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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, December 25, 2019

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness. - Michel de Montaigne

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Wout van Aert to make comeback at Azencross

VeloNews posted this update:

Van Aert, who has not raced since a crash took him out of the Tour de France, plans to use Friday's 'cross race to start re-building form for spring classics.

Wout van Aert will make his racing comeback Friday, five months after a heavy crash at the Tour de France.

Wout Van Aert

Before the crash. Wout Van Aert enjoys his stage 10 win at the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The Belgian multi-discipline star crashed during the Tour’s time trial, July 19th, and hasn’t raced since. He hit the barriers hard, and abandoned his debut Tour with a deep gash in his leg. He was lucky to not break any bones.

After over five months of rehab and rebuilding, van Aert will race again at the DVV Trofee Azencross, Friday.

You can read the entire story here.

Interview with Jumbo-Visma Development Team rider Axel van der Tuuk

Here's the team's post:

Axel van der Tuuk became Dutch champion twice as a junior and was selected for the Junior World Championship in both 2018 and 2019. From 1 January 2020, the citizen of Assen, The Netherlands, will wear the Jumbo-Visma Development Team shirt.

What do you do next to cycling?
“In May I’ll take my secondary school exam. I’m pretty busy with that. I don’t know yet what I want to do after high school. In addition to school, I have my own clothing brand with my brother. That is very fun and educational. The brand is currently at a low ebb, but we would like to expand it.”

Next year you will meet your brother in the peloton...
“I think that is really nice and it is also special. Due to our age difference we have never raced together. If our training schedule permits, we will train together and hang out together a lot. He has been a U23 rider for a number of years. I hope to be able to use his course knowledge in certain races.”

How do you look back at your time as a junior?
“As a first-year junior, things went really well. That was a really great year. We had a super fun team and the results were good. I won the E3 Harelbeke for juniors and became Dutch time trial champion. A top season, really. In the following winter it all went well initially, until I got mononucleosis. That had a negative impact on my second year as a junior.”

“In retrospect, I started racing a little too early, which made me sick a lot during the season. It had an effect on my results. It went well one week and less the next. Still I became Dutch champion on the road. That was of course super nice, but otherwise it was a bad luck season. Because of that good first year I expected quite a lot from it. It is a pity that I could not live up to the expectation.”

A few years ago you were still skating competitions. Are you still doing that?
“At the moment I’m just training. I try to skate once a week. In previous years I skated competitions, also quite fanatically. I enjoyed doing that and I think it is a good training for cycling. That’s why I’m still on the ice every now and then.”

What do you expect from the upcoming season?
“There is a good atmosphere in the team. We have already become a close-knit group in a relatively short period of time. That is nice to see and it is also important. This season will be my first year as a U23 rider. It will be a really tough season and I am curious how things are going in this category.”

Park Service disbands e-bike advisory group over secret lobbying concerns

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The National Park Service, facing a lawsuit from conservation groups for allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails, disbanded a bike-industry group that has been accused of secret lobbying for that access.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and a coalition of conservation groups are suing to restore a ban on e-bikes on NPS non-motorized trails. According to the suit, the E-bike Partner & Agency Group's meetings with the staff of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Deputy NPS Director P. Daniel Smith violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires transparency to prevent secret lobbying.

"This e-bike call will conclude our 'Partner and Agency' calls. ... This is to ensure that we avoid any conflict with the Federal Advisory Committee Act," said an email from an NPS official to colleagues dated Oct. 9 and obtained by PEER through the Freedom of Information Act.

In another email obtained by PEER, a U.S. Forest Service official expressed concern about the meetings because they were not open and didn't include anyone outside e-bike and mountain bike advocates.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, contends the group did not give public notice of its meetings. PEER said the group included only e-bike and mountain biking advocates.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association initially said it participated in quarterly interagency and partner e-bike meetings. It later clarified that those meetings were with the E-bike Partner & Agency Group.

"As a nonprofit educational organization representing mountain bikers, not the bicycle industry, IMBA engages with the federal government on many levels," IMBA said in a statement to BRAIN. "IMBA was an invited participant in quarterly interagency and partner e-bike meetings. IMBA participated to represent and protect access for traditional, non-motorized mountain bikes, to be an educational resource, and to advocate for the importance of public process and independent management of e-MTBs.

"IMBA's e-MTB position emphasizes the need for e-MTBs to be managed separately from traditional mountain bikes and encourages a public process to determine where e-MTB access is appropriate."

PeopleForBikes issued a statement to BRAIN, saying it has worked with policymakers for several years on e-bike access.

"PeopleForBikes took the lead in 2014 to educate federal, state, and local policymakers on the e-bikes and the manner in which they are addressed in a variety of policy sectors. An important objective of this work is to synchronize terms and policies across government entities so that access rules are easy for everyone to understand. Federal land management agencies are critical to this evolution, as many of the best biking experiences in the U.S. are on federal public lands.

"Since September 2017, PeopleForBikes has provided education and outreach on electric bicycles to land managers and nonprofit partners ultimately charged with understanding and/or managing their use. These stakeholder groups expressed interest and knowledge gaps in e-bike demographics; sales data; use patterns; research and statistics; and policies across states, localities, and agencies. Our groups met to share knowledge around these topics. We were joined by numerous nonprofit organizations who provided their opinions and expertise on recreation management specific to e-bike use."

You can read the entire story here.

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