Every year, Ritchey has some new iteration of his wheels. Sometimes there’s a new disc brake option, sometimes one’s a bit wider, and so forth. For 2016, there are four new models worthy of calling out, a couple of which will make for fantastic cyclocross or gravel race hoops, and two for more traditional (or even “classic”) road bikes.Above, the new WCS Apex 38 Disc carbon wheels use their two-piece Centerlock disc hubs with all-new, disc specific 38mm deep carbon rims. They’re 18.4mm wide on the inside, and they’re tubeless ready, so they’ll pair up nicely with the also-new tubeless ready Shield WCS 700×35 tires… The rims get their own special layup and resin for the disc brake version. They’re laced 2-cross with 24 spokes on both front and rear.The Shield WCS tubeless ready tire weighs in at 398g, just 24g heavier than the non-tubeless version, and gets a 120tpi casing and dual compound rubber to be grippy in the corners and fast in the straights.The hubs use Ritchey’s offset flanges to improve spoke bracing angle and keep them from rubbing against each other. The rear hub has larger bearings on the driveside for better durability. Wheelset weight is 1,747g (827g F/920g R). Compatible with standard quick release and thru axles.A rim brake version is also available, weighing in at 1,560g (685g F/875g R), but uses the Phantom hubs (see below), which are QR only.If your game is stepped up to tubulars (though we’d argue tubeless is on the level), the new WCS Apex Carbon 36 Disc Tubulars are your wheels. They use the same hubs as the 38mm deep clinchers above, but switch to a 36mm deep, 24mm wide full carbon tubular rim. That means they’re thru-axle ready, including both 12mm and 15mm options for front. Weight is 1,571g (739g F/832g R).The SuperLogic Zeta II wheels may look like carbon at first glance, but they’re actually alloy with an electro-ceramic surface hardening treatment that both protects the rim and improves braking performance in wet conditions.Called LogiCote, it’s micron thin but should last a long time, which has the bonus effect of helping your rims last longer because the brake pads won’t wear down the sidewalls as quickly.It’s textured, but in a concentric pattern that shouldn’t make the squealing sounds that other textured braking surfaces can (Mavic, we’re looking at you…even though we love the performance of Exalith).The rims are 17mm wide on the inside, and the rear has an asymmetric profile to improve dish.These wheels claim to have Ritchey’s best stiffness to weight ratio, coming in at just 1,391g (593g F/798g R). They’re built with 20/24 DT Aero Comp spokes and alloy nipples laced to Ritchey’s Phantom Flange hubs. The hubs are impressive not just for their weights (70g F/207g R), but because they use J-bend spokes all around, have a 6-pawl, 12-point engagement and staggered driveside flange that keeps the spokes from rubbing together. On top of all that, they pop apart without tools, making them easier to pack if you’re using one of Ritchey’s growing line of Breakaway frames. How? because the freehub body can pop off with the cassette attached, letting the axle slide out and making it all very flat.For those with a classic bike that wants to keep a classic look but gain modern day performance, the Zeta alloy wheels with Phantom hubs now come in silver. For thoroughly modern, the new WCS Carbon Solostreem integrated bar/stem comes in at just 350g by molding the two parts together into an ergonomic, aerodynamic start to your cockpit. It’s available in three widths, with various stem lengths for each: 40cm (80/90/100mm), 42cm (90/100/110/120mm) and 44cm (90/100/110/120/130mm). All three have a 84º stem angle (read: -16º, or roughly flat), with 126mm drop and 75mm reach.To go with your ‘cross or gravel bike, the new Evomax handlebar comes in two flavors – WCS with triple butted 7050 alloy at 270g and Comp in double butted 6061 at 292g. It’s designed with a 12º outward flare to the drops, giving you extra wrist clearance and leverage when it’s boogie time. A slightly flattened top section with 4º backsweep makes it comfortable the rest of the time.Check our outdoor demo coverage for the full story on the new WCS XC pedals and their Trail counterpart, but here’s the nutshell: Better shoe support thanks to flattened platforms on either side of the pedal, and a fixed hook at the front makes engagement and disengagement quicker and more solid and reliable.All of the changes were the result of feedback from sponsored riders like Nino Schurter and crew…though they ended up much beefier than some of the prototypes they were running last year. That means weight went up a bit, to 298g, from the 240g per pair of the originals we tested. The new Trail version weighs in at 347g per pair thanks to the outer cage that gives you more foot support.For the non pros, there’s the new Comp pedal, which gets the same fixed front cleat hook and platforms, but in a bit heavier and much more colorful package. Weight is 331g with a cast alloy body and chromoly spindle.The new WCS TrueGrip X lock-on grips bring things about as thin as you can get. Grip diameter is just 30mm, putting just a thin layer of Kraton dual density material between your palm and the bar. Weight is 93g, width is 103mm, and they’re available in black, red, yellow, green, blue and light blue. A Comp level version provides a slip-on version that does away with the lock rings but adds pink and white colors.The star of the grip show is the new SuperLogic Ergo TrueGrip. The shape is fantastically comfortable, and it’s been available as a WCS edition before, but that one weighed in at a portly 36g without end plugs. Thanks to a new “ultra-light nano foam”, the SuperLogic version cuts that all the way down to 8.5g…for the pair!Two new tools join the collection. In the middle are the Barkeeper Levers. They tuck into your handlebar ends when not needed, saving a bit of space in your saddle bag or pocket. They weigh in at 16g and retail for $15 each, sold individually.Up front, the CPR12 mini tool combines all the basics into a light, compact package and doesn’t skimp – there’s even a chain breaker! Other tools include 2/3/4/5/6/8 hex keys, Torx T20, Phillips screwdriver, tire lever and a hidden bottle opener. Hopefully they’ll switch that to a T25 at some point, otherwise a great looking tool that’s just 92g.Ritchey also had several new items at Eurobike’s outdoor demo, including the Ascent touring bike, a steel trail hardtail mountain bike and some aggressive looking tires to go with it, and more! Check them all out here.RitcheyLogic.com Gorgeous.Bridging the gap between classic and new is the WCS Carbon NeoClassic handlebar. It’s a modern carbon monocoque bar with matte UD finish, but its shape is the traditional round bend and long, flat lower hand position of old-school handlebars. Weight is 339g for a 42cm width. Reach is 73mm, drop is 128mm. The center section is extended so it’s compatible with clip-on aero bars and all manner of out-front computer/camera mounts.
Adding to mounting evidence of racial health inequities in the United States, two University of Rochester in New York studies published yesterday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society show that minority residents and caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have suffered the most amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The studies include data from 7 of the 13 states that reported cases and deaths to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through May 29: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.Testing capacity, infection prevention protocolsIn a modeling study on disparities in coronavirus infections and deaths in 12,576 nursing homes the week of May 25, researchers found that facilities with low proportions of minority residents had, on average, 0.4 new COVID-19 residents each week (0 cases in 93% of facilities), versus 1.5 in those with higher proportions of minorities (0 in 78.9%).In multivariable regression analysis, the likelihood of one or more new resident cases was 76% higher in the high-proportion minority group. Likewise, COVID-19 weekly deaths were 0.1 in the low-proportion group, versus 0.4 in the high-proportion group.Weekly new coronavirus cases in staff members were 0.3 in low-proportion nursing homes, compared with 1.3 in those with high proportions. Self-reported shortages of staff and personal protective equipment (PPE) did not significantly differ between the two groups.But “it is likely that nursing homes predominated by racial/ethnic minority residents face more of other institution-wide issues, such as poor testing capacity, and inadequate staff knowledge and training in infection control and prevention,” Yue Li, PhD, lead author of the study, said in a University of Rochester news release.Nursing home staff in communities of color, who provide most of the direct patient care in such facilities, are more likely than whites to live in crowded homes, rely on public transportation to get to and from work, have low pay, and lack benefits, the authors said.Assisted living centers ‘ill prepared’A second study evaluated 2,542 COVID-19 infections and 675 deaths in assisted living centers. Statewide case-fatality rates ranged from 3.3% in North Carolina to 9.3% in Connecticut, in contrast with 12.9% and 31.6% among assisted living residents in those two states.Of assisted living centers with one or more COVID-19 cases, mid-sized communities had fewer overall cases than smaller ones. And facilities with higher proportions of minorities and residents with dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and obesity had the most coronavirus cases—but not deaths.In the news release, the authors said that the pandemic has worsened disparities between facilities with divergent levels of resources and quality of care. Assisted living facilities, they said, are usually “ill prepared” to care for sicker residents and often have limited oversight, inexperienced or low-level staff, and PPE shortages. They are also subject to only state—not federal—regulations, which may or may not be rigorous.They added that the federal government has given funding meant to address testing, PPE, and staff shortages only to the roughly 16% of assisted living facilities that serve Medicaid-eligible residents.”Relying on [assisted living] communities to muster a rigorous response to the COVID-19 pandemic largely on their own is clearly unrealistic,” the authors concluded. “Assisted living communities and their residents urgently need local, state, and the federal governments to pay at least the same level of attention as that given to nursing homes.”
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Photo/Leo Valdez Inappropriate / Offensive By Nate ThompsonLocalSportsJournal.comMUSKEGON HEIGHTS — Ludington coach Thad Shank wasn’t expecting his squad to be 13-0 at this point in the season, so it’s fair to say that he expected a loss at one point or another.Muskegon Heights was more than happy to provide it.With their starting guards out of action for the majority of the fourth quarter, the Tigers had reserves step up and stifle the Orioles with half-court pressure defense.That gave Muskegon Heights an exciting 69-62 victory over the Orioles on Friday in a showdown between the two top teams in the Lakes 8 Conference.The loss was the first of the season for Ludington, which fell to 13-1 overall and 6-1 in the Lakes 8. Muskegon Heights, now 12-4 overall, pulled into a tie for the conference lead with the Orioles.Muskegon Heights guard JuJuantae’ Trotter digs out of the Ludington defense down low. Photo/Leo ValdezThe Tigers’ win avenged a 60-44 loss to Ludington earlier in the season.“It was a tournament atmosphere,” said Muskegon Heights Coach Dalrecus Stewart. “They really gave it to us when we went down there (on Jan. 6). They shot the lights out and controlled the tempo. We knew we needed this one. We’ve been working hard at what we knew they were going to present us.”The game was played at a frantic and frenzied pace. But unlike the Tigers’ trip to Ludington in January, Heights played fast without a flurry of turnovers. They only coughed the ball up eight times while forcing Ludington into 17 turnovers.Muskegon Heights had to play the majority of the fourth quarter without their starting guards, both of whom average double-figure scoring. Antoine Jones fouled out while Anthony Jones left the game due to cramping in his calf.Even with the Jones brothers out, the Tigers got enough offense in the clutch. They took a 49-47 lead into the fourth quarter and remained on top the rest of the way, thanks to a tremendous effort from senior forward Joe Moore III, who led all scorers with 21 points, including 17 in the second half.Joshua Laman gets ready to square up with Muskegon Heights’ Anthony Jones. Photo/Leo Valdez“Our reserve guys came up big for us tonight – Jujuantae Trotter, Elijah Moore and James Cummings,” Stewart said. “And Joe Moore, he had a huge game. He took the game and put it on his shoulders. They helped us maintain that two-possession lead (throughout the fourth), so we were never really playing with the kind of pressure they wanted to put on us.”Heights’ most critical scoring spurt came with just under four minutes to play. Ludington had clawed back to within 56-54, but the Tigers responded with a huge corner 3-pointer by forward Kieshon Watson and a jumper by Moore that put them up for good.Watson had three of the Tigers’ nine 3-pointers and scored 11 points.The Orioles hung around due to Muskegon Heights’ poor free-throw shooting. The Tigers were 3-of-9 from the line in the last four minutes, but their defensive continued to fluster the Orioles enough to preserve the win.Joe Moore III finds the Muskegon Heights layup on the fast break. Photo/Leo ValdezShank, the Ludington coach, said his team had an unusually cold shooting night.“We’re a pretty good perimeter shooting team, but tonight we weren’t making them,” he said. “You’ve got to give Muskegon Heights credit for that. Their half-court defense is the best half-court defense we’ve seen.“We didn’t see some of the openings that we’re used to seeing in our sets, and that’s because of their aggressive nature and their athleticism.”The teams played a wildly-entertaining first quarter that ended in a 20-20 tie and resembled a track meet at times. The contest continued to go back and forth in the second quarter and Ludington led 37-35 at halftime.Antoine Jones and the rest of the Tigers were plagued by fouls in the third quarter, leaving Ludington in the bonus with 1:25 left. But Moore’s steal and reverse layup, followed by his corner 3-pointer, helped the Tigers close the quarter strong and take a slim lead at the third buzzer.Muskegon Heights never relinquished the lead in the fourth quarter.Center Noah Laman led the Orioles with 17 points while Calvin Hackert and Joshua Laman added nine apiece. 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PARIS, (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal had expected to be spending his days fishing off his home island of Mallorca by the time he reached the age of 32 and his good friend Richard Gasquet probably wishes he was. Instead, the Frenchman will be the latest player in Nadal’s firing line as the Spaniard, who celebrates his birthday next week, moves inexorably towards an 11th French Open title.Nadal romped into the third round on Thursday with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 defeat of the outclassed Argentine Guido Pella.Far from slowing down, he appears fitter and faster and is striking his forehand with frightening power. Poor Pella never stood a chance once he had squandered four break points in the opening game of the match.Nadal has now won 27 consecutive sets at Roland Garros, including last year’s charge to La Decima.On this form, it looks hard to make a case for him not clamping his jaws around the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy yet again and if Gasquet is to stop him he will have to improve on a head-to-head record which reads played 15, lost 15. It gets worse. The last 10 times the Frenchman has played against Nadal he has not even managed to win a set.“Ten years is a long time,” Gasquet said, recalling a conversation he had with his father after losing to the Spaniard in the semi-final of the Monte Carlo Masters in 2005, a few weeks before Nadal claimed his first French Open title.“I said, ‘He’s going to win and he might win a lot of Grand Slams, because he was incredible’. Maybe five or six, I didn’t think he would win 10 times.” Gasquet was rated as a future Grand Slam champion then.In all probability he will never win one major while Nadal already has 16. Yet the Spaniard could hardly have imagined he would still be ranked number one in the world 13 years after that clash and looking immovable on the Parisian clay.“You cannot predict the future. I just enjoy the things that are happening. At the age of 25, if you’d asked me when I’m 32 will I be here, I would say probably not,” he told reporters. “Probably I will be fishing or doing other things.“I am very happy to be where I am. Very happy to keep playing tennis at my age, because I heard all my career I will have a short career because of my style of game.”With rain showers predicted on Thursday, Nadal was in no mood for any overtime against Pella, dispatching his fellow left-hander with a barrage of brutal forehands on a warm and bouncy Court Suzanne Lenglen.Worryingly for the field, Nadal appears to be setting no limits on where his career might still go. “How do you know when you’ve reached your limit?” he said. “If you think you can’t improve because you have reached your limit, it’s not the right thing. You can improve small things, and small things at this level can lead to great things.“I don’t know where the limit is.”