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For a WorldTour team, winning is everything. Wins translate into more sponsorship dollars, which is a team’s lifeline. Quick-Step Floors has no trouble winning, but for a few teams, the top step of the podium is elusive.
Quote of the day
“I was talking with my girlfriend before leaving for this race, that I miss the feeling that you get only when you cross the line first.” — Simone Consonni after winning the opening stage of the Tour of Slovenia, his first professional victory.
Story of the day: The fickleness of victory
At cycling’s top tier, win tallies can feel like feast or famine.
The confidence and morale among Quick-Step Floors is sky high. The squad seems to win every other day; it has 38 victories to date in 2018. Its premier sprinter, Elia Viviani, has 10 victories this season. That’s more than seven entire WorldTour teams. Quick-Step is feasting.
Until recently, UAE Team Emirates were struggling to find the top step. Alexander Kristoff was the only rider on the squad to have raised his hands in victory and after a dismal Giro d’Italia with Fabio Aru, the squad was in desperate need of a win. Famine.
This week was a reminder of how quickly fortunes can turn. Dan Martin won a stage at the Criterium du Dauphine and then on Wednesday, UAE had a double-victory day. Diego Ulissi won at the Tour de Suisse and Simone Consonni sprinted to victory at the Tour of Slovenia. This brings the team’s total number of victories to seven. Not exactly feasting yet, but at least the hors d’oeuvres have come around.
Other teams at the bottom of the win rankings should take heart from UAE’s week. Still searching for good snacks are EF Education First-Drapac, Dimension Data, and Katusha-Alpecin. Each only has three victories this season. A victory this week could get the wheels turning for a successful Tour de France.
Who else is feasting? Mitchelton-Scott, with 27 wins and Sky, with 23 wins. Movistar, with 19.
And the famine? It’s hovering over Katusha, EF, Dimension Data, and Sunweb. But, of course, the Tour de France has the power to change everything. UAE is proof that a soft opening doesn’t preclude success later on.
D’hoore sprints to victory in England
Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) began the 2018 edition of the OVO Women’s Tour the same way she finished the race last year – winning. The Belgian national road race champion sprinted to victory in Southwold over former world champion Marta Bastianelli (Ale-Cipollini) and American Coryn Rivera (Sunweb).
The win by D’hoore is quite remarkable considering she broke her collarbone at a Track event on May 22. She had surgery to repair the break later that day and has clearly recovered well.
Ulissi captures first win of 2018 at Tour de Suisse
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) led out the sprint at the end of a mountainous stage five of the Tour de Suisse and had the power to hold for the victory. According to Velon’s video with power data of the final kilometre, Ulissi averaged an astonishing 590 watts for a 1’21”. That’s quite an impressive feat at the end of a 155-kilometre stage, which included three climbs.
Many of the GC contenders finished in the same time as Ulissi with Richie Porte (BMC Racing) donning the yellow jersey at the end of the day. He leads Wilco Keldermann (Sunweb) by 20 seconds in the general classification.
A sign of Movistar tactics to come
If you want to know what Movistar’s Tour de France tactics are likely to look like, look no further than stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse. Mikel Landa was the only GC contender to make a go of it, riding into a stiff headwind from 2.5km out as Nairo Quintana waited patiently in the main bunch. The move was ill-fated, in no small part due to the aforementioned headwind, but it did show Landa is willing to take a bit of a risk to potentially set up his Colombian teammate.
Consonni wins opening stage in Slovenia
Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) captured the first stage of the Tour of Slovenia in Murska Sobota over Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida).
Red Hook Crit circuit shrinks
The Red Hook Criterium Champion Series will be only two events in 2018, down from four events in 2017. Series director David Trimble confirmed that the London and Barcelona events will not be held this year.
The Brooklyn event was held last month and the Milano event is scheduled for October 6. Trimble cited “skyrocketing” venue costs at the Brooklyn event, claiming they were doubled by venue management for 2018, along with lower overall sponsorship funding — despite having many of the same sponsors as in 2017. Trimble said, “We hope to have a full championship again in 2019.”
Goolaerts’ family looking for Michael’s Paris-Roubaix sunglasses
The family of Michael Goolaerts, who tragically suffered a heart attack during this year’s Paris-Roubaix and passed away, are looking for the sunglasses he wore during the race.
Michael’s team, Veranda’s Willems-Crelan, posted on Twitter asking anyone with information to contact them or the family. In a Facebook post, Michael’s brother Kristof wrote the sunglasses have great emotional value to the family, as the sunglasses were Michael’s favourite and Kristof gave them to Michael as a birthday present.
Man responsible for Kalamazoo crash, which killed five cyclists, sentenced
Charles Pickett Jr., 52, was sentenced to 40 to 75 years in prison for the June 7, 2016 crash the killed five cyclists in Kalamazoo, according to Michigan Live. Considering the minimum prison sentence and the 734-day time served credit, Pickett won’t be eligible for parole until he’s at least 90 years old.
BMC adds Roadmachine X variant for light-duty off-roading
BMC’s new Roadmachine X takes the current Roadmachine 03 aluminium all-road frameset, and adds a burlier build kit to make it better suited to off-pavement excursions. Key differences from the more tarmac-oriented Roadmachine versions include 34mm WTB Exposure semi-knobby tires (the widest permitted) mounted to 22mm-wide Mavic Allroad Disc UST tubeless alloy clinchers, a SRAM Rival 1 1×11 drivetrain with a 40T chainring and wide-range Apex 1 11-42T cassette, and a compact front chainguard for added security.
Other features include rack and fender mounts, internal cable routing, hydroformed tubing, 12mm thru-axles and flat-mount disc brakes front and rear. For more information on the Roadmachine X, visit bmc-switzerland.com.
Canyon expands its Inflite range of CX bikes
After unveiling its first cyclocross bike last year, the aspirational Inflite CF SLX, Canyon has added another five models to the range, all at lower price points.
The new Inflite AL SLX, which features an alloy frame and a SRAM Apex 1x build, now serves as the entry point into the range with an asking price of €1,399/£1,299/AUD$1,999. The other four models are built around the Inflite CF SL carbon frame, a price-conscious version of the Inflite CF SLX chassis, with a choice of SRAM 1x or Shimano 2x groupsets, starting at €1,999/£1,799/AUD$2,899.
The Bicycle of Springs
A bicycle made out of springs? Colin Furze is a YouTuber famous for creating crazy things. In his latest episode, he took a normal bike and replaced the frame with springs. Check out the video below, as he works his way through building this interesting bike.