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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. - John Burroughs

Current racing:

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


No Tour de France for Tim Wellens

Wellens' Lotto Soudal team sent me this bad news:

Tim Wellens will not be able to start next Saturday in the Tour de France due to the serious injuries he sustained in a motor-pacing crash last Friday. Wellens suffers from road rash and deep wounds all over the body, especially on right shoulder, elbow and knee. No fractures were diagnosed but, for the Tour, there is not enough time left to recover from the high-speed crash. Wellens will be replaced by Frederik Frison.

Tim Wellens

Tim Wellens (shown at the 2019 Tour de France) will not be able to ride the 2020 edition. Sirotti photo

“It is hard to describe how disappointed I am. This is one of the worst crashes I’ve ever experienced on the bike,” tells Tim Wellens. “I was training behind the scooter when both motor bike and I were surprised by a bump on the road. The scooter managed to avoid the crash. I couldn’t. I was so surprised that I had no time to brake. The road rash is so deep because of our high speed. As I have injuries on big parts of my body, I have a higher body temperature and I cannot sleep well. This can never be healed in less than a week. Moreover, further recovery in the Tour de France is really impossible. In that race every stage is like a world championship.”

“This feels so bad. I was ready for the Tour. My goal was to win a stage. Especially the first stages suited me - tough stages in a region that I know so well. I did many times a recon of the stages to Nice, Sisteron and Orcières-Merlette.”

Last year Tim Wellens wore the polka-dot jersey for 15 days in the Tour de France.

The Tour de France squad: Steff Cras, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, John Degenkolb, Caleb Ewan, Frederik Frison, Philippe Gilbert and Roger Kluge.

CCC Team set to line up at Bretagne Classic-Ouest France and Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine

The team sent me this release:

24 August 2020: CCC Team will take to the start line of Bretagne Classic - Ouest France (25 August) and Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine (27 - 30 August) this week with almost identical rider rosters.

Sports Director Valerio Piva will be in the team car for CCC Team at the French races and said that both provided opportunities for all riders to continue to race aggressively.

“From what I saw at their previous race in Belgium, I think Jonas Koch and Josef Černý will be strong and in good shape at Bretagne Classic - Ouest France as well as Joey Rosskopf after the Italian races so, these guys will definitely have the opportunity to try to do something. However, we’re not starting with one of the big favorites, so everybody will have the chance to move and be in the thick of the action right from the start. It’s a long classic, a hard race, up and down all day, and with no obligations to one rider, we can look to continue to race aggressively,” Piva explained.

“The focus will be different at Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine, where the key will be the 22.5-kilometer time trial. We will have a group of strong time trialists with Černý and Rosskopf as well as Patrick Bevin and Will Barta, who can all use the time trial to try to do a good GC result. We will have Szymon Sajnok coming as our sprinter, replacing Koch, for the flat stages, but for most of the other guys on our roster, the priority will be not to lose time and focus on the time trial.”

Josef Cerny

Josef Černý racing earlier this year at the Schwalbe Classic. Sirotti photo

Jonas Koch, who will be a protected rider at the French Classic on Tuesday, is looking to use Bretagne Classic - Ouest France as part of his final build-up before the start of the Tour de France.

“I am feeling in pretty good shape right now. The racing at VOO-Tour de Wallonie was hard but I have recovered well, and my sensations on the bike are really good. This will be my first time at Bretagne Classic - Ouest France but, even though I have never raced here, I think the parcours will fit the type of rider that I am. It would be really nice to pull off a nice performance, especially before the Tour de France. We might not have a favorite for the race, but we will have a strong squad there and I am sure we can make a good result,” Koch said.

Josef Černý is excited to be racing in the Czech colors for the first time since taking the national champion title at Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine.

“It’s always an honor to race in your national colors and I am looking forward to doing it once again after reclaiming the time trial title that I first won in 2018. There have not been many time trials this year so I am looking forward to racing at Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine and overall, we have a number of strong TT riders on our roster. Looking ahead to both races, I am feeling in good shape and as always, we will look to race hard as a team and try to make the best results possible,” Cerny said.

Bretagne Classic - Ouest France (25 August):
Rider Roster: William Barta (USA), Patrick Bevin (NZL), Josef Černý (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)

Tour Poitou - Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine (27 - 30 August):
Rider Roster: William Barta (USA), Patrick Bevin (NZL), Josef Černý (CZE), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Szymon Sajnok (POL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)

Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA) 

Despite injuries, Bora-hansgrohe’s Tour de France team remains unchanged

The team sent me this update:

Despite the injuries they recently sustained in France and Italy, Buchmann, Schachmann and Mühlberger will take on the Tour de France, albeit under different conditions than originally planned.

"Emanuel’s bruises and hematomas have proven to be quite persistent. He had to take a complete break for a few days and thereby lost crucial training time. From a medical perspective, his injuries are following a normal time progression, so if this continues in a similar manner, we’ll be on the right track ahead of the Tour. Physically, however, he will certainly not be in optimal shape at this point.

Emanuel Buchmann

Emanuel Buchmann winning the Trofeo Tramuntana earlier this year.

The fracture to Max's collarbone has developed very well over the last few days. We have the necessary stability to at least give it a try with him. He has been training on the road again for a few days now, and everything is proceeding according to our expectations. However, Max’s preparations were undoubtedly interrupted by this injury. Cycling is not only about having the legs - the rest of the body must also be in good shape.

Gregor likely emerged the least affected. We were able to exclude a severe injury of the wrist, which would have required extended immobilisation or even surgery. He is still experiencing pain, however, he is able to train again, with a special splint. All three riders have done a superb job with the intensive rehabilitation measures we have implemented over the last few days - this is, after all, also what makes a world-class athlete.” - Jan-Niklas Droste, Medical Team

"This has been a bitter setback. I actually thought that the Tour was over when I couldn't get up on my own after the fall. But luckily nothing was broken. I concentrated on therapy last week and could only get back on the bike at the end of the week. Over the weekend, training didn't go as I would have liked. This entire incident has really set me back. To suffer a fall like that was such a shame because I was in really good shape. At the Dauphiné, I was the strongest on the mountain behind Roglic, together with Pinot. Now there are a few question marks hanging over my head, especially since the race is about to kick off in earnest so soon. There’s no time for a transition, because on the second stage, we’ll already be heading into the mountains. We’ll just have to wait and see how far I can make it up there. I can only tackle the Tour from day to day now.” - Emanuel Buchmann

"Of course I would have liked different conditions. But I'm still happy that the team has confidence in me despite my injury, and has given me the opportunity to race the Tour. I’ve been training as well as possible over the last few days and I hope I’ll be able to really take on the race and deal with the pain.” – Maximilian Schachmann

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

Here's the update the team sent me:

Tour de France: AUG 29 - SEP 20

Matt Winston - Team Sunweb coach:
"We head to the Tour de France with a really strong team that have solid qualities across the board. Motivation and ambition is super high in the team after a good season restart - both through the riders and staff. Looking for day results, we'll target the strong breakaway days with guys like Tiesj, Søren and Marc and the sprint stages with Cees, who has a strong lead-out to bring him to the finish. The squad has gelled well so far this season with some good team camps in Kühtai and strong showings while we've raced as the same block. We hope that the great dynamics and solid foundations that the team have built over the last period, will increase our chances of success as we take on the first Grand Tour of the year."

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Cees Bol (NED)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Nicholas Roche (IRL)

Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche (shown at the 2019 Vuelta) will start the Tour de France. Sirotti photo

La Course by Le Tour de France: AUG 29

Nicolas Marche - Team Sunweb coach:
"We bring a very competitive and strong team to La Course that gives us multiple options and different tactics to play depending on the race scenario. The route is interesting and should make for a really open race where the best climbers could stay away to fight for the win, or we might see a reduced bunch sprint finish. Liane will be our main card to play if we get a hard race, as she's started the year in great form and has shown she can handle the climbs. Leah can also survive the climbs here and she'll be our option if things regroup for a reduced bunch sprint finish, with the rest of the team supporting them throughout the day."

Line-up:
Anna Henderson (GBR)
Alison Jackson (CAN)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)

Druivenkoers - Overijse: AUG 29

Arjan Ribbers - Team Sunweb coach:
"Druivenkoers takes place on an interesting and hilly parcours, with lots of opportunities to attack. It's an unpredictable race and has been won in the past by attackers but the recent editions have seen a reduced bunch sprint finish decide the day. We'll look to be active throughout the race and cover any moves, with a focus on supporting Max in case of a sprint. It's great that we're able to have three Development program riders in the team with Nils, Vegard and Casper, and it will be a great learning experience for them riding with our Men's program."

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Thymen Arensman (NED)
Max Kanter (GER)
Nils Sinschek (NED)
Vegard Stokke (NOR)
Florian Stork (GER)
Casper van Uden (NED)

Brussels Cycling Classic: AUG 30

Arjan Ribbers - Team Sunweb coach:
"We head to the Brussels Cycling Classic with a strong, young and motivated team. Despite its hilly parcours the race often ends in a bunch sprint, although depending on how hard the pace is throughout the day, it could be a reduced bunch finish. The team will work to protect and keep and Max safe throughout the day, setting him up for the fast finale. It's also Niklas' first race since it was announced that he will make the step up to the Men's program next year, so it will be a nice experience for him to ride with his future teammates."

Line-up:
Thymen Arensman (NED)
Max Kanter (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Martin Salmon (GER)
Florian Stork (GER)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER)
Ilan Van Wilder (BEL)

Grote Prijs Euromat: AUG 31

Hans Timmermans - Team Sunweb coach:
"Grote Prijs Euromat is a new race for us but we're looking forward to it, and we bring a powerful team that wants to do well here. The race takes place on an almost completely flat eight kilometre long circuit that the riders will complete 15 times. We have a strong squad to help control the race and as one of the bigger teams we'll be expected to do that. The team will focus on protecting Lorena and keeping her safe throughout the day. Coming into the finale we'll aim to produce a strong lead out for Lorena, delivering her into the perfect position where she can hopefully finish it off and take a top result for us."

Line-up:
Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Pernille Mathiesen (DEN)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Julia Soek (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Selle Italia announces sustainable, made-in-Italy saddle line

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

ASOLO, Italy (BRAIN) — Selle Italia is releasing a new saddle line that will be manufactured in Italy using sustainable processes. The saddles can be disassembled and recycled at the end of their usable lives.

The X-Tech technology will be used on saddles made with a fully automated facility in Asolo. The saddle will be made of a mix of technopolymers and will be constructed without glue. A new Total Gel padding is integrated with the rails

You can read the rest of the story here.

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