Noise emanating from professional cycling’s European spring classics understandably drowned out the distant hum of bicycle industry and racing snippets from Asia; which doesn’t mean nothing happened in this part of the world. Ad men, analysis, embargoes, trade secrets and web exclusives featured on Cycling iQ’s Twitter feed during the past week
SUNDAY, 25 MARCH
Two aspects of this tweet are worth mentioning. Firstly, the 2013 WorldTour draft issued by the UCI had the words “subject to the approval of the PCC in September 2012″ written beside the October-positioned Tours of Beijing and Hangzhou (not yet approved by UCI Licence Commission). Given the already-approved 2012 Tour of Beijing (first edition was held in 2011) has been locked in by the UCI for two years, seemingly without any consultation, it seemed strange that approval by the Professional Cycling Council was needed. This led me to wonder aloud whether team representatives on the PCC had put up some resistance to a second WorldTour race in China. Referenced link
Secondly, the above tweet opened the door for ‘InSight'; a new segment at Cycling iQ whereby interesting files discovered during research – sometimes by way of a spontaneous tangent – could be shared with readers.
MONDAY, 26 MARCH
I saw this banner ad from Specialized over at cyclingnews.com. This first thing I saw was not an advertisement for a bicycle tyre; it was the words “YOU WILL DIE” next to a person cycling. I couldn’t understand why this copy was used; it just seems irresponsible and misleading to compare the lifespan of a tyre with that of a human being’s. Interested to hear the thoughts of others.
Reminiscing about ZIPP’s first and (second) last achievement in commercial frame production. The ZIPP 3001 came later, and both frames – still regarded within the industry as one of the most “aero” frames ever made – are still used today in multisport competitions globally.
TUESDAY, 27 MARCH
Considering Merida’s 2011 consolidated revenue was USD671.8m, an infrastructure investment 50% greater than that seemed highly unlikely. Pedantic spell-checking aside, massive respect for CENS for its terrific coverage of the world’s most significant sector in the bicycle industry. Referenced link
A full day of copying, pasting, formatting, editing, pivot tables and graphs resulted in an update of the popular ‘Where are all the riders from?’ post. Spreadsheet monotony was ocassionally broken with tweets whenever something interesting popped up along the way, such as:
WEDNESDAY, 28 MARCH
THURSDAY, 29 MARCH
After Toby from RIDE Cycling Review posted a picture of FSA’s ‘Energy’ front derailleur, he pondered aloud when FSA would release its long-awaited road groupset. Schematics for an 11-speed road shifter and rear derailleur have been circulating on free patent sites for some time, but FSA and its manufacturer, Tien Hsin, have remained silent about a release date. Cycling iQ contacted representatives from FSA S.r.l (Italy) and Tien Hsin (Taiwan) but both offered no hints whatsoever about when the group would be released, nor whether we would see OEM spec’ of these new parts on MY2013 or MY2014 bikes.
Cycling iQ met with Taiwan’s Colnago distributor, SunStar, at Taipei Cycle Show earlier last month. During this time, a SunStar representative mentioned a special edition protoytpe M10 had been made. After several email exchanges, I received pictures of a Colnago M10 ‘Republic of China 100th Anniversary’ bike – this was the first time, to my knowledge, such pictures had been disseminated. A web exclusive for Cycling iQ!
Current Asian Cycling Champion Kam Po Wong (Hong Kong) leads the UCI Asia Tour indiviudal rankings with 192 points, whilst Kiwi Paul Odlin leads the Oceania Tour individual rankings with 122 points. Both men are well into their 30’s (39 and 34, respectively) and still delivering career-best performances. Referenced links 1 and 2
FRIDAY, 30 MARCH
Every month, the UCI publishes a list of frames and forks approved for competition. In the past, bicycle brands retained full control of “first-look” media releases for upcoming road bike, cyclocross, track and TT models. Not anymore; the UCI’s simple PDF has become a proxy for new model year announcements. Referenced link (PDF)
SATURDAY, 31 MARCH
While I was having a great time in the south island of New Zealand (finally) riding Le Race, a UCI-issued press release had landed in my inbox. Pat McQuaid (UCI president) and Alain Rumpf (Global Cycling Promotions) had been in China meeting with Hangzhou authorities to sign an official agreement relating to the pending (many would say “certain”) WorldTour-ranked tour of Hangzhou. The final step is approval from the UCI Licence Commission.
The ups and downs of a cycling writer; on the one hand, the Indian cycling team ‘KYNKYNY Wheelsports’, which Cycling iQ first wrote about in October 2011, is well on the way to achieving its goal of becoming India’s first Continental road cycling team following a sponsorship deal with Specialized. Disappointingly, Cycling iQ is unable to provide a Tour of Thailand (April 1-6) preview and stage reports thanks to a complete lack of correspondence and web presence from the race organizer.