Tariffs; Hayman retiring; Van Aert terminates contract: Daily News Digest
Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Its been quite a news day. The long-anticipated U.S. tariffs against Chinese-made products have come into effect and much of the bike industry will be affected. Australian Mathew Hayman announced he will retire in January and cyclocross superstar Wout van Aert looks set for an ugly break-up with his team. Oh, and another team confirmed it is shuttering its doors at the end of the year.
Story of the day: Tariffs hit bikes and bike parts in the US
As expected, United States’ President Donald Trump approved tariffs on about USD$200 billion of imports from China, of which roughly USD$1-2 Billion are bicycle-related products. A statement from the White House said, “The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10-percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25-percent.”
In anticipation of the possible tariffs, we spoke with Bicycle Retailer’s Steve Frothingham on the CyclingTips podcast. Frothingham explained that consumers could feel the 25-percent tariff in terms of three-times the dollar amount of the tax that companies will have to pay. He gave the example of a USD$1,000 bike coming in from China would be hit with a USD$250 tax. After that bike makes its way through distributors and into local bike shop, the consumer could see a price increase of USD$750.
The stated goal of the tariffs is to encourage domestic manufacturing and close the trade gap between the US and China.
A set of tariffs already in place included tariffs on raw materials like steel and aluminium, which went into effect in the spring. There is also currently 25-percent tariff on China-made GPS units, e-bikes and e-bike motors.
According to Bicycle Retailer, bicycle-related safety products such as helmets and lights are exempt from the tariffs. QBP’s General Counsel Matt Moore, who testified against the tariffs last month in Washington D.C., told Bicycle Retailer the exemption on safety products was something that others and he specifically lobbied for.
The Beauty of Cycling
Today’s “Beauty of Cycling” comes from the Orica-GreenEdge Backstage Pass of the 2016 Paris-Roubaix. Mathew Hayman famously won and was in disbelief that he had done so after crossing the finish line.
Hayman announced he will retire after the Santos Tour Down Under in January. He explained it was a difficult decision and he struggled with whether to retire or not for months, “mainly out of fear of what my life would be like without being a professional athlete.”
Magnaldi wins final L’Ardeche
Erica Magnaldi (BePink) sprinted to victory on the seventh and final stage of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche in France. She beat Sofie De Vuyst (Belgium) and Kathrin Hammes (Germany).
Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM Racing) took home the overall title after riding strongly throughout the week. She won Sunday’s fifth stage and captured the leader’s jersey on the penultimate day after escaping on the final descent with American Ruth Winder (US National Team).
The U.S. team had a strong week with Winder taking two stage wins and Alexis Ryan winning the opening stage. Katie Hall and Winder also finished in the top 10 in the general classification.
Van Aert terminates team contract, ‘cross season in limbo
Three-time cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert terminated his contract with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and currently has no team as he flies to the U.S. for the first cyclocross World Cup of the season in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
Sniper Cycling, the company that owns the Pro Continental team, released a statement early Tuesday saying, “Wout van Aert has unilaterally terminated his contract with Sniper Cycling on Monday evening September 17, 2018.” Veranda’s Willems-Crelan is merging with Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij next year and van Aert was publicly not happy with the merger. The program also had the debacle with the now-defunct Aqua Blue Sport when the Irish team announced it bought Sniper Cycling, which was untrue.
Hours later, van Aert published a column on Wielerflits confirming the contract termination and explaining he currently does not have a team as he travels to the U.S.
The situation puts a question mark as to with whom van Aert will race on the road in 2019. The Belgian has reportedly signed a contract with LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2020 road season because he was under contract with Sniper Cycling until the end of 2019. With that contract nullified, it remains to be seen whether van Aert will jump to road cycling’s top-tier for 2019.
Things could get ugly between the two parties if van Aert owes Sniper Cycling money for ending his contract early. Sporza spoke with van Aert’s lawyer, Walter Van Steenbrugge, who said, “There are now 2 possibilities: either the employer agrees with the reason we [end the contract], or they do not accept it and the case comes to court. I prefer to argue in the court about the exact facts and the background of the case, rather than in the media.”
JLT-Condor folding, as another British Continental program ends
JLT-Condor will join fellow Briton-based program One Pro Cycling in folding at the end of the year. The team released a statement explaining it could not find a title sponsor to replace JLT. The team began in 2007.
One Pro Cycling announced earlier this month it was shuttering its men’s program and instead forming a women’s team.
Salsa Cycles overhauls Warbird and updates various other All-Road models
Salsa Cycles, one of the pioneering brands of the American gravel scene, has updated its gravel racer, the Warbird. Now in its fourth generation, the carbon Warbird now offers mounts upon mounts. There is a mount for a top tube bag, and the new Waxwing carbon fork offers three pack mount points for improved versatility. Pictured is the top-end Warbird Carbon Ultegra Di2 700, which retails for US$5,399.
While the Warbird is big news for Salsa in 2019, other range updates include new build options on the Journeyman and Cutthroat, the Vaya is now equipped with the new Waxwing carbon fork (same as Warbird) and there’s a Boost-spaced fork and 29×2.6in rubber on the Fargo. Find out more at salsacycles.com.
Specialized’s new Turbo Levo e-MTB
Happy Birthday to …
Lance Armstrong (47).