EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

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Sit back for a giant EUROTRASH Thursday: A long 2022 World champs in Wollongong – TOP STORY. Only vaccinated riders in French races. Rider news from Primož Roglič, Tom Pidcock, Wout van Aert, Peter Sagan, Sam Bennett, Álvaro José Hodeg, Kasper Asgreen, Caleb Ewan, Davide Cimolai, Andreas Kron and Aleksandr Vlasov. Team news: BORA-hansgrohe, Qhubeka, UAE Team Emirates, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Israel-Premier Tech and Bahrain Victorious. Race news: Paris-Roubaix, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, UAE Tour, Olympia’s Tour and the Ruta del Sol. Plus Robbie McEwen fired by SBS, Aigul Gareeva suspended and Dr. Sainz to wear an ankle bracelet. Thursday coffee time.


TOP STORY: A Long 2022 World Championships in Wollongong
According to L’Équipe, the men’s World championships road race in Wollongong will be the longest in years.

The course for the Australian World championships was revealed in mid-December, but the distances for the different competitions had not yet been fixed at that time. It has now been reported that the routes for the championships are much longer than originally planned. According to the latest reports, the men’s road race is now 275 kilometres, the longest distance for a World championship since 1987 in Villach which was 276 kilometres.

Originally, the 2019 Worlds in Yorkshire was 285 kilometres long, but due to the heavy rain, the organisers had to change the course. As a result, the total length was ‘only’ 261 kilometres. Last year’s World championships in Leuven was 268 kilometres long, but originally its length was reported to be between 257 and 272 kilometres. The women’s road race in Wollongong will be 174 kilometres, compared to 157 kilometres in Leuven.

The main obstacle in the men’s and women’s road race route is Mount Keira, an 8.7 kilometre climb at 5% with a maximum gradient of 15%. In the time trials, the elite men and women will cover the same distance of 35.8 kilometres.

The World Cycling Championships in Wollongong are scheduled for September 18-25.

Another rainbow for Alaphilippe?

 


Possibly Only Vaccinated Riders in French Races
Cyclists who have not been vaccinated against the corona virus may run into problems if they want to participate in French races. The French news agency AFP is reporting that the French government want that athletes who wish to participate in events in France are required to submit a vaccination certificate.

A new law was passed in France on Sunday requiring proof of vaccination in many locations and the new rules are set to take effect soon. French Sports Minister, Roxana Maracineanu, confirmed on social media that the law had been passed. “Once the law is promulgated, the vaccination pass will become mandatory for all spectators, practitioners and French or foreign professionals in places already certified.” As far as cycling is concerned, the new law could cause problems for cyclists who have not been vaccinated, at races such as Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.

Recently, top tennis player Novak Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated, thought he could travel to Australia with a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open, the first of four Grand Slams on the tennis calendar. He was eventually expelled from the country. Due to the adopted French law, his participation in Roland Garros may also be at risk.

No vaccine, no sport in France:

 


Roglič Starts Season in French One-Day Races
Primož Roglič will kick off the 2022 season next month with the French one-day races Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Drôme Classic. The Jumbo-Visma rider will also appear at the start of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

His participation in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which is scheduled for June 5-12, means that unlike last year, Roglič will not have a long period without races in the run-up to the Tour de France. In 2021, the Slovenian did not race for two months after Liège-Bastogne-Liège to prepare for the Tour via a break and an altitude training camp.

Roglič rode the Dauphiné once before. In 2020, he won the mountain stage to the Col de Porte and led the general classification for three days, until he had to leave the race early due to a crash. The Jumbo-Visma team will probably start in the Dauphiné with the Tour de France team.

Roglič will start the season on the weekend of February 26 and 27 with the Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Drôme Classic in preparation for Paris-Nice (6-13 March). Jonas Vingegaard is also riding the French one-day races. The Dane, 2nd in the 2021 Tour de France, will ride these races in the run-up to Tirreno-Adriatico (7-13 March). The French races are new on the Jumbo-Visma program.

Primož Roglič Race Schedule for 2022:
Faun-Ardèche Classic (February 26)
Drôme Classic (February 27)
Paris-Nice (6-13 March)
Milan-San Remo (March 19)
Tour of the Basque Country (4-9 April)
Flèche Wallonne (April 20)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (24 April)
Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-12)
Tour de France (1-24 July)
Vuelta a España (19 August-11 September).

Roglič starts 2022 in France:

 


Pidcock to Ride in Algarve, Omloop and Kuurne after Cyclo-Cross World Championships
Tom Pidcock will be in the road peloton soon after the cyclo-cross World championships in Fayetteville. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the INEOS Grenadier will start in the Volta ao Algarve more than two weeks after the cross champs, followed by the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Pidcock has just finished a two week training camp with the INEOS Grenadiers team where he is preparing for the cyclo-cross World championship in Fayetteville. Pidcock’s training was also aimed at the spring Classics. On February 16, the 22-year-old Pidcock will start his first road race of 2022, in the Volta ao Algarve (February 16-20). The Portuguese race is preparation for the Flemish opening weekend, scheduled for 26 and 27 February.

According to the Belgian newspaper, Strade Bianche, Milan-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are also on Pidcock’s spring program in 2022.

Tom Pidcock – Cross champs and spring Classics:

 


Van Aert on the World Time Trial Championships: “I think I Started Too Fast”
Wout van Aert finished second at the World time trial championship last season, only five seconds behind Filippo Ganna. Van Aert spoke about his disappointment of the championships in Sporza’s Home Match podcast, especially because afterwards it turned out that the power meter did not work properly.

“Milan-Sanremo and the World time trial championship, I can’t blame myself in terms of performance, but I’m still thinking about that. In the other races that I didn’t win, I felt I was far off the mark,” Van Aert said. “I could have done two things better. First of all, just focus on the time trial. But I was already training for the road race. It was a different approach.”

The second point that Van Aert mentions is more remarkable: he indicates that his power meter was not set correctly. “I think I left too soon. We discovered afterwards that my power meter indicated a bit low values,” says the Jumbo-Visma rider. “I thought I was on a good pacing plan, but I fell silent at the end. When we made the comparison with teammates, we saw that it was an underestimate.”

Van Aert raced at higher watts at the beginning of the time trial than were required according to the plan, which may have caused him to be empty at the end. “I also think it’s weak to use it as an excuse, because I was devastated at the finish and I couldn’t go a second faster. But if I had finished in a minute. With a difference of 5 seconds, that gnaws a little harder.”

Van Aert also spoke about the road race in Leuven and the situation with Remco Evenepoel. “As far as I’m concerned, everything is positive,” said the 27-year-old rider about Evenepoel. “Remco and I have said that we will sit down together and say our thoughts again.” Looking back on the race itself, he said: “We should not have cared about those early French attacks. But if Remco races, alarm bells go off in other countries and the race was made too hard.”

“That was not necessary for me as a leader. They just had to get me off. Now we have made the race super tough. That was a tactical mistake,” he admits, before closing on a positive note. “But it’s important that you put this behind you. We had a really good group, the atmosphere was good. Everyone wanted to go for it. With this group you should try to build and sooner or later you will succeed. We have the quality and atmosphere for that.”

Things didn’t go well at the Worlds:

 


Sagan Training Again After Corona Infection
Peter Sagan is back on his bike. The Slovak contracted covid for the second time at the beginning of this year, but rejoined his TotalEnergies teammates last Sunday in Calpe, Spain. Sagan’s arrival at this second team training camp was almost a week later than planned.

The rest of the team has been in Calpe since last Tuesday. That was not an option for Sagan. “I really couldn’t do anything for seven days. It didn’t take as long as the last time I had it, but it was tough,” the 31-year-old rider told VeloNews about his corona infection. But now Sagan has recovered, and is happy that he is reunited with his teammates. “There is a real family feeling here. In some teams, all the riders sit at one table and the staff, separately, at another. But here everyone sits wherever they want. It’s really like we’re one.”

After being forced to stop training for a while, Sagan has some work to do. The three-time World champion will leave the current training camp for the Canary Islands, where he will continue to work on his form, although not at altitude. Initially, Sagan’s intention was to continue his preparation in Colombia, but the cancellation of the Vuelta a San Juan for international riders has upset his South American plans. Provided everything else goes to plan, the Slovak will start his season in the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. This French three-day event is scheduled from 18 to 20 February.

If his fitness permits, Peter Sagan will make his appearance in the Flemish opening weekend this year, reports Het Nieuwsblad. It would be the first time since 2017 that the Slovak will start in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is on 26 February and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is 27 February. In 2016 and 2017 he finished second in the Omloop, while he won Kuurne in 2017.

Back to training for Sagan:

 


Sam Bennett No Longer Wants to Look Back on His Time at Quick-Step
Sam Bennett starts 2022 with a clean slate with his ‘new’ team. The Irish sprinter is back with BORA-hansgrohe, after two-years with (Deceuninck) Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl. Bennett no longer feels like looking back on his turbulent period with the Belgian team.

Bennett will look back on his time with the Quick-Step squad with mixed feelings. The Irishman was initially very successful, with his two stage victories and the green jersey in the 2020 Tour de France as a highlight. Bennett left a year later after a persistent knee injury, contract problems and tensions with team boss Patrick Lefevere.

While Lefevere had his confrontation with Bennett in the media, the Irish sprinter kept a low profile. And now that he’s back with BORA-hansgrohe, Bennett refuses to tell his story. “My focus is on my new team,” he said on the BORA-hansgrohe media day in conversation with the international media. “I understand there are questions, but I’m sorry. I can’t talk about it.”

Bennett prefers to look ahead to the new season. The Irish sprinter hopes to finally put all the misery behind him, now that he is racing again for BORA-hansgrohe. Bennett is no longer bothered by his knee injury, although he does preach patience just before the new cycling year. Although there is no lack of self-confidence: “I know I can be successful for this team.”

Sam Bennett looking forward to this season:

 


Álvaro José Hodeg Wrist and Ankle Injury
Álvaro José Hodeg, the 25-year-old Colombian sprinter, is struggling with a wrist and ankle injury and will not race in the first months of the season.

His UAE Team Emirates announced in a press release that Hodeg is struggling with a persistent injury. “We wish Álvaro all the best with his recovery. It is a serious injury, but we are confident that he will come back strongly in the second half of the season and reach his old level again,” said Mauro Gianetti, UAE Team Emirates manager.

It is expected that Hodeg will not race again until May. The fast Colombian will have a delayed start for UAE Team Emirates. Hodeg raced for the Quick-Step team of Patrick Lefevere in recent seasons. Last year he had three wins with success in the Tour de l’Ain, the Tour of Slovakia and the Grand Prix Marcel Kint. UAE Team Emirates has already announced a ‘replacement’ for the injured Hodeg. Maximiliano Richeze will race with the team for another six months after his contract was not extended for this season. The Argentinian will leave after the Giro d’Italia.

Álvaro José Hodeg to miss the start of the season:

 


Kasper Asgreen to Make Season Debut in France
The 26-year-old will be part of our team at next month’s Tour de la Provence.

Only the second Danish rider in history to have triumphed in Ronde van Vlaanderen, the pinnacle of a memorable spring campaign, Kasper Asgreen is ready to start his fifth season with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the Tour de la Provence, a race he has ridden also in the previous two years.

“I had an unforgettable and truly amazing 2021 with the team, but now’s the time to think of what’s to come over the next couple of months. There’s no secret that my aim is to have another strong outing in the cobbled Classics that I love so much. It goes without saying that I would like to win again there, because it gives you such an extraordinary feeling, but it remains to be seen if it will happen. What I can say for sure is that I will try, and at the same time, help the team get the maximum out of those races”, Kasper explained.

Consisting of four stages, including a tough summit finish on Montagne de Lure, the Tour de la Provence will be the 26-year-old Dane’s only race before kicking off his Spring Classics campaign at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and Asgreen is keen on hitting the right notes before going to Belgium.

“Everything went according to plan so far this winter. I stayed out of trouble, had no sickness or injuries, and I’m really happy with where I am at the moment. We’ve done some good training in Calpe and I’m on track for my first race of the season. I have always felt good in France, and I can’t wait for La Provence in three weeks’ time”, the Ronde van Vlaanderen winner added.

Kasper Asgreen:

 


Caleb Ewan: “If One Sprinter Can Win this World Championships, it’s Me”
As the season is about to start, Caleb Ewan is already looking forward to a certain races at the end of the year: The World road championship in Wollongong, Australia. The sprinter is convinced that he can handle the difficult course and will be able to take a shot at the rainbow jersey. “I am ready for the challenge. If there’s one sprinter who can do it, it’s me,” he said confidently to AAP.

The climbs on the route don’t frighten Ewan too much, but he would have preferred something easier. “It’s not too hard – I can certainly handle it – but it won’t be as obvious as if it had been just a little easier,” the 27-year-old rider said. In doing so, he also responds to the idea that the organisers of the World championships would favour him as a home rider. “If I had talked to them and they had listened to me, we wouldn’t have this course.”

Ewan even emphasises that the course is deliberately not planned for him. “I heard that the UCI wanted a sprint, but that Wollongong didn’t agree. They didn’t want this because it would be perfect for an Australian,” he said. “I am a bit disappointed in that. But I’m going to prove them wrong and try to win.”

The Lotto Soudal rider will start his 2022 season in the Saudi Tour, which starts in two weeks (February 2).

World champs for Ewan?

 


Davide Cimolai: “We Were Sleeping the Day Van der Hoorn Won”
Davide Cimolai made the switch from Israel Start-Up Nation to Cofidis last winter. The Italian signed a two-year contract and now hopes for the best season of his career. He wants to play a leading role, especially in the European and World championship, he said in an interview with Messaggero Veneto.

Despite the lack of a win, Cimolai is satisfied with 2021, in which he was twice second in a Giro stage. One of those stages was won by Taco van der Hoorn. “When guys like Ewan, Sagan and Gaviria beat you, there’s little you can do about it: they’re champions,” he stated. “But I regret my first podium finish when I was the fastest in the group sprint, but Van der Hoorn had already won the race. That was a shame, because we were sleeping in the back. If I had had some help from the team at the time, we could have finished it.”

Cimolai does not look back on his time at Israel Start-Up Nation with resentment. Although he hopes to achieve more successes at Cofidis. “Here I start the season, like every season, with the aim of making it the best season of my career. Since I haven’t raced since August, the start might be difficult. But after the Giro I will concentrate on the European and World championships. The courses suit me. I also have a good relationship with Daniele Bennati, the national team coach, with whom I raced at Liquigas.”

Cimolai also discusses the state of Italian cycling. “We are missing a successor to Nibali, but on the track, in the time trials, the sprint and the one-days we really participate. Of course people want a ‘new’ Nibali, because a rider for the big tours generates more enthusiasm. It’s hard to repeat what Nibali did: maybe not everyone likes him, but there are few in the world who have won as much as he has.”

Davide Cimolai hopes for the best season of his career:

 


Andreas Kron Thanks Deceased Chris Anker Sørensen
Andreas Kron had a lot of support from the late Chris Anker Sørensen in recent years, Kron told Feltet. “He believed in me more than I believed in myself,” said Kron.

Former cyclist Sørensen died last September in a traffic accident during the World championships in Belgium. The former CSC and Saxo Bank rider died at the age of 37. In 2017 and 2018, he was a teammate of the talented Kron with the continental Riwal team, who is now competing in the WorldTour with Lotto Soudal. Sørensen was heavily involved in the development of Kron.

“Chris told me I had the right mentality to race for a WorldTeam, even though I didn’t really want to. But he believed in me more than I believed in myself,” said 23-year-old Kron, who won stages in the Tour of Catalonia and the Tour of Switzerland last season.

After Sørensen’s sudden death, Kron had a hard time. “I rode Tre Valli Varesine at the beginning of October, but was mentally very tired. I just told myself to enjoy the race and the cycling and see how it went. I was surprised to survive the final, but that was because I had the same mentality as when I was young. After all, I was enjoying cycling again,” he explained. He eventually finished fifth in the hilly classic.

Kron thanks Sørensen:

 


Vlasov Starts the Season on Spain
Aleksandr Vlasov will makes his debut for his new BORA-hansgrohe team in the Tour of Valencia. Vlasov will ride the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France in 2022.

The 25-year-old Vlasov, who after two seasons with Astana has moved to BORA-hansgrohe, has his program for the new season. In the Tour of Valencia he will be seen for the first time in the kit of the German WorldTour team. Vlasov will then be at the start of the UAE Tour, Paris-Nice, the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain and the Tour of the Basque Country. This year he will also have the opportunity to discover the Ardennes Classics. In 2020 Vlasov finished third in the Tour of Lombardy and won the Italian semi-classic Giro dell’Emilia. After Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Vlasov will continue his spring with the Tour de Romandie.

After the Tour de Romandie, it is time for altitude training for a few weeks, after which Vlasov will resume his season in the Critérium du Dauphiné. In this French preparation race, Vlasov hopes to get ready for his first Tour de France. After the Tour the only certainty is his participation in the Tour of Lombardy.

Aleksandr Vlasov 2022 Race Schedule:
Tour of Valencia (2-6 February)
UAE Tour (February 20-26)
Paris-Nice (6-13 March)
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain (April 2)
Tour of the Basque Country (4-9 April)
Flèche Wallonne (April 20)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (24 April)
Tour de Romandie (April 26-May 1)
Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-12)
Tour de France (1-24 July)
Tour of Lombardy (October 8).

Valencia, Ardennes and the Tour for Vlasov:

 


Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley to Ride the Giro d’Italia
Wilco Kelderman start the Giro d’Italia for the fifth time in his career. The Dutchman will race in the Italian tour along with Emanuel Buchmann and Jai Hindley. Kelderman and Hindley were Team Sunweb teammates in the Giro in 2020.

During the Giro d’Italia of 2020, Kelderman was on course for a place on the podium in the first week. At the end of the second week, Hindley also joined the battle for the podium places. After nineteen stages, Kelderman and Hindley were first and second overall, after which the Australian took over the pink jersey from his Dutch teammate in the penultimate stage to Sestriere. However, it was Tao Geoghegan Hart who took the final overall win in the final time trial.

After Kelderman made the transfer from Team Sunweb to BORA-hansgrohe at the end of 2020, Hindley took the same step this winter. The Dutchman and the Australian will be reunited by the German team for the Giro, along with Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna.

For the Tour de France, the German team will be led by Aleksandr Vlasov, who will be supported by Maximilian Schachmann, Felix Großschartner and Patrick Konrad. Sam Bennett is the sprinter in the Tour team. The Irishman, who returned to the WorldTeam after two years with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, will receive help from lead-out man Danny van Poppel. The Dutchman came from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert this year to strengthen the sprint train. For the Vuelta a España, Sergio Higuita will get his chance.

Kelderman and Hindley together again for the Giro:

 


Wilco Kelderman Explains His Choice of the Giro
Wilco Kelderman finished fifth in the Tour de France last year, but the Dutchman prefers to ride the Giro d’Italia this year. Kelderman didn’t really enjoy the French Grand Tour. “I didn’t have much fun with it. I could only follow,” the BORA-hansgrohe rider told NOS.

Kelderman looks back on 2021 with mixed feelings. There were certain highlights, with his fifth place in the Tour and fourth in the Critérium du Dauphiné. However, bad luck was with Kelderman again last season. In January he suffered a vertebral fracture and a concussion in a training accident in Italy and Kelderman ended the season with a serious crash in the Benelux Tour. With a fractured hip and two broken ribs, Kelderman went into the winter months and rehabilitation. “I recovered reasonably well from the hip, the broken ribs hurt more. But they also discovered that a fracture in my hand did not heal properly. That had to be operated on. I had to take it easy for another six weeks.”

Kelderman therefore describes his ‘off-season’ as difficult. However he did not give up and is in full preparation for the new season and is looking forward to his return to the peloton. This will happen in Spain with the Tour of Valencia. His main goal for 2022 is the Giro d’Italia. Two years ago, Kelderman finished third in the Italian tour.

“I’ve been wondering lately what I really wanted to go for this year and the idea of ​​doing the Giro again got me excited. And with the team we’re going with, it’s perfect.” With Kelderman, Jai Hindley (2nd in the 2020 Giro), Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna as the leaders, BORA-hansgrohe hopes to be able to make a good impression in this year’s Tour of Italy.

Kelderman said: “I’m looking forward to it. Whether it is possible for me to win the Giro? It depends. It’s more of a team goal than a personal goal of mine. I’ll see if I have a chance.” He will skip the Tour this year. “I didn’t have much fun with it. I could only follow. I wasn’t good enough to compete with the best. Riders like Pogačar and Roglič are too good, they are one step higher. I like it a little less stressed.”

Wilco Kelderman to the 2022 Giro:

 


Qhubeka Team Boss Not Happy with Sponsor
At the end of December it became clear that Qhubeka-NextHash would no longer be seen in the pro peloton in 2022. However, a lot had already been done before that, said team boss Douglas Ryder in a long interview with CyclingTips. After previously speaking in an internal email about ‘cash flow problems’ as a result of sponsors not paying (not on time), the South African is now going into more detail.

Ryder indicates that a total of three sponsors failed to make their payments, but mainly focuses on the role of NextHash. “Had NextHash paid in full, the issues we had with the other two partners wouldn’t have been a major impact. We would have been OK,” he said.

However, NextHash did not pay in full. Ryder and his team received less than half of what had been pre-arranged and, since October, nothing has come in at all. “That hurt our staff and riders. We had delays, delays and more delays, but we didn’t hear from Ana Benčič (the owner of NextHash). From her team, yes, but I haven’t spoken to her for a month.”

During that last meeting, at the beginning of December, promises were made. “When I last called her, she indicated that a plan was being made to pay the remaining instalments. But nothing has come of this so far. We are still waiting and still trying to reach her, but it’s difficult,” explained Ryder.

After NextHash was presented as a sponsor, questions were already being asked about this new partner, but Ryder said he was not worried at the time. The link between the team and the sponsor was made by ‘a credible sports marketing agency’ and the people of this agency reassured him on his first doubts.

“But then we had to deal with more and more delays. And promises, empty promises,” he continued. “People can say now that it was naive and that we should have done our homework better – and they are right – but you also have to look at the context and the lack of time we had. The decision was made with all the information we had at the time. And in confidence of course.”

“NextHash has not paid anything since October”

 


Richeze Returns on Temporary Contract to Reinforce Squad
Veteran lead-out expert drafted in to cover Hodeg injury.

Maximiliano Richeze will make a return to UAE Team Emirates on a temporary basis, filling the hole left by a wrist and ankle injury to Alvaro Hodeg which will rule him out for the opening months of the season.

The popular Argentinian will join the team until the conclusion of the Giro D’Italia at which point Hodeg will be poised to make his return. This will also mark Richeze’s retirement from the sport after over 15 seasons in the professional ranks.

Mauro Gianetti, CEO & Team Principal: “The absence of Hodeg left us with a gap to fill and Richeze is the right person for that role. He knows the atmosphere and the structure of the team already and doesn’t need any introduction in that regard. We’ve also seen from his recent performances at home racing in Argentina that he is in really good shape so it’s a logical move for us. I know Max is really pleased about it too. At the same time we are wishing Alvaro all the best with his recovery, it was a heavy injury but we are confident that he can bounce back strong in the second half of this year to his former high level.”

Maximiliano Richeze: “I’m pleased to be coming back and able to help the team where I’ve already spent two great years. It’s a special group of people at the team and I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by Mauro to return and bow out from cycling in the way I want.It seems fitting to end my career here. It was an easy decision for me to make and I look forward to pinning on a race number again.”

 


Julian Alaphilippe Receives New Colourway Specialized SL7
World Champion to use limited-edition Tarmac SL7 this season.

There has been a great reaction to the launch of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl SL7 for 2022, with many admiring the beautiful bikes that we will ride this season – the team’s 20th in the peloton. And the good news is that our friends at Specialized are not done yet.

To celebrate Julian Alaphilippe’s back-to-back World Championships victories, they designed a gorgeous limited-edition Tarmac SL7 frameset inspired by the emotion, sacrifice, and swirl of competition. And now they would like to present the Champ’s 2022 race colorway – a design Julian himself collaborated with Specialized’s talented designers to create. With beautiful details and subtle patterns, his classic Tarmac SL7 cuts a stunning profile honouring the heritage and traditional white field and rainbow stripes cycling world champions have worn since 1927.

“I am very proud to have a unique and personalised bike. It gave me great emotion when I discovered it because it’s the bike I’ve always dreamed of and which corresponds to who I am. It is as I had imagined it: simple but with small details that are important to me. I’m glad I had the chance to collaborate with the Specialized team to make it happen”, said the two-time World Champion.

 


Bikes Stolen from Israel-Premier Tech Conti Team
Israel Cycling Academy U23 UCI Continental Team has had seventeen bikes stolen during the training camp in Girona.

The Factor bikes were stolen from the team’s equipment truck on Monday. “Today, 17 of our Israel Cycling Academy Factor bikes were stolen from the team’s truck near Girona,” the team announced on social media. “The frames are silver, red and black, as pictured below. Please contact us if anyone has any information.”

Bike theft has become more common in professional cycling in recent years. In October, twenty bikes of the Italian national team were stolen during the track World championships in Roubaix. The bicycles were found a few days later in Romania. A month earlier, the women of BikeExchange were victims of bicycle theft during the Tour de l’Ardèche. In 2020, six bikes were taken from the Trek-Segafredo women’s squad on the night before Strade Bianche.

Recently, Geraint Thomas and Iván García were also robbed of their bicycles when they had a coffee break during a training ride. It happened to Thomas in November in the French town of Menton. García was unpleasantly surprised in Girona in early December.

The frames are silver, red, and black as pictured below. Please contact us if anyone has any information:

 


Colbrelli and Caruso Missed Training Camp
Sonny Colbrelli and Damiano Caruso are having an alternative preparation for the new season. The Italian riders of Bahrain Victorious missed the team’s first training camp because they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for the corona virus, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Paris-Roubaix winner Colbrelli had already been on a training camp in Gran Canaria at the end of 2021, and will return to the Spanish island on Thursday. He will complete a ten-day training camp. The European champion hopes to lay the foundation for top form in the spring Classics. Colbrelli will start his season on February 26 in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Caruso was also unable to travel to the Bahrain training camp. The second placed rider in the Giro d’Italia is currently in Sicily for training and will leave for Tenerife on February 1, where he has a two-week altitude training camp planned. The Italian climber has the Ruta del Sol (16-20 February) on his program as his first race.

Sonny Colbrelli on a different training plan for the spring:

 


Enrico Poitschke Joins Bahrain Victorious as Sports Director
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the appointment of Enrico Poitschke as a Sports Director for the 2022 season.

The former German cyclist commented: “I’m very happy to join the team and looking forward to the first races. The first training camps are working very well, and I’m glad to be in this organised team with great potential. Looking at the great results from last season, I’m sure all the riders and staff are motivated for another good season. I hope that I can share my experience and help build on last season, especially in the upcoming classics.”

 


2022 Paris-Roubaix Femmes: Team Selection
The organisers of Paris-Roubaix Femmes have selected the teams for the 2nd edition, Saturday, April 16th.

In accordance with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) regulations, the fourteen UCI Women’s WorldTeams automatically entered are:
Canyon / / SRAM Racing (Ger)
EF Education – Tibco – SVB (Usa)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Human Powered Health (Usa)
Liv Racing Xstra (Ned)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad (Sui)
Team BikeExchange – Jayco (Aus)
Team DSM (Ned)
Team Jumbo – Visma (Ned)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team ADQ (Uae)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor).

Furthermore, the three best 2021 UCI Women’s Continental teams will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix Femmes:
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita).

The organisers have invited the following teams:
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team (Fra)
Cofidis Women Team (Fra)
Le Col Wahoo (Gbr)
NXTG by Experza (Ned)
Plantur – Pura (Bel)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime (Fra)
St Michel – Auber 93 (Fra).

2022 Paris-Roubaix: Team Selection
The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have selected the teams for the 119th edition, Sunday, April 17th.

In accordance with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules, the eighteen UCI WorldTeams are invited:
AG2R Citroën Team (Fra)
Astana – Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora – hansgrohe (Ger)
Cofidis (Fra)
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (Bel)
EF Education – EasyPost (Usa)
Groupama – FDJ (Fra)
Ineos Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux (Bel)
Israel – Premier Tech (Isr)
Jumbo – Visma (Ned)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Team BikeExchange – Jayco (Aus)
Team DSM (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae).

Furthermore, the three highest ranked UCI ProTeams in 2021 will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix:
Alpecin – Fenix (Bel)
Team Arkéa – Samsic (Fra)
TotalEnergies (Fra).

The organisers have invited the following teams:
B&B Hotels – KTM (Fra)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB (Bel)
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise (Bel)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor).

 


Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Drops Oude Kwaremont
The Oude Kwaremont is a real classic among the cobbled climbs in Flanders, but the organisers of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne do not include it in the route this year. Because the Oude Kwaremont can be seen often in other races, KBK will opt for less well-known climbs in the coming edition, Het Nieuwsblad reports. In total, the riders will have to take in thirteen climbs.

The Tiegemberg is followed by the Katteberg, Boembeek, Bossenaarsstraat and Berg Tenhoutten are not unknown. In the Hainaut Ardennes, in addition to La Houppe, the newcomers Hameau des Papins (1,200m, average 6.6%, maximum gradient of 16.2%), Le Bourliquet (1,300m, avg. 6.8%, max. 15, 3%) and Mont Saint-Laurent (1,300m, average 7.8% max. 17%).

Before reaching the local circuit in Kuurne, four more famous hills have to be climbed: the Kruisberg, Hotond, Côte de Trieu and Kluisberg. The race could be decided on these climbs. There will be a total of seventeen WorldTour teams at the start, Astana is missing. Jumbo-Visma is back for the first time since 2019.

Who will succeed Mads Pedersen, last year’s winner?

 


2022 Ardennes Classics: Calling All Virtuosos
The Ardennes Classics launch a new call. On Wednesday 20 and Sunday 24 April 2022, the men’s and women’s editions of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will welcome the biggest stars of the pelotons on the characteristic roads of these exhausting and explosive events.

For the 40th anniversary of the first passage on the Mur de Huy, the Walloon municipality will be lively like never before. After a first 70km loop starting on the Grand-Place, the contenders to succeed Anna van der Breggen (winner from 2015 to 2021 before taking on a coaching role) will climb the Mur three times, a first for them. With the ascents of Cherave and Ereffe packed in the final circuit, identical to that of the men (31.2km to be covered twice), the menu of the 25th Flèche Wallonne Femmes is similar to the one who consecrated Julian Alaphilippe three times since 2018.

Before the great battle of the Chemin des Chapelles, the men’s peloton and the two-time World Champion will be able to build up pressure on the slopes of the climbs of Tancrémont and Les Forges. The start will be unprecedented, from Blegny, where the Royal cyclist’s Pesant Liège club is based. They’ve co-organised Liège-Bastogne-Liège since 1892.

On Sunday, the 108th edition of the Doyenne des Classiques will present well-known challenges, starting with the Mont-le-Soie – Wanne – Stockeu – Haute-Levée tetralogy, before heading towards the Col du Rosier and the Côte de Desnié. Between La Redoute and La Roche-aux-Faucons, the battle will continue on the slopes of Sprimont, before arriving in the streets of Liège where Slovenes Primoz Roglič and Tadej Pogačar took victory in the past two years. The men’s peloton will then have completed a proper loop of 254.7km, the start and finish being given on the Quai des Ardennes.

Earlier in the morning, the women will set off as usual from Bastogne, for 142.1km of breathless racing towards the Ardent City, where the accomplished champion Van der Breggen accompanied her young partner Demi Vollering to triumph last year. In 2022, the riders will tackle the climb of Mont-le-Soie, unprecedented in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, before Wanne, Haute-Levée and an explosive final. At the end of the road, Liège is once again preparing to consecrate the virtuosos of spring.

Key points:
Ø
The famous Ardennes climbs will host the women’s and men’s editions of the Flèche Wallonne, on Wednesday 20 April, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, on Sunday 24 April.
Ø For the first time, the female peloton will face three ascents of the Mur de Huy, 40 years after the first passage on the climb of the Chemin des Chapelles.
Ø The start of the men’s Flèche Wallonne, in Blegny, celebrates the history of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which will offer a traditional course on Sunday.

Teams Selected for the Men’s Classics:

Teams Selected for the Women’s Classics:

 


2022 UAE Tour: Route, Jerseys and Sponsors Announced
Two summit finishes (Jebel Hafeet and Jebel Jais), four sprint stages and a time trial in the city of Ajman form the route of the UAE Tour’s fourth edition, starting on 20 February. Riders will compete for the race’s Red, Green, White and Black jerseys – sponsored by International Holding Company, Italian Trade Agency (ICE), Nakheel and Abu Dhabi Aviation respectively. The official jersey will be provided by Alé with Swiss watchmaker Tissot as Official Timekeeper.

The official route, jerseys and sponsors for the fourth edition of the UAE Tour have been announced. The UAE Tour race organisers, Abu Dhabi Sports Council are pleased to confirm that this year’s edition of the race will feature four sprinters’ stages, two mountain stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 9km long, high-speed individual time trial.

The one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East, the UAE Tour, is set to kick-start the 2022 UCI WorldTour calendar with 1081km of racing across seven stages from 20 to 26 February. The race, which crosses a diverse mix of landscapes, will feature a significant elevation gain of 3500m, almost all of which is concentrated in Stages 4 and 7.

Now in its fourth edition, this year’s tour coincides with another significant event for the Emirates – Expo 2020 Dubai – the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region taking place 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 and that will host the start of Stage 6.

Stage 1 – Al Ain Water Stage – Madinat Zayed – Madinat Zayed (185km)
A stage taking place entirely in the desert. It’s beginning and finale follow approximately 45km of straight roads. Once in Liwa, the route enters a zone of dunes that make up the bulk of the stage’s elevation. A series of ups and downs will be covered twice to take the riders to Moreeb Dune. After passing Liwa for the second time, the route follows the same way back to Madinat Zayed.

Last km
A perfectly straight city route. It runs along wide, straight avenues with no obstacles whatsoever. Final stretch on asphalt.

Stage 2 – International Holding Company Stage – Hudayriyat Island – Abu Dhabi Breakwater (173km)
A stage around the city of Abu Dhabi. It departs from Hudayriat Island and runs in its first part in Abu Dhabi to reach the Sheikh Zayed Bridge (arch. Zaha Hadyd) and then to Khalifa City. After the halfway point at Al Wathba Camel Track, the route passes by Al Falah to converge on Yas Marina and head to Saadiyat Island and the Corniche before reaching Abu Dhabi Breakwater, where a bunch sprint is expected.
Last km
The final 5km remains on a wide road with sweeping bends leading to the tarmac finish line.

Stage 3 – G42 Stage presented by Tissot – Ajman ITT (9km)
An individual time trial entirely in Ajman that features a very fast course characterised only by a U-turn about halfway along the route. The road is perfectly flat and wide with wide radius turns.
Last km
Wide turns, wide road, perfect pavement. Asphalt finish line.

Stage 4 – Burjeel Medical City Stage – Fujairah Fort – Jebel Jais (181km)
This is the first of two most likely decisive mountain stages in the UAE Tour. It is divided into two distinctly different parts: the first being an undulating approach to the final mountain through the desert and the second being the last 20km or so of continuous climbing to the finish. Departure is from Fujairah, crossing the desert areas on the edge of the Hajar Mountains towards Ras-al-Khaimah, whose capital city is not crossed by the race, which heads directly towards Jebel Jais Mountain. The stage’s final climb is around 20km in length at an almost constant 5%, with slightly steeper gradients of around 7% in the last 2km.
Last km
A final climb which winds along hairpin bends on a very wide roadway. Gradients remain mainly around 4/5% in the climb’s first part and 5/7% in its second with a peak of 9% 2 km from the finish. Tarmac finishing straight.

Stage 5 – Marjan Stage – Ras al Khaimah Corniche – Al Marjan Island (182km)
The stage starts in Ras-al-Khaimah to cross the desert after the departure. At the foot of Jebel Jais it then heads to Umm al Quwain and north across the desert again to almost reach Ras al Khaimah before heading to Marjan Island for the final sprint. The entire route takes place on wide, well-paved and essentially straight roads through the desert where wind and sometimes sand can affect the peloton.
Last km
Final stretch on a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on tarmac.

Stage 6 – Expo 2020 Dubai Stage – Expo 2020 Dubai – Expo 2020 Dubai (180km)
The city stage of Dubai, departing from Expo 2020 Dubai. The first part of the stages takes place in the desert, touching familiar locations: Dubai Sports City, Silicon Oasis Meydan Racecourse until reaching Emirates Towers. The route crosses Jumeirah Road, Palm Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Islands before returning to Expo 2020 Dubai. The entire route takes place entirely on very wide roads, essentially straight, interspersed with large and well-paved roundabouts. The riders may encounter some sand in case of wind during the desert sections.
Last km
Final stretch along a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on asphalt.

Stage 7 – Mubadala Stage – Al Ain – Jebel Hafeet (148km)
This is the classic mountain stage of the UAE Tour. The first part of the stage follows the usual route around Al Ain, passing many of its well-known sights (Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili, Al Ain Oasis) before returning after a long desert loop to Green Mubazzarah where the closing 10km climb up Jebel Hafeet is the final ‘judge’ of the race.
Last km
A final climb which winds along wide hairpin bends on a 3-lane roadway. Gradients are mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% 3km from the finish. There is a very short descent in the last km before the last ramp (all on asphalt).

The Official Leader Jerseys
The official race jerseys will be provided by Italian brand, Alé. The high-tech sportswear line offers functionality and an ergonomic fit for perfect aerodynamics.

Red Jersey
General Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification by time.
Sponsor: International Holding Company
Design: Features the iconic Qasr Al Hosn

Green Jersey
Points Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.
Sponsor: Italian Trade Agency (ICE)
Design: Features famous landmarks of Italy: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rome Colosseum, Venice and Milan Cathedral

White Jersey
Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider (U25) in the overall classification by time.
Sponsor: Nakheel
Design: Features the world-famous Palm Jumeirah

Black Jersey
Intermediate Sprint Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the rider who has gained more Intermediate Sprint Points than any other rider.
Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Aviation
Design: Features Abu Dhabi Aviation’s helicopter following the UAE Tour peloton

Official Sponsors of The 2022 UAE Tour
Alongside the ‘Top Sponsors’ of the four jerseys (International Holding Company, Italian Trade Agency (ICE), Nakheel and Abu Dhabi Aviation) gratitude is also expressed to the following: Host Broadcasters; Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Dubai Sports Channel, Official Timekeeper Tissot, Official Eyewear Oakley, Official Medical Service partner Burjeel, Official stage sponsor, Al Ain Water, International Holding Company, G42, Burjeel Medical, Marjan, Dubai Sports Council and Stage sponsor and National Partner Mubadala. Official stage partners Dubai Silicon Oasis, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Official Partners G42, Daman and Tadweer and official suppliers Al Ain Water, Shimano, Colnago and Segafredo.

H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “We are pleased to announce the routes, Jerseys and sponsors of the UAE Tour in its fourth edition. Once again, we welcome the world’s elite teams and riders to the launch of global races on the UCI’s agenda, hoping that the UAE Tour will be a gateway to the start of the season. A rich world full of successes and positive results for all, thanks to the sincere efforts made by the competent authorities and their supervision of the application of all precautionary and preventive measures for the safety and health of all.”

He added: “The UAE Tour has become a prestigious sport brand among the major events in the world, and has been able to multiply the successes and gains every year, and has contributed to achieving important societal impacts on different groups and generations. Cycling has become one of the important sports with wide spread presence in society over the years. It enhances the quality of life index and supports a healthy and sporting lifestyle among all groups and segments of society.”

He continued, “We are fully prepared to host the fourth edition of the UAE Tour – the one and only WorldTour cycling race in the Middle East, in support of the success of previous years in light of the great experience enjoyed by the various work teams and fruitful cooperation with all government and private agencies, sponsors and supporters of the success of the prestigious event. We take pride on the value of the UAE Tour, the event that has proven its great position since the launch of its first edition in 2019, and which recorded sporting, promotional and economic achievements for the various emirates of the country and their urban, historical and tourist attractions.”

Syed Basar Shueb, CEO and Managing Director of International Holding Company said, “This is an exciting moment for IHC as we kick off our three-year partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and become part of one of the most prestigious sporting events globally. Undoubtedly, the event represents an excellent platform for promoting the Emirate’s passion for sports and its unique territory, and we are thrilled for IHC’s name to be part of it, as the Tour’s Red Jersey sponsor. Working closely with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, our objective is to add more value to the Tour, introduce supporting activities around the event, drive more community engagement and promote health and well-being.”

“The new platform madeinitaly.gov.it, its promotion through major sporting events and the nation branding campaign beIT are parts of the 19 new actions of Italian Trade Agency to promote Italian companies at a time of restarting international trade. This collaboration with UAE Tour will help to promote the Made in Italy brand around the world.” says Carlo Ferro, President of Italian Trade Agency. “This is how promotion of the Country System must be in collaboration between companies and institutions on international markets. Few sports like cycling attract the attention of consumers around the world to Italy. That’ why I’m confident in the results of this important initiative.”

Mohamed AlQassem, Executive Director, Nakheel Community Management, said: “Nakheel has supported the UAE Tour since its inception as part of its commitment to hosting and endorsing the world-class, international sporting events in the UAE’s annual calendar. We are delighted to sponsor the White Jersey for the fourth consecutive year, reinforcing our pledge to promote sports, fitness and wellbeing and acknowledge fresh new sporting talent. The UAE Tour showcases the UAE’s natural beauty, iconic skyline and world famous developments, and we are honoured that some of our key communities including Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Islands will once again be part of this sporting spectacular. We wish the organisers and competitors all the very best for what we are sure will be another great success.”

Hashim Al Hashimi, Business and Projects Manager at Abu Dhabi Airlines, said: “We are delighted to participate in the UAE Tour 2022, where Abu Dhabi Aviation is keeping in mind the support of sports and athletes, and pointed out that Abu Dhabi is witnessing a qualitative shift in the world championships it hosts, stressing that this is a translation of the guidance of good leadership. Abu Dhabi Aviation’s participation in the UAE Tour is a support for sports activities and events hosted by Abu Dhabi, as well as collaboration in the development vision of the UAE’s sporting events and activities. Abu Dhabi Airlines is also keen to carry out its community duties by supporting and sponsoring major sporting events that contribute to the development of community performance. Spreading the culture of sport to reach a healthier and happier society.”

Fabrizio d’Amico, RCS Sports and Events DMCC Chief Operating Officer said, “I would like to start with acknowledging and praising the effort and commitment to the UAE Tour by the leadership of the country, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and all of our stakeholders who have contributed to making the fourth edition of the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East possible. For the second consecutive year we have the honour to kick-off the UCI WorldTour calendar. In this year’s edition we have implemented some new changes that will make the route more exciting from a sports and cultural perspective; four sprints, one individual time trial and two climbs will shape the race and give the opportunity to all riders with different characteristics to try and get a win. From a cultural perspective the race will meet the glorious past of the UAE by touching some of the stunning monuments and historical sites of the region and the bright future created through sustainability, mobility and opportunity by starting and finishing in Expo 2020 for stage 6.”

Home team win for Tadej Pogačar and the UAE Team Emirates:

 


Olympia’s Tour Starts with Team Time Trial in Hardenberg
Olympia’s Tour starts this year with a team time trial in Hardenberg. The organisers of the race, which was canceled twice due to the corona pandemic, announced on Tuesday that the UCI .2 race will start on Thursday, March 17 in the municipality of Overijssel.

It is not the first time that Hardenberg has hosted Olympia’s Tour. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 there was a sprint finish there and in 2007 the municipality of Overijssel was also the setting for an individual time trial. In 2017 it also had a stage of the Dutch stage race, the fourth stage that year had two winners because the jury could not identify a clear winner after studying the photo finish. In the end they decided that both Fabio Jakobsen and Gerben Thijssen were winners.

On March 17, Olympia’s Tour returns to Hardenberg with a team time trial. Later the same day, a road stage will also be held in this city on the Overijsselse Vecht. The full stage schedule of the race will be revealed soon.

Olympia’s Tour in 2019 on the Vamberg:

 


Juan Ayuso to Lead UAE Team Emirates in the Ruta del Sol
UAE Team Emirates will be present at the Vuelta a Andalucía, which will be held from February 16 to 20, with a great representation led by the Spanish rider Juan Ayuso, one of the most important promising riders of his national cycling and finished off with the presence of the Italians Matteo Trentin and Diego Ulisi, the Slovenian Jan Pollan, the Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen and the Colombians Ardila and Molano.

Juan Ayuso represents the new wisdom of national cycling and will debut in the Andalusian tour with the spotlight on his first face-to-face with veteran Alejandro Valverde, an expected duel between the retiring star and the star of the new generation that arrives to fill the gap left by the Murcian. Ayuso, only 19 years old, will complete his second season as a professional after having won the Giro d’Italia for youngsters with victory in three stages. He is a very complete rider with good performance in uphill finishes, so in Andalusia he will have enough land to show off its great skills.

Along with the Spaniard, several of the stars of the squad led by José Antonio Fernández will attend the February event, who has chosen two Italians, one for flat stages and the other for the hilly finals of the Andalusian race. Matteo Trentin (32) will ride his third Ruta del Sol, a race in which he added two stage wins in the 2019 edition in which he finished second overall on points. The Italian has an important palmarès: the silver medal in the Road World Championship (2019), the European Championship (2018), 4 stage victories in La Vuelta a España, 3 in the Tour de France and one in the Giro. The other Italian rider who will defend the colours of the UAE in the Andalusian event is Diego Ulissi (32), an expert in hilly finishes who has a whopping 8 stages in the Giro d’Italia. It will be his first participation in the Vuelta a Andalucía.

Colombians Andrés Camilo Ardila (22) and Juan Sebastián Molano (27) will also be debutants at the Andalusian event. Both are two young talents from the extensive list of Colombian riders who will surely help the team a lot and who also have enough quality to be protagonists. Finally, the team is completed by the Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen (32) who will ride the Ruta del Sol for the second time and the Slovenian Jan Polanc (29), another rookie despite his extensive professional career, who will add a veteran touch to the formation of the Emirates.

 


Robbie McEwen Fired by SBS Australia
Robbie McEwen will no longer provide race commentary for Australian TV and radio station SBS. The three-time winner of the green jersey in the Tour de France wrote on social media that he had been removed from the team of commentators because the channel “wants to present its broadcasts differently”.

According to the former professional, he received “no valid explanation” about his dismissal. “I assume someone wants to follow their own agenda by firing me. I loved doing it and I am really disappointed.” McEwen received a lot of support on social media, including from former riders such as Robert Hunter and Daryl Impey and sports director Allan Peiper.

No Robbie McEwen on SBS:

 


Former World Junior Time Trial Champion Suspended After Three Missed Doping Tests
Aigul Gareeva, the 20-year-old Russian, who was World junior time trial champion three years ago, has been provisionally suspended after missing three doping tests. “The suspension is a result of her negligence,” her coach told Inside the Games website.

Gareeva is waiting for her sentence for missing three doping tests in a year. However, according to Irakli Abrahamyan, Gareeva’s coach, there is no ill will. “No doping was found on her. It’s negligence on her part.” Abrahamyan hopes for a lenient attitude from the authorities involved. A decision in the Gareeva case is expected to be reached soon.

Gareeva was under contract with Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team for the past two seasons, but is no longer registered with any team. A few years ago, the Russian was looked on as a top talent. In the junior category she impressed with the World time trial and the European road titles. She took European championships with a lead of six minutes over her closest competitors.

With the Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team, Gareeva failed to take the next step. After two seasons, her time with the Russian team came to an end. The team has now made the step to the Women’s WorldTour and will race on a Swiss license from this year.

Aigul Gareeva:

 


Dodgy Doctor Sentenced to Wear Ankle Bracelet
Bernard Sainz has to wear an ankle bracelet for a year, a Paris court has decided. The now 78-year-old Frenchman, also known in the cycling world as ‘Doctor Mabuse’, has been convicted of illegal medical practices and ‘inciting and aiding the use of prohibited products and methods in the context of a sports event’.

Sainz is best known for his infamous collaboration with the late Frank Vandenbroucke. Mabuse says he also worked with other great riders in the past, such as two-time Tour winner Bernard Thévenet. The controversial doctor was also involved in equestrian sports and as a doctor often opted for alternative methods and treatments. The case will be appealed by Sainz’s lawyer.

House arrest for Bernard Sainz:

 


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