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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. - John Wooden

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


Team Deceuninck-Quick Step report on Tour de Wallonie stage two

We posted the report from stage two winner Arnaud Démare's Groupama-FDJ team with the results.

The four-day stage race continued Monday with the shortest stage of this edition, a 172.3km leg from Frasnes-lez-Anvaing to Wavre, where the sprinters were expected to hit center stage. But our team had other thoughts, and after controlling the six-man breakaway with Iljo Keisse – whose superb work contributed to the group being pegged back – went into aggressive mode as soon as the race hit the last difficulty of the day.

A short, cobbled hill was used as a launch pad by Zdenek Stybar, who put in a searing attack and immediately opened a gap before being joined by three other men. As they bolted away from a strung-out peloton, Stybar took the last intermediate sprint (and with it, three bonus seconds) and continued to trade turns at the front with his companions. The group, although short in numbers, found itself at one point around 15 seconds clear, but the bunch regrouped and gradually chewed into their advantage, before bringing the move to heel with five kilometers to go.

Arnaud Demare

Arnaud Démare takes the second stage.

In the mass gallop that followed shortly, Florian Sénéchal got in the mix and took a solid fifth place as countryman Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) claimed the win. Zdenek Stybar was also there and finished just behind his teammate, ahead of the challenging stage 3, which is expected to deliver an important GC shake-up.

NTT Pro Cycling to ride Giro dell'Emilia

Here's the team's announcement:

Tomorrow, NTT Pro Cycling will take on the UCI 1.Pro Giro dell’Emilia. The traditional Italian one day classic will cover a distance of 200km, with a tough finishing circuit in San Luca, Bologna.

The Giro dell’Emilia is the next race on NTT Pro Cycling’s race calendar, and is part of a series of Italian one day races that usually take place at the end of the year, but is now held slightly earlier in the season due to the Covid-19 reshuffled race calendar.

Samuele Battistella, Stefan de Bod, Danilo Wyss, Gino Mader, Ben King and Benjamin Dyball will be the riders lining up for NTT Pro Cycling tomorrow.

Ben King

Ben King climbing in the 13th stage of the 2018 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

While the race is 200km long, it will be the final 5 laps of a 9km circuit around San Luca, Bologna that will define the race. The steep 2km San Luca climb will surely be a shock to the legs of the riders in the peloton, but should provide for an exciting race.

Team Sunweb extend contract with Nikias Arndt to 2022

Team Sunweb sent me this news release:

Since turning professional with the team in 2013, Arndt has developed into one of the best road captains in the peloton while consistently building a collection of highlights and wins. Two of those personal highlights are victories at the highest level of the sport, with a stage win at Giro d’Italia in 2016 and another at the Vuelta a España in 2019. As a dedicated team captain, Arndt is always happy to work for others and enjoys his role as a lead out rider, having helped the team’s sprinters to several victories throughout the years. Arndt started the year strongly, with good performances at the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice where he helped Cees Bol and Tiesj Benoot to stage wins respectively.

Nikias Arndt

Nikias Arndt after winning stage eight of the 2019 Vielta. Sirotti photo

Arndt said: “Since joining the team in 2013 I’ve really found a home here. I like the team’s way of working and I think we fit really well together as we share a similar mindset. I’ve enjoyed moving into the role of road captain and sharing my experience with our younger riders but I also still learn something new from them every day. I think with Team Sunweb I can still develop as a rider in the coming years and I’m looking forward to continuing to work together and achieving some nice results as a team.”

Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Nikias has been a member of the team for a long time. He knows how we work very well and likewise we know how he works too – we both compliment each other. Nikias excels in his role as road captain and with his years of experience he’s someone that we can rely on to pass on his knowledge to help develop the younger riders that we have coming through our ranks. With his qualities as a rider, being someone that can compete after a hard day in the saddle, Nikias also gives us a good option for the more testing stages and races too, having picked up great results in the past such as his stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.”

Lilian Calmejane signs with Ag2r La Mondiale for one year

The team sent me this announcement:

The French cyclist, Lilian Calmejane (Team Total Direct Énergie), 27 years old, have committed beginning 1 January 2021 for one year with the AG2R LA MONDIALE Team, which will become on that date the AG2R CITROËN TEAM.

Lilian Calmejane

Lilian Calmejane wins stage eight of the 2017 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

LILIAN CALMEJANE: “I have a very strong history with Vendée U and then Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team, they allowed me to turn professional and I will not forget that. Still, after five years on the same team, I felt the need for a new challenge. Discovering new teammates, new equipment, new races, and winning my place in the squad too. I am really happy to start with AG2R LA MONDIALE, I feel like I’m starting a new career. I know that I will find riders my age, but also younger guys who are very promising. I know the team enjoys a great dynamic and I am very much looking forward to this new challenge.”

IN BRIEF
French
Born 6 December 1992, 27 years old
Professional since 2016
Twelve victories including a stage at the Vuelta a Espana (2016); a stage at the Tour de France (2017)

VINCENT LAVENU: “Lilian has already shown all his potential by winning at the Vuelta but also at the Tour de France. He has a strong character and he is capable of winning at a high level. He will be starting a new challenge with our AG2R CITROËN team from January 1st. I know he will be able to show all his talent when racing in our colors.”

THE NUMBER: 2
Lilian Calmejane won a stage victory at each of his first two Grand Tours with a win at the Vuelta a Espana (2016) and then at the Tour de France (2017).

Giant revenue hits $670 million in Q2; factories at full capacity

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Giant Group's second-quarter sales were NT$19.7 billion ($669.7 million) and its earnings per share were NT$4.06, a company record high.

The company said strong demand for e-bikes in Europe and factory efficiencies help produce a gross margin of 21.7% and net income of NT$2.15 billion in its first half, a 24.9% increase over last year.

Giant, which produces bikes for a variety of brands, said its own branded products produced double-digit sales increases, especially in the U.S., Europe, and China.

"With the impact of COVID 19, many consumers are turning to bicycles or e-bikes as their choice to commute or as an alternative form of exercise. In addition, governments in many countries are promoting the use of bicycles not only offering subsidies but also investing in building bicycle infrastructures. Giant foresees that the demand for traditional bicycles as well as e-bikes would continue to grow," the company announced.

You can read the entire story here.

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