Paris-Roubaix this weekend, but first the Giro di Sicilia, Eurométropole Tour and Paris-Chauny with reports and video. Jumbo-Visma continue to use Ketones – TOP STORY. Lots of news from Roubaix, Tom Dumoulin to BikeExchange? Philippe Gilbert and Ruth Winder on the UCI athletes committee and the UCI team rankings. Team news: Riders for the Giro dell’Emilia. Rider news from Kenny De Ketele, Gianni Moscon, Owain Doull, Ludovic Robeet, Luc & Tom Wirtgen, Jarrad Drizners, Max Kanter, Alex Aranburu and Michael Schwarzmann. Deceuninck – Quick-Step auctions a S-works Tarmac SL7 to support climate project in France. Thursday EUROTRASH time.
TOP STORY: Jumbo-Visma to Continue to Use Nutritional Supplements, Including Ketones
The Jumbo-Visma team will continue to use nutritional supplements for the time being. Head coach Merijn Zeeman confirmed to WielerFlits. Last week, the UCI called on the riders during the World championships in Flanders not to use supplements, including ketones. The International Cycling Union first wants to conduct scientific research into whether ketones are performance-enhancing and investigate whether the use of ketones can have harmful effects.
“In the field of nutrition and nutritional supplements, we work together with Professor Asker Jeukendrup of Loughborough University, who is a worldwide authority in this scientific field. He conducts numerous studies and also keeps an eye on all international scientific reports. He recommends the use of ketones in specific cases as part of a sophisticated nutritional strategy. Certainly in this way, according to him, the supplement has no harmful effects. It is always about the total picture and for that you should always seek expert advice. We invest in that, in every area and of course within the limits of what is allowed.”
At Jumbo-Visma, they are convinced that the collaboration with Jeukendrup in the field of scientific research into nutritional supplements means that they are among the forerunners in the international sports world and that no new matters will emerge for them from the UCI research. The cycling federation is awaiting the results of their scientific research and advises riders to refrain from using ketones and other dietary supplements in the meantime.
Some professional teams, including DSM, were already against their use. Ketones are currently not on the UCI list of prohibited substances and methods. Teams affiliated with the MPCC, the movement for credible cycling, has spoken out against ketone use.
“As soon as the UCI bans the use of ketones, we will of course stop using this substance immediately,” Zeeman continued. “Although I also think that many overestimate the value of ketones and other supplements. The great foundation of a performance is training and normal nutrition.”
“Supplements are a small part of a large strategy. With a strategy, such as with our Foodcoach, you can make a difference. Supplements can give something extra in the margin. We know from numerous studies that ketones alone do not determine the difference between winning and losing, but we also do research into how we can take advantage in the margins. In our view, that is part of a professional performance approach.”
Giro di Sicilia 2021
Juan Sebastián Molano won the opening Stage 1 of the Giro di Sicilia. In Licata he crossed the line just ahead of Vincenzo Albanese, who tried to surprise the sprinters with a late attack in the last kilometre.
The first stage was 179 kilometres from Avola to Licata, a beautiful town on the Mediterranean Sea. There was some climbing along the way, but a bunch sprint seemed a realistic scenario. After the only cataloged climb of the day in Ragusa, it was still 90 kilometres to the finish over mainly the flat Sicilian roads.
The break of the day came early in the race with Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Rally), Jacopo Cortese (Mg.k Vis VPM) and Matteo Zurlo (Zalf Euromobil Fior). They were initially allowed more than 8 minutes. With a 100 kilometres to go, the peloton started to accelerate led by the sprinter’s teams. On the climb to Ragusa, where Chrétien was first, the lead had already been reduced to less than 5 minutes. Zurlo took the intermediate sprint at 33 kilometres from the finish. After his sprint, the Italian rider looked back and saw that he had a gap on his two fellow escapees. He looked back again, and decided to keep going on his own. Zurlo was 2 minutes ahead of the pack as UAE Team Emirates were pulling for sprinter Juan Sebastián Molano. The 23-year-old rider from Bassano del Grappa, who won the opening stage of the Tour of Friuli-Venezia Giulia this year, managed to maintain his lead. But in the last 20 kilometres the difference quickly decreased.
Fourteen kilometres from the finish, Zurlo was caught, and the race was all together again. Giacomo Cassarà then tried to go solo. The young stagieire of the Amore i Vita team, who had tried to join the leading group at the start of the stage, rode ahead for a while, but soon realised that his escape attempt was doomed to fail. Due to some dangerous bends in the final kilometres, the race organisers decided that the finishing times would be taken 3 kilometres from the finish. From that moment on it was up to the sprinters. UAE Team Emirates provided the lead-out for Molano, but Vincenzo Albanese tried to avoid a sprint with a late jump. In the twisty final, the Italian got a nice gap, but it was Molano who took the win. For Molano it was his third win of the season after two stages in the Vuelta a Burgos.
Stage winner and overall leader, Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates): “The team did amazing work all day in controlling the race. The finish suited me well and suited Richeze also who gave me the perfect lead-out. In the last metres we knew we had to be in the lead with all the corners so I’m really pleased it worked out well and thankful to all the team , my family and everyone who has supported me. Tomorrow looks like it could be a good finish for me again so we’ll try and go for win number two.”
Giro di Sicilia Stage 1 Result:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 4:37:21
2. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa
3. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
4. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané
6. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM
7. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Giotti Victoria Savini Due
8. Manuel Belletti (Ita) eolo-Kometa
9. Francesco Di Felice (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM
10. Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.
Giro di Sicilia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 4:37:11
2. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:04
3. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Matteo Zurlo (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior at 0:07
5. Charles-Etienne Chretien (Can) Rally at 0:08
6. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané at 0:09
7. Jacopo Cortese (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM
8. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:10
9. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM.
Juan Sebastián Molano was again the fastest in the Giro di Sicilia. The Colombian had an ideal lead-out from his team, especially Maximiliano Richeze, to win Stage 2 of the Italian tour.
The Giro di Sicilia continued with a stage from Selinunte to Mondello. After Juan Sebastián Molano’s sprint victory on Tuesday, the sprinters were getting their money’s worth again, although it wasn’t as easy. There was the climb of the Portella della Ginestra and after that the riders continued on a plateau, the last 40 kilometres – except for a short climb in Carini, were almost flat.
The first break came about early in the race. Giacomo Cassarà (Amore e Vita-Prodir), Stefano Gandin (Oint Euromobil Fior), Txomin Juaristi (Euskatel-Euskadi), Emerson Oronte (Rally), Eric Paties Montagner (Work Service Marchiol Vega) and Niccolò Salvietti (Mg.k Vis VPM) managed to take a maximum lead of just over 4 minutes. However, the peloton, led by the sprinter’s teams keep the difference within limits. Very little happened on the Portella della Ginestra. The leading group rode at a tight pace. In the peloton, overall leader Molano’s riders controlled the pace. The large group was aiming for a bunch sprint and so the lead diminished. With 30 kilometres to go, the difference had already fallen to about 1 minute. On the last climb of the day (2.1km at 4.1%) the front riders were caught, but Juaristi clearly had other plans. The Spaniard took off just below the top. The Euskaltel-Euskadi rider was the first to the top of the climb, collected some mountain points to equal KOM Stefano Gandin, with whom he had been on the road all day. Juaristi started the last 18 kilometres with a limited lead on the peloton, but his attempt was also nipped in the bud quite quickly. The next attempt came from Giovanni Bortoluzzi.
The 18-year-old Italian of Work Service Marchiol Vega was also on the attack on Tuesday and showed himself again today with a late move. Bortoluzzi was interested in the bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint, after taking the bonus he let the peloton catch him. Then it was up to the sprinter’s teams to start their sprint trains as best as possible. Marc Soler hoped to thwart the plans of the sprinter teams, but his attempt failed, as did Simone Velasco. In the last 4 kilometres, UAE Team Emirates again took command in the hope of setting Molano off as best as possible for the final sprint. Matteo Moschetti’s Trek-Segafredo team also got involved in the sprint preparation. But it was UAE Team Emirates who proved to have perfect timing and Richeze in particular was again of great value for Molano. The Colombian was brought to the finish and didn’t have to make much effort to put Filippo Fiorelli and Moschetti behind him. Molano also remained the overall leader in the Giro di Sicilia. After the finish, the competition jury decided to put runner-up Fiorelli back in the result. The Italian was guilty of a big switch in the sprint, getting in the way of Moschetti.
Stage winner and overall leader, Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates): “Brendan [McNulty] did a tremendous job to lead me out in the finale and Maxi [Richeze] launched in a spectacular way as he usually does. I did the last 180 metres at the front so we took a beautiful victory for me and for the whole team, who did a great job all day. I’m very happy with two wins. Tomorrow we’ll work for David [De La Cruz] and for Brendan. We can win the GC as well. I love to win in Sicily. It’s a beautiful part of the world. It’s the first time our team has participated in Il Giro di Sicilia, but I was also here for the start of the 2020 Giro d’Italia. I could see the sea from the stage podium during the prize giving ceremony and all the people who came to cheer for us.”
Giro di Sicilia Stage 2 Result:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 4:25:41
2. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM
4. Emanuele Onesti (Ita) Giotti Victoria Savini Due
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) eolo-Kometa
6. Francesco Carollo (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM
7. Samuele Zambelli (Ita) Iseo-Rime-Carnovali
8. Nicolas Nesi (Ita) D’Amico um Tools
9. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
10. Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.
Giro di Sicilia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 9:02:42
2. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa
4. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM at 0:16
5. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
6. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané
7. Matteo Zurlo Zalf (Ita) Euromobil Fior at 0:17
8. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
9. Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Can) Rally Cycling
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:19.
Eurométropole Tour 2021
Fabio Jakobsen gave the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team yet another win. The Dutch sprinter won the Eurométropole Tour on Wednesday. Jakobsen was the best in the sprint after an exciting race.
Between the World road champs and Paris-Roubaix, the sprinters had the Eurométropole Tour on Wednesday. This semi-classic is in its 18th edition, it used to be called the multi-day Circuit Franco-Belge. From the turn of the century, the Circuit Franco-Belge grew more and more into a sprinters’ race. With Fabio Jakobsen, Alexander Kristoff, Fernando Gaviria, Elia Viviani, Nacer Bouhanni, Jordi Meeus and Danny van Poppel, it was going to be a duel between the sprinters.
After the start in La Louvière, between Mons and Charleroi, the race went in a north-westerly direction. The break of the day was formed by Thomas Bonnet (TotalEnergies), Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Robin Carpenter (Rally), Sergei Chernetski (Gazprom-RusVelo), Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Julian Mertens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo). The peloton kept the difference to around 4 minutes. Just before the local circuits around Tournai, several teams tried to send a man on a counter-attack. Luke Rowe went on a hunt for the front-runners on his own, but the INEOS Grenadiers rider was caught quickly. UAE Team Emirates and EF Education-Nippo also wanted to make it a hard race, but initially they didn’t cause a split. The six leaders crossed the finish line for the first time in Tournai with more than 70 kilometres to go. With more than 50 kilometres remaining, Mads Pedersen attacked from the peloton. The ex-World champion didn’t immediately get away, but was the catalyst of an escape of about 30 riders. Most teams were represented, but Uno-X and Rally Cycling had missed the move so had to lead the peloton, hoping for a regrouping. In the front group Lotto Soudal had three riders with Tosh Van der Sande, Florian Vermeersch and Frederik Frison and also Deceuninck – Quick-Step had Dries Devenyns and Stan Van Tricht, INEOS Grenadiers with Luke Rowe and Michal Kwiatkowski and Trek-Segafredo had Pedersen and Alex Kirsch. A few fast men had also survived the battle. Jordi Meeus, Danny van Poppel, Hugo Hofstetter, Pedersen and Nacer Bouhanni were the main sprinters in the first group.
The difference between the first group and the peloton, now led by the men of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, was about 45 seconds at the start of the penultimate lap. At the front the riders had started looking at each other and so Kirsch and Dimitri Claeys tried an attack, although this attempt didn’t work. Kirsch and Claeys were swallowed again by the first group before the final lap. The second group was stuck at 30 seconds, but they hadn’t given up hope. On the last climb of the Col de la Croix Jubaru (1.5km at 5%) the race exploded. In the front group Kwiatkowski attacked, but the Pole did not get away. In the peloton it was now also all hands on deck. EF Education-Nippo pushed hard to put Michael Valgren in position to make the crossing. The third placed rider in the World champs counter-attacked and almost managed to make it to the front group, but got stuck a bit on the descent to Doornik. The differences were still playable in the last kilometres towards the finish, because a third group with Jakobsen was certainly not yet eliminated. The sprinter could still count on several teammates who pulled themselves inside out in the final kilometres to first catch the second group and then also the leading group. So after a spectacular finalé we had a sprint from a thinned group. Jakobsen was dropped off in a good position and turned out to have the fastest sprint. The seventh win of the season for Jakobsen.
Race winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick Step): “I enjoyed being here with this strong team and taking another victory. The guys showed why we are the Wolfpack, they supported me and I want to thank them for their incredible work, especially as many teams tried to put pressure on us. I am happy that I finished it off and brought a win to the team on Bert’s birthday, who did a perfect job today in the last kilometres. I have one more race next week and I look forward to it, as I want to get a good result before going on holiday.”
2nd, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “The team did a perfect job to support me and keep me in a good position the whole time and when the race exploded, I ended up in the first group. On the final lap, some other riders bridged the gap, including some very good sprinters. Max also made it across and brought me into a good position for the sprint, and in the end I took second. It’s not bad, but also not a super result. I had the feeling that more could have been possible today. So now it’s onto the next one.”
3rd, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “It is difficult to beat Fabio Jakobsen, everything has to be right. I had to start my sprint quite early and that was perfect for Fabio, but he is also a world class sprinter. He showed that again today. I actually wanted to avoid a sprint and so I decided to attack. I wanted a tough race today, in order to get a good test with a view to Paris-Roubaix. Unfortunately, we were caught again. However, I think we should be happy with this podium finish. This is a good sign for the upcoming races. After a bad World championships it was a good idea to race here, to get good feelings. I hope to play a part on Sunday.”
4th, Danny Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Thanks to the support of the team, I could save a lot of energy in the beginning of the race. And this was necessary for the hard final. I was one of the only riders in the first group able to follow all attacks on the Col de la Croix Jubaru and this really motivated me to achieve another podium spot in the sprint. Surprisingly, the peloton came back in the last kilometres of the race, but thanks to the help of Aimé and Baptiste I could start my sprint in a perfect position. Aimé kept the pace high to avoid last attacks and Baptiste brought me to the slipstream of Pedersen in the final 100 metres. Unfortunately Jakobsen and Meeus were a little faster. It would have been nice for the team to finish on the podium here at home. But with Binche-Chimay-Binche I’ve got another opportunity to show the team colours in front of our sponsors!”
Eurométropole Tour Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick Step in
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
9. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Qhubeka NextHash
10. Samuel Leroux (Fra) Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole.
The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert riders under the direction of Jean-Marc Rossignon left France with a new podium after another exemplary collective performance in the Classique Paris-Chauny (1.1, 26/09). The Belgian team lined up with several assets for a sprint, but before, the team sent Jonas Koch up the road.
The Koch and another rider chased the early breakaway of five riders on the Côte de Coussy-le-Château. The duo managed to close a gap of 1:30 and join the race lead for 90 kilometres. They were caught by the peloton in the penultimate local circuit in Chauny. It started raining in the last minutes of the race, causing a crash with Riccardo Minali. His compatriot Andrea Pasqualon sprinted to third place behind winner Jasper Philipsen. The team leaves Paris-Chauny with a podium for a third time in four participations.
3rd, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “We chose for a proactive strategy today with Jonas Koch in the front. He was able to defeat his companions in case the breakaway was successful. But the sprinter’s teams took control of the peloton and forced a bunch sprint. I could rely on the help of Théo Delacroix, Wesley Kreder and Loïc Vliegen to keep me in a good position in the final. On paper, Philipsen was the rider to follow in the sprint, so I wanted to anticipate. Unfortunately Bouhanni and I touched each other after the final corner, causing me to abandon my plan. That’s also why I just missed 2nd place, but I’ll try again next Wednesday in the Eurometropole Tour. That race also suits me!”
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:30:38
2. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
3. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
5. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Rally
6. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
7. Alan Banaszek (Pol) HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski
8. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Gil D’heygere (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex.
Paris-Roubaix Cobblestones: General Inspection
Based on the latest inspection of the course, carried out on 28 September by Paris-Roubaix race director Thierry Gouvenou and race director of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Franck Perque, the organisers have assigned a difficulty rating to each of the cobbled sectors of the race, assessed according to their length, the irregularity of the cobbles, the general condition of the section and its location. The sectors rated five stars remain the Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre.
This year, the minor modifications concern the attack phase of the cobbles, with the Troisvilles sector retaining its entire length (2200 m). A little further on, the peloton will regroup at the hamlet of Buat sector (# 24), where the difficulty of the slope is added to that of the cobbles. In total, the cobbled kilometres for the men’s race is exactly 55 kilometres.
For their baptism of the cobbled roads, the female riders take on a more manageable 29,2 kilometres, with 17 sectors on the programme. The two courses converge with 85 kilometres to go, while the women will have started from Denain and ridden 33.9 kilometres. They will begin with the four-star 3,7 km long sector from Hornaing to Wandignies. For them too, the demanding route to the velodrome passes through the sectors of Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre!
The 30 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix:
30: Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96,3 – 2,2 km) ***
29: Viesly to Quiévy (km 102,8 – 1,8 km) ***
28: Quiévy to Saint-Python (km 105,4 – 3,7 km) ****
27: Saint-Python (km 110,1 – 1,5 km) **
26: Haussy to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (km 116,6 – 0,8 km) **
25: Saint-Martin-sur-Ecaillon to Vertain (km 120,9 – 2,3 km) ***
24: Capelle to Ruesnes (km 127,3 – 1,7 km) ***
23: Artres to Quérénaing (km 136,3 – 1,3 km) **
22: Quérénaing to Maing (km 138,1 – 2,5 km) ***
21: Maing to Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 141,2 – 1,6 km) ***
20: Haveluy to Wallers (km 154,2 – 2,5 km) ****
19: Trouée d’Arenberg (km 162,4 – 2,3 km) *****
18: Wallers to Hélesmes (km 168,4 – 1,6 km) ***
17: Hornaing to Wandignies (km 175,2 – 3,7 km) ****
16: Warlaing to Brillon (km 182,7 – 2,4 km) ***
15: Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 186,2 – 2,4 km) ****
14: Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (km 192,5 – 1,4 km) ***
13: Orchies (km 197,5 – 1,7 km) ***
12: Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (km 203,6 – 2,7 km) ****
11: Mons-en-Pévèle (km 209,1 – 3 km) *****
10: Mérignies to Avelin (km 215,1 – 0,7 km) **
9: Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 218,5 – 1,4 km) ***
8: Templeuve – L’Epinette (km 223,9 – 0,2 km) *
8: Templeuve – Moulin-de-Vertain (km 224,4 – 0,5 km) **
7: Cysoing to Bourghelles (km 230,8 – 1,3 km) ***
6: Bourghelles to Wannehain (km 233,3 – 1,1 km) ***
5: Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 237,8 – 1,8 km) ****
4: Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 240,5 – 2,1 km) *****
3: Gruson (km 242,8 – 1,1 km) **
2: Willems to Hem (km 249,5 – 1,4 km) ***
1: Roubaix – Espace Charles Crupelandt (km 256,3 – 0,3 km) *
Ø The riders of edition 118 will battle on the cobblestones for 55 km, over the total distance of 257.7km, with 30 sectors to be tackled on the final 160 km.
Ø The first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which takes place the day before, on Saturday 2 October, features 29.2 km of cobblestones, with the last 85 km being the same for both races. With just a few days to go before the big showdown, everything is in place.
Who Will Be the First?
It’s all about making history. The first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes automatically implies the beginning of a winner’s list on which each of the riders’ entered dreams of writing her name. However, this part of the prestige is only possible for select members of the peloton: the champions who know best how to prepare for the big races. The recent World Championships in Flanders provided insight on an elite group of riders that is capable of starring on the neighbouring roads. One week later, the three medallists in Leuven will have their chance to raise a cobblestone on the Roubaix velodrome, starting with world champion Elisa Balsamo, who will debut her beautiful rainbow jersey in the mud or the dust, depending on the weather. To make it shine at the end of the 116.4 km course, she will have to dominate again Marianne Vos, who will use all her talent as seven times cyclo-cross world champion to fly over the cobblestones and to get an umpteenth triumph. Kasia Niewiadomia, who accompanied them on the world podium and has also been in the top three of the Strade Bianche four times, will also be one of the primary contenders for the title.
The list of favourites doesn’t end with last weekend’s heroines. There are several in the Trek-Segafredo squad, which includes time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk, who will wear her star-studded European champion jersey for the first time; Liz Deignan, winner of the 2020 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 2016 Tour of Flanders and 2016 Strade Bianche and Elisa Longo Borghini, who has won and placed in the biggest races on the calendar. As the Paris-Roubaix course is all-new for the ladies, it will be useful to observe whether the qualities of the rollers will pay off as much as for the men. In this case, Lisa Brennauer (5th) in the world championship time trial), Marlen Reusser (2nd) or the young Dane Emma Norsgaard, should also be watched closely.
Ø 132 female pioneers are expected at the start of the first edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes on Saturday in Denain (13:35) for a 116.4-kilometre race to the Roubaix velodrome, which they will reach if they can withstand the 29.2 kilometres of cobbles that await them.
Ø One week after the World Championships, the medallists from Leuven will battle on the formidable sectors of Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre. But Italy’s Elisa Balsamo, The Netherlands’ Marianne Vos and Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma will have several rivals on these unexplored territories.
22 teams, the leading riders:
Team BikeExchange: Spratt, Roy (Aus)
Lotto-Soudal Ladies: Vandenbulcke (Bel)
Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team: K.Schweinberger (Aut)
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope: Uttrup-Ludwig (Den)
Arkéa Pro Cycling Team: Verhulst (Fra)
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling: Rüegg (Swi)
Canyon//Sram Racing: Niewiadoma (Pol), Klein (Ger)
Team DSM: Wiebes (Ned)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling: Brennauer, Teutenberg (Ger)
Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur: Van’t Geloof (Ned)
Alé BTC Ljubljana: Reusser (Swi), Guderzo (Ita), Bujak (Slo)
Bepink: Drummond (Nzl)
Valcar-Travel & Service: Balsamo, Consonni (Ita)
Liv Racing: Kopecky (Bel), Jackson (Can)
SD Worx: Van den Broeck-Blaak, Pieters (Ned)
Jumbo-Visma Women Cycling Team: Vos, Van den Bos (Ned)
NXTG Racing: Kool (Ned)
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Van der Hulst (Ned)
Team Coop-Hitec Products: Kröger (Ger)
Movistar Team Women: Van Vleuten (Ned), Norsgaard (Den)
Trek-Segafredo: Deignan (Gbr), Cordon-Ragot (Fra), Longo Borghini (Ita), Van Dijk (Ned)
Team Tibco-SVB: Stephens (Usa), Kessler (Ned)
Paris-Roubaix (October 3)
Greg Van Avermaet won Paris-Roubaix in 2017. He also finished third in 2015.
Greg Van Avermaet: “After a few difficult weeks, I was happy to regain some good sensations during the last stage of the Benelux Tour in Geraardsbergen (8th), racing on roads that I know by heart. My recent form was not good enough for me to be selected for the World Championships in Belgium. I have been part of the national team since 2007 and it was a bit difficult for me to miss this edition. Despite everything, I will be happy to see Roubaix again after 18 months of waiting. I would have preferred to race it in the spring, especially since my form was good which my third place at Ronde Van Vlaanderen proved, but that’s how it goes. Paris-Roubaix, even in October, remains a very important moment of the season and I really want to perform well through the end of the season and resume training for 2022 with high ambitions.”
Paris-Roubaix Femmes – OCT 2
Albert Timmer – Team DSM coach: “Paris-Roubaix is of course a new race on the Women’s calendar, and one that we’re all looking forward to. With it being a new event, it’s hard to predict exactly how the race will go but with the team we have I think we’re prepared and ready for most scenarios. We have a really strong group, and everyone has shown that they’re on a really high level. With Floortje and Pfeiffer we have two riders who are capable of going far in a race like this; while Franziska, Susanne, Lorena and Megan are all strong too and will be able to support the team deep into the race.”
Susanne Andersen (NOR)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED).
Paris-Roubaix – OCT 3
Marc Reef – Team DSM coach:
“Paris-Roubaix is always a very special race, with 55 of the last 160 kilometres taking place over cobbles, and it will be great to take on the famous sectors like the Arenberg in autumn. It will be an even more unique edition because it is so late in the season and situated one week after the World championships. Due to that we also know who we can expect to be in the final of the race and who to keep an eye on. We have a really strong team across the board, and we don’t have a specific finisher for the race; we want to be able to play multiple cards. In Paris-Roubaix, good material and parcours knowledge is crucial. It is always good to be in the race from the start and that is also what we will aim for first. After that we look to be aggressive throughout the day, not hold anything back and take our chances when and where we can.”
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Cees Bol (NED)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Max Kanter (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER).
Team BikeExchange Return to Paris-Roubaix with a Mixture of Youth and Experience
Team BikeExchange return to Paris-Roubaix with a mixture of youth and experience in their ranks for the penultimate Monument of the season.
The squad will be led by Luke Durbridge, in his seventh edition of the ‘Hell of the North’, and New Zealander Jack Bauer, who will tackle his eighth Roubaix on Sunday.
Dane Chris Juul-Jensen and Kiwi Sam Bewley add further experience to the team line-up, with Rob Stannard set to get his second taste of the French Monument. Rounding out the roster will be debutants Alexander Konychev and Barnabás Peák.
The 257km classic needs little introduction, with the peloton set to tackle 31 brutal cobbled sectors before reaching the famous velodrome in Roubaix.
Team BikeExchange at Paris-Roubaix:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Barnabás Peák (HUN)
Robert Stannard (AUS)
Luke Durbridge: “Paris-Roubaix is always an exciting race for me. It’s going to be my seventh time and I want to give it my best shot this year. I haven’t done Roubaix since 2018 and I am happy we are back here. Everybody knows the race is really unpredictable, anything can happen, and you always need to be focused.
We have a strong line-up, with a good combination of experienced riders and younger ones, who can hopefully learn for the future. Our aim is to be part of the game at any time. We have been working hard all year long, but we can’t hide it has been a tough season for us so far.
The aim is to keep pushing and giving our best, we will do the same this weekend and look to turn things around and bring home a strong result for the team.”
Mathew Hayman (Sport Director): “Looking forward to this year’s Paris-Roubaix, we line-up with Luke Durbridge as our ‘leader’ together with Jack Bauer. Both of them have had good performances in the last few weeks in Luxemburg, Benelux and Frankfurt.
We are confident we can be competitive here. The weather of course is always unpredictable, and the recon will be really important for the likes of Barnabás Peák and Alexander Konychev who will make their debuts this weekend.
Nobody has raced here since 2019, so it will be good to have a mix of experienced riders who can also lead the younger guys. We will look to animate the race as much as possible, it’s always a hard race and any moment can be important. We will need to be focused and ready to be aggressive.”
2021 Paris-Roubaix – Race Details:
Sunday, 3rd October: Compiegne – Roubaix, 257km.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Paris-Roubaix
Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini, Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal and Zdenek Stybar will all be on the start line this Sunday
30-Sep-2021: Paris-Roubaix is back after 903 long days. Cancelled in 2020 for the first time in almost eight decades and rescheduled this year, the “Queen of the Classics” will take place at the beginning of October – a first in its 125-year history, but other than that there are no significant changes for this 118th edition.
Starting from Compiègne and finishing on the iconic Roubaix velodrome, the French Monument will run over 257.7 kilometers and feature 30 cobblestone sectors, including the five-star rated Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre. The last of these – which will be preceded by the ancient Roman road of Camphin-en-Pévèle – will be tackled inside the final 20 kilometers and could be again the springboard to victory, as it happened so many times in the past.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step will bring to the start a strong team, comprising riders who between them have won eight cobbled Classics: Ronde van Vlaanderen champion Kasper Asgreen, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq, two-time Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Yves Lampaert – third at the previous edition of Paris-Roubaix – Florian Sénéchal, Zdenek Stybar, runner-up here in 2015 and 2017, and Bert Van Lerberghe.
“We are happy that Paris-Roubaix is finally back. It will be an interesting edition, because being held in October means that the weather could play an important role in the outcome. If the riders will have to race in rain here after almost two decades, it will completely change the scenario. We have a strong team, with many riders fresh off the World Championships. It’s obvious we hold several cards to play and we’ll try to do our best to get a good result”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels.
03.10 Paris-Roubaix (FRA) 1.UWT
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Davide Ballerini (ITA)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Yves Lampaert (BEL)
Florian Sénéchal (FRA)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Bert Van Lerberghe (BEL).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).
Bahrain Victorious to Paris-Roubaix
The Queen of the Classics finally returns. After last year’s edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this 118th edition rescheduled to October, from its traditional slot in April, now the long-awaited moment has arrived.
On Sunday, October 3rd, Paris-Roubaix will be back with its 55km of cobblestones spread out over 30 sectors, including the confirmed legendary five stars rated Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, for a total distance of 257.7km from Compiègne to the iconic finish at Roubaix velodrome.
The nickname Hell of the North couldn’t be even more appropriate this year, as it will probably be a rainy day. It hasn’t rained since 2002, but a wet Paris-Roubaix is something a massive classics expert like Heinrich Haussler – twice top ten finisher and at his fourteen participation – is looking for: “It would be the next level. I’m not saying I wish for it, but it’s something I like to have sooner or later. Have a real wet, muddy race. Get into the velodrome completely full of mud and dirt, belongs to the race and its history. For me, Paris-Roubaix is, without doubt, by far the hardest race on the calendar, and that’s why it means so much to me. It’s so brutal as you push your body to the absolute limit. I love this hardness of the race. It really motivates me. The best approach is to have a fighting spirit and never give up”.
Regarding the experience at this race, Bahrain Victorious team will also count on Marcel Sieberg, who will end his 17 years long career at the Roubaix, notably the race where he took an impressive 7th place in 2016 and where he will be at the start for the 14th time.
Both riders will offer precious advice to race debutant, Sonny Colbrelli: “I’m excited to debut at Roubaix. I came from an intense period, culminated with the World Champs last Sunday. I’m trying to stay focus one week more, knowing that I will have to face something far from easy. I tasted the pavé on a Tour de France stage, but it can’t be compared to my absolute first time on this race. It’s something totally new that I want to try, as it is so different from other races. More than ever, you have to be lucky not to have any mechanical issues, flat tyres or crashes. I’m really looking forward to riding it”.
It will not be a real debut for Fred Wright, as he rode the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in 2019 and Juniors in 2016-2017, and Jonathan Milan as he participated in the Juniors edition of the race in 2018. Those experiences made both young athletes falling in love with the cobbles and having the Paris-Roubaix as their favourite race. A race that no doubt also suits them and that they dream of winning in the future.
Bahrain Victorious SD Rolf Aldag: “We did the recon of the second half of the race today on pretty dry cobbles. Nothing of what we can expect on Sunday. It will be even more important to enter the cobbles in the front to take the race on, and riders need to be super focused. You need to control the race and avoid situations in which it can get out of your hands. We know that we have excellent equipment for rainy conditions and that gives our riders much more confidence. They are thrilled about this race and motivated. At his last race before retirement, Sieberg wants to show what he’s capable of doing and can be the key helper towards the finale for positioning the team. Milan will be fundamental at the beginning of the race, where attacks go off on the tarmac, and all the others basically have the chance to get into the finale. As a team, we can ride offensively, we can try to anticipate the race. We can also try to get into groups, because it will be much easier if you are in the leading small group to enter the cobbles, rather than having a big group sprinting to the pavé sector. All riders are in perfect shape and could join an attack. The goal will be to take a strong result”.
Bahrain Victorious lineup for Paris-Roubaix:
Sonny Colbrelli, Marco Haller, Heinrich Haussler, Jonathan Milan, Matej Mohorič, Marcel Sieberg, Fred Wright.
Team BikeExchange Bring a Diverse Squad to the Inaugural & Much Anticipated Edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes
Team BikeExchange are ready to make history as the squad line-up motivated and excited for the first ever edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix on Saturday, with a well-rounded mixed squad that includes powerhouses, Australian Champion Sarah Roy and Dutch rider Janneke Ensing, who is competing in the final few races of her professional career.
After being forced to withdraw from the Simac Tour in August, after sustaining injury to her scaphoid, Roy has recovered quickly and hopes to be in shape on Saturday, as the women’s peloton take on 116km which includes 29.2km of cobblestones divided into 17 sectors.
Alongside the pair will be New Zealand champion Georgia Williams, Tour of Ardèche stage winner Teniel Campbell, with super domestique Jess Allen rounding out the squad.
Team BikeExchange at the Women’s Paris-Roubaix:
Jess Allen (AUS)
Teniel Campbell (TTO)
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Sarah Roy (AUS)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Sarah Roy: “Paris-Roubaix is a monumental race, having a women’s Roubaix is a sign of a new era for women’s cycling. My hope is that it attracts a lot of global attention, a lot of new fans, and inspires more females to ride bikes and go pro. I have been really motivated and excited for this race since the day it was announced. We have done some great preparation for it with a number of recons and equipment testing. I would absolutely love to win this race someday but being the first ever edition we can’t really know what’s in store yet. Everybody knows anything can happen and no matter what, it’s going to be incredible.
I fast tracked the rehab of my broken wrist and we’re all amazed that it got through the 166km world championship road race. I hoped for a better result at the worlds being a course suited to me but given the preparation I think that’s what we could have expected. The training that I have done and racing the worlds I believe has been good preparation for Roubaix and I hope the legs will be good on the day.”
Martin Vestby – Head Sport Director: “It’s exciting for us to be racing the first ever women’s Roubaix. We are going into the event to gain as much experience as possible for the future, for the riders but also the staff as well. It will be an interesting race, everybody is excited and motivated to see how the race will unfold and we will try to take as many positives out of this unique race as possible. I am sure everybody will learn a lot, and this will aid us for the next editions. It’s new for everybody, so there’s a lot of unknowns, but it will certainly be a memorable day for everyone.”
2021 Women’s Paris-Roubaix Race Details:
Saturday, 2nd October: Denain to Roubaix, 116km
2022 Paris–Roubaix and 2022 Amstel Gold Race Rescheduled
The organisers of Paris–Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race have decided to switch the slots of their races on the calendar to deal with the fact that the first round of the French presidential election is due to take place on Sunday 10 April 2022. Paris–Roubaix will be held on Sunday 17 April and the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday 10 April 2022. “This solution was made possible by the cooperation and willingness to compromise of Amstel Gold Race director Leo van Vliet and the Union Cycliste Internationale. In the name of the thousands of fans who love the Queen of Classics, ASO wishes to thank them warmly for agreeing to this change in the calendar”, said Christian Prudhomme, head of the ASO Cycling Division.
Amstel Gold Race director Leo van Vliet added: “When Christian Prudhomme told me that Paris–Roubaix, originally scheduled for 10 April 2022, would no longer be able to go ahead on that date because the French presidential election is due to be held that same day, and he asked me to switch places with the Amstel Gold Race, which was pencilled in for 17 April, I understood his problem straight away. Who am I to look the other way when the biggest cycling organisation asks me to lend it a hand? Of course, I first had to check whether it could be done from the organisational point of view. After the competent authorities, including our partner municipalities, Maastricht and Valkenburg, also pledged their support, I came to an agreement with Christian Prudhomme at the World Championships in Leuven last weekend. We also reached a deal with the UCI. As a result, the Amstel Gold Race will be held a week earlier next year, on 10 April, followed by Paris–Roubaix on 17 April, which falls on Easter Sunday.”
Back to the spring dust for 2022:
Tom Dumoulin Management Says BikeExchange Interest Nonsense – Jumbo-Visma Knows Nothing
L’Equipe had big news about Tom Dumoulin on Wednesday morning. He is said to be about to terminate his ongoing contract with Jumbo-Visma. The Limburger has been associated with Team BikeExchange. This news came completely out of the blue for the management of Dumoulin and Jumbo-Visma. ‘Nonsense’, the management told Dutch website WielerFlits.
The negotiations between Dumoulin and BikeExchange are said to be at an advanced stage, according to L’Equipe. The winner of the Olympic time trial silver medal would have to leave Jumbo-Visma with his current contract running until the end of 2022. According to the French newspaper, bicycle sponsor Giant plays a role in the deal with Dumoulin, who rode their bikes with Team Sunweb. Giant will be the bike sponsor of BikeExchange in 2022, which will also have Premier Tech as a co-sponsor next year.
The management of the 30-year-old Dumoulin told WielerFlits that the news is nonsense. Jumbo-Visma knows nothing about BikeExchange’s alleged interest in their leader. “We never respond to rumours, so not even now,” the Dutch WorldTour team added.
Dumoulin on the move?
Philippe Gilbert and Ruth Winder Elected to UCI Athletes Committee
Philippe Gilbert and Ruth Winder have been elected to represent road cycling on the UCI Athletes Committee. The International Cycling Union announced on Tuesday. During the World championship in Flanders, all participating elite riders could express their preference for a male and a female candidate.
Gilbert and Toms Skujiņš were the only candidates among the men. The Walloon rider from Lotto Soudal took 65.9% of the votes (205 votes) and the Latvian from Trek-Segafredo 32.5% (101 votes). 1.6% of the members abstained from voting. Sofiia Shevchenko withdrew her candidacy in the women’s election. This left Winder and Varvara Fasoi as candidates for a place on the Athletes Committee. Winder received 83.3% of the vote (259 votes), Fasoi 12.5% (39 votes). 4.2% abstained from voting.
The members of the UCI Athletes’ Committee are elected for a four-year term, which begins once all members have been elected. As of 2017, the committee consists of twenty members, with each discipline or specialty being represented by two riders, one man and one woman. The committee has an advisory role, allowing it to make proposals to the UCI Management Committee. Gilbert and Winder will succeed Bernhard Eisel and Marianne Vos, who were elected in 2017.
Gilbert on the Athletes Committee:
UCI Team Ranking
The International Cycling Union has announced the latest weekly update of the team ranking. There are no changes in the top 10. INEOS Grenadiers is still in the lead, followed by Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma.
There has been some changes, for example; Trek-Segafredo goes up one place at the expense of Groupama-FDJ and EF Education-Nippo from sixteen to fourteen and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert from eighteen to sixteen. BikeExchange has lost two places.
UCI Team Ranking (on September 28, 2021):
1. INEOS Grenadiers – 14,144.99 points
2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 13,834.88 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 11,878 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 10,613.66 points
5. Bahrain Victorious – 9,909 points
6. BORA-hansgrohe – 7,864 points
7. Alpecin-Fenix – 7,608 points
8. AG2R Citroën – 6,546 points
9. Movistar – 6,144 points
10. Astana-Premier Tech – 5,941 points
11. Trek-Segafredo – 5,883 points
12. Groupama-FDJ – 5,639 points
13. Israel Start-Up Nation – 5,424 points
14. EF Education-Nippo – 5,079 points
15. Cofidis – 4,741 points
16. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 4,621 points
17. BikeExchange – 4,613.33 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 4,403 points
19. Lotto Soudal – 4,110 points
20. Qhubeka NextHash – 3,874 points
21. DSM – 3,451 points.
Alpecin-Fenix is still the best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team is now on 7,608 points. The difference with second placed Arkéa Samsic has increased again. TotalEnergies, Uno-X and B&B Hotels p/b KTM are the next ProTeams on the table.
Best five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on September 28, 2021):
7. Alpecin-Fenix – 7,608 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 4,403 points
22. TotalEnergies – 2,810 points
23. Uno-X – 2,414.17 points
24. B&B Hotels p/b KTM – 2,121 points.
INEOS Grenadiers still lead:
Giro dell’Emilia (October 2)
Going with five neophytes: Geoffrey Bouchard, Clément Berthet, Aurelien-Paret-Peintre, Clément Champoussin and Benoît Cosnefroy will participate in the Giro dell’Emilia for the first time. Geoffrey Bouchard has completed 74 days of racing this season. Within the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, only Oliver Naesen has more than him with 75 days.
Geoffrey Bouchard: “I haven’t raced since the end of the Vuelta on September 5th (14th overall). That was the first time that I raced for the general classification at a grand tour. It was a good experience but I admit I came out quite tired. After a bit of a difficult time recovering, the feelings are back and I’m happy to participate in the Giro dell’Emilia. I haven’t been back to Italy since the end of the Giro d’Italia (where he won the best climber jersey) and I can’t wait to experience the end-of-season classics. These Italian races have provided good motivation for the last training sessions. I know the Italian classics are always tough, but we have a great team at the start and we can do great things.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Giro dell’Emilia
João Almeida and Remco Evenepoel will be in action this weekend at the Italian one-day race.
It’s one of the oldest events on the Italian scene, created in 1909, the year that saw also the Giro d’Italia come to life. In was won by some of cycling’s biggest names, from Costante Girardengo and Fausto Coppi to Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser. This year, it will run its 104th edition, and the winner is expected to emerge again on the double-digit gradients of the San Luca, the short but gruelling hill lying just outside of Bologna.
Back to its regular October slot after taking place in early August last year, the 195.3km Giro dell’Emilia will feature five ascents of its emblematic climb, where João Almeida came agonisingly close to what would have been his maiden pro victory in 2020, when he was caught and dropped less than 300 meters from the line after almost 20 kilometres alone at the front.
The first Portuguese in 35 years to podium at the race, Almeida will be back at the start, part of a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step team that will include also Andrea Bagioli, Dries Devenyns, World ITT Championships bronze medalist Remco Evenepoel, Fausto Masnada, Pieter Serry and Mauri Vansevenant.
“Last year we had two riders in the top 5 and we hope to be again in the mix this Saturday, especially as we go there with a solid and very motivated team, comprising both young and experienced riders. It’s an important race ahead of Il Lombardia, the season’s final Monument, and we’ll tackle it with a lot of confidence”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.
02.10 Giro dell’Emilia (ITA) 1.Pro
João Almeida (POR)
Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Remco Evenepoel (BEL)
Fausto Masnada (ITA)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA).
Kenny De Ketele to Retire After the Six Days Rotterdam
Kenny De Ketele has announced the end of his cycling career. The Zesdaagse in Rotterdam, at the beginning of December, will be the last race for the 36-year-old track specialist of the Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise team. De Ketele became European and World champion in his long career in the madison race.
The thoughts of quitting had been on the mind of De Ketele for some time, who finished fourth in the madison at the Tokyo Olympics this summer together with Robbe Ghys. “Actually, I was already working on my farewell two years ago. The Games were to be a highlight of my career. An ultimate goal to end my career with. But because the Games were postponed for a year, I automatically added another season.”
There are several reasons why De Ketele is stopping in Rotterdam and not during ‘his’ Six Days of Gent. “Of course Ghent is my home town, but I always feel welcome and appreciated in Rotterdam. I have a personal and good relationship with both Six Days. That is why I decided to continue to Rotterdam after the Gent (16-21 November). I now just say goodbye twice: once for my own people and once internationally.”
De Ketele has been paired with Niki Terpstra by the Rotterdam organisers. “Kenny has been a welcome guest in our Six Days for years. He is an attractive rider who always races for what he is worth and therefore competes every year for the win,” said race director Peter Schep. “That is also the reason that we pair him to Niki. As a tribute to a great rider, who can thus end his career alongside another top rider.”
With Terpstra at his side, De Ketele hopes for a nice final race. “Niki and I get on well. We have competed against each other many times and now ride together for the first time ever. I’m really looking forward to it, because Niki is a machine that is ride better to ride together than against.”
The Zesdaagse will be held in Rotterdam Ahoy from 7-12 December.
De Ketele and Depauw in Gent:
Gianni Moscon Signs on For Two Wears with Team Astana
Italian rider Gianni Moscon is set to join Team Astana, where the 27-year-old individual time trial and one-day race specialist will ride in the colours of the Kazakh team in 2022 and 2023.
“After six years spent in one team, I am going to take a serious step in my career. I think that this is a kind of challenge for me, motivation to keep on growing, and a new experience that I am sure will be successful. Over the years, I have managed to accumulate a lot of experience, and now I would like to use it to the fullest in a new team, in a new environment. In my first season in Astana, I hope to be as useful as possible to the team and, of course, I will strive to achieve some personal successes. I hope that I will be able to perform in the best possible way at the races of the highest level. Together with the new team, General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov, the coaches and sports directors, we still have to discuss and make plans for the new season. There are a lot of big and important races on the calendar, so I hope that I can prove myself and achieve some serious results”, – said Gianni Moscon.
Gianni Moscon is well-known for his attacking style of racing which brought him many important results, both in one-day and stage races. Signing his first neo-pro contract back in 2016 after a number of impressive wins (Piccolo Giro di Lombardia, road race of the U23 Italian National Championships, Trofeo Citta di San Vendemiano), Moscon has continued to achieve impressive results in the WorldTour.
In 2016, the Italian won the General Classification of the Arctic Race of Norway and finished third at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, and in 2017 he won the Italian National Championships Individual Time Trial title and took a solid third place at Il Lombardia. In 2018, Moscon became back to back Italian ITT champion, won Giro della Toscana, Coppa Agostoni and the overall standings of the Tour de Guanxi.
This season, Moscon has continued to deliver victories, with two stage wins at the Tour of the Alps and victory at the GP Lugano.
“We are pleased to welcome Gianni Moscon, a very strong and versatile rider, to our team. As well as being suited to one-day races and individual time trials, Gianni is a reliable team rider who can provide powerful support for the team’s Grand Tour leaders. After six years in the same team, we hope that this move to Astana will allow Gianni to further develop as a rider, especially as he is still young, and will inspire him and help him to unlock his rich potential even more. The transfer of Gianni Moscon is an unconditional strengthening of the team’s position, both in one-day races and the Grand Tours, for the next two seasons”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, the team’s 2022 General Manager.
Moscon off to Astana:
Owain Doull Joins the EF 2022 Roster
EF Education-NIPPO is proud to announce the addition of Owain Doull to our 2022 line up. The Welsh all-arounder joins the team with nearly 6 years experience in the pro peloton.
Doull got his start in front of the television in 2008. “I started cycling after I watched the Beijing Olympics,” he explains. “I went down to my local cycling track in Cardiff and it went from there. I wasn’t very good to start with but I stuck with it.”
After coming up through the British system, Doull earned a gold medal in the team pursuit from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Now fully focused on road cycling, he’s ready to broaden his abilities in a new environment. “For me, change is always a good thing. I’ve learned a lot of things and I’ve had some great opportunities but I think this is the right time for me to progress my career and take that next step forward. I still have dreams and aspirations I want to achieve and I think EF is the perfect place to help me realise that.”
Doull is eager to help the team in whatever capacity he’s needed. “The Classics are races I enjoy as well as playing a support role in big stage races, whether that’s on the flat hectic finishes, team time trials, or mountain stages. I always like doing my part for the team and that’s one of the things I find so attractive about joining EF. There’s a mixture of opportunities I’ll have and I’ll be able to explore my limits more.”
The 28-year-old is keen for two types of races in particular. “The Classics will be a big goal. Obviously the team has a great pedigree in the guys they’ve got there already but hopefully I can add to that. And then getting stuck into more Grand Tour racing. I’m looking forward to the opportunity there of pushing myself and trying to support guys like Hugh as much as possible. A different style of racing completely, I think that’s the thing I’m most excited for.”
Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters shares the same vision as Doull. “Owain is a very strong rider for the Classics, has a great little sprint on him, and is a good time trialist,” Vaughters says. “More than anything, Owain is a guy who can win one of the smaller semi Classics. He gives us a broader spectrum of options in the Classics. He hasn’t been given the opportunity to race very many Grand Tours in his career and I think that that’s something he’ll be quite successful at once he’s given the chance. He’ll not only be a successful worker but also, a little bit like Magnus Cort, he can get out of the breakaway and win from the break.”
Doull brings a thoughtful outlook to both the sport and to life. “From cycling, you learn a lot and it helps you grow and shapes you as a person. I lost one of my best friends to suicide during lockdown. I wasn’t sure what to do. I carried on racing. It was difficult but it showed me how much I love the sport. If I’m going to sacrifice time away from friends and family, I want it to mean something and to be able to finish and say I’ve gotten everything out of myself, I couldn’t have done anything more. That perspective is probably the thing I’ve learned the most from cycling.”
Joining EF aligns with his value of fully committing to your beliefs. “This is a team I’ve always been really impressed by. The fact that the team approached me and were interested in me, that shows a lot. Being shown you’re valued by someone is important and it helps you buy into the belief that they believe you can do it as well. That’s an important thing for me.”
When he’s not on the bike, you’ll find Doull indulging in one of his two loves: coffee and collecting vinyl. “There’s a lot of music I really like but I enjoy having it on vinyl and being able to listen to the whole album.”
And don’t be surprised to learn that Doull has applied his deep sense of commitment to coffee. “I have a coffee company which I’m very passionate about, Five Rings Coffee.”
The team’s ethos is one Doull identifies with. “I like that underdog spirit, punching above your weight. As a bike rider, I’ve always thought of myself as not the most talented person but I work hard. That’s the culture of the team: work hard and be clever about it. I hope I’ll fit in well.”
We think you’ll fit in just fine, Owain. Welcome to the team!
Ludovic Robeet, Tom and Luc Wirtgen Renewed for 2022
The Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB team is pleased to announce the renewals of Ludovic Robeet, Luc and Tom Wirtgen for the 2022 season. All three riders came from our development team.
Ludovic Robeet (27) joined the development structure in 2013. He worked there until 2016, before moving to the professional team in 2017. Our winner of the Nokere Koerse in 2021 has renewed for two seasons (2022-23). “In 2020 I will be entering my 10th year in the Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB team. I learned everything within my team, in terms of training, the program and discoveries of races among the hopefuls and professionals. I have always appreciated the very professional supervision of the team. What matters to me is to have a good mind, it’s how I deal with the pressure. I have always assumed my role as a teammate and took my chance when it was given to me. I have positive feedback from the staff, from my teammates, that’s why I feel good in the group. I have a perfect relationship with our trainer Christophe Prémont: he offers me a tailor-made training plan and I systematically return my feelings to him. It is together that we progress. Over the years, I have found the races that suited me, the Flandriennes. I thank the management and all the staff for their confidence. I will continue to grow within the team and serve them for the next two seasons.”
Luc Wirtgen (23) entered the development structure in 2019 before moving to the professional core in 2020. He has renewed with the professional core for one season (2022). “I arrived in the development team in 2019. I was able to benefit from an internship in the pro group in mid-season before signing my professional contract in 2020. My development within the team was linear, from year to year. I was able to gradually work, with our trainer Christophe Prémont, on my qualities as a puncher and climber. I thank the team for their trust. My goal in 2022 will be to take a new step upwards. I will continue to put myself at the service of the group.”
Tom Wirtgen (25) joined the 2018 development team and has been playing for the professional squad since 2019. He has been renewed for one season (2022). “I evolve from year to year within the Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB team, which I joined in 2018 among the Upsides. My learning was gradual. My 2021 season was good, with, in particular, a distinctive jersey and a top 10 in the Alpes Isère Tour, a good run in the classics where I helped Arjen Livyns. I would like to thank the management and the staff for their trust. 2022 will be my 5th season in the structure. I want to take advantage of this new year to take a new step in my development.”
Jarrad Drizners Signs with Lotto Soudal
Lotto Soudal is excited to announce the signing of Jarrad Drizners. The 22-year-old from Adelaide, South Australia joins the team from Hagens Berman Axeon. Drizners, a two-time national U23 champion (road race 2020, criterium 2019) signed an agreement for two years.
“I am still a bit in disbelief. I am so excited but nervous as well”, explains Jarrad Drizners. “I didn’t expect it at all as 2021 was not my best season, but in the last months I was able to convince Lotto Soudal. Since the Tour de l’Avenir I am riding at a high level. I took a 4th place overall in the Flanders Tomorrow Tour and ten days ago, in Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, they only caught me at 50 metres from the finish, otherwise I would have been on the podium. That was so devastating, heartbreaking.”
“Jarrad will add depth to the current Lotto Soudal roster as he excels in short climbs, crosswinds and bunch sprints”, adds Lotto Soudal general manager John Lelangue. “He has a big engine and likes the Belgian races. He is definitely not a climber but he can play a key role in the lead-out for Caleb Ewan and he can finish the job himself as well. I would compare him with riders like Brent Van Moer or Harry Sweeny. Jarrad will bring a lot of potential to the team.”
“I still need to find out which kind of rider I am. I would say a puncher, a classics riders. I love Belgian races and I like sprints, most likely because of my background as track rider. Now it is awesome that I can work together with Caleb Ewan, one of the best sprinters in the world. That’s so motivating. If I just could play a little part in one of his victories, that would make me the happiest man in the world”, concludes Jarrad Drizners.
Jarrad Drizners will finish his 2021 season in France, at the Circuit des Ardennes, from 7 to 10 October, before starting the preparation for his first season at Lotto Soudal.
Kanter second addition to Movistar Team’s 2022 roster
Young German sprinter, 23, looking forward to continuing his growth at Telefónica-backed squad as he inks two-year contract.
Following last Thursday’s announcement of Óscar Rodríguez becoming the first signing of the men’s Movistar Team for 2022, the Telefónica-backed squad confirmed on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Max Kanter (Dresden, GER; 1997), a current member of Team DSM, for the next two seasons.
Kanter has covered almost his entire UCI career to date – five years – in the structure formerly known as Sunweb, whose development outfit saw him winning two consecutive German U23 road race titles (2017, 2018). He also took 7th, inside the group contesting bronze, at the under-23 Worlds in Bergen (2017).
Promoted to the WorldTour team in 2019, a year overshadowed by injury, Kanter was able in 2020 to make his Grand Tour debut in La Vuelta, where he showed his sprinting abilities by taking two third places, against the likes of Pascal Ackermann or Sam Bennett, in Aguilar de Campoo and Madrid. This 2021 season, he completed his first Giro d’Italia; finished 4th at one of the Tour de Pologne’s bunch sprints; and showed consistency at the Tour of Britain, taking several top-ten placings.
Max will be the second German in the Telefónica-backed squad’s roster, with Juri Hollmann having also signed a two-year contract extension announced back in August.
Max Kanter: “First of all, I would like to say I am extremely happy to join this team. I am very grateful for the huge confidence in me. I believe I also found the right people and an environment that will be perfect fit for me to take my next steps on the path to a successful career. The team is known for valuing human relationships above all, and for believing in athletes even when things don’t go as planned. Again, I am very grateful for that. Now that I’ve got some years in the WorldTour under my belt, I want to build on my successful time as an under-23 rider – with very great humility, but also with some healthy self-confidence, I say I want to win again. I’ve been close a few times in the last few years, and now I want that to happen with the Movistar Team. I feel the confidence, and I want to repay that. It goes without saying that I also want to give a lot to the team and will work for the leaders. I can’t wait to wear the new jersey. I would also like to thank my previous team for their cooperation.”
Alex Aranburu’s Talent to Strengthen Movistar Team
26-year-old Basque, one of the WorldTour peloton’s biggest confirmations of 2021, will bring his all-around talent to the Telefónica-backed squad as of next season.
The Movistar Team announced Wednesday they have signed a contract for the next three seasons (2022-2024) with Alex Aranburu (Ezkio, Gipuzkoa; 1995), a current member of the Astana – Premier Tech squad. The Spaniard becomes the Blues’ third addition to their 2022 roster, after previous confirmations of Óscar Rodríguez and Max Kanter.
Aranburu has turned into one of the biggest names in Spanish cycling, crucially owing to his performances over the last two seasons, his maiden step into the WorldTour after a Continental debut at Murias (2016) and three years with Caja Rural (2017-19).
7th at the last two editions of Milano-Sanremo; winner of a stage at last April’s Itzulia Basque Country; able to perform at scenarios as different as the Belgian cobblestones – 6th at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – or the lumpy, opening ITT of La Vuelta (2nd to Primoz Roglic in Burgos)… His adaptability to all terrains and situations is a huge testament to the quality of a rider called to be pivotal to the Movistar Team’s future success.
Alex Aranburu: “I’m so happy to confirm you I’ll be a member of the Movistar Team, our home WorldTour squad, for the next three years. I already know many members of the team and I’m sure the atmosphere within the team is going to be great. I’m coming into this team with great excitement, willing to grow both as a rider and as a person. Hopefully I can continue improving bit by bit every year, just like up to this point, so we can achieve good success together.”
Michael Schwarzmann signs two-year contract at Lotto Soudal
Next season, Lotto Soudal strengthens the team with the 30-year-old German Michael Schwarzmann. After more than ten years being part of German teams, Schwarzmann has signed a two-year contract with the Belgian team Lotto Soudal. The rider – who makes the move from BORA-hansgrohe – will add a significant amount of experience to the team as Schwarzmann has acted as lead-out for top sprinters like Pascal Ackermann, Sam Bennett and three-time world champion Peter Sagan.
“After a period of over ten years racing under the German flag – where I really got the chance to grow as a rider – it’s now time for a new challenge”, says Michael Schwarzmann. “When I got the offer to join the interesting Lotto Soudal project, I didn’t even need one minute to think about it. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you race under the Belgian or German flag. For a pro cyclist, it’s more important to know you’re part of a professional environment. Therefore, Lotto Soudal is a great team and nevertheless, it’s a dream come true to race with a Belgian squad. I’ve worked with a lot of good leaders like Ackermann, Bennett and Sagan and next year, that will be Caleb Ewan. My experience tells me that these top riders have one thing in common, which is the desire to win. They are almost all on the same level and then it’s about details making the difference between winning or losing. The atmosphere in the team and making the right decisions on the right moment are amongst the deciding factors. Obviously, Caleb is one of the fastest sprinters in the world and I am really looking forward to sharing my experience with him and the team.”
Michael Schwarzmann: “Although I’m German, you can compare my rider’s profile with a Swiss army knife. On the one hand, I can help the guys with the lead-out. On the other hand, I’m a bit lighter than most of the lead-out guys, so I can also be useful on more difficult terrain like medium mountain stages. I will be able to use my experience to motivate the guys and to be a good teammate, which is also one of my ambitions for the coming two seasons. And if there’s a possibility to go for own successes, I showed the last years that when the big leaders aren’t there, I’m able to get some nice results. Within Lotto Soudal, I want to further improve my level as a rider and with the team’s way of racing, this will be a good chance to do so. I can’t wait to get this new journey started!”
“With Michael Schwarzmann, we added a nice reinforcement to the team”, says John Lelangue, general manager at Lotto Soudal. “Michael will share his broad experience – which he gained working with top sprinters like Peter Sagan, Pascal Ackermann and Sam Bennett – at Lotto Soudal the coming two seasons. I am sure he will be of added value to the team and it’s something to look forward to. Michael is a multi-purpose rider. He will be integrated in the lead-out including Jasper De Buyst, Roger Kluge, Rüdiger Selig, Frederik Frison and Harry Sweeny. In addition, Michael also has a strong kick at the end of a race, which has earned him several nice results in tough one-day and one-week events. Moreover, it’s a very loyal teammate with the right team spirit and also someone who can share his knowhow with young sprinters like Arnaud De Lie, who will make the move from the Lotto Soudal U23 team next year.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step Auctions a Unique S-works Tarmac SL7 to Support Climate Project in France
#ItStartsWithUs campaign goes to the next level with an auction supported by Specialized.
At the start of Le Tour in France-Brittany, Deceuninck – Quick-Step announced that it will support two new climate projects, including a reforestation project in the Bretagne region of France, where trees will be planted in collaboration with the CO2logic experts. Now the team will take this project to another level to give back to climate and the environment, getting the support of our sponsor Specialized.
For over a decade, Specialized has been an important partner of Deceuninck – Quick-Step and supported the team’s goals to become the most successful team in the world. Beyond the countless victories and achievements, Specialized also believes in the team’s sustainability project, #ItStartsWithUs, which is a perfect example of dedication towards a positive change for the environment beyond cycling. That’s why Specialized makes it possible for the Wolfpack to auction a special Tarmac SL7 frame, with the profits set to go directly to the support of the reforestation project in France-Brittany.
The team’s initiatives triggered Specialized’s graphic design team to create a unique concept serving as testimony of their efforts. Kayla Clarot, Principal Concept Designer for Specialized, dove into a design led by the team’s reforestation project last season on the Mont Ventoux. While we’ve seen generations of riders create excitement on its gruelling slopes, few really pay attention to the devastation Ventoux’s forest and mountains have undergone. This frame would acknowledge just that. “We wanted to create a design that speaks to the life we see on the Ventoux, but also acknowledges the role humans have played, both good and bad”, says Clarot.
The frame is left raw carbon, and instead of paint, the texture is drawn on by hand. The bright splashes of colour disrupt the dark raw pigments on the frame to symbolise brightness that is found in new life. The final touch is the #ItStartsWithUs sustainability manifesto mirrored in chrome, forcing the person looking at the design to reflect on themselves and remember that they too play a role in the fight to save our planet.
This design concept is only done on one single bike making it a unique frame to have, an all-new Tarmac SL7 (56 cm) for one lucky person to get a chance to call theirs.
Check out the details on how this special frame can become yours and support the great #ItStartsWithUs initiative!
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