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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Tour de France second rest day updates

We got several rest day notes from teams and manufacturers.

BMC will partner with Dimension Data

Here's BMC's post:

BMC Switzerland is excited to announce a new partnership with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, as of the 1st of January 2019, for three years. This is a significant move bringing innovative BMC bike technologies and BMC’s pedigree in World Tour cycling together with Team Dimension Data’s ambitions to forge a new age and truly global acting cycling team, offering much more than just ‘racing’ to its loyal fans and followers.

After the passing of BMC founder Andy Rihs this April, many stories around BMC Switzerland and its future in racing have been circulating. BMC is grateful to Continuum Sport, Jim Ochowicz and his team, operating the BMC Racing Team successfully over the past decade. We have enjoyed many major victories together, including the Tour de France, TTT World Championships and Olympic gold, which laid the important base, shaping the best and fastest road bikes in world. After this successful partnership it is now good timing for both sides to embrace change. BMC Switzerland wishes Jim Ochowicz and everyone at Continuum Sport all the best on their plans moving forward.

Richie porte

Richie Porte won the 2018 Tour of Switzerland riding for and on a BMC. Sirotti photo

This new partnership with Team Dimension Data now guarantees BMC’s future in World Tour cycling and Andy Rihs legacy and vision for innovative bikes and racing will live on. This is an exciting moment for all BMC supporters and fans around the globe to celebrate and get behind this new project. We are excited to share this next chapter with you.

“We are very thankful to Continuum Sports and all the riders for the success we have achieved together as the ‘BMC Racing Team’. BMC’s DNA is racing; this was driving Andy and is driving us today. We want to ensure Andy’s legacy and that of BMC continues in a sustainable and progressive manner, in line with today’s demands. Joining Team Dimension Data is much greater than purely ‘racing’, we will bring our credibility, building the fastest bikes in the world and combine our visions, being stronger together.” David Zurcher, CEO BMC Switzerland.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with BMC Switzerland as we take a significant step forward into the future for our team. BMC’s outstanding track record speaks for itself; and to be able to call on their world-leading technology starting 2019, will see us compete consistently among the very best teams on the World Tour. We are a team that, through title sponsor Dimension Data, are focused on innovation thanks to their ground-breaking technology and BMC joining us is a natural fit. The rise of Team Dimension for Qhubeka has been meteoric and this new partnership will ensure that trajectory is continued into the future. Our shared goals are completely aligned in the continued belief that ‘bicycles change lives’, through the Qhubeka charity, and we are delighted that BMC will continue this journey with us. Andy Rihs left an indelible mark on our sport; and it’s a privilege to be able to be the team that will continue to honour his legacy and the passion that he had for cycling”. Douglas Ryder, Principal Team Dimension Data

We encourage riders and fans to use the hashtag #WeRideForAndy in memory and solidarity for what Andy has given to the world of cycling and celebrate the remaining 2018 season.

BMC phonak

Since we're on the subject of BMC, our friends at South Salem Cycleworks have this beautiful, lightly used 57cm Phonak BMC for sale for $2,000.

Team Sky Boss Dave Brailsford claims spitting and booing at Sky riders is a "French Thing"

Unbelievably, the team with the doping questions and a rider who gets into fights during races blames the French for his team's problems. And somehow he believes that unless the French straighten themselves out, the teams won't come to the Tour. Here's the article from "The Telegraph":

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford believes the spitting, booing and physical intimidation to which his riders have been subjected at this Tour de France is a phenomenon particular to “French culture”, adding that unless French fans start to “respect top international teams” they may find they do not come any more.

Speaking on the Tour’s final rest day on Monday ahead of the first of five Pyrenean stages which will decide the race, Brailsford said the treatment being meted out to his team was unacceptable.

“I don’t think it’s going to stop,” he said. “I’m not too optimistic on that front. We’re trying to remain dignified, we’re trying not to react and we’re trying not to get distracted by it. But I don’t think spitting and throwing things has a place in professional sport.

“I’m not sure it’s got a place in everyday life but it seems to be the thing that’s done here. It’s a shame but we’re not going to let it distract us.”

Team Sky - who have dominated the Tour in recent years while at the same time finding themselves at the centre of a number of controversies - are unpopular with swathes of cycling fans, particularly in France. One fan was arrested on Alpe d’Huez last Thursday for allegedly punching Chris Froome, while another pushed him as he rode past.

Most of Team Sky’s riders and staff have been booed and spat at during the race, with Froome – whose long-running salbutamol case was thrown out on the eve of the Tour – far from the only target. Brailsford said it seemed to be “a French thing”.

You can read the entire story here.

Bianchi renews sponsorship deal with LottoNL-Jumbo

The team sent me this release:

Bianchi strengthens its investment in the World Tour cycling by renewing the sponsorship deal with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The partnership, started in 2014, has proved successful through a continuous and mutual development process both on the racing and product sides. Bianchi's commitment to provide the best racing bikes for each race condition has significantly contributed to the team's success over the last five years.

Primoz Roglic at the Tour de Romandie

Primoz Roglic on his Bianchi time trial machine in the 2018 Tour de Romandie. Sirotti photo.

The feedbacks and inputs from all riders and performance staff have supported Bianchi engineers to fine tune technologies and frame performance, leading the way to memorable victories.  Bianchi and Team LottoNL-Jumbo collected almost 100 victories so far, including Tour de France stage wins claimed by Lars Boom (2014), Primoz Roglic (Serre Chevalier 2017) and Dylan Groenewegen (Champs Elisées 2017, Chartres and Amiens Métropole 2018) but also Italian Enrico Battaglin's win in this year Giro d'Italia and Roglic’s overall victories in Itzulia Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia.

Yates twins re-up with Mitchelton-Scott

The team sent me this:

Two of cycling’s most exciting young climbers, British twins Adam and Simon Yates, will continue their journey with Mitchelton-SCOTT for the next two seasons, despite significant interest from other outfits.

Having joined the Australian outfit at the beginning of their professional careers in 2014, the new agreement continues the original ambitions set by the three parties – to develop into Grand Tour contenders. Since arriving with the team both riders have finished in the top ten and have won the best young rider jersey at the Tour de France. A podium is the very realistic next step.

This year alone the pair have taken seven UCI WorldTour victories, three of which Simon claimed whilst wearing the Giro d’Italia’s Maglia Rosa for 13 days.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates enjoying some quality time at the 2018 Giro d'Italia.

At just 25-years-old and already four and a half years with the team, head sport director Matt White said the partnership had and would continue to be an exciting and successful one. “The decision was made with our owner Gerry Ryan back in 2013 that we wanted to evolve into a team that could ride for general classification,” White said. “We then went about identifying young talent we believed in and developed them within our unique culture.”

“It’s ongoing process, but we have certainly come a long way in a very short amount of time. In just ten Grand Tour attempts, we have already achieved two podiums and seven top-ten results.

“We are proud of what we have achieved so far and we have an unwavering belief in these two young men. With their returned faith, we know even bigger things are on the horizon. Along with Esteban Chaves, we have three of the most promising talents of this generation. That is a very exciting prospect for the team moving forward.”

In May this year, Simon and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s performance in the opening fortnight of racing at the Giro d’Italia was unlike anything of recent times.  Their aggressive approach saw the Briton claim three of the team’s five stage victories in the Maglia Rosa.

That performance, along with second overall and stage wins at Paris-Nice and Tour of Romandie in the past two years has caught the eyes of many.

“I’m really pleased to stay with Mitchelton-SCOTT for other two seasons,” Simon Yates said. “As I have said all along, this was never a decision about money, this is about winning bike races. This team has believed in us from the beginning and given us opportunities to ride as leaders in key races from a young age.”

“We’ve had clear ambitions together from the beginning and we have achieved a lot, but we are all hungry for more. I believe more than ever we can podium or win a Grand Tour.”

Fourth at the Tour de France in 2016, Adam Yates has delivered multiple stage wins and top-5 overall performances at Volta a la Comunitat Valencia, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of California and runner-up at the recent Criterium du Dauphine already in 2018.

Whilst suffering from a mistake in hydration at this year’s Tour de France, the Briton has quickly switched focus to stage wins before fighting for general classification again in 2019. “It’s the best option, not just for me but for Simon,” Adam said. “We’ve been with the team from the beginning, we’ve had great success and the team has supported us every step of the way so there’s no reason to change and we are both really happy to stay.”

“We’ve already achieved some great results, we’ve both won the white jersey at the Tour and won a lot of races along the way. The team is still focussed on riding for the GC and we will continue to do that. Hopefully we can take the Grand Tour victory that the team want, and that we want. We just have to keep working and it’s going to happen.”

Ag2r sent me this news:

Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the Ag2r La Mondiale team, has announced the renewal of the following rider's contracts:

Gediminas Bagdonas (1 year)
Clément Chevrier (2 years)
Samuel Dumoulin (1 year)
Hubert Dupont (1 year)
Alexandre Geniez (2 years)
Alexis Gougeard (1 year)
Quentin Jaurégui (2 years)
Nans Peters (2 years)
Stijn Vandenbergh (1 year)

In addition to that, Benoit Cosnefroy’s contract has been extended until 2020.

“We continue to maintain our trust in riders who have proven themselves in our colors. This cohesion and team spirit are key to our success. Additional contract extensions are currently under discussion,” Vincent Lavenu explained.

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