News – VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:57:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.velonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-Velonews_favicon-2-32x32.png News – VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com 32 32 Bakelants back surgery successful http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/road/bakelants-back-surgery-successful_450420 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/road/bakelants-back-surgery-successful_450420#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:34:51 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450420 Belgian Jan Bakelants is out of intensive care on Monday three days after back surgery following a crash in Il Lombardia.

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PARIS (AFP) — Jan Bakelants, who broke two vertebrae and suffered seven rib fractures in a shocking fall during Il Lombardia, came out of intensive care on Monday three days after back surgery.

The 31-year-old Belgian, who rides for Ag2r La Mondiale, suffered the horror fall on a perilous descent in the Italian one-day classic in early October.

“The operation has been a success,” Ag2r said on Monday of the procedure on his A3 vertebrae that took place in Belgium Friday.

“Jan can go home later in the week and continue his convalescence there, but it’s too early to say when he’ll be back in training.”

Another Belgian, Laurens De Plus, was also hurled over his handlebars and off the edge of the same road into a deep ravine during the race in northern Italy.

Two other riders also crashed on the same hazardous section of the route as Bakelants.

Italian Simone Petilli suffered a broken collarbone and shoulder blade, and fractures to his neck and one vertebra, as well as a concussion and a cut to his forehead.

Colombian Daniel Martinez escaped any fractures.

Photographer Kristof Ramon posted this photo of Bakelants’s bike after the crash:

Most surreal & horrific picture I ever made during a cycling race... #IlLombardia #4metersup

A post shared by Kristof Ramon (@kramon_velophoto) on

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Job posting: VeloNews seeks cycling reporter http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/job-posting-velonews-seeks-cycling-reporter_450414 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/job-posting-velonews-seeks-cycling-reporter_450414#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:21:57 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450414 VeloNews seeks a highly motivated and energetic reporter to cover the sport of professional cycling.

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VeloNews, the country’s oldest and most respected cycling media outlet, is looking for a highly motivated and energetic reporter to cover the sport of professional cycling. This is a rare opportunity to report on a global sport from events in North America and abroad.

This is a position for an experienced sports journalist and requires someone who can generate his or her own story ideas, cultivate sources within the sport, and report at events. The reporter is responsible for producing written content that appears on all of VeloNews’s digital and print platforms, including the magazine, website, and social channels. The cycling reporter writes a wide range of content, including race recaps, breaking news, magazine-length feature stories, op-eds, blogs, and social media posts. The cycling reporter also contributes to VeloNews’ podcast and video platforms. The cycling reporter maintains a network of sources within the sport.

***This is a full-time, in-house position based in our Boulder, Colorado office. No remote option is available.***

Candidate personality:

The desired candidate is a self-starter with limitless energy, an inquisitive mind, and the well-developed instincts of a reporter. The candidate also has a fundamental knowledge of both professional and participatory competitive cycling. The role requires a close working relationship with a team of editors, so the candidate is a team player who can handle regular critique of his or her work. The candidate must be able to handle tight deadlines and must be comfortable with regular travel (including overseas travel).

Responsibilities:

– Writes daily news stories, race reports, op-eds, and blogs for VeloNews.com based on the editorial calendar
– Writes monthly in-depth feature stories for our print magazine
– Maintains a network of sources to understand the forces at play within the sport
– Conducts interviews with athletes, team directors, brand representatives, and other people within the sport
– Helps produce and edit podcasts and videos
– Works closely with our team of digital and print editors to refine written material
– Adheres to strict deadlines for print and digital assignments
– Assists with editorial oversight of social media channels
– Travel as required to races and industry events both in North America and abroad

Qualifications:

– Bachelors or advanced degree in journalism or related field
– 2-3+ years of experience in similar role
– Knowledge of professional and participatory cycling
– Ability to write clean copy and meet deadlines in fast-paced working environment
– Strong grammar, punctuation, style, and spelling skills and knowledge of AP style
– Experience working in WordPress
– Familiarity with basic audio and video editing a plus

For more information email Fred Dreier.

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Livestream: 2018 Tour de France route presentation http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/video/livestream-2018-tour-de-france-route-presentation_450408 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/video/livestream-2018-tour-de-france-route-presentation_450408#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:02:46 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450408 The Tour de France's 2018 route is presented in Paris. The race is rumored to return to the cobblestones and Alpe d'Huez.

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If cycling has a big event that’s on par with the NBA draft or the drama deciding the brackets for Champions League, it’s Tuesday’s presentation of the 2018 Tour de France route. Tune in at 11:30 CET (6:30 a.m. Eastern) to watch.

Read Andrew Hood’s feature about how the route is created >>

More than 3,000 luminaries from cycling’s past and present file into the Palais des Congrès in Paris. Everyone’s dressed to the nines, and there’s a hint of anticipation. ASO’s big hitters are there, along with top Tour contenders of today and select stars from yesterday.

It’s not quite Oscar night, but it’s a full-blown multimedia event that comes as close as cycling is ever going to come to a red-carpet event.

Read more about what the 2018 route might look like >>

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Inside Slipstream’s brush with death http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/feature/inside-slipstreams-brush-with-death_450279 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/feature/inside-slipstreams-brush-with-death_450279#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:52:50 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450279 U.S. based Team Slipstream was on the brink of collapse in late 2017. Here's how it survived and secured a better future.

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THE PHONE CALL CAME IN ON AUGUST 25, early in the morning. Jonathan Vaughters picked it up, listened for a few minutes, and was sure his team was dead.

Vaughters and Slipstream Sports, the management company behind Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling, had been on the sponsorship prowl for a year. They were already looking, really. Since 2010 the team endured two mergers and added or changed title sponsors five more times (Garmin, Garmin-Transitions, Garmin-Sharp, Garmin-Barracuda, Cannondale). Slipstream kept moving, grasping onto whatever funding it could find because cycling’s sponsorship model punishes idleness with death.

“We’re cockroaches in a nuclear apocalypse,” Vaughters says.

Despite the near-constant financial flux, never before August 25 had the team been so close to collapse. That fateful, early-morning call came from a sponsor the team had courted for months. At the eleventh hour, it pulled the plug. The deal was off. Vaughters has declined to name the company.

Slipstream suddenly needed $7 million to simply meet the UCI’s financial requirements for a WorldTour team. It had just weeks to find it.

ON SATURDAY, August 26, 24 hours later, Slipstream employees — riders and staff — received an email signed by Vaughters and the team’s longtime benefactor, Doug Ellis.

The email released all riders and staff from their 2018 contracts.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100, this is the end,” Vaughters says of the message. “That should have been the end.”

In fact, by the time the email went out, most of the team already knew of the disaster. In the hours after Vaughters received the first phone call, he told agents and some riders the bad news. Alex Howes, who has ridden with the program for over a decade, was drinking a late-season beer with a friend when his call came in. “It was somber,” Howes recalls. “He started the call with, ‘I’m calling you as a friend.’ I got off the phone and ordered another one.” Michael Rutherford and Robbie Hunter, both rider agents, say they found out shortly after Vaughters received the news. “The info given to us was that things were in dire straights,” Hunter says. “Every agent out there gets on the horn and it becomes a race against time. You know every other agent is doing the same thing.”

Cannondale-Drapac
Although they are rivals on the race course, fellow pro cycling teams empathize with Cannondale-Drapac’s plight. Photo: Iri Greco / BrakeThrough Media | www.brakethroughmedia.com (File).

According to sources within the team, the $7 million funding gap was mostly a function of the team’s existing sponsors, primarily Cannondale, decreasing their financial commitments. Vaughters had known of the funding shortfall all year. He told riders and staff in July that the team would go on thanks to a new sponsor. He signed a three-year deal with Rigoberto Urán based on a sponsor that itself had not yet signed the dotted line. Then the sponsor walked.

According to Vaughters, boardroom dynamics within the unnamed company broke the deal. Vaughters thought that he needed a majority vote of the potential sponsor’s board when in fact the final vote had to be unanimous. He felt blindsided by the bad news.

“I am no saint in this,” he says.

In response, Vaughters could have kept quiet. Team management was under no obligation to tell staff or riders, not until the UCI’s deadline more than a month later. In fact, many teams have kept similar news quiet — doomed projects like the Australian Pegasus team waited until the final moments to inform staff and riders in 2011. Vaughters did not. He made a rather risky decision to take the news public, to inform riders immediately and release them from their contracts. He knew that doing so meant he could lose his best riders to other teams, further decreasing the likelihood of finding a new sponsor.

“If you just keep rolling and keep searching and don’t let anyone out of their contracts, or even tell them, until September 30, that’s the best way to survive as a team,” Vaughters says. “But is that the best for the people, the riders and the staff? That’s what kept me up at night. Am I doing the best for the team or the riders and staff? Those things can be diametrically opposed.”

Rigoberto Uran at a Tour de France press conference. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The decision likely led to the loss of more than one sought-after rider. “It did turn out to his disadvantage because he had a number of riders who got snatched up ASAP,” says Hunter, the agent. “If he had kept quiet and said nothing he could have said at the last second, ‘We don’t have anything.’ That would have saved a number of riders from going to other teams.”

The team had been in discussions with young American talent Neilson Powless, but those talks fell apart during the funding gap, according to Vaughters. Powless ended up at LottoNL-Jumbo. Classics star Dylan van Baarle moved to Sky during the gap as well. “That was probably a matter of three to four days,” Vaughters says. “If I had announced EF earlier we wouldn’t have lost him.”

Riders had every right to leave, of course. With all 2018 contracts nullified and no guarantee that the team would go on, agents scrambled and staff polished resumes. Meanwhile, Vaughters and Ellis and some of their high-powered friends — all the way up to former secretary of state John Kerry — stepped in to aid in the sponsor search. The team started a crowdfunding effort that eventually raised more than half a million dollars from nearly 4,700 individuals. It was an effort that would prove to be worth far more than the tangible dollar amount.

The team’s marquee rider, Urán, gave Vaughters two weeks to find the necessary cash. If Urán left, the team would be gone. Vaughters was sure of that. He had 14 days, starting August 26.

ON AUGUST 31, six days after the crisis erupted, Vaughters sent another mass email.

He signed off with a fingers-crossed emoji and his initials.

The good news was a percolating deal with EF Education First, an international education company. Three days prior, one of EF’s employees, a Slipstream fan, spotted the team’s crowdfunding efforts and reached out to Vaughters on LinkedIn. Should he send something up the chain? Vaughters said yes.

EF and Slipstream had a prior relationship. Vaughters and Slipstream President Matt Johnson had pitched EF in 2014, when the Tour de France went to London. That pitch had ultimately failed. This time the stakes were much higher.

Vaughters got a mystery phone call and picked it up. It was the company’s chairman, Philip Holt. The two talked for two hours.

“I walked him through everything,” Vaughters says. “By this point in time, I already thought we were dead, so there was no salesmanship going on. I was just like, ‘Listen, here’s the deal, we have another five days here.’ He said, ‘Fly to Boston tomorrow.’”

The negotiation was short. Vaughters says the crowdfunding helped his cause. He could point to fans that were financially invested in the team’s survival. Kerry made a call, too. That afternoon, Vaughters sent out the fingers-crossed emoji email.

John Kerry visited the Cannondale-Drapac team at the 2017 Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

THE COLLAPSE, or potential collapse, of a professional cycling team pulls nearly 50 people into its dark embrace. There are the riders, of course. Most are well-paid; some are famous. They are likely to find other teams, though they may take a pay cut. But there’s also the bus driver, Andrea Bisogno, and the mechanics, Geoff Brown and Sam Elenes and James Griffin and Jorge Queiros. There are the soigneurs, Sophie Roullois and Alyssa Morahan and Gary Becket. There are press officers and chefs and directors and logistics managers. None have agents racing against time for them.

They do, though, have the benefit of longevity. A good mechanic will remain so; a professional athlete’s time at the top is finite. Earning potential can be quickly squandered. The result is that both riders and staff, even those highly loyal to Slipstream, were forced to begin looking elsewhere.

“Most of us were good to give him some time,” says Howes, one of the team’s original riders. He’s been with the program since it was a U23 development team. But even he had to start looking. “If there’s a hole in the boat, and you think you can fix the hole, you’re going to do what you can to help fix the hole,” he says. “But if there’s nothing you can do to fix the hole you’re going to find another boat.”

And then there’s Vaughters. In the end, he’s responsible for them all, their fates deeply intertwined. “I’m the captain of the ship,” he says, equally fond of a good boat metaphor. “If this thing goes under, the captain doesn’t get in a lifeboat. You get to go live at the bottom of the ocean with the Titanic.” There were times, he says, when the Titanic option felt preferable. “There were moments I wanted to die at the bottom. And it’s a very public thing, which makes it even worse. It affected friendships that I have. It affected my family. I was obsessed with making it live and hurting as few people as possible.”

Much of that stress seemed to be of Vaughters’s own creation. He’d been relying on some creative accounting — to put it kindly — for the last few years to effectively inflate the team’s budget beyond its actual means. Every team in the WorldTour has a bank guarantee with the UCI, so that if the team folds, salaries continue to be paid for about three months. Slipstream had been leaning on this guarantee, only funding itself through October of each year. If it didn’t find a sponsor by then, it would run out of money and the UCI would pay salaries through the end of the year.

“It allowed me to get guys like Rigo [Urán] and Sep [Vanmarcke] and Taylor Phinney,” Vaughters says. It also meant that the team was $3 million in the hole at the end of every season. Vaughters says this debt was not part of the $7 million he needed to keep the team alive, but it was debt that EF, or any new sponsor, would have to eventually pay down.

Though Vaughters had a savior for 2018 in hand, it had taken a great personal toll. And the one-year deal he initially worked out with EF didn’t solve his long-term shortfalls or the fact that he was finishing every year $3 million in debt. It didn’t prevent him from starting the search over next year, going through all of this again.

“I was looking at it and thinking, ‘F—k, this is the same issue,’” he says. “I don’t want to do this again. In fact, I refuse to do this. It’s ruined so many things in my life. I don’t want to do this. Emotionally, I couldn’t go through it all again.”

He decided to gamble. He returned to his new sponsor and told them he didn’t want their money, not for just one year. It was a longer deal or nothing.

“We took a huge risk,” he says. “Fortunately it turned out.”

Jonathan Vaughters. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

WITH FIVE DAYS LEFT in Uran’s two-week window, Vaughters returned to EF and told them just that. He could not and would not scramble again. He needed more than one year. EF agreed, on one condition: It had to take ownership of Slipstream.

EF sent staff to Boulder, Colorado to look into Slipstream’s books, go through them line by line. What they saw was a reflection of cycling’s persistent unpredictability. “They said, ‘Okay, we see this is really helter-skelter revenue. We get that’s really hard to deal with, and it totally distracts you from running the team,’” Vaughters says. “So since they want to have a really effective, winning team for the long-term, they agreed to do the three-year deal, or hell, even do a 10-year deal. But they needed to own the team, and not just sponsor the team.” By press time, EF already had final say in the team’s staffing decisions, according to Vaughters.

Turning down a one-year deal, saying ‘no’ to millions of dollars, was a risk. “It was crazy, actually,” Vaughters says. But it worked. Suddenly, this deal was unlike any other Vaughters had brokered. It was now an asset purchase from Ellis, who was the majority owner of Slipstream. Everything still had to be finalized before the UCI’s September 30 deadline.

On Saturday, September 7, two days before Urán’s deadline, Vaughters sent out another team-wide email at 7:53 p.m.

Vaughters says he sent it the moment he was sure, beyond any doubt, that the deal would happen. He’d already been burned once this summer, after all.

Two days later, September 9, the team made a formal announcement. It fed the story to select media (including this magazine) in advance and set an embargo, then delayed that embargo for 30 minutes as final details were ironed out. “Those stories ran within five minutes of the [Letter of Intent] actually being executed,” Vaughters says.

“Then we had obviously an incredibly tight timeline, the bank guarantee had to be rolled over to a new entity. It’s a hard deadline of September 30. There’s no second chance.”

There is a second chance, though. This team is second chances incarnate. Like cockroaches in a nuclear apocalypse, Slipstream survived, again.

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Riders give troubled Tour of Turkey thumbs up http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/riders-give-troubled-tour-turkey-thumbs_450396 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/riders-give-troubled-tour-turkey-thumbs_450396#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:41:46 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450396 Riders at the Tour of Turkey gave the race much praise despite issues throughout the region.

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ISTANBUL (VN) — Pro cyclists gave the Tour of Turkey, a race that nearly ceased due to political problems and limited WorldTour team participation, their stamp of approval after completing the six-stage race Sunday among Istanbul’s famous mosques.

Belgian Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) led the final stage from the Bosphorus Strait that divides the continents of Europe and Asia. His sprint win over the cobbled streets in the old quarter, and the overall victory of Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), helped forget about recent issues in Turkey.

“It’s a bit hard to say [if this race is worthy of WorldTour status] it’s a pity there are not so many WorldTour teams [racing in Turkey],” Theuns said.

“For me, the parcours were good and the roads were good. In Belgium you have all the road furniture, but here the roads are good and big, and well classed. I really liked the parcours.

“The only thing is that the guys say that the stages of 200 kilometers are too long. But for me the parcours was nice: there were chances for the sprinters and climbers. For me it was a nice race.”

Such minor suggestions were music to the organizer’s ears after struggling for the last year to make sure the race would continue for its 53rd edition.

The future seemed bright when the UCI awarded it a spot on the WorldTour calendar. Initially, it sat in its usual April slot as a Giro d’Italia tune-up race. Political problems in Ankara (an attempted coup) and terrorism attacks – including one at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub, in which the race hosted an after-party — deterred teams.

The UCI allowed it to run in October instead and to continue without the minimum 10 of the 18 WorldTour squads. This year, only WorldTour teams Bora-Hansgrohe, Trek-Segafredo, UAE Emirates, and Astana made the trip.

Those teams won all six stages. Irishman Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) won four times and appeared ready to win in Istanbul on Sunday until he slipped in the final corner.

The top teams’ presence and praise bodes well for the race’s future. Next year, it is scheduled for October 9-14 despite asking to be moved back to April for the 2019 season.

“The negative points? The fact that not more WorldTour teams turned up, because it turned out to be a lovely race,” Bennett said. “It’s worthy of WorldTour status, but it needs the riders to turn up. It’s a good race, hard race.”

The race’s success story includes years racing with a 2.2 and 2.1 UCI ranking. It moved to 2.HC and enjoyed top sprinters like Mark Cavendish fighting for the stages and riders like Adam Yates and Tejay van Garderen fighting for the overall.

The UCI awarded it and several other races, including the Amgen Tour California and the Abu Dhabi Tour, with the WorldTour tag for 2017. The controversial expanded race schedule caused the 18 WorldTour teams to complain of an overcrowded season. The governing body responded by making participation voluntary and reduced the points on offer. Those points count for individual and team rankings, but not for the sporting criterion when the UCI issues new team licenses.

“Turkey is a beautiful country, a great place to race and to visit,” American Gregory Daniel (Trek-Segafredo) said. “It is organized very well. I didn’t have any complaints about the food or travel.

“Is it worthy of WorldTour status? I think so, I know there were a few teams that were scared with some of the political issues, but I didn’t see that at all. Even as an American coming here, it was great.”

That sentiment was shared by other Americans in the race.

“We saw some amazing places and the stages were designed well because it was open to sprinters, climbers and breakaways,” Italian Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF) explained.

“Let’s hope next year we will have many more WorldTour teams because this race is so cool.”

Simion, Daniel, and other riders complimented the minimal transfers between stages when the race traveled in the country’s south along the Mediterranean Coast and its famous ancient ruins. However, they complained about the final push to the Istanbul finale, which included a flight and a 2 a.m. hotel check-in.

“The Tour of Turkey is perfect for finishing the season because the organization is very good and the weather is perfect,” Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice) said.

“The race should stay [in the] WorldTour because everything is good for the riders. I hope for more WorldTour teams next year. More WorldTour teams will make this race harder and more interesting.”

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2018 Tour route: Fact, fiction, and wish lists http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/2018-tour-route-fact-fiction-and-wish-lists_450387 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/2018-tour-route-fact-fiction-and-wish-lists_450387#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:06:37 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450387 ASO will unveil next year's Tour de France course on Tuesday. Here's how the route could play out.

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If cycling has a big event that’s on par with the NBA draft or the drama deciding the brackets for Champions League, it’s Tuesday’s presentation of the 2018 Tour de France route.

It’s as glamorous and hyped as cycling gets.

More than 3,000 luminaries from cycling’s past and present file into the Palais des Congrès in Paris. Everyone’s dressed to the nines, and there’s a hint of anticipation. ASO’s big hitters are there, along with top Tour contenders of today and select stars from yesterday.

It’s not quite Oscar night, but it’s a full-blown multimedia event that comes as close as cycling is ever going to come to a red-carpet event.

The lights dim. Functionaries give their speeches and a highlight reel is played to get the emotions pumping. Then Tour director Christian Prudhomme steps to the dais and in what’s a highly polished multimedia show, each stage is fully revealed with swooping videos and engaging optics.

There used to be something quite mysterious and tantalizing about the official unveiling ceremony. Beyond a few whispers and insider gossip, much of the route was safely kept under wraps until the big show.

That’s changed dramatically over the past decade or so. Much of the element of surprise has been lost, thanks to the magic of the Internet and a growing legion of fans who track every hint and clue of where each year’s Tour route might go.

The best of these websites is Velowire, run by blogger Thomas Vergouwen. His site is usually fairly accurate, so much so that journalists and tour groups often book their hotels early based on some of these early reports. Stories from local French or foreign newspapers are curated to sketch a picture of what the route might look like. Hotel reservations are also tracked for key dates, providing another clue that the Tour is coming to town.

It’s fun detective work, and though it does take some of the wind out of ASO’s big show each October, the Tour brass usually manages to keep a few surprises tucked under its belt.

The big talking point next year will be Chris Froome’s attempt to join the Tour’s five-win club. So all eyes will be on what the Tour will deliver.

So, what can we expect for 2018?

What we know

The opening stages of the 105th Tour route are already well-known, with the Grand Depart in the Vendée region of western France. The remainder will be officially unveiled at Tuesday’s lavish presentation.

What’s already known is that the Tour will start July 7 and will end July 29 in Paris. That’s about one week later than normal, with the race bumped back so it limits the overlaps with soccer’s World Cup in Russia (June 14-July 15).

The Tour will open with a road stage from Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile to Fontenay-le-Comte. Initially, the route was supposed to include a passage over the Passage du Gois, the infamous cobbles submerged under water during high tide. However, some reports suggest that the tide tables are not favorable with the Tour starting one week later.

And the Tour will end, per recent tradition, right at sunset on the Champs-Élysées in what is one of sport’s most dramatic settings.

Though the exact route details are still to come, we also know the start and finishes of the opening stages.

Stage 2 is another road stage, from Mouilleron-Saint Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon. Stage 3 is around Cholet, suggesting a team time trial could be back in the Tour. Stage 4 starts in La Baule, with the remainder of the route remaining a blank canvas.

What the rumor mill suggests

There’s been plenty of speculation and rumor-mongering over the past weeks and months leading up to Tuesday’s big show.

What seems sure is that the route will sweep clockwise around France, first heading north into Brittany and then east across northern France. That suggests that the Alps will come first, followed by the Pyrénées, before a transfer back up to Paris for the finale. That rough outline also hints at two major transfers (bad news for team bus drivers), with the first two weekends in northern France and the second half of the race between the Alps and Pyrénées.

Early stops could include Sarzeau, the hometown of recently elected UCI president David Lappartient, Point-du-Raz, a rugged promontory on France’s west coast, and the Mur de Bretagne. The big buzz at the end of week 1 will be a likely return of cobblestones, with a stage ending in Roubaix ahead of the first rest day. Just how many cobbles will be included remains to be seen, but reports suggest that the treacherous Carrefour de l’Arbre could be in the mix.

Week 2 should dip straight into the Alps for two or three mountain stages. Alpe d’Huez and La Grand-Bornand are names that keep popping up. The race is expected to slip into the Massif Central before going into the second weekend.

The latest media reports coming out of France suggest that the Pyrénées will be the main protagonist in the decisive final week. Pau could well be the center of attention, at least in terms of a base for team hotels. There should be at least three climbing stages in the Pyrénées in the final week.

The biggest question mark is over time trials.

With the race reverting to a road stage start and skipping an opening prologue, the first test against the clock should come in stage 3, most likely with a team time trial. There are some reports of a climbing time trial up Alpe d’Huez, which would certainly help the pure climbers against the likes of Froome. The latest reports suggest a rolling time trial course on the penultimate stage around France’s Basque Country.

What we’d love to see

ASO deserves kudos for spicing up what a Tour de France can look like. With the arrival of Prudhomme as race director in 2007 and Thierry Gouvenou as technical director, the Tour isn’t afraid of new ideas and innovation.

Yet, from first glance, this route remains firmly inside the blueprint of what a modern Tour can look like. The trend of fewer kilometers of time trials and more punchy, uphill finales seems intact. This will be a traditional Tour with a modern touch.

Last week at VeloNews, we offered a few suggestions of how to take the Tour to the next level.

The addition that everyone is waiting to see? Gravel. Everyone loves gravel these days, and the Giro d’Italia was the first major grand tour to get off the pavement when it included the Colle delle Finestre in 2005. There are rumors that this year’s route could take in some of the gravel roads — ribinoù — featured each spring in the Tro-Bro León. If they do, let’s hope they keep the tradition alive of giving the top-placed Breton rider the prize of a piglet.

The second: fewer TT kilometers. Nothing sucks the drama out of a modern grand tour more than a long time trial (or two). It appears the Tour won’t be delivering a course that would favor a TT duel between Froome and rising challenger Tom Dumoulin. The last Tour packed with kilometers against the clock came in 2012, with nearly 100km, a route that paved the way for Bradley Wiggins to win. The inclusion of a team time trial in the first week would mean there’s no opening prologue and possibly no other time trial until the penultimate day. Let’s hope so. That would certainly help keep the GC battle knotted up, give the climbers a real chance to take Froome, and set it up so that the final TT will have a major influence on the final outcome.

And finally, more shorter climbing stages. Experiments in shorter, more explosive climbing stages have proven very popular, not only in the Tour but stage races across the calendar. We’d love to see this become more of the norm than the novelty. Short is the new long. Riders seem more willing to attack from further away when they know they won’t run out of gas. Team strength is also diminished when it’s a free-for-all from the gun.

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U.S Open of Cyclocross: Millburn and Mcfadden score first wins of season http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/u-s-open-cyclocross-millburn-mcfadden-score-first-wins-season_450361 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/u-s-open-cyclocross-millburn-mcfadden-score-first-wins-season_450361#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 03:22:52 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450361 Garry Millburn and Courtenay McFadden each sprinted to their first victory of the season on Sunday at the U.S. Open of Cyclocross in

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Australian Garry Millburn (Speedvagen x MAAP) was victorious in a three-rider sprint on day two of the UCI C2 U.S. Open of Cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado on Sunday. The Aussie led onto the finishing straight and was able to hold off Hector Riveros (Stan’s NoTubes) and Michael van den Ham (Garneau Easton) to capture the victory.

“Today certainly had enough of a challenge,” Millburn said. “It broke up a little bit and we had a few gaps. I was just trying to stay at the front. I knew the kind of group I was with. I was confident that I could get the sprint if I just positioned myself right. So I kind of went early on this back straight and into that final corner first. I pulled a pedal. Hector was coming, and I got my foot back in (the pedal), found a few more gears and got there in the end. A great way to cap off the U.S. season for us.”

Windy conditions continued for the start of Sunday’s race at the U.S. Open of Cyclocross across Valmont Bike Park. The elite men kicked up a dust cloud, as they began their race on a dry course in Boulder, with Cody Kaiser (Lange Twins/Specialized) taking the holeshot.

The field began to break apart midway through the race, with 23-year-old Keegan Swenson (Cannondale/3Rox) taking a turn at the front. The lead group also contained van den Ham, Riveros, Millburn, and Americans Allen Krughoff (Krughoff Racing) and Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Sports), who was Saturday’s champion.

Three riders would make a move on the twisty course with two laps to go, and the move would stick for the final podium. It would be the Aussie Millburn crossing the line for his first win this year in five events. Riveros would finish just behind in for second, with van den Ham rolling across the line in third. Swenson finished fourth, and Driscoll managed fifth.

Millburn was proud to be the first Australian to win a UCI race at U.S. Open of Cyclocross. “Today was pretty good,” Millburn said. “My wife and I love Boulder. I’m from Sydney, Australia, so this is kind of small town, but enough of what we need. Sydney is just hustle and bustle. This is finishing off our U.S. block now. We did the two World Cups and went to KMC and Interloken [local cyclocross race in Bloomfield, Colorado -Ed.] last weekend. Tomorrow morning back to Sydney.”

Elite men, top 10

  • 1. Garry Millburn, (AUS), 56:41.
  • 2. Hector Fernando Riveros Paez, (COL), 56:41.
  • 3. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 56:43.
  • 4. Keegan Swenson, (USA), 56:46.
  • 5. James Driscoll, (USA), 56:48.
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 56:51.
  • 7. Allen Krughoff, (USA), 57:13.
  • 8. Skyler Mackey, (USA), 58:18.
  • 9. Chris Baddick, (GBR), 58:29.
  • 10. Jake Wells, (USA), 58:32.

In the elite women’s race, Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles p/b DNA) powered across the line as the winner in a three-rider sprint. Rising star Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle Co.) grabbed the runner-up spot, with third-place going to Caroline Mani (Van Dessel/Atom Composites) of France. Clouse and Mani switched positions on the podium on Sunday, as Clouse finished behind Mani the day before.

Runner-up Clouse was ecstatic to have ridden to a podium place for the second day in a row. “I was really hoping to get a top-five at least this weekend because I’m really trying to get as many UCI points as I can before the next big C1 races, so I can actually have a good line-up,” Clouse said. “I was hoping for a top-five, top-10, around there. I really wasn’t expecting a top-three both days, so I’m super excited about that. It’s so crazy being able to race with Caroline Mani and Courtenay Mcfadden and all those big names. It’s super fun and I get to push my limits.”

The U.S. Open of Cyclocross again held separate UCI races for the junior men and under-23 men on Sunday. Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Top Club CycloCross) went two-for-two in the junior 17-18 men’s contest, outsprinting Henry Jones (Bend Endurance Academy) for the win. Scott Funston (Rad Racing NW) finished third.

In the under-23 battle, it was an all-Colorado contest. Boulder’s Eric Brunner (Evol Racing) opened a small gap in the lead group with two laps to go, leaving Saturday’s winner Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co./Groove Subaru) to chase, along with Boulder riders Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport), Denzel Stephenson (Evol Racing) and Maxx Chance (Evol Racing). The chasing paid off with a big kick in the final sprint and Hecht secured his second under-23 race in two days at Valmont Bike Park.

Second-place was secured by Stephenson and third went to Ellwood. Eric Brunner, who finished third on Saturday, would miss the podium and finish fourth on Sunday.

Elite women full results

  • 1. Courtenay McFadden, 45:15.
  • 2. Katie Clouse, 45:16.
  • 3. Caroline Mani, 45:16.
  • 4. Sofia Gomez Villafane,45:44.6
  • 5. Samantha Runnels, 45:45.8
  • 6. Laurel Rathbun, 45:46.6
  • 7. Rebecca Gross, 46:09.6
  • 8. Sunny Gilbert, 46:10.3
  • 9. Caitlin Bernstein, 46:38.2
  • 10. Emily Kachorek, 46:39.0
  • 11. Christa Ghent, 46:59.6
  • 12. Danielle Arman, 47:39.7
  • 13. Anna Katrina Engelsted, 47:43.2
  • 14. Amy Beisel, 47:50.9
  • 15. Georgia Gould, 48:04.1
  • 16. Kristen Legan, 48:13.8
  • 17. Petra Schmidtmann, 48:21.1
  • 18. Ava Lilley, 48:21.9
  • 19. Maria Larkin, 48:58.9
  • 20. Ksenia Lepikhina, 49:03.4
  • 21. Shannon Mallory, 49:08.4
  • 22. Jolene Holland, 49:12.7
  • 23. Fiona Morris, 49:30.0
  • 24. Meghan Newlin, 49:36.1
  • 25. Turner Ramsay, 50:03.4
  • 26. Dana Kuper, 50:17.5
  • 27. Heidi Franz, 50:37.2
  • 28. Marsa Daniel, 50:42.3
  • 29. Anna Dorovskikh, 50:47.3
  • 30. Ashley Zoerner, 50:56.5
  • 31. Nicole Jorgenson, 50:58.4
  • 32. Jenna Downey, 52:08.0
  • 33. Laura Jeddeloh, @1 Lap
  • DNF Megan Carrington
  • DNF Suzie Livingston
  • DNF Leslie Ethridge

Elite men full results

  • 1. Garry Millburn, (AUS), 56:41.
  • 2. Hector Fernando Riveros Paez, (COL), 56:41.
  • 3. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 56:43.
  • 4. Keegan Swenson, (USA), 56:46.
  • 5. James Driscoll, (USA), 56:48.
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 56:51.
  • 7. Allen Krughoff, (USA), 57:13.
  • 8. Skyler Mackey, (USA), 58:18.
  • 9. Chris Baddick, (GBR), 58:29.
  • 10. Jake Wells, (USA), 58:32.
  • 11. Yannick Eckmann, (USA), 59:11.
  • 12. Cody Cupp, (USA), 59:25.
  • 13. Josh Whitney, (USA), 59:35.
  • 14. Kevin Day, (USA), 59:48.
  • 15. Mark Flis, (USA), 59:49.
  • 16. Samuel Dolzani, (USA), 59:49.
  • 17. Kevin Bradford-Parish, (USA), 01:00:08.
  • 18. Josh Direen, (USA), 01:00:14.
  • 19. Alex Wild, (USA), 01:01:17.
  • 20. Allan Schroeder, (USA), 01:01:19.
  • 21. Eric Fossell, (USA), 01:01:44.
  • 22. William Allen, (USA), 01:01:45.
  • 23. Ryan Rinn, (USA), 01:01:52.
  • 24. Jacob Huizenga, (USA), 01:02:10.
  • 25. Aaron Vaughn, (USA), 01:02:16.
  • 26. Jayson Jacobs, (USA), 01:02:17.
  • 27. Timber Weiss, (USA), 01:02:41.
  • 28. Zachary Dolzani, (USA), 01:02:46.
  • 29. Christopher Ganter, (USA), 01:04:11.
  • 30. Nick Thomas, (USA), 01:04:36.
  • 31. Jeremy Ostrowski, (USA), 01:05:13.

Under-23 men full results

  • 1. Gage Hecht, 48:58.1
  • 2. Denzel Stephenson, 48:58.9
  • 3. Grant Ellwood, 48:59.1
  • 4. Eric Brunner, 49:00.7
  • 5. Maxx Chance, 49:09.6
  • 6. Lance Haidet, 49:26.9
  • 7. Garrett Gerchar, 49:32.8
  • 8. Brannan Fix, 49:34.1
  • 9. Ross Ellwood, 50:07.4
  • 10. Jack Tanner, 50:55.3
  • 11. Drew Sotebeer, 52:09.0
  • 12. Jonathan Anderson, 52:14.2
  • 13. Harrison Buckley, 52:14.6
  • 14. Nevin Whittemore, 53:22.8
  • 15. Brent Franze, 54:26.8
  • 16. Wiley Melton, 55:21.7
  • 17. Simon Lynn, 55:50.6

Junior 17-18 men full results

  • 1. Benjamin Gomezvillafane, (USA), 41:35.
  • 2. Henry Jones, (USA), 41:39.
  • 3. Tyler Clark, (CAN), 41:47.
  • 4. Torin Bickmore, (USA), 42:25.
  • 5. Calder Wood, (USA), 42:48.
  • 6. Sam Brown, (USA), 43:03.
  • 7. Conor Martin, (CAN), 43:13.
  • 8. Benjamin Johnson, (USA), 43:16.
  • 9. Campbell Watson, (USA), 44:10.
  • 10. Max Ritzow, (USA), 44:32.
  • 11. Cole Limpach, (USA), 44:42.
  • 12. Charles Springer, (USA), 46:31.
  • 13. Tyler Reynolds, (USA), 46:48.

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Gloucester: Ortenblad doubles up, Noble powers to victory http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/gloucester-ortenblad-doubles-noble-powers-victory_450357 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/gloucester-ortenblad-doubles-noble-powers-victory_450357#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 02:22:31 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450357 Tobin Ortenblad and Ellen Noble captured victories on day two of the Gran Prix of Gloucester in New England on Sunday.

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Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) continued to be untouchable of late on U.S. soil, as he captured his fifth victory in his last six races on day two of the Gran Prix of Gloucester on Sunday in New England. Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) finished second and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) rounded out the podium in third.

Powers seemed motivated to lead the charge early on and control the pace. He and Ortenblad would go head-to-head for nearly the entire race, separating from the bunch on the second lap.

Ortenblad got the jump on Powers, taking the inside line on the final turn onto the pavement. He would use a tailwind on the finishing sprint to win by 12 seconds over Powers.

“Jeremy was definitely riding super aggressive today, you could tell he didn’t want it to be a group again,” said Ortenblad. “He split it up pretty early. “He and I just kind of went back and forth for the most part. The last lap, I kinda wanted to lead through the beginning and Jeremy also wanted to, so he came around me on the technical stuff. We both rode the stairs and this run-up thing really well, and I was able to kinda hang on his wheel again. Coming into the sprint, he definitely tried to slow down and make me come through and I did, but I was able to just hold it from there.”

White would fight for third, escaping teammate Cooper Willsey and riding away to the final podium spot. Ortenblad now leads the Vittoria Series for the elite men, with Cooper Willsey leading the under-23 men’s competition.

Men’s top-10

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ/DONKEY LABEL RACING, 58:15.
  • 2. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, 58:27.
  • 3. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 59:02.
  • 4. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, 59:29.
  • 5. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 59:37.
  • 6. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, 59:53.
  • 7. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, 01:00:05.
  • 8. Bjorn SELANDER, 01:00:26.
  • 9. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, 01:00:45.
  • 10. Brendan MCCORMACK, APEXNBXHYPERTHREADS, 01:00:56.

Noble powers to second victory of the season

Ellen Noble soloed to victory on Sunday in New England at the Gran Prix of Gloucester. Photo: Chris McIntosh

Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) would solo her way to victory, her second of the year, in a confident and aggressive race on the women’s side.

Noble controlled the race from the start. She established an early lead with Emma White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) and would then ride away from White with four laps remaining. White would suffer a mechanical but hung on for second place. The third step of the podium would go to Crystal Anthony (Maxxis Shimano), with Saturday’s third place-finisher Christel Ferrier Bruneau (SAS-Macogep) finishing fourth.

“I felt like yesterday I kind of a raced a little complacently,” said Noble. “I didn’t plan on riding on the front the whole day, but I felt really, really strong technically today, much more focused than yesterday. So I just led through the technical sections, and I noticed that I was getting small gaps. So I just wanted to keep those gaps going, and eventually, I was able to get one that stuck.”

Noble will take over the Vittoria Series leaders jersey, while White will still remain in a Verge leaders jersey as the top under-23 woman.

The Vittoria Series will continue in Northampton, Massachusetts with the Verge Northampton International November 11-12.

Women’s full results

  • 1. Ellen NOBLE, ASPIRE RACING, 48:10.
  • 2. Emma WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 48:56.
  • 3. Crystal ANTHONY, MAXXIS SHIMANO PRO CYCLOCROSS, 49:20.
  • 4. Christel FERRIER BRUNEAU, SAS-MACOGEP, 50:00.
  • 5. Allison ARENSMAN, J.A. KING p/b BRC, 51:07.
  • 6. Magdeleine VALLIERES, CLUB CYCLISTE DE SHERBROOKE, 51:12.
  • 7. Julie WRIGHT, TEAM AVERICA, 51:17.
  • 8. Kathryn CUMMING, JALAPENO CYCLING, 51:33.
  • 9. Laura WINBERRY, 51:49.
  • 10. Lynne BESSETTE, 100B7.COMFELT, 52:25.
  • 11. Brittlee BOWMAN, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA, 52:43.
  • 12. Regina LEGGE, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, 53:08.
  • 13. Erin FACCONE, TEAM AVERICA, 53:37.
  • 14. Leslie LUPIEN, TEAM AVERICA, 53:49.
  • 15. Natalie TAPIAS, JAM NCC, 54:23.
  • 16. Katie CARLSON, LADIES FIRST PB MILTON CATERPIL, 55:01.
  • 17. Sophie RUSSENBERGER, DAH+?NGER, 55:29.
  • 18. Christin REUTER, MAD ALCHEMY | ZANCONATO, 55:32.
  • 19. Natalie FORSYTHE, RIVERSIDE RACING, 55:49.
  • 20. Alex CARLSON, CYCLE-SMART, 56:04.
  • 21. Emily MOLDEN, NANTUCKET VELO, 56:18.
  • 22. Katelyn PARHIALA, JRA CYCLES
  • 23. Paige WILLIAMS, FUJI CROSS CREW
  • 24. Jenny WOJEWODA, PEDALPOWERTRAINING.COM

Men’s full results

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ/DONKEY LABEL RACING, 58:15.
  • 2. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, 58:27.
  • 3. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 59:02.
  • 4. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, 59:29.
  • 5. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 59:37.
  • 6. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, 59:53.
  • 7. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, 01:00:05.
  • 8. Bjorn SELANDER, 01:00:26.
  • 9. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, 01:00:45.
  • 10. Brendan MCCORMACK, APEXNBXHYPERTHREADS, 01:00:56.
  • 11. Cameron BEARD, CANNONDALE CYCLOCROSWORLD.COM, 01:01:10.
  • 12. Samuel OKEEFE, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA 0,1:01:15.
  • 13. Michael OWENS, HANDS-ON CYCLING PB GUERCIOTTI, 01:01:39.
  • 14. Nicholas LANDO, ELITE ENDURANCE.COM PRO FACTORY, 01:02:07.
  • 15. Andy SCOTT, RIVERSIDE RACING, 01:02:08.
  • 16. Evan MCNEELY, RIDE WITH RENDALL, 01:02:38.
  • 17. Marc-Andre DAIGLE, GARNEAU EASTON, 01:02:46.
  • 18. Jules GOGUELY, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 01:02:46.
  • 19. Clyde LOGUE, COLONIAL BICYCLE CO, 01:03:28.
  • 20. Zachary CURTIS, BRIDGEWATER UNIVERSITY, 01:03:55.
  • 21. Adam MYERSON, CYCLE-SMART, 01:04:23.
  • 22. Christopher RABADI, UNATTACHED, 01:04:24.
  • 23. Matthew OWENS, UVM CYCLING, 01:04:26.
  • 24. Andrew LOAIZA, CYCLEPATH PDX, 01:04:43.
  • 25. Tim WILLIS, JAM NCC, 01:05:00.
  • 26. Ben POWERS, RIVERSIDE RACING, 01:05:04.
  • 27. Bryan HORSLEY, SEA SPORTS CYCLERY & OUTDOOR
  • 28. Gregg GRIFFO, PARK AVE BIKE PB BORAH TEAMWEAR
  • 29. Andrew BORDEN, X-MEN
  • 30. Nathaniel MORSE, CCB – VELOTOOLER
  • 31. Trent BLACKBURN, JAM NCC
  • 32. Edouard TOUGAS
  • 33. Bradford SMITH, THE DRIFTERS
  • 34. Dylan MCNICHOLAS, POLARTEC
  • 35. Colin REUTER, CROSSRESULTS.COM
  • 36. Patrick COLLINS, MINUTEMAN ROAD CLUB
  • 37. Gennaro AMENO, GREEN LINE VELO DRIVEN BY ZIPCA
  • 38. Scott MYERS
  • 39. Christian SUNDQUIST
  • 40. Wilson STEVENS, LOCAL OPENERS PB TENSPEED HERO
  • 41. Chris NIESEN, JAM NCC
  • 42. Matthew TYLER, LAUGHING DOG BICYCLES
  • 43. Ian CLARKE, UVM CYCLING
  • 44. Matt PERREAULT, COLONIAL BICYCLE COMPANY
  • 45. Gregory COLBY, B2C2JRA CYCLES
  • 46. Theodore WILLARD, TEAM SPARK
  • 47. Andrew REIMANN, JALAPENO CYCLING

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Zakarin dreams big after Vuelta podium http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/zakarin-dreams-big-vuelta-podium_450351 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/zakarin-dreams-big-vuelta-podium_450351#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:29:19 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450351 Ilnur Zakarin dreams of winning a grand tour after riding to third overall at the 2017 Vuelta a España.

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Ilnur Zakarin believes he has the legs to deliver Russia’s next grand tour victory.

The 28-year-old Katusha rider said his third place at the Vuelta a España only boosts his confidence going into 2018.

“I want to win a grand tour,” Zakarin told the Spanish daily MARCA. “I don’t care if it’s the Giro, Tour or Vuelta, but I dream of winning one of them.”

Zakarin has emerged as the best Russian rider of his generation. Since joining the World Tour in 2015 following a doping ban at 19, he’s been posting promising results, including victory at the 2015 Tour de Romandie and a stage win at the 2015 Giro d’Italia. He confirmed that with a stage win at the 2016 Tour de France, and then rode to fifth overall in this year’s Giro before hitting the podium with third in the Vuelta.

“It’s a dream come true to be on the Vuelta podium,” he told MARCA. “If it wasn’t for a bad day in Andorra, I could have been in it for the win. To have fought for it all the way to the end makes it mean even more.”

Zakarin has yet to outline his goals for 2018, but his season will be focused on grand tours. The Giro-Vuelta double suited him well, but it also depends on what Tour officials come up with for next year’s route.

If he returns to the Tour, he knows he’ll square off against Chris Froome and Team Sky.

“Everyone is beatable, but we also have to recognize they are very good,” he said. “They have a very deep structure, with riders who could be leaders on other teams. It’s not always easy to maintain that united structure. It’s true that [Mikel] Landa and [Mikel] Nieve are leaving, but others will step up. It’s not easy to overcome Sky, but we won’t give up.”

The team undergoes a big shift for 2018, with the arrival of Marcel Kittel, Alex Dowsett, Ian Boswell and Nathan Haas, but Zakarin will remain their man for the grand tours.

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US Cup-CX overall purse to now pay three places http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/us-cup-cx-overall-purse-now-pay-three-places_450331 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/us-cup-cx-overall-purse-now-pay-three-places_450331#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:45:28 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450331 The Sho-Air US Cup-CX announced Sunday additional funds to increase the overall prize purse and now pay three-places deep.

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The Sho-Air US Cup-CX announced on Sunday morning that additional funds are being pledged in order to increase the prize purse and now pay three-places deep for both the elite men’s and elite women’s final overall standings. The overall prize purse was originally a winner-take-all with the overall men’s and women’s winners each receiving $10,000.

A gofundme page has been set up to assist with raising the funds for the increased prize purse and Scott Tedro, President of Sho-Air International, has committed to matching all donations up to $7,500. Therefore, the already $20,000 prize list could grow by $15,000 or more. Velonews confirmed that should the goal be met, the winner would receive $12,500. Second and third-place would receive $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

“I could not have asked for a better first year of the USCUP-CX series so far,” said series director Ryan Trebon. “The racing has been so close and so competitive each weekend, these women and men have truly earned and deserve more recognition for their efforts.”

Through the first four rounds, Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) is leading the elite men’s overall, having won three of the four rounds that have taken place. He swept the opening weekend at the U.S. Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest in Thompson, Connecticut and won the first day of the U.S. Cup/Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland. He finished fourth on day two in Baltimore.

Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) is in a tight battle with her teammate Emma White for the elite women’s overall title. Keough has not finished off the podium yet at a US Cup-CX race and as with Ortenbald on the men’s side, has three victories in the series. She won the opening day of the US Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest and then swept the weekend in Baltimore.

US Cup-CX overall standings after 4 of 7 rounds

Elite Men Top-10

  • 1. Tobin Ortenblad, Donkey Label-Santa Cruz, 275 points
  • 2. Stephen Hyde, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 260
  • 3. Kerry Werner, Kona Factory Team, 230
  • 4. Spencer Petrov, Aspire Racing, 210
  • 5. Curtis White, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 200
  • 6. James Driscoll, Donnelly Racing, 165
  • 7. Jack Kisseberth, JAM Fund-NCC, 161
  • 8. Willsey Cooper, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, 135
  • 9. Jeremy Powers, Aspire Racing, 110
  • 10. Bjorn Selander, Borah Teamwear/Bingham Built, 103

Elite Women Top-10

  • 1. Kaitlin Keough, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, 280 points
  • 2. Emma White, Cannondale-Cylocrossworld.com, 265
  • 3. Magahalie Rochetter, Clif Pro Team, 225
  • 4. Rebecca Fahringer, Stans NoTubes-Maxxis, 210
  • 5. Crystal Anthony, Maxxis-Shimano, 210
  • 6. Ellen Noble, Aspire Racing, 150
  • 7. Caroline Mani, Van Dessel/Atom Composites, 140
  • 8. Arley Kemmerer, Fearless Femme, 110
  • 9. Hannah Arensman, J.A. King p/b BRC, 105
  • 10. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Sas Macogep Aquisio, 105

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Zonhoven: van der Poel continues to be untouchable http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/zonhoven-van-der-poel-continues-untouchable_450317 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/zonhoven-van-der-poel-continues-untouchable_450317#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 15:14:01 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450317 Mathieu van der Poel has won nine of the last 10 Superprestige races after capturing victory on Sunday in Zonhoven, Belgium.

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Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) continued to be untouchable this season, as he handily won the second round of the Telenet Superprestige series in Zonhoven, Belgium on Sunday. After an uncharacteristic slow start, he bridged to the leaders on the fourth lap and promptly attacked them down one of the long sandy descents. He has now won nine of the last 10 Superprestige races dating back to last season.

Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) were locked in battle the last few laps of the race with the world champion coming out on top to finish runner-up behind van der Poel.

Top-10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50

Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) took the holeshot and led the field down the first sandy descent out on course, soon Van Aert took over and went about turning the throttle and seeing who could follow.

By the end of the opening lap, a three-rider lead group had formed with van Aert, Sweeck, and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea). However, a large chase group containing many of the other heavy hitters was in sight with van der Poel, Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea), van der Haar and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoloean Games) all present.

Early in the second lap, van der Poel lept out of the chase group in pursuit of the leaders. Meanwhile, Sweeck suffered a mechanical near the pits that dropped him from the leaders, as van Aert was attacking. He was able to change bikes quickly and join van der Poel in chasing.

On the fourth lap, Sweeck, van der Poel, Hermans, and van Aert were all together, but not for long. The Dutch national cyclocross champion soon stamped his authority on the race and attacked his fellow leaders down one of the tricky sandy descents. He immediately opened a gap that the others struggled to close.

As the chase group stalled, David van Poel, Mathieu’s brother, took advantage and charged into second place. His time in second would be short-lived though, as once van Aert began to pedal again in earnest he was able to get by the Dutchman.

With six laps to go, van der Poel was comfortably in the lead by about 20 seconds when disaster suddenly struck. His front wheel slipped out on a sandy turn, but he was able to recover quickly and lose minimal time, as van Aert was chasing alone behind.

Van der Haar was finally was able to make his way to the frontend of the race, after being on the back foot for most of the day. He joined van Aert with four laps to go, but the duo did not work well together in trying to bring back van der Poel, who now led by nearly 30 seconds. Van Aert was spending most of the time leading van der Haar.

Hearing the bell for the final lap, van der Poel looked cool and calm and barring a mechanical or crash seemed destined for victory. Behind him, van Aert and van der Haar were still locked in battle, but soon the world champion would have the final say amongst the two. Van Aert attacked hard leading into one of the sandy descent and was able to open a gap. Van der Haar fought hard to get back to the Belgian’s wheel, but another acceleration from van Aert opened the gap once again and he was able to come home in second.

David van Poel was able to limit the losses late in the race and showed he didn’t suffer too much from his early efforts by finishing fourth with Sweeck rounding out the top-five.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues on October 21 in Boom, Belgium.

Full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50
  • 11. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:10:27
  • 12. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:10:59
  • 13. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:11:21
  • 14. Daan Hoeyberghs, (BEL), 1:11:48
  • 15. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:11:53
  • 16. Rob Peeters, (BEL), 1:12:18
  • 17. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL)
  • 18. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL)
  • 19. Stan Godrie, (NED)
  • 20. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL)
  • 21. Eli Iserbyt, (BEL)
  • 22. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA)
  • 23. Sander Elen, (BEL)
  • 24. Martin Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 25. Patrick Van Leeuwen, (NED)
  • 26. Jens Vandekinderen, (BEL)
  • 27. David Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 28. Dries Pauwels, (BEL)
  • 29. Niels Koyen, (BEL)
  • 30. Yelle Leaerts, (BEL)
  • 31. Grzegorz Grabarek, (POL)
  • 32. Andrew Juiliano, (USA)
  • . Twan Van Den Brand, (NED)

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Zonhoven: Kaptheijns solos to victory again http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/zonhoven-kaptheijns-solos-victory_450312 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/zonhoven-kaptheijns-solos-victory_450312#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 14:58:27 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450312 Maud Kaptheijns was flawless in Zonhoven, Belgium on Sunday and soloed to victory in the second round of the Telenet Superprestige series.

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Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) was flawless on the technical sand descents in Zonhoven, Belgium and soloed to victory in the second round of the premier Telenet Superprestige series on Sunday. The Dutchwomen took the holeshot and powered along alone the rest of the race to take the victory, just as she did at the opening Superprestige round in Gieten.

World champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) came on strong late in the race and powered through the last lap to move from fourth to second, albeit more than a minute behind Kaptheijns. Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) rounded out the podium in third.

Top-10

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 0:45:49
  • 2. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 0:46:57
  • 3. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 0:47:04
  • 4. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 0:47:13
  • 5. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 0:47:29
  • 6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 0:47:45
  • 7. Katherine Compton, (USA), 0:48:17
  • 8. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 0:48:49
  • 9. Laura Verdonschot, (BEL), 0:49:00
  • 10. Elle Anderson, (USA), 0:49:12

In what has become the norm this season, Kaptheijns began the women’s elite race by setting a brutal pace. The course in Zonhoven is famous for its long sandy descents and with the field usually close together on lap one, positioning entering that section is important.

At the end of the opening lap, Kaptheijns held a 10-second lead over a four-rider chase group that included Brammeier, Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus), Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea). Cant was riding in the back half of the top-10 and didn’t look as smooth as the riders out front.

Elle Anderson (Cycling.be-Alphamotorhomes) had a strong opening lap, coming across the line behind the chase group in sixth.

The chase group shattered on the second lap, as Kaptheijns continued to power away. Brammeier was 20 seconds back in second by the end of the lap and she was followed by Compton, Worst and van Loy.

On the penultimate lap, Kaptheijns was comfortably in the lead, but Compton was fading. The 13-time U.S. national cyclocross champion was having an asthma flare-up and would ultimately suffer through the final couple laps and finish seventh.

While Compton was going backward, Cant was charging to the front of the race. Brammier, Worst, and Cant came together on the final lap to create an exciting battle for the remaining podium positions. Cant was able to power past the other two and finish second. The result is impressive considering how she looked early in the race.

Kaptheijns smiled wide on the finishing straight when she came to the line to take the victory. She has won both of the two rounds of the Superprestige series that have taken place, also winning in Gieten. Sunday was confirmation that her dominant win in Gieten at the opening round was indeed no fluke. She also captured second on Saturday behind Compton at Polderscross in Kruibeke, Belgium, the third round of the Brico Cross series.

Worst finished fourth with van Loy rounding out the top-five.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues on October 21 in Boom, Belgium.

Women’s full results

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 0:45:49
  • 2. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 0:46:57
  • 3. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 0:47:04
  • 4. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 0:47:13
  • 5. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 0:47:29
  • 6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 0:47:45
  • 7. Katherine Compton, (USA), 0:48:17
  • 8. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 0:48:49
  • 9. Laura Verdonschot, (BEL), 0:49:00
  • 10. Elle Anderson, (USA), 0:49:12
  • 11. Geerte Hoeke, (NED), 0:49:47
  • 12. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 0:49:53
  • 13. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 0:50:11
  • 14. Denise Betsema, (NED), 0:50:45
  • 15. Inge Van Der Heijden, (NED), 0:52:07
  • 16. Alicia Franck, (BEL), 0:52:16
  • 17. Stefanie Paul, (GER)
  • 18. Lindy Van Anrooij, (NED)
  • 19. Susanne Meistrok, (NED)
  • 20. Marthe Truyen, (BEL)
  • 21. Monique Van De Ree, (NED)
  • 22. Natalie Redmond, (AUS)
  • 23. Fleur Nagengast, (NED)
  • 24. Esther Van Der Burg, (NED)
  • 25. Aniek Van Alphen, (NED)
  • 26. Shana Maes, (BEL)
  • 27. Amira Mellor, (GBR)
  • 28. Jana Dobbelaere, (BEL)
  • 29. Tinne Vermeiren, (BEL)
  • 30. Jinse Peeters, (BEL)
  • 31. Laura Van Der Zwaan, (NED)
  • 32. Elodie Kuijper, (NED)
  • 33. Mara Schwager, (GER)
  • 34. Madeleine Gammons, (GBR)
  • 35. Meg De Bruyne, (BEL)
  • 36. Pien Limpens, (NED)
  • 37. Lise Van Wunsel, (BEL)
  • 38. Anke Van Rompay, (BEL)
  • 39. Sara Beeckmans, (BEL)

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Job posting: VeloNews seeks a controller http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/job-posting-velonews-seeks-controller_450314 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/job-posting-velonews-seeks-controller_450314#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 14:21:44 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450314 VeloNews seeks a full-time controller to head up all financial management and control activities.

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VeloNews seeks a full-time controller to head up all financial management and control activities in an exciting new multi-brand endurance sports media company. He/she will have at least three years of hands-on accounting experience in a rigorous, time-sensitive environment and will be expected to run a small and efficient finance department (2 FTE). Responsibilities include overall operation and management of all financial activity: preparation of monthly financials, budgeting and cash projections, accounts payable and receivable, treasury, and supervision of a collections person. Additional responsibilities in this “soup-to-nuts” position include HR & benefits oversight, and key role on the company’s management team. CPA preferred, but management experience and a “go-getter” attitude more critical. Reports directly to CEO and based in Boulder, Colorado. This is a great growth opportunity for the right person — aggressive, self-motivated, and ready to take on more responsibility. Must be available immediately. Résumé and cover letter to smaxwell@pocketoutdoormedia.com No calls, please.

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Gloucester: Ortenblad continues winning ways, White also victorious http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/gloucester-ortenblad-white-victorious-day-one_450273 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/gloucester-ortenblad-white-victorious-day-one_450273#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 04:29:11 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450273 Tobin Ortenblad and Emma White were victorious on day one of the Grand Prix of Gloucester.

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Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) continued his hot-streak to take his fourth win in his last five races on Saturday in Gloucester, Massachusetts at the CRAFT Sportswear Grand Prix of Gloucester. He was able to hold-off the Aspire Racing duo of Spencer Petrov and Jeremy Powers in the final turns to capture the victory.

Petrov would finish second four seconds behind. The 19-year-old has been knocking on the door of victory lately, with Gloucester the third-time this year he has finished in the runner-up spot. Powers rounded out the podium in third.

“I still cannot believe how the season is unfolding,” Ortenblad said after winning the legendary New England race which is in its 19th year. “I’ve always wanted a win at the legendary Gloucester. Patience was a big part of it. You’re out there with two of the fastest guys and they’re also on the same team so they definitely are working against you. Initially, I went out a little hard, and then I saw that it was going to be a team thing at the end and really just tried to be patient.”

Curtis White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) led the charge with a fast start, forcing a small group to form early on. White would later succumb to a flat tire, leaving the battle for the podium to be contested with Massachusetts teammates Powers and Petrov against Ortenblad of California. Ortenblad would outkick the Aspire Racing duo in the final turns to capture the victory.

Men’s Top-10

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ DONKEY LABEL RACING, in 01:04:04
  • 2. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, at 0:09
  • 3. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, at 0:16
  • 4. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD, at 0:32
  • 5. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, at 0:37
  • 6. Jack KISSEBERTH, JAM NCC, at 0:47
  • 7. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, at 1:42
  • 8. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, at 1:49
  • 9. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, at 2:48
  • 10. Andy SCOTT, RIVERSIDE RACING, at 3:02

White solos to victory with late-race attack

Emma White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) soloed to victory on day one of the Grand Prix of Gloucester with a late-race attack. Photo: Chris McIntosh

In the elite women’s race, Emma White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) would establish an early lead with Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) and Frenchwoman Christel Ferrier Bruneau (SAS-Macogep). The group of three would exchange the lead several times. With twos laps to go, White would attack, with Noble the only rider to respond.

While Noble would put in several digs heading into the final lap, it would be White who pulled away in the final half lap at historic Stage Fort Park for her second win of the season. Noble would finish 16 seconds back in second, and Ferrier Bruneau would finish 34 seconds back in third.

“There were three of us battling pretty hard throughout the race,” said White, who finished second to Noble at this event last year. “We knew we had to play it smart halfway through the race when we were all feeling pretty good. Ellen (Noble) put in a pretty big attack, dropped the third rider with us. So then it was just two of us. We were both feeling pretty strong, it was clear. Going into one to go, she put in a really big dig that got me, I was feeling it for sure. Really just had to be smooth through the corners. As soon as I caught up, I saw her breathing pretty heavily, so I left.”

Heading into tomorrow, both Ortenblad and White will wear the coveted Verge leaders jerseys as the initial Vittoria Series leaders.

Women’s full results

  • 1. Emma WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, in 44:37:00
  • 2. Ellen NOBLE, ASPIRE RACING, at 0:16
  • 3. Christel FERRIER BRUNEAU, SAS-MACOGEP, at 0:34
  • 4. Crystal ANTHONY, MAXXIS SHIMANO PRO CYCLOCROSS, at 1:22
  • 5. Julie WRIGHT, TEAM AVERICA, at 2:18
  • 6. Regina LEGGE, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, at 2:43
  • 7. Allison ARENSMAN, J.A. KING PB BRC, at 3:10
  • 8. Beth Ann ORTON, TEAM S&M CX, at 3:17
  • 9. Laura WINBERRY, at 3:20
  • 10. Brittlee BOWMAN, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA, at 3:48
  • 11. Lynne BESSETTE, 100B7.COMFELT, at 3:53
  • 12. Erin FACCONE, TEAM AVERICA, at 4:08
  • 13. Natalie TAPIAS, JAM NCC, at 4:20
  • 14. Taylor KUYK-WHITE, PHILADELPHIA BIKE EXPO, at 4:25
  • 15. Jauron VETTER, MAD ALCHEMY | ZANCONATO, at 4:26
  • 16. Leslie LUPIEN, TEAM AVERICA, at 5:00
  • 17. Katie CARLSON, LADIES FIRST PB MILTON CATERPIL, at 5:05
  • 18. Sophie RUSSENBERGER, DAH+?NGER, at 5:25
  • 19. Andrea COX, RIVERSIDE RACING, at 5:52
  • 20. Christin REUTER, MAD ALCHEMY | ZANCONATO, at 6:01
  • 21. Alix NORRIS, COWBELL RACING PB WORLD BICYCLE, at 6:36
  • 22. Magdeleine VALLIERES, CLUB CYCLISTE DE SHERBROOKE, at 6:45
  • 23. Kayla BRANNEN, COWBELL RACING PB WORLD BICYCLE, at 7:02
  • 24. Paige WILLIAMS, FUJI CROSS CREW, at 7:04
  • 25. Natalie FORSYTHE, RIVERSIDE RACING, at 7:14
  • 26. Kathleen WANAT, BIKES+LIFE, at 7:22
  • 27. Alex CARLSON, CYCLE-SMART, at 7:26
  • 28. Meghan OWENS, UVM CYCLING, at 7:35
  • 29. Emily MOLDEN, NANTUCKET VELO, at 8:04
  • 30. Elizabeth LUKOWSKI, MAD ALCHEMY | ZANCONATO, at 9:20
  • 31. Jenny WOJEWODA, PEDALPOWERTRAINING.COM
  • 32. Lydia HAUSLE, TEAM AVERICA
  • 33. Sara MELIKIAN, PEDALPOWERTRAINING.COM

Men’s full results

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ DONKEY LABEL RACING, in 01:04:04
  • 2. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, at 0:09
  • 3. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, at 0:16
  • 4. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD, at 0:32
  • 5. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, at 0:37
  • 6. Jack KISSEBERTH, JAM NCC, at 0:47
  • 7. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, at 1:42
  • 8. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, at 1:49
  • 9. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, at 2:48
  • 10. Andy SCOTT, RIVERSIDE RACING, at 3:02
  • 11. Peter GOGUEN, RACE C.F., at 3:58
  • 12. Samuel OKEEFE, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA, at 4:07
  • 13. Cameron BEARD, CANNONDALE CYCLOCROSWORLD.COMDE, at 4:43
  • 14. Dylan MCNICHOLAS, POLARTEC, at 4:45
  • 15. Nicholas LANDO, ELITE ENDURANCE.COM PRO FACTORY, at 4:47
  • 16. Jules GOGUELY, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, at 5:07
  • 17. Michael OWENS, HANDS-ON CYCLING PB GUERCIOTTI, at 5:23
  • 18. Brendan MCCORMACK, APEXNBXHYPERTHREADS, at 5:53
  • 19. Kale WENCZEL, JAM NCC, at 6:01
  • 20. Clyde LOGUE, COLONIAL BICYCLE CO, at 6:08
  • 21. Marc-Andre DAIGLE, GARNEAU EASTON, at 6:16
  • 22. Zachary CURTIS, BMB RACING, at 6:20
  • 23. Patrick COLLINS, MINUTEMAN ROAD CLUB, at 6:23
  • 24. Andrew BORDEN, X-MEN, at 6:23
  • 25. Christopher RABADI, at 6:25
  • 26. Chris NIESEN, JAM NCC, at 6:49
  • 27. Scott MYERS, at 7:03
  • 28. Ben POWERS, RIVERSIDE RACING, at 7:05
  • 29. Bryan HORSLEY, SEA SPORTS CYCLERY & OUTDOOR, at 7:05
  • 30. Matthew OWENS, UVM CYCLING, at 7:46
  • 31. Andrew LOAIZA, CYCLEPATH PDX
  • 32. Gregg GRIFFO, PARK AVE BIKE PB BORAH TEAMWEAR
  • 33. Bradford SMITH, THE DRIFTERS
  • 34. Trent BLACKBURN, JAM NCC
  • 35. Gennaro AMENO, GREEN LINE VELO DRIVEN BY ZIPCA
  • 36. Colin REUTER, CROSSRESULTS.COM
  • 37. Tim WILLIS, JAM NCC

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U.S. Open of Cyclocross: Driscoll and Huck victorious on day one http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/u-s-open-cx-driscoll-huck-victorious-day-one_450263 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/race-report/u-s-open-cx-driscoll-huck-victorious-day-one_450263#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 03:29:39 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450263 Jamie Driscoll and Erin Huck were victorious on day one of the U.S. Open of Cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado on Saturday.

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Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Sports) captured his first victory of the season on Saturday at the first day of the UCI C2 U.S. Open of Cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado. Canadian Michael van den Ham (Garneau Easton) finished second by mere centimeters with Keegan Swenson (Cannondale/3Rox) rounding out the podium in third.

Strongs winds and a fast dry course made for pack racing most of the day, as the fatigue of the hour-long effort helped to slowly whittle down the lead group. Driscoll was able to time his bike throw to perfection in the end and capture the victory.

“It was just fast and bumpy out there. I had the classic diesel engine, but I thought I’d have a little more pop,” Driscoll said. “I was able to climb my way back after many accelerations, so I knew it wouldn’t be a late move that would give me any success.

“I went full gas the entire (last) lap. Because of the headwind on the sprint, I was expecting people to come around me. It was a short enough sprint that I held them off. Honestly, when I crossed the line, I didn’t know I took it (the win). Michael was there. We both threw the bike and it was inches.”

Elite men top-10

  • 1. James Driscoll, DONNELLY CYCLING CYCLOCROSS TEAM, in 1:00:47.511
  • 2. Ham Michael VanDen, GARNEAU – EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS LIFE C, at 0:00.4
  • 3. Keegan Swenson, CANNONDALE/3ROX RACING, at 0:00.9
  • 4. Hector Fernando RiverosPaez, STAN’S NOTUBES P/B MAXX / CONSTRUCTION, at 0:10.7
  • 5. Allen Krughoff, KRUGHOFF RACING, at 0:27.8
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, LANGE TWINS / SPECIALIZED, at 0:29.3
  • 7. Garry Millburn, SPEEDVAGEN X MAAP, at 1:14.9
  • 8. Chris Baddick, BOULDER CYCLE SPORT, at 1:17.4
  • 9. Yannick Eckmann, CUORE RACING TEAM, at 2:22.1
  • 10. Ian Mcpherson, EVOL RACING, at 2:22.2

Huck attacks to victory

Erin Huck (3Rox Racing/Cannondale) attacked on the final half lap of the race to cross the finish line alone and claim victory. Photo: Michael Better

The elite women’s race was won by 2017 U.S. National Short-Track Cross-Country Champion Erin Huck (3Rox Racing/Cannondale). She made her move in the final half lap of the women’s event to outdistance France’s Caroline Mani (Van Dessel/Atom Composites) and 17-year-old Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle Co.).

“I figured I might as well go for it,” said Huck, who was racing her first cyclocross race of the year. “I was using my mountain bike skills to descend pretty well. Definitely noticed that I had a lack of some cyclocross skills, any time it came to a dismount section. So I figured the girls would catch up to me on the back side (final lap), but fortunately, I was able to keep my distance.”

The U.S. Open of Cyclocross also held UCI-level races for the junior and under-23 men. Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Top Club CycloCross) claimed his second junior victory of the 2017 season, adding to a win and a third place he earned at KMC Cross Fest two weeks ago.

Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co./Groove Subaru) was well off the front on the bell lap and won the under-23 contest. Among the chasers were a Boulder duo of Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport) and Eric Brunner (EVOL Racing), who would finish second and third, respectively.

“Today was a super fun race. It’s probably the best I have felt this season,” said Hecht. “I was excited to put some power into it today. It was so windy out there. A couple of sections out there I was actually having to run just because you couldn’t keep the bike underneath you. It definitely made it a huge challenge out there. It was a blast.”

Women’s full results

  • 1. Erin Huck, 3 ROX RACING-CANNONDALE, in 43:50.703
  • 2. Caroline Mani, VAN DESSEL /ATOM COMPOSITES, at 0:05.6
  • 3. Katie Clouse, ALPHA BICYCLE CO, at 0:06.7
  • 4. Sofia GomezVillafane, PIVOT CYCLES PB DNA CYCLING, at 0:08.1
  • 5. Courtenay Mcfadden, PIVOT CYCLES P/B DNA CYCLING, at 0:27.4
  • 6. Sunny Gilbert, VAN DESSEL FACTORY TEAM, at 1:11.1
  • 7. Caitlin Bernstein, VIVE LA TARTE CX, at 1:26.2
  • 8. Samantha Runnels, at 1:29.6
  • 9. Emily Kachorek, at 1:43.8
  • 10. Danielle Arman, TENSPEED HERO/FIREFLY BICYCLES, at 1:53.0
  • 11. Rebecca Gross, ZERO-D RACING, at 2:03.3
  • 12. Laurel Rathbun, DONNELLY CYCLING TEAM, at 2:04.6
  • 13. Georgia Gould, BOO BICYCLES, at 2:05.5
  • 14. Christa Ghent, AMY D FOUNDATION, at 2:06.3
  • 15. Anna Katrina Engelsted, BOULDER CYCLE SPORT, at 2:24.4
  • 16. Petra Schmidtmann, VAN DESSEL FACTORY CYCLING, at 2:26.0
  • 17. Kristen Legan, EVOL DEVOELITE RACING, at 2:27.3
  • 18. Amy Beisel, KENDA TIRE, at 3:09.3
  • 19. Shannon Mallory, NWCX PROJECT, at 3:25.3
  • 20. Jolene Holland, ULTRA VIOLET, at 3:28.2
  • 21. Heidi Franz, NWCX PROJECT, at 3:37.4
  • 22. Suzie Livingston, TOPO CYCLING, at 4:22.2
  • 23. Fiona Morris, SPEEDVAGEN X MAAP, at 4:39.3
  • 24. Maria Larkin, THE METEOR P/B ALLIED, at 4:47.7
  • 25. Meghan Newlin, FULL CYCLE/TOPO, at 4:48.7
  • 26. Marsa Daniel, MD ENDURANCE COACHING, at 4:51.0
  • 27. Ava Lilley, BEND ENDURANCE ACADEMY, at 5:21.9
  • 28. Leslie Ethridge, TOPO DESIGNS CYCLING CLUB, at 5:40.9
  • 29. Turner Ramsay, ALPHA BICYCLE CO.- GROOVE SUBARU, at 6:15.4
  • 30. Nicole Jorgenson, BAUERHAUS X TENSPEED HERO, at 6:59.0
  • 31. Ashley Zoerner, GROOVE SUBARU EXCEL SPORTS, at 9:12.1
  • 32. Laura Jeddeloh, MD ENDURANCE COACHING

Elite Men full results

  • 1. James Driscoll, DONNELLY CYCLING CYCLOCROSS TEAM, in 1:00:47.511
  • 2. Ham Michael VanDen, GARNEAU – EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS LIFE C, at 0:00.4
  • 3. Keegan Swenson, CANNONDALE/3ROX RACING, at 0:00.9
  • 4. Hector Fernando RiverosPaez, STAN’S NOTUBES P/B MAXX / CONSTRUCTION, at 0:10.7
  • 5. Allen Krughoff, KRUGHOFF RACING, at 0:27.8
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, LANGE TWINS / SPECIALIZED, at 0:29.3
  • 7. Garry Millburn, SPEEDVAGEN X MAAP, at 1:14.9
  • 8. Chris Baddick, BOULDER CYCLE SPORT, at 1:17.4
  • 9. Yannick Eckmann, CUORE RACING TEAM, at 2:22.1
  • 10. Ian Mcpherson, EVOL RACING, at 2:22.2
  • 11. Cody Cupp, GILLESPIE EYE CARE/SET COACHING/ARLBERG, at 2:25.1
  • 12. Kevin Bradford-parish, GILLESPIE EYE CARE/SETCOACHING, at 2:46.9
  • 13. Mark Flis, X-MEN/ TREK/ STORM CYCLES, at 2:50.4
  • 14. Josh Whitney, EVOL RACING, at 2:50.4
  • 15. Alex Wild, TRAIL HEAD RACING / SPECIALIZED, at 3:17.3
  • 16. Samuel Dolzani, HONEY STINGER / BONTRAGER, at 3:17.5
  • 17. Allan Schroeder, PROJECT AKA, at 3:47.5
  • 18. Terol Pursell, REDSPOKE RACING P/B REMAX PROS., at 4:06.9
  • 19. Kyle Johnson, TEAM YACHT CLUB, at 4:11.7
  • 20. Kevin Day, ROLLOUT APP, at 4:14.1
  • 21. Skyler Mackey, KCCX ELITE CYCLOCROSS TEAM, at 4:48.7
  • 22. Jayson Jacobs, BREISMEISTER FACTORY, at 5:34.8
  • 23. Jacob Huizenga, CHICAGO CUTTIN CREW, at 5:35.5
  • 24. Eric Fossell, COS RACING, at 5:37.0
  • 25. Chris Ganter, ROLF PRIMA P/B NINER MAXXIS CHAMPSYS, at 5:38.2
  • 26. William Allen, FEEDBACK SPORTS, at 5:41.7
  • 27. Ryan Rinn, VIVE LA TARTE CX, at 5:42.7
  • 28. Jeremy Ostrowski, REYNOLDS ROOFING, at 6:57.1
  • 29. Aaron Vaughn, RALLYSPORT, at 7:26.2
  • 30. Zachary Dolzani, HONEY STINGER, at 7:39.4
  • 31. Nick Thomas, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, at 8:23.5
  • 32. Timber Weiss, LIT AF
  • 33. James Coats, SPOKESMAN CYCLOCROSS
  • 34. Braden Kappius, TEAM CLIF BAR
  • 35. Steve Hindman, PEN VELO RACING / SUMMIT BIKES

Under-23 men full results

  • 1. Gage Hecht, ALPHA BICYCLE CO./GROOVE SUBARU, in 54:00.082
  • 2. Grant Ellwood, BOULDER CYCLE SPORT, at 0:23.0
  • 3. Eric Brunner, EVOL RACING, at 0:53.4
  • 4. Maxx Chance, EVOL RACING, at 1:13.8
  • 5. Lance Haidet, DONNELLY CYCLING, at 1:23.8
  • 6. Denzel Stephenson, EVOL RACING, at 2:25.6
  • 7. Ross Ellwod, BOULDER CYCLE SPORT, at 2:27.9
  • 8. Garrett Gerchar, CLIF BAR CYCLOCROSS TEAM, at 2:28.8
  • 9. Jack Tanner, CLIF BAR DEVELOPMENT CROSS TEAM, at 3:34.5
  • 10. Brannan Fix, ALPHA BICYCLE CO.-GROOVE SUBARU, at 3:55.3
  • 11. Drew Sotebeer, ALPHA BICYCLE CO.- GROOVE SUBARU, at 6:04.3
  • 12. Harrison Buckley, PROCYCLING RACE TEAM, at 6:25.2
  • 13. Jonathan Anderson, FORT LEWIS COLLEGE, at 8:04.0
  • 14. Wiley Melton, MELTON DESIGN BUILD PB GS FORZA
  • 15. Brent Franze, GIANT CO FACTORY BUENA PARK BIKES
  • 16. Nevin Whittemore, CLIF BAR DEVELOPMENT CROSS TEAM

Junior 17-18 men full results

  • 1. Benjamin GomezVillafane, TOPCLUB CYCLOCROSS, in 40:00.178
  • 2. Torin Bickmore, BOULDER JUNIOR CYCLING, at 0:00.7
  • 3. Tyler Clark, KMS CYCLING KILLINGTON MOUNTAIN SCHOOL, at 0:01.4
  • 4. Scott Funston, RAD RACING NW, at 0:02.4
  • 5. Calder Wood, RAD RACING NW, at 0:03.6
  • 6. Henry Jones, BEND ENDURANCE ACADEMY, at 0:05.3
  • 7. Conor Martin, GARNEAU-EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS LIFECARE, at 1:04.9
  • 8. Sam Brown, KONA SUPER GRASSROOTS, at 1:50.7
  • 9. Benjamin Johnson, UNATTACHED, at 2:18.8
  • 10. Campbell Watson, BOULDER JUNIOR CYCLING, at 2:31.5
  • 11. Tyler Reynolds, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, at 2:40.0
  • 12. Max Ritzow, PDX TI, at 2:41.0
  • 13. Nathan Pawlak, PRESTIGE IMPORTS, at 4:03.2
  • 14. Cole Limpach, HARVEST RACING

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Tour of Turkey well-positioned for 2018 edition http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/tour-turkey-well-positioned-2018-edition_450258 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/tour-turkey-well-positioned-2018-edition_450258#respond Sat, 14 Oct 2017 17:20:28 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450258 The Tour of Turkey looks to feature more WorldTour teams and star riders in 2018.

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IZMIR, Turkey (VN) — The Tour of Turkey will feature more WorldTour teams and star riders in 2018 with the dates and WorldTour status secured, says the director.

The 2017 Tour of Turkey races to the finish in Istanbul on Sunday with Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) in control of the overall classification. Despite a rich history, however, a shallow field competes in the 53rd edition.

Marcel Kittel, André Greipel, and Mark Cavendish once fought for stage wins. Adam Yates, Tejay van Garderen, and Thibaut Pinot played for the overall. This year’s Tour of Turkey lacks such depth.

“We will have petty much the same dates for next year because it is too late to change but we might have some changes for the following years,” said organization director Zeki Yildirim. “We will announce the stages this week.

“We had a UCI representative and consultant here and that meeting was very productive and they were very impressed with our race organization. They said they were very happy with what we’ve done so far.”

The UCI announced the dates for the 2018 calendar last month with the Turkish stage race running October 9 to 14.

An attempted coup and terrorism problems forced the race organizer to re-schedule its race in 2017. The tour typically runs in April ahead of the Giro d’Italia but moved to mid-October.

The late changes and uncertainty meant that some teams hesitated and failed to ink in their planner the six-day event, which was promoted to the WorldTour calendar for 2017. Only four WorldTour teams – Trek-Segafredo, UAE Emirates, Astana, and Bora-Hansgrohe – attended, a low-water mark for any race on the top calendar.

“This year, it was our fault because we informed [the teams] of the stages pretty late. We don’t want to do that for next year and for that reason we will inform them pretty early so the teams may put the Tour of Turkey into their calendars,” Yildirim said.

“It’s too late to make changes now but we are hoping that we might be able to move the date to April in the future and keep our WorldTour status.”

Turkey once was the center of the Ottoman Empire and bridges Europe to Asia at the Black Sea. The race skirts the Mediterranean Coast to the south, home to many tourist resorts, and flies to Istanbul for the final stage.

American cyclists and staff just slipped through before U.S.-Turkish relations further deteriorated. Ankara, in response to the U.S.’s like move, stopped issuing visas to American travelers just before the race began.

“We do not have any concerns about security,” continued Yildirim. “This race is under control of our president and all of our ministers are involved. Yet we took much precautions for the security of the athletes and the organization.

“We have thermal camera helicopters securing the area before and during the race. We have Coast Guard following the race the whole way. We have unmanned aircrafts searching the area just in case. We have no concerns about security yet. The Trek-Segafredo team also Tweeted about its safety feelings here and we re-tweeted that.

“Turkey is a beautiful country and you can see that during the tour with amazing views that we have. We’d like to think that the teams enjoyed it and we want to welcome more teams for the future. We are known for our hospitality and we want them to experience this race.”

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VeloNews acquired by Pocket Outdoor Media http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/velonews-acquired-pocket-outdoor-media_450251 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/velonews-acquired-pocket-outdoor-media_450251#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:57:04 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450251 VeloNews is sold to Pocket Outdoor Media LLC, a company co-owned by Felix Magowan, a previous owner of the magazine.

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BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — VeloNews is going back to the future.

Nearly a decade after its acquisition by the Competitor Group Inc., VeloNews has been sold to Pocket Outdoor Media LLC (POM), a company co-owned by Felix Magowan, a previous owner of the magazine.

The deal, which was finalized Thursday afternoon by POM and the World Triathlon Corporation, also included the titles Triathlete, Women’s Running, and book publisher VeloPress. The financial details of the deal were not released.

Magowan, who sold VeloNews to the Competitor Group in 2008, will take over as chief executive officer of the magazine.

“We are not private equity buyers. My partners and I see ourselves as long-term investors, and our goal is to improve the product across all platforms,” Magowan said. “We have ambitious growth plans, and want to restore these brands to their historical industry leadership positions as quickly as possible.”

The sale marks the next chapter in VeloNews’s 44-year history. The publication was founded in March 1972 as Northeast Cycling News by publishers Barbara and Robert George, and was later named Velo-news. In 1988 the magazine was sold to Inside Communications Inc., a Boulder-based company founded the previous year by Magowan, longtime cycling journalist John Wilcockson, and Susan Eastman Walton.

Inside Communications owned VeloNews for 21 years, and added Inside Triathlon, VeloPress, VeloSwap, and VeloGear to its holdings. In March 2008, Magowan and his co-owners sold Inside Communications to the San Diego-based Competitor Group Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Originally formed by private equity group Falconhead Capital in 2007, the Competitor Group was sold to Calera Capital. In June 2017, the company was acquired by the World Triathlon Corporation, a Wanda Sports Holding company.

During its time with Competitor Group, VeloNews’s editorial headquarters remained in Boulder, while its advertising sales team was moved to San Diego, and later out-sourced to a third party. Magowan said that POM will quickly bring sales back under the same roof.

“In the short term we’re going to look selectively at acquisitions to complement these titles,” Magowan said. “We will also look to improve our place within the advertising market.”

Magowan’s ownership group includes Greg Thomas and Steve Maxwell. Thomas, a former executive with Inside Communications, is currently chief executive of the Washington D.C.-based trade publication SpaceNews, also owned by Magowan, and he will act as COO of the new company. Maxwell, an investment adviser in the water industry, is also co-editor of the website The Outer Line, which publishes stories about the governance and ethics of cycling. VeloNews has previously published Maxwell’s Outer Line columns; he will oversee various strategic and corporate development programs for the new entity.

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Roundtable: Our 2018 Tour de France wishlist http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/commentary/roundtable-2018-tour-de-france-wishlist_450237 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/commentary/roundtable-2018-tour-de-france-wishlist_450237#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:14:12 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450237 The Tour de France's 2018 route will be revealed October 17. Here are some ways they could spice things up.

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Tour de France organizer ASO will announce the race’s 2018 route on Tuesday, October 17. We know a few things by now. It will start in the Vendée region of western France with a road stage from Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile to Fontenay-le-Comte, including a ride over the infamous Passage du Gois. Stage 2 is another road stage, from Mouilleron-Saint Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon. Stage 3 is around Cholet, suggesting a team time trial could be back in the Tour. There are also rumors of a return to the cobblestones near Roubaix and a trip up Alpe d’Huez.

The rest of the 21-stage “Grande Boucle” is unknown. That’s where we come in. Our panel of experts is taking this opportunity to dream up our wishlist of ways to make the 105th edition the best Tour yet. Let’s roundtable!

Pick two things you want to see in the 2018 Tour route — one practical idea and one WACKY idea.

Fred Dreier @freddreier: We all know that dirt is cycling’s hot trend. So the Tour de France needs to fire up the Future Bass playlist and live in the now, dammit. I say for 2018, the Tour adds some long sections of the Belgian grass/dirt roads that are used in Schaal Sels for the first week of the race. Then, in week three, there’s a day of big, long, dirt climbs in the Pyrenees.

That final stage of the 2017 Hammer Series was so unorthodox and bizarre, and boy did I love it. So my wacky idea is for the TDF to install a bizarre TTT format where the teams leave the start gate like 30 seconds at a time and then are allowed to group together and attack each other as a full TTT squad. The first five riders across the line win! Nacer Bouhanni is already practicing his left hook.

Spencer Powlison @spino_powerlegs: I want two mountainous stages that are shorter than 120km, ideally one in the Alps and one in the Pyrenees. If you want to get wacky, let’s also run a team time trial on the Roubaix cobblestones early in the race, but make sure those pavé sectors are nice and long — I’m thinking 40km of racing with 39km of cobbles.

Chris Case @chrisjustincase: I’d love to see a big, painful, uphill time trial. Maybe that’s Alpe d’Huez but probably not this year. Better yet, have them tackle the Galibier or Tourmalet. Yes, I want more agony. But what I really want to see is a team competition interlude à la the Hammer Series, with a climb, sprint, and chase component. The video explaining the rules of the Hammer Series is almost two minutes long, so I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say, it will bring a much-needed wacky respite from the doldrums created by Team Sky’s smothering tactics.

Andrew Hood @eurohoody: OK, so we’re doing this eight-rider per team thing this year. But let’s keep an open mind about it. Teams and riders say it is not good for their job security, or for their ability to finish the race. If safety is the true concern, there is a lot more the UCI and race organizers can do. If major grand tours don’t have a discernable safety improvement after this year, bring it back to nine-man teams.

Wacky: How about making this the Tour of short climbs? We’ve seen that the shorter, multi-climb stages are the most thrilling and decisive. So why not pack this Tour with a lot of them? There still have to be longer stages to make it a race of attrition, but when it comes to the mountains, pack in a string of shorter, 100-125km stages, one after another. Three in the Alps, and two more in the Pyrenees. Remember, short is the new long.

Dan Cavallari @browntiedan: I want super-short, super-steep climbing stages on successive days, followed immediately by short, fast sprinter’s stages. Keep the excitement over the course of four or five days to shake up the race and help prevent that feeling of it being a foregone conclusion during the final week. For my wacky idea, let’s kick it old school: flat pedals only on one stage.

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How will U.S. market respond to Canyon’s arrival? http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/from-the-mag/how-will-u-s-market-respond-to-canyons-arrival_450221 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/from-the-mag/how-will-u-s-market-respond-to-canyons-arrival_450221#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 16:11:13 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450221 Canyon Bicycles arrives in the U.S. with a controversial consumer-direct sales model. How will the market respond?

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Inside a nondescript warehouse perched on a hill outside Koblenz, Germany, an alarm beeps and green lights flash every few minutes. A line of bicycle frames hanging from a conveyor belt jolts forward with each buzz. Frames move down the assembly line, stopping at workstations along the way, where workers install cranks, shifters, cables, and other components. Each time the green lights flick on the conveyor sends the frames ahead. Station by station, frames are transformed into bikes, and then packed into boxes, loaded onto trucks, and sent out across Europe.

This warehouse is the home of Canyon Bicycles, one of Europe’s fastest growing bike companies. The brand has become synonymous with its innovative consumer-direct sales model, in which bikes are purchased online and shipped directly to customers. The model has proven to be successful across the globe, in part because retail prices are sometimes 25-30 percent less than those of equivalent bikes sold in retail shops.

After several years of false starts, Canyon finally crossed the Atlantic and began delivering bikes in the U.S. in August, with big plans to take a bite out of the $6 billion U.S. bike market.

It also arrived with plenty of controversy. Canyon’s business model cuts independent bike shops out of the bike buying process and, as such, will take dollars out of the pockets of U.S. shops.

It’s a controversy that extends beyond the bike industry — support local businesses or pay less online — reflecting an evolving economy, industry, and mode of commerce generally. Canyon’s executives believe it is an inevitable seismic shift for the industry.

“This is what has to come. If Canyon does not do it, it will be someone else,” Canyon owner and CEO Roman Arnold says. “It is just the right time and it is what the customer is asking for. The whole industry is changing. We are not the enemy of the industry.”

Canyon
Courtesy Canyon Bicycles

Canyon says its sales model is better for the consumer in the long run. The price tag is smaller, and the bike buying process is streamlined, the company’s executives say. Why fight the future?

Bike shop owners are not so sure.

“Canyon coming to the U.S. put a bit of fear in dealers’ minds and in the brands’ minds,” says Nelson Gutierrez, owner of Strictly Bicycles in Fort Lee, New Jersey. “Shops are thinking about what they’d have to do to combat or confront the consumer to create a better experience so they don’t buy online.”

Of course, Canyon has already driven change through the bike industry. It’s success overseas convinced some U.S. manufacturers, including Trek and Giant, to launch modified consumer-direct models in recent years. Now, the brand’s aggressive U.S. plans could create tensions between other brands, bike shops, and customers.

So, how will the bike industry work itself out? And who will be the winners and losers?

ROMAN ARNOLD LACKS THE power suit and haughty corporate speak that one might expect from the chief executive of a global cycling brand. Sitting in Canyon headquarters, the German wears a plain long-sleeve shirt with athletic pants and sneakers. He sits low in his office chair and sips a cup of tea.

“We really like cycling and we want people to have fun on the bike,” he says. “But we also want to bring new people into the sport and say, ‘Have a look, this is a cool thing you have to do.’ We want to give the rider the tools to do what he wants to do. It doesn’t matter what rider it is. We want to deliver the right bike and the right experience.”

Arnold recounts memories of racing as a teenager and young adult and how that led to a family bike business. Arnold and his father traveled to races across Europe, hauling a large metal trailer behind them. As the young Arnold raced, his father sold bike parts out of the trailer.

After retiring from racing, Arnold and his brother Franc transformed this mobile bike part business into a bike shop that quickly grew into one of the biggest Trek and Specialized dealers in Germany. The company later shifted from supplier to manufacturer of bicycle frames in the mid-1990s, laying the groundwork for the Canyon Bicycles of today.

From the start, Arnold embraced the consumer-direct model via the Internet. As Canyon grew with the online sales platform, so too did the resistance against Canyon from bike shops and dealers across Europe.

Arnold recalls one particularly frustrating struggle with Canyon’s initial expansion into France.

“There was a decree from the president [of France] that said if you want to sell a bike in France, it has to have pedals attached,” he says. The new rule blocked the sales of Canyon bikes in France since their bikes could not be packed with the pedals attached when shipped directly to consumers. It was a devastating blow to the growing company.

Canyon fought back, spending over €100,000 to reverse the order. Arnold says he later found out that the French bike dealer’s organization was behind the issue, and was trying to insulate itself from this new threat against bike shop sales.

“We had a lot of pushback in the beginning,” Arnold says. “We had to believe that what we were doing was right.”

Canyon
Canyon’s Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 was one of the best race bikes we tested this year. Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

CONSUMER-DIRECT SALES ARE nothing new to the U.S. bicycle market. Large online retailers such as Competitive Cyclist and Backcountry.com offer a huge assortment of bike components, equipment, clothing, and nutrition at low prices, a function of each company’s bulk purchasing powers. Smaller regional brands such as Franco Bicycles, Fezzari Bikes, and VeloVie also sell imported Asian frames to U.S. consumers over the web.

“The consumer-direct market has been a thorn in the brick-and-mortar retailer’s side for a long time,” Gutierrez says. Losing customers to online sales has been a factor in the steady decline in the number of independent bike shops in the U.S. According to the National Bicycle Dealer’s Association, the number has dropped over 13 percent since 2010, with an estimated 3,700 shops still operational.

There are other factors at play in this drop, of course, from the sale of bikes in big box stores to the growth of the second-hand market. Canyon executives say the statistics prove that consumers crave the service that they provide.“The industry has to leave their comfort zone,” Canyon global communication manager Thorsten Lewandowski says. “We are taking a look at what the customer really needs and not what the industry needs.”

“The industry has to leave their comfort zone,” Canyon global communication manager Thorsten Lewandowski says. “We are taking a look at what the customer really needs and not what the industry needs.”

The debate over what’s best for the consumer is intense, complex, and has compelling arguments from both sides. There are three major factors at play within the discussion: price, purchasing process, and the sustainability of the bike shop model.

Canyon’s sales model does lower prices by cutting bike shops out of the buying process. Retailers often sell an item at a 60-100 percent markup from the price they paid a manufacturer. For example, Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 LTD bike with SRAM eTap retails at $7,500, while a comparable aero bike and build by a competitor retails at $11,500.

Of course, price isn’t the only factor in a bike purchase. Retailers argue that a shop’s follow-up service can tip the scales in their favor. Jason Fenton, owner of Halter’s Cycles in Skillman, New Jersey, says his store takes customers through a thorough bike-buying process that includes correct sizing, a bike fit, and follow-up service after the purchase.

“I think that buying a bicycle is a highly personal experience,” Fenton says. “From front to end, we find that our prices are competitive, if not better, and we give a hands-on experience that they can’t get online.”

Canyon believes it offers a better purchasing process. The age-old reputation of the grumpy bike shop employee has made its way into the mainstream, driving customers online, Canyon representatives say. Of course, that’s not the only reason why customers flock online. All industries have seen the shift. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales account for approximately nine percent of all retail sales in the U.S., amounting to over $400 billion in the last year.

It’s hard to argue with the ease of clicking a button from the comfort of your home, especially when you know exactly what product you want.

Lewandowski also argues that shops can complicate this process. “Bike shops can influence the customer’s decision based on what they have available or what they may need to still sell that season,” he says. “Even if the customer knows the exact bike they want, a bike shop could try and change their mind.”

Fenton, on the other hand, believes bike shops can offer a better purchasing experience, especially for novice customers. “Lots of people buy mountain bikes online that aren’t applicable to the area that they ride,” he says. Shops provide local advice on the trails, the roads, and the terrain nearby, and what bikes or products are best suited for the area.

“People are like, ‘Great, I got a good deal and saved a couple hundred bucks or a thousand maybe,’ but their only point of contact is someone who is on the phone or on the Internet,” Fenton says.

Whether or not the traditional bike shop model is sustainable in the long run is open to debate. Canyon employees believe their model actually helps bike shops. The traditional business model between manufacturers and bike shops has created endless headaches, they say.

Inventory requirements put a strain on small businesses. A slow season or an inaccurate estimate of the number of bikes to have in stock can lead to financial anxiety, leading to the sale of last season’s bikes at a discount at little to no profit (or sometimes at a loss). When the new season’s line of bikes rolls in, the cycle continues.

Arnold says that Canyon removes all of these tensions by letting bike shops do what they do best: service.

“This will be a great chance for the bike dealer, by providing service,” he says. “He is so close to you. It’s a big chance for the dealer to service these bikes that are bought online. Canyon will bring new customers to the dealers.”

VeloNews spoke with multiple independent bicycle dealers, and the majority agreed that service holds the key to the survival of shops, with or without Canyon.

“We view it as an opportunity to essentially try to win that person back over as a customer, and hopefully get sales from them in the future,” says Brian Zeck, of River City Bicycles in Portland, Oregon.

How many shops will remain open based on service profits alone remains to be seen. The sale of bicycles still accounts for a sizable percentage of revenue. The industry has already begun to see a shift toward a service focus, with the rise of mobile bike shops such as VeloFix, Beeline Bikes, and others.

“The bike shop has so much value in terms of service,” says Matt Heitmann, Canyon’s chief marketing officer. “This is what they will always do better than we can do as a website.”

Canyon
Canyon’s frames are manufactured in Taiwan, then shipped to the company’s factory in Germany where they are assembled. The factory can produce up to 400 bikes per day. Courtesy Canyon Bicycles

A LARGE WORKSHOP BUILT into Canyon’s consumer-facing headquarters in downtown Koblenz is lined with bikes, mostly Canyons, waiting to be serviced. The bikes have come from Germany, the U.K., and across Europe. They’ll soon come from the U.S. as well. They are bikes that shops have refused to work on because they were purchased online. It’s one of Canyon’s biggest growing pains, and the company is uneasily waiting to see if it’ll happen in the new U.S. market as well.

“Everywhere you go, you wear this scarlet letter,” Fenton says about bike customers who go the consumer-direct route. “You’ll be shunned by bike shops… We’ve seen it in the past.”

While Fenton says his shop will work on any bike that comes through the door, the service might differ between types of customers. He says his shop would not give lesser service, but it’s possible that customers who buy bikes through his shop would get preferential treatment, faster service, or more inclusive service.

Most of the shops we spoke with agreed that a flat-out refusal to service Canyon bikes is counterproductive, a missed opportunity.

“It’s very short-sighted,” Gutierrez says. “Shops should service anybody’s bike. You should never say no. You could win that customer over, and maybe their second bike purchase isn’t going to be a Canyon, it’s going to be a bike that you stock.”

Other shop owners wholeheartedly agreed that the U.S. market would likely be more open to servicing Canyon bikes. “I don’t see that flying in the U.S.,” says Jason Woznick of Fairwheel Cycles in Tucson, Arizona. “It’s just not the way things are done here. I know there are a few shops that refuse to work on department store bikes, but I think there are enough shops, it’s competitive enough, and shops are struggling enough that they’ll work on almost anything.”

Shops are rethinking how to connect with customers and how to put themselves back on the map in this new type of bike economy. Gutierrez believes shops should focus on creating a community, rather than relying on the old way of selling.

“Retailers shouldn’t be scared,” Gutierrez says. “Make it more of a communal experience and they’ll see a return on investment.”

For some shops, highlighting its services is nothing new; Canyon’s entry into the U.S. simply reiterates the importance of this component of the retail experience. Zeck, for one, encourages his staff to focus on the basics of customer service. By doing that, he’s seen success in competing with online retailers that have been in the U.S. market for years.

Canyon’s arrival in the U.S. is driving change in the industry — with a sales model that isn’t entirely new. Consumer-direct sales likely will not kill the independent bike dealer, so long as shop owners are willing to adapt.

“It’s a normal evolution,” Arnold says. “Industries develop. There will be room for everyone if we all work hard and try to adapt to the customers’ needs.”

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Week in Tech: New Zipp wheels, revamped Pivot, Rapha custom http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/week-tech-new-zipp-wheels-revamped-pivot-rapha-custom_450162 http://www.velonews.com/2017/10/news/week-tech-new-zipp-wheels-revamped-pivot-rapha-custom_450162#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:54:17 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=450162 Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

The post Week in Tech: New Zipp wheels, revamped Pivot, Rapha custom appeared first on VeloNews.com.

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Here’s your Week in Tech — All the gear news you need with none of the marketing jargon you don’t want.

Pivot reaches Mach 6

Pivot’s revamped Mach 6 Carbon is longer and lower, clearly aimed at appeasing the enduro crowd. The 65.75-degree head tube angle and 155 millimeters of travel certainly encourage straight-lining the chunder. Yet the 74-degree seat angle means Pivot hasn’t forgotten you have to earn your way to the top too. The Mach 6 is both 1x and 2x compatible and is also available in an aluminum version.

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Zipp continues to plunge the deepest depths

In May, Zipp unveiled the 454 NSW wheelset (affectionately dubbed “whale wheels” here in the office). Now, Zipp has gone mega-whale. The massive 858 NSWs are 24 millimeters deeper than the 454s, which already measure 53 to 58 millimeters deep (depending on where you measure). The wheels come in both rim brake and disc brake clincher versions. The 858 will be available in November and will cost $4,400 for the pair.

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Mavic’s MTB lineup gets an overhaul

Some of the names sound the same, but everything from wheels to helmets gets an update. The enduro-inspired Deemax Pro wheelset features a slim internal rim width out back (25 millimeters) to save weight, while the front maintains a wider 28-millimeter stance. The set will cost $1,099,  On the soft goods side, the XA Pro helmet comes with expanded lower rear coverage that should protect against impacts at the back of the head. And the Crossmax SL Pro with MIPS is Mavic’s lightweight XC offering. The XA Pro retails for $150, while the new cross-country helmet is $170.

Spooky socks


Sock Guy wants to scare your socks off with its Halloween collection. The holiday-themed socks retail for $12 and come with six-inch cuffs.

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Lezyne, the bell tolls for thee!

Lezyne’s classic bells sure do look cool, and they both have a crystal-clear tone. Better yet, they’re easy to swap between bikes because they install in seconds with a couple of O-rings. The Classic (pictured) and the Shallow Classic (which looks like a drummer’s cymbal) both retail for $14.

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Rapha Custom coming spring 2018

File this one under cryptic emails: Rapha tells us customisable apparel is on the way in spring 2018 … But that’s all the details we got. We’re hoping you’ll be able to customize Rapha’s hallmark sleeve stripe with flames or Hawaiian shirt prints in the near future.

Building a legacy with the Chad Young Foundation


Chad Young, 21, raced for the Axeon Hagens Berman squad when he crashed catastrophically during the 2017 Tour of Gila. He died days later from his injuries. His family has created the Chad William Young Foundation to help fund research to prevent traumatic brain injuries. The foundation has partnered with Cuore of Switzerland to offer jerseys, base layers, bibs, and more to support the cause.

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