Snippets has always been a popular part of RIDE Cycling Review: little bits of news, commentary, observations and sundry items that unfold throughout the production of the magazine.
With the production of RIDE #73 now complete, we have decided to create a ‘Rolling Snippets‘ for our site.*
We will update this page regularly in between issues with different snippets of information that pop up. (The most recent items will be at the top of the page.)
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21 October 2016
Cheng Ji retires from racing
It may not be a big name when it comes to results but, in context, Cheng Ji is one of the genuine stars of the cycling world. The 29-year-old from China has set precedents in his sport in a career that has spanned 10 years. Now, however, is the time to consider what’s really important in life: family.
Cheng announced his intention to retire from racing overnight.
“First of all thanks to the team, staff and sponsors for their support during all those years and the great time together,” he said in a statement issued by his Giant-Alpecin team. “Being a Chinese professional rider competing in the biggest races on the calendar has had a big impact with far-reaching consequences in China, and I am glad to have played my part in that.
“Physically I can continue my career for a few years still at a high European level, but as I become older I have other goals in my life – concentrating on my family.
“I have recently become a father, therefore I have decided to retire after this season to focus on a different life in China and take my responsibility for my family.”
He is the first rider from China to have completed all three Grand Tours – Vuelta a España (2012), Tour de France (2014) and Giro d’Italia (2015 and 2016).
Cheng was the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ in both the Vuelta and Tour each time he contested those races and so he can at least lay claim to one of cycling’s many titles.
His job wasn’t to win races, rather be there for his team.
“In the team they gave me a name; they call me ‘Control’,” he told RIDE in 2014. “I control the group. I ride at the front, I chase the break…”
There’s not a long list of results for him but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had an influence on pro cycling. The way he finished the Tour in 2014 was dramatic but he demonstrated his tenacity through to the very end. He was already a long way down the general classification going into the final stage… and then he crashed.
For the closing laps of the Champs-Elysées, he cut a solitary figure: up ahead the sprinters’ teams charged towards the line in the quest for glory, while at the back of the peloton – on his own, on a spare bike, with cuts and grazes on his arms and legs – Cheng rode on with one aim: to finish.
He was earned last place in the last stage of the 101st Tour but he set a precedent by finishing.
Cheng remains the only Chinese rider to have finished that race. No one can take that from him.
We salute him and his career and wish him all the best for the future.
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23 September 2016
#strengthfor91: Update on Sam Willoughby
On 10 September one of Australia’s favourite cyclists, BMX star Sam Willoughby, had a crash while training in the US. He sustained spinal injuries and was operated on soon after the accident.
His family provided Cycling Australia with an update on his condition overnight.
The statement (below) outlines the extraordinary circumstances that Willoughby has found himself having to deal with.
We wish Sam all the best in what is an upsetting time.
Statement on Sam Willoughby
With the outpouring of support and interest in Sam’s situation, we thank you for your patience in awaiting this more detailed update on Sam’s recent crash. With the type of accident Sam had, there are a lot of unknowns that had to be addressed before the doctors could give us a better idea of the extent of Sam’s injuries.
On Sept 10, 2016, Sam had a training accident on the local Chula Vista BMX track where he was airlifted to the hospital and operated on that evening due to sustaining fractures in his C6 and C7 vertebrae which severely compressed his spinal cord and left him with no movement below his chest. The operation involved removing his C6 vertebrae, replacing it with a titanium cage, and fusing his C5-C7 vertebrae with a plate and 4 screws. Fortunately, this surgery was successful enough at decompressing his spinal cord and aligning his vertebrae that a second operation for further stabilization was not necessary.
At this stage, Sam still has no movement from his chest down but has regained use of his arms and is slowly regaining some sensation in his legs. Sam’s next step is to begin a long road of recovery at a rehabilitation centre and while the details are still to be finalised, at this stage it is expected that Sam will be transported to a USA based rehabilitation centre in the next few days.
The huge outpouring of support from friends, family, fans and supporters has been incredible and many of you have already asked how you can provide assistance to Sam in some way to ensure he has access to the best possible rehabilitation treatment. As a result we have set up this portal www.road2recovery.com/strengthfor91 where you can offer support, both through financial assistance and messages for Sam, and can also keep up to date with Sam’s progress. Any donation, great or small, and any message of support will assist in Sam remaining strong throughout his road to recovery.
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21 September 2016
Another TT win in Holland for Rohan Dennis
The Eneco Tour is the final stage race of the men’s 2016 WorldTour calendar and it features a star-studded field.
With the world championships later this season than it has been in recent years, it seems that many of the riders with aspirations for Qatar (9-16 October) are squeezing in as much racing as they can.
Dylan Groenewegen won the opening stage (on Monday), relegating a long list of formidable sprinters to the minor placings.
Overnight in stage two, the Australian TT champion Rohan Dennis sped over the course for stage two at an average speed of over 53km/h to take the win and inherit the leader’s jersey.
“Today’s performance was good for confidence when it comes to Qatar,” Dennis said in the official team release from BMC Racing.
“I was a little bit worried before coming here. I thought that maybe because I’ve lost weight since Rio, maybe I’ve lost that raw power that I had when I was a couple of kilograms heavier. It’s flat, there’s corners here in the time trial and it was all about who had the most power today so that’s a good indication for Qatar, considering that’s going to be 100 percent flat.”
Dennis leads Jos van Emden by five seconds after two stages.
The reigning TT world champion Vasil Kiryienka missed his start time, surrendering 40″ to Dennis before he’d even begun the race. The Belorussian finished the stage in 121st place at 1:06.
Last in the time trial was one of the leaders for the Australian team for the road race in Qatar, Caleb Ewan (who finished stage one in 12th place).
(For results, see the Eneco Tour’s official site.)
20 September 2016
RIDE #73 – coming soon!
Printing of the third volume of RIDE Cycling Review for 2016 – #RIDE73 (above) – was completed on Monday 19 September and distribution is now underway.
Subscription copies we lodged with Australia post on 20 September. As always we expect a prompt and professional delivery service but we also recognise that this hasn’t always been the case. We do everything possible to ensure that subscribers receive their magazine in advance of it being in newsagents. (Please note: we could put the magazine on sale earlier but give preference to subs copies… but we cannot guarantee that Australia Post will do as their paid to do: ie. provide a timely delivery service.)
Click here for an overview of what’s inside #RIDE73.
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*Rolling Snippets: an explanation
There’s a daily influx of press releases from teams, race promoters, product suppliers etc, and at times we’ll use some elements from these but we also realise that a repetition of PR is not always valid news. There are times, however, when the information in the releases is valuable and worth sharing.
Our aim with our media has always been to generate original content and we’ll continue to do this but the Rolling Snippets allows us to take advantage of one of RIDE‘s main assets, our cast of contributors all around the world.
With the help of or regular photographers Graham Watson and Yuzuru Sunada, we’ll be able to illustrate stories from the racing scene.
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