EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The weekend cycling action

The 2021 road season has come to an end with the Veneto Classic, Chrono des Nations, UK Men’s National RR Champs, Grand Prix du Morbihan, Ster van Zwolle and the Serenissima Gravel Race. Vini Zabù team in danger – TOP STORY. Contract news: Miguel Angel López, Luis León Sánchez, Johan Price-Pejtersen, Jonas Rutsch, Vinícius Rangel, Damiano Caruso, Gino Mäder, Sean Quinn, Ethan Vernon and Marijn van den Berg. Race news: Abu Dhabi and RCS renew and best sprinters for the UCI Track Champions League. Team News: UAE prepares for 2022, Arrieta has to leave Movistar, Roman Kreuziger joins Bahrain Victorious as DS and Qhubeka NextHash update. Plus Bob Stapleton steps down as USA Cycling Board chairman, DSM and Volvo extend and WADA now considers costicosteroids enhance performance. Coffee time.


TOP STORY: Vini Zabù Team in Danger – Wanty to the Rescue?
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the future of Vini Zabù is in danger. The Italian sports newspaper has sources in the team. In a few days there could be more clarity regarding the future of Vini Zabù.

With Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, eolo-Kometa and Vini Zabù, Italy currently has four teams with ProTeam status, but dark clouds are now gathering over Vini Zabù. The squad of team manager Angelo Citracca currently has 24 riders under contract, including: sprinter Jakub Mareczko, attacker Marco Frapporti and climber Edoardo Zardini. With Wout van Elzakker and Etienne van Empel, two Dutchmen are also racing for Vini Zabù.

TuttoBiciWeb now reports that sponsor Vini Zabù is very close to signing an agreement with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. According to their sources, Vini Zabù takes a limited interest to the Belgian WorldTour team. “But how much it is and what place the sponsor will receive on the uniform is not yet clear,” the Italian website wrote.

It seems inevitable that the ProTeam will lose its license. According to TuttoBiciWeb, the possibility to make a new start as a continental team or development team is still there. Well-known riders in the Italian ProTeam are Jakub Mareczko, Marco Frapporti and Edoardo Zardini. Wout van Elzakker and Etienne van Empel are the two Dutchmen at Vini Zabù. It is not yet known what will happen to them.

There are more teams in financial trouble. The French Delko team decided a few days ago to pull the plug, while WorldTour team Qhubeka NextHash is still fighting for its life.

Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù Brado KTM) – Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali 2021 stage 1:

 


Veneto Classic 2021
The first edition of the Veneto Classic was won by Samuele Battistella. The 22-year-old Italian of Astana-Premier Tech took his first professional victory in Bassano del Grappa, finishing solo on Sunday. After an exciting race, the U23 World champion in Yorkshire was ahead of Marc Hirschi and Jhonatan Restrepo.

The Italian cycling season came to an end on Sunday with the new Veneto Classic race, a race created by ex-pro Filippo Pozzato. The Veneto Classic started in Venice for a 206.5 kilometre race to the finish in Bassano del Grappa. The riders were faced with six short climbs. Matteo Trentin, Alexey Lutsenko, Diego Ulissi, Marc Hirschi and Alberto Dainese were all on the start line.

The break was formed by Simone Bevilacqua (Vini Zabù), Federico Burchio (Work Service Marchiol Vega), Luka Pajek (Team Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang), Petr Rikunov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Paolo Totò (Amore e Vita-Prodir), Lorenzo Visintainer (General Store Essegibi) and Matteo Zurlo (Ointment Euromobil Fior). The peloton let them go and the lead rose to more than 3 minutes. Edoardo Martinelli (Mg.k Vis VPM) tried to cross, but was wasting his time. As the kilometres passed, the difference to the leading group became smaller and smaller. At 60 kilometres from the finish, the lead of the seven was only 1:30. In the peloton, UAE Team Emirates took the lead for a very active Matteo Trentin. The Italian, second in the Coppa Agostoni and Giro del Veneto, decided to attack for the first time on the very narrow cobblestone climb of La Tissa.

On the second and final pass of La Tissa it was again all hands on deck in the peloton and it was again Trentin who made a move. The Italian was able to catch up with the last survivors of the early break, but again did not get away. Due to Trentin’s efforts, the peloton was fragmented, although in the flat kilometres to the next climb of the day, La Rosina, we saw more and more riders returning from behind. Trentin put in another move with 40 kilometres to go. The UAE Team Emirates rider was joined by Samuele Battistella (Astana-Premier Tech) and Riccardo Verza (Zalf Euromobil Fior) for a new leading group. The three Italians worked well together and took a good lead. On the climb of La Rosina (3km at 6%) Verza was dropped and caught before the top by a chasing group including Guillaume Martin and Vincenzo Albanese.

Trentin and Battistella continued to work well together and they managed to extend their lead over a chasing group of about ten riders to half a minute. In this chasing group, the work was done by Cofidis, but it was not a well-organised chase so it looked like a duel between Trentin and Battistella, but Trentin crashed going uphill when he touched Battistella’s rear wheel. A stunned Battistella looked back for a moment, but decided to go on his own. Trentin got back on the bike after his crash and managed to catch up with the chasing group of Lutsenko, Hirschi, Davide Formolo, Lorenzo Rota, Martin, Andrea Piccolo, Restrepo, Ulissi, Rochas and Trentin. It was now up to Battistella to stay clear in the last 15 kilometres, but he had to cross the 3 kilometre La Rosina one last time.

Battistella continued to set a good pace on the climb, but after an acceleration from Rochas it seemed like he would get caught. The Frenchman came within 10 seconds of the Italian after his attack, but it turned out to be too much to close the last gap. Battistella started the short descent of La Rosina with a lead of 40 seconds, but the victory was not yet secure for Battistella with the ultimate climb at just 5 kilometres from the finish. A wall of 400 metres at more than 11%, which was the right point for Hirschi to take action. Due to the acceleration of the Swiss rider, the pursuers came close to Battistella again. With 2 kilometres to go the difference was clocked at just 5 seconds, but Battistella wasn’t about to let the victory slip out of his hands and held on for the remaining kilometres to the finish. The young Italian was able to celebrate his first victory with the pros with a loud cry. Hirschi won the sprint for second place ahead of Restrepo and Lutsenko.

Race winner, Samuele Battistella (Astana-Premier Tech): “I feel sorry for Trentin, we worked well together and when he touched my wheels we had only 15 kilometres left. I asked Martino (Giuseppe Martinelli) what we should do then and he said I should ride my rhythm up the climb towards the finish. From there on I never looked back and gave everything I had. It is my first victory as a professional and it feels like a rebirth as the season started not in the way I wanted as I struggled with health issues. The last days I worked for Alexey and today he worked for me as a return. The last kilometres were on home soil, I train here a lot and the fans were amazing and pushed me. Also, a huge thanks to my team, it was pure teamwork. The plan was that I start and Alexey would finish it off but at the end we changed and I went ahead with Luts also taking a top result. It is the perfect way to finish our season.”

2nd, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “In the end it was a pity that Trentin crashed from what turned out to be the winning move. I was a few seconds behind Battistella who we couldn’t quite close down on the last climb so we were sprinting for 2nd place. I’m pleased with the result but for sure with this team and the riders we have here the goal was to win. It was a nice race but we just missed our goal of the win, but in general we can be pleased.”

Veneto Classic Result:
1. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech in 5:01:49
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
3. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:27
7. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:29
9. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) Italy at 0:55
10. Cristian Scaroni (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo.

 


Chrono des Nations 2021
Stefan Küng convincingly won the 2021 Chrono des Nations. Everyone was looking forward to a duel between Küng and Remco Evenepoel, but the Belgian didn’t threaten his Swiss rival. Evenepoel ended with a fifth place, Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm) and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-up Nation) were second and third.

This one-day time trial has been organised since 1982 in the month of October and takes place around Les Herbiers in the French department of Vendée. The honours list includes the names of Chris Boardman, Sergej Gontchar, Stef Clement, David Millar, Tony Martin and Jos van Emden.

Defending champion Van Emden was missing from the Chrono des Nations this year, but Remco Evenepoel and Stefan Küng decided to participate in the French season finale. Before the start, people eagerly looked forward to the duel between Küng, the reigning European time trial champion, and Evenepoel, who took bronze at this year’s European and World time trial Championships. After 10 kilometres, at the first intermediate point in Saint-Paul-en-Pareds, Küng managed to give a first blow to his competitors. With a time of 12:07, the Swiss Groupama-FDJ rider was 17 seconds faster than Pierre Latour. Alessandro De Marchi, at 19 seconds had the third best time. Evenepoel had a slower start with 12:26 and came through in fourth, 19 seconds from Küng. It was up to Evenepoel to accelerate in part two of the time trial, but the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider turned out to be unable to seriously threaten Küng. Küng kept getting faster and was already 39 and 57 seconds ahead of Martin Toft Madsen and Evenepoel at the second point.

Küng didn’t slow down in the last part of the time trial and managed to win the Chrono des Nations by a wide margin. Only Toft Madsen was able to make up a few seconds on Küng in the final phase to finish second in the result, 36 seconds behind the winner. De Marchi at 1-16 was third on the podium. Evenepoel lost more in the final section, eventually finishing in fifth place, behind New Zealander Aaron Gate. At the finish in Les Herbiers the difference between Küng and Evenepoel turned out to be 1:22.

Race winner, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “Time trial is always a bit of a mental game. I suppose Remco didn’t fight fully after he realised he was behind. It’s normal. When I heard the advantage I had at the last intermediate point, I just maintained my speed. I came here for winning. I found my rhythm from the start and I made a difference in the first part of the race that suited me better. It’s a perfect way to finish the season even though I felt some fatigue today.”

2nd, Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm): “I think I did a good ride today. I knew it would be hard to make the podium again with a lot of big names at the start. I can be happy with my second place. This is the biggest race on the calendar for me. It’s something I have prepared for the last month or so. I’m very happy to do good.”

3rd, Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-up Nation): “It’s the first time I’ve come to the Chrono des Nations. It doesn’t often happen, this kind of event. The course is long and difficult. For whoever likes time trials it’s important to have tests like today. I’m pretty happy with the result. My feelings were good, considering that it’s the end of the season. I don’t like to dream but for Paris 2024 I’ll continue to focus on time trialing and come back to Chrono des Nations.”

Chrono des Nations Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 51:47
2. Martin Toft Madsen (Den) BHS-PL Beton Bornholm at 0:36
3. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:16
4. Aaron Gate (NZ) Black Spoke Pro Cycling at 1:22
5. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 1:28
7. Frederik Muff (Den) Team Coloquick at 1:32
8. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:44
9. Justin Wolf (Ger) Bike Aid at 1:49
10. Miguel Heidemann (Ger) Leopard Pro Cycling at 2:03.

 


UK Men’s National RR Championships 2021
Ben Swift is the British road champion for another year. The INEOS Grenadiers rider dealt with Fred Wright after an exciting final. Swift was also national road champion two years ago. Last year the British Championships were canceled due to the corona pandemic.

In a rainy Lincoln, the men’s British Road Race Championships were set for Sunday. With Ethan Hayter, Mark Cavendish, Stephen Williams, Matthew Walls and defending champion Ben Swift, there were several top riders at the start. Tom Pidcock was unfortunately not there as he decided to end his road season after the World championships in Leuven. The race was on the roads of the British classic Lincoln International Grand Prix. The peloton had thirteen circuits with not too many obstacles, although the last 500 metres in the centre of Lincoln was a steep wall at an average of 9.4%. Partly because of the rain it became a real elimination race. In the finalé, only four riders were eligible for victory: outgoing champion Swift, Wright, Harry Tanfield and Daniel McLay.

A chasing group, including Ethan Hayter, was not far off entering the final lap. However, the pursuers were no longer able to rectify the situation. At the front there was a fast pace and this turned out to be the death blow for McLay. Arkéa-Samsic’s sprinter had to let his fellow escapees go. Swift, Tanfield and Wright raced to the final climb in Lincoln. Tanfield snapped first and so it turned into a battle between Swift and Wright for the title. The experienced Swift turned out to have a little more in the tank after a tough race. The 33-year-old INEOS Grenadiers rider will now be wearing the British championship jersey for another year, if he manages to find a team for next season. The young Wright had to be satisfied with silver after a strong race, the bronze medal went to Hayter, who managed to pass Tanfield in the end. Lewis Askey, who rode for the Groupama-FDJ development team this year and will race for the first team of the French formation in 2022, finished fifth.

British National road race champion, Ben Swift (INEOS Grenadiers): “I was really looking forward to the race, I’ve enjoyed my time for sure in this jersey. It gives you that extra motivation for sure, it was something that I really wanted to keep and luckily, I’ve got for another eight months in it or something. It’s been a bit of a difficult year. I knew coming into this race my form was good, but I’ve had to do it the hard way – I spent most of the day off the front just going from group to group, but yeah I’m made up really! It was incredible – it’s been so long since we’ve had really big crowds in British racing, so it was so good to see. Michaelgate’s hard, but those crowds it made it a little bit easier.”

UK Men’s National RR Championships Result:
1. Ben Swift (INEOS Grenadiers) in 3:45:19
2. Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious) at 0:02
3. Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) at 0:07

 


Grand Prix du Morbihan 2021
Arne Marit won the Grand Prix du Morbihan. The 22-year-old Belgian of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise was the best in the sprint from the peloton and beat some big names: Bryan Coquard and Elia Viviani. Benoît Cosnefroy was the winner in 2019. In 2020, the French one-day race was canceled.

The big races are behind us, but in France there is still racing this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the Grand Prix du Morbihan was the penultimate round of the Coupe de France, a 176.9 kilometre race with start and finish in Grand-Champ. There was a large loop to be completed southeast of the Breton town. The riders then hit the final circuit which had to be covered six times. With Elia Viviani, Valentin Madouas and Bryan Coquard, there were some good riders on the start line.

There was a fast start to the race, as 46 kilometres were covered in the first hour. The race was already 55 kilometres on the road when the first serious group was formed. Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën) and Clément Davy (Groupama-FDJ) attacked and they saw Matis Louvel (Arkéa Samsic) and Léo Danes (French team) crossed. The four escapees were more than 1 minute ahead. The peloton split and a group of more than 30 riders broke away. They closed the gap to the leading group just before the first of six local laps started. Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ) attacked and the 23-year-old Dutchman got a gap together with Mikaël Cherel (AG2R Citroën), Thibault Ferasse (B&B Hotels), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X) , Samuel Leroux (Xelliss-Roubaix), Gianni Marchand (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Léo Danes, again. The leading group lost Ferasse due to a puncture, but several men crossed to them: Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Ignatas Konovalovas (Groupama-FDJ), Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels), Laurent Pichon, Matis Louvel (Arkéa Samsic), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Juan-Antonio López-Cózar (Burgos-BH), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pier-André Côté (Rally), Jérémy Leveau (Xelliss-Roubaix ) and Jean-Louis Le Ny (French team)

The peloton, where Cofidis was in charge, followed at more than 1:30. The French WorldTeam received help from St. Michel-Auber93. When the gap had narrowed to almost a minute, the attackers began to attack each other. It was Calmejane and Pichon who put their fellow escapees to the test. With a lead of more than a minute, the leading group started the last three laps around Grand-Champ. Le Ny and Leveau were the next attackers, after which Van den Berg also jumped after them. Thirty kilometres from the finish their lead had already increased to more than a minute, while Konovalovas tried to push the pace in the first chasing group for his teammate Van den Berg. This group was caught by the peloton at 22 kilometres out. The three were 50 seconds. The peloton had started moving second by second closer to the front riders, and entering the final lap of 14.6 kilometres the peloton was all together again. It was B&B Hotels that took the initiative for their leader Bryan Coquard. In the final phase several riders tried to escape, but the peloton stayed together and a sprint was on the cards. In an exciting final sprint, Arne Marit pushed his front wheel across the line just a little before Bryan Coquard, Elia Viviani and Jason Tesson.

Race winner, Arne Marit (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise): “I had a strong feeling throughout the race, I must say. In the penultimate lap I was with a push from Valentin Madouas, which indicated that I had the legs. The gap opened very late from Coquard and I knew it was now or never. In the end I was able to beat Viviani and Coquard, which makes it extra beautiful. That I can do this as a neo-pro makes me very proud.”

Grand Prix du Morbihan Result:
1. Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 3:51:40
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
4. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
5. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën
6. Manuel Peñalver (Spa) Burgos-BH
7. Théo Cotard (Fra) France
8. Romain Cardis (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
9. Andreas Goeman (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
10. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën.

 


Ster van Zwolle 2021
Coen Vermeltfoort has added the Ster van Zwolle to his palmarès. The 33-year-old Dutchman from VolkerWessels was the strongest in the sprint from a leading group. The finish photo camera had to be used to show Vermeltfoort as the winner, the difference to second placed Tim van Dijke was almost nothing.

The Ster van Zwolle was not run in early spring as usual, but in the autumn due to the corona pandemic. The race over 194.5 kilometres started and finished as usual in Zwolle. From the start, the race first went east for a double passage of the Lemelerberg. The route then went via Ommen, Nieuwleusen to Hasselt and Genemuiden, and then over the dikes to Kampen and Zwolle end station.

Tim Marsman (Metec-Solarwatt) provided the first serious attack, on his own the young Dutchman took a 3 minute lead in the first 70 kilometres. Several riders then tried unsuccessfully to cross. In the end it was Stijn Appel (Abloc) and Lars Mulderij (NWVG) who were able to get to Marsman. As the race went on, the nervousness in the peloton increased. On the dykes from Hasselt to Genemuiden, this led to a crash of several riders and a split in the large group. With 50 kilometres to go, the three front riders still had a lead of 1:30, but after that the difference quickly decreased. And at 43 kilometres from the finish, the attackers were caught by the first chasing group. Jumbo-Visma tried with four men to keep the first group out of the grip of the peloton.

The yellow-black team dropped back into the front group with 40 kilometres to go. At the front it was not fast enough and the peloton almost had the leading group in sight. At 30 kilometres from the finish, the escapees started again, so that their lead started to grow again to 1 minute at 20 kilometres from the finish, it seemed to winner would come from the leaders, but several teams had different cards to play and the race ended in a sprint. Coen Vermeltfoort was just ahead of the Dutch U23 champion Tim van Dijke. Elmar Reinders took third. Kim Heiduk and Martijn Budding completed the top-5. For Vermeltfoort it was his fifth podium place in a month. He also previously won the Vichte Textile race and the VolkerWessels rider also finished in the top three in the Tour of Central Brabant, the GP Eugeen Roggeman and the Dorpenomloop Rucphen.

Race winner, Coen Vermeltfoort (VolkerWessels Cyclingteam): “Because there was a lot of attacks. Before that I had already been pushed along a bit and my teammates were the best. The speed was very high in the last kilometre. Max Kroonen moved up at 500 meters, because I was sitting a little too far and he saw me. Then I thought, I’ll go myself. It was a bit too early actually and it was close. Everyone did what they could. In the end it was still quite a hard final, which no one expected. We were just good at it and we did very well. I hoped that we could make a train in the last two kilometres, but I don’t think anyone could. In the end it became a battle between the strongest. I felt Tim van Dijke coming and then I had one small attack. I just couldn’t hold him back far enough. Because I started so early, a jump was out of the question. I didn’t win very much this year, but I rode very well. Especially as a team we have been riding very well in the last two months and that results in victories for a lot of guys. Timo (de Jong) wins, Nick (van der Meer) wins, I win. That’s nice, that you can harvest as a team.”

2nd, Tim van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma Development): “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s to lose. I don’t know what happened when we turned onto the dike, but we were there with four of us. It was an excellent situation. You know it’s going to be a sprint when everything is still there in the last ten kilometres. It’s very sour that I don’t finish it. What’s the matter? Somehow I missed the last kilometre. I actually didn’t even know it was sprinting. I saw something in the distance, so then I thought: I’ll get going. I think I’m a millimetre short. You know, it was a fair sprint and Coen was stronger today. I am very happy for him.”

Ster van Zwolle Result:
1. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) VolkerWessels Cyclingteam in 4:16:55
2. Tim van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Development
3. Elmar Reinders (Ned) Riwal
4. Kim Heiduk (Ger) Team Lotto-Kern Haus
5. Martijn Budding (Ned) BEAT Cycling
6. Mārtiņš Pluto (Aus) ABLOC CT
7. Dries De Pooter (Ned) SEG Racing Academy
8. Jesper Rasch (Ned) SEG Racing Academy
9. Max Kroonen (Ned) VolkerWessels Cyclingteam
10. Michel Hessmann (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Development.

 


Serenissima Gravel Race 2021
Alexey Lutsenko won the first edition of the Serenissima Gravel race. In Piazzola sul Brenta, the Kazakh rider of Astana-Premier Tech crossed the line solo. Four days ago, Lutsenko also won the Coppa Agostoni holding off Matteo Trentin.

The Serenissima Gravel race was the second race in the new triptych that will close the Italian autumn. Wednesday was the first part of the Giro del Veneto, Sunday the Veneto Classic is the last. Today’s race was 132.1 kilometres long and went from Lido di Jesolo to Piazzola sul Brenta and consisted of 75% gravel – spread over 11 sections. Filippo Pozzato, the race director, had several teams of the highest level with Astana-Premier Tech, Cofidis, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and Qhubeka-NextHash on the start line.

At first the peloton stayed together, until Alexey Lutsenko attacked and immediately took a gap. Initially, the Kazakh rider had a small lead, but as the race progressed his lead grew to 1:45. At the local circuit around Piazzola sul Brenta, the gap narrowed and was less than a minute in the final lap. However, the chase came too late, allowing Lutsenko to race solo to victory. Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) finished the work of his teammates Taco van der Hoorn and Kévin Van Melsen and won the sprint for second place.

Race winner, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech): “I am so happy to win this race, because it was a tough challenge and unforgettable experience for me. To win this race is a solid result for me as a rider but also for our team and our sponsor Wilier Triestina. It was the first time I rode the new Rave SLR and this bike immediately brought me a beautiful victory. It was a difficult race with a technical parcours, very narrow roads and so many corners. We had a plan to attack closer to the finish, but in a moment after another corner I found myself in front with a small gap to the group, so I decided to keep on pushing knowing that I had my teammates behind me in the peloton. Well, I think it was one of the toughest races in my life – 3.5 hours of 100% full gas, but I am really happy I finished it with a victory!”

2nd, Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It is fantastic to conclude the season with a podium, especially at the end of a unique experience like this! This second place was the best possible result I think, because Lutsenko was really strong. All eyes were on us in the chasing group, because the whole team was present. Taco, Boy and Kévin perfectly controlled the group, enabling me to sprint for 2nd place in a group of five riders. It was a difficult race, but we really had fun. I’m looking forward to participate to more gravel races in the future!”

Serenissima Gravel Race Result:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech in 3:24:14
2. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:42
3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
4. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM
7. Luca Braidot (Ita) at 0:46
8. Daniele Braidot (Ita) at 0:49
9. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:56
10. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:58.

 


Miguel Angel López is Set to Return to Astana Qazaqstan Team for Two Seasons
The long-term leader of the Kazakh team Miguel Angel López makes his return to Astana Qazaqstan Team. The 27-year-old Colombian rider has signed a new two-year agreement with the team for 2022 and 2023.

“Coming back to the Astana team is a return home. In the world of professional cycling, a rider who wants to keep on moving forward sometimes has to change something in his career, to gain new experience. Sometimes it is a good one, sometimes not. The main thing is that I am coming home to my team, the team that gave me so much and with which, I am sure, we will be able to live many more wonderful moments. There is a lot of work ahead for the new season to be successful for me and for Astana Qazaqstan Team,” said Miguel Angel López.

Miguel Angel López spent six seasons in the Astana project from 2015 to 2020, where he achieved most of his biggest results, including GC victories at Tour de Suisse (2016), Volta a Catalunya (2019), Tour of Colombia (2019), stage triumphs at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España as well as at the oldest classic race Milano-Torino. Together with Team Astana, López reached the final podium of two Grand Tours in 2018, securing third place at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

The Colombian rider moved on for the 2021 season, during which time he also tasted some important successes with victory at the Vuelta a Andalucia, the one-day race Mont Ventoux Challenge, and the queen stage of La Vuelta.

“Miguel Angel López is a rider who grew up and achieved his greatest successes in our team, and therefore I am happy that after a short break he is making his return to Astana Team. Over the past year, Miguel Angel has gained serious experience, which, perhaps, he lacked in our team. I think that this experience, both good and not so good, will help him to continue his development. López proved that he is still one of the strongest riders in the world, continuing to win at the highest level, so it is great that Miguel Angel will continue his career in Astana Qazaqstan Team,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

López still on blue:

 


Bahrain Victorious Sign Luis León Sánchez and Johan Price-Pejtersen for 2022
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the signings of Luis León Sánchez and Johan Price-Pejtersen for the upcoming 2022 season.

Luis León Sánchez brings a wealth of experience to the team entering his 19th season as a pro: “I’m really happy to race for team Bahrain over the next few seasons. It’s exciting to join this group of great cyclists and the vision to become one of the best teams in the world. I am sure that with hard work, we will keep a level that has brought so much joy to the team this season.”

Johan Price-Pejtersen joins the team off the back of a successful season, winning the U23 ITT World Championship: “First of all, I want to thank my prior team, Uno-X Pro Cycling, for our collaboration working towards my development and reaching my goals. They have been a big factor putting me in a position to take the next step with Team Bahrain Victorious. I’m extremely humbled and honoured to become a part of Team Bahrain Victorious. For me, their project and the team’s development is something I find truly exciting and interesting. I can’t wait to join the team as I’m sure it’s the perfect environment for my further personal development and, with this contributing to the greater collective as a team. Together, I hope we can reach big goals!”

 


Jonas Rutsch Renews
Back at the start of the 2020 race season, Jonas Rutsch was a 22-year-old rider experiencing a lot of nerves at his first major event. The Town Down Under in Australia saw a new German pro make his impressive debut, and while he was making bold moves in the breakaways, Rutsch admits his physical and mental strength still needed some improvements.

“If I could go back, I would tell myself not to stress about situations that are new and to stay calm. I was so nervous and a bit over excited which is quite normal, but oftentimes unnecessary,” said Rutsch.

These days, the now 23-year-old is more confident than ever, even when he’s riding with pros who’ve had many more years in the peloton. If you watched any of the Tour de Suisse or Tour de France, you would have noticed that he’s also an exceptional climber even though he’s unusually tall for a cyclist at six-foot six. Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters was impressed by those climbing skills, particularly at a very mountainous edition of the Tour de France this year.

“It was incredible to watch an 85-kilogram rider climb with the first group of riders. It was fun to watch just how good he really is even in cold weather. He really excels in the mountains which is very surprising,” said Vaughters.

Those skills must be what got him the nickname “Mountain Goat” from his friends and teammates. And while Rutsch does make bold moves on the climbs and in the breakaways, he’s also been a very supportive teammate this year. Part of what makes this rider such an essential part of the EF Education-NIPPO roster is that he always lays it all out there for the other riders.

“The Tour de France was a big success for us and for me in my development and my pro career. I really enjoyed working for Rigo and giving it my all for him. I also had good results myself in the time trials and the breakaways,” said Rutsch.

Most recently, Rutsch captivated the crowds at Paris-Roubaix with his incredible performance at the toughest one-day race of the year.

“I think Jonas will be a Roubaix guy for the next few years,” said teammate Sebastian Langeveld. And that’s all coming from a veteran who has done Roubaix 13 times. Rutsch finished the race just ahead of Langeveld in eleventh place overall, covered in the usual Roubaix mud and with absolutely nothing left in the tank.

Vaughters agrees with Langeveld and goes as far to say that Jonas Rutsch will one day win the race.

“This kid could be a future winner of Paris-Roubaix and this year we saw that potential come up,” said Vaughters. “It could definitely be in his future, I have no doubt in my mind.”

Now that Roubaix is behind him and the race season has officially come to an end for the rider, he’s looking forward to working hard during the off-season and coming back stronger than ever. During his downtime and recovery, he will most likely be making himself an espresso or watching Game of Thrones.

“I’m so happy to be on the team. It’s just a good fit. The team trusted me and gave me a chance even though I’m young. Now it’s a question of what I could give back to them,” said Rutsch.

Jonas Rutsch:

 


Vinícius Rangel to Turn Pro with Movistar
Brazilian under-23 rider – a big sensational in the Spanish amateur peloton in 2021 and 9th in the Flanders Worlds – signs with Telefónica-backed squad through end of 2024.

The Movistar Team announced on Thursday that Vinícius Rangel (Cabo Frio, RJ, BRA; 2001), a current member of Spanish amateur outfit Telco,m – OnClima – Osés, has signed a contract for the upcoming three years (2022-24) with the organisation led by Eusebio Unzué. It’s the Blues’ seventh official addition to its men’s roster next season.

“I’m so happy and excited to be joining the Movistar Team for the next three years. I want to thank all the people who have supported me until this point, as well as all those who believed in my potential. Now, just like I’ve done all over my career, I’ll continue fighting to improve, one pedal stroke at a time,” were Vinícius’ words as his signing was announced.

Several times national time trial champion as a young rider, as well as a double medalist in the Pan-American Championships, Rangel is well known by those following Spanish amateur cycling, having covered his last under-19 season and his first amateur year (2019-20) with the blue jersey of the Valverde Team-Terra Fecundis squad.

After making his debut within the pros at the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan and Tour Colombia, the pandemic and an injury to his arm later on severely hampered Vinícius’ amateur efforts. Following a short stretch back home with local team ERT, Rangel returned to Spain with Telco,m, from the Navarra region. There, Vinícius started a fantastic streak: winner of the Vuelta a Cantabria, he was also triumphant in the Vuelta a Salamanca – including a superb solo stage win – and 9th in the World championships in Flanders, part of the small peloton contesting the silver medal.

Rangel will be the fourth Brazilian to race for the Abarca Sports organisation, after Gabriel Sabbiao, part of the pro Reynolds outfit, Mauro Ribeiro and Antonio Carlos Silvestre a Reynolds amateur.

Vinícius Rangel:

 


Bahrain Victorious Extend Damiano Caruso and Gino Mäder Contracts
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the contract extension of Caruso and Mäder. Both riders have had great seasons in 2021, winning their first Grand Tour stages and their best GC rankings at Grand Tours.

Caruso displayed an immense show at the Giro d’Italia, going from domestique to leader and placing 2nd overall while winning that memorable Stage 20. He followed up his form where he won a stage at La Vuelta España in epic fashion going solo from 70km to win stage 9.

“Staying with the team was a pure formality after such a stunning season that is the best of my career so far. I believe that when something is working well, there’s no need to change it. I experienced probably my best year as a pro rider with this group, and I’m more than happy to continue my journey with Bahrain Victorious.”

Gino Mäder had an equally impressive season winning Stage 6 at the Giro d’Italia and managed a top-five finish in GC at La Vuelta España. The Swiss rider was also crowned the best young rider at La Vuelta and is showing his GC credentials for the future: “I’m super happy that the team signed me last year when things weren’t so easy. The team believed in my qualities and trusted me before I did, and I am looking forward to keeping it going that way!”

 


Sean Quinn Joins the 2022 Roster
EF Education-NIPPO is proud to announce the signing of Sean Quinn to our 2022 line up. The American joins the team as a neo-pro.

The 21-year-old has followed professional cycling since childhood, thanks to his parents. “My family always rode bikes when I was a kid. My parents always had the Tour de France on over the summer. I remember there was one year, for whatever reason, I became obsessed. I watched the team time trial and that was the first thing I saw and I thought, ‘Whoa,’ with the helmets and stuff. That summer I woke up every morning to watch the Tour.”

Lucky for us, Quinn translated his curiosity about the sport into action. As a 10-year-old, he joined a youth program at his local velodrome where he learned track cycling and eventually transitioned to road racing. “I don’t like going in circles,” he explains.

Once on the road, there was no turning back. To this day, Quinn loves the adventure and the sense of awe that riding his bike brings him. “It’s something else that no one experiences. Whenever I travel to a new place, I don’t just see the city, I go 100 miles outside and see all these amazing places. All these things you’d never see if you weren’t a cyclist. I’m really grateful for that. The feeling of freedom and being able to be outside. I’ve always enjoyed that.”

When it came time to step up to the WorldTour, he knew EF was the team he wanted to join. “It’s pretty cool to come to the team I rooted for the most while growing up. It had always been a dream in the back of my head to go to EF since I was younger.”

While he first became a fan of the team because of their American roots, his appreciation deepened over time. “As I started to understand the sport more, I really liked how they advocated strongly for clean riding. That’s something that’s really important to me.”

Quinn grew up in Los Angeles, California and relished the urban experience. “It was pretty great growing up in a big city and I’m very grateful that I did. I still spend quite a bit of time there. The riding is quite underrated there actually, as long as you don’t mind cars passing you all day.”

Nowadays, he splits his time between Boulder, Colorado and Girona, Spain. “When I’m stateside, I’m mostly in Boulder. I went to the University of Colorado for a few semesters and so a lot of my good friends live there as well as my girlfriend. It’s a nice place to spend time over the offseason. Girona is an awesome place to live in during the racing season. It has great weather and a lot of friends and former teammates to hangout and ride with.”

On the bike, Quinn can do a bit of everything but he considers reading a race to be among his main talents. “Positioning in the pack and knowing when to save energy and being smart about the way I’m riding and riding pretty conservatively when I need to is a big strength. A lot of time tactics and strategy can be overlooked but it plays a huge part in all the races.”

His other strength? Climbing. “I really love the big mountains but the thing is, ironically I’m not a super small guy,” Quinn says. “I don’t know if it’s ideally suited to me but that’s the stuff that gets me super excited, looking at huge mountain stages although when you’re in it, it’s not so fun.”

Jonathan Vaughters, EF Education-NIPPO CEO, considers Quinn’s size to be an asset. “He’s a climber. He’s a big climber. He’s not a tiny little guy but those are the kind of guys you want because a slightly larger framed climber tends to be a little bit more versatile in different types of terrain you can gamble with so we’ll see where he fits in. I see him very much as a future Tour de France rider. He’s a bigger, stronger kid that can handle the high speeds on the flats and then he can also climb which is what you need for the Tour de France.”

For the upcoming season, Quinn’s priority is to soak up the knowledge from his new teammates. “I just like hearing from guys with a lot more experience than me. A lot of veteran riders are on the team and it’ll be really cool to ride with them and learn from there. I’m looking forward to having good people with a lot of good advice. I’m sure I’ll still learn some stuff the hard way but that’s life,” he laughs.

Sean Quinn:

 


Ethan Vernon to Turn Pro with the Wolfpack
The 21-year-old will ride for Deceuninck – Quick-Step in the next two seasons.

Ethan Vernon has joined the most successful team in the world on a contract that will run until the end of 2023. The young Brit has taken several impressive results so far on his palmarès, including a victory on stage 4 of this year’s Tour de l’Avenir, in Bar-le-Duc, and a top 10 at the World Championships in the U23 individual time trial.

In a video released on the Deceuninck – Quick-Step social media channels, Vernon revealed where his love of cycling came from and what his life is like at home in Manchester, England. Further to that, he spoke of his happiness to be joining the Wolfpack from next season.

“I’m really excited to be joining this fantastic team. Deceuninck – Quick-Step has a proven track record when it comes to helping young riders, so I couldn’t think of a better place to start my professional road career. There is also an in-depth knowledge of sprinting, which is where I want to specialise, and I am really looking forward to getting to work, learning as much as I can and see where that takes me”, said Ethan, who started off with BMX racing before switching to road and track, in the latter making Great Britain’s pursuit team for the 2020 Olympics and taking a silver medal in the 1km TT at the European Championships.

Speaking of having the young Brit join his team, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “We have had Ethan on our radar this summer and we know that his signature was sought-after by other teams, so we are very happy that he has joined us. He has proved at U23 level that he has a fast finish, as well as some good results in time trials, so he is strong in several departments, and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do with us.”

 


Marijn van den Berg Signs on for 2022
Marijn van den Berg, a double stage winner at the 2021 Tour de l’Avenir, will be joining EF Education-NIPPO in 2022.

This season has been a time of change and growth for van den Berg. Not only did he change teams, he started working with a new trainer and moved from his native Holland to France. “This year I made a big step moving to France. That was pretty big for me. It helped me grow up having to live on my own, cook for myself, do everything for myself. I think that’s a good thing.”

Despite all of these changes, 2021 has been van den Berg’s strongest season yet. He claimed a pair of stage wins at both the Tour de l’Avenir and Orlen Nations Grand Prix, as well as the overall wins at Orlen Nations Grand Prix and GP Adria Mobil, placed third at Paris-Tour Espoirs, and took a stage victory at Alpes Isère Tour. Given these results, he could certainly continue to race at the continental level with aplomb, yet he has decided this is the time to transition to the WorldTour. “I think this is the right moment for me to make the step to the pros and not really before. Now I’m a little bit more mature, not only in the races but also personally. I’m ready for the WorldTour.”

The Dutch rider considers himself to be an all–rounder with a dangerous kick. “When it’s a harder stage, a little bit hilly or when it’s a smaller group and then a sprint finish, I think that’s the best. I hope next year to improve my sprint a bit more and I also hope to get stronger for the more difficult stages with more hills.”

Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters believes it’s van den Berg’s sprint that makes him so lethal and appealing. “He’s a sprinter but he’s actually a very strong sprinter,” Vaughters says. “He’s really good at team time trials – his team won the team time trial at the Tour de l’Avenir – and he climbs very well. He’s not limited to being just a sprinter so he fits into that model of winning races in a non-sequitur way. He can win the sprint out of the breakaway, he can win the sprint out of a group of 40 or 50 that gets selected on a medium mountain day. That’s much more attractive to me than a pure sprinter. Especially with the way cycling is moving, which is more and more of the courses are becoming hillier and harder and race promoters are increasing the number of vertical meters climbed in every race, I think he’s the new type of sprinter that we’re looking for on this team, productive even when the race is hard all day long.”

Van den Berg aims to continue this growth in the upcoming season. “I hope to get stronger like I’ve done every year. Every year, I’ve taken a step and gotten a little bit better, so if I can take another step next year, I hope that will get me to the right level for the WorldTour.”

The 22-year-old says that seeing his progress only encourages him to push a little harder to see what else he can achieve. “When you see that you can do better and then you race and you see that you are one of the best at your level, that feeling of ‘I am doing well’ really motivates me. I think next year I will already be really motivated just because I’m on EF Education-NIPPO.”

He explains why signing with EF is the right move for him. “The trust that they gave me that I may get a chance for myself in some races and getting to develop as a good rider is super exciting. That’s why EF is the best option for me.”

Van den Berg is approaching 2022 with optimism and humility. “I don’t expect that I will win a stage in every race that I do. I can be happy if I have a few good results like a top ten or top five somewhere. I’m really curious where I stand in the WorldTour peloton.”

“I can’t wait to be on the team for next year,” van den Berg says. “I’m super happy that I found a team like EF for the coming season. I’m really happy about it!”

Marijn van den Berg:

 


The Abu Dhabi Sports Council and RCS Sport Renew Partnership
The agreement for the organisation of the one and only World Tour race in the Middle East has been renewed for another three years.

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council is pleased to announce the renewal of their partnership with RCS Sport for the organisation of the next three editions of the UAE Tour, the one and only UCI World Tour race in the Middle East.

The agreement, signed on Friday 8 October by Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Urbano Cairo, president of RCS MediaGroup, will continue the successes of the first three editions of the race, won by world-class riders Primož Roglič (2019), Simon Yates (2020) and most recently two-time Tour de France-winner Tadej Pogačar (2021). It also follows on the successes of the four editions of the Abu Dhabi Tour (2015-2018).

Since its first edition, born from the merger between the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour in 2019, the UAE Tour continues to go from strength to strength. This year’s edition hosted the full roster of 19 UCI WorldTeams for the very first time. Images from 2021’s race were broadcast across 200 countries, while domestically, the success of the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East has had an enduring effect on the sport of cycling in the region.

“We are delighted to renew our multi-year partnership with RCS Sport,” said H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “Together with RCS Sport we worked greatly from the very first day and together we are looking forward for the years to come. For us this partnership is very important to keep promoting cycling as a green and sustainable sport in our country and region. We want our people to conduct an healthy lifestyle and cycling represents one of the best way to do so. In these terms the role of the UAE Tour is crucial and represents the best postcards to showcase our country worldwide.”

Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, said: “The well-established relationship between RCS Sport and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council continues, after the successes built together in the last years with the Abu Dhabi Tour and the UAE Tour. The UAE Tour, the one and only World Tour race in the Middle East, has quickly became an unmissable appointment in the international calendar, for both world class riders – as proved by the roll of honour if this race – and fans, that can watch the race worldwide thanks to the images of each stage broadcasted across 200 countries. We could not be more pleased by the renewal of this partnership and look forward to the 2022 edition.”

Tadej Pogačar won his team’s home race in 2021:

 


World’s Best Sprinters Win Golden Ticket to UCI Track Champions League as First of the Pre-Qualified Riders are Revealed
Four Olympic gold medalists and two UCI World Champions amongst the 12 pre-qualified sprinters set to battle it out in the inaugural series.

Some of the world’s most prolific track sprinters are set to make history in November, as the UCI Track Champions League announces the first pre-qualified riders to be confirmed for the inaugural season.

With less than four weeks until the first round on November 6, the six male and six female sprinters will compete for equal prize money in the all-new series, set to elevate the sport to new levels with short format, high adrenaline racing, broadcast to millions.

In the women’s line up, Tokyo Olympic Champion Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) will be joined by current UCI World Champion Emma Hinze (Germany), Olympic silver medalist Olena Starikova (Ukraine), European Championship podium finisher Mathilde Gros (France), UCI top ten ranked Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania) and Olympic Keirin Champion Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands).

Commenting on her pre-qualification for the league, Kelsey Mitchell said: “I am so excited to be pre-qualified for the UCI Track Champions League and I can’t wait to experience the thrill of racing against the best in the world, week after week. Fast-paced and action-packed, this league will be an incredible experience for not only the riders, but the fans as well!”

In the mens, current Keirin and Individual Sprint UCI World Champion Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) will line up alongside Olympic Team Sprint Champion Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands), Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup gold medalist Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tobago), top ten UCI ranked Vasilijus Lendel and top six Olympic sprinters Maximillian Levy (Germany) and Denis Dmitriev (Russia).

Commenting on his pre-qualification, Harrie Lavreysen said: “I’m delighted to have pre-qualified for the UCI Track Champions League. I think the racing format will enable us to connect with existing fans and hopefully help introduce new people to the sport too. It’s going to be my biggest focus straight after the World Championships, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

The 12 are amongst 24 pre-qualified riders across the Sprint and Endurance categories, and will join a further 48 who will qualify for the league. Selection is determined by a range of criteria including past results from the Tokyo Olympics and other major events including the Cali UCI Track Nations Cup and European Track Championships. Previous palmarès and general status in the sport are also considered. Further riders will be selected on their results in the upcoming Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships later this month.

It means that the UCI Track Champions League will feature the very best talent coming together in a way never seen before, battling it out across five rounds in four countries. For riders, selection represents a ‘golden ticket’ to the most exciting series in track cycling. For millions of fans around the world, it is another step closer to an action-packed, technology-driven sporting experience whether watching live in the velodrome, via an innovative, premium TV broadcast, or online.

The remaining 12 pre-qualified riders and 48 riders yet to qualify will be revealed prior to the first round in Mallorca, on November 6th.

Men’s Sprint:
Harrie Lavreysen (The Netherlands) – Two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time UCI World Champion and three-time European Champion
Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tobago) – Pan American Track Championship gold medalist and Flying 200m World Record holder
Jeffrey Hoogland (The Netherlands) – Olympic gold medalist, four-time UCI World Champion and eight-time European Champion
Vasilijus Lendel (Lithuania) – European Championship bronze medalist and UCI World Cup gold medalist
Maximilian Levy (Germany) – Four-time UCI World Champion, six-time European Champion and three-time Olympic medalist
Denis Dmitriev (Russia) – Four-time European Champion, former UCI World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist

Women’s Sprint:
Emma Hinze (Germany) – Olympic silver medalist and three-time UCI World Champion
Mathilde Gros (France) – UCI World Championships bronze medalist and two-time European Champion
Simona Krupeckaité (Lithuania) – Two-time UCI World Champion and three-time European Champion
Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) – Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist
Shanne Braspennincx (The Netherlands) – Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist
Olena Starikova (Ukraine) – Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events said: “The calibre of the riders announced today clearly illustrates our intent to bring together the best of the best male and female track cyclists in the world. Securing such high quality talent combined with an explosive, unpredictable racing format, is a key step in Discovery Sports Events’ ambition to create the most compelling series in track cycling. We look forward to announcing more great riders before the start of the season.”

Race Calendar:
Round 1:
November 6, Mallorca / Velòdrom Illes Balears, Spain
Tickets here.

Round 2: November 27. Panevézys / Cido Arena, Lithuania
Tickets on sale soon here.

Round 3: December 3, London / Lee Valley VeloPark, UK
Tickets here.

Round 4: December 4, London / Lee Valley VeloPark, UK
Tickets here.

Round 5: December 11, Tel Aviv / Sylvan Adams National Velodrome, Israel
Tickets on sale soon: here.

For more information about the UCI Track Champions League, visit: www.ucitrackchampionsleague.com.

Dutch compatriots Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen:

 


Team Heads to UAE as Preparations for 2022 get Underway
Week long camp full of activity planned

With the curtain coming down on this years racing calendar, plans for 2022 are already underway, as the entire men’s squad makes the trip to the United Arab Emirates with several days of activity between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. During the stay, the riders will take part in community rides and other activities to promoting cycling throughout the country. The team will also take the opportunity to be hosted at the Expo Dubai which launched earlier this month.

CEO & Team Principal Mauro Gianetti: “After an unforgettable season full of many successes we are thrilled to be coming back as a team to UAE to meet again with friends and sponsors to celebrate this year as we also look ahead to the next. We always receive a very special welcome whenever we visit to see the people who support us and witness the impact they are all having on growing cycling and bike riding across the UAE. It’s important for us to be here and really connect with the people who make what we do possible.”

 


DS Arrieta Has to leave Movistar, Spaniard Considering Legal Action
According to the Spanish sports paper AS, sports director José Luis Arrieta must leave the Spanish WorldTour team, but the ex-rider is not planning to just go. Arrieta is even considering legal action against the squad.

According to AS, Arrieta is no longer be on the same page with Patxi Vila, Movistar’s sports manager. The 50-year-old Arrieta, a professional rider from 1993 to 2010, didn’t work on the last races of the season. Movistar wants to get rid of Arrieta, but he is not planning to leave just like that, it seems to be turning into a legal battle between Arrieta and Movistar.

It is not the first time this year that Movistar has been in the news. Recently, the contract with Miguel Ángel López was dissolved. This happened by mutual consent after the problems of last Vuelta a España. There was a difference of opinion between the team management and López, and the Colombian decided to stop during the penultimate stage. His outburst caused a lot of speculation and López has now returned to his former team, Astana.

The Spanish WorldTour team has strengthened itself in recent weeks with a view to next season. With Alex Aranburu, Max Kanter, Óscar Rodríguez, Gorka Izagirre, Iván Sosa, Oier Lazkano and Vinícius Rangel, the team hopes to do better in 2022.

José Luis Arrieta:

 


Roman Kreuziger Joins Bahrain Victorious as DS
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce Roman Kreuziger as a new Sports Director for the 2022 season.

Roman joins the team straight out of the peloton following a 16-year career of pro racing: “I’m excited to be back in the WorldTour! Looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I know many team members, both riders and staff. There is a winning spirit in the team, and I will do my best to contribute to the results we want. My motto is simple – to work hard and to be professional, on and off the road. After all those years in the peloton, I am pretty sure this works.”

Roman Kreuziger racing in Wallonne this year:

 


Douglas Ryder: Team Update
Today we are not in a position to submit our initial application for our UCI WorldTour licence for next year to the sport’s governing body.

We are actively engaged with potential partners, and our current partners, as we work to secure our future for 2022.

Since inception our team has provided hope and opportunity to over 50 riders from Africa who have ridden for us at either Continental, Pro Continental or World Team levels, and as a result have had the opportunity to showcase their talent and realise their dreams.

The recent news that Rwanda will host the 2025 World Championships is a huge moment for our sport, and one that we are very proud of in the role we have played in support of Africa, its cycling potential and as a destination to ride. Seeing Biniam Ghirmay from Eritrea come 2nd in the U23 World Championships this year was incredible. He was just 14 years old when Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the King of the Mountains jersey in the 2015 Tour de France with our team. Their stories, as well as the journey of Nicholas Dlamini from the townships in Cape Town to the Tour de France, are inspirational.

Across our Continental and World Team outfits we have staff and riders that champion our message – bicycles change lives – and enable us to be a platform to raise awareness and funds for the Qhubeka Charity.

We are completely unique across the sporting landscape as a purpose-led organisation that during the course of our decade-long partnership with Qhubeka has seen our team raise over $6M for the Charity, and in the process changed thousands of lives.

We remain confident that our story is not complete, our journey will carry on, to continue to change lives through bicycles.

I have always said that our dream for this team would be to see a young person from Africa, who starts their journey on a Qhubeka bike, one day race on cycling’s most famous road – the Champs Elysées. That will see the dream fully realised.

If you, or any of your business network, want to partner with our team and keep changing lives, please contact us here. Thank you for your support.

Ubuntu – I am because we are.

 


Bob Stapleton Steps Down as Chairman from USA Cycling Board, Replaced by Vice Chairman Brendan Quirk
Stapleton served as chairman of USA Cycling’s board since 2014 – Quirk brings diverse experience from cycling industry and beyond.

Today, USA Cycling announces that Bob Stapleton is stepping down as chairman of the board for the organisation, a position he has held since 2014. Vice chairman Brendan Quirk was elected by board members to replace Stapleton, effective immediately.

Quirk was co-founder of Competitive Cyclist, which was acquired by Backcountry.com in 2011. He later served as president of Rapha USA, CEO pro tem of Allied Cycle Works, and since 2018 has been a director at the Runway Group, a foundation started by Steuart and Tom Walton that has been instrumental in turning northwest Arkansas into a global cycling destination.

“It’s impossible to quantify the impact Bob has had on the direction of this organisation, the sport of cycling, and the lives of countless athletes,” says Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling. “As lucky as we are to have had Bob along with us, we are equally fortunate to welcome Brendan into his former position. Brendan has been a visionary and an entrepreneur who is always ahead of the curve and trends in the market. That kind of leadership is critical at a moment like this and we look forward to the rich possibilities ahead for all of cycling.”

In the coming years, USA Cycling will be looking to engage millions of new and continuing cyclists of all levels as part of its renewed We Champion vision which is bolstered by the recent cycling boom.

“We’re living in a time like no other in the cycling industry,” said Quirk. “We have the opportunity to welcome new and returning riders as they are looking for guidance and community. USA Cycling is well poised to lead these cyclists through their cycling journey, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

For more information, visit usacycling.org.

Bob Stapleton:

 


Team DSM and Volvo Extend their Partnership
Team DSM and Volvo Car Netherlands are delighted to reconfirm their partnership, with the globally recognised brand providing the team with premium cars.

Commercial Operations Director Volvo Car Netherlands Frits Giesbers said: “We are very satisfied with our cooperation with Team DSM and that we continue contributing to the team’s safety and success in the peloton with our latest technology. We got to learn Team DSM and their team members both on and off the bike as a collective of committed and driven people. Together they operate their advanced ‘Keep Challenging’ model with beautiful human values at the centre; committing to one other, really sharing responsibilities, empowering fellow team members to take responsibility, honesty and encouraging each other. It’s that culture we can identify ourselves with and which is inspiring.”

Team DSM will drive the stylish and safe Volvo V60 Cross Country model. The combination of its higher ground clearance and all-wheel drive, makes it the perfect fit for both action and comfort during bike races. The cars come equipped with mild-hybrid technology. This means electric power supports the engine, reducing the impact on the environment, which is a key objective of the team. The cars will support all three programs that the team operate: Men, Women and Development.

Head of Business Strategy Team DSM Jan Wermink said: “We are proud and excited with our Volvo partnership. Volvo cars are undisputedly a perfect match for our demanding and versatile mobility business. With their continual addition and innovation of safety technology in their cars, and the steps they are making in their electrification strategy, they perfectly connect our vision for sustainability and safety as a team. Our collaboration with Volvo, their agility and quality are impressive; they set the standard both for safe and innovative cars as well as a dedicated organisation of people who are great partners. We are all looking forward to continuing to work together.”

 


WADA now Considers that the use of Costicosteroids Enhance Performance, Thanks to MPCC
The Board of the Movement For A Credible Cycling (MPCC) met on Wednesday, October 13th in Paris. This reunion, which took place on the day before the Tour de France presentation, marks the return of a pre-pandemic tradition. MPCC praised its members for the commitment they have shown on a voluntary basis and wants to highlight the fact that the movement now amounts for 68% of the profesional peloton.

After a 14-year-long fight, MPCC observed with delight the turnaround in the policy regarding costicosteroids. WADA now considers that the use of this substance enhance performance. Team doctors informed the movement about the new rules set by WADA, stating that the use of corticosteroids via injections and oral route will now be prohibited. These rules will be enforced starting 1st January 2022. Team doctors underline the fact that, as of today, some vagueness remain concerning the qualitative aspect of the tests that will be carried out to enforce these new rules.

As we wait for the last details, the movement wishes to monitor the enforcement of these new rules and will suspend its own cortisol levels tests in 2022. We will provide a first update on this situation during the next Board Meeting. MPCC expresses the wish, on this topic and on the others, to establish a lasting relationship with the International Testing Anti-Doping (ITA), which has been in charge of WADA’s anti-doping program for a year now.

Based on the monitoring information provided by WADA, MPCC learned that the use of tramadol has dropped significantly during these last 4 years, to the point of almost becoming irrelevant. The movement welcomes the evolution of the fight against the excessive use of tramadol, a cause MPCC led since 2012 which resulted in this outcome. MPCC will also monitor closely the deviant uses of codeine and cafeine, as they can lead to serious health and ethics issues.

On the subject of ketones, MPCC notices that UCI is following the position that the movement took in 2019 and recommends not to use this substance. The movement also welcomes the scientific study that the international federation ordered on ketones. While we wait for the results of this study, the movement formally requests that its riders and members follow the recommendation of the UCI.

 


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