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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. – Frederick Douglass

Important upcoming racing, according to UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

Lotto-Soudal announces Tour de France Team

Here's the post (my apologies, a Google translation) from Sporza:

The Tour selection of Lotto-Soudal is known. Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens, Thomas De Gendt, Jasper De Buyst and Steff Cras are the Belgian participants. Sprint bomb Caleb Ewan, John Degenkolb and Roger Kluge also travel to France.
With 4 stage victories, the Tour de France was a bull's eye last year for Lotto-Soudal.

Sprint gun Caleb Ewan can try to match his 3 day successes from last year. In his sprint train he can count on the services of locomotive Jasper De Buyst and the Germans Roger Kluge and John Degenkolb.

Caleb Ewan

Caleb Ewan wins stage 16 of the 2019 Tour de France.

In the more difficult stages, a quartet of Belgians can go on a treasure hunt: eternal attacker Thomas De Gendt, Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens and Tour debutant Steff Cras.

Cras is a 24-year-old climbing talent who made the switch from Katjoesja to Lotto-Soudal this season.

"In the first place, we aim for stage victories," says team boss John Lelangue. "We saw last year that fighting for a jersey (the Wellens mountain jersey) costs energy and is not easy."

"The green jersey is not an obsession for Caleb Ewan. Because in addition to sprint victories, he must also go in the early flight to collect points. But if we see that Caleb is in good shape after 1 week, that can still change."

Lotto-Soudal wants to score not only in mass sprints, but also in the more difficult stages. "I think we are going to the Tour with some strong guys like Phil (Gilbert), Tim (Wellens) and Thomas (De Gendt) who have already proven their worth in the past."

You can read the entire story here.

Cycle clothing and the road to sustainablity

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this important story:

HILDEBRAN, N.C. (BRAIN) — Shane Cooper, the founder of the DeFeet cycling sock company, was visiting with George W. Bush one day when the former president took him in to meet his mother.

"He said, 'Mom! This is Shane, he started a company that makes socks out of recycled plastic. Ain't that the world's best-kept secret?" according to Cooper's recollection.

Fwooosh-bang. Clatter-clatter. What was that? Drop something?

It was an epic namedrop by Cooper, a great storyteller, and we repeat it to make a point: Until recently, few cycling apparel brands used sustainable or recycled materials, and those who did, like DeFeet, didn't make a lot of noise about it. So even a former president (and avid mountain biker) could marvel at an apparent missed marketing opportunity.

But according to Cooper and others in the bike business, promoting the environmental bona fides of cycling gear has had little potential upside until very recently. And there is a potential downside: cyclists like to buy the highest performance gear they can afford and brands market to that desire. If sustainability suggests a performance compromise, it could hurt sales.

But very recently — just in the last one or two seasons — the tide has begun to change in cycling.

A few years back, the enormous fashion and apparel industry began to take sustainability seriously, and the outdoor sports industry even more so. Increasingly, there are sustainable textiles available that can stand toe-to-toe on performance with anything else on the market. Some recycled synthetic fibers used in performance textiles, for example, are said to be chemically identical to virgin fibers.

Pearl Izumi has been increasing its use of recycled and natural materials, reducing packaging, and establishing a repair and used gear sales program to keep its product out of landfills. Instead of sprinkling sustainable materials here and there, Pearl has added recycled content to some of its best-selling products, like its longstanding Attack short, which is now made with 80% recycled nylon.

The Shimano-owned brand has the clout to drive the movement, but sustainable cycling clothing is still far from an easy sell, said Andrew Hammond, Pearl Izumi's global brand manager.

"I think that there is still a challenge anytime somebody hears about it," he told BRAIN. "When people hear that something is recycled they think they might be giving something up, because that had been the case a lot of times. Think about those park benches you used to see that were made of water bottles ... We are always going to make sure the stuff we make performs, and people are getting more open about it now, but it's still a challenge," he said.

Besides Pearl Izumi, most major cycling apparel brands are experimenting with using recycled materials.

Rapha has committed to examining all its processes for sustainability and added recycled materials to its Pro bibs and other products. The brand also has a repair program to keep its products out of landfills.

Giro is using significant amounts of recycled and sustainable materials in its apparel, including Econyl Lycra, which is made from reclaimed fishing nets and other ocean debris.

You can read the entire story here.

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