Movistar’s Eusebio Unzué to retire… soon – TOP STORY. Lots of rider news: EF Education-Nippo nearly terminate Sergio Higuita’s contract, but changes their mind, Roy Jans to retire, no Grand Tour for Juan Ayuso and Filippo Pozzato is recovering. Contract news: Niki Terpstra, Alex Molenaar, Dario Cataldo, Sacha Modolo, Jakub Mareczko, Harry Tanfield, Alexandre Balmer, Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly. Team news: Twelve new riders in the U23 Fundación Contador for 2022, Israel Start-Up Nation and Premier Tech still talking, Rally Cycling become Human Powered Health, Astana Qazaqstan Development Team and UAE Team Emirates announce backroom team. Race news: Tour de Romandie three-day woman’s race. Plus the sad news of the passing of Desite Kidane after training accident.
TOP STORY: Movistar Boss Eusebio Unzué: “I Know My End is Near”
Eusebio Unzué will turn 67 next year, but not thinking of stopping as Movistar’s team boss. The Spaniard knows he won’t be in this position for long. “At the moment I am very happy and I feel good, but I am aware that my end is near,” Unzué told Diario de Navarra.
“Sooner or later the time will come when I will stop,” he continued. “No one is forever, so I’m working now so that this team can continue and that a Spanish team is active in the WorldTour.” Since 2013, when the then Euskaltel-Euskadi team stopped, Movistar is the only Spanish team at the highest level.
Unzué will not have Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) and Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) in his team for 2022. That means that Enric Mas and 41-year-old Alejandro Valverde will be the team leaders. “Last season confirmed to us that Mas is a cyclist who can fight in three-week tours. It’s hard to win, but it’s important to know that we have an asset to compete for the podium,” he said.
“We’re also going to see what happens to Valverde. In 2021 he started winning again and was among the best. That is why he will continue for another year,” said Unzué. “I am always optimistic and I hope that next year we can make it a better year as young riders have gained experience again. We have guys with qualities they can show sooner or later. I know that for sure.”
Gorka Izagirre, Alex Aranburu, Iván Ramiro Sosa, Óscar Rodríguez and Max Kanter will be will the team in 2022. Unzué confirms that he has not been able to do everything in the transfer market. “It may be that we want certain riders, or that someone wants to come, but we can’t always afford that. We have to spend what we can spend. But there are riders who are unattainable for us.”
Eusebio Unzué with his star for many years – Alejandro Valverde:
EF Education-Nippo Wants to Terminate Higuita’s Contract Immediately
Sergio Higuita will ride for BORA-hansgrohe next season, but is still under contract with EF Education-Nippo. But the American team wants to terminate the contract with Higuita with immediate effect as Higuita was spotted riding a Specialized in an event in Colombia.
Specialized is the bike sponsor of BORA-hansgrohe, Higuita’s future team. EF Education-Nippo has been riding Cannondale for years and Higuita is obliged to train and race on one of their bikes. Higuita recently received a Specialized from BORA-hansgrohe for training in the winter months. Higuita rode the Giro del Rigo, an event hosted by Rigoberto Urán, on his new Specialized bike. A video on Twitter clearly shows Higuita competing in the race on his new Specialized bike, with BORA-hansgrohe markings. EF Education-Nippo decided to take action.
Sergio Higuita and EF Education Manager Vaughters Bury the Hatchet
Since the first announcement, EF Education-Nippo and Sergio Higuita have settled their disagreement. It seemed that an early split was unavoidable, but in the meantime the team have said that the contract will not be terminated early.
24 hours after the incident: “Ah, Sergio is a good teammate and has ensured a positive presence in recent years, both on and off the bike,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews. “We wish him all the best in the future.”
The Colombian has since apologised. “I apologise to all sponsors and the team. I made a mistake riding the wrong bike at a public event. This is not the way I want to leave here and remember my time with the squad here. I’m glad this has been resolved.”
Higuita on a Specialized:
Roy Jans to Retire
Roy Jans, the sprinter of Alpecin-Fenix and partner of Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, says goodbye to the peloton after ten professional seasons. Jans had been struggling with numerous physical ailments for two years.
“2021 was a lost year,” said Jans to the Het Belang van Limburg. “The misery started when corona made its appearance. Since then I have been constantly beaten back by physical discomfort. I started in a few more races, but without success.”
“2021 did not bring any improvement, on the contrary,” Jans continues. “At the end of May, I went under the knife at Toon Claes in Herentals to have a painful knee treated. I suffered from friction syndrome. But when my joint was open on the operating table, the doctors found that there was a hole in my patella (kneecap), with a lot of dead tissue around it. That was probably the cause of my friction injury.”
This summer Jans resumed in the Heistse Pijl, but he says that it did not make him happy. “I immediately noticed that my condition deficit was too great. Coming back from a knee injury isn’t easy. The power difference between left and right can be large, so there is a danger that you will compensate on one side and you will only increase the damage. I absolutely wanted to avoid that pitfall.”
“The result was that I didn’t get any results. Something I had become accustomed to over the years. If you suddenly realise that racing results are no longer an option, then that makes you think. Which ultimately led to the decision to end my professional career.” The GP d’Isbergues (19 September) was the last race of his career.
Jans did say that he is not bitter. “I had setbacks, but I also achieved great results in races tailored to my talents. I still like cycling, but now that will mainly be as a training partner of Ceylin. I give myself the time and space to look around in which direction I want to go,” he concluded.
His honours list includes the Gooikse Pijl (2014), Putte-Kapellen (2016), Belgian Championship silver (2014) and Brussels Cycling Classic (2015). He has been with the Roodhooft brothers since 2019.
Roy Jans in Kuurne:
No Grand Tour for Juan Ayuso in 2022
Juan Ayuso will not make his appearance in a Grand Tour next year. The 19-year-old top talent made his debut for UAE Team Emirates last summer, but is presented with a program without a three-week stage race. “We have decided it might be better to wait another year,” he told Marca.
“I have more or less clarity about my program, but first I have to train. I have hardly cycled in the last four weeks,” said Ayuso, who won the U23 Giro d’Italia just before he switched to UAE Team Emirates. “There is still work to be done, but I would like to get started now so that I can start the spring as best as possible.”
The first major competition series for 2022 is the Challenge Mallorca, Spain. “But I’m not sure if I’ll start there. I am one hundred percent sure that I will ride the Tour of Valencia (February 2-6), and the Ruta del Sol (February 16-20). I’m really looking forward to that. It is true that those races will cost me a lot of strength, but next year I hope to get better as a result.”
UAE Team Emirates don’t want to go too hard with 19-year-old Ayuso, so he won’t be racing a Grand Tour. “With Matxin (team manager José Antonio ‘Matxin’ Fernández), we decided that it might be better to wait another year. I’m not in a hurry. I will get enough opportunities, so I prefer to make my development step by step.”
Filippo Pozzato Recovering
Filippo Pozzato is currently recovering from a corona infection. The former cyclist tested positive for the corona virus at the end of October and ended up in hospital last week, where he also had to be put on a ventilator. He is now on the mend, said Pozzato.
“It’s going better. The hospital staff have made it possible for me to get up and I have even showered,” Pozzato, 40, told La Gazzetta dello Sport in a short message. From the hospital, ‘Pippo’ announced that he planned to get a corona vaccination, but that he tested positive just before that appointment.
“Why wasn’t I vaccinated before? Because I’ve always felt strong. I’ve been with people who had Covid and nothing had ever happened to me. I was a sucker, and I got it,” Pozzato said last week. “I immediately took a test and it was Covid. Then I had a fever of 39 degrees for almost ten days. I was almost there. My fever went away after that, but my oxygen saturation dropped. I couldn’t even stand up and they brought me here.”
In retrospect, Pozzato called himself an “idiot” because he had not previously received a corona vaccination. “I probably wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital then. My mother has been vaccinated and got the coronavirus through me, but she had some elevation for a few days and then got better,” he explains. “I have realised that we are all at risk, even if you are fit, healthy and fairly young. I can only advise you to get vaccinated. It is fundamental to avoid the worst.”
Niki Terpstra Renews with TotalEnergies
Niki Terpstra will be in the peloton next year. The 37 year-old Classic specialist has extended his contract with TotalEnergies for one more year, according to WielerFlits. Terpstra moved from Deceuninck – Quick-Step for the French ProTeam at the end of 2018.
The Classic core of TotalEnergies will have reinforcements next year with three-time world champion Peter Sagan joining the French team. He brings with him Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar and his brother Juraj from BORA-hansgrohe. It is unclear whether fellow Slovakian, Erik Baška will also come to TotalEnergies.
Sagan also brings bicycle sponsor Specialized to the team of Jean-René Bernaudeau. For Terpstra, this is a reunion with the brand on which he achieved his greatest successes. The Dutchman won Paris-Roubaix in 2014 and the Tour of Flanders in 2018 on a Specialized.
Alex Molenaar With Burgos-BH for Another Year
Alex Molenaar will be riding for the Spanish Burgos-BH team in 2022. The 22 year-old Dutchman has extended his contract with the Spanish team for one season. Molenaar has been racing for Burgos-BH since 2020. Ángel Fuentes (25) and Ander Okamika (28) have also re-signed until the end of 2022.
Molenaar – who has a Spanish mother – completed 47 race days for Burgos-BH in his second season. In the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Volta ao Alentejo and the Volta a Portugal he was good for several places of honour. He was also selected in the summer for the European Road Championship in Trento. Molenaar took part in the U23 race and finished in 19th place.
The team management was satisfied with Molenaar’s performance, which has led to a contract extension. The Spaniards Fuentes and Okamika have also resigned. Fuentes managed to put himself in the spotlight in the autumn with a 6th place in La Route Adélie de Vitré, Okamika was 7th in the Spanish road championship, 9th in the Coppa Sabatini and 10th in the Classic Loire Atlantique.
Sports director Rubén Pérez is happy. “We are talking about important riders for our team. I’m also sure we haven’t seen the best yet. Alex didn’t have the best season of his career, but he is a rider with the necessary potential. He has already raced the Vuelta a España once and I hope we will see him again next year at his level.”
Alex Molenaar on the wheel of Ligthart in la Vuelta:
Dario Cataldo Completes Trek-Segafredo Roster for 2022
Dario Cataldo will ride for Trek-Segafredo next season. The experienced Italian comes from Movistar and signs for one season with the American WorldTour team. Cataldo is the latest signing to Trek-Segafredo, which will start 2022 with 31 riders.
The 36-year-old Cataldo rode with Liquigas, Quick-Step, Team Sky, Astana and Movistar. In his fifteen years as a pro, he established himself as an important domestique, and won the 2012 Italian time trial Championship and stages in the Giro d’Italia (2019) and the Vuelta a España (2012).
“The role I’ve had in recent years suits me well. That is also thanks to the experience I have gained in big teams, alongside strong leaders. I think that my many years of experience have added value to the group,” says Cataldo. “We still have plenty of time to discuss specific goals and the programs, but I can’t wait to get started.”
The Italian is very enthusiastic. “I know that I will join a solid and strong team that has shown competence and vision. I have known Luca Guercilena (team manager) for a long time and we worked together at Quick-Step for two years. I have a lot of respect for him, and when we talked about it, he gave me a lot of confidence in the Trek-Segafredo project. In the team I also find Giulio Ciccone, a friend and training buddy. I have seen him become a cyclist with our team and we know each other well.”
After Antwan Tolhoek, Daan Hoole, Tony Gallopin, Jon Aberasturi, Markus Hoelgaard, Simon Pellaud, Otto Vergaerde, Filippo Baroncini and Marc Brustenga, Cataldo is the eleventh, and last, newcomer to Trek-Segafredo for the new season.
Dario Cataldo in the Giro:
Sacha Modolo Leaves Alpecin-Fenix for Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
Sacha Modolo will ride for Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè next season. The 34 year-old Italian sprinter comes from the Alpecin-Fenix team. For Modolo it means a return to his old home, because in 2010 he made his professional debut with the Italian team. With this addition, the roster of the team of Bruno and Roberto Reverberi for next year is complete.
Modolo has many good memories of Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, he says through his new team. “I achieved half of my victories in this team. When Bruno Reverberi called me, it didn’t take me long to say yes. I want to start the new season as I ended last season: I want to feel good physically, win and participate in the races in which I can assert myself. I also think I can give the younger riders a lot of experience.”
“I have raced with sprinters of different generations, from Alessandro Petacchi to Mark Cavendish, and raced in teams with great champions, of which Mathieu van der Poel was the last. I think I can pass on a lot to the new generations who are lucky enough to be in a squad that really has opportunities for young riders. It is no coincidence that one of the best memories I have of this team, besides the many victories, is fourth place in Milan-San Remo in my first year as a pro,” said the Italian.
Modolo is secretly also looking forward to the Giro d’Italia, in which he has already started nine times. “People who know me know that I don’t look too much ahead to races, but yesterday the sprint stages of the Giro were presented and the finish in Treviso would be the perfect opportunity to win another important race in the jersey of Bardiani-CSF-Faizane.”
For team managers Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, the arrival of Modolo is the icing on the cake. “He really adds something to an already complete and competitive roster. We were able to keep the best riders from last season, such as young riders like Zana, Fiorelli and Zoccarato and experienced men like Visconti and Battaglin. We have added to them an important ‘green lung’ of twelve young athletes, some of whom can already impress in their first year.”
Sprinter Modolo is now also included. “A fast, winning and experienced man who has the characteristics to further complete the squad. We have been discussing his return with Sacha in recent weeks and the agreement was concluded last weekend. Sacha has a great past with us. He won 24 races in three years, figures that only a champion can achieve. With him there, we look to the near future with even more confidence.”
Sprinter Jakub Mareczko on His Way to Alpecin-Fenix
It looks quite probable that 27-year-old Jakub Mareczko will ride for Alpecin-Fenix next year. The Italian could replace fast-men Sascha Modolo and Roy Jans.
Jakub Mareczko raced at WorldTour level with Team CCC in 2019 and 2020 and then moved to Vini Zabù. But the future of the Italian ProTeam is in danger. Three weeks ago, TuttoBiciWeb reported that an agreement with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was in the works. But that will be without Mareczko. For the sprinter, who has taken numerous victories in his career, especially on Asia, a two-year contract with Alpecin-Fenix is ready, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. The team has confirmed to WielerFlits that talks are underway, but there is no agreement at the moment.
At Alpecin-Fenix, Mareczko could be the third sprinter. Due to the departure of Sascha Modolo and Roy Jans, there is room for a third sprinter after the Merlier-Philipsen duo. This year, Mareczko won, among other things, the opening stage of the Coppi e Bartali.
Jakub Mareczko – Coppi e Bartali stage win:
Young Swiss talent Alexandre Balmer enters the WorldTour with Team BikeExchange
Former U23 Swiss Time Trial champion Alexandre Balmer will make the step up into the WorldTour peloton next season, signing a two-year neo-pro contract with Team BikeExchange.
The 21-year-old has already shown his talents across various disciplines, winning the gold medal at junior level at the Cross-Country MTB World Championships and the European MTB Championships in 2018. In the same year Balmer also took the silver medal in the Junior European Road Race before narrowly missing out on a medal at the Junior Road Race World Championships, finishing in fourth place.
The Australian outfit is pleased to be able to assist Balmer with this next step in his career and is intrigued to see what the Swiss rider can achieve given his diverse skillset and winning mindset. Balmer is aware of what it takes to make it in the WorldTour peloton having worked with former GreenEDGE rider Michael Albasini at the Swiss Cycling Federation.
Brent Copeland, General Manager on Balmer: “With Alexandre we believe that we have signed a very talented rider for the future. He is going to be the youngest rider in our men’s roster and the first year will be all about learning how we work at GreenEDGE cycling and what the WorldTour level is all about. Time is his advantage, and we’ll make sure that he has all he needs to improve race by race.”
Alexandre Balmer: “I have always watched the Tour de Romandie, which passes in front of my house and how my national coach, Michael Albasini, used to win stages of the race regularly. Now I am starting to realise that I will have my place in the big bus that I was fascinated by when I was younger. Team BikeExchange was also a part of the integration of a mountain biker (Nino Schurter) into road cycling years ago and I’m proud to be able to do the same, coming from a mountain biking background. Our first goal is to continue my development and as soon as possible, to reach the level of the best in the world on the road. I know that the team will be there to support me with road cycling and also on the project of the Olympic Games in the mountain bike discipline.”
Date of birth: 4th May 2000 (21)
Joins Team BikeExchange: 2022
New Contract: 2022 & 2023
1st 2021 Alpes Isere Tour – Youth Classification
1st 2020 Switzerland Time Trial Championships – U23
2nd 2021 Ronde de l’Isard stage
3rd 2021 Giro del Belvedere
5th 2019 Switzerland Time Trial Championships – U23
11th 2021 Tour de Vendee
1st 2018 European Championships XCO – Junior
1st 2018 Mountain Bike World Championships – Team Relay Cross Country
1st 2018 Mountain Bike World Championships – Men’s Olympic Cross Country – Junior
2nd 2018 UEC Road European Championships – Junior
1st 2018 Switzerland Time Trial Championships – Junior
1st 2018 Switzerland Road Race Championships – Junior
1st 2017 Switzerland Time Trial Championships – Junior
Harry Tanfield to Ribble Weldtite
After three seasons in the WorldTour, Harry Tanfield continues his career with the continental Ribble Weldtite. The British team, which was a frequent attacker in the Tour of Britain last autumn, announced the arrival of the 26-year-old rider from Qhubeka NextHash. He joins his brother Charlie, who is two years younger.
Harry Tanfield has raced for Katusha Alpecin, AG2R La Mondiale and Qhubeka NextHash in the past, but this winter the British rider takes a step back to continental level with Ribble Weldtite. “Given the current situation, I am pleased to have found a place with a squad that can support my ambitions to return to the highest level,” he said on his new squad’s website.
“I want to continue to develop as a rider and help my brother Charlie to develop further on the road. I think I can do that successfully here with a strong European competition schedule. I’ve known the Ribble Weldtite team for years and have ridden both with and against many of their current riders. I’m looking forward to picking up where I was at the Nationals (he finished 4th in the road race) and going full throttle again,” said Tanfield.
His brother Charlie comes from the Canyon dhb SunGod team, where he mainly focused on the track. He was World champion in the team pursuit in 2018 together with Kian Emadi-Coffin, Ethan Hayter and Ed Clancy and was also in the Tokyo Olympics last summer. “I am really looking forward to joining the team in 2022. I can’t wait to start road races with the team and develop as a rider.”
Harry Tanfield with AG2R at la Vuelta:
Australian Track Stars Baker & Manly Return to GreenEDGE Cycling for 2022 &, 2023
Former GreenEDGE Cycling team members Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly return to the squad as they sign on for two seasons, ready to turn their full attention to the road, after spending the previous years following their track ambitions.
Older and wiser, the Australian duo have high ambitions as they make their comeback to the Women’s WorldTour peloton, hoping to add extra firepower to the squad and looking to build on their past experiences of racing overseas.
Manly, a Team Pursuit and Points Race World Champion, previously spent five seasons with the team, while Baker, also a World Champion in the Team Pursuit event, spent one year with the squad back in 2017.
With this previous experience and understanding of how the Australian outfit works, the mid 20-year-olds are motivated to see what they can achieve in 2022.
Brent Copeland, General Manager on Baker & Manly: “Alex and Georgia are not new to the team, Alex spent five years with GreenEDGE Cycling and Georgia was with us in 2017 and we are very happy to welcome them back into the family. With Alex, she had other targets on the track over the last couple of years which will have helped her to improve and develop her riding characteristics in many ways. She has achieved top results in her career since the junior level and we are looking forward to seeing what she can do next year back on the road. Georgia has matured as a rider over the past years on the track and we believe we will be able to help her grow even more. It’s very important for us that she already knows some of the riders and the staff members, this will facilitate her and us into this new chapter of our journey together. She has lots of track experience and her characteristics can give us different options during the year in various races.”
Alexandra Manly: “It’s really special to be returning to GreenEDGE Cycling with my priority now being on the road. I have many friends in the team already and it feels right to be returning to the team that has helped me develop over the years. I will keep in touch with the track, but it won’t be what I prioritise, I want to focus fully on the road and see what I can achieve. I am most looking forward to being back racing regularly and chasing some new goals with the girls.”
Georgia Baker: “I’m really excited to be joining GreenEDGE Cycling again, I was with the team only briefly in 2017, but it actually feels like a new and fresh start. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back to the team and I’m looking forward to working with the girls and having a successful season together. I’ll be based in Europe for the entire season and setting myself up in Girona and Andorra. I’ll be keeping in touch with the track throughout the year and will hopefully compete at the Commonwealth Games, but road will be a priority for me this year. I’m honestly unsure what to expect next season, I don’t have a huge amount of experience in the Women’s WorldTour Peloton, but I’m looking forward to the new challenge and learning lots to contribute to the team success.”
Date of Birth: 21st September 1994 (27)
Previously joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2017 – 2018
New Contract: 2022 & 2023
1st Commonwealth Games Team Pursuit 2018
1st World Championship Team Pursuit 2019
5th Tokyo Olympics Team Pursuit 2021
5th Rio Olympics Team Pursuit 2016
4x National Track Champion
Date of Birth: 28th February 1996 (25)
Previously joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2015 – 2019
New Contract: 2022 & 2023
1st U23 National Champion Road Race & ITT 2018
1st World Championships Points Race 2019
1st World Championship Team Pursuit 2019
1st Commonwealth Games Team Pursuit 2018
5th Tokyo Olympics Team Pursuit 2021
3x National Track Champion.
Twelve New Faces in the U23 Structure of the Fundación Contador for 2022
The U23 project of the Fundación Contador, again under the name EOLO-KOMETA, incorporates twelve riders for the 2022 season. After a great year in sporting terms, the training structure faces a deep renewal in a squad that increases its number of members, substantially rejuvenates its roster, also reinforces its Spanish-Italian condition and takes a step further in its training vocation as a seedbed of riders for the ProTeam EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team.
Seventeen riders will make up the team squad, a formation that in 2022 will have Rafa Díaz Justo and Dario Andriotto in the sporting direction. Of the seventeen, twelve cyclists will join a project in which the veteran base will be Fernando Tercero from La Mancha, Javi Serrano from Madrid, the Catalan Arnau Gilabert and the Italians Andrea Montoli and Davide Piganzoli.
Of the twelve new additions, seven will be Spanish riders and five Italian cyclists. Two of the new faces, the Balearic Marc Terrasa Gual, winner of the Spanish Cup 2021 in the junior category, and Antonio González Torres from Soria, winner of the last Volta a Talavera, are promoted from the youth squad directed by the Cantabrian Guillermo Gutiérrez.
The Asturians Ramón Fernández Cuesta (Froiz) and Pablo Uria Iglesias (Gomur) and the Catalans David Domínguez Vilchez (Globalia Salamanca), Francisco Muñoz Llana (Team MP Group) and Marcel Camprubí Pijuan (Antiga Casa Bellsola) complete the Spanish squad. Camprubí, trained in triathlon, has stood out this season with great results on the road, with his national runner-up in a demanding edition of the championships held in Alicante or a partial victory in the Vuelta a Madrid. Pablo Uría finished third in the last edition of the prestigious Memorial Valenciaga.
The Italian squad includes Sebastiano Minoia, Edoardo Mauro Alleva, Gabriele Raccagni, Manuel Oioli and the more experienced Andrea Pietrobon. Alleva and Oioli come from the youth category and last season they rode for U.C. Bustese Olonia, a cycling company with which the Contador Foundation works intensively on Italian soil. Oioli has been one of the riders with the most victories in 2021 in the Italian junior category. Minoia, current Lombardy junior champion, and Raccagni come from Feralpi Monteclarense. Andrea Pietrobon, meanwhile, comes from Team Friuli and has been a regular in the top-10 of a multitude of races on the Italian calendar throughout 2021.
“We started working on a new project, which is always exciting. The 2021 campaign began conditioned by the pandemic and exceptionally, because we couldn’t leave anyone in the lurch, we didn’t hesitate to count on riders in the elite category. But for this year we are going back to the previous idea, something we were all aware of at the beginning of the season, and consequently the whole structure has undergone a major rejuvenation. We have a very interesting block, with very valid profiles for different terrains. In 2022 we want to do more international races in the U23 category and intensify the competitive exchanges between Spain and Italy”, says the director from Toledo, Rafa Díaz Justo.
Israel Start-Up Nation and Premier Tech Still Talking
Prime Minister Tech, the Canadian soon to be ex sponsor of Astana, is still speaking with Israel Start-Up Nation about a possible partnership. Previously, discussions with BikeExchange and Qhubeka NextHash have come to nothing. Sylvan Adams, owner of ISN, says Premier Tech CEO Jean Bélanger is taking his time.
Bélanger spent the past weekend, during the first part of the Israel Start-Up Nation training camp, together with Jakob Fuglsang, Hugo Houle and sports director Steve Bauer in their home base Jerusalem. Fuglsang, Houle and Bauer will make the switch from Astana to the Israeli team for 2022.
Team owner Sylvan Adams hopes for a collaboration with Bélanger and Premier Tech, which announced they would leave Astana a few months ago after a disagreement about the future vision. Premier Tech wants to stay in cycling, but talks with BikeExchange and Qhubeka NextHash came to nothing. The problem was that Bélanger wanted more than just being a sponsor. He also hopes to become a co-owner of the team he joins. Due to the teams presence in Jerusalem – and the transfers of Houle, Fuglsang and Bauer – Premier Tech is also linked to Israel Start-Up Nation.
“The subject has definitely come up,” Adams said. “Jean was here, he loves cycling and I think he had a good time here. It didn’t work for Astana, so now he takes his time before making another move. I think it would be a good idea to join forces. But today there is no deal yet.”
Both Adams and Bélanger are Canadians, as are Bauer and Houle. Still, their move to ISN is said to be unrelated to any affiliation with Premier Tech. On the other hand, Fuglsang did indicate that he had a deal with Premier Tech’s Bélanger that he would accompany him.
Maybe Fuglsang will have Premier Tech on his jersey again:
Introducing Human Powered Health: A Platform at the Intersection of Health, Wellness, and Sports
Circuit Sport reinvents cycling program.
Building on 15 years of bringing the best of North American cycling to a global audience, Circuit Sport announces a powerful reimagining of what a racing team can stand for. The new team — and the movement it aims to ignite — will be known as Human Powered Health™.
Human Powered Health will be a wellness platform built to empower people to take control of their own physical and mental well-being. It will spread the message that cultivating healthier habits and living a more active lifestyle can lead to dramatic improvements in health and wellness.
“Human Powered Health represents more than racing, more than athletics,” said Charles Aaron, managing director and founder of Circuit Sport. “It’s about reminding people that they have more power over their health than they think. We want to support people, mind and body, and use our platform to inspire them to take small, simple steps towards greater health and well-being.”
In previous iterations of its teams, Circuit Sport has continually gone beyond the traditional sports marketing model with health and wellness-minded campaigns like Inspired Bikes, Body Positivity, Healthy Habits, and Longevity.
That will expand and evolve as the Human Powered Health platform grows into a hub for health and wellness content with its athletes as the main mouthpiece. New brand partnerships will allow the team to incorporate data analytics across sleep, nutrition, movement, and health care to support its followers on their health journey.
The team will also launch a Discord channel that will serve as a hub for fans, partners and clients interested in all things Human Powered Health. Hosted by the team and with regular appearances by professional riders, the channel will be a place to share ideas on how to live healthier lifestyles.
Building for the future
Human Powered Health joins the Women’s WorldTour in 2022. It is the realisation of a dream that began 10 years ago with the formation of the women’s program. The move makes Human Powered Health the first co-ed team to send its women to the top division of the sport before its men.
Following a sensational season that included victories in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Denmark, France, and Turkey, the men’s program continues in the ProTeam ranks with its sights set firmly on the WorldTour.
“We couldn’t take this step without the support of our partners and their shared vision for the future,” added Aaron. “We’ve shown our ability to win bike races around the world but what sustains us is creating connections and empowering people.”
Circuit Sport is currently aligning with brands that stand for something bigger than their product, a vital step to building the foundation of Human Powered Health for years to come. These brands, which will be announced in the coming weeks, share the belief that our collective health matters.
In a world navigating a pandemic, and where obesity and heart disease are at all-time highs, there has never been a more important time for each of us to invest in our health and inspire those around us to do the same. Building connections and sharing encouragement and knowledge are pivotal to empowering people to lead healthier lives.
Astana Qazaqstan Team Set to Create a New Continental Development Team
Astana Qazaqstan Team is happy to announce the creation of a new UCI Continental team for Under 23 riders. The new project will be named Astana Qazaqstan Development Team and it will be focused on nurturing young talented riders, who will have a chance to move to the WorldTour level in the future.
The team is going to be created under the same juridical structure as the main UCI WorldTour Astana Qazaqstan Team and in the upcoming season of 2022 it will be aimed to the most prestigious Under 23 as well as Elite races all around Europe.
“Cycling is becoming younger, and it requires a better and profounder work with the young talented riders. This is the reason that many teams already have their own development teams. I was dreaming about Astana development team for a long time and now we have an opportunity to create a new Under 23 team inside our structure. I think this is a big and important step ahead in our global development as a national cycling project and I hope we will succeed. We are working on receiving the UCI Continental Team license to have a possibility to build up a good calendar for the riders which would include many important youth races around Europe. So far, we are thinking about ten riders, the priority will be given to young riders from Kazakhstan, but we are planning to invite a few talented riders from other countries to this team. Thus, we will get a chance to create a strong team where the riders will have a possibility to gain experience and learn from each other to step into the level of our main team,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, General manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
“Our Federation is welcoming and supporting the creation of this development team under the structure of Astana Qazaqstan Team, the main cycling team of Kazakhstan. Initially Astana Project was created to give an impetus to domestic youth cycling and with the new development team we can build up a very good structure with the young riders growing up through a strong calendar to the WorldTour level” said Nurlan Smagulov, President of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.
Astana Qazaqstan Continental Development Team for 2022:
UAE Team Emirates Announce Backroom Team for 2022
With 2022 already on the horizon, UAE Team Emirates are pleased to announce the people who will work behind the scenes for the forthcoming campaign.
The base of the team remains very similar to 2021 with a few re-shuffles and new recruits: After 17 seasons as a professional, Marco Marcato will retire and make the transition from rider to Sports Director for 2022. Despite stepping back from his post as Head Sports Director due to health issues, Allan Peiper will continue to lend his experienced hand in his new role of Sporting and Technical Advisor.
Jeroen Swart will assume the new position of Performance Coordinator as Adriano Rotunno steps into his shoes as the new Head of Medical. New faces in the coaching staff will include trainers Didac Navarro and Kevin Poulton while David Herrero Llorente will come onboard to specialise in the area of biomechanics.
The whole staff will continue to work under the management of Mauro Gianetti (CEO & Team Principal), Andrea Agostini (Chief Operating Officer) and Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager).
Speaking on the announcement Mauro Gianetti said “Good results from the riders on the road are built on a strong pillar of support staff and a lot of tireless work behind the scenes. We have assembled a good group of people with great specialty in their field and we trust and hope that we can bring it all together for another strong year in 2022.”
Sports Directors/Technical Staff 2022
Fabio Baldato, Fabrizio Guidi, Andrej Hauptman, Marco Marcato, Marco Marzano, Manuele Mori, Simone Pedrazzini, Allan Peiper.
Medical Staff 2022
Michele De Grandi, David De Klerk, Raaghib Fredericks, Adriano Rotunno, Jason Suter, Pietr Volcke.
Training & Performance Staff 2022
Rubens Bertogliati, Didac Navarro, Kevin Poulton, Iñigo San Millan, Jeroen Swart, John Wakefield, David Herrero Llorente, Gorka Prieto Bellver.
New Tour de Romandie for Women Becomes a Three-Day Stage Race
The newly announced Women’s Tour de Romandie will be a three-day stage race and will be held over the second weekend in October. The organisers of the Tour de Romandie Féminin announced this on Tuesday. Earlier, the UCI announced that the new race will join the Women’s WorldTour next season.
The announcement of the Tour de Romandie for women sparked enthusiasm, the organisers wrote in a press release. Sponsors and stage cities were brought in and the race is being recorded live by the Swiss national television broadcaster RTS. “It’s a sign of high expectations,” said race director Richard Chassot.
“The growth of women’s cycling deserves such recognition. And the icing on the cake will be to have a Swiss team at the start. We are proud to bring this new event to the world,” said Chassot.
The race will be held over three stages: first a stage through Lausanne, then a mountain stage from Sion to the ski resort of Thyon 2000 and the tour ends in Geneva. In this city, which is crossed by the Rhone River, the first Tour de Romandie for men also ended in 1947. The start town for the last stage has yet to be confirmed.
2022 Women’s Tour de Romandie (7-9 October)
1. Lausanne – Lausanne
2. Zion – Thyon 2000
3. n.a. – Geneva.
Desite Kidane Dies after Training Accident
Desiet Kidane, rider of the UCI World Cycling Center team, has passed away. The 21 year-old Eritrean was the victim of a fatal accident in Asmara (Eritrea) on Monday. She was hit by a motorist while she was training.
Kidane had several good results in 2018. She won both the individual time trial and the road race at the African Championship in Kigali. That same year, the Eritrean competed at the World championships in Innsbruck. In the time trial she finished 28th, just over a minute and a half from winner Rozemarijn Ammerlaan. She then crossed the line in 22nd place in the road race.
In 2019, Kidane joined the WCC Team, the professional team run by the UCI and the World Cycling Centre. That season she finished eleventh in the youth classification of the Luxembourg round Festival Elsy Jacobs and nineteenth in the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas. At the Eritrean Championship, she won the individual time trial and was second in the road race.
Due to the corona pandemic, 2020 was not a good year Kidane, but last season she returned and raced several events in Belgium and France. She was at the start of the Baloise Ladies Tour. She also took part in the World championships in Flanders. The UCI and the World Cycling Center will commemorate the death of Kidane.
Everyone at PezCyclingNews sends their condolences to her family and friends.
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