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Just as Sky was announcing its departure from the sport a few weeks ago, motorsport giant McLaren signaled that it was on its way in, saying it would join up with the Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team as a sponsor and reported 50-50 partner in the team’s ownership structure. Such a well-known international brand coming into the sport was quickly hailed as a game-changer for the team, and even for cycling as a whole. The news even caused some speculative observers to wonder on social media if the British-based company might step up to replace Sky as the owner/sponsor of the homegrown team.
The ever-changing game of musical chairs in pro cycling sponsorship is one of the biggest challenges the sport faces. So it is fantastic news any time a major brand decides to throw their marketing dollars into professional cycling, given the current downward trend in the sport’s investment climate. However, in this case, the narrative of a major international company bounding into the sport full bore is a little misleading.
First, according to financial reports from the McLaren Group Limited (the parent company of the famous McLaren F1 racing team, the McLaren luxury car company, and McLaren Applied Technologies), the conglomerate had a net profit of slightly over £1 million in 2016 and lost £65 million in 2017. These aren’t exactly the finances of an entity that could lay out the type of money it takes to sponsor a top-tier professional cycling team (Sky’s 2017 budget was about $40 million).
Second, and what really makes this story a bit overblown, is the fact that the stock of McLaren is controlled by the Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and ultimately controlled by the Bahraini royal family. Readers will note that the Kingdom of Bahrain has been accused of using its sports teams to improve its image abroad; In recent years the country’s government has been accused of jailing and abusing political opponents. The son of the Bahraini king, Sheikh Nassar bin Hamad Al Khalifa, reportedly owns and finances the Bahrain-Merida cycling team. Various state companies, including the national petroleum corporation BAPCO, are somehow involved behind the scenes in the sponsorship of the team, and although McLaren does have other outside minority shareholders, the team is clearly directed and controlled by royal family.
This structure not dissimilar to many of the other government- or patron-backed teams that cycling has often seen in the past. McLaren’s proven technology and materials expertise may bring interesting new development and innovation to pro cycling, and that is a positive development. But this announcement doesn’t really so much imply a major new global sponsor entering the sport, as it does an existing patron group simply providing some of the dollars out of a different pocket. In fact, skeptics could argue that this situation is not so much a new sponsor as it is a wealthy patron using its cycling team to provide discounted (or free) advertising to another company it owns.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });There is nothing necessarily wrong with any of this. Large conglomerates and holding companies frequently utilize different subsidiaries to simultaneously support investments, charitable causes, or marketing and visibility vehicles like a sports team. For example, the situation is not dissimilar to Gerry Ryan’s Mitchelton-Scott team featuring BikeExchange – another company in which he is a major investor– as a co-title sponsor for the 2016 season. Or the Astana team, which uses the team as a revolving billboard for various Kazakhstan state-run economic entities. This approach is particularly common when subsidiary organizations may have slightly different but closely interlocking ownerships.
Using a pro sports team as a vehicle to sell (or give away) high-value advertising at a discounted rate to sister companies may be a fantastic way to get more value out of owning a cycling team. McLaren will have its name splashed across the kit of one of the best-financed teams in the peloton; in addition, we can hope that the company will contribute some new technology or ideas to the sport. But ultimately, the money is still flowing from the same tap — a wealthy Middle Eastern government. This is quite different than a major corporation coming out of the woodwork to enter the sport as a new top-level sponsor.
Read the full article at The Outer Line: McLaren races to the rescue? on

For her run at a fifth Absa Cape Epic title, Annika Langvad will have a high-powered but unexpected teammate at her side in South Africa this March: world road champion Anna van der Breggen.
Race organizers confirmed Wednesday that the reigning Cape Epic champ Langvad will team up with van der Breggen, who is perhaps the world’s most dominant road cyclist. As is customary in the eight-stage mountain bike race, March 17-24, they will race as a duo, representing Investec-Songo-Specialized.
This comes on the heels of news that Langvad has joined van der Breggen’s powerhouse Boels-Dolmans team for 2019.
Langvad, a former world cross-country champion and the reigning marathon champion, will blend in some road races with her World Cup mountain bike season.
“For me, it’s not so much a question of being defined as a mountain biker or a road cyclist,” said the Dane. “I tend to think of myself as a cyclist competing mainly in mountain biking, but I have had a flirt with the road racing scene before.”
Langvad raced the road world championships in Innsbruck, Austria in September 2018, finishing 37th.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });Similarly, van der Breggen dabbled in mountain bike racing last season, finishing 30th in the Val di Sole World Cup XC in July.
“The Absa Cape Epic is my first goal of the season,” van der Breggen said. “I am looking forward to a big adventure and to do something I never did before.”
Fortunately for van der Breggen, Langvad has a history of guiding first-time racers through the Cape Epic. In 2018, she won the race with American Kate Courtney who was also new to the race.
Given that the Cape Epic often has stretches of long, windy fire roads, which put a premium on tactics and drafting, a powerful rider like van der Breggen, winner of Flèche Wallone, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold, and Tour of Flanders, may be well-suited for the challenge.
Read the full article at Van der Breggen and Langvad team up for Cape Epic MTB race on

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Michael Woods didn’t start racing professionally until he was 25, but even as a teenaged running prodigy, he was already dreaming of racing at the Tour de France.
After confirming his WorldTour credentials with a breakout season in 2018, he’s hoping those dreams will come true this summer.
“I told the team I really want to do the Tour this year,” Woods told VeloNews. “It’s something I haven’t done yet and it’s one of my big goals this year.”
After notching world championship and monument podiums in 2018, along with an emotional stage win at the Vuelta a España, Woods is ready to step onto cycling’s biggest stage.
The EF Education First rider gladly admits he will be a rung or two lower in the pecking order if he can earn a berth on the eight-man Tour roster. EF will bring a solid team with 2017 runner-up Rigoberto Urán and two-time top-5 finisher Tejay van Garderen.
Ever the realist, Woods says he would be more than happy to be on domestique duty in order to get his first peek at cycling’s big show.
“I understand how it’s going to be. I will be the guy getting water bottles if I have to,” Woods said. “I realize that with Rigo and Tejay, with both of them being such experienced Tour riders, we have to make a roster that suits those guys.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });“So long as I am not conflicting with those goals and the form is there, hopefully you’ll see me at the Tour this year.”
The fact that Woods is already angling for a Tour de France starting spot reveals just how far he’s come since his WorldTour debut in 2016.
The Canadian’s first WorldTour race came here, three years ago in the southern hemisphere. He snagged two podium finishes and took fifth overall in that race. The encouraging results provided the first real hint that Woods could thrive at the WorldTour level.
He’s since gone from one personal milestone to another, raising the bar and surpassing personal expectations year after year.
“I believed I could pop a good result somewhere, but even now, I have surpassed my initial expectations,” Woods said of his accelerated progression. “It’s been pretty special to come from thinking I could be a domestique to be a guy who could compete in these races. Everything is just icing in the cake.”
A possible run at the Tour is just part of what Woods hopes will be further extension of his tremendous evolution since he swapped out running shoes as a middle-distance runner for cycling cleats barely a decade ago.
Coming into this season, the Canadian’s confidence is flying high after winning his first WorldTour race with a stage at the Vuelta a España and scoring prestigious podiums at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the world championships.
Making his season debut this week at the Santos Tour Down Under, Woods is setting his sights on more. After three highly successful and progressively better seasons at the WorldTour, it’s all about execution in 2019.
“I want to be going full-gas in the Ardennes,” he said. “I am champing at the bit to get back there.”
Woods came to Australia a few weeks ago to train in the warm weather and will stay here through the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour in early February. His European debut might not come until the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country before heading back to the Ardennes. After falling ill during the Giro d’Italia last year, Woods discovered he’s susceptible to seasonal allergies in Italy, so he will not race the corsa rosa.
Without the Giro in the cards, Woods is hopeful his summer will include a ticket to the Tour. After four grand tours — twice each in the Vuelta and Giro — Woods is keen to see the Tour.
“I watched the Tour every summer during the Lance era,” he said, explaining he would tweak his running schedule to make time for each day’s stage. “When I was watching the Tour, I thought, ‘I could race the Tour,’ without knowing anything about what that would entail. I said, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look that hard.’ Fortunately, my parents instilled this inner-belief in me, and they taught me to dream big.”
So far, Woods has been realizing those dreams every pedal stroke along the way. The Tour is simply the next step in his remarkable evolution.
Will the team bring him? That’s TBD.
Read the full article at Michael Woods angling for Tour debut following breakout 2018 on

ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) stepped boldly into the winner’s circle Wednesday with a victory that’s been years in the making.
The highly touted New Zealander upset the sprinters in the second stage at the Santos Tour Down Under to barnstorm into the leader’s jersey and claim his first WorldTour win.
After a season of riding in the shadow of Richie Porte, Bevin is taking full advantage of new leadership opportunities created by the demise of the once-mighty BMC Racing Team.
“He’s our big dog now,” said CCC Team sport manager Jackson Stewart. “The team’s changed a lot. He was showing amazing performances last year, but he was always second or third behind the other guys on the team.”
BMC’s closure at the end of 2018 opened up some room for Bevin. Porte moved to Trek-Segafredo and BMC rides on, at least in spirit, with a new iteration as CCC Team. With Porte gone, Bevin has space to move. And so far at the Tour Down Under, he’s riding free and unfettered.
“This [CCC Team] is a revamped outfit with a totally different mindset, totally different goals, and we want to give it everything we have,” Bevin said. “This sets a precedent for this team. We’re going to fight for everything we can.”
Bevin, 27, rode into the breakaway in Tuesday’s opening stage, earning him the most aggressive rider prize. More importantly, he got five seconds in mid-race time bonuses. Add his stage-winner bonus Wednesday and he’s suddenly 15 seconds ahead of most of the GC favorites.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });And in a race that can go down to count-backs, Bevin suddenly has a target on his back.
“Bevin is in very good shape and he’s a class bike rider. There’s a target for me right there to win the Tour Down Under,” said Mitchelton-Scott sport director Matt White. “He’s got 15 seconds right now, and for a guy like him, I think 20 seconds would nearly guarantee him the win in the Tour.”
Still only 27, Bevin’s been racing for a decade. He raced four seasons with Bissell and another with Avanti before bumping to the WorldTour with Slipstream in 2016. In 2018, he moved to BMC and became part of the team’s formidable team time trial squad.
The mood was ecstatic around the CCC Team van post-stage. No one expected the team’s first WorldTour win to come so early in the season.
“Paddy has been working hard and knocking on the door for a result like this for a while so it’s great to see it become a reality for him,” Stewart said. “It’s a great feeling for the whole team. We started the season with a new title sponsor, new colors, a lot of new faces, so this is a fantastic way to kick the season off.”
If he hopes to win the Tour Down Under, Bevin will need as big a lead as he can get. Thursday’s hilly stage on a circuit finale presents a stout challenge before Sunday’s uphill, race-ending finish at Old Willunga Hill. Who will be the favorite there? Richie Porte, of course.
Read the full article at Porte-free Bevin taking advantage of freedom on

ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) — New Zealand time trial champion Patrick Bevin swooped in to take his first WorldTour stage and claim the overall lead in Australia’s Santos Tour Down Under on Wednesday.
Bevin, 27, riding for the CCC Team, capitalized on confusion in the peloton sparked by a mass crash inside the final kilometer of the 122km second stage to power home in the finish.
The Kiwi unleashed a sprint on the uphill, 700-meter finishing straight to reel in Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez before holding off Australian star sprinter Caleb Ewan and Slovakia’s former triple world champion Peter Sagan at the line.
The stage win gave Bevin a 10-second time bonus, lifting him into the overall lead of the race, five seconds ahead of Italy’s Elia Viviani, who won Tuesday’s stage 1 but could only manage seventh on Wednesday.
Ewan is third overall, ahead of Germany’s Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb).
Walscheid finished 23rd in Wednesday’s stage through South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley wine country in scorching, 104-degree temperatures.
“I got to pick a pretty good line in the hard, draggy finish. Once Sanchez was off the front in the final it gave me the perfect springboard and I just went long,” Bevin said.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });“It was definitely a gamble, you could take five seconds today and lose two minutes in three days’ time but that’s bike racing, we’re here to try to win it.”
Bevin, whose previous best in the season-opening race was 10th in 2016, avoided a pileup in the peloton which blocked the road to the Angaston finish line.
The crash left around 25 riders to contest the finale, with Bevin surging from deep before dipping in behind Sanchez’s slipstream and crossing the line with enough time to clench his fists and raise his hands in celebration.
His victory is the CCC Team’s maiden WorldTour victory and his first triumph outside of a national championship since winning stage 4 of Australia’s Herald Sun Tour in February 2015.
The peloton once again had to endure brutal temperatures on the stage, which was cut pre-race by 26.9km because of the extreme weather conditions.
Australia’s Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia) retained the king of the mountains jersey after stage 2. Viviani edged Bevin for the sprint leader’s jersey by a point.
Thursday’s stage 3 launches from Lobethal into a challenging and hilly 6km circuit that finishes in Uraidla.
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 Results
RankNameTeamTime1BEVIN PatrickCCC Team3:14:312EWAN CalebLotto Soudal,,3SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe,,4VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma,,5PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,6BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,7VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step,,8SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team,,9REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,10HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,11IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,12WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,13DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,14HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ,,15SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,16LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,17BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,18DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,19HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,20POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,21BOL CeesTeam Sunweb ,,22LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,23WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb ,,24SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,25DOULL OwainTeam Sky,,26DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,27OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,28EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott,,29HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,30HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,31GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,32VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,33DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,34POELS WoutTeam Sky,,35GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,36VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,37GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,38LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma,,39ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,40OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,41PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,42VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,43DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,44O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,45FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,46DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,47CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,48WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia,,49PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,50POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,51HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,52FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,53HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,54MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,55DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,56TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,57MARECZKO JakubCCC Team,,58KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb ,,59BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team,,60MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,61FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,62CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,63DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,64ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,65DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,66MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal,,67ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky,,68PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,69ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team,,70KNEES ChristianTeam Sky,,71SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,72CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team,,73STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,74FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,75VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,76GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,77CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,78STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo,,79STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,80MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,81BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,82DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,83PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,84MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,85HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,86HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,87SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,88LEA JasonUniSA-Australia,,89VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,90LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,91CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,92HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,93POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,94HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,95ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,96SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,97MAS LluísMovistar Team,,98SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,99GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe,,100MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,101LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,102DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,103VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,104WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma,,105OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe,,106DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,107HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott,,108SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,109SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,110BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,111BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,112POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,113MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,114WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,115HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,116HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma,,117KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,118BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale,,119KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,120MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,121DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,122KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,123ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,124BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal,,125BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe,,126PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe,,127DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,128PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,129MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,130SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,131BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,132HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,133COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,RankNameTeamTime1BEVIN PatrickCCC Team6:34:032VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step0:053EWAN CalebLotto Soudal0:094WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb ,,5ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team,,6LEA JasonUniSA-Australia0:107STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,8SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe0:119MARECZKO JakubCCC Team,,10CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team0:1211BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:1512PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,13VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma,,14HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,15IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott,,16REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,17HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ,,18SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team,,19GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,20SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team,,21HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,22POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates,,23BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma,,24HAAS NathanTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,25WOODS MichaelEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,26DEBUSSCHERE JensTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,27LATOUR PierreAG2R La Mondiale,,28LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ,,29ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates,,30SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,31POELS WoutTeam Sky,,32GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,33DOULL OwainTeam Sky,,34DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,35DE VREESE LaurensAstana Pro Team,,36EDMONDSON AlexMitchelton-Scott,,37VENTOSO Francisco JoséCCC Team,,38HEPBURN MichaelMitchelton-Scott,,39VAN BAARLE DylanTeam Sky,,40GESINK RobertTeam Jumbo-Visma,,41STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,42OWSIAN ŁukaszCCC Team,,43PRADES EduardMovistar Team,,44O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,45DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo,,46OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,47FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team,,48MEYER CameronMitchelton-Scott,,49CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,50SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,51DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,52HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,53MAS LluísMovistar Team,,54HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,55DE LA PARTE VíctorCCC Team,,56PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo,,57LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma,,58VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data,,59POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,60VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,61POZZOVIVO DomenicoBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,62MORABITO SteveGroupama - FDJ,,63MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe,,64DENNIS RohanBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,65CHEVRIER ClémentAG2R La Mondiale,,66HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,67MCLAY DanielEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,68BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,69ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team,,70TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,71SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,72COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,73HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,74VALLS RafaelMovistar Team,,75FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,76FRÖHLINGER JohannesTeam Sunweb ,,77PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,78DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,79SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data,,80DUPONT HubertAG2R La Mondiale,,81LINDEMAN Bert-JanTeam Jumbo-Visma,,82KNEES ChristianTeam Sky,,83STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo,,84PANTANO JarlinsonTrek - Segafredo,,85MØRKØV MichaelDeceuninck - Quick Step,,86HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,87CLARKE WillTrek - Segafredo,,88ELISSONDE KennyTeam Sky,,89HANSEN AdamLotto Soudal,,90ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,91SABATINI FabioDeceuninck - Quick Step,,92KUZNETSOV VyacheslavTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,93PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,94LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ,,95FOMINYKH DaniilAstana Pro Team,,96MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,97GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,98BAGDONAS GediminasAG2R La Mondiale,,99KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal,,100HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,101HAGEN Carl FredrikLotto Soudal,,102BAK Lars YttingTeam Dimension Data,,103ROWE LukeTeam Sky,,104CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,105VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,106DOWSETT AlexTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,107POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,108DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,109WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,110BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates,,111DURBRIDGE LukeMitchelton-Scott,,112HAYMAN MathewMitchelton-Scott,,113DE GENDT ThomasLotto Soudal,,114SUTHERLAND RoryUAE-Team Emirates,,115KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,116BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team0:30117SIEBERG MarcelBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:39118HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:45119BLYTHE AdamLotto Soudal,,120BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 0:47121MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,122MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal,,123BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,124GATTO OscarBORA - hansgrohe0:58125OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe,,126BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe,,127WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia1:08128KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb 1:11129WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma,,130PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe,,131SCULLY TomEF Education First Pro Cycling Team1:44132DOCKER MitchellEF Education First Pro Cycling Team2:09133MORTON LachlanEF Education First Pro Cycling Team3:32RankNameTeamPoints1VIVIANI EliaDeceuninck - Quick Step242BEVIN PatrickCCC Team233BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team224SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe215PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates216VAN POPPEL DannyTeam Jumbo-Visma197HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky158EWAN CalebLotto Soudal149WALSCHEID MaxTeam Sunweb 1410MARECZKO JakubCCC Team1311GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data1112ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team1013LEA JasonUniSA-Australia914STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 815SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team816REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo717HOELGAARD DanielGroupama - FDJ618CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team5RankNameTeamPoints1LEA JasonUniSA-Australia202ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Pro Team123BEVIN PatrickCCC Team44CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team45STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb 26BOARO ManueleAstana Pro Team2RankNameTeamTime1EWAN CalebLotto Soudal6:34:122LEA JasonUniSA-Australia0:013STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb ,,4MARECZKO JakubCCC Team0:025CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team0:036BAUHAUS PhilBahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team0:067PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates,,8HALVORSEN KristofferTeam Sky,,9GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data,,10HAMILTON ChrisTeam Sunweb ,,11SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ,,12GUERREIRO RubenTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,13STRAKHOV DmitryTeam Katusha - Alpecin,,14O'CONNOR BenTeam Dimension Data,,15OLIVEIRA IvoUAE-Team Emirates,,16CARRETERO HéctorMovistar Team,,17SAJNOK SzymonCCC Team,,18DLAMINI NicTeam Dimension Data,,19HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott,,20HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb ,,21POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates,,22VAN DER PLOEG NeilUniSA-Australia,,23HARPER ChrisUniSA-Australia,,24BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team,,25TOOVEY AydenUniSA-Australia,,26SUNDERLAND DylanUniSA-Australia,,27COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale,,28FRANKINY KilianGroupama - FDJ,,29DENZ NicoAG2R La Mondiale,,30PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale,,31MÜHLBERGER GregorBORA - hansgrohe,,32GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Pro Team,,33HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step,,34CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step,,35VINCENT LéoGroupama - FDJ,,36POTTER MichaelUniSA-Australia,,37DAVIES ScottTeam Dimension Data,,38WHELAN JamesEF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,39KNOX JamesDeceuninck - Quick Step,,40HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma0:3641BOL CeesTeam Sunweb 0:3842MULLEN RyanTrek - Segafredo,,43WHITE NicholasUniSA-Australia0:5944KANTER MaxTeam Sunweb 1:02RankNameTime1UAE-Team Emirates 19:42:542Groupama - FDJ,,3Team Jumbo-Visma,,4Team Katusha - Alpecin,,5CCC Team,,6Team Sky,,7Team Sunweb ,,8Mitchelton-Scott,,9Astana Pro Team,,10AG2R La Mondiale,,11Team Dimension Data,,12Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team,,13Movistar Team,,14Deceuninck - Quick Step,,15Trek - Segafredo,,16Lotto Soudal,,17EF Education First Pro Cycling Team,,18BORA - hansgrohe,,19UniSA-Australia,,Results provided by ProCyclingStats.
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Have a question for Lennard? Please email us to be included in Technical FAQ.Dear Lennard,
I was reading your recent Q&A regarding Speedplay cleats and cleat placement being moved farther back. In the article, you mention that moving the cleats farther back can potentially provide relief from “hot spots.” I saw a fitter last year who had adjusted the fore-aft of my road cleats to what they believed to be a neutral position and inserted a few shims to my left cleat to compensate for a leg length discrepancy. The shims solved one issue in my lower back and made another more noticeable. My left foot never experiences any numbness or tingling, but I frequently feel it in my big toe on the right foot.
You mentioned that some riders may experience this sensation by having too much weight placed on the front of their foot. In this case, would you recommend moving only the right cleat back further and leaving the left where it is with the shims in place, or is it best to move both cleats back slightly and also lower my saddle accordingly?— JustinDear Justin,
That stack of cleat shims alone could be a good solution to the leg-length discrepancy that your fitter has diagnosed for you, but it is cause for concern that new pains have appeared since then. I’m glad you’re investigating alternatives.
Moving the cleat further back will likely improve the foot numbness you are feeling, as long as you have a stiff (carbon) shoe sole. However, if you were to only move one cleat back and not the other, you would be throwing off that leg-length correction. I would recommend against doing that.
That said, there is a reason where one might wish to move one cleat back and not the other, and I have no way of knowing if it applies to you. Raising the cleat off of the shoe with a cleat shim (while keeping the fore-aft position of both cleats the same) is a good way to correct for a minor leg-length discrepancy that is isolated in the lower leg. However, if the leg-length discrepancy is in the upper leg, correcting with a cleat shim alone is ill-advised. Rather, the correction should consist of a combination of a thinner cleat shim combined with putting the long leg deeper into the pedal (i.e., moving the cleat back on just that one shoe). This is discussed eloquently by Andy Pruitt in his excellent book.
As with all adjustments meant to alleviate problems caused by leg-length discrepancies, the total amount of correction, whether with a cleat shim alone or with a cleat shim combined with fore-aft repositioning of a single cleat, should be less than the measured amount of leg-length discrepancy.
window.ia_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [[300, 50],[300, 250],[320, 50],[728, 90]], 'ad-ia-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_ia).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-ia-1'); });In your case, I have no way of knowing the amount of any leg-length discrepancy you might have and where that length discrepancy is located. My ability to make a recommendation is thus limited. If you have confidence in your fitter, going back to him or her for further adjustments might be the best course of action.
If you are going to move the cleats without further guidance from your fitter, I recommend that you initially move both cleats the same amount (and correct the seat height accordingly) unless you have a medical reason not to. And it would seem to make sense to move the shim stack along with its cleat and try that first. If you still have back pain resolved in one area but newly appearing in another, you might then remove a shim or two.― LennardDear Lennard,
Appreciate your column and common sense insight and advice on all things cycling. Regarding cleat position, I’m a size 46.5-47 shoe (6’2″ 190lbs) so I fit the profile you described, regarding someone who would benefit from a further rearward cleat position. While in triathlon I somehow got advice and ended up with my road cleats almost as far forward as possible, but as I’ve migrated toward dirt (MTB and gravel) the last few years, I’ve slowly moved those back on my MTB shoes and now my road shoes as well.
That said, I already have some toe overlap on my current road/gravel bike (3T Exploro in size large) and worry that experimenting with pushing cleats further back will cause the overlap to worsen. Is toe overlap a sign that the frame is too small? Or just something to ignore and not worry about, given that the only time you’re turning the bars (and front wheel) that far left or right is at a stoplight or when you’re barely moving?— Henry with Big FeetDear Henry with Big Feet,
While toe overlap can be indicative of a frame that is too small, this is not the case with small riders; the bike geometry must allow them to not only have the reach to the bars they desire (and the wheel size they desire), while also keeping the front tire away from their feet. With you at 6’2,” I suspect that your top tube length might indeed be short for you.
Toe overlap is caused by a combination of crank length, shoe size, cleat position, top tube length, tire diameter, head and seat angles, and fork offset (rake). If the other above variables are kept constant, toe overlap is reduced either by:
Decreasing crank length
Decreasing shoe size
More forward cleat positioning
Increasing the top-tube length
Decreasing the tire volume (or wheel size)
Decreasing the head-tube angle (i.e., making the angle of the head tube more shallow)
Increasing the seat-tube angle (i.e., making the seat tube steeper), or
Increasing the fork rake.
Without replacing your frame or fork, the only things you can realistically do are to decrease your tire and/or wheel size, decrease your crank length, or move your cleats further forward, none of which you probably want to do. You could get a fork with more rake, which would make the ride more compliant while making the steering quicker (decreased stability) and the wheelbase longer. Realistically, most carbon gravel road forks have 47mm of rake, so you’re not likely to make much of a change there.
As you have correctly identified, toe overlap is only a crash-causing issue at low speeds. Thus, it is an absolute no-no for a mountain bike on technical climbs, but it may be acceptable on a gravel road bike. If you find it to be a safety issue for you, you might want to look around for a different bike.― Lennard
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PARIS (AFP) — Teenage Italian cyclist Samuele Manfredi has emerged from a coma more than a month after a serious crash in training, his team announced on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old, who rides for French outfit Groupama-FDJ, was rushed to a hospital with head injuries after being run over by a car in his hometown of Pietra Ligure in northwest Italy and placed in a medically-induced coma on December 10.
“The young Italian rider’s life is no longer in danger, but he is now entering a long process of rehabilitation,” his team said.
Manfredi finished in second place at last year’s Paris-Roubaix Juniors race and was European junior individual pursuit champion in August.

We have good news to share with you! Yesterday, Samuele Manfredi woke up from the induced coma he was kept in after his accident on December 10. He is no longer in a life-threatening condition and will now start a long recovery process.
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