All the action from the World time trial championships and the GP de Denain with video and results. Patrick Lefevere having diabetes problems – TOP STORY. Mathieu van der Poel will start Worlds. Italian Worlds team. New job for Dave Brailsford. Teams for Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Il Lombardia new route. Women’s Cofidis team riders. Tom Dumoulin to race in February. Contract news: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Diego Rosa, Lilian Calmejane and Magnus Sheffield. Young riders for Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Plus new clothing for BORA-hansgrohe. Big Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Patrick Lefevere Says he Struggled with Hypoglycemia During Vive le Vélo TV Program
On Sunday the second recording of the World championship series of Vive le Vélo was shown on television. On social media, however, it was not about the content of the program, but more about the performance of table guest Patrick Lefevere. It was suggested that the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team boss had possibly been too deep into the wine glass. Lefevere said he had a hypo due to diabetes.
The hashtag #vivelevelo was trending on social media throughout the broadcast. On Twitter, the suggestion was made that Lefevere had drunk too much while he was sitting at the table with presenter Karl Vannieuwkerke, former athlete Élodie Ouédraogo and Tom Dumoulin. Twitter users were amazed at Lefevere’s behavior and that his glass of wine was refilled during the broadcast. It was also suggested that the 66-year-old should have been protected from himself, because he had difficulty expressing his words and came across as very cheerful.
Lefevere regrets the reactions and the attention to his performance during the recordings of Vive le Vélo, which were shown in both Belgium and the Netherlands, he told Het Nieuwsblad. According to the team manager, his performance was not due to his alcohol consumption. “I have diabetes and during the episode I had a hypo, but I couldn’t just measure that during the broadcast. When you have something like this in mind, it is sometimes difficult to get your words out.”
Diabetes patients who suffer from hypoglycemia (hypo) suffer from a sharp drop in blood glucose levels. A hypo can be caused by eating too little, having too much active insulin in your body or exercising for too long without sufficient carbohydrates.
Hypo not vino:
World Championships 2021 Women’s Time Trial
Ellen van Dijk is the new women’s time trial World champion. The Dutchwoman was by far the fastest from Knokke-Heist to Bruges. Eight years after her first time trial World title (2013), she is again the best in the World. Top favourite, Marlen Reusser, was 15 seconds slower. Annemiek van Vleuten finished third at 24 seconds and took the bronze medal.
The course of the women’s time trial was identical to that of the Under 23 men. From Knokke-Heist it starts via Westkapelle and Oostkerke in the direction of Dudzele. The finish was after 30.3 kilometres in the centre of Bruges. They miss out the extra loop to Bruges, which the men rode on Sunday.
The first to finish was Riejanne Markus. The 27-year-old Dutchwoman passed the first-starter Fernanda Yapura from Argentina. At the finish in Bruges, the clock stopped for her after 38:04. The following sixteen riders, including Karol-Ann Canuel, Leah Thomas and Sara Van De Vel, didn’t come close to Markus’ time. Van Dijk started as one of the favourites for the World title, she took all the intermediate times along the course. She also managed to pass Lisa Klein, who started one and a half minutes earlier. At the finish she was just under two minutes faster than Markus with a time of 36:05. The German Klein, 1.52 minutes slower than Van Dijk, settled in second place for the time being with 37:57.
At the first intermediate point, it immediately became clear how fast they were riding. Specialists such as Lisa Brennauer, Juliette Labous and Amber Neben did not come close to Van Dijk’s top time. We had to wait for the last two starters: Reusser and Van Vleuten. Only the Swiss rider managed to record a new top time in the first time check. The difference was just 3 seconds. Van Vleuten was 16 seconds slower at the first point. At the second intermediate time point, Reusser took a little time from Van Dijk. The difference dwindled to just 2 seconds. With more than 12 minutes to go, the duel between Reusser and Van Dijk started, but when Reusser entered the last kilometre, the tension was gone. In the final section, the Swiss rider had slowed. At the finish the difference was 10 seconds. Gold for Van Dijk, silver for Reusser. Van Vleuten, who finished at 24 seconds, took the bronze.
World time trial champion, Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands): “I’ve been dreaming about this for so long. I didn’t know I would be so emotional. I’ve been dreaming of taking the title again for a long time. This year everything felt so good, but all season there was always only Reusser. She was so strong all year. I knew I was doing well this season, but she kept beating me. I couldn’t beat her in the last few weeks either. So I knew it would be super, super hard to beat Marlen here. If I wanted to succeed, I had to ride my best time trial ever. When I crossed the line I knew I had done a good time trial. But I didn’t know if it was good enough to win. Then I had to wait another hour for the results and I didn’t know if that was in my favour or not. I could already see the storm coming when Reusser was faster at the intermediate points… I just can’t believe it. It was really terrible in the hot seat, Annemiek van Vleuten still had to start when I got there. I didn’t know what my time was worth, but people around me said it was good. Time trialing is what I love. It really feels like my discipline. I knew this course suited me and the conditions were ideal for me. I tucked everything in here, resulting in gold and the rainbow jersey. This is truly a dream come true!”
World Championships 2021 Women’s Time Trial Result:
1. Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) in 36:05
2. Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) at 0:10
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) at 0:24
4. Amber Leone Neben (United States) at 1:24
5. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) at 1:30
6. Juliette Labous (France) at 1:47
7. Lisa Klein (Germany) at 1:52
8. Joscelin Lowden (Great Britain) at 2:00
9. Riejanne Markus (Netherlands)
10. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) at 2:19.
World Championships 2021 Men’s U23 Time Trial
Johan Price-Pejtersen is the new Under 23 time trial World champion. From Knokke-Heist to Bruges, the Danish rider of Uno-X was 10 seconds faster than the Australian Luke Plapp and 11 seconds faster than Florian Vermeersch from Belgium.
Just like the time trial for the elite men, the start for the U23 riders was in Knokke-Heist and the finish in Bruges. However, the course was 13 kilometres shorter at 30.3 kilometres. The U23 riders initially followed the same roads and went to Dudzele via Westkapelle and Oostkerke. They didn’t make the extra loop to Bruges. From Dudzele the route went via the World championships village of Damme to the finish. Mikkel Bjerg won the previous three editions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Adam Holm Jørgensen kicked off the time trial and set the first top time, but young Dane was only briefly in the lead. Logan Currie, the next on the starting list, was faster. Next up was Magnus Sheffield and Luke Plapp, two new additions to INEOS Grenadiers, the top time went to Plapp with 34:39. Plapp’s fast time turned out to be too much for the first Belgian Jenno Berckmoes with 35:56, future Jumbo-Visma pro Mick van Dijke in 34:54 and Finn Fisher-Black in 35:35 of UAE Emirates.
It was mainly a matter of waiting for the results of the men in the last block, especially Filippo Baroncini, Kévin Vauquelin, Florian Vermeersch, Michel Heßmann, Daan Hoole, Søren Wærenskjold and European champion Johan Price-Pejtersen. Baroncini, who will be racing for Trek-Segafredo for the next two years, and future Arkéa Samsic pro Vauquelin were not fast enough. Vermeersch of Lotto Soudal put in a strong effort and although he did not meet the time of Plapp, 34:41, he had the podium in his sights. Vermeersch had to wait and see what happened in the finalé. Heßmann fell short, as did Hoole. Wærenskjold had an excellent middle section and seemed to be on his way to the podium, but ran into problems in the last section. Then it was only a matter of waiting for Price-Pejtersen to finish. The Dane recorded the third time at the first intermediate point, but then lifted his speed. In the last section he managed to maintain his lead and secure the World title in 34:29.
World time trial champion, Johan Price-Pejtersen (Denmark): “At the last European Championship I had blown up a bit, so I thought it was better to start in a controlled manner. As a result, I was a bit behind at the first intermediate point. However, I had the advantage of starting last, and so I could see where my efforts would take me compared to my split times. At the first intermediate point I had the third time, but I wasn’t far from the fastest time. Towards the second intermediate point I accelerated, and in the end I gave everything until the finish. For me it feels like a big relief. In recent years I have stood in the shadow of Mikkel (Bjerg). He was not only better, but also older than me. I could sometimes beat him, but in the end he was always the best at the World championships. Now I had a clear shot without him. I’m really happy I was able to pick up my pace and take the title. It’s partly the pressure and partly the tragic loss of Chris Anker Sörensen. It puts everything in perspective and created a dark fog in the team. To win this time trial I had to try to keep those emotions at bay, which is why all this is now coming out. I didn’t know Chris Anker personally, but he meant a lot to cycling in the country. Even non-cycling enthusiasts knew him. He was a prankster and was loved by the Danish public. He always stood for pushing and fighting. One of the best memories I have is his victory in the Tour de France’s combativeness classification. It showed his fighting spirit and perseverance.”
3rd, Florian Vermeersch (Belgium): “The bronze medal obviously makes me very happy. Initially, there was some disappointment as I came so close to Plapp’s time. But in the end, I finish at over ten seconds from the world champion, so I have to be realistic. I was able to execute the pacing plan to perfection. The idea was to take it relatively easy at the start and then accelerate towards the second intermediate point and afterwards go full gas. In the final kilometre, I still had a nice target in front of me, which allowed me to give it my all one last time. And of course, the crowd was amazing and gave me an additional boost. Last year, I was very disappointed that there were no World championships for U23 riders. From then on, the idea to participate at the worlds in my home country took shape. The Worlds were in my head the whole year, but specific training only started before and after my participation at La Vuelta. This performance gives me confidence for what’s to come. In the future, it’s not the ambition to become a TT specialist, but it’s a big asset to have in one-week races for example. And maybe it’s good that I don’t focus on one discipline, which allows me to go in different directions. Because winning Paris-Roubaix is the ultimate dream.”
World Championships 2021 Men’s U23 Time Trial Result:
1. Johan Price-Pejtersen (Denmark) in 34:29
2. Luke Plapp (Australia) at 0:10
3. Florian Vermeersch (Belgium) at 0:11
4. Søren Wærenskjold (Norway) at 0:13
5. Mick van Dijke (Netherlands) at 0:24
6. Daan Hoole (Netherlands) at 0:39
7. Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) at 0:43
8. Michel Hessmann (Germany) at 0:48
9. Filippo Baroncini (Italy) at 0:57
10. Magnus Sheffield (United States) at 0:58.
World Championships 2021 U19 Women’s Time Trial
Alena Ivanchenko is the World junior women’s time trial champion. In the race from Knokke-Heist to Bruges, the Russian top favourite was 10 seconds faster than the Britain’s Zoe Bäckstedt. Germany’s Antonia Niedermaier took the bronze.
On the third day of the World Championships in Flanders, the junior women’s time trial was on the program. The start was in Knokke-Heist and the finish in Bruges, the junior women were faced with an individual test of just over 19 kilometres.
The top performances were expected from the Belgian ladies Marith Vanhove and Febe Jooris, the Dutch medal candidates Elise Uijen and Anna van der Meijden, the British rider Zoe Bäckstedt (the daughter of former professional and Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Bäckstedt) and European champion Alena Ivanchenko. Van der Meijden posted the first real target time at the intermediate point. Four in the past European time trial clocked 14:42. Van der Meijden managed to finish just faster than the time of the British rider Madelaine Leech, but she had to wait for riders like Bäckstedt, Uijen and especially Ivanchenko. Bäckstedt soon turned out to be on an excellent ride and managed to beat Van der Meijden’s interim time. With 14:03, less than 39 seconds under the time of Van der Meijden.
Bäckstedt set the bar very high. Next was Uijen’s interim time, but the Dutch rider didn’t come close. With 14:47 she was three quarters of a minute slower than Bäckstedt. Only Ivanchenko was able to go under Bäckstedt’s intermediate time, but only by a few seconds. Everything was still to play for in the finalé to Bruges. Ivanchenko was able to accelerate in the last kilometres and at the finish, despite a skid on one of the corners, she was just over 10 seconds faster than Bäckstedt. The 17-year-old Russian now has the time trial rainbow jersey as well as the European title. Bäckstedt, who celebrates her seventeenth birthday in three days, came second. The bronze went to Germany thanks to Antonia Niedermaier.
World time trial champion, Alena Ivanchenko (Russia): “I’m very happy and it was very fun. It was very cool. I felt good because the course was a flat one. I prefer that to the mountains. The atmosphere was good and it really helped. Next year I want to race more and train more. I want to win a big race.”
World Championships 2021 U19 Women’s Time Trial Result:
1. Alena Ivanchenko (Russia) in 25:05.49
2. Zoe Backstedt (Great Britain) at 0:10.64
3. Antonia Niedermaier (Germany) at 0:25.32
4. Anna van der Meiden (Netherlands) at 1:25.55
5. Madelaine Leech (Great Britain) at 1:26.71
6. Elise Uijen (Netherlands) at 1:29.63
7. Eglantine Rayer (France) at 1:51.52
8. Olivia Cummins (United States) at 2:15.79
9. Febe Jooris (Belgium) at 2:18.79
10. Anniina Ahtosalo (Finland) at 2:20.51
World Championships 2021 U19 Men’s Time Trial
Gustav Wang is the new world junior time trial champion. The 18-year-old Danish rider stopped the clock at 25:37 after 22.3 kilometres. Joshua Tarling of Great Britain was second at 20 seconds and Belgian Alec Segaert was third at 29 seconds.
Like all the other time trials, the battle against the clock for junior men started in Knokke-Heist and finished in Bruges. The riders under 19 years old rode largely on the same roads that the junior women had raced on earlier in the day, but the distance was slightly longer at 22.3 kilometres.
Jonathan Vervenne started the time trial for juniors and the 18-year-old Belgian had the first finishing time. He was not at the top of the leader board for long, because the one year younger Briton, Joshua Tarling, was faster. It was Gustav Wang who set the bar high for the other. The 18-year-old Dane passed the Dutchman Joost Brinkman on the course and stopped the clock at 25:37. He then saw one rider after another try to get close to his 52.5kph. Eddy Le Huitouze and Cian Uijtdebroeks, who has a professional contract with BORA-hansgrohe, third and second at the European championship in Trentino, had to concede 33 and 41 seconds respectively on the Dane.
Finlay Pickering, Wang’s compatriot Carl-Frederik Bévort and Trym Brennsæter didn’t come close. Samuele Bonetto, Darren Rafferty, Romain Grégoire and European champion Alec Segaert were part of the final group of riders. Wang was able to cross off the names of Bonetto, Rafferty and Grégoire, who will be racing for AG2R Citroën next season. Segaert would not threaten the Dane either. The Belgian fought a great battle for the podium place in front of his home fans, which earned him a bronze medal. Between Wang and Segaert, Tarling picked up the silver medal.
World time trial champion, Gustav Wang (Denmark): “It feels great. I’ve been dreaming about this since I won the Danish Championship for the first time in 2019 as a junior. Last year the World junior time trial championship was cancelled, so it feels really good to show here that I am the best in the world. That win definitely gave me a boost. It’s just amazing: two Danish guys on top of the podium in both the U23 and juniors. Why are we so strong? No idea. It’s all about being aerodynamic.”
World Championships 2021 U19 Men’s Time Trial Result:
1. Gustav Wang (Denmark) in 25:37
2. Joshua Tarling (Great Britain) at 0:20
3. Alec Segaert (Belgium) at 0:29
4. Carl-Frederik Bevort (Denmark) at 0:30
5. Eddy le Huitouze (France) at 0:33
6. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Belgium) at 0:42
7. Jan Christen (Switzerland) at 0:46
8. Finlay Pickering (Great Britain) at 0:53
9. Samuele Bonetto (Italy) at 0:54
10. Trym Brennsaeter (Norway) at 0:59.
World Championships 2021 Mixed Team Relay
Germany is the new World champion in the Mixed Relay Team Time Trial. Over the 44.5 kilometre course, divided over 22.5 kilometres for the three men and 22 kilometres for the three women, the Germans were 12 seconds faster than the Netherlands. The bronze went to Italy.
The teams were divided into three blocks. Of the first starting group, Poland was the fastest team, but their time of 54:12 was not nearly enough to even have a chance of a podium place. In the second group, the fight between Great Britain and Switzerland was especially interesting. The Swiss men were slightly faster, after which the women managed to increase the lead. A time of 51:26 was the new target time for the next countries. Successively Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands started in the last block. First the men raced from Knokke-Heist to Bruges (22.5km), while after the relay the women raced a loop of 22 kilometres around Bruges, arriving at ‘t Zand. Of those countries, Italy was by far the fastest. Filippo Ganna’s train clocked 24:18 (average 55.5km/h). Germany at the halfway point went through at 19 seconds, Denmark at 32 seconds and Belgium at 33 seconds. The Dutch men lost 42 seconds, a deficit that the women had to rectify.
The Italian women had already lost the men’s lead at the intermediate point. Germany had the top time after 36.1 kilometres, but the Netherlands were 15 seconds and in second. Italy had dropped to third place. Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kröger then set Germany’s finishing time at 50:49, 37 seconds faster than the provisional best time of Switzerland. Italy dived five hundredths of a second below the time of the Swiss and managed to pick up a medal. We had to wait for the Netherlands, where it was up to Ellen van Dijk, Annemiek van Vleuten and Riejanne Markus to beat Germany. However, that didn’t happen. At the finish, the difference between Germany and the Netherlands was 12 seconds, and so the Dutch lost the 2019 World title. It was a special day for Tony Martin. This Mixed Relay was the last race of his career for the four-time World time trial champion. Together with Max Walscheid, Nikias Arndt, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kröger, he picked up the gold in Bruges.
Gold medal winner, Tony Martin (Germany): “This is the best ending. This is a dream for me. I am very grateful to the team, especially the women. They made the difference today. I enjoyed this week with the squad. We hoped for the gold, but now that it has come true, we are going to have a party. First we will celebrate properly. I’m going home tomorrow, but I haven’t made any big plans yet. First I’m going on vacation with my family and then we’ll see. The decision to stop was made only recently. I’ll relax and then we’ll see.”
Gold medal winner, Lisa Klein (Germany): “This title means a lot to us. It hurt a lot. We were all over our limit, but it’s great to be part of this team. I enjoyed it. I also want to congratulate Tony on his last game. It was an honour for us to compete with him for the world title.”
World Championships 2021 Mixed Team Relay Result:
1. Germany in 50:49
Lisa Brennauer (Ger)
Lisa Klein (Ger)
Mieke Kroeger (Ger)
Nikias Arndt (Ger)
Tony Martin (Ger)
Max Walscheid (Ger)
2. Netherlands at 0:13
Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)
Ellen van Dijk (Ned)
Riejanne Markus (Ned)
Koen Bouwman (Ned)
Bauke Mollema (Ned)
Jos van Emden (Ned)
3. Italy at 0:38
Marta Cavalli (Ita)
Elena Cecchini (Ita)
Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita)
Edoardo Affini (Ita)
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Matteo Sobrero (Ita)
4. Switzerland at 0:38
5. Great Britain at 0:55
6. Denmark at 1:16
7. Belgium at 1:21
8. United States at 2:10
9. France at 2:52
10. Poland at 3:23
GP de Denain 2021
Jasper Philipsen won the GP de Denain on Tuesday. At the finish, the Belgian Alpecin-Fenix sprinter was the strongest in the sprint. Michał Kwiatkowski, Stan Dewulf and Clément Davy were only caught by the peloton well into the last kilometre.
Paris-Roubaix is only twelve days away, so the GP de Denain was a dress rehearsal for the Hell of the North Classic. Of the 200.3 kilometres of the GP de Denain, 20.8 kilometres were on cobblestones, over twelve sections of pavés. In 2020 the competition could not take place and this year it had to be moved. The course consisted of three circuits, the last one twice. The six cobblestone sections were also included in that loop. After the last stretch it was 11 kilometres to the finish.
Early in the race a leading group of five men escaped. Clément Carisey (Delko), Dylan Kowalski and Maxime Urruty (both Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Jason Tesson (St Michel-Auber93) joined forces with the Canadian Adam de Vos (Rally) and they took a maximum lead of 6 minutes on the peloton. Due to Alpecin-Fenix and EF Education-Nippo, the difference narrowed in the run-up to the first cobblestone section. At 91 kilometres from the finish, the leading group crossed the first cobblestone section with a lead of less than 2 minutes. De Vos rode hard, while Kowalski had to leave a gap. On the two sections that followed, the leading group fell apart. Carisey had bike problems and Kowalski was dropped. On the third stretch De Vos rode away from Urruty and Tesson. The 2019 Canadian champion had the best legs up front. Behind them; INEOS Grenadiers led the chase, while two-time winner Arnaud Démare fell back due to bad luck. Due to the acceleration from the British team, De Vos was caught at 77 kilometres from the finish. The Canadian then joined a new leading group with Owain Doull, Michał Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe (INEOS), Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Nippo), Clément Davy, Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Quinten Hermans (Intermarché), Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation), Connor Swift (Arkea) and Jérémy Lecroq (B&B Hotels). TotalEnergies had missed the boat and had to close a gap of 40 seconds. The French team got to 20 seconds, but because help was not forthcoming, the difference increased again. With a lead of nearly a minute, the eleven escapees started the final circuit. Because TotalEnergies could not close the gap, eventually Cofidis helped in the pursuit.
On the seventh cobbled section, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Jasper Philipsen pulled the pack together: it was now up to the team leaders to try to bridge the gap. However, the difference increased to 50 seconds. The peloton accelerated again – this time with Alpecin-Fenix. Gradually the lead started to shrink again. Groupama-FDJ also helped for Démare, despite the fact that the team had two men in the leading group. However, Taco van der Hoorn tried to cross to the leading group on the long ninth cobblestone section on his own, catching Swift who was dropped due to a mechanical. At the front it was the men of INEOS Grenadiers who accelerated, with Van der Hoorn and the peloton at their backs. Due to the acceleration of the British team, the leading group held off the peloton. On the penultimate cobblestone section, Kwiatkowski pushed on and only Dewulf could answer his acceleration, and on the section to Saulzoir the Pole put his fellow attacker to the test. Hermans tried to get to the leading duo, and the Belgian cyclist-cyclocross rider joined them at the front, as did Davy. The other attackers were beaten, and Vanmarcke suffered a puncture.
Vanmarcke then took the lead for his Israel Start-Up Nation team; the Belgian rider had strong legs and a puncture couldn’t have come at a worse time. At 15 kilometres from the finish, Tom Wirtgen tried to cross on his own to the four leaders, but the Luxembourger was stuck. Everyone was within 15 seconds of each other when the leading group started on the last cobbled section. Kwiatkowski pushed hard and with that he had Hermans in trouble. Kwiatkowski, Dewulf and Davy still had 18 seconds when they came off the last section. It was still 10 kilometres to the finish. Kwiatkowski was the main engine in the breakaway, while Dewulf and Davy also continued to do their turns. In the peloton, the nervousness increased as the lead group kept pushing on, while the teams of the three leaders tried to stop the chase as much as possible. With 3 kilometres to go, the difference was 10 seconds. In the final kilometre Kwiatkowski threw all his strength into the fight to stay ahead of the peloton, and Dewulf also had something in the tank. Despite their efforts, it was the peloton that sprinted for the win. Jordi Meeus went for a long sprint, but Jasper Philipsen waited for the right moment and passed his compatriot just before the finish. For the Alpecin-Fenix sprinter it was his third success in a short time. On Friday afternoon he won the Championship of Flanders and on Sunday he won the Eschborn-Frankfurt.
Race winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was a super cool win. It was a tough course. Because a large leading group was gone, I didn’t expect a sprint anymore. We didn’t have many teammates left, so it was difficult to position. In the end I found the gap to be able to sprint for the win. We have now won here twice in a row, very nice. Van der Poel should participated here again and he could certainly have made the race hard. Now it came together on the cobblestones and I was able to sprint to victory. I still ride three more races and I want to try to keep my form as good as possible. I hope to win again this year.”
2nd, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a tough battle over the cobbles, I had to suffer a lot and we just managed to catch the leaders on the last kilometre. Rudi did a great lead-out and I could launch my sprint from a perfect position. Actually, I thought I made it, but Philipsen just pushed his wheel in front on the final meters, he was super-fast on the last 20m. Still, I am happy today with the result.”
Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The cobble sections succeeded each other quickly and the peloton finally split on the third one. In this strong breakaway, I managed to react on the decisive attack. But I had to dig deep to join Dewulf and Kwiatkowski, and never really recovered from the effort. It is a pity that I couldn’t follow them on the final cobble section, but I really enjoyed my last road race. It was pleasant to conclude the road season in a free role, because I worked hard to accomplish my great ambition this year. I learned a lot in my first season in the World Tour, for example that I can be in the mix in the final of the biggest races, or on a tactical level to wisely use my efforts. It is with great satisfaction about my road season that I’ll do my first laps in the mud this weekend!”
GP de Denain Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:40:44
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Ben Swift (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
5. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.
Mathieu van der Poel Will Definitely Start the 2021 World Championships
Mathieu van der Poel will participate in the 2021 World Championships in Flanders. The 26-year-old Alpecin-Fenix rider has been struggling with hernia complaints since the Olympics, but concluded after his last race that he is fit enough to start. He will be the leader for the Netherlands and will have a course in Leuven that is tailor-made for him.
National coach Koos Moerenhout is happy that his intended leader is there. “Mathieu has not had the ideal run-up to this World championships, but he certainly gives an extra dimension to our road team. It increases our chances of success that he participates. He may not be the outspoken favourite due to his physical issues leading up to this World championships, but he will certainly be a rider to watch. I’m glad he’s starting.”
MVDP made every effort to prepare as optimally as possible in the time he had left. “Recently he has been forced to train quite a lot to get in shape for the World championships. He now feels the repercussions of that. That fatigue is of course also in his legs. With the races he rides in these days, he hopes to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Furthermore, it is his task to recover from his heavy training sessions in the last days towards the World Cup and so that he is fresh enough at the start of the World Cup on Sunday,” said Moerenhout in an interview with WielerFlits on Sunday.
The national coach does think that he now has a potential winner in his team, he said. For Van der Poel, this week is mainly dominated by rest. “What can you do in such a short time to improve a few more percent towards the World champs? However, he should also not force and want to do too much. Freshness is also very important. After all, he is a rider who could decide this World championships by ‘exploding’. In my opinion you can only do that when you are fresh. It is a very thin balance between form level and freshness that he will have to look for in the coming days.”
In order to prepare for the World championships, Van der Poel didn’t start in the GP Denain on Tuesday.
Italian World Championships Team Around Colbrelli and Trentin, Last Decision will be Made on Saturday
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sonny Colbrelli and Matteo Trentin have been designated by national coach Davide Cassani as leaders for the World championships in Flanders on Sunday. The Italian selector will take nine riders to Belgium, where he will only decide on the final eight on Friday or Saturday after the last reconnaissance. Lorenzo Rota has been dropped.
In addition to Colbrelli and Trentin, Giacomo Nizzolo would also be sure of a selection. According to the Italian sports newspaper, INEOS Grenadiers riders Salvatore Puccio and Gianni Moscon are on the lookout to be the last to lose their place on the team. SpazioCiclismo, however, contradicts that and writes that in addition to the aforementioned three, Moscon is also sure of its place. According to them, the last dropout is between one of the other five riders: Andrea Bagioli, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Puccio. Cassani will go to Flanders with nine riders, one of whom will have to watch from the sidelines on Sunday.
The World championships is Cassani’s last job for the Italian federation. Under his leadership, Italy won European championships on the road in the last four years and Filippo Ganna won two world titles in the time trial. A rainbow jersey on the road is still missing; the last time the Squadra Azzuro won was in 2008, when Alessandro Ballan was the best in Varese.
Provisional Italian selection for the World Champs 2021 in Flanders:
Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious)
Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation)
Gianni Moscon (INEOS Grenadiers)
Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka NextHash)
Salvatore Puccio (INEOS Grenadiers)
Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates)
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).
* One rider won’t start
Colbrelli for the rainbow?
Brailsford Steps Back at INEOS Grenadiers, Ellingworth New Team Manager
Dave Brailsford, who has been the team manager of INEOS Grenadiers since the team’s inception in 2010, will soon be ‘taking a step back’ according to Tuttobiciweb. Brailsford will take over as INEOS Sports umbrella, while Rod Ellingworth will move on and act as team manager of the cycling team from next season.
Both Brailsford, Ellingworth and INEOS Grenadiers could not be reached for comment, although the British formation dismissed the news as ‘speculation’. However, Tuttobiciweb is firm and writes that Brailsford is stepping down as team manager after twelve years and will soon be setting out the sporting lines within INEOS Sports. The sports branch within chemical company INEOS is, among other things, the main sponsor of Formula 1 team Mercedes and owner of football clubs FC Lausanne-Sport and OGC Nice.
It is now up to Ellingworth to fill big shoes as INEOS Grenadiers has been very successful under the wing of Brailsford, who has struggled with health issues in recent years. The British team has won the Tour de France seven times since its foundation in 2010 and has also been successful several times in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. This season the victory counter is at 32, with the Giro victory of Egan Bernal as the highlight so far. Although, the Tour turned out to be a disappointment again this year.
Ellingworth was involved in the founding of Team Sky in the past and, as a performance manager, shared responsibility for the team’s sporting achievements. The Briton left for Bahrain Victorious in 2019 to become manager there, but returned to INEOS Grenadiers as Director of Racing this season.
Since the report, Brailsford has publicly denied it, saying he is happy at the helm of the team.
2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes: Teams Selection
After the withdrawal of teams; A.R. Monex Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ita), Plantur-Pura (Bel) and Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (Rus). The organisers of Paris-Roubaix Femmes have modified the teams selection for the 1st edition (Saturday, October 2, 2021) by inviting: Bepink (Ita).
Below the 22 teams selected:
WorldTeams automatically entered are:
Alé BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Canyon / / SRAM Racing (Ger)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Liv Racing (Ned)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Team BikeExchange (Aus)
Team DSM (Ger)
Team SD Worx (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
Furthermore, the five following UCI Women’s Continental teams will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix Femmes:
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (Usa)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita)
The organisers have invited the following teams:
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team (Fra)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport – Proximus Continental Team (Bel)
Drops – Le Col supported by Tempur (Gbr)
Team Coop – Hitec Products (Nor)
Jumbo – Visma Women Team (Ned)
NXTG Racing (Ned)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling (Fra)
Il Lombardia 2021: New Route Unveiled with 4,500 Metres of Elevation
On Saturday 9 October, from Como to Bergamo (239km), the final Monument Classic of the year will take place. High caliber riders on the start list include Tadej Pogacar (winner of the 2021 Tour de France), Primoz Roglic (Olympic Time Trial Champion and winner of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana), promising Belgian star Remco Evenepoel, British prospect Tao Geoghegan Hart (winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia) and two icons of the sport – Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome. The last rider to win in Bergamo was Esteban Chaves in 2016.
On Sunday 10, from Cantu to Cantu, the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia will see entrants scale the climbs of Ghisallo and Sormano. Registration is still open at www.gfilombardia.it.
Il Lombardia presented by Eolo route
Il Lombardia presented by Eolo returns to its original spot in the autumn racing calendar, after its brief appearance in August of last year, with a new route that’s designed to be both selective and spectacular. The riders will face six climbs following their departure from Como, with the steep hill of Bergamo Alta awaiting them before the finish, to complete a total of 4,500 meters of elevation during the race.
After the start from Como towards Cantù, the riders will tackle the Ghisallo as the first climb of the race, ascending from the Asso side to then descend to Bellagio and reach Lecco along the shore of Lake Como. Upon entering the province of Bergamo, a series of climbs begins that leads to the finish line. This section of the race is characterised by a continuous succession of climbs and descents with almost no flat sections in between. The riders will climb the Roncola first (Valico di Valpiana, offering gradients of up to 17%), then the climbs of Berbenno, Dossena, Zambla Alta and Passo di Ganda for a total vertical elevation that surpasses 4400m. From Ganda, the route leads to the Selvino where the classic long descent with 19 hairpin bends begins. From there, the riders will cross 9km in their approach to the city (the only flat section of the final part of the route) and begin the iconic passage through the Città Alta before the finish in Bergamo.
The final kilometres
The last kilometres head through Bergamo’s upper town, going up to Porta Garibaldi and then (crossing 200m of cobblestone terrain) to Largo Aperto. In the first part the gradients are always in excess of 10% (max 12%). Downhill the roadway is wide on a smooth surface. At 1800m from the finish, there is a sharp turn with a short bottleneck to overcome the Porta Sant’Agostino. After the last kilometre, a wide curve to the left awaits the riders before they join the straight that leads to the finish. The final straight is 800m long and 7.5m wide on an asphalt surface, downhill in the first part and then flat.
The Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori said: “After last year’s ‘restart’ edition, which started symbolically from our city, Il Lombardia returns as the main autumn classic to bring the professional cycling season to a close. This year’s race brings with it great expectations and a desire for ‘rebirth’, and finishes in Bergamo – one of the most beautiful sporting cities in Italy, where cycling and sport are essential values of territory. This year’s route is even more fascinating than the last thanks to the great work done by the organisers. Its conclusion lies in the centre of Bergamo after a final ascent along the streets of our historical centre of Citta Alta, and descent alongside the Venetian Walls – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. This year has truly been a source of great satisfaction for Italian sport: the European titles achieved in football and volleyball (male and female), a record haul of Olympic medals and the exploits of the Italian athletics team and the Olympic and World titles in track cycling. I’m convinced that the Italian nation will be the main protagonist of Il Lombardia too, but regardless of what happens, Il Lombardia 2021 will be – as it always proves to be – a great race. May the best man win.”
Como Councillor for Sport, Marco Galli added: “After the one-off ‘Ferragosto’ edition in 2020, Como welcomes the race start of Il Lombardia and its finish in Bergamo – a city that has particularly suffered this last year from the effects of the pandemic. For our city, hosting the start of the 115th edition of this important Monument also carries a meaning of ‘restarting’. It comes after a very troubled period that was marked by the virus, but also the recent flooding that has impacted the banks of the Lario and Como territory. The multiple cycling champions who have already confirmed their participation will parade through the city centre after sign-on and will be enthusiastically welcomed by fans, many tourists and ordinary citizens alike – all enthralled by the sights and sounds of the race caravan. As always, it will be a big celebration for the city of Como and its territory; a place that loves sport in general, and cycling in particular.”
“With this historic classic – underlined the Undersecretary of the Lombardy Region in charge of Sport, the 2026 Olympics and Major Events – back at the end of the season, our splendid territory confirms itself as a major player at the international level also in the two-wheel sector. Il Lombardia is the icing on the cake of a season full of successes and Lombardy records, in numerous sporting disciplines, most recently the fantastic 20″11 recorded by our Filippo Tortu on the track in Nairobi.”
“After the successes of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Tokyo,” he continued, “it is now the turn of one of the best-loved road races in cycling, Il Lombardia, to shine the spotlight on our region. This year the race takes on a significance that goes beyond a competitive one, also because of the choice of Bergamo as the city of arrival. After the sad and dark periods of the ‘lockdown’, Lombardy has come back stronger than before in many areas. In less than five years’ time we will be hosting the Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina: ours will be the Games of sustainability and will be an example to the world of Lombardy’s tenacity, capacity and efficiency.”
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director added: “After the previous very special edition of Il Lombardia, run on the day of Ferragosto in 2020, the last Monument of the season returns to its original location on the international calendar with a new and very selective route. The alternation between the cities of Como and Bergamo will this year see the race start in the city of Como and finish in the city of Bergamo. The well-established relationship between RCS Sport and the Lombardy Region continues, which in addition to Il Lombardia this year has already hosted some stages and the arrival of the 104th Giro d’Italia in Milan. ‘The Classic of the Falling Leaves’, the last Monument on the international calendar, will have worldwide visibility thanks to the television images produced by RAI and will be broadcast in 200 countries on 5 continents. It will be a route without hard climbs like the one in Sormano, but a series of bumps for a total elevation of 4500 metres. Like every year there will be great champions at the start. This year we have riders of the calibre of Pogacar, Roglic, Evenepoel, Geoghegan Hart, Nibali and Froome just to name a few who I am sure will put on a show. As always, the day after the pro race, there will be the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia that will start and finish in Cantù, with the symbolic climbs of Ghisallo and Sormano”.
Fuglsang – Winner in 2020:
Women’s Cofidis Team Taking Shape
It has been known for some time that Cofidis would have its own women’s team in 2022. Now the selection is also taking shape. The French team presented the first ten names this week.
The Cofidis women’s team will start its first season with a relatively small team, the team will soon also present an eleventh rider. It is certain that Clara Koppenburg, Rachel Neylan, Martina Alzini, Valentine Fortin, Cedrine Kerbaol, Sandra Levenez, Pernille Mathiesen, Olivia Onesti, Gabrielle Pilote Fortin and Alana Castrique will wear the Cofidis kit next season.
Team manager Cédric Vasseur is counting on a mixed group, with four French women and riders from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Australia and Canada. Most riders are under the age of thirty, but 39-year-old Neylan and 42-year-old Levenez push the average age up. With Koppenburg, Neylan and Mathiesen, several riders already have much-needed experience.
Cédric Vasseur talks about a balanced team in a press release. “It is important to find the right balance between young talents and experienced riders. We want to help the talented riders to build a sustainable career.” Cofidis chairman Thierry Vittu adds: “It is a good team in which young talents get the opportunity to show themselves at a high level.”
Tom Dumoulin: “My First Races Will Not be Until February”
Tom Dumoulin attended the elite men’s time trial World championship in Flanders on Sunday, but in a different capacity than he had hoped. Due to a broken wrist, sustained in a collision in the Ardennes, the Dutch rider had to miss the World championship and end his season early.
Dumoulin was hit by a motorist a week and a half ago. “In the meantime, things are going really well under the circumstances, only the circumstances are less fun. It was a turning car that hadn’t seen me. The car turned into a side road and I landed on the hood, catching myself with my wrists. One was so broken that it had to be operated on. I can’t do much with it yet, so unfortunately the season is over for me,” he told NOS.
Dumoulin’s program had included the World time trial and road championships, as well as Milan-Turin, Tre Valli Varesine and the Tour of Lombardy. “If all goes well, I can cycle on the rollers in two or three weeks, and then I can carefully go outside again. But there is actually no rush at all now, because my season is over and my first races will probably not be back until February,” said the 30-year-old rider of Jumbo-Visma.
Dumoulin chats with Tony Martin at the Worlds on Sunday:
Boasson Hagen Declines Uno-X Offer and Stays With TotalEnergies
Edvald Boasson Hagen will stay with TotalEnergies next year. According to the Norwegian TV2, the 34-year-old Classic rider has rejected an offer from Uno-X to extend his contract with the French ProTeam.
Boasson Hagen rode for NTT Pro Cycling and its predecessor Dimension Data from 2015 to 2020. He decided to switch to TotalEnergies, where he signed a one-year contract for 2021. Despite only finished in the top-10 twice, he will stay with the French team. Next year he will have a role in supporting Peter Sagan. Boasson Hagen does not want to comment on his possible contract extension.
Uno-X manager Jens Haugland says they have spoken with the Norwegian. The plan was to use him as a mentor for the young riders and also to give him his own opportunities, but Boasson Hagen did not go into that. “Of course we would like him to come to us, but we respect his choice,” Haugland told TV2.
Edvald Boasson Hagen staying with TotalEnergies:
Diego Rosa, first incoming of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team 2022
Italian Diego Rosa will ride next season for EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. The experienced cyclist from Corneliano d’Alba, who has ride the last two seasons in the French Team Arkea, becomes the first reinforcement of the ProTeam structure of the Contador Foundation for his second season in the category. The Piedmontese cyclist signs for one season.
Rosa (27 March 1989) began his cycling career in the world of mountain biking, a discipline in which he finished in the top-ten (8th) at the U23 World Championships in 2011. From there he began to focus on the road and after one seasons in the amateur field he made the breakthrough with Androni Giocattoli. He then rode two years with Astana and three with Team SKY, now Team Ineos, the team from which he joined the French team.
“I really wanted to return to a more Italian atmosphere, I missed it. I’ve been in France for two years and before that I spent three years in a British team. And before that at Astana, although it had a lot of Italian presence, in the end it was a Kazakh team. I’ve got to know different cycling realities and for 2022 I wanted to take this step. French cycling is a world apart, with its own different calendar, a very high level and a lot of national riders. Getting to know other realities is always enriching”, says the rider from Piedmont. “During the summer I spoke with Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador, we exchanged impressions and we quickly saw that there was good harmony. When a rider is calm and the atmosphere is good, everything is easier and so are the results. In this sense, I’m looking forward to enjoying my work and my teammates again… We’re already thinking about 2022”.
Diego Rosa’s track record includes a victory in the 2015 Milano-Torino, a stage in the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country and the overall in the 2018 Settimana Coppi e Bartali. In 2020 he was third in the Trofeo Laigueglia and tenth in the Strade Bianche. In the Giro di Lombardia, one of cycling’s five monuments, he finished second in 2016 and fifth in 2015.
“When a new team is born, when a new structure comes into cycling, you always pay attention to it. To see how they do it, to see how they are organised… With the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team there was also that curiosity. I had the opportunity to compete against the team in some races, like the Trofeo Laigueglia, the Strade Bianche, the GP Industria & Artigianato, the Tirreno-Adriatico… In the Vuelta a Asturias I was impressed. We were working hard there to get the overall with Nairo Quintana and whenever the race was selected the team was there. Lorenzo Fortunato had a great race, he looked very good for the Giro. We know each other, because he was a teammate of my brother Massimo, and during a training camp in Livigno he was talking to me about the organisation of the team, about the high altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada before the Giro d’Italia…”.
Ivan Basso, sport manager of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “I have to say that I was immediately impressed by Diego: by his desire, by the spirit with which he accepted our proposal, by the desire to get involved with our jersey and our colours. He is a superior rider, he has done seasons at the highest level and we were looking for a rider exactly like him. I’m sure that Diego will be able to put on the tarmac everything he told me and transmitted in the meetings we had, and I’m sure that he will represent a very important element in the development process of our team”.
Fran Contador, general manager of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “Diego is a rider with a long experience in WorldTour teams; we are talking about a rider with a great talent that we are sure that he will demonstrate his quality with us. Nowadays, the way cycling is, sometimes it seems that just because a rider is in his thirties, his career is almost over. Diego has a lot to contribute and to say. We are convinced that from the beginning he will show us all his worth. He will also bring a lot to the younger riders, given all his years of experience”.
Lilian Calmejane Signs for One Year
Lilian Calmejane will stay with AG2R Citroën. The 28-year-old Frenchman was in his first year with Vincent Lavenu’s team, but hasn’t had many results. He was looking for a new team, but in the end he signed for one year with AG2R. “I am very happy to be able to extend this adventure,” Calmejane said in a press release.
Lavenu was more or less forced to transfer European junior champion Romain Grégoire straight from his U19 squad to the pros next winter. According to WielerFlits sources, Calmejane was then offered a contract with Intermarché-Wanty Gobert, but the Frenchman rejected that at the last minute when it became clear that he could stay with AG2R Citroën.
“Injuries held me back at the start of the season, because I was unable to race for weeks,” Calmejane explained. “I have found my place here in an excellent group of riders. I hope I have a good 2022 season and I hope to get back to the level to win as soon as possible.” Calmejane’s best results this year were fourth place at the Picón Blanco in the Vuelta a España and eighth place in the GP Marseillaise.
AG2R Citroën previously signed ex-mountain biker Clément Berthet (24) from DELKO, and will take Felix Gall (23) from DSM next winter, Lavenu will pick up Antoine Raugel (22) from the training team of Groupama-FDJ and from the team’s own U23 academy Valentin Paret-Peintre (20). With Grégoire (18) next to him, Lavenu is working hard to rejuvenate his team.
Calmejane to stay with AG2R Citrooën:
Junior Individual Pursuit World Record Holder, Magnus Sheffield, Joins INEOS Grenadiers
In 2019 Magnus Sheffield raced a slippery, crash riddled race in Yorkshire, in what had been one of the soggiest World Championships in years, taking bronze in the UCI junior road race. He was 17-years-old, and showed the world that his name was one not to be forgotten. Fast-forward two years and INEOS Grenadiers are delighted to announce that Sheffield will be joining the team from January 2022.
When the global pandemic hit, this young and upcoming American talent, like many, saw his season race plans cancelled. It was time to rethink what his season could look like with a calendar of no racing.
He decided to take to the track with the goal to break the junior 3km individual pursuit world record. In November 2020, at Eleven Velodrome at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs he did just that, with a time of 3:06.447, beating the previous record that stood at 3:09.710.
“It was a really hard time because all the races were cancelled, it was really heartbreaking, especially to miss out on a whole year of racing as a junior,” Sheffield says. “The pursuit was something that I knew that I could do by myself, along with support from the USA coaching team, of course. But what was key, is I didn’t need any other competitors, and it was something that I could be quite flexible with timing wise.
“I’m not sure what inspired me to want to do it other than I’ve always liked the individual pursuit, but it was something that was definitely a lot more difficult when I went to try and break the record than what I had anticipated. It was a really cool experience that I’ll remember for a long time,” Sheffield recalls.
In 2020 Sheffield made the leap across the Pond to one of Europe’s cycling hubs, Girona, to embark upon his first elite level season. Having previously raced in Europe as a junior, he already knew it was going to involve quite the step up, but one he felt ready for.
“There’s a big jump going from the juniors to the professional ranks, especially missing out on a year of racing. I would say that the intensity of the races hasn’t changed much since when I was a junior, they’re very similar. It’s just that you try and do it after 200km,” he notes.
When asked what kind of rider he sees himself as, he responds: “I kinda see myself as an all-rounder, I would say that the one day races are the ones I like the most, especially with the cobbles, but the first couple of years on the team I just want to see which type of terrain suits me.”
Director of Racing, Rod Ellingworth believes that Sheffield has shown he has a lot of talent, and is excited to see him develop within the team: “Magnus has shown that he’s a gutsy racer, and one that when faced with challenges has the aptitude to create solutions to overcome what life throws at him. The way he sets himself goals and works towards them is a quality that fits with the INEOS Grenadiers’ ethos. Developing up and coming talent is now a real focus for this team, and it will be interesting to see how he grows over the coming seasons.”
From a young age Sheffield remembers watching and admiring how the team raced, “I grew up watching Team Sky on the front of races, I can even remember Brad winning the Tour, that was probably my first recollection of the team,” he says. “It’s always been a team that I’ve looked up to, and out of all the professional teams it was the one that I grew up wanting to be a part of.
“The next couple years I’m looking forward to gaining as much experience as possible and really just trying to find the style of racing I like the most. Then also being able to help my teammates succeed.”
Magnus Sheffield on the right:
New Reinforcements for Lotto Soudal U23 and Lotto Soudal Ladies
Also next year, Lotto Soudal will give young talents the chance to further develop themselves. Eefje Brandt, Mieke Dockx and Kylie Waterreus will defend the Lotto Soudal Ladies colours from next year. The Lotto Soudal U23 team will be reinforced by Jelle Harteel, William Junior Lecerf, Gianluca Pollefliet, Noah Vandenbranden and Vincent Van Hemelen. Earlier, it was announced that junior European time trial champion Alec Segaert will be added to the Development Team roster.
“The choices we made are quite obvious”, says Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports manager at the Lotto Soudal U23 and Lotto Soudal Ladies team. “We are always aiming for a good mix of climbers, sprinters and rouleurs, which we managed to do once again this year. Over the years, the results of our Development team have become a magnet for a lot of young riders and this virtuous circle sometimes enables us that we are one step ahead to attract the best talents.”
Third-year espoir Vincent Van Hemelen (20) has impressed with a strong season including some very consistent top results. He recently finished second overall at the Tour de Moselle and the Ronde van Vlaams-Brabant. At the Flanders Tomorrow Tour, Van Hemelen finished third on the general classification. Besides cycling, the youngster is also studying medicine.
18-year-old Jelle Harteel has had an impressive year so far, which was also noticed by the national coach as Harteel will be part of the Belgian selection at the junior world championships this Friday. As a rider suited to the Classics, the course in and around Leuven should be made for the youngster. This weekend, he won the second stage of the Keizer der Juniores. Harteel does not only limit himself to road racing, because the rider from Adinkerke can also be found racing his cross bike in the winter season. In 2018, he became Belgian cyclocross champion in his age category.
William Junior Lecerf (18) is a pure climber. He is also still active in cyclocross (as a junior, he managed to win the prestigious Druivencross Overijse in 2019), but this rather as a preparation towards the road season. This summer, the young Belgian finished third at the opening stage of the challenging Tour du Piémont Pyrénéen.
Gianluca Pollefliet (19) is a first-year U23 rider with a pair of fast legs. Several years ago, Pollefliet made the switch from BMX to road racing, which seems to become a successful move. As a first-year espoir, he immediately won his first race in the U23 category. At the Flanders Tomorrow Tour, he sprinted to runner-up on the closing stage. Pollefliet is also active on the track, recently he finished seventh in the elimination race at the European championships in Apeldoorn.
Noah Vandenbranden (18) is also an experienced track rider. At the past European championships, he obtained top ten places in the individual pursuit and the kilometre race. Also on the road, Vandenbranden already highlighted his capacities as a rouleur. At the Belgian U23 time trial championships – where current Lotto Soudal U23 rider Van Eetvelt conquered gold – Vandenbranden finished third.
“Also within the Lotto Soudal Ladies team, we aim for a good balance between the riders. That is why we will welcome Eefje Brandt, Mieke Dockx and Kylie Waterreus next season. Eefje is a true rouleur and proved this recently by winning the Memorial Igor Decraene. Mieke is more of a climber’s type. Kylie is recovering from quite a severe injury but wants to take a step forward at our team next year”, explains Kurt Van de Wouwer.
19-year-old Eefje Brandt finished sixth at the Belgian U23 time trial championships in Koksijde. Recently, she highlighted her capacities as a rouleur by winning the prestigious Memorial Igor Decraene, where she beat amongst others current Lotto Soudal Lady Alana Castrique.
Mieke Dockx (25) will also join the Lotto Soudal Ladies in 2022. The Belgian rider has a good pair of climbing legs, which she recently demonstrated with a nice top ten result at the Tour de l’Ardèche. She finished fourth at the Belgian road championships in 2019, where her then teammate and current Lotto Soudal rider Jesse Vandenbulcke took the title.
Kylie Waterreus (23) is more of a rider for the Classics. This year, a heavy crash on training threw a spanner in the works, but the Dutch rider is determined to come back stronger and gain experience at the Flemish Classics next season.
Young Slovakian Talent Martin Svrcek to Join the Wolfpack in 2022
The 18-year-old will turn pro next summer with the most successful team in the world.
Born in 2003 in Nesluša, a small municipality in the region of Žilina, Martin Svrcek impressed from a young age, giving an indication of his blossoming talents in a wide range of races. A complete rider, very strong on the climbs and possessing an excellent sprint, Martin has been unleashed in the junior ranks since the start of the season, racking up 15 victories as a member of Team Franco Ballerini, including both national titles, a stage and the GC at the Tour du Leman, stage 5 of the Tour de la Région Paca and a string of Italian one-day races.
These victories and the impressive way he deployed his skills in stage races, one-day races and time trials have caught the attention of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who signed Martin on a two-and-a-half year contract, starting from July 2022. Until then, he will ride for the Biesse Carrera Continental squad in the U23 category, where he will have a good environment and the chance to take it step by step as he continues his learning process.
“I’m extremely happy, because Deceuninck – Quick-Step is the best team in the world. I wasn’t expecting something like this, so it’s really awesome. My dream was to get to the World Tour, but I couldn’t have imagined signing for this team. I love everything about this squad: the atmosphere, the winning spirit, the history, the jersey that always stands out from the peloton. What are my goals? I want to give my all for the team, to improve, to gain experience and then we’ll just see how it goes. But before that, I will compete in a series of U23 races with my Italian team to get used to long races and everything that this means.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere is happy to welcome the young Slovakian talent in the team: “We are proud that Martin will join us next year and we are confident he will show his huge potential in our squad. We have been following him for quite a while, he’s only 18 years old but he has already shown some great results. We want to help Martin improve and get more experience in the pro peloton. We are excited that Martin will be a member of the Wolfpack and we can’t wait to have him with us at the races.”
New Apparel Partner for BORA-hansgrohe: Raubling-Based Racing Team to Compete in Le Col from 2022
With Le Col, BORA-hansgrohe has brought on board a partner whose strengths lie primarily in the area of performance. Through experience outside of cycling, for instance with McLaren, it is hoped that they will set a new benchmark together, particularly in the area of aerodynamics. Designs and further details will be presented at a later date.
“I am very happy to have found a performance partner in Le Col, who shares our passion for the sport. Yanto Barker was a rider himself, and right from our first conversation, we found ourselves to be on the same wavelength. He understands exactly what is necessary to be successful in modern cycling and is able to implement feedback from the riders very well with his team. We hope to set a new benchmark together, most notably in terms of aerodynamics and performance, as this area has become increasingly important over the recent years. Le Col’s resources, know-how and experience are highly promising here and we are very much looking forward to working together.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager.
“Over the past year, the Le Col team and I have spent long hours working on initial designs tailoring for the BORA – hansgrohe team. We’re incredibly excited to be back in the UCI WorldTour with BORA – hansgrohe, a team we have admired and aspired to be working with for a long time. We are honoured to be working with some of the greatest riders in the world and especially looking forward to providing their performance cycling kit for the coming season.” – Yanto Barker, founder of Le Col.
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