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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard P. Feynman

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Team Jumbo-Visma and AGU extend team clothing supplier contract

The team sent me this release:

Team Jumbo-Visma and AGU have broken open their contract, which took effect a year and a half ago, and extended it indefinitely, with a minimum term until the end of 2023. The contract was signed on Monday in the TUE wind tunnel. “Our sponsorship model with main sponsors for an indefinite period of time is unique. The fact that AGU has joined that model as a clothing and eyewear partner and that we are going into the future together indefinitely confirms the trust we have in each other”, says Richard Plugge, director of Team Jumbo-Visma.

AGU is the official supplier for Team Jumbo-Visma’s cycling clothing, cycling goggles and casual sportswear. All clothing is fully custom made, for both the professional and the development team. Just like Plugge, Björn Jeurissen, CEO of the Dutch AGU, is also proud of the continuing cooperation. “Our product development has gained momentum since the start of the collaboration. The feedback we receive from the team, both from the coaching and from the riders, is priceless. The bicycle market is showing plenty of potential and growth right now. We are very proud that the innovative products we develop with Team Jumbo-Visma are available to everyone in our collection.”

Jumbo Visma

Jumbo-Visma will be wearing AGU clothing for a while. Sirotti photo

AGU and Team Jumbo-Visma have been working on two ambitious projects since the start of the collaboration: developing the fastest sprint suit and developing the fastest time trial suit. This resulted last year in the sprint victory of Mike Teunissen in the first Tour stage in Brussels and the victory in the team time trial one day later.   One year later, AGU and Team Jumbo-Visma presented a new time trial suit in Eindhoven that is even faster. Innovation partner TUE played an important role in the development.

All time trial specialists of the team receive a tailor-made suit, specifically adapted and tested in the wind tunnel. “This is a very intensive process, which already results in no less than 3.7% less drag and up to 1.3% time savings compared to the initial situation”, professor Bert Blocken of Eindhoven University of Technology announced on the basis of tests in the wind tunnel.

Plugge: “For riders like Tom Dumoulin every millisecond counts. Time saving is extremely important and can be found in the smallest details. AGU has put its shoulder to the wheel with us and taken us to the next level. In addition, with this partnership AGU shows that it not only supports the professional team, but also the development team and the future plans of the team for one hundred percent.”

Mikkel Honoré adds a year to his Deceuninck-Quick Step contract

Here's the team's update:

A member of the Wolfpack since 2019, when he turned pro, Mikkel Honoré has added an extra year to his contract with the team, which will see him ride in the colours of Deceuninck – Quick-Step until at least the end of 2021. Now in his second season, Mikkel has shown his quality on numerous occasions, including at the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d’Italia (his Grand Tour debut), where his work for the team didn’t go unnoticed, but also in several other races, such as the Adriatica Ionica and Ardèche Classic, which he both finished in the top 10.

“After my first year with the Wolfpack, which was really unforgettable, I had no second thoughts when I got the opportunity to pen a new agreement. I feel great in this amazing squad, I have fantastic teammates, and it really is the perfect environment for me to develop and learn. I want to thank the team, the staff, and our sponsors for believing in me. This motivates me even more to work so I can become better and achieve my goals. I can’t wait to join the guys this week for our training camp in Val di Fassa and prepare the restart of the season”, said the 23-year-old Mikkel.

Equally happy with Honoré’s contract extension was Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere: “We are delighted that Mikkel will continue to be part of our family. He’s a very talented and versatile rider, has a lot of room for improvement, but is also a selfless team player, who always gives everything for his leaders, something which he has shown on many occasions. Considering all this, it was only logical to retain his services and continue this partnership that has worked so well until now.”

Cannondale aligns model year with the calendar

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

(BRAIN) — Cannondale says this season’s disruptions inspired it to shift its entire bike product cycle, returning to an updated version of the cycle the industry relied on in decades’ past: with dealer pre-season commitments made in the fourth quarter and model transitions centered around the new year. The company is promising to eliminate most mid-season model year changeovers and their resulting discounting.

“We’re not doing this because of COVID. The only thing the pandemic did was create an opportunity to self reflect and question a lot of things about our business,” said Nick Hage, Cannondale’s general manager for North America and Japan. “We really believe what we’ve gone through just accelerated decisions that companies were going to make anyway. We said, ‘You know, we’ve been talking about doing this for a long time, let’s just do it.’ This was the year that caused that to happen.”

This season, of course, is an anomaly, Hage said. But the Dorel Industries-owned brand is introducing its plan to its dealers this summer and will start the transition to the new cycle this fall. Cannondale will hold a dealer event (likely virtual) in October and work with retailers on pre-season commitments in the following weeks and months. Cannondale has already removed references to model years on its consumer website.

The plan is risky: moving deadlines for pre-season orders later in the year opens the door for competitors to lock up dealers’ open-to-buy dollars months before Cannondale’s sales reps come knocking.

And, on the sales floor, Cannondale dealers might be showing “last year’s” (AKA: current calendar year) models through the summer while competing brands launch new model years as early as June. While Cannondale plans to hold the pricing line through the summer, dealers might be tempted by discounts dangled by their other suppliers throughout the spring and summer.

But the risk might be worth it for Cannondale because many dealers have been asking for it for years. They say they resent having to discount bikes during what should be prime selling season in the spring and summer, to make room — and dollars — for the new model year. Some aren't happy being expected to attend brand dealer meetings as early as July, when they’d rather remain in the store.

You can read the entire story here.

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