The team training camps are all go… except Jumbo-Visma. Who will be riding the Grand Tours – TOP STORY. Australian time trial championship report. Rider news from Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Tom Dumoulin, Fernando Gaviria, Rohan Dennis, Thibaut Pinot, Marc Hirschi, Simon Clarke, Brian Holm, Jempy Drucker and Julien El Fares. Team news: Jumbo-Visma Tour de France riders, Arkéa-Samsic to Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s 2022 season starts and Nalini Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux new kit. Race news: Canada to Host UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Milton in 2022 & 2023. Video interview with Peter Sagan. EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: The Riders Who will Tackle the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in 2022
With the 2022 road season approaching, teams are working hard behind the scenes on their planning for the Grand Tours. Here is a list of riders who will participate in the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and/or la Vuelta a España in 2022 according to WielerFlits.
Giro d’Italia 2022 (May 6-29)
David De la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan)
Miguel Angel López (Astana Qazaqstan)
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan)
Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious)
Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco)
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)
Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ)
Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers)
Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers)
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)
Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)
Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates).
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ)
Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers)
Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech)
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)
Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates).
Tour de France 2022 (1-24 July)
Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën)
Miguel Angel López (Astana Qazaqstan)
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan)
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan)
Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ)
Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)
Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
Enric Mas (Movistar)
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan)
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious)
Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco)
Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe)
Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe)
Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ)
Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ)
Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers)
Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl)
Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl)
Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl)
Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies)
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
Vuelta a España 2022 (August 19-September 11)
David De la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan)
Enric Mas (Movistar)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl)
Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates)
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates).
Pogačar to the Tour and Vuelta:
Australian National Time Trial Championship 2022
Rohan Dennis is the new Australian time trial champion. The Jumbo-Visma rider beat Luke Durbridge by more than a minute over the 37.5 kilometre race. Conor Leahy was third.
Before the start Luke Plapp (INEOS-Grenadiers), last year’s winner, announced via his social media that he would not defend his title, because he was in quarantine in Tasmania after a close corona contact. Rohan Dennis was the big favourite for the title. In the absence of 21-year-old Plapp, Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange Jayco) was his main opponent.
In the end Dennis, who rode his first race in the Jumbo-Visma kit, managed to beat Durbridge relatively easily. At the finish, the difference between the two was more than a minute. For Dennis it is his fourth Australian time trial title. This puts the 31-year-old rider on an equal footing with Durbridge.
Australian time trial champion, Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma): “Achieving an important goal on your first race day gives you confidence. It is always nice to become a national champion. For Australians it is one of the hardest races to win. I already showed that when I started twice as world champion and couldn’t win here. It’s always about who can prepare best, as everyone is reaching their highest level. Jumbo-Visma shows a lot of confidence in me. It was important to come in well by showing respect and performing immediately.” And the road championships on Sunday with Chris Harper? “Hopefully it will be just such a beautiful day for Chris and me.”
Australian National Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jumbo-Visma in 45:34
2. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange Jayco at 1:13
3. Conor Leahy (Aus) at 1:48
4. Jordan Villani (Aus) at 2:33
5. Alastair Christie-Johnston (Aus) BridgeLane at 2:44
6. Kane Richards (Aus) at 3:34
7. Riley Fleming (Aus) Smartdry at 3:40
8. Benjamin Dyball (Aus) Team UKYO at 3:44
9. Daniel Luke (Aus) at 4:37
10. Nick Squillari (Aus).
Australian TT podium:
Jumbo-Visma Training Camp Abandoned After Positive Corona Test
Jumbo-Visma stopped their team training camp in Alicante on the third day due to a positive corona test within the group. Immediately after the daily corona test before breakfast showed that one person in the group is infected with Covid-19, a consultation was held between the technical staff and the riders. A number of riders left immediately for home. Others decided to take a hotel in the area, while a number of riders will also continue the training camp on an individual basis in the original hotel. The infected person, who has so far been free of symptoms, and the so-called ‘close contacts’ are quarantined in accordance with the guidelines.
Although Jumbo-Visma has taken strict measures, and the riders even formed groups of four separate bubbles within the team bubble, the virus was still taken by someone from ‘home’. The risk of becoming infected and therefore having to remain in quarantine in Spain was too great for several riders, so they decided to return home. The riders who live in Andorra (Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss and Tobias Foss) left almost immediately. Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglič also returned to Monaco by car.
“It’s a long journey, but I can also train well in Monaco. I don’t want to risk getting infected in the team hotel. As a precaution, I am now returning home,” Kruijswijk told WielerFlits before he left.
Everyone at Jumbo-Visma had to be tested every morning before breakfast and only when it was clear that the test was negative was the person allowed to enter the breakfast room. It was also chosen that all riders had a hotel room to themselves. On Monday, the first riders of the team arrived at the hotel just outside Alicante. on Tuesday morning the training started, after which the team presentation took place in the afternoon. Because everyone trained and ate in separate compartments as a precautionary measure, the number of close contacts was limited.
Nevertheless, the Jumbo-Visma team stopped the camp. “The doomsday scenario has come true,” said Mathieu Heijboer, team performance manager. “A scenario that we have taken into account, of course. We had already decided how to act in such a situation and taken all kinds of measures. Breaking up is the best option to prevent further spread. That is a logistical job to get done.”
Sports director Merijn Zeeman adds: “We don’t want to risk the health of riders and staff. That’s why we’re breaking down our training camp. It has been confirmed once again that it is extremely difficult to organise these kinds of activities in these times. We will guarantee the sporting part as best as possible, so that the riders can continue their preparation for the season within the possibilities. It’s a shame, but the only right choice.”
Jumbo-Visma training camp cancelled:
Colombian Tour Winner Renews Contract to Race as a Grenadier Until at Least 2026
The INEOS Grenadiers are excited to announce that Egan Bernal has renewed his contract with the team and agreed a new five-year deal which will mean the Colombian remains a Grenadier until at least the end of 2026.
Coinciding with the start of the 2022 season, both the team and rider have underlined their motivation to chase more success together, with Bernal setting his sights on a return to the Tour de France in July.
Bernal said: “It’s really important, signing this new contract. I am really happy in this team. I am really proud of the team, the staff, and I’m signing now for my most important years. It will be my best years and I want to spend this time with this team. I really want to go back to the Tour. I skipped last year because of the Giro, but it feels like it’s been a long time since I was at the Tour. So I am really excited about this year. I want to go back having prepared really well, taking a good team, and being there to really enjoy the race.”
Deputy Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said: “We have seen Egan really grow over the last four years with the team. He’s demonstrated time and again that he is a phenomenal talent. He has also shown that, in the challenging moments, he has a huge amount of courage to pick himself up, lay himself on the line and go again. As a Grenadier and as a teammate, you can’t ask for much more than that. This season is going to be hugely competitive. Egan and the whole team are motivated to go all in and come out fighting.”
In 2018, Bernal took the leap from Pro Continental to WorldTour team with what was then Team Sky. Just a year later he went on to win the 2019 Tour de France aged 21, making him the youngest rider to ever take the Maillot Jaune and achieving an historic win for Colombia. He added the 2021 pink jersey at the 2021 Giro d’Italia to his Palmarès and delivered the team’s 12th Grand Tour win.
Commenting on his decision to stay racing with the team for what will be close to a decade, Bernal says he believes the Grenadiers provide the hardest working and strongest support structure in cycling with a team that is totally aligned and motivated.
Bernal said: “I am really proud to be a Grenadier. You arrive at the races and you feel that you have the support and structure behind you. The thing about this team that I noticed right from the beginning is that everyone is working towards one goal. You can see and feel that everyone loves the sport, they are all really devoted and have an all in mentality.”
Wout van Aert Defends his Amstel Gold Race Title
Wout van Aert will defend his title in the Amstel Gold Race this year. The Jumbo-Visma Classics rider will be on the start-line on Sunday 10 April in the Limburg Classic, which is scheduled between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Last weekend, Van Aert put an end to his cyclo-cross season by winning the Belgian title. In the coming weeks, the Belgian champion will focus on his build-up to the Spring Classics, to be in top form in the period of Flanders and Roubaix. Strade Bianche is missing from Van Aert’s program. The Italian gravel race, which he won in 2020, can’t be combined with Paris-Nice. Van Aert hopes to lay the foundations for the rest of the spring in the French stage race. Milan-Sanremo is Van Aert’s first major race, followed by the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race and Paris-Roubaix. The Amstel Gold and Roubaix have switched dates.
In the summer, the Tour de France has full priority for the 2022 triple stage winner. Van Aert does not hide his ambitions: he wants to go for the green jersey. “There are still many goals to be achieved. Cycling fever is starting to rise, also with me,” said Van Aert about 2022. “My ambition is to win a monument. Last year I had a good year, but I just missed it in the biggest races. We will also approach that differently.”
“I will prepare myself for the other classics via the Omloop and Paris-Nice. We have been thinking about bridging to Roubaix after the Tour that week. We came to the conclusion that no race in between is going to be difficult. So it would be weird to pass up the Amstel Gold Race. Now I try to have a peak period from Sanremo to Roubaix.”
Wout van Aert 2022 Schedule:
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (26 February)
Paris-Nice (6-13 March)
Milan-San Remo (March 19)
E3 Saxo Bank Classic (March 25)
Gent-Wevelgem (27 March)
Tour of Flanders (April 3)
Amstel Gold Race (10 April)
Paris-Roubaix (April 17)
Tour de France (1-24 July).
Another Amstel win for Van Aert?
Evenepoel To Ride Ardennes Classics and Vuelta
Remco Evenepoel knows his program for the early season. The Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl rider will start his road campaign in Spain next month with the Tour of Valencia and will focus on the Ardennes classics and the Vuelta a España in 2022.
The Belgian rider should have started the 2022 season in the Vuelta a San Juan, but the Argentine stage race was canceled for the second consecutive year. Evenepoel and the team had to go back to the drawing board. Team manager Patrick Lefevere thought about starting the season in the UAE Tour or the Tour of Valencia and the choice went to the Spanish stage race in the end.
In the month of February, a second stage race is scheduled for Evenepoel with the Volta ao Algarve (16-20 February). The 21-year-old rider then focuses on Tirreno-Adriatico (7-13 March) and the Tour of the Basque Country (4-9 April), two prestigious stage race at WorldTour level. “After Tirreno-Adriatico, we are planning an altitude training camp for the Tour of the Basque Country,” said Evenepoel from Calpe in Spain, where his team is currently on a training camp.
Evenepoel hopes to prepare in the Basque Country for the Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After Liège, the Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl rider eases off to start part two of his season. Via the Tour of Norway (24-29 May) and the Tour of Switzerland (12-19 June), the Belgian hopes to prepare for the Belgian time trial championships in Gavere and the Belgian road championship in Middelkerke, at the end of June.
In the summer, his run-up to the last Grand Tour of the season starts: the Vuelta a España. Evenepoel has not ridden the Spanish tour before. Evenepoel will put the finishing touches on his Vuelta preparations in the Clásica San Sebastián (July 30) and the Tour of Burgos (August 2-6). According to Lefevere, the 2022 Vuelta course is perfect for Evenepoel.
“This course should suit Remco. We have seen in the Giro – despite his lesser preparation – that he has the talent to ride Grand Tours. If he starts in Spain with normal preparation, I still see opportunities in a few stages. I just don’t want to assign him a favourite role just yet. It still remains to be seen how he will react to a three-week stage race,” Lefevere told Sporza. It is still unclear which races Evenepoel will contest after the Vuelta.
Remco Evenepoel Early Season Program:
Tour of Valencia (2-6 February)
Volta ao Algarve (February 16-20)
Tirreno-Adriatico (7-13 March).
Vuelta for Evenepoel:
Tom Dumoulin Puts Amstel Gold Race on the Program Towards Giro d’Italia
Tom Dumoulin has announced his program in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia. The Jumbo-Visma rider has the Amstel Gold Race on his Spring calendar. The last time he rode the Gold Race was in 2016.
Dumoulin will start his season in February in the UAE Tour from February 20-26. It will be his second participation in the Emirates Tour, in 2019 he finished sixth in the final overall standings. In the run-up to the Spring Classics, Dumoulin will contest the Tour of Catalonia (March 21-27). He rode the Spanish race six years ago, but he didn’t finish. Of the Ardennes classics, he only rides the Amstel Gold Race. After the Dutch race, he will go on a two and a half week altitude training camp, probably to Teide, on Tenerife.
“The choice was not that difficult,” said Dumoulin about the Giro d’Italia. “We already have a very good Tour team, with Primož, Jonas and Steven as the leaders. I am very happy with my participation in the Amstel Gold Race. Due to the move, a week earlier, it just came out. I’m going to ride the Amstel and immediately go on an altitude camp. Then I can go on a camp for the Giro for three weeks. I’ve known for a while. And if the Amstel had fallen in the same week as always, it would not have happened.”
Fifteen race days for the Giro, Dumoulin thinks that is not too little. “I react very well to an altitude camp, better than to many races. But I also need the combination. That is also in the program. Not too much, but certainly not too little.”
In Italy, Tobias Foss is Dumoulin’s co-leader. “I like that a lot. I get on well with Tobias. We can learn a lot from each other. And I’m looking forward to going into those finals together.”
Tom Dumoulin’s Race Schedule for 2022:
UAE Tour (February 20-26)
Strade Bianche (March 5)
Tour of Catalonia (March 21-27)
Amstel Gold Race (10 April)
Giro d’Italia (6-29 May).
A return to the Giro for Dumoulin:
Schedule Unsure for Fernando Gaviria
Fernando Gaviria will start the 2022 season in February with the Saudi Tour, but the Colombian sprinter has no further idea of his program for 2022. Whether he will start a Grand Tour this year, Gaviria is still unsure.
The South American sprinter hopes to participate in a three-week tour again this year, but is also realistic at the same time. “As far as the Grand Tours are concerned, I know that a Tour selection will be a difficult story. The team will be fully employed by Tadej Pogačar, hoping to regain the yellow jersey,” he told SpazioCiclismo.
Gaviria is mainly looking at the Giro d’Italia and/or Vuelta a España, but is still in the dark for the time being. “For now, all I know is that I will start in the Saudi Tour. That is an important race for our team. We have yet to put together my program. As a cyclist you naturally have the ambition to win a stage in a Grand Tour, but I will make certain decisions with the team. I don’t know yet.”
Last year, partly due to health problems, Gaviria didn’t have his best season. The once feared sprinter only one win: in the Tour of Poland he won the third stage to Rzeszów, ahead of Olav Kooij and Phil Bauhaus.
Rohan Dennis: “I noticed that INEOS was copying Jumbo-Visma”
Rohan Dennis has moved from INEOS Grenadiers to Jumbo-Visma for several reasons. In a short team video, the Australian said his new team is technically better than INEOS Grenadiers was “copying the yellow and black formation in many ways.”
“There are many things that the team is doing very well,” Dennis said. “I noticed when I was at INEOS that they were copying Jumbo in many areas. And I thought, why would I want to be on a crew that copies another crew? Why shouldn’t I ride for that team? So basically I wanted to move here because technically it’s a better squad. It looks like a great structure.”
For the Australian it is also a kind of return to the old nest. In 2011, he raced for the continental branch of the team, which was then still called Rabobank. “I also return to where I once started, when I was at Rabobank in 2011. It’s a bit different now because back then it was a continental squad. It is a very nice step and I am looking forward to it: Jumbo-Visma is currently the leading team.”
A sports director called Dennis a ‘dream acquisition’. “I try not to worry too much about that. It does create a bit of pressure when you get a label like that. It’s not a pressure I don’t like, it makes me realise how important I am in the team. I don’t come here just to have fun. You’re here to do your job, to keep performing and that’s what I love to do. It’s one of the things I’ve worked for my entire career to get to this point. It has always been a goal to become one of the best riders in the world.”
The Australian is one of six riders at Jumbo-Visma who are already assured of a spot in the Tour de France, along with Wout van Aert, Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard. “The big goal for me and the team is the Tour de France. It’s a huge race, a circus, and I really want to be part of a squad that can potentially win. I will try to help the team to beat Tadej Pogačar. I like him, but he is the enemy.”
Dennis will start the new season later this month. In Australia he will ride in the Santos Festival of Cycling, the replacement stage race for the canceled Tour Down Under.
Rohan Dennis looking forward to 2022 with Jumbo-Visma:
Pinot Returns to the Tour de France, Démare to the Giro d’Italia
Thibaut Pinot will again be in this year’s Tour de France. The French climber is already certain of a Tour selection, just like David Gaudu, Michael Storer, Valentin Madouas and Stefan Küng. Arnaud Démare will focus on the Giro d’Italia in 2022.
With Pinot, Gaudu, Madouas and newcomer Storer, Groupama-FDJ will be at the start of the Tour with several strong climbers. Pinot, who has a love-hate relationship with the Tour de France, last participated in the Tour in 2020. The French climber, 3rd overall in 2014, appears to be fully fit again after back problems.
Pinot may be in the shadows a bit more this year, as the team also counts on David Gaudu. The 25 year-old French climber is very ambitious and hopes to score high as a GC rider. “I want to turn my top 10 spots into top 5 finishes, turn my top 5 finishes into podiums and turn podiums into victories. The Tour is my main goal this season. With the team I am aiming for a podium place in the general classification.”
The Swiss rider Küng, the French all-rounder Madouas and the Australian climber Storer, who won the mountain jersey in the Vuelta a España last year, are already sure of a place in the Tour selection of Groupama-FDJ.
The French team of manager Marc Madiot has also already released two names for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. In the Italian tour, the team is counting on Arnaud Démare in the sprints and Hungarian Attila Valter will also be present. Valter wore pink for a while in the Giro in 2021. The bar is set very high for Démare. Two years ago, at his last participation in the Giro, he won four stages and the points jersey.
Thibaut Pinot back to the Tour:
Marc Hirschi Misses Start of the Season Due to Hip Surgery
Marc Hirschi will have to be patient at the start of 2022. The Swiss UAE Team Emirates rider had surgery on his hip three weeks ago and will not be seen in the peloton until March.
23-year-old Hirschi had been struggling with a painful hip for a while and had to go under the knife. “Three weeks ago I had hip surgery,” the winner of the 2020 Flèche Wallonne said in an online press conference. “The problem was that I didn’t have enough space in my right hip, but that problem has now been solved.”
However, Hirschi will have to take it easy in the coming weeks, with the result that he has to postpone his season debut. “I have already ridden on a training camp. My hip feels better than before, but it’s not quite right yet.” The Classic specialist will not complete until March 2022. “If I were to race before that, the risks and consequences of a possible crash would be too great.”
The big question is whether Hirschi can find his top form in time for his beloved hilly Classics in April. “I can’t say anything about my program yet. Participation in the Classics will depend on my recovery.”
Simon Clarke Signs with Israel–Premier Tech at the Last Minute
It has been in the air for a while, but now it’s official: Simon Clarke will continue his career with Israel–Premier Tech. The Australian, who was left without a team after the Qhubeka NextHash team stopped, has signed a one-year contract with Israel–Premier Tech for 2022.
Clarke is pleased that he was able to sign a contract at the last minute. “First of all, I’m glad I found a team. But I am also very happy that I ended up with a team that I would have chosen in a normal transfer period. So I’m not only happy to remain active in the WorldTour, but also with the team that it will be for.”
The 35-year-old rider, who joined the team’s training camp in Spain, also said that it all feels familiar. “I don’t feel like I’m joining a new team at all, as I met several ex-teammates in the group. Guys like Impey, Vanmarcke, Nizzolo, Van Asbroeck and part of the staff. It almost feels like coming back, even if it’s not,” he said.
Clarke can’t say much about his program yet. “As far as my goals are concerned, I can’t say much until I have had conversations with the team. But I come here with an open mind, I’m happy with everything I’m going to do and I’m going to make the best of it. If the past period of uncertainty has made me appreciate one thing, it’s that I’ve been lucky in my career. It has made me grateful and willing to get the most out of it,” he concluded.
Simon Clarke – Saved at the last minute:
Brian Holm to Stop Working as a DS at the End of the Year
For Brian Holm, 2022 will be his last year in the team manager’s car. However, the 59-year-old Dane, who is currently working with Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl, will not disappear from the cycling world. In the future, he will work with Joanna Laukka, a Finnish ex-cyclist, who currently a cycling manager for forty riders.
“I’m going to miss it, but I don’t mind. I also stopped as a rider before I was completely done, so I still enjoy riding the bike now. It’s good to stop while everything is still going well,” said Holm, who raced until 1998, in conversation with Feltet. After his own cycling career, he was a sports director for almost twenty years with Telekom, HTC-Highroad and Quick-Step.
The fact that Holm will stop now also has to do with his further plans. “Throughout my life, I’ve always tried to imagine where I would be in five to ten years. I would think it stupid if I didn’t stop in time to start something else. And there are still things on my list of things I want to do,” he said.
“I haven’t signed anything yet, but I received an offer from Joanna (Laukka) for five to ten years, because he is too busy with all his clients. I remember him from when we raced, and ever since he’s been guiding riders, he’s been asking me if I wouldn’t want to work with him. He’s always said I’d like it,” concluded Holm.
Jempy Drucker Gives up Search for New Team
Jempy Drucker has decided to end his career at the age of 35. The Luxembourger has been looking for a new team, but it has turned out to be wasted effort. Drucker rode for Wanty-Groupe Gobert, BMC, BORA-hansgrohe and Cofidis during his career.
Drucker raced for Cofidis last year, but the French team decided not to renew his contract, so Drucker had to look for a new team. The experienced rider did his best to find somewhere, but other teams were not interested. In a long message, Drucker announced that he is hanging up his bike.
“I would have liked to say goodbye as a cyclist in a different and better way, after a good farewell year and in a great race. The last few months have been dominated by hope, by waiting for a new chance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t decide my own goodbye. Now there is no other option than to say goodbye to cycling. This is the end of my cycling career. This was it.”
Drucker started his cycling career as a cyclo-cross rider with the Fidea team, but decided to pursue a road career and rode for Willems Veranda’s and BMC. Drucker then moved to BORA-hansgrohe for two seasons and Cofidis last year. In 2015, Drucker was the best in the Prudential RideLondon & Surrey Classic. A year later, he took the biggest win of his career in the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España. His palmarès also include two stage victories in the Tour de Luxembourg and a stage win in the Tour de Wallonie.
Julien El Fares Retires
Julien El Fares has ended his career after almost fifteen years. The Frenchman, who rode for Cofidis, Sojasun and Delko Marseille in the past, was seen last year with the WorldTour team, EF Education-Nippo.
El Fares is content that he has to stop at the age of 36, he told the French newspaper La Provence. “I am calm about it. I think this is the ideal time to stop. I can look back on a long and rich career. I have learned a lot in fifteen years. Of course it was sometimes difficult, but it has shaped me into the man I am today.”
The French rider started his professional career in 2008 with Cofidis and rode for the team for four seasons. He won a stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, the overall victory in the Tour of Wallonia and the Tour of the Mediterranean. El Fares also rode the Tour de France three times with Cofidis.
El Fares then rode for Team Type 1 and Sojasun and then went to Delko Marseille Provence. In the winter of 2020, he switched teams one last time to EF Education-Nippo. With the American team he was a mentor to the younger riders. In his farewell year he finished 9th in the GP La Marseillaise and 19th in the Tro-Bro Léon.
Julien El Fares:
Jumbo-Visma has Six Names for the Tour de France
Six Jumbo-Visma riders are certain of a place in the team for the Tour de France. There are three leaders with Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert. The Dutch team announced during their livestream presentation shown by WielerFlits.
Roglič and Vingegaard aim for a good final classification in France. The Slovenian hopes to win the final overall classification in the Tour after three consecutive victories in the Vuelta. Last year he had to give up early after a crash, after which Vingegaard took over the lead and surprisingly finished second behind Tadej Pogačar. In 2022 they will race together.
Wout van Aert has also made the Tour de France a main goal. The reigning Belgian road and cyclo-cross champion, who won three stages in the last Tour, is looking for the green jersey. Not much is known about his support in the flatter stages. Van Aert will combine his mission for green with supporting the GC leaders. In recent years he has also proved that he can be of value in the mountains.
“The dream of the green jersey is alive, but I also hope to be part of the team if we can win the Tour,” said Van Aert. “I want to be there. I’ve already been a part of it. It is a new challenge this year to do even better. I also proved that I can be a team player and achieve success. I will also try to combine that in 2022.”
Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss and newcomer Rohan Dennis are also sure of a place in the Jumbo-Visma Tour team. Kruijswijk finished third in the Tour of 2019, but knows that Roglič and Vingegaard are higher in the pecking order. Kuss has been a regular helper in the high mountains and managed to win a stage himself in Andorra last year. Dennis also knows what it’s like to race as a helper. In 2020 he guided Tao Geoghegan Hart to the overall victory in the Giro when he was with INEOS Grenadiers.
“The race can go in different directions,” Roglič said of the upcoming Tour de France. “We are now starting the preparations and this is how I get ready for the season. We will choose the best tactics with the team.”
Grischa Niermann is responsible for team tactics. “It’s an advantage that we have three riders who finished on the podium. We have to make good tactical decisions, even in advance. We are already looking at that. Tadej Pogačar is the big favourite, but of course we will try to beat him as a team. We are thinking of all possible scenarios.”
It is not yet known which riders will take up the last two places in Jumbo-Visma’s eight-man selection for the Tour de France. There is still uncertainty for Mike Teunissen, Robert Gesink, Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot.
Provisional Jumbo-Visma Tour de France 2022 Selection (1-24 July):
Wout van Aert (Bel)
Rohan Dennis (Aus)
Steven Kruijswijk (Ned)
Sepp Kuss (USA)
Primož Roglič (Slo)
Jonas Vingegaard (DK)
*Two spots still to be filled
Tour win for Roglič?
Quintana to Paris-Nice, Barguil and Bouhanni to Tirreno-Adriatico
Arkéa-Samsic will spread its leaders in the first part of the season. Nairo Quintana will ride Paris-Nice, while Warren Barguil and Nacer Bouhanni will be on the start line of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Quintana will mainly ride stage races in February and March. The Tour de la Provence (10-13 February), the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (18-20 February), the Ardèche Classic (26 February), Paris-Nice (6-13 March) and the Tour of Catalonia (March 21-27) are on his program. “A classic program for Nairo,” said sports director Yvon Ledanois.
The French leaders of the team, Barguil and Bouhanni, will hardly race in their own country. Barguil opts for the Mallorca Challenge (January 26-30), the Vuelta a Murcia (February 12), the Volta ao Algarve (February 16-20), the Ardèche Classic (February 26) and the Drôme Classic (February 27). Then an Italian block awaits the climber, with Strade Bianche (March 5), Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13) and Milan-Turin (March 16).
Sprinter Bouhanni will start his season in the Saudi Tour (February 1-5), before working through the Clásica de Almería (February 13) and the Drôme Classic (February 27) to Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13) and Milan-San Remo (March 19). “Tirreno provides another run-up for him towards Milan-Sanremo. That race has always been one of Nacer’s big goals,” said sports director Sébastien Hinault.
It is possible for Arkéa-Samsic to map out a program for the early season because as number two in the ProTeams ranking in 2021, the team is automatically entitled to a wildcard for all WorldTour races of 2022.
Quintana to Paris-Nice:
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s 2022 Season Starts in Calpe
The UCI World Team Classification winner has high hopes ahead of its 20th year in the peloton.
Sponsors, partners, and journalists attended the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team presentation Monday at the Suitopia – Sol y Mar Suites Hotel in Calpe, where CEO Patrick Lefevere began by presenting the new sponsors of the squad – Castelli Cycling, Ekopak, Renson and Safety Jogger – before moving on to the expectations for the season we’ll kick off in just a couple of weeks.
“As we prepare to start a new season, we are motivated to be again among the best squads in the world. For the past ten years, we have been the most successful team in the World Tour and we hope to continue adding more victories and great results to our palmarès. We count on a solid team, a mix of experienced and young riders, all hungry and motivated to give their best. We are also very grateful for having so many extraordinary partners at our side, showing the same determination and commitment to be at the top”, explained Patrick Lefevere.
World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, one of the riders in hot demand at the media day, outlined the goals he has for his ninth season with the Wolfpack: “It was amazing to wear the rainbow jersey for a whole year, and win with it on my shoulders some big races, and I feel honoured to have the chance to sport it again this season. As you know, I want to improve and to become better, that’s why I always have a couple of goals in mind. Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be one of these, as it’s a race that suits me and where I came close a couple of times. I would also like to take a stage victory again at the Tour de France, because doing it in 2021 as World Champion was quite special. I know I can’t win every race I want to, but the most important thing is to know that I always give everything and enjoy every single moment on the bike.”
Also in the spotlight at the team presentation was Remco Evenepoel, who confirmed he will be at the start of a Grand Tour this year: “I hope to have a normal season, unlike last year when I had a late start. At the end of the day, I can’t complain, as I won eight races and have been on the podium at the National, European and World Championships, but I want more from this year. I will work hard towards the Ardennes Classics and La Vuelta. I like riding in Spain, I won San Sebastian and Burgos there, and can’t wait to ride the Vuelta and gain as much experience as possible.”
One of the main protagonists of the cobbled Classics in 2021, Danish powerhouse Kasper Asgreen has the same hunger for victories: “Last year was a great one. I won Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke, but that’s history now and my focus is on what lies ahead. I like winning races and hopefully I will keep doing that. What I know for sure is that I will keep trying. My main focus will be the Spring Classics, with the Amstel Gold Race as a new addition to my calendar. Then I will prepare for the Tour de France and the World Championships in the second part of the season. The fact that the Tour starts from Denmark will only fuel my motivation.”
“I love cycling, I’ve always loved it. I don’t know yet where my season will get underway, but what I can tell you is that I’ll do everything that I can to be prepared for every race I will start with the squad. I had an unforgettable season in 2021, but what matters the most at the end of the day is that I am happy to be in this team, a team where you feel like in a family”, added Mark Cavendish, who last year enjoyed a tremendous season that saw him equal Eddy Merckx’s record of Tour de France stage victories, in addition to winning a second green jersey.
Going into its 20th season, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl comprises 31 riders from 10 nationalities: Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, Davide Ballerini, Mattia Cattaneo, Rémi Cavagna, Mark Cavendish, Josef Cerny, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Remco Evenepoel, Mikkel Honoré, Fabio Jakobsen, Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Fausto Masnada, Michael Mørkøv, Mauro Schmid, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, Zdenek Stybar, Martin Svrcek (who’ll join the squad from July 1st), Bert Van Lerberghe, Stan Van Tricht, Ilan Van Wilder, Mauri Vansevenant, Ethan Vernon, and Louis Vervaeke.
Nalini Presents the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux Kit for 2022!
The riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will continue to distinguish themselves in the peloton thanks to their new kit, which is presented by Italian brand Nalini this season. For its second year in the World Tour, the team directed by Jean-François Bourlart associates with the clothing manufacturer from Mantova, which is known for being on the cutting edge of technology and for dressing the most prestigious teams and the best riders in the world.
The presence on the sleeves of yellow fluo and navy blue, traditional colours of the Belgian World Team, is combined with a predominance of white on the breast. This new design offers both sobriety and a perfect visibility for the sponsors, with title partners Intermarché, Wanty and Gobert Matériaux in the middle of the kit. The logo of Circus keeps its traditional place on the back of the shorts, just like the one of Tormans on the sleeves in its typical orange colour.
The know-how of Italian clothing manufacturer Nalini enabled to allocate a prominent position to new partner Vini Zabù, present on both the left part of the abdominal belt and the left side of the shorts. As an ambassador for the Walloon Region, the team based in Tournai will wear the logo of Wallonia on the left sleeve, the back and the right side of the shorts. Industrial group Technord based in Tournai makes its appearance on the front of the kit, with online employment agency Digital Interim staying on the back.
Just like last year, the breast shows the technical partners of the World Team, namely bike manufacturer Cube Bikes, cycling and leisure shoes DMT, Force helmets and henceforth new clothing manufacturer Nalini, which is also on the back of the shorts and on the back. Just like in 2021, Bière des Amis 0,0% stays visible on the shorts, but moved towards the right leg.
The new kit produced by Nalini worn the whole season by the riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the most prestigious races honours the champions in the team. For example, the sleeves of Alexander Kristoff show champion bands referring to his European title from Herning 2017, just like the ones from his compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm, South-African Louis Meintjes, Hungarian rider Barnabás Peák est Estonian Rein Taaramäe, former national road race champions. The last named rider is the reigning national time trial champion and will wear a Nalini time trial suit in Estonian colours.
Nalini is an Italian clothing manufacturer founded on the passion of the brothers Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani in the sixties. With a special care for details, Nalini went through the cycling history dressing great champions like Fignon, Bugno, Chiapucci, Indurain or Pantani, thanks to the ongoing follow-up on the technical innovations to stay on the cutting edge of textile modernity. Nalini is a brand of factory MoaSport, which is still directed by Claudio Mantovani and produces its clothing line in its historical headquarters of Castel d’Ario (Mantova) to always defend ‘Made in Italy’.
Jean-François Bourlart (CEO): “I’m pleased with this new partnership with Nalini. Their society, MoaSport, is an emblematic reference in the cycling world, they already dressed countless champions. From the first contacts with the historical founder, Claudio Mantovani, this partnership between our team and Nalini was an evidence. We share the same family values with the continuous willingness to improve ourselves. Their designers designed an elegant kit in all its simplicity, by using colours which enable Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux to stand out in the peloton. I can’t wait to see them a first time in action in competition!”
Claudio Mantovani (Founder Nalini): “We begin this partnership with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux with enthusiasm as the team has grown strongly the last couple of years and at the same time maintains a strong relationship with its origins. This is an important value in cycling, and this particular attention to authenticity, the basis and the roots is entirely in line with the principles we defend with our company. Nalini realises almost the entire production in Italy, which is very important to us. We wish that this partnership, started with sharing values an similarities, will be advantageous for us and for cycling in general.”
Cycling Canada to Host UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Milton in 2022 & 2023
After successfully hosting three rounds of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup from 2017 to 2020 at Milton’s Mattamy National Cycling Centre, Cycling Canada is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to host a leg of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup for 2022 and 2023, with a first right of refusal for the 2024 season. With only three UCI Track Nations Cups hosted around the world every year, the event is the highest calibre of international track cycling competition and attracts over 250 athletes from 30 different nations.
“We are proud to announce the return of the Nations Cup in Milton after several months of discussions with the UCI,” said Mathieu Boucher, Chief Development Officer at Cycling Canada. “We are optimistic that this event will be able to go forward as planned and will be a great way for spectators to support Canadian athletes who inspired us by delivering amazing performances in Tokyo while also having a positive economic impact at the local and provincial levels.”
The first event in the two-year commitment will be held from May 12-15, 2022 at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre and will showcase all six Olympic events (Sprint, Keirin, Team Sprint, Team Pursuit, Omnium & Madison), as well as the Elimination Race, Individual Pursuit and Time Trial over four days of racing. Spectators can expect to see some of cycling’s biggest stars in action, including Olympic Sprint gold medallist Kelsey Mitchell and Olympic Keirin bronze medallist, Lauriane Genest, both currently based in Milton.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the fact that Cycling Canada will be hosting a Nations Cup,” said Mitchell. “I love racing at home in front of my friends, family and community; the feeling of seeing every waving their Canadian flags and everyone cheering for Canada is hard to describe. I’m already counting down the days, and I hope the excitement around our success at the Olympics will continue at the Milton Nations Cup!”
Event details and ticket information will be available in the coming months. As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, Cycling Canada will continue to operate events in a manner that supports first and foremost the health and safety of all participants, as well as the general public. More information about Cycling Canada events can be found here.
- 30 nations
- 250 athletes
- 100 accredited team staff
- Six days of activities (4 days of racing, 2 days of official training)
- 4000 + spectators
- Millions of international viewers
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