You can read the entire story here.

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