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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, August 6, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care. - Jimmy Buffett

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour of Poland stage two reports

We posted the report from stage winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team with the stage two results

Here's the update from second-place Alvaro Hodeg's Team Quick-Step:

For the second straight day, Alvaro Hodeg concluded runner-up at the Tour de Pologne, this time after the sprint trains – who have long fought for positioning after catching the five-man breakaway – got derailed by a late attacked launched by two riders as the peloton was entering the closing kilometer, one featuring several corners and a downhill finishing straight.

Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv, who was leading Alvaro at the moment the bunch split, found himself at the front together with three other riders and had nothing to do than open his sprint, in an attempt to take advantage of the chaos that ensued, but the effort he put in up until that point took its toll eventually, as from behind, race leader Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) launched his acceleration, cut across the road with Hodeg on his wheel and overhauled the men in the front to take the win.

Pascal Ackermann wins stage two

Pascal Ackermann wins the second stage ahead of Quick-Step's Alvaro Hodeg

Alvaro came over the line in second and notched up Quick-Step Floors' 54th World Tour podium of the season, one that puts our squad's first place in the team classification beyond reach for the next two weeks: "The final was really crazy! When the two Polish riders attacked and Michael went with them, I waited in the pack in case it came back together, which it did. The guys were great once again and I was hoping to reward them with a victory, but unfortunately I faced a stronger opponent. Of course I am disappointed, but I will look to draw motivation from this defeat."

Lotto-Soudal promotes three trainees to its World Tour team

Lotto-Soudal sent me this release:

From the beginning of this month until the end of the season, three U23 riders of Lotto Soudal will join the WorldTour team. During this period, Stan Dewulf, Gerben Thijssen and Brent Van Moer get to experience the life of professional cyclists.

In the previous seasons at the U23 team of Lotto Soudal, the 20-year-old Stan Dewulf already performed strongly. In 2017 he took podium places in the Tour de Bretagne, Olympia’s Tour and the Belgian Road Championships. This year, he added another impressive victory to his list of achievements by winning Paris-Roubaix U23 – the first Belgian U23 rider to do so in twenty years. Also sprinter Gerben Thijssen will get to know the characteristics of professional cycling. The twenty-year-old sprinted to victory at Brussels-Zepperen and the Zuidkempense Pijl. Besides his skills on the road, he also proved to be an excellent track cyclist by conquering the golden medal in the elimination race at the European Championships last year.  Brent Van Moer was the first one ever to cheer at the GP Rik Van Looy. In his first year as a U23 rider he immediately took a silver medal at the Belgian National Time Trial Championships.

Sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer: “Stan Dewulf performed strongly this season: he won Paris-Roubaix U23 and two stages in the Tryptique des Monts et Châteaux as well as in the Tour de Bretagne. He’s ready to learn from the WorldTour team. Stan is a typical rider who’s made for the Flemish Classics, but he is also able to take on the Ardennes Classics, proving his recent sixth place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

“Gerben Thijssen is a typical sprinter. He started as a track cyclist and joined our team two years ago. Last year, he already showed his many capacities, by – among others - winning a stage in the Olympia’s Tour. This year, he could already triumph several times. Since Gerben is certainly someone who will ride WorldTour races in the future, it’s key for him to experience cycling at an even higher level. He could learn a lot by riding with someone like André Greipel.”

“Brent Van Moer possesses a big engine: he’s a type of rider who performs well in the Flemish Classics, but he also showed his skills in the Giro d’Italia. He doesn’t win too often, but recently did win the Grote Prijs Rik Van Looy and finished second at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. It’s someone who performs consistently and could be of great value for a WorldTour team. All three of them are extremely motivated to race with the WorldTour team, to learn from the pros and to gain experience.”

Bicycle Supplier shipments up 6 percent in dollars through first half

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Bicycle Product Suppliers Association members shipped fewer bikes to dealers through the first half of the year, compared to last year. But even so, they tallied more dollar business.

Suppliers shipped 73,795 fewer bikes to retailers through the first six months of the year — a 6.4 percent drop from last year. But, through June, suppliers' business with retailers totaled $564.7 million, or up 6 percent from $532 million last year.

This suggests that suppliers are selling pricier bikes to dealers, and could reflect the impact of higher-value e-bikes. Shipments of electric bikes were up a whopping 83 percent through the first half.

You can read the entire story here.

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