EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

All the latest cycling news

No road racing to report, but there is still a ton of EUROTRASH to get through: The Vuelta a España to return to Extremadura in 2022 – TOP STORY. Remco Evenepoel and his plans from Patrick Lefevere. Contracts for Victor Campenaerts, Stefan Bissegger, Jasha Sütterlin, Edoardo Zambanini, Alejandro Osorio, Giacomo Nizzolo, Valerio Conti, Antonio Nibali, Will Barta, James Knox, Nurbergen Nurlykhassym, Zdenek Stybar, Riccardo Zoidl, Aafke Soet, Amber Kraak and Eros Capecchi retires. Team news: Dutch squad for Zonhoven, UCI 2022 licenses, Groupama-FDJ junior team, women’s Movistar 14 riders for 2022, AG2R Citroën’s 2021 season, Ridley with Lotto and BMW with Quick-Step to 2026, Etisalat and UAE Team Emirates, ENVE and eolo-Kometa and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift on TV in Europe by Discovery Sports. Giant coffee time Thursday.


TOP STORY: Vuelta a España will ‘almost certainly’ return to Extremadura in 2022
The Vuelta a España will almost certainly return to the Extremadura region next year. Spanish sports paper AS reports from statements by race director Javier Guillén. A stage with an uphill finish in Piornal, at 1200 meters altitude, may be part of the route of the 77th Vuelta, which starts in the Netherlands.

In the last edition, the Vuelta also crossed the Extremadura region, located in southwestern Spain. In Villanueva de la Serena, Florian Sénéchal won the sprint, after team sprinter, Fabio Jakobsen, had to let his Deceuninck – Quick-Step train go. One stage later, Romain Bardet was the strongest in the breakaway on the Pico Villuercas. “The desire of the race is to return. I will see the Vuelta in Extremadura next year,” said race director Guillén, who is trying to fit the region into next year’s race.

For the time being, Guillén is still to make agreements with various parties involved. “Maybe maybe not. I bet it will happen, but we still have to work out the stages.” His words correspond to those of Miguel Ángel Gallardo, the president of the Badajoz province, where Villanueva de la Serena is situated. He was very satisfied with the effect of the stages of the 2021 Vuelta and wants the race to return in the coming years.

It is not yet officially known which places in Extremadura the Vuelta a España will visit next year, but the city of Trujillo and an uphill finish in Piornal, at 1200 meters altitude, are called the highest point in all of Extremadura. Historic Mérida would also be a candidate. It is already known that the Vuelta starts on Friday, August 19 with a team time trial through Utrecht, after which the Vuelta remains in the Netherlands for two days. The second stage goes from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht. The third stage has start and finish in Breda.

In addition, Guillén expressed the wish to one day bring the Vuelta a España to Gran Canaria. The suggestion came from Mario Cipollini. The former Italian sprinter has often trained on the island’s roads, which he said “is an island designed for cycling”. The wish of the organisation of the Vuelta a España, as reported by the AS, is clear. “We are already working to make this possible and include at least two islands in the course. It is a challenge for the Vuelta.”

Romain Bardet won in Pico Villuercas, Extremadura 2021:

 


Remco Evenepoel: “In 2022 I want to take the real step towards world top”
Remco Evenepoel closed his season on Sunday with a fifth place in Chrono des Nations. His gap on winner Stefan Küng was almost a minute and a half, but with the talent of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the focus was on the entire season. He spoke in the documentary ‘Ik ben Remco’ that was broadcast on VTM. “There is no big fish,” Evenepoel explains.

“Last year there was, with the Tour of Poland. I didn’t win such a race at WorldTour level now,” said the Belgian rider, who added eight victories to his palmarès in 2021. “Yet I don’t consider this a wasted year, considering where I come from. It was a year of climbing back to the top and I finally made it there.”

“Had you told me at the beginning of 2021 that I would take bronze in the World Time Trial Championships, silver and bronze in the European Road and Time Trial Championships and be on the podium in the two Belgian Championships, I would not have believed you. The lack of a big win is an extra incentive to get one next year. In 2022 I want to take the real step towards the world top,” said Evenepoel.

The 21-year-old rider also responds in the documentary to the pressure and criticism he received after his crash in the Tour of Lombardy in 2020, which left him with quite a few injuries. “In time I started to believe everything. That I couldn’t steer, couldn’t descend, couldn’t ride in a pack. While I knew well that I could,” he said. “But it settled so hard in my head that it just really didn’t work anymore. And I literally thought: Oops, there’s a bend coming up, I’ll fly out of it. Then I squeezed the brakes hard, because I feared: If I fall here, it will be something else, wrong again.”

Chrono des Nations was the last race he drove for Evenepoel in 2021. First he goes on holiday, after which a trip to the United States awaits. There he has some sponsorship obligations with California bike sponsor Specialized.

Remco Evenepoel:

 


Patrick Lefevere: “The idea is that Evenepoel will ride the Vuelta instead of the Giro”
Remco Evenepoel will probably ride the Vuelta a España next season and not the Giro d’Italia. The team manager of the 21-year-old classification rider at Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Patrick Lefevere, revealed this to La Dernière Heure. Lefevere wants to take the number two of the European Championship on the road in Trentino to a higher level next season.

“We want him to be able to win a tough stage race first, such as Tirreno-Adriatico, the Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse. Only then will we field him again in a three-week competition,” Lefevere announced. “The idea is that he will ride the Vuelta a España instead of the Giro d’Italia. It would be a mistake to let him compete in both Italy and Spain next year. Remco is only 22 years old then: a Grand Tour in one year is enough for him. He didn’t start cycling as young as Tadej Pogačar.”

In principle, Evenepoel will start the new season in Argentina, during the Vuelta a San Juan (January 23-30). The 21-year-old rider already won that tour in 2020. Tirreno-Adriatico would then be preferred to Paris-Nice, although that is not yet certain. Lefevere: “We will choose some races based on the time trials.” There will probably also be room for the Walloon classics: on April 20, Evenepoel would be at the start of the Flèche Wallonne for the first time, four days later at the start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Possible program for Remco Evenepoel in 2022:
Vuelta a San Juan (30 January-6 February)
Tirreno-Adriatico (7-13 March)
Flèche Wallonne (April 20)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (24 April)
Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-12)
Tour of Switzerland (12-19 June)
Vuelta a España (19 August-11 September).

No giro for Evenepoel:

 


Victor Campenaerts Signs Three-Year Engagement with Lotto Soudal
Victor Campenaerts will sport the Lotto Soudal colours in the coming years as the 29-year-old Belgian signed an agreement of three seasons with the Belgian WorldTeam. In the past, Campenaerts was a part of the team for two seasons, in which he, amongst others, became Belgian and European time trial champion and set a new World Hour Record. Campenaerts is now ready to write a new chapter at Lotto Soudal.

“Of course, I was charmed by the many interested teams but the interesting project and the clear ambitions of Lotto Soudal convinced me,” said Victor Campenaerts. “I immediately noticed the confidence the team gave me and of course, it’s also nice that I still know several riders and a lot of staff members. Therefore, I am looking forward to contributing to the attractive style of racing at Lotto Soudal, it is really exciting! It’s with great pleasure that I look back on the past two years at Team Qhubeka. It is more than a cycling team. The good cause that’s attached to the team – to give kids a better chance for education with bikes – is something that will be in my heart for my entire life.”

Also John Lelangue, General Manager at Lotto Soudal, is delighted with the transfer of the 29-year-old Belgian. “With Victor Campenaerts, we strengthen our roster with a very complete rider. This season, he really impressed in both the one-day Classics and stage races. His aggressive way of racing also delivered some big results like a stage win at the Giro and a third place overall at the Benelux Tour. Victor believes in the Lotto Soudal project and is a perfect match for the team.”

The past season, Victor Campenaerts had a first taste of the Classics but the holder of the World Hour Record is definitely hungry for more.

Victor Campenaerts: “I really fell in love with the spring Classics and I want to continue down this road. This means to race attractively but also obtain results. Those two things often go hand in hand because sometimes it’s possible to create a scenario from which you can win races. And with many young riders like Brent Van Moer or Florian Vermeersch, there’s a lot of talent within the team. We can definitely play a role in the business end of the races.”

“Obviously, I’ve taken a step back in time trialing but I still have the knowhow, of course. I want to pass this experience onto the young guys with ambitions in stage races. If I notice just a small margin for improvement, I won’t hesitate to share my expertise. Besides, I want to be an important tutor for the young riders to sharpen their race audacity. But I can also still learn a lot within Lotto Soudal from for example Philippe Gilbert, who’ll ride his final season next year.”

“I realise that I won’t be able to compete for the win in let’s say the Ronde van Vlaanderen as I don’t have the distance in the legs just yet. That is why the main focus on training will be on improving my endurance. I want to evolve from a time trial effort of about an hour to a rider who can deal with the distance of the biggest Classics. Next season, I will thus mainly focus on the semi-Classics and short stage races.”

Also John Lelangue is already looking forward to next season. “Of course, it will be nice to have Victor back in the team. In 2019, we worked together on one of the most challenging projects within cycling as he set a new World Hour Record. Victor evolved into a real baroudeur, but there is no doubt that he will be an important part for our performance department as well. With his broad time trial experience, he will definitely bring something extra to the team. The past year, he really showed bravoure during his first Classics’ campaign, but Victor wants to set results as well. He already proved to be able to do this by taking a beautiful stage win at the Giro. Within Lotto Soudal, we will do everything to make his dreams come true. We really look forward to Victor joining the team and we cannot wait for the new season to kick off!”

Victor Campenaerts back with Lotto:

 


Bissegger Extends with Team
“I have big plans in my mind for next season, and hopefully they will play out.”

Stefan Bissegger is all set to keep wearing pink. And if you’re looking at his results from this past year — you might predict he’ll wear a yellow jersey at some point too.

Our Swiss time trialing ace made a splash very early this year at the UAE Tour when he earned himself a second place in stage two. His skills on the bike only kept steadily improving from there.

Since then, the 23-year-old rider earned himself a stage win and some time with the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice, a stage win at the Benelux Tour, and completed his first Tour de France. Yet his proudest moment this year came on home soil.

“I’m most proud of the stage win at the Tour de Suisse. A win at home is always really special,” said Bissegger.

Not only did Stefan win in Switzerland, but he was victorious in a cinematic sort of way. A heavy dose of rain showers in the Alps wasn’t going to stop him from securing a victory in his country. Plus, it became evident that Bissegger knows how to manage slippery roads and other unfavourable conditions. In fact, some might say he thrives when the weather and terrain is less than agreeable.

“The more dangerous, the better for Stefan,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He’s a great bike handler and instinctively knows how to handle tricky sections at speed.”

At this year’s Tour de France time trials, Stefan made headlines with his unbelievable save on the wet roads en route to Laval. Spectators and fans around the world had their hearts collectively stop when Bissegger was able to avoid a serious crash, shake it off, and keep racing full speed ahead.

“He’s exceptional on TT courses with numerous technical corners, and he can hold speed very well. In fact, I think he’ll be able to win the first time trial at the 2022 Tour de France,” Vaughters said.

Vaughters and Bissegger also know that he has potential to win not only in the time trials, but the Classic races as well.

“He’s not only a time trial rider but he’s quite good in races like Paris-Roubaix, which call for positioning and raw power,” Vaughters added. “Eventually, I think he’ll be one of the top riders at that race, too.”

Bissegger proved just how versatile a rider he really is at the toughest one-day race of the year. He was composed and even looked calm in the most demanding sectors of the race, and all made even more impressive by the fact that it was his very first Roubaix.

“It was special to be up there in the lead group. It felt really nice and it was just a really epic race,” said Bissegger.

Stefan is close to many riders on the team, including Jonas Rutsch who has also recently announced his decision to ride with the team next year. He’s also looking forward to working with the team’s sport directors, including Andreas Klier, who “discovered” Bisseger after watching him race at the Tour de l’Ain stage win on YouTube.

“Andreas is like a mentor to all of the riders and his knowledge on the materials is just really good. I’m really looking forward to working with the entire team next season. I want to improve myself in the big Classics and also in the time trials,” Bissegger said.

Stefan Bissegger:

 


Bahrain Victorious Sign Sütterlin, Zambanini and Osorio
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the signings of Jasha Sütterlin, Edoardo Zambanini and Alejandro Osorio.

The 28-year-old German cyclist Sütterlin joins the team and will make up part of the sprint train for Phil Bauhaus: “I am happy to be part of such a big team and to give my maximum for the role I have been given. I’m looking forward to supporting and helping the classics and Grand Tours leaders to achieve success and leading out sprints for Phil Bauhaus.”

Edoardo Zambanini is joining the WorldTour as a neo-pro. The young Italian is looking forward to his development with the team: “I’m really excited to join Bahrain Victorious team next year. It’s been a dream of mine. This team is truly the team I have wanted for this important step, a team that I admire a lot, and I am sure it will help me grow a lot. I sincerely thank everyone close to me, especially my family, the Bahrain Victorious team, for the trust they have placed in me and A&J for all the support they are giving to me.”

Alejandro Osorio also makes his move up to the WorldTour. The 23-year-old Colombian commented on signing: “I am very happy to join this team, it is a dream come true to reach the top in a World Team, and Bahrain is a team that I like a lot and is a point of reference in the world cycling scene. Next year I want to do things well and to repay the trust they have given me.”

 


Giacomo Nizzolo Signs with Israel Start-Up Nation
Giacomo Nizzolo will race in 2022 with the Israel Start-Up Nation team. The Italian sprinter comes from the Qhubeka NextHash team which is in trouble. “It is very special that I am now part of Israel Start-Up Nation,” said 32-year-old Nizzolo through his new team.

With Nizzolo, the Israeli squad hopes to have attracted a top sprinter. “From the outside, Israel Start-Up Nation seems like a very nice team with people who work very hard to achieve certain goals together. I am very proud of the fact that I am now part of this team. I am very happy and also very motivated and I am sure that we will have great successes. I want to grab every opportunity with both hands.”

Former pro Kjell Carlström is also very satisfied as team manager of Israel Start-Up Nation, now that the signatures are on the contract. “We are happy that we have been able to strengthen the team with a rider like Giacomo. He has shown an incredible regularity in recent years and is still making progress. Moreover, he is also a great teammate, we saw that again during the last World championships in Belgium. With the arrival of Giacomo, we now have even more sprint options.”

Nizzolo had very successful years with his previous teams. He was Italian and European road champion in 2020, this year he won a stage in the Giro d’Italia. The fast Italian also won the Clásica de Almería and the Circuito de Getxo in 2021 and was second in Gent-Wevelgem and Gran Piemonte. Israel Start-Up Nation previously announced the arrival of Jakob Fuglsang, Hugo Houle and Corbin Strong.

Giacomo Nizzolo:

 


Valerio Conti and Antonio Nibali set to Join Astana Qazaqstan Team for Two Years
Astana Qazaqstan Team will welcome two more Italian riders in the upcoming season with Valerio Conti and Antonio Nibali both signing a two-year agreement with the Kazakh WorldTour team (for 2022 and 2023).

Valerio Conti (28) turned pro in 2014 and during his eight seasons at the WorldTour level has scored some important results, showing himself as a strong climber and one-day racer. He won Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli in his first year as a pro, won a stage of the Tour of Japan in the following year, took a beautiful solo victory at a stage of La Vuelta in 2016, scored a solid second place in the General Classification of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in 2019 and took a win at Trofeo Matteotti in 2020. Back in 2019 Conti spent five days in the Pink Jersey as the race leader of the Giro d’Italia.

Two second places at Giro dell’Appennino and Gran Premio Citta di Lugano are his best results in the 2021 cycling season.

“I am happy to move to Astana Qazaqstan Team in the new season. It is a great team, and I am really looking forward to joining and to face the new challenges in the career. Astana is a strong and well-balanced international team, but of course, I am happy to see many Italian riders in the roster as it will be much easier for me to blend in quickly. The main goals for the next season are still to be discussed, but my personal wish is to try to win as much as possible,” said Valerio Conti.

Antonio Nibali (29) is known as a strong helper for team leaders both at the Grand Tours and week-long stage races. At the same time, Antonio is very active in breakaways, always looking for a chance to fight for a stage win. In 2018, he won a stage at the Tour of Austria and took a good 8th place at Gran Premio Citta di Lugano, while this season he was 6th at a stage of the Tour of the Alps and finished 12th in the General Classification of the Tour of Sicily.

“I am looking forward to meet the team and to start the new season. I hope to spend some good years in Astana Qazaqstan Team, to help achieve the biggest goals of the team, to try to win something and to help the leaders in the best possible way. I am quite sure I will find a nice atmosphere in the team as I know a good part of the staff and, of course, some riders. The last two seasons were not that great due to the COVID-19 situation but I hope in the following year, step by step, everything will come back to 100% normal. I am ready for a new challenge in my career, it is an important change for me, and I hope to provide my new team with all the best I can do,” said Antonio Nibali.

“Two strong riders are coming to our team. Both Valerio and Antonio are very experienced riders with many Grand Tour participations to their names, so they will bring some additional strength to our Grand Tour group. At the same time, these riders have good potential when it comes to winning races. Valerio Conti showed it many times in one-day races, while Antonio Nibali is known as a breakaway rider, so I am sure that they will get their chance to fight for a nice personal result,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Antonio Nibali back with Astana:

 


Will Barta to join Movistar Team in 2022
25-year-old American, strong time trialist, allrounder and team player, inks two-season contract, joins fellow countryman and friend Matteo Jorgenson as second US member in Blue colours.

The Movistar Team announced Wednesday that Will Barta (Boise, ID; USA, 1996), a current member of the EF Education – NIPPO squad, has signed a two-year contract (2022-23) with the organisation managed by Eusebio Unzué. Barta is the men’s outfit’s 8th confirmed addition for next season, after previous announcements of Óscar Rodríguez, Max Kanter, Alex Aranburu, Oier Lazkano, Gorka Izagirre, Iván Sosa and Vinícius Rangel.

Barta’s arrival to the Movistar Team secures them the quality of a strong rouleur, able to do well on mountainous terrain, as well as a good team player and a talented time trialist. Vice national champion as an under-23 and 4th within the elite group in 2017, as well as 4th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs, his good performances with the strong development team Axeon Hagens Berman earned him a place in the WorldTour with CCC, who took him to two consecutive La Vuelta editions. At the 2020 race, he obtained his best pro result so far: 2nd in the Mirador de Ézaro ITT, only behind Primoz Roglič.

A serious leg injury in early 2021, already in EF colours, prevented him from pinning a race number on his back until late April. The American was still able to recover well and compete in WorldTour events, such as Dauphiné, San Sebastián and Lombardia, as well as taking 5th in the US ITT Championships.

Barta will now share teams with Matteo Jorgenson, both hailing from Idaho and good friends + training colleagues in Nice, where they both live during the European season.

Will Barta: “I am thrilled to be joining the Movistar Team. Becoming a part of such a strong team with a long history makes me very motivated to be able to add to the team’s successes. My goals for the next years are to contribute to the team by helping my team-mates, and also going for good results myself when the opportunity arises. On a personal level, I would like to target one-week stage races and grow into a rider that can fight for victories there. I would also like to continue to look for improvements and focus on the TT as I have had my greatest successes there and feel it suits my strengths as a rider. I am excited to reach new levels with the Movistar Team. A bonus of joining this team is being team-mates with one of my best friends, Matteo Jorgenson. We have known each other since we were around 10 years old, and grew up racing in the same cycling club called BYRDS. Even then we dreamed of being professionals, and so to be on one of the best teams in the world together is really a dream come true. Being so close to Matteo, I was also able to see first-hand the care the team took with Matteo and that was very motivating in making me want to join the Movistar Team.”

Will Barta:

 


James Knox: “Agreeing to stay did not take too much thinking”
The 25-year-old Englishman will continue riding for the team for another two seasons.

In an exclusive blog for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step website, James told us how happy he is to stay with the Wolfpack, reflected on his achievements so far and how he hopes to grow as a Grand Tour rider.

“I am really happy to come to an agreement with Patrick and the team, and it was an easy decision to make. I had a nice talk with Patrick, where things went smoothly and we took it from there – agreeing to stay did not take too much thinking. I have now been with the team for four years and it will be six by the time I have finished, which is a long time when I think about it – I will have spent half of my ‘cycling life’ so far, with the team, which is crazy to think about, but I am really happy to stay and feeling more and more comfortable.

It is hard to know big things that I have learnt when I look back, because they have become second nature to me now, but I look at Ethan who has now joined the team, and that was basically me – a kid from the UK coming over, a little bit unnerved with the language difference and not knowing my place in the team. But I have had a lot of great, great times with the team.

There are lots of favourite moments of my time with the squad and it would be hard to pick out one – I have been honoured to be part of so many great victories. 2021 was a hard year with some ups and downs. The Grand Tours personally didn’t go how I would have hoped but I had a great spring where I got stuck in and tried to do what I could as a teammate, but there was plenty to learn from and move forward with.

Over the winter we will look at why I didn’t quite perform at the Grand Tours and analyse what we can do and go from there. To counter that, how I raced at Liège–Bastogne–Liège and helping Julian to get on to the podium was personally very, very satisfying and something that I enjoyed. Also, seeing Fabio’s wins at the Vuelta and celebrating that green jersey in Santiago de Compostela, when we crossed the line as a team in stage 20 was quite special. I raced with him in the Vuelta in 2019 and I was in Poland when he crashed, so to have seen how far he has come in that time is amazing.

I have raced two different Grand Tours now – the Giro and the Vuelta. They are similar in a lot of ways and both suit me. Maybe the Giro is a little more stressful with it being the first Grand Tour of the year and a few of the GC guys’ first outing. But I grew up racing in Italy and Spain, so I really love racing there and it would be hard to pick a favourite.

I do see myself as more of a GC rider than a one-day specialist. I don’t have the explosiveness of someone like Julian in the Classics or a Monument, but I feel like I can still go there and do a job for the team – I think I showed that at Flèche and Liège this year what I can do and I was very satisfied. And if you look, I have had two top 15 places in Grand Tours, so I can see that they are better for me, but the team has a lot of young talented riders, so maybe I am better utilised as a teammate. I can look at my own ambitions but maybe it is better that I help the big guys to continue to get the results.”

Further to the words of Knox, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “James is a rider that embodies the Wolfpack spirit – he always works so hard for his teammates. He did some immense work in the Ardennes Classics for the squad this year, as well as giving his best in both the Giro and the Vuelta, so he is adaptable too. We have seen in the past that he is also capable of being a very good GC rider, so signing him adds options and strength to our climbing group and we are really happy to be keeping him for two more seasons.”

 


Nurbergen Nurlykhassym to Turn Professional with Astana Qazaqstan Team
The reigning U23 Kazakhstan Road Race Champion Nurbergen Nurlykhassym is set to join UCI WorldTour Astana Qazaqstan Team in the upcoming season. The 21-year-old rider signed his first ever professional contract for two years (2022 and 2023).

“I am really happy and excited with a big step in my career, which I am going to do very soon. The move to the WorldTour together with our Astana Qazaqstan Team is a dream which is coming true. I spent quite a good season at the youth level, but I realise that the UCI WorldTour is a completely different level of races, preparation and goals. I am grateful to Alexandr Vinokurov for the chance I was granted with. I will do my best to repay the trust. In my mind, I am already in the new season, which I am going to start in the best team side by side with the best riders, many of those I was cheering for since my childhood. The new chapter of my career is set to start soon, and I am looking forward to meeting the team at the first training camp.” said Nurbergen Nurlykhassym.

Nurbergen Nurlykhassym already gained some important experience at the prestigious youth races all around Europe, where he represented the National Team of Kazakhstan both at the Junior and U23 World Road Championships, as well as the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia and the Tour de l’Avenir. This season, Nurbergen took an important solo win in the road race of the U23 Kazakhstan National Championships. The podium places at the Junior National Champs, fourth place at a stage of Baltyk – Karkonosze Tour (2019) and ninth place in the General Classification of the Tour de DMZ are among his youth career highlights.

“This summer Nurbergen impressed us with his solid win at the Kazakhstan National Championships, as well as with good performances at the Tour de l’Avenir and the U23 World Championships held on tough “Northern Classic” roads. In this rider we see good potential and, there is no doubt that he deserves a chance to test himself at the WorldTour level. There is a huge amount of work to be done and there is some serious experience to be gained, but I see a motivated and dedicated rider and I think he can succeed. We are going to create a strong, ambitious team, which will set some important goals in the upcoming season, so I believe that Nurlykhassym will be able to fit l into this roster well,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

“Nurbergen is a promising young athlete and the U23 Champion of Kazakhstan. This year, he demonstrated some good results, but also proved himself as a purposeful athlete. Of course, the UCI WorldTour is a different level, and he has a lot to learn, but I think this chance will provide him with the new goals and opportunities to develop properly in order to grow into a good professional cyclist. The arrival of Nurlykhasym to the WorldTour is another vivid example of fruitful cooperation between Kazakhstan Cycling Federation and Astana Qazaqstan Team. We will continue to work on finding new young talents and creating all the necessary conditions for their development,” said Nurlan Smagulov, President of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.

Nurbergen Nurlykhassym:

 


Zdenek Stybar inks new deal with the Wolfpack
2022 will be the Czech rider’s 12th consecutive season with the team.

Zdenek Stybar will continue with Deceuninck – Quick-Step next year after adding one year to his contract. A pro since 2011 – while making the full transition from cyclo-cross in 2013, a discipline where he took three gold medals at the World Championships – Zdenek is the first, and so far, only Czech rider in history to have triumphed at a cobbled Classic – the 2019 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke.

In addition to these, his palmarès includes an unforgettable Strade Bianche victory and stage wins at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. In 2021, despite an ablation procedure performed to fix a heart rhythm problem discovered after Gent-Wevelgem, Stybar still posted several solid results – top 10 placings at E3 Harelbeke, Primus Classic and the World Championships, before drawing the curtain over his season at Paris-Roubaix.

“I’m really happy I can stay with the team. It will be my 12th year in the squad, that’s quite an achievement. I hope to end my career here in a couple of years. I’m so grateful, also because of the situation I was in. Last year I missed the Tour due to a knee problem, because of that I also wasn’t at my normal level in the Classics. Then I came back strong this year in E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, but I had a heart rhythm problem. So it was a really difficult year. I had to build up from zero again. I started racing again and fell in Hageland, which again made the comeback difficult. The Vuelta finally was the step I needed to get to my level for the Worlds. I was happy after all those months of working and hoping it would turn out well, it also did,” said the 35-year-old Zdenek.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere expressed his thoughts after the deal was signed: “We are delighted to continue together on this road that we began more than a decade ago. Zdenek is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and an important member of our team, a real wolf who’s always giving his best for the squad. He also has a lot of quality, as evidenced by his victories, and we are confident he can still bring in strong results for the team next year.”

“My dream is still to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix, I’ll focus again on that. Of course, the whole Classics period is my goal. I would also like to go back to the Tour de France, I didn’t really leave a nice feeling there last year,” Zdenek said about next season. “This year at first looked like a disaster, but it turned out well in the end. It was mentally exhausting, but I’m so grateful for the support I got within the team. The difficult period started from last year in the Tour. Then I had my normal level again at this year’s Classics, I even felt that in E3 Harelbeke I would have a chance to play an important role during De Ronde. But the Wednesday after Gent-Wevelgem I was on the way to the hospital to look into my heart rhythm problem.”

“I was thinking of the fact there could be three scenarios. The worst case would mean the end of my career, a second option was a minor surgery and some rest, the best scenario was that there wasn’t anything to worry about and I could just race Flanders. The same day they also announced that Paris-Roubaix would be rescheduled, so that brought a little bit of positive news, as I could set my goals towards the autumn edition.”

At the beginning of October, Zdenek got his long-awaited wet Paris-Roubaix, but things didn’t go smoothly: “I knew it would be super nervous and tricky. I couldn’t wait to compete, but during the race itself I wasn’t feeling that well. I got cold at some point and I struggled a bit with my stomach, I really couldn’t accelerate or do anything. And on such a day you need luck, but also super legs, nothing can go wrong.”

Off-season means family time, also for the experienced Czech rider: “I go to the forest often with my family and we have picnic and play there. We sit in a tree and just enjoy being together. When my son isn’t at school, we really make the most out of it together and have some quality time. We go biking sometimes as well. I’ll also do some CX races, just because I like it. It’s a really good preparation and there’s a nice atmosphere with all the fans. A bit like the Worlds in Leuven, but here you get this feeling in every race on a smaller parcours.”

Zdenek will soon turn 36, but isn’t thinking of ending his pro career yet: “I don’t have a date when I will call it a day. Some moments you think it has been good, other moments not. I think I’ll always keep on biking. When I’m not on my bike, I miss it. I made the transition to road cycling in 2013, so that’s not that long ago and I think that’s why I’ll be able to keep on going still for a bit. I’ll feel it when it has been enough, but that’s not the case yet.”

 


Riccardo Zoidl Makes Transfer Within Austria
Riccardo Zoidl makes a transfer within Austrian cycling. The 33-year-old climber from the Alpine country leaves Felbermayr-Simplon Wels after a long time and signs a contract with Vorarlberg. Zoidl’s contract is for one season with the continental team.

Zoidl, two-time Austrian champion, has had eleven years with the Simplon Wels team. During that time, he made two trips to the WorldTour, first with Trek-Segafredo (2014, 2015 and 2016) and then with CCC (2019).

The experienced leader says he is looking forward to his time at Vorarlberg. “After many years in Wels, it is now time to try something new. Vorarlberg’s organisation and approach is unique in Austria. They know what cycling is all about. We have a strong team next year, especially for the difficult stage races,” says Zoidl. Team manager Thomas Kofler is happy with the transfer; he even calls Zoidl a dream rider.

At the beginning of 2020, WielerFlits spoke with Zoidl about his future at Felbermayr-Simplon Wels. Then he hoped that the team could make a step towards ProTeam level within two years, but that plan is on hold. Zoidl also held out hope for another chance as a pro. “If the opportunity presents itself, then that’s good. But I like cycling too much, it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s here at Felbermayr or in a big team,”

Riccardo Zoidl:

 


Team Jumbo-Visma Women Extends with Soet and Kraak

Aafke Soet and Amber Kraak will also be part of Team Jumbo-Visma Women next year. The two Dutch riders have recently extended their contract for one year. With their extension, Soet and Kraak complete the women’s team of Team Jumbo-Visma for 2022.

Soet has experienced significant development during her first year with the women’s team. “Last year I got the space and freedom to develop myself. Also on a personal level off the bike. That has been very valuable for me. The basis and the feeling are much better now. I can build on this next year and hopefully I can show some great things on the bike again.”

Former rower Kraak completely changed course last year and made the switch to cycling halfway through the season. The 27-year-old rider is looking forward to another year in the yellow-and-black jersey. “I have experienced the past six months as very pleasant. I did not have an idea beforehand of how it would go. I was already thrilled to start in many beautiful races, such as the Tour of Norway and the Vuelta. I am looking forward to developing further next year. Hopefully I can then contribute even more to the team performance.”

Team manager Esra Tromp is happy that these two riders are staying on board for longer. “Both riders have made a good development in different areas last year. In the coming year we will continue to build on this. Amber has already gained a lot of valuable experiences during her journey of discovery. In addition, she is still very curious and eager to learn, which fits well within the team’s philosophy. Amber is a powerful and tough rider. I am convinced that we will see her in the finals next year. Aafke put in a good performance last season. She has no lack of willpower and talent. We will continue to take steps together to achieve great results.”

Pernille Mathiesen and Julie Van de Velde have gone looking for another team. Nancy van der Burg ended her professional cycling career after an honourable last season.

 


Eros Capecchi Says Goodbye as a Professional Rider
Eros Capecchi has put an end to his career as a professional cyclist. The 35-year-old Italian rider of Bahrain Victorious told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I’m happy with this choice because it’s the right time,” said Capecchi, who has four wins to his name. His greatest success was a stage win in the Giro d’Italia in 2011.

Capecchi rode his last race at the end of August, the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France. In the one-day race, the experienced Italian didn’t make it to the finish. He also appeared at the start of Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Poland, among others, races in which his teammates Mikel Landa and Matej Mohorič managed to finish on the podium. Bahrain Victorious recently announced that it would say goodbye to the Italian rider, just like Wout Poels and Kevin Inkelaar and others.

Capecchi’s professional career began in 2006, having already been Italian junior champion. His first team was Liquigas, after two seasons he left for Scott-American Beef. For that team he achieved his first victories: a stage and the final classification of the Euskal Bizikleta. In 2011, he returned to the old nest at Liquigas-Cannondale. That year he won a stage in the Giro d’Italia in San Pellegrino Terme by beating his fellow escapees Marco Pinotti and Kevin Seeldraeyers in a sprint.

A year later he also won the GP Citté di Lugano. Capecchi then moved to Movistar, Astana and Quick-Step Floors to eventually join Bahrain-McLaren and Bahrain Victorious in 2020 and 2021.

Eros Capecchi in Flèche Wallonne 2021:

 


Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado Returns to Cyclo-Cross this Weekend
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado will make her comeback to ‘cross this weekend. The 23-year-old Alpecin-Fenix rider ​​has been selected by the KNWU for the World Cup competition in Zonhoven, which is scheduled for Sunday. Alvarado only rode the Bredene cross this season. She has not raced since due to health problems.

National coach Gerben de Knegt is happy to welcome Alvarado back. “She feels good enough to start again and that is of course great news,” he said about the return of the 2020 World champion. Marianne Vos, winner of the World Cups in Waterloo and Iowa City, will not be present. The 34-year-old rider will take a break until December. “We knew in advance that Marianne Vos would now take a rest. Fortunately, we have a broad group of strong riders,” said De Knegt.

De Knegt again uses the opportunity to add some promising riders to his squads. For example, 18-year-old Tibor del Grosso, who became national cyclo-cross champion in the juniors and is now riding as a U23 for the first winter. In the ladies there is a starting place for the 18-year-old Isa Nomden. De Knegt: “Apart from the experience they can gain in a top cross, it is important that our promises can race a result in the World Cups, where many points can be earned.”

“That will give them a better starting position at the European championship on the VAM mountain and therefore also a better chance of competing for the top placings. We can rotate those starting places among the better U23’s in the World Cups in Europe,” said the 45-year-old national coach.

Elite men:
Lars van der Haar
Pim Ronhaar
Ryan Kamp
Corne van Kessel
Joris Nieuwenhuis
David van der Poel
Mees Hendrikx
Stan Godrie
Luke Verburg
Tibor del Grosso.

Elite women:
Lucinda Brand
Denise Betsema
Annemarie Worst
Yara Kastelijn
Fem van Empel
Aniek van Alphen
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado
Inge van der Heijden
Manon Bakker
Puck Pieterse
Shirin van Anrooij
Maud Kaptheijns
Isa Nomden.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado:

 


UCI Professional Team Licenses for 2022
Thirty-four men’s teams have applied for a professional license for next season and eighteen of the nineteen teams want to extend their WorldTeam status. Qhubeka NextHash is missing from the list: the squad was ‘not in a position’ to submit the required documents. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Delko and Vini Zabù are missing from the applications for ProTeam status.

Qhubeka NextHash already announced last week that it was “not in a position” to submit the required documents on Friday. The team is in serious financial trouble and earlier this month it was announced that riders may look for another employer. The other eighteen WorldTeams did submit their files. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, who will continue as Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli next year, is missing from the list of teams that want to be registered as a ProTeam. Delko and Vini Zabù are also not included. Delko recently decided to pull the plug on the cycling project. Vini Zabù’s future is also be in danger.

All nine women’s teams want to extend their status as Women’s WorldTeam. This includes Alé BTC Ljubljana for the time being. The planned acquisition of that squad by UAE Team Emirates is under investigation by the UCI and subject to approval by the UCI’s licensing committee. Five women’s teams have applied for a Women’s WorldTeam license and registration as a Women’s WorldTeam. This would bring the number of Women’s WorldTeams for the 2022 season to fourteen. These are Rally Cycling, Roland Cogeas Edelweiss, Jumbo-Visma, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank and Uno-X.

Teams wishing to register as WorldTeam, ProTeam or Women’s WorldTeam for next season had to submit their registration file to the UCI on Friday 15 October. The UCI then assesses, together with an external financial controller, whether the teams comply with the regulations. Teams not on the list will still have the opportunity to apply before the end of the registration process, which will be determined by the conclusion of the licensing committee hearings scheduled for December.

Men’s teams that have applied for registration as a WorldTeam:
AG2R Citroen
Astana Qazaqstan
Bahrain Victorious
BORA-hansgrohe
Cofidis
EF Education Nippo
Groupama-FDJ
INEOS Grenadiers
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
Israel Start-Up Nation
Jumbo-Visma
Lotto Soudal
Movistar
Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl
BikeExchange-Jayco
Team DSM
Trek-Segafredo
UAE Team Emirates

Missing:
Qhubeka NextHash

Men’s teams that request registration as a ProTeam:
Alpecin-Fenix
B&B Hotels p/b KTM
Bardiani CSF Faizanè
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Burgos-BH
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
EOLO-Kometa
Equipo Kern Pharma
Euskaltel-Euskadic
Gazprom-RusVelo
Rally Cycling
Sport Flanders-Baloise
Arkéa-Samsic
Novo Nordisk
TotalEnergies
Uno-X

Missing:
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
Delko
Vini Zabù

Women’s teams that have applied for registration as Women’s WorldTeam:
Canyon SRAM
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
Liv Racing Xstra
Movistar
BikeExchange-Jayco
Team DSM
SD Worx
Trek-Segafredo
Alé BTC Ljubljana*
* the planned acquisition by UAE Emirates is under investigation by the UCI and subject to approval by the UCI Licensing Commission.

Women’s teams applying for a Women’s WorldTour license and registration as a Women’s WorldTeam:
Rally Cycling
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss
Jumbo-Visma
Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
Uno-X.

The WorldTour and ProTeam peloton:

 


Groupama-FDJ Launches Junior Team
Groupama-FDJ has expanded its squad even further. The French team had a men’s and a women’s team in the WorldTour and a U23 formation at continental level, but will now also have a junior team.

In 2020, Groupama-FDJ introduced a plan to build a junior team, but there was some delay due to the corona crisis. For the coming season, the team has six riders in its ranks, led by former professional cyclist Benoît Vaugrenard and Joseph Berlin-Semon. “We are complete because we have riders of all profiles,” said Vaugrenard. “We want to get to know them better and help them in their development.”

“Our goal is not necessarily to achieve top results right away. If they win, that’s good. But we are also there to make them work in the coming years and to guide them as best as possible in their transition to the pros,” said the ex-Groupama-FDJ rider.

The selection consists of Alexy Faure-Prost (17, climber), Titouan Fontaine (16, rouleur and sprinter with track experience), Louka Lesueur (17, puncheur and climber with cross experience), Colin Savioz (17, climber), Vlad Van Mechelen (17, sprinter and puncheur) and Jens Verbrugghe (17, all-rounder with good time trial and good in the hills).

In addition to the four Frenchmen, two Belgians, Van Mechelen and Verbrugghe complete the selection. The latter is the son of former cyclist and national coach Rik Verbrugghe, who currently works for Israel Start-Up Nation.

Jens Verbrugghe:

 


Ever Stronger Women’s Movistar Team with 14 Riders in 2022 – Including Arlenis Sierra
Cuban rider – 5th in this year’s Worlds RR, one of the strongest allrounders in the WWT – wraps up world-class lineup, with Van Vleuten and Norsgaard again as big leaders.

The Movistar Team confirmed Monday its women’s roster composition for 2022, which will be the fifth season of the Sebastián Unzué-led squad – third as part of the recently created UCI Women’s WorldTour category – in the top tier of women’s cycling.

Twelve riders from the current Telefónica-backed outfit will continue to wear the Blue jersey next season: Katrine Aalerud (NOR), Aude Biannic (FRA), Jelena Erić (SRB), Alicia González (ESP), Barbara Guarischi (ITA), Sheyla Gutiérrez (ESP), Sara Martín (ESP), Emma Norsgaard (DEN), Lourdes Oyarbide (ESP), Paula Patiño (COL), Gloria Rodríguez (ESP) and Annemiek van Vleuten (NED). They will be joined by two signings: the already confirmed move of Sarah Gigante (AUS) and a second reinforcement, confirmed by the team today, with Arlenis Sierra (CUB).

In her sixth pro season, after five years as part of Aldo Piccolo’s Astana/AR Monex structure (2017-2021), Sierra (Manzanillo; 1992) will bring the Movistar Team her strong all-around abilities: she’s got great resilience, does well at hilly terrains and has a really strong sprint. She’s completed a fantastic 2021 late season: after her victory at the second of the Navarra Classics in May, she took two stage wins and the GC of the Giro Toscana, stage one of the Tour de l’Ardèche, the Tre Valli Varesine one-day race and a 5th spot in the Flanders World Championships’ road race.

Arlenis Sierra: “I’m so thankful to the team for their confidence. They really want to help me continue to develop myself and reach my best potential. I want to take advantage from this new experience, make the most out of this two-year contract, achieve even better results and improve as a rider and person.”

As the 2022 roster is confirmed, the Movistar Team would also like to wish all the best, and thank for their contribution, to the two departing riders: Alba Teruel, a founding member of the Blue squad in 2018, and Leah Thomas, a big protagonist of the Spanish team’s big success in 2021.

 


Vincent Lavenu: “An attractive 2021 season”
“The AG2R CITROËN team has had an attractive 2021 season, even if the essence of competition is always to want more. We took great satisfaction in particular with a stage victory in each of the Grand Tours, first with Andrea Vendrame at the Giro d’Italia, then Ben O’Connor’s and a magnificent fourth place overall at the Tour de France, and Clément Champoussin at the Vuelta a Espana. I also really appreciated Benoît Cosnefroy’s win at the Bretagne Classic ahead of the world champion Julian Alaphilippe, as well as the emergence of Dorian Godon who took three victories and won the general classification of the Coupe de France. Geoffrey Bouchard winning the King of the Mountain jersey at the Giro d’Italia is also a highlight.

In addition to that, we also recognise that we had a very consistent season: we won our first race with Aurélien Paret-Peintre at the Grand Prix La Marseillaise and the last with Stan de Wulf, a very promising young rider, at the Boucles de l’Aulne. We made a special effort when racing the classics, and though we may have hoped for even better results, Greg Van Avermaet’s third place in the Tour of Flanders was a great satisfaction. We only missed out on winning one of the monuments, which was one of our defined goals. In the end, we finished eighth in the world rankings, which is proof of our consistency at the highest level throughout the season. Also, we are ambitious for the 2022 season, with a very stable backbone of the squad that can rely on strong leaders and young talents that we hope will flourish. We always rely more on our youth training program with the U19 team which feeds the U23 team and whose best riders enter the professional peloton. This is real recognition for the work done at all levels.”

Four recruits will join the AG2R CITROËN TEAM in 2022. They are Felix Gall (Team DSM), Paul Lapeira (AG2R CITROËN TEAM U23), Valentin Paret-Peintre (AG2R CITROËN TEAM U23) and Antoine Raugel (Conti Groupama FDJ). There will be 29 riders in the squad, nine of whom come from our training centre.

Eighth in the UCI World Ranking
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM ends the 2021 season in eighth place in the UCI World Ranking.
The team has won 12 victories.

  • Grand Prix de la Marseillaise: Aurélien Paret-Peintre
  • Giro d’Italia – 12th stage: Andrea Vendrame
  • Tour du Finistère: Benoît Cosnefroy
  • Route d’Occitanie – 1st stage: Andrea Vendrame
  • Paris-Camembert: Dorian Godon
  • Tour de France – 9th stage: Ben O’Connor
  • Tour du Limousin – 2nd stage: Dorian Godon
  • Bretagne Classic: Benoît Cosnefroy
  • Tour du Jura: Benoît Cosnefroy
  • Vuelta a Espana – 20th stage: Clément Champoussin
  • Tour du Doubs: Dorian Godon
  • Boucle de l’Aulne: Stan Dewulf

Please note the additional successes starting with Clément Venturini’s victory at the French Cyclocross National Championship; Marc Sarreau’s victory on the track in the Scratch event; Dorian Godon’s victory in the general classification of the Coupe de France as well as winning the best young rider classification; Geoffrey Bouchard’s King of the Mountains Jersey at the Giro d’Italia; third place for Greg Van Avermaet in the Tour of Flanders; and the bronze medal for Benoît Cosnefroy at the European Championships road race.

The AG2R CITROËN TEAM also won the general team classification of the Coupe de France.

 


Ridley and Lotto Soudal Extend to 2026
Ridley and Lotto Soudal have just extended their partnership through to 2026. Their previous contract ran through to 2022, so this means an additional four years of working – and winning – together.

The relationship between these two partners dates back to 2005, when Lotto Soudal went by the name of Davitamon-Lotto. With this much history, it is a pleasure for both parties to make the announcement today that they will continue their relationship straight through to the end of 2025.

Ridley
Jochim Aerts, CEO of Belgian Cycling Factory (Ridley’s umbrella company): “We are very proud to announce this extension. In 2025, Ridley will have been racing for 20 years at the very highest level of cycling. That’s a very big deal for a Belgian bike company, competing against the giants in the cycling industry.”

“Innovation is one of our cornerstones,” says Aerts, “and is mandatory if you want to work with a WorldTour team. We will also innovate in the coming seasons, so that the team can continue to race with the best bikes. In 2022, we will launch the new Dean Fast. These innovations are necessary to support talents such as Van Moer and Vermeersch.”

Lotto Soudal
John Lelangue, General Manager of Lotto Soudal: “First of all, I am extremely proud that we will continue to work with Ridley in the coming years. As a Belgian company that focuses on innovation, quality and performance, it is a perfect match with what Lotto Soudal stands for. Just like us, Ridley has the passion to take Belgian cycling to an even higher level. This has already been expressed in the many successes that we have achieved in a partnership of almost fifteen years.”

“The interaction between Ridley’s R&D department and Lotto Soudal’s riders and staff is crucial to continuously improve and adapt the bikes to the needs of top riders. Crucial here is the use of the state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Bikevalley. I think of the bike with which Victor Campenaerts broke the hour record or the specific Noah on which Caleb Ewan already claimed more than twenty victories. Recently modified Noah Fast Discs were developed for Paris-Roubaix, where Florian Vermeersch sprinted to the podium. And without a doubt, our collaboration will continue to enjoy many successes in the coming years.”

Moving forward
Next season, Lotto Soudal will race with the Noah Fast Disc, Helium SLX Disc and the (new) Dean Fast Disc time trial bike. There will, though, be some changes to the equipment in the final assembly. The Ridleys will, from this moment forward, be built with DT Swiss wheels, KMC chains and Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets with CEMA bearings. Other equipment partners such as Selle Italia, Deda, Lizard Skins, Look and Vittoria will remain on board.

And the riders?
“For three seasons, my Ridley Noah Fast Disc and I took part in the most important competitions in the world. And I can safely say that it has been a winning combination. And why tinker with a winning team?”, exclaims Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan. Adding, “That’s why I’m very happy that we will continue to work with Ridley in the coming seasons. It’s amazing to be able to rely on their extensive expertise. As a professional cyclist, it gives you a nice feeling that our feedback is used to continuously improve the bikes. I think that’s one of the most important keys to success. That’s why I can’t wait to see what the next few years will bring. I am sure we will create many more great memories together.”

 


BMW Le Couter and Lemmens – Le Couter to remain the Official Car Partner of Deceuninck – Quick-Step until 2026
The Wolfpack will keep driving around the world in the stunning cars of the German brand.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step will continue to be supported by the BMW vehicles, powered by BMW Le Couter & Lemmens – Le Couter, until 2026. The BMW Dealerships, located in Tielt and Waregem, have been working with the team since the start of 2019 to support our riders before, during and after races. The comfortable cars offer both the riders and staff the best support during the countless driving hours during a season that takes our team from Spain to Slovakia, and from Denmark to Italy.

Speaking of the extension of the partnership, which will also see the BMW X7 remain the exclusive VIP car during events offered by the team, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “We couldn’t be happier to be able to retain BMW Le Couter & Lemmens – Le Couter as our official car partner. Their cars and philosophy match our strategy to always innovate and aim for the best, making a very successful partnership.”

President and CEO of BMW Group Belux, Eddy Haesendonck, was equally delighted: “BMW Belux is proud to remain a partner of The Wolfpack. The BMW cars give a top experience, with both quality and luxury. This matches the spirit of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team, who always tries to go for the best results in the races and be at the top in the world of cycling.”

To seal the new partnership, Stijn Le Couter and Werner Lemmens from the Le Couter and Lemmens – Le Couter BMW dealership also provided World Champion Julian Alaphilippe with a new BMW X5 xDrive45e Plug-in Hybrid: “We are proud to provide the World Champion and his family a lot of driving pleasure behind the wheel of his beautiful BMW X5, while matching the #ItStartsWithUs campaign of the team.”

In addition, Alaphilippe, who received the vehicle shortly after successfully defending his World Championship title, said: “I immediately noticed the space in the X5! This car is clearly versatile and it’s perfect to arrive well-rested at the start of a race, as well as family car.”

Alaphilippe in his BMW:

 


Etisalat Pens Collaboration with UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates announced an exciting new sponsorship deal with Emirati based telecoms operator Etisalat as part of a four year collaboration with the company.

Etisalat is the only net provider in UAE and works in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The riders paid a visit to the Etisalat pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 to celebrate the announcement.

Mauro Gianetti, CEO & Team Principal: “Everyone at UAE Team Emirates is committed to growing a culture of health and wellness across the region. Over the past five years we have been able to positively contribute to the local community by inspiring and enabling cycling at all levels and this wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of our partners. We are proud to welcome Etisalat into the UAE Team Emirates family and look forward to working together to achieve our joint objectives over the 2022 season and beyond”.

Mr. Sultan Al Daheri, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Region, said: “We are thrilled to be the official sponsor of UAE Team Emirates, reinforcing our deep commitment to major sporting events in the UAE and internationally, and to our growing customer base. This partnership reflects our brand association in the sports sector, highlights the positive bond between the brand and consumer, and is aligned with our objective of positioning the UAE as a leading country in the worlds sports map.”

 


ENVE and EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Intensify their Relationship for the Next Two Seasons
The racing project of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team increases its robustness with the agreement reached with the American firm ENVE Composites to have its products in the ProTeam structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation for the next two seasons. ENVE Composites and the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team have already been collaborating intensively during this campaign with various components, with its wheels at the forefront, but in 2022 this relationship is intensified and strengthened with the support of the brand based in Ogden (Utah).

ENVE Composites, a company created by Jason Schiers in the first decade of the 20th century, has become in just a few years one of the great references in the sector with a range of high quality carbon products, pioneers in the development of products with this material for the world of mountain biking and downhill. At the forefront of its notoriety, its famous handmade wheels. All their products are designed and manufactured at their factory in Odgen.

Neil Shirley, ENVE Composites Marketing Manager: “It’s clear to us that what the team has built is truly special, and we’re proud to be growing our partnership with a program that’s already achieving so much success at the highest level. We are excited to extend our partnership through the next two seasons with Eolo-Kometa and utilise the team for development of the next generation of SES wheels”.

Ivan Basso, EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Sport Manager: “The success of a sporting project is always the result of the sum of all its parts, their work and dedication. Our first season in the ProTeam category leaves us with a very good taste in our mouths and undoubtedly the work with ENVE Composites has also had its necessary and fundamental percentage. The successes of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team, its great performances, have also been those of ENVE. That is why the reinforcement of this mutual trust gives me great personal satisfaction and makes me look to the future with much more optimism. We want to continue taking steps forward, we want to continue growing and without a doubt, together with ENVE, we are going to be able to achieve this”.

Fran Contador, EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team General Manager: “We are really very happy to be able to count on the sponsorship for the next two seasons of a leading brand like ENVE, with which we have been collaborating all this year in a very intense way. The harmony with the brand is really very good and I think this is due to the fact that we share a similar work methodology, philosophy and values. Working with the people at ENVE is really very easy, communication is very fluid and the bond is very strong. This agreement means that we are going to have the highest level components and wheels for our AURUM bikes and I am completely sure that these two seasons we will continue to grow together”.

Alberto Contador, president of the Fundación Alberto Contador, promoter of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team and cofounder of AURUM Bikes: “Being united with such a prestigious brand as ENVE is essential. For a professional team it is essential to be able to achieve the best possible performance. And such a consolidated brand, with such a high level, with so much engineering behind it, guarantees you to have machines capable of offering the best performance. For us it is fundamental when facing the big challenges, the big objectives, and it is also really satisfying when your team is extremely happy with the material. And not only the team, but also through AURUM Bikes and the feedback from the people who choose an ENVE set-up. Both on an aesthetic level and above all on a technical and performance level, which is what professional cycling requires, it is great news and a source of pride. And we hope to continue to work together for a long time”.

 


Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift to be Brought to Widest Audience in Europe by Discovery Sports
The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will be brought to the widest audience across Europe* from 2022 after a landmark agreement was reached today between Discovery Sports and Eurovision Sport.

History will be made on the Champs-Élysées next year as the inaugural edition begins with exclusive coverage offered for viewers in more than 50 markets across Europe* (excluding France) via Discovery Sports’ portfolio of channels and platforms including Eurosport’s linear channels, as well as streaming via the Eurosport App, GCN+ and discovery+. The world’s best women’s riders will come together to battle for the yellow jersey with viewers able to enjoy live, uninterrupted and ad-free coverage of every stage on Discovery Sports’ subscription platforms including local post-race highlights and analysis shows with insights from the best experts in the sport**.

The long-term agreement, which extends until 2025, means Discovery Sports will continue to bring the UCI Women’s World Tour to millions of viewers across Europe, building on its comprehensive cycling offer from 2021 where it delivered 100% of Women’s World Tour races to fans. This forms part of its mission to bring parity to coverage of elite men’s and women’s events, and to inspire passion in fans for the widest range of sports and athletes.

Also included in the deal with Eurovision Sport are the exclusive*** rights across more than 50 markets in Europe to show the one-day Paris-Roubaix Femmes until 2025 after broadcasting the first ever edition this month.

The eight-stage Tour de France Femmes takes place between 24-31 July and begins in conjunction with the conclusion of the men’s Tour de France in Paris. The eagerly anticipated route for the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2022 will be officially unveiled by race organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) on Thursday 14 October.

Guy Voisin, Director of Cycling at Discovery Sports, said: “The first ever women’s edition of the Tour de France has been a long time in the making so we’re absolutely thrilled to have reached an agreement with the EBU that guarantees every stage will be able to watch live and on-demand across our channels and platforms.

“We have made it our mission to invest in more world-class women’s races because it is just great sport, to help grow cycling further and to meet the expectations of our viewers everywhere. We will now harness our deep cycling expertise and unrivalled scale to bring coverage to the widest possible audience in Europe, truly unlocking the power of the sport.”

In addition to offering fans live coverage of every race on the UCI Women’s World Tour, Discovery Sports’ cycling portfolio also includes coverage of every Grand Tour and Classic road race as well as every major cyclo-cross, mountain bike, BMX and urban cycling World Championship and European Championship, and the UCI Track Champions League with Discovery Sports Events.

  • New exclusive rights agreement in 50-plus markets will see the first ever Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift showcased across Europe on Eurosport, GCN+ and discovery+;
  • Long-term deal includes live coverage of Paris-Roubaix Femmes within an expanded women’s cycling offer for fans and as part of Discovery Sports’ mission to inspire passion for all forms of sport;
  • Additional races further strengthen Discovery Sports’ reputation as the Home of Cycling after showing every race on the UCI Women’s World Tour in 2021.
  • Subscribe and access all of GCN+’s live and on demand coverage and content HERE.


    The PEZ INSTAGRAM
    See our Instagram page for a quick fix on your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews


    The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
    Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the PEZ Shop section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.


    Any comments drop me a line, email address: alastair@pezcyclingnews.com or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Page.

     

    EuroTrashlatest newsNow on pezRace Newsrider newsTeam News