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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, June 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

People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me. - Soren Kierkegaard

Upcoming racing, according to UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Dutch cyclist Niki Terpstra air-lifted to hospital after crash

Here's the AFP report

Dutch cyclist Niki Terpstra suffered multiple injuries in a training crash in the Netherlands on Tuesday and was helicoptered to hospital, his wife said.

Terpstra, of the French Total-Direct Energy team, is a multiple classics winner.

He crashed while training near Lelystad in central Netherlands.

The rider's wife, Ramona Terpstra, confirmed Terpstra's fall in a tweet. "Unfortunately the bad news is true. Niki crashed hard today during a bike workout. He's in the hospital and will have to stay here for a few more days. He is not in mortal danger but will need time to recover," she said.

Niki Terpstra

Niki Terpstra at the 2019 Tour de France teams presentation ceremony. Sirotti photo

Terpstra was training with some friends behind a moped when they had to swerve to avoid hitting some geese, [Dutch] public broadcaster NOS reported. "Terpstra hit a rock and then crashed hard," NOS said.

He is reported to have suffered a collapsed lung, a concussion and to have broken ribs and a collarbone.

The 36-year-old has won the cobbled classics Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. It's not the first time he has suffered a bad fall.

Last year he suffered a heavy concussion when crashing in the Tour of Flanders only to then fracture a shoulder blade after crashing in the Tour de France, forcing him to abandon the race.

UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar set for debut at Tour de France

Here's the team's update:

I [Tadej Pogacar] was thrilled to find out last week that I will be part of the team’s roster who will be heading to Nice in August and racing in the Tour de France. The Tour de France is the biggest and most well-known race in the world and the pinnacle of any rider’s career. I’m super excited to be in the team and can’t wait to test myself against the best riders in the world at one of the hardest Tours.

Tadej Pogacar

Tadej Pogacar wins stage four of the 2020 Valenciana Tour.

We’re now just six weeks away from the start of the revised UCI 2020 race calendar and I am looking forward to getting back to competitive racing. Knowing that I will be racing in the Tour de France means I can finally train with a specific goal in mind.

I am feeling fit and strong and I am happy with the team at the moment. We’ve got a good mix of attributes for our Grand Tour line ups – having that balance of climbers, sprinters and stage hunters.

It’s also great for the fans for racing to start again. I hope we can fill the gap that’s been left with no sport and get back to entertaining as many people as possible. The whole team is more motivated than ever with this new calendar.

Since I arrived at UAE Team Emirates, I felt part of the family. I have many friends in the team and there has always been a good atmosphere with the riders and the staff. That’s also one of the main reasons why I recently renewed my contract with the team until 2024. The UAE Team Emirates is a long-term project with some strong sponsors, and I am proud to be part of it. It is also important to have some security for the coming years.

The staff have done an amazing job during the lockdown. A huge amount of work has been done behind the scenes and constant communication has been key in keeping us up to date with news about our races.

I started the season very strong and will be looking to recapture my form in the early races. The first month of the lockdown, I stayed in Monaco and trained inside but when the restrictions were eased in Europe, I moved back to my home country, Slovenia. The situation is much better there as I can train outside and see friends and family.

It is always good to be back where you grew up. It takes be back to when I first started racing as a 9-year-old. I remember my first race; several laps of a 3km loop. I was the youngest of the group but I still managed to win. I really enjoyed it and I fell in love with the sport.

Besides racing I also love to play football with my friends. I played a lot when I was younger but nowadays, I don’t have lots of spare time to play as much as I would like to. In the off-season during the winter I have more time off, so I try to play as much as possible with my friends back home.

Cycling as a sport has really taken off in recent years in Slovenia mainly because of the success of the Slovenian riders in the big races. Before, cycling was never broadcasted on TV but it is now becoming more and more popular which is great and makes me happy.

We only have 2 million citizens in Slovenia so if we do well in any sport it’s a really big thing for the country. After my performance in the Vuelta last year I started to get recognised a bit more, but my life hasn’t changed that drastically. I just have a few more interviews to do every now and then and when I ride my bike in Slovenia people say hello in the street.

I’m really enjoying being at UAE Team Emirates and can’t wait to get back to racing. My favourite races are the longer stage races or tough one day classics like Liège–Bastogne–Liège. I prefer climbing and really hope one day that I can compete for a big result in a race like Liège–Bastogne–Liège, or the Tour de France.

Who owns the GreenEdge/Mitchelton-Scott-Manuela Fundación team?

GreenEdge owner Gerry Ryan gave an interview to Ride Media saying he still owned the team:

On 12 June a press release was issued about a name change for the Australian-registered WorldTour team. Since then no official information has emerged about GreenEdge becoming Manuela Fundación, but there’s been plenty of speculation. RIDE Media caught up with Gerry Ryan to ask about his team…

In the closing paragraph of the official release from GreenEdge (or Mitchelton-Scott, as the Australian-registered WorldTour team is still known), Gerry Ryan is quoted when talking about a new sponsor/investor.

“As an organisation,” Ryan says in the release, “we are moved by the story of the Manuela Fundación and are looking forward to working with such a generous project and doing our part to contribute to their vision.”

Since then the team has offered no formal comment about the arrangement despite a volley of questions from the media and fans alike.

There’s no secret that Ryan and his cohort have been courting sponsors, it’s an ongoing process in pro cycling. And even though a new investor – and even a name change – has been announced, the quest for more corporate support continues. There is said to be a number of interested companies – amongst them, one from Germany, another from the Netherlands – considering options with GreenEdge.

This is something Ryan wanted to make clear early in a quick interview with RIDE Media this afternoon. “We’re still negotiating,” is his explanation, but not in relation to the Manuela Fundación deal, rather other businesses that are keen to come to pro cycling.

There are numerous reports about the GreenEdge / Manuela Fundación deal but not a lot of first-hand information. Although some media outlets suggest the team will lose its Australian identity, or move its service centre to Spain, the main investor doesn’t agree.

“I think that one of his junior people spoke to the media about potential opportunities,” says Ryan about how these rumours may have emerged.

What followed in the story was a verbatim transcript of RIDE Media’s exchange with Gerry Ryan five days after the announcement about investment from the Manuela Fundación. You can read it all here.

But, that's not how Manuela Fundación sees it. CyclingNews posted this surprising turn of events:

Potential rifts in the takeover deal between the Manuela Fundación and the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team deepened considerably on Wednesday as the Spanish NGO responded sharply to Gerry Ryan’s insistence that he still owned the team licence and that he was still negotiating with other sponsors.

Emilio Rodríguez, the Manuela Fundación’s head of sport, told Spanish state news agency EFE that he was "surprised" and "frozen" by the comments.

"We have been caught offside, but this will sort itself out" Rodríguez said, using a football-inspired metaphor to suggest that Ryan’s comments had caught his organisation wrong-footed.

"We've come into this team to be owners, not just a sponsor."

You can read the entire CyclingNews piece here.

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