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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 28, 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

Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. - Groucho Marx

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Back-to-back races in China for Mitchelton-Scott as 2017 draws to a close

The team posted this news:

The 12th Tour of Hainan will be first up for Australian/Chinese continental outfit Mitchelton-SCOTT followed immediately by the Tour of Fuzhou three days later.
China’s premier stage race will start and finish in Wanning-Xinglong for the third consecutive year with 2017 also witnessing the longest ever edition of the UCI 2.HC event as the race celebrates its 12th anniversary.

The tropical island is China’s southernmost point and famed for it’s idyllic beaches and mountainous interior, however the course will provide plenty of sprint opportunities the with serious climbs coming late in the race.

“We know from previous editions that there will be plenty of sprint finishes to the stages,” said sport director James Victor. “These opportunities allow us to work towards the ongoing development of Robert Stannard whilst we look to Jai Hindley for a tilt at the overall classification.”

“The big question will be the racing form of the guys, after a long season starting back in January in Australia and following on to record the most successful European campaign on record, we now have some demanding races in China to close out the year.

“Although the early stages lean more towards the sprinters it will still be important to race attentively with stage seven a real GC day that includes a category one climb that crests only 12kilometres from the finish.”

Australian U23 national road race champion Samuel Jenner rounds out the team’s three Australian riders with the Chinese contingent represented by Xiaolong Sun, Jiankin Liu, Fuwen Xue and Chao Hua Xue.

“These races provide another great opportunity to further improve our ongoing Australian-Chinese relations,” continued Victor. “We have a great group of athletes working together towards a common goal with some challenging racing ahead over demanding terrain.”

“The five-day Tour of Fuzhou will follow Hainan, so there’s some hard work still ahead for the team, but also some strong performances within their reach.”

Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Tour of Hainan (28th October – 5th November):

Tour of Hainan stages:

Davide Martinelli looks back on his second season with Quick-Step Floors and talks about his ambitions for next year

Team Quick-Step Floors posted this feature piece:

After a great trip to China for the first ever Tour of Guangxi, where we succeeded four out of six times with Fernando Gaviria plus taking the points jersey with him and the white jersey with Julian Alaphilippe, it is finally time to relax a bit.

It has been a great learning experience for me this season. I did my first Grand Tour this year, the 100th edition of Giro d'Italia, which was an incredible experience on a personal and physical level. You really change your mindset and develop your engine during and after such a hard, long race, spending so many hours in the saddle and staying focused and alert over such a long period. Today I feel that after hours of racing I am able to do a real effort close to my best performance, even after 200 kilometers I can do a good sprint. Last year, after 5 hours of racing, I wasn't worth much.

Davide Martinelli

Davide Martinelli winning the first stage of the 2016 Tour of Poland

My plan for the next month or so is to enjoy a bit of off-season with family, girlfriend and friends. My off-period is not so long, because I raced in China, but the good thing about that is I can start a bit easier because I finished with a high-level effort in a good condition.

I will enjoy some weekend trips to Bilbao and Napoli to see Costiera Amalfitana and Reggia di Caserta but otherwise will stay at home, which feels like vacation as you travel so much as a cyclist. I live in the beautiful province of Brescia in the commune of Rovato, in a small, small village with only 1000 inhabitants. I was born and raced here, and my cycling adventure started in this very area, now many years ago.

I started cycling when I was only 7 years old. My father was also a cyclist and is now a sports director at Astana. When you come from a family cycling is always the topic of discussion, it was like mathematics that I should start cycling as well. I only stopped for two years to try football from when I was 11 to 13, but I quickly returned to cycling again, it was my sport, my métier.

When you are 14-15 years old you start to think about your future, if you want to become a cyclist or if it's just for fun, but I was sure I wanted to become a pro rider. From that point on it became more serious with the training, I was more focused than before, which paid off when I was 16-17 years and started to get good results, both in local and regional races. I won my first regional title in 2009 as a 16-year-old and as junior I won my first national title. It gave a lot of motivation and when I turned pro with Quick-Step Floors two years ago I had won four national titles.

I think I have a lot of the same characteristics as my father, Giuseppe Martinelli, who was second in the Olympic Games in Montreal, in 1976, and won a few stages in Giro and Vuelta in his career. A fast guy but not a real sprinter and quite okay on an up-and-down parcourse. We talk a lot about cycling and my races. In the Giro d'Italia he was also there for Astana, so in the evening we spoke for a few minutes about the day overall. A really nice experience!

My goal is to perform better on smaller climbs, on difficult up and down parcourse and to be able to drop the real sprinters and take a victory without the very fast guys being around. This season I have experienced that the level is really high on the climbs and that my level is not there yet, but I hope to improve this over the next years.

On the other hand, I also like the role I have on the team now, being part of the lead-out for Fernando. I am quite good in this discipline because I can do a long sprint. However, I don't know my limits yet and I am very motivated to see how far I can go, even with my time trial performance, which was my big love and where I got my biggest results as a junior and U23. I am in the best place I could dream of, I am able to develop as a rider with Quick-Step Floors, I get my own chances, I win with my teammates. Of course it is never easy to win but all the riders get their chance here and this year we once again proved to be the best team in the world!

Mavic/Enve sales down 10% in first three quarters

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News sent me this update:

HELSINKI, Finland (BRAIN) — Sales in Amer Sports' cycling division, which comprises Mavic and Enve, were down 10 percent through the first nine months of the company's fiscal year, and down 8 percent in the third quarter. The company said its bike-related sales were hurt by high OEM and retail inventories. 

Amer's cycling division racked up sales of 100.6 million euros ($118 million) in the nine-month period, down from 112 million euros in the same period in 2016. The company does not release separate sales performance data for the two brands.

Amer had slightly better news to report in most of its other categories. Net sales were up 3 percent in local currencies in the outdoor division, which includes cycling, sports instruments (Suunto), outdoor clothing (Arc’teryx) and outdoor footwear. Net sales in Amer's ball sports division were down 1 percent. Net sales in its fitness division were up 3 percent.

Across all its categories, Amer recorded net sales of 1.882 billion euros, a net increase of 2 percent in local currencies.

You can read the entire story here.

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