Good news: Roger De Vlaeminck is on the road to recovery – Top Story. No race reports, but the cycling World keeps turning. Mathieu van der Poel returns to cross, Sky’s Dr. Freeman admits ordering testosterone, Bennett and Archbold to Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Jumbo-Visma completes line-up and loads of other rider contracts, LL Sanchez stays at Astana, Epowers Factory Team to go, final week for Masters’ registrations and 5 years of Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Roger De Vlaeminck on the road to recovery
Cycling legend Roger De Vlaeminck has been in hospital for more than two weeks. Fortunately for Monsieur Paris-Roubaix, he is recovering. “If everything goes according to plan, I can go home in twelve days,” says De Vlaeminck in conversation with Het Laatste Nieuws.
72-year-old De Vlaeminck was admitted to the intensive care unit of the AZ Alma in Eeklo on the morning of Saturday the 12th of October with a high fever. A blood virus turned out to be the culprit, which is now being combated with antibiotics.
“I haven’t had a pleasant day. But if everything goes according to plan, and that looks like it, I can go home in twelve days. I will have to continue the course of antibiotics there,” the six-time winner of Tirreno-Adriatico told the Belgian newspaper.
Mathieu van der Poel is Preparing for His Return in Cyclo-Cross
There has already been bit of cross racing, but the greatest cyclo-cross rider of the moment still has to turn a pedal in anger this season. Mathieu van der Poel will return to cyclo-cross in Ruddervoorde on Sunday, but will he be in the prizes again straight away? In the Dutch radio program De Tribune, he said: “I have a good level of form, but I will not be at the top yet.”
“It has been a busy summer,” the World champion looked back on his road and mountain bike season. “I needed some rest and only wanted to return when I had an acceptable level of form. If you start the season badly, it is also very difficult to get it right during the season. So I wanted the basics to be in order before I started.”
The World champion has not had many specific cross-training sessions. “I think I’ve been in the forest three times, so that’s not that much.” However, that doesn’t have to be a problem. “It is especially important to get some kilometres and hours in the legs again. I mainly did that.”
“Personally, I also think it is a shame that Van Aert is not there because he has always been my biggest competitor. But maybe I’ll find that challenge in Eli Iserbyt now. It seems that he has taken a big step. He is doing impressive work. I have followed the crosses a bit and at the moment he rides away when and where he wants. He usually only has to try to close the gap once and then you will be the best,” said MvdP. “After we have ridden a few crosses against each other, it will become clear what the difference in level is.”
The Corendon-Circus rider has been following the intense discussion that is currently going on about the cyclo-cross reforms: “I have already seen and heard some things pass and there will probably be good arguments for both points of view. But I’m not working on it yet. We must nevertheless assume that action is being taken in the interests of the sport. Now it is being done very dramatically, while I don’t think it should be that way. There is a lot of fuss for nothing at the moment, because nothing has been decided and known yet.”
Van der Poel does make a critical comment: “They want to base the starting order of the World Cup on the World Cup standings again, and they only do that to oblige riders that went to America. I find that a wrong attitude again.”
Former Sky’s Dr. Freeman Admits Ordering Testosterone Plasters
Richard Freeman – former Team Sky doctor – announced to the Manchester Medical Tribunal on Tuesday that he ordered testosterone plasters for the team and British Cycling in May 2011. Earlier, Freeman announced that it was a package that was delivered incorrectly.
The medical tribunal into the controversial Freeman was to begin in Manchester on February 6, but the case was postponed for a long time due to the absence of Freeman, who for a long time suffered from depression. The case finally continued today with a first session.
Mary O’Rourke – Freeman’s lawyer – said during the session that her client had told many lies in the case, but that he is now ready to tell the truth. Freeman stated that he has indeed placed and accepted the order, but that the testosterone patches were not intended for athletes. Freeman is said to have ordered the plasters for a British Cycling staff member. The tribunal will now consider the old and new statements from Freeman. The final hearing should take place on Friday, December 20.
Dr. Richard Freeman’s book:
Bennett and Archbold to Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Sam Bennett and Shane Archbold make the switch to Deceuninck – Quick-Step. According to Patrick Lefevere, the matter is finally finished. “But of course you are only certain when you have a signed contract in your hands.”
“It is a good thing that the transfer is on completion, because the transfer has been dragging on for so long,” the Deceuninck – Quick-Step manager continues his story in Het Laatste Nieuws. “I suspect they have waited as long as possible at Bora-Hansgrohe to make Bennett nervous so that he would pay.”
“But in the end they will have realised that you can’t do much with a rider who wants to hold you back,” the Belgian also understands. “So I’m in happy expectation!”
Bennett’s transfer was in the air for quite some time. The transfer with Deceuninck – Quick-Step should have been completed in June, but according to Ralph Denk, team boss of Bora-Hansgrohe, the Irish sprinter had an oral agreement with the German WorldTour team for the 2020 season. Bennett now appears to have got out of it.
Bennett and Archbold have to replace the departing Elia Viviani and Fabio Sabatini at Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Bennett also has two other sprinters in the Lefevere team: Fabio Jakobsen and Alvaro José Hodeg. “With 285 competition days per year, it is no superfluous luxury to have three sprinters in-house.”
Sam Bennett – Vuelta stage 14:
Team Jumbo-Visma Completes Line-Up with Christoph Pfingsten
Team Jumbo-Visma has signed German rider Christoph Pfingsten for the coming year. The 31-year-old allrounder comes over from Bora-Hansgrohe. With the signing of Pfingsten, Team Jumbo-Visma’s line-up for 2020 is complete.
“Team Jumbo-Visma is one of the best teams in the world. The past years, the team has grown bigger and it has become more professional. I’m very happy that the team wants me and that I get this opportunity”, Pfingsten said.
At Team Jumbo-Visma, the former cyclocross rider will meet quite a few familiar people. “Besides the riders I know from the peloton, I know my compatriots Tony Martin and Paul Martens well. I also was teammates with Dylan Groenewegen at Cyclingteam De Rijke a few years ago.”
Jan-Willem van Schip and BEAT Cycling Club Pursue Success Together
BEAT to build program and team around the world champion
Jan-Willem van Schip will join BEAT Cycling Club next season. The 25-year-old world champion, who is active on both the track and the road, will rely on the BEAT structure, with a UCI Continental road team and a UCI track team, to prepare to compete for an Olympic medal in Tokyo next summer. In 2019 van Schip won a stage in the Baloise Belgium Tour on the road and was crowned world champion in the points race on the track.
“Jan-Willem is one of the most talented riders in the Netherlands, both on the track and on the road. He deserves a good environment to demonstrate his value next year, and we are very happy to offer him that within BEAT,” said BEAT co-founder Geert Broekhuizen. “We have worked very hard over the past three years on the structure to support the elite-level athletes within our club. Our successes in recent years, such as the World Cup victories and European and world championship titles on the track, and the road team ending this year as the third-ranked cycling team in the Netherlands in the UCI World Ranking, are the result of these efforts.
“The recruitment of Jan-Willem is another bold step for us as a club, but one that we’re very much looking forward to. Next year we will build a specific program and a team around Jan-Willem on the road, and he can also draw on the knowledge that our track team has acquired in recent years. But it will be a two-way street: we can use Jan-Willem’s knowledge and experience to continue to grow as well.”
“I’ve seen that BEAT has taken enormous steps by thinking differently and acting differently. It’s an approach that suits me well, and that’s why I think it’s great to be part of this ambitious club,” said van Schip. “I’ve made the Olympics my main goal for 2020, and together we will follow a targeted process to make sure I’m optimally prepared. In the run-up to the Games, and afterward, I want to show that I can ride super hard and that we can see everyone off in the finale.”
Van Schip concluded with an appeal: “I want to demonstrate what I can do next year and show that the big teams have it wrong. But I can’t do it alone, so I invite everyone to be a part of this. We need cycling enthusiasts who stand firmly behind us, partners who support our process and race organisers who help create a good program. What I really like is that all this comes together at BEAT, a club with a community, ambitious partners and a road team that’s growing quickly. With this team we hope to grow into the UCI ProSeries and participate in the top-level competitions in 2021, where BEAT and I belong.”
Jan-Willem van Schip:
Yevgeniy Gidich Continues with Astana Pro Team
After two debut seasons on a WorldTour level, the Kazakh rider Yevgeniy Gidich will continue his career in Astana Pro Team. The new agreement between the rider and the team has been signed for the season of 2020.
“I spent two very interesting and useful years in Astana Pro Team. It was a huge and very valuable experience that I want to use in the future. Not everything turned out as I expected in the ended season, but still, there were a few bright moments, and I’m happy about it. I remember the victory with the Kazakhstan national team at the Asian Cycling Championships, and it was very nice to finish the season with a stage win at the CRO Race. In the upcoming season, I am looking forward for more good results, victories. I want to thank the team’s management for the trust and chances to show myself. And, of course, many thanks to our main sponsor Samruk-Kazyna, who supports domestic cycling year by year,” said Yevgeniy Gidich.
Yevgeniy Gidich (23 years old) is a very young and talented Kazakh rider, who began his professional career in 2018, signing a contract with Astana Pro Team. In the last two years Yevgeniy showed a high potential, getting some good results both, in one-day and stage races. In 2018 Gidich finished 3rd in the general classification of the Tour of Croatia and did 6th at Le Tour de Langkawi. In 2019 he won the road race of the Asian Cycling Championships, took a stage at the CRO Race and finished 7th at the Coppa Bernocchi.
“During his first two years in our team Yevgeniy had some ups and downs and not everything went perfect for him, but for such a young rider it is normal as he is still looking for his way in professional cycling. We know his potential and we believe that in the future he has a chance to become a strong professional rider. Yevgeniy really impressed us with the way he won the Asian Championships and with the way he performed in this end of the season, so I am sure he is ready for some more in the upcoming years,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, general manager of Astana Pro Team.
Bora-Hansgrohe Signs Martin Laas
The 26-year-old Estonian rider has signed a one-year contract with Bora-Hansgrohe. He will play an important role in strengthening the team’s capacity in the sprints and will assume a crucial place in the squad’s sprint train.
“I’m very excited about joining BORA – hansgrohe. From the time that I spent with my teammates and the staff at the team camp, I had the impression that this team is akin to a family, which is not something that all teams can say about themselves. Having said that, the team is also exceptionally professional and is also one of the best teams that there is in professional cycling. The most important goal for me next year will be to utilise the support of the team to adapt to the WorldTour level, and grow together with my teammates and the staff. It will be a challenge, but it’s one that I think I will enjoy. I’m looking forward to supporting my teammates during the races and doing all that I can to help them achieve good results.” Martin Laas.
“Martin is a talented rider who is not afraid of challenges. He has won several times over the past few years at smaller professional races, and we feel that he is ready to take the step up to the WorldTour next year with us. We will therefore work on preparing him adequately for racing at this level, and we believe that he will be valuable in strengthening the team’s sprint train. He is very motivated to do so, and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress that we can make together.” Ralph Denk, Team Manager.
Martin Laas winning Tour of Japan stage 8:
Steff Cras and Matthew Holmes to Join Lotto Soudal
Lotto Soudal is happy to announce that Belgian and British riders Steff Cras and Matthew Holmes will be joining the team in 2020. Both climbers signed a two-year agreement with the Belgian WorldTour team.
Steff Cras: “For me it is like coming home again. Before becoming pro I’ve raced already two seasons in the U23 Lotto Soudal squad. I am happy with this move after a season that started well in Oman, before getting some health issues during the season. Fortunately the season ended on a good note. I finished my first Grand Tour in a good shape and performed well in the last races of the year. I am already hungry to prove myself in 2020 for Lotto Soudal.”
Steff Cras (23) raced the last two seasons for Team Katusha Alpecin. Matthew Holmes (25) raced the last six seasons for the British continental Madison Genesis team. In 2019 he finished 6th in the Tour de Yorkshire and 4th in the Tokyo 2020 Test Event.
Matthew Holmes: “After Tokyo, Lotto Soudal contacted me. I thought I was dreaming until I could finally sign my contract yesterday. It will be a big step from racing in Britain to racing all over the world but I feel I am ready for it and the team has faith in me. I am thrilled. I will mainly focus on the smaller stage races in a role as a helper who will get his own chances as well.”
With the signing of Steff Cras and Matthew Holmes, the 2020 Lotto Soudal roster is complete. The 2020 team gathered already yesterday at the headquarters of Soudal in Turnhout, Belgium.
General Manager: John Lelangue.
Senior Adviser: Marc Sergeant.
Sports Directors: Mario Aerts, Herman Frison, Maxime Monfort, Kurt Van de Wouwer, Marc Wauters, Frederik Willems.
Riders: Sander Armée, Steff Cras, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, John Degenkolb, Stan Dewulf, Jonathan Dibben, Caleb Ewan, Frederik Frison, Philippe Gilbert, Kobe Goossens, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Adam Hansen, Matthew Holmes, Rasmus Iversen, Roger Kluge, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczyński, Rémy Mertz, Stefano Oldani, Gerben Thijssen, Tosh Van der Sande, Brian Van Goethem, Brent Van Moer, Harm Vanhoucke, Jelle Wallays, Tim Wellens.
Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and Steff Cras (Katusha-Alpecin) before Vuelta a España stage 17:
Team Sunweb Sign Double British U23 Champion Anna Henderson
Team Sunweb are delighted to announce that current U23 British road race and time trial champion Anna Henderson joins their Women’s program, with the 20-year-old racing in the team’s colours for 2020.
A talented rider, Henderson has shone both on the British domestic and international scene over the past two years. In 2018 she took two wins in the Tour Series on tricky parcours, and victory at the national circuit championships. This season has saw Henderson continue her development on the international stage, picking up a strong second place overall at the Tour de Belle Isle en Terre – Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames. The highlight of her year was the double at the British national championships, winning both the road race and time trial at U23 level. The former result also saw her finish second in the elite race; showing her potential as a talented young rider.
“I’m looking forward to joining Team Sunweb next year and taking another step up in my career,” explained Henderson. “The team has a very professional environment with various experts and they are known for their good pathway to develop riders. I’m excited to get started in the Women’s WorldTour and learn from the other strong and experienced riders on the team.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “Anna is a new kid on the block in women’s cycling after taking up the sport late in 2016, having formerly been a junior slalom champion skier in Great Britain. She’s still young and has shown her potential several times at UCI level this season, highlighting herself as a classics style rider with a strong sprint. Anna visited our Keep Challenging Center earlier in the year and she impressed us with her qualities. We’re looking forward to working with her next year and helping her to continue to improve.”
Luis Léon Sánchez to Stay at Astana
Luis Léon Sánchez has extended his contract with Astana for another season. The 35-year-old driver will still be racing in 2020 in the bright blue colours of the Kazakh WorldTour formation. This season, the Spaniard was the best in the Vuelta a Murcia, as well as in the second stage of the Tour of Switzerland.
“Every year winning becomes more difficult,” the veteran admits to CyclingPro. “But I want to keep at the top. I want to keep training myself and take care of myself. I am very happy with the role I have in the team, I feel good here at Astana.”
Luis Léon Sánchez:
Initiator Epowers Factory Team Denies Early End of Hungarian Cycling Project
Is the ambitious Hungarian cycling project Epowers Factory Team dying early? According to reports in Italian media, it looked like that. But Thomas Pocze, one of the initiators, announces through an open letter that he has not yet pulled the plug. He writes that the team is busy acquiring a ProTeam license and that there are still talks with potential sponsors.
“I would like to correct a few things in response to reports that have appeared in Italian media,” the businessman opens. “Before the application procedure was started, I asked all riders and staff – including management – not to communicate before the authorisation process at the UCI has ended. The Epowers Factory Team is in the middle of this process,” he assures.
“We are building a team and that means we need extra efforts to be successful in all areas, especially sponsoring. We are still negotiating with major Hungarian companies to support us. This negotiation process needs more time than we had predicted in advance,” Pocze admits. Epowers Factory Team has until December 17th to get things done. The UCI then publishes the definitive list.
From the very beginning, the Epowers Factory Team made it no secret that it would like to participate in the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Hungary, next season. Among others, veteran Davide Rebellin, Cofidis climber Darwin Atapuma and Damiano Cima have been linked to the team in recent months. Last year the e-bike manufacturer was closely involved in the Giro d’Italia for e-bikes.
Davide Rebellin still going, maybe:
Silvelle ’19, Final Week for Masters’ Registrations
With over 350 athletes already enrolled, the European Championship has set a new record for the Masters categories. The registrations’ deadline is set on Sunday November 3rd.
The last week for the registrations for the Masters’ races of the Cyclo-Cross European Championships (November 9-10) in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Italy), has begun. There is time until 23.59 on Sunday 3 November to finalise the registration on the European Cycling Union (UEC) official website, by paying a 45€ fee. Latecomers will be able to register in Silvelle on Friday November 8th, from 13.00 to 15.00, at a cost of 90 €.
While the final number of participants will be known only in a week, Silvelle ’19 has already set a new record mark for master athletes at a European Championship, with over 350 registrations already filed.
All Master races will take place on Saturday 9 November, starting from the Men’s Master 75+ category at 9.00 am and finishing around 3.00 pm, when the Men’s Master 40-44 category will cross the finish line.
The license registration for master athletes will take place on Friday 8 November, from 13.00 to 17.00, at the headquarters of the European Championships “Silvelle ‘ 19”, the primary school in Via Montello II Tronco, 64 Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua).
On Saturday November 9th, the Master’s categories will open the program of the European Championships:
Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè: A Five Years Massive Sprint
1825 days of #OrangeBlue team, with race days in 4 continents and 26 countries.
47 victories and a success per stage at the Giro d’Italia. A Fair Play reward and 0 case of doping thanks to a strong Code of Ethics.
From the most important Italian race to the far away Japan, 835 racing days lived professionally with a concrete opening to the fans, the TV camera and the whole world to tell the story of the most beautiful sport of the world.
Here we are to re-experience 5 sportive seasons, full of important results and endless emotions.
Sunday, the 20th of October the Japan Cup represented the last race day of the team. The last day of a massive sprint lasted 5 years: 1825 days with 835 racing days, on the roads of 4 continents and 26 nations, launching in the Professional world many Italian and Japanese young talents to prepare them to Tokyo Olympics 2020, an event that is already just around the corner, thus marking the end of the original project. The Italian-Japanese NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè team has been standing out in an original way and is now ending its activity.
THE SPORT BEYOND THE COMPETITION
By its very nature, sport means competitions. Sport results are, therefore, the first thing we have to remind: 47 victories, 118 podiums, 371 top10 have been reached by the team during 274 different competitions in 835 racing days.
Victory is a pure emotion, the successful completion of a massive team-work involving everybody, from riders to staff, up to the Sports Directors. And yet all the victories are important some of them are more relevant than others since they represent significant moments. Among them we are willing to remember JJ Lobato’s victory in Coppa Sabatini 2018, that has marked his relaunch, the Marco Canola’s victory in Japan Cup 2017 that has represented an important pillar of the project and, last but not least, the crowning element of a 5-years-long dream: Damiano Cima’s stage victory in the Giro d’Italia 2019. A real reward for all those who have been working hard to make it possible, from athletes to staff members, up to directors and sponsors.
Nevertheless, the message of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè aimed at launching during these 5 years is that sport goes well beyond competition. The idea of sport that the #OrangeBlue has been representing over these years is depicted in the Code of Ethic, still available in our website and signed by all riders, staff, management and sponsors: an engagement that has granted the team the Fair Play prize during their first participation at the Giro d’Italia. An idea of sport that led to a complete open to the public through two TV series seasons – divided in 14 episodes and broadcasted for a total of 120 hours of televisions – showing the “behind the scenes” of the first Italian Japanese team and to the online publication of the Biological Passport of each rider: the first and only one team in the world to take this decision. An idea that is embodied in the great respect for the fans and competitors, taught since the first moment to the 16 Italian and Japanese new professionals launched by the team. The results of this massive work on Ethics is represented by a simple figure: 0 case of doping.
The Words Of The General Manager
Francesco Pelosi, Marketing and Communication entrepreneur with Sun-TIMES (www.sun-times.it) has been owner and general manager of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè for 5 years together with his business partner Nicholas Figoli: “Our team has been in his way unique, thanks to its ability to put Italian and Japanese cultures into contact with a real cultural and commercial bridge created between the two countries.” – explains the GM – “we have had a total amount of 41 riders under contract, with the 40% of them being young new professionals supported by experienced riders. We have been supported by many fans scattered from Asia to Europe and tried to reach new targets for cycling and new sponsors with a modern and structured managerial approach based on the innovative startup format. We have been “unique” in our approach. I would like to thank a lot every single sponsor, partner and person that over these years made the realisation of this project possible. At a personal level, after riding in all the young categories up to the Under23 category and then working in the cycling communication for 9 years with my agency Sun-TIMES, I crowned my personal growth creating and managing one of the 4 Italian Professional teams active in these last years.” On the end of the project the GM also stated “In my opinion cycling has many big problems, starting from an old and not well structured business model. Teams could have only sponsor and any tv royalties (The Tour de France alone receive 90millions per year as royalties) nor profit from the riders’ market, with the UCI planning to create a close circuit of big spending teams where there is no space for projects like ours. It is a pity because today our sport has a significant and strong base, in which teams like the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè are important environments where young talents not yet fully expressed can grow up. The new UCI 2020 reform will make the team construction and structure more expensive, but won’t give other income from TV royalties or riders’ growth. I’m not happy to close the team but it was necessary. Also, we are happy of the way we closed the team, since from June on we have been working to help our sponsors to entry in new project. All our riders found a good placement in other teams, just like all the staff: a real satisfaction for us. For these reasons, I can say that for me this is only a pause from cycling, waiting for better conditions. Because my love for this sport will going on, day after day.”
The Numbers Recap:
Zero doping case in 1825 days.
Biological Passport published on-line site from the first day (unique team in the world)
835 race days and 274 competitions in 4 continents and 26 nations.
47 victory, 118 podiums, 371 top10.
3 participations to the Giro d’Italia, with 13 days in blue jersey and a stage victory by Damiano Cima.
The Italian Professional team with more World Tour invitations during these last 5 years.
The first TV Series about cycling, made of 14 episodes divided into 2 seasons for a total of 120hours of TV.
50 Millions of people reached on social media (Global Post Reach in 5 years)
70.000 fans and followers among Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
200.000 unique visitors to the official website.
700.000 unique page views the official website.
800.000 video views on social media.
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