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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Everyone's quick to blame the alien. - Aeschylus

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Victor Campenaerts sets new World Hour Record

Here's our World Hour Record page

Campenaerts' Lotto-Soudal team sent me this:

Victor Campenaerts wrote a piece of cycling history on the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes [Mexico] today. The Lotto Soudal rider covered 55.089 kilometres in one hour and beat the previous record, set by Bradley Wiggins in 2015, by over 500 metres [I get 563 meters]. That way, Victor Campenaerts can call himself, after months of training and preparation, the new holder of the UCI Hour Record!

Victor Campenaerts

The new World Hour Record holder.

At 18 o’clock sharp (CET), the European time trial champion began his hour of truth. After a careful start, Campenaerts was already on track to break the Hour Record only moments later. The Belgian constantly rode at a pace of 55 kilometres an hour during the attempt. During the final fifteen minutes, it seemed like Campenaerts had a difficult moment, but the Lotto Soudal rider still had some energy left to accelerate at the end. Eventually, Campenaerts crossed the magical 55-kilometre border and was crowned the new UCI Hour Record holder with a distance of 55.089 kilometres!

Victor Campenaerts

Flat back, perfect form!

Victor Campenaerts: “It gives me great satisfaction to see the months of preparation being rewarded. Today, everything fell into place. The entire Lotto Soudal team supported me in this mission, which of course created the necessary pressure. But that motivated me even more to make it something special.”

“The goal before the attempt was of course to break the Hour Record, which was also a realistic goal. I maybe started a bit too optimistic but then I slowed down a bit and searched for a new pace that I could hold. At the end, I still had a difficult moment. I did not ride the perfect lines that I did in the beginning. During the final five minutes - which I rode on sheer will - I covered a lot of useless metres.”

“Already after ten to fifteen minutes, I had the feeling that it would be possible to break the record. At the end, it was close to reach the magical boundary of 55 kilometres. Between fifteen and ten minutes before the end, I was struggling but because of the adrenaline rush, you’re able to push that little bit harder. You know what’s at stake and that makes it a little easier. A party? Of course I will have a beer or two, but I’m still a professional!”

Victor Campenaerts

Adding over a half-kilometer to the record!

And here's Lotto-Soudal's preview of the Brabantse Pijl

The team sent me this:

The cobbled Classics are over now, so it's time for the riders to head into the hills. On Wednesday 17 April, the Brabantse Pijl already is a very attractive taster of what is yet to come. This race of 195.3 kilometres starts in Leuven and finishes in Overijse. The course of the 59th edition includes no less than 31 hills. Last year's winner was Tim Wellens, who won the race after excellent teamwork by Lotto Soudal. A strong Tiesj Benoot finished in third place. Wellens looks ahead to the race, where he will start with number one.


Tim Wellens wins the Brabantse Pijl in 2018. Sirotti photo

Tim Wellens: “Last week, I had to recover a bit after the Tour of Flanders, because it was a tough race. I did my final hard training session on Sunday and my legs felt great. I had the same feeling last year, however that is no guarantee of success. You always need to await the race itself. The Tour of Flanders was not as good as I expected, but I want to confirm my excellent shape on Wednesday. I am happy to have participated in the Tour of Flanders, as I liked the experience. Finishing third in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was amazing for me. So I look back to the Flemish Classics in a satisfied way.”

“Of course I have very nice memories of last year's Brabantse Pijl, but on the other hand that edition was dedicated to Michael Goolaerts, who died three days earlier.So I look back to it with mixed feelings, but surely that is a very nice victory on my palmares. I know the competition will look at me because I'm the defending champion, so maybe a teammate can exploit that. Bjorg Lambrecht has already shown in the Tour of the Basque Country that he is in superb shape. I hope he can go along until the finale, because his presence can mean a big advantage. Other favourites for me are Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe. I think they are the riders to beat.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Bjorg Lambrecht, Tomasz Marczyński, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Marc Wauters.

Sunweb's Sam Oomen will ride Giro

Team Sunweb sent me this:

Team Sunweb have today announced that 23-year-old Sam Oomen will replace Wilco Kelderman at the Giro d’Italia, who was last week confirmed as unable to start the first Grand Tour of the season following the injuries sustained from his stage five Volta Ciclista a Catalunya crash.

Previously with the Ardennes Classics on his program for early 2019, Oomen will now head to altitude camp to prepare for the Giro d’Italia. He joins Jan Bakelants, Tom Dumoulin, Jai Hindley and Robert Power in Tenerife from the 17th of April to the 3rd of May.

Sam oomen

Sam Oomen in 2016 winning a stage in the Tour l'Ain

Team Sunweb’s Giro d’Italia coach Marc Reef said: “The Giro is our primary season goal and with the inclusion of Sam we aim to send the best possible team to Italy. Sam will head to high altitude camp to maximise the final weeks before we head to Bologna. He will have the opportunity to grow into the race, where we are confident he will be up there in support towards the end of week two and three. Last year he was super strong also finishing 9th himself in the GC; the focus this year will be to bring support in the key stages.”

Sam added: “Originally I would have done the Tour this year but things changed lately. It’s unfortunate that Wilco can’t do the Giro and it’s hard to replace him, but I will try my best and I’m happy to be there for the team with Tom as our designated leader; he deserves the best support. It’s likely that it will be a different kind of Giro for me compared to last year, with a different kind of approach. But the Giro is a beautiful race and we will make the best out of it together.”

Unsecured creditors sue 'insider group' to recover debts from ASE (Performance, Bike Nashbar)

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — A committee of unsecured debtors — whose members include a long list of bicycle suppliers owed millions by the bankrupt former owner of Performance Bicycle and ASI — is suing some of the companies that hold preferential positions in a bid to increase the amount of debt they are ultimately able to recover.

Advanced Sports Enterprises was renamed AE Bicycle Liquidation, Inc. soon after the company sold most of its assets for $23 million in February.

Proceeds of that sale, plus the sale of store inventory and other assets, will go first to the company's secured creditors, led by Wells Fargo Bank, which was owed more than $20 million.

Other companies currently considered secured creditors include Ideal Bicycle, the Taiwan-based manufacturer, and related companies Top Sport International Holdings, Econotrade Ltd. and Advanced Holdings Co. LTD.

The unsecured debtors committee is suing that group of four, which it calls "the Ideal Defendants," charging that they are insiders who are not entitled to be first in line to receive proceeds from the AE Bicycle Liquidation estate as it is wound down. They are also seeking to recover over $31 million in payments that ASE made to members of the group in the months before the company filed for bankruptcy last November.

The defendants have not responded to the complaint filed by the group on Friday. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June.

Unsecured creditors could file claims against AE until last month.

The list of unsecured creditors is topped by two bike manufacturers: Active Cycles of China and PT Insera Sena of Indonesia (also known as Polygon Bikes, a part owner of Marin Bikes). Active Cycles is owed $4.6 million and PT Insera Sena is owed $3 million. Another manufacturer, Shanghai General Sports, is owed $1.7 million, while Vista Outdoor, the parent of Giro, Bell and CamelBak, is owed $1.9 million. Ramiko Company, a Taiwanese trading company, is owed $1.5 million.

You can read the entire story here.

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