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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, March 30, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. - Bruce Lee

Today's racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) team updates:

Ag2r La Mondiale sent me this news:

Ag2r riders headed to the Tour of Flanders: Nico Denz, Rudy Barbier, Tony Gallopin, Oliver Naesen, Gediminas Bagdonas, Stijn Vandenbergh & Julien Duval

Having crashed during the Dwars door Vlaanderen, Oliver Naesen suffered from pain in his the left knee. Further tests on Thursday at the Ghent Hospital did not show any bone contusion. Oliver was told to rest Thursday, and a final decision will be made on Friday after pre-riding the route for the Tour of Flanders.

“If his recovery progresses in the right direction, all should be operational and in good condition,” explained Dr. Grégory Ornon, doctor for the AG2R LA MONDIALE team.

OLIVER NAESEN: “The doctors have reassured me about the condition of my knee. Normally, I will start the Ronde Van Vlaanderen on Sunday. Of course, having a crash before a big event is never ideal. Nevertheless, I am very motivated ahead of this event, which is THE race of the spring. Besides that, I really don’t want to miss the Ronde while I am wearing the jersey as the champion of Belgium. We had a hard time at the Dwars door Vlaanderen, but I know the whole team wants to come back strong on Sunday. From the very beginning of this classics season, we have proved our collective strength in the peloton. I have a lot of confidence.”

Oliver Naesen

Oliver Naesen earlier this year at the Ruta del Sol. Sirotti photo

Four riders from the team have taken part in all the Flandrian classics on the UCI WorldTour calendar (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – Record Bank E3 Harelbeke – Gent Wevelgem – Dwars door Vlaanderen), in addition to Oliver Naesen, the other riders are Stijn Vandenbergh, Nico Denz and Gediminas Bagdonas.

Alexander Kristoff to lead UAE-Team Emirates at Flanders

Here's the update the team sent me:

The team will be completely built around the European champion, Alexander Kristoff, for the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

The only Norwegian to win the Belgian monument in Flanders, taking the trophy in 2015 when he topped Niki Terpstra in a two-up sprint.

Alexander kristoff

Alexander Kristoff beating Niki Terpstra to win Flanders in 2015. Sirotti photo

“I won’t be the favourite for Flanders, but the recent classics here in the north pushed my level higher, so I hope to be one of the protagonists,” said Alexander Kristoff.

“It doesn’t matter if I arrive at Flanders without any ‘big’ win because this is ‘the race’ and anything and everything can happen.”

Roster: Alexander Kristoff (Nor), Filippo Ganna (Ita), Ben Swift (GB), Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor), Marco Marcato (Ita), Oliviero Troia (Ita), Simone Consonni (Ita).

Sports Directors: Mario Scirea (Ita), Philippe Mauduit (Fra).

Team Movistar analyses Saturday's GP Miguel Indurain

BRI Note: Alejandro Valverde will be riding the GP Miguel Indurain, not the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

The Club Ciclista Estella has made a very distinct change to the route of the 20th edition -under its current name-  of the GP Miguel Indurain. The hilltop finish at the Santuario de Nuestra Señora del Puy, which somewhat conditioned how the race unfolded despite the tough Alto de Eraul being tackled before, is now gone and replaced for the traditional, flat finish at the Inmaculada boulevard, in the heart of the city. The 186km race, the only UCI event entirely hold on roads of Navarra, are divided into a softer first 90km and a very demanding second half, with up to ten climbs.

There will be three ascents of the Alto de Ibarra -the last one completed just 2km from the end-, a longer side of the Puy climb already used in previous years. Two times will the Alto de Muru be tackled, just before the final climbs of Ibarra. Also on the route are the gentle uphill to Irache, right after the last passage through the finish, and the more demanding Alto de Arradia. And to make things even harder, three longer ascents: Guirguillano (Cat-1; 120km); Lezaun (Cat-2; 139km) and, above them, Eraul (Cat-2; 3.7km at 6%), crested just 11km from the finish with Muru and Ibarra still left before the line.

Accell acquires Beeline and takes mobile service company to Europe

Bike Europe sent me this report on Accell, owner of Raleigh, Diamondback, Redline, Atala and other brands:

HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – Today Accell Group NV announces that it has taken over 100% of Beeline Bikes shares. Beeline is a mobile bike shop franchisee operator that delivers a turn-key sales, service and data collection solution tailored for IBD’s in North America. Accell already owned a minority shareholding in the company.

Accell regards Beeline Bikes a perfect fit to its strategy to offer mobile bike services as part of the company’s consumer centric omni-channel model. Because of that Accell wants to take Beeline to Europe.

In today’s announcement Accell Group says “Five years ago, Beeline Bikes was launched in Silicon Valley. The company delivers a seamless consumer experience from online purchase to the home delivery of ready-to-ride bikes. Accell Group will focus on rapidly growing the Beeline Bikes footprint in North America, which will support existing and future franchise partners as they seek to build dominant businesses in their respective markets. The acquisition furthers the focus on supporting IBD’s to best serve today’s connected consumer by offering a consistent, convenient, and remarkable experience buying and servicing a bike. Beeline Bikes will have direct access to the brands and resources of Accell Group’s North American business as it grows its franchise network in the coming years. In addition, the acquisition offers Accell Group the opportunity to bring Beeline Bikes to Europe.”

You can read the entire story here.

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