Bicycle Industry

Cycling iQ Twintel | 11 – 17 March 2012

When Cycling iQ began in September 2011, Twitter seemed like the perfect platform for sharing snippets of data from the bicycle industry and UCI AsiaTour. Logically, not all readers will be amongst the 200 million registered Twitter accounts worldwide; nor is there time to read everything. The weekly Cycling iQ ‘Twintel’ (Twitter Intel) digest, an outtake of the past week’s Twitter facts, begins today.

 

SUNDAY, 11 MARCH

In late February, the Pakistan Observer suggested the UCI2.2-ranked Tour de Pakistan had been delayed until 23 March, – it was originally scheduled from 05-17 March – which conflicted with another report by dawn.com which suggested 26 March was the new start date. When approached directly by Cycling iQ in early March, the secretary of the Pakistan Cycling Federation informed Cycling iQ the race was now postponed until October. This has since been reported by the Observer.

Similarly, the Tour de India (TDI) – originally scheduled for late January – was postponed until late March, reportedly due to an unforeseen conflict with local elections. When Cycling iQ met briefly with David McQuaid, representative of TDI organizer ID Sports, at Tour de Langkawi in late February, McQuaid was excited about the imminent backing of a major sponsor (an airline) for the event. However, after sighting a comment on ID Sports’ facebook page, this seemed unlikely. McQuaid told Cycling iQ on 11 March that the event had collapsed “within the last 48 hours.” [A TDI backgrounder is posted here for anyone wanting further information on India's signature professional road cycling event.]

One year after Japan’s devastating natural disaster, Saxo Bank’s Miyazawa Takashi wept at the post-stage press conference after pulling on the yellow Tour de Taiwan race leader’s jersey. This will be a rare deviation from the “intel” promised, but it was a moment in time when cycling provided for one man to express his grief, on behalf of his country, to a global audience. (Watch video from 3:44)

 

MONDAY, 12 MARCH

Taipei Cycle Show, the bicycle industry’s second-largest trade show after Eurobike, concluded on 10 March; the show’s only public day. Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the event’s organizer, published a breakdown of the attendees two days later. I can personally attest the large number of Aussies!

 

TUESDAY, 13 MARCH

Cycling iQ interviewed Miyata’s president, Takaya Shinichiro, at Taipei Cycle Show. The Japanese bicycle manufacturer has recently started making high-end steel road bikes in its Nagoya factory. The size of Japan’s specialty bicycle dealer network is staggering. Referenced link

Whilst the seven stage, UCI2.1-ranked, Tour de Taiwan didn’t traverse Formosa’s most picturesque roads, the organizers made damn certain the race was funneled through the nation’s most populated counties on the western side. Many more people therefore had the opportunity to watch the race pass, even if the people who made the peloton’s bikes were probably stuck inside making more…

 

WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a 40-year old bicycle brand like Cannondale would be in every market by now. Well, until very recently, not China. Cannondale now has a subsidiary in the world’s most populated country, affording the US brand excellent potential for solid market growth. Bicycle Retailer was first to publish the press release from parent company Dorel.  Referenced link

It would normally not be too much of a stretch to weave bicycle industry facts into Tour de Taiwan, but this was a sitting duck. Related link

 

THURSDAY, 15 MARCH

This is the first time – that I know of – that Phil White has spoken about PON Holding’s acquisition of Cervelo. Whilst the production quality of the video is unfortunate, I thought it would still be of interest to Cervelo owners, fans and industry watchers.

Related links 1 and 2

FRIDAY, 16 MARCH

I first met Shannon Bufton, an Aussie expat living in Beijing, at Tour of Beijing (ToB) last year. An urban designer by profession, Shannon moved to China five years ago. After launching the ‘Smarter Than Car’ website with a friend, he recently started his own bicycle distribution company, Serk CC. Whilst at ToB doing some freelance media work  – and lending a hand to European race officials that couldn’t quite connect the dots of a sometimes-strange environment – Shannon mentioned he’d had the idea for a premium bicycle exhibition in one of Beijing’s premier malls. From that, Beijing Bike Week (15-18 March, 2012) was born. I’ll speak with Shannon soon to see how it went. Referenced link

I love it when bicycle brands trust their employees enough to share some behind-the-scenes information with customers and fans. Colnago Japan’s staff look like they are having a great time with it. Referenced link

 

SATURDAY, 17 MARCH

As The Inner Ring tweeted a while back, the UCI has made substantial progress with its communications – particularly its website. The addition of mini-sites for each of the five continental circuits makes it easier to see how each region is performing. It’s worth a look.

Discussion

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