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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

There is no greater harm than that of time wasted. - Michelangelo

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Simon Yates starts in Australia on way to a Giro return in 2020

Yates' Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

Two-time 2019 Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates will start his 2020 season in Australia, for the first time since joining Mitchelton-SCOTT, before rebuilding for a return to the Giro d’Italia.

Yates will complete a full Australian campaign, kick starting in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under, before heading to Victoria for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and a mountainous Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

After spending 13 days in the Maglia Rosa in 2018 and failing to meet his own expectations, finishing eighth overall, in 2019, the 2018 Vuelta a España champion will return for the third consecutive season to the Giro d’Italia, on his way to another key season target, the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Simon Yates

This is how Simon Yates wants to race the 2020 Giro. Here he is in pink, finishing up the 15th stage of the 2018 Giro, in style. Sirotti photo

On early season racing in Australia:
“I have always wanted to do the Aussie summer. Of course riding for an Australian team there is more pressure, but I really enjoy getting stuck into racing and giving it a good go. With these being our home races, the boys are super motivated to give everything.”

“I would love to hit the ground running, so when any opportunities to take my own chances come, I hope to grab them with both hands.

“After competing in both the Giro and the Tour last season, I was extremely tired and so we decided as a team to stop earlier than normal to give myself the best possible preparation for 2020.

“Winter has been going great so far and I have just finished a very important block of training in Gran Canaria, but I will fly out early to Australia to be able to adapt to the heat.”

On the Tour Down Under:
“As a team, the more options the better for the Tour Down Under. This race has been settled on more than one occasion on bonus seconds so everything will count.

“Daryl has found the winning formula and so we know how to approach the race. I will be there to support him or take my chance as they arise.

“Of course the more climbing the better for myself personally, but regardless, I think as a team we can go in there fully focused to win.”

On the Cadel Road Race:
“The Cadel Road Race is that aggressive style of racing that I really enjoy to do.

“We will have to assess our options during the race and make a plan then. If a chance comes for myself then I will do my best to capitalise - the harder the race the better.”

On the Jayco Herald Sun Tour:
“I last rode the Sun Tour back in 2013 and still to this day it’s the hottest temperatures I have ever raced in.

“It’s a great race which I’m looking forward to returning. The final climbs look very challenging and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and giving it a go.

“Of course we’re in the middle of the Aussie summer and so the local teams are in great shape and very motivated. It will be a hard race and not knowing the opposition always puts a question mark in your mind before trying anything in the race, but I’m looking forward to racing nonetheless.”

On returning to the Giro:
“The Giro is a race with a lot of charm and character - the fans are passionate, the parcours are amazing and it always produces exciting aggressive racing which I enjoy.

“Last year I just felt I never really got to the level that I expect of myself, I want to go back in the best shape possible and try again. That, and along with the Olympics coming so close to the Tour de France this year; I believe the best way to approach the Olympics would be to do the Giro.

The 2020 route is a very traditional course with a lot of time trailing kilometres, and many high altitude mountain passes. We will have to prepare for anything to happen.

The aim is to have the condition and shape that I know I can have, and give everything I have, which I hope will give me the best possible chance of winning.”

Simon Yates’ 2020 start:
19th - 26th January: Tour Down Under
2nd February: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
5th – 9th February: Jayco Herald Sun Tour
2020 Grand Tour: Giro d’Italia

Joris Nieuwenhuis' January and February cyclocross program announced

Nieuwenhuis' Team Sunweb sent me this:

"I'm just back from a good, solid first training camp with the team where I worked a lot on endurance and some cyclocross specific sessions. The legs feel good afterwards but of course I'll know better where I'm at once I'm back into racing," explained Nieuwenhuis. "I feel good in training and hopefully I have made a step forward because of it. I'm looking forward to the final races of the cyclocross season because a few of them take place on my favourite parcours and I hope to end the season with some nice results."

Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna added: "Joris has been on training camp with the team this winter and is feeling good and looking forward to getting back to cyclocross racing. We're into the last months of the cyclocross season with some nice races, so hopefully Joris can pick up some solid results after a good block of training."

Race program:
Dutch National Championships - 12/01/2020
Nommay World Cup - 19/01/2020
Hoogerheide World Cup - 26/01/2020
World Championships - 02/02/2020
Merksplas Superprestige - 09/02/2020
Middelkerke Superprestige - 15/02/2020

Appeals court sides with Fox, sends SRAM patent decision back to board

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this industry update:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — A federal appeals court has given Fox a small victory in its long running chainring patent legal battle with SRAM, but the case appears still far from over.

In a ruling Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated a 2017 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office board. After a review requested by Fox, the board had upheld SRAM's patent for a chainring with chain retention features. The appeals court sent the case back to the board to reconsider.

In 2015, SRAM had called out RaceFace, which is owned by Fox, for offering a chainring with chain retention features without licensing SRAM's patent as other brands have done. SRAM sued RaceFace in Illinois for patent infringement, a case that is on hold pending the patent board review.

In a 2017 decision that at least a few legal observers found noteworthy, the board found that SRAM's patent claims combined features shown in prior art, including some unpatented Shimano technology from the 1980s. On those grounds the technology might have been considered obvious and unpatentable. However, the board upheld the patent in part because secondary considerations suggested the technology was far from obvious. Namely, the chainrings sold well, were praised by the industry and media, and appeared to fulfill a long unmet need.

You can read the entire story here.

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