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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, July 2, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest. - Rodney Dangerfield

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


Team Sunweb gearing up for season restart

The team sent me this release:

Team Sunweb head to Team Camp
With racing programs reconsidered and now finalised, Team Sunweb’s three programs – Men, Women and Development – head to Team Camp in Austria as they enter the final preparation period ahead of the season restart. Both the Men and Women’s programs season will get underway at Strade Bianche, whilst the Development program will first take to the start line again at Savoie Mont Blanc.

Team Sunweb

Team Sunweb will be racing in their new kit.

Ready to put the finishing touches to training
Throughout July and early August, the team will reside in the excellent Vaya hotel in the heart of Kühtai, a town in the Austrian Alps situated at 2000 metres, in the midst of beautiful surroundings with great training routes around. The hotel is open exclusively for Team Sunweb, with different rider groups from all three programs checking in and out at different periods throughout. In close cooperation with the facility, extensive precautions regarding health and safety are being taken, so that the team can put the finishing touches to their training, safely and in a top sports environment. To further manage risk, the team will operate in multiple bubbles for rider and staff groups, with no two bubbles allowed to mix during their travel, or time on the camp. In addition, all riders and staff must provide a negative COVID-19 test before travelling to the camp.

Focus remains, looking forward to getting back to action
After a strong start to the season, the team kept their focus during lockdown with effective specific training sessions and digital sessions with the different specialists and training groups. With these stronger foundations and the excellent facilities that the Austrian Alps provide for their final training block, the team hope to go even bigger and better during the season restart.

Team Sunweb head coach Rudi Kemna said: “We are pleased that the situation regarding COVID-19 is continuing to head in the right direction in Europe and we are really looking forward to the season restart getting underway next month. Throughout lockdown we have remained positive and used our time away from racing in the best possible way, always keeping spirits high within the team during these challenging times. As the season restart approaches it’s now time to put the finishing touches to the hard work that we have been doing across all three programs.”

Men’s program goals
Kemna said: “We will work towards specific goals at each of the Grand Tours and target results in the big classics, which we will approach with a strong block of riders. The Tour de France awaits as the first of the Grand Tours on the calendar, where we will aim for stage success through sprints and offensive racing. The goal at the Giro d’Italia will be the GC and difficult sprints. While the Vuelta a España will be about the development of our young and promising talents, with a few of them getting the opportunity to make their grand tour debut.”

Tour de France
Line-up: Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Tiesj Benoot (BEL), Cees Bol (NED), Marc Hirschi (SWI), Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED), Nicholas Roche (IRL), Jasha Sütterlin (GER)

After July’s Team Camp, a similar squad will tackle the classics at Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo then head to the Dauphine ahead of Tour de France, followed by the Flemish classics.

Giro d’Italia
Line-up: Nico Denz (GER), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Jai Hindley (AUS), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Sam Oomen (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Martijn Tusveld (NED)

After July’s Team Camp, a similar squad will head to the Tour of Poland, Il Lombardia, Altitude Camp, Tirreno Adriatico, before heading to the Giro d’Italia. Matthews will also line-up at Milano-Sanremo.

Vuelta a España
Long-list: Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN), Thymen Arensman (NED), Alberto Dainese (ITA), Mark Donovan (GBR), Felix Gall (AUT), Chad Haga (USA), Robert Power (AUS), Nicholas Roche (IRL), Martin Salmon (GER), Michael Storer (AUS), Florian Stork (GER), Ilan van Wilder (BEL)

Women’s program goals
Kemna continued: “Our Women’s program was recently strengthened with the addition of world number one ranked rider, Lorena Wiebes – a great boost to the team. Our ambition to become the best women’s team in professional cycling remains unchanged and continuing in the way that they started our season, we will go for strong results in the classics and Giro Rosa.”

Development program goals
To conclude, Kemna said: “Stage racing remains the focus for our Development program as the team go for solid racing at Savoie Mont Blanc, the U23 Giro, L’Isard and the Tour of Croatia. This year we can benefit and hopefully enhance their learning, as new regulations mean that they can race alongside our WorldTour riders, with line-ups able to be a combination both the Men’s and Development program at races at Pro series and Europe Tour categories.”

Mitchelton-SCOTT confirms structural update as it looks towards future

The team sent me this release: 

Darach McQuaid and Brent Copeland will join Mitchelton-SCOTT from today, July 1, as part of a structural change at the Australian WorldTour team ahead of the 2020 season re-start.

McQuaid will step into a newly created Chairman position as a direct liaison with team owner Gerry Ryan. McQuaid has been working as Mitchelton-SCOTT’s commercial adviser for a number of years, and was responsible for the Giro d’Italia Big Start in Ireland 2014 and Richmond bid for the UCI Road World Championships in 2015.

Copeland will join as the new General Manager after six years as General Manager and more recently Director of Operations at Bahrain-McLaren.

Shayne Bannan, who initially set-up GreenEDGE Cycling alongside Ryan and has served as General Manager since its inception in 2012, has been pivotal to the success and unique culture of GreenEDGE Cycling and will be moving onto new challenges.

Mitchelton-Scott

The Mitchelton-Scott team has had some management changes. Sirotti photo

Gerry Ryan – Team Owner:
“We are looking forward to having the experience of Brent, who we believe will fit immediately into our proud culture, coming into the team as the new General Manager, as well as Darach into the role as Chairman and are even more excited to see the action back out on the road in just a few short weeks.”

“Shayne’s contribution to this team is immeasurable and will have a lasting impact on our legacy, and I am incredibly grateful for his involvement and influence over so many years."

Darach McQuaid – Chairman:
“I am honoured to be appointed Chairman of this world class team. It is a great privilege to work alongside Gerry Ryan and now Brent Copeland in leading this organisation. I look forward to working with everyone in delivering the sporting, commercial and business strategy in the years to come.”

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“Mitchelton-SCOTT has always been a team which I have recognised as been leaders in the world of cycling, not only for the great organisation and competitiveness they always show but also the image as a team which they have created over the many years,” Copeland said.

“I am extremely excited to get started and I will honour this role in every respect.”

Parts & accessories shortages mirror bike supply delays

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

TACOMA, Wash. (BRAIN) — While retailers scramble, wait and hope for the replenishment of popular-priced bikes, accessory supplies in similar low-tech, low-priced categories aren’t much better.

Mike Brown at Tacoma Bike anticipated some shortages and missed the boat on others. “I stocked up on a bunch of repair basics as in chains, brake pads and tires. I failed to buy enough 26” tires for the barn-find conversions,” Brown said. “The simple 3x7 or 3x8 basic shift/brake levers are gone. And whoever thought water bottles would be nearly impossible to replenish?”

Meanwhile Steve Lubanski at Open Road Cyclery in Altadena, California, said he's run out of 26" tubes and is having to substitute 27.5".

Distributors are having similar challenges. John Sandberg, marketing communications manager at QBP, reported that while they still have inventory, they’ve seen massive sales volume increases in all tire categories, stationary trainers and children’s products. 

In terms of specific products, “We’re challenged to maintain inventory in some specific areas, some of which seem logical, others surprising,” Sandberg said. “For example, we expected shortages on comfort saddles and gel saddle covers. And it’s less obvious why we’re selling so many composite platform pedals.”

You can read the entire story here.

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