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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, August 20, 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

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. - John Muir

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


INEOS sets out Grand Tour plans for 2020 – Froome & Thomas will not ride Tour de France

Team INEOS Grenadiers sent me this: 

The INEOS Grenadiers have today outlined their plans for the rest of the season and confirmed the leaders for each of the Grand Tours.

Sir Dave Brailsford said: “I am very proud that we have several current, and I am sure future, Grand Tour champions in the team. Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical and has meant we have had to analyse all the latest information to make sure we are in the best position possible to optimise our performances in the coming months.

“Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France and we are very excited to give last year’s Giro winner, Richard Carapaz, his debut in this year’s Tour also. Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win another Grand Tour title, with the aim of being the first Welshman to win it.

Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal will not have to compete with Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas for INEOS team leadership at the Tour de France. Sirotti photo

“In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta. Chris is a legend of our sport, a true champion who has demonstrated incredible grit and determination to come back from his crash last year. We want to support him to compete for another Grand Tour title and the Vuelta gives him that little bit more time to continue his progress to the top level.”

The INEOS Grenadiers have also today announced the team of eight riders who will race the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday 29th August in Nice.

The eight riders are:
Andrey Amador
Egan Bernal
Richard Carapaz
Jonathan Castroviejo
Michal Kwiatkowski
Luke Rowe
Pavel Sivakov
Dylan van Baarle

Sir Dave Brailsford added: “We have been analysing closely how we can win the Tour de France this year and we have a passionate team united by a common purpose, ready to get the job done.” 

Deceuninck-Quick Step reports on Tour de Wallonie

Here's the team's final report on the 2020 edition:

Florian Sénéchal made a huge jump in the general classification on the final stage and concluded the Tour de Wallonie in fourth place, just one second behind what would have been his first overall podium in a stage race.

After producing a monster lead-out for Sam Bennett Tuesday and paving the Irishman’s way to a spectacular victory, the 27-year-old had his own chance to fight for a strong result on the nervous stage four between Blegny and Erezée (199.4 kilometers), which Zdenek Stybar animated from the break. On the attack for the third time in the last couple of days, the Czech was part of a seven-man breakaway that got away 50 kilometers into the stage and was the last of these to be caught on the last classified climb, where the selection took place in the bunch.

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett wins Tour de Wallonie stage three.

Florian made it safely into the first group, which numbered just a handful of riders before the yellow jersey made it across together with several teammates. A late attack of Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos) forced what was left of the peloton to ramp up the pace, the Ecuadorian getting reeled in only on the uphill drag to the finish. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) powered to the win, in the process wrapping up also the general classification, while Sénéchal – seventh on the punchy finish in Erezée – moved up a remarkable 16 places in the standings.

“It would have been nice to conclude this race in the top 3, but today wasn’t easy and despite having good legs, I felt a bit tired when it came to crunch time in the last kilometers and couldn’t follow the others when they opened up the sprint. I know I can do better than this, so that’s why I draw a lot of confidence from this week for Sunday’s National Championships”, an upbeat Florian said.

Simon Yates stays at Mitchelton-SCOTT for another two years

The team sent me this:

2018 Vuelta a España champion and two-time Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates will remain at Mitchelton-SCOTT having agreed to a contract extension that will see him race with the team until the end of 2022.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates will be racing for Mitchelton-Scott for another two years. Here he enjoys his 2018 Vuelta win. Sirotti photo

The news comes after team owner Gerry Ryan, who has supported the organisation since its inception in 2012, confirmed his commitment to the team for another two years as it continues to compete at the highest level in the UCI WorldTour.

Yates joined Mitchelton-SCOTT as a neo-pro in 2014. Since then, the Briton has taken 17 professional victories, including stages at all three Grand Tours, and has developed into one of the world’s top climbers, winning the 2018 Vuelta a España and finishing in the top-10 at the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

As the team’s most successful general classification rider, he was a high-priority re-signing. The new agreement will take the 28-year-old’s tenure with the Australian outfit to nine years.

Yates, who began his 2020 campaign in Australia in January, re-started his season at the Vuelta a Burgos and Tour of Poland, where he podiumed overall, and will now build towards a third consecutive attempt at glory at the Giro d’Italia.

Simon Yates:
“The journey with the team has been great so far, I have grown and matured as a person and as a rider. We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of failures along the way, but I’m looking forward to continuing the journey together and looking for more success as always.

“The team know me as a rider, the way I work and I’m very comfortable in the environment which goes a long way once we’re on the road racing. You really need that in a team. Once we’re two or three weeks into a Grand Tour it’s very stressful and very tiring, not just for me, but for the whole organisation, so being comfortable with each other is very important.

“We have had a lot of success together, and I just want to continue that going forward, mainly at the Grand Tours. We won our first Grand Tour two years ago and I truly believe we can do it again so we will keep working hard so we can take another one.”

Gerry Ryan – Team Owner:
“We’re extremely happy to have Simon continue with us into the future. It’s been a relationship that has been built over a long period of time and one we believe still has great potential for even greater success in the years to come.

“Simon has provided some of our organisation’s proudest moments, including our first Grand Tour victory, and we’re confident that together we have many more highlights to achieve.”

Darach McQuaid – Chairman:
“GreenEDGE Cycling is an organisation of staff and professional athletes that operates and succeeds on the global stage and having an athlete of the calibre of Simon Yates leading our Men’s UCI WorldTour team is a great testament to the high performance values that the team has nurtured from the very beginning.

“We are looking forward to giving Simon and all our athletes the best support to achieve their sporting goals and working with our commercial partners to provide a world class platform to engage with millions of cycling fans around the world.”

Simon Yates
Date of birth: 7th August 1992 (28)
Nationality: Great Britain
Joined Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2014
New contract: 2021-2022

Top results with Mitchelton-SCOTT:
2018 Vuelta a España – Overall
2 x Tour de France Stage Victories (2019)
3 x Giro d’Italia Stage Victories (2018)
2 x Vuelta a España Stage Victories (2018, 2016)
13 days in the Maglia Rosa at the Giro d’Italia (2018)

Dorel Sports, parent company of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, and other brands notched its fifth consecutive quarter of growth

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Dorel Sports, a division of Dorel Industries, is reporting sales of $285.6 million in its second fiscal quarter, up 18.5% from the same quarter last year. Dorel Sports is the parent of the Cycling Sports Group (Cannondale, GT, Fabric, Guru, and Charge), and Pacific Cycle (Mongoose, Schwinn, and Kidtrax), and Caloi.

"Clearly we could have sold more bikes had we had them," said Dorel's president & CEO, Martin Schwartz in a conference call with investors Tuesday.

In a press release earlier Tuesday, Schwartz said, "There was a spike in demand for all types of bicycles, which rose dramatically and was maintained throughout the quarter as consumers sought a healthy escape from weeks of COVID-19 lockdowns. Online sales were particularly strong with purchasing activities shifting to e-commerce at the height of the pandemic. Sales were limited by a lack of supply of certain models despite Asian suppliers re-opening in February."

Operating profit for the Sports division was $26.8 million compared to $10.1 million last year.

The company said that while CSG and Pacific sales and profits were up, its Caloi brand, sold in Brazil, recorded an operating loss due to retail and factory closures in that country. It said its on-hand bike inventory "dropped considerably."

The company said it expected bike sales outside Brazil to remain strong through Q3 but "the current volatility in the bicycle industry" makes forecasting beyond this quarter more difficult.

You can read the entire story here.

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