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EUROTRASH Monday: Euro Cross Champs Video, B&B Hotels Latest and Everything Else

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All the action from the European cyclo-cross championships with video and the Tour de France Saitama Criterium. What is the Future of B&B Hotels-KTM Team? – TOP STORY.
Other top news: Van der Poel, Van Aert and Pidcock to start cyclo-cross at the end of the month, Geraint Thomas wants to ride the Giro in 2023, Julian Alaphilippe’s toughest season ever, Nairo Quintana loses appeal, Egan Bernal will probably start the Vuelta a San Juan, Rohan Dennis at home with Jumbo-Visma, Chris Froome still believes in fifth Tour win, Pozzovivo hoping to stay with Intermarché, Gianni Moscon healthy again and Tom Dumoulin wants to stay in cycling.
Team news: Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team – Racing the Future, Axel Merckx not the new Lotto Dstny manager and Bianchi returns to the WorldTour with Arkéa-Samsic.
Contract news: Jay Vine set to join UAE Team Emirates, Yves Lampaert extends for three years and Alessandro De Marchi to BikeExchange-Jayco.
Race news: Santos Tour Down Under 2023 stages revealed and Vuelta’23 stage finish on the Col du Tourmalet. Coffee EUROTRASH….

 

top story
TOP STORY: Serious Concerns for the Future of B&B Hotels-KTM Team
B&B Hotels-KTM was to have a major upgrade in 2023. Team manager Jérôme Pineau’s was to have many big time backers. It is now the beginning of November and it is still not clear what will happen with the French ProTeam. According to CyclismActu, the French Cycling Union has asked Pineau for clarification.

It is said that Mark Cavendish, Maximiliano Richeze, Cees Bol, Ramon Sinkeldam, Nick Schultz and Stephen Williams have signed a contract or agreements with B&B Hotels-KTM for 2023, but there is still no clarity to the outside world. That was about to happen during a press conference on October 26, the day before the route presentation of the Tour de France. However, that was canceled and everything has been quiet since then.

The French team was missing from the applications for ProTeam and WorldTour licenses. The team announced that they are busy on it, but the deadline by the UCI to submit the documents is Tuesday 15th November. There is a rumour circulating that Pineau had mistakenly applied for a Continental license instead of a ProTeam license and that his team was missing from the first registrations.

When will we know the future of B&B?
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European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2022 Men
Michael Vanthourenhout is the new European men’s cyclo-cross champion. The Belgian fought a hard duel with Lars van der Haar, who had one too many crashes. Laurens Sweeck was third.

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The European Cyclo-cross Championships for men in Namur promised to be an exciting battle. Defending champion Lars van der Haar and Eli Iserbyt were the two big favourites, but certainly not the only contenders. Quinten Hermans and Michael Vanthourenhout also had to be watched on the hilly Namur course.

It was Iserbyt and Van der Haar who had the best start. The Swiss rider Kevin Kuhn was just behind them. Halfway through the lap, Iserbyt was leading, but when Van der Haar came through, the Belgian couldn’t hold on. Iserbyt also slipped on the adverse camber and then his chain came off and he dropped to 7th place. Vanthourenhout was the next chaser at 7 seconds. Kuhn followed a little back, with a small lead over a group of three: Hermans, Laurens Sweeck and Ryan Kamp. Iserbyt was already 23 seconds behind, this increase to half a minute, after which the Belgian decided to give up. On the second lap, Vanthourenhout slowly got back to Van der Haar. When the Dutchman slid down on a descent, Vanthourenhout finally caught him. Hermans was the next pursuer, but Sweeck quickly took his place. However, they all lost ground to Van der Haar and Vanthourenhout, who worked well together. By the halfway point, it was already clear that it would be a battle between these two.

Vanthourenhout was in the lead, the next it was Van der Haar in the lead, several slips were partly to blame. On the fifth lap, Vanthourenhout looked to make the decisive move, but Van der Haar was holding him. Then the Dutchman crashed and his bike tangled with the track-side banner. At the end of the fifth of nine lap, he was 14 seconds down. On the 6th lap he lost a few more seconds and again on the seventh lap as well. With two laps to go, Van der Haar was 23 seconds behind. It looked like Van der Haar could get back, but at the start of the final lap there was little hope for the Dutchman. The difference had increased to 41 seconds. The gap remained stable in the final lap. Vanthourenhout took the victory, Van der Haar was second. Laurens Sweeck completed the podium.

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European champion, Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium): “This feels very good. The past few weeks have been a little less. I did feel a little better on the Koppenberg, but to beat Lars – who is super fine – is very nice. From the start it felt really good and on this track you should never panic, you just have to ride your own race. You could see that at the end, when the strongest came forward. Me and Lars coloured the race. I think I was the strongest today. It’s something I like to do. But it still has to work, you still have to have a really good day. I did have that today. Actually, I wasn’t too happy about that (tyres). I wanted to start with Grifo’s, so it was chaos to change everything. But yes, it was somewhat to my advantage that everything became smoother. That suits me. I wasn’t sure I would win until I surfaced just before the finish, because you can always have equipment problems here. It remains treacherous. I think it was one of the best days of my career.”

2nd, Lars van der Haar (Netherlands): “I came here to win, but I was beaten on value. I was well on the way to that cobbled climb. Eli bluffed up it. I thought: if I get to it now, I’ll just bluff about it right away. That worked out well. I felt I had the race well under control, but I switched to a lower tire pressure and suddenly, I was flat out. Then the game turned in Michael’s favour. But then again, you never know. At that time I was not under pressure, then you make fewer mistakes. When Michael came back and raced downhill so well, I was just under pressure. Then a mistake is quickly made. Unfortunately I made two small ones and one really big one when I hit that pole. That really bothered me. I just slid away with my front wheel, but unfortunately I just shoved against a pole with my hand. My shifter was also still stuck in the tape. I couldn’t brake well with my right hand back then, I’m in a lot of pain now too. I could get maybe a second or two uphill, I kept pushing, but he didn’t make any mistakes. Of course I am disappointed. I came here to win, but I’ve been beaten on value. I was a bit unlucky, but in the end I am at peace with it.”

3rd, Laurens Sweeck (Bel): “I might not have expected this before the season, but based on the last few weeks I had the feeling that this was in it. Secretly you hope for a little more, but I think today I am satisfied with what I have accomplished. I did my best. My condition is good, but I didn’t have a super day. On a circuit like that I really need it to compete for a win. I did everything I could to have it, but it didn’t really work out. I think this was the highest achievable. I thought it might give me that little bit extra here. Last weekend was also a double weekend and the Koppenberg finds out very quickly, while that’s not really my thing. That is extra heavy for me. Maybe I should have done better, you can discuss that afterwards. But I have nothing to blame myself for. If I could finish that descent, I would get very close to them. But I was on the limit, then you make mistakes. The fact that I was racing at the limit there is also a sign that I couldn’t do more. Given the differences after that, it wasn’t up to me to race even faster. Those two for me were just too strong.”

European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2022 Men Result:
1. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) at 0:40
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) on 2:17
4. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) at 2:48
5. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) at 2:51
6. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) at 2:54
7. Michael Boros (CZ) at 3:03
8. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) on 3:13
9. Mees Hendrikx (Ned) on 3:16
10. Timon Ruegg (Sui) at 3:22.

European Champs’22:

 

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European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2022 Women
Fem van Empel is the new woman’s European cyclo-cross champion. The young Dutch rider, who had to deal with bike problems during the race, managed to live up to her status as a top favourite. A strong Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the silver medal, Blanka Kata Vas took bronze.

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The European cyclo-cross championship was on the hilly course in Namur. The race started without title defender Lucinda Brand, but with Fem van Empel, Denise Betsema, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Blanka Kata Vas, Marianne Vos and Annemarie Worst.

After the opening lap the race had already been split. Van Empel made a strong effort and only Vas was able to follow her. Betsema and Alvarado had to make a hard chase, other favourites such as Vos and Worst were already well behind. Van Empel was working hard, but had bad luck on the second lap. The top favourite had to change bikes and was now 30 seconds down. While Van Empel faced a difficult chase, front riders Vas, Betsema and Alvarado saw their chance. Although Van Empel was fighting back. She was able to catch Worst and the Italian Sandra Casasola and quickly halved her gap on the three leaders. At the start of the fourth lap, Van Empel managed to close the gap. She immediately put the pressure on Vas, Alvarado and a struggling Betsema on the difficult climbs. Betsema was the first to let go and Alvarado and Vas were also in trouble, although Alvarado was better on the technical sections.

Van Empel pushed hard on the climbs on the penultimate lap, but Alvarado refused to give up and managed to keep pace. After the penultimate passage of the sloping section, Alvarado made her first error which proved to be a decisive moment in the race. Van Empel’s lead grew to 15 seconds and Alvarado was not able to catch up. Van Empel soloed to her first elite women’s European title. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado had a strong race and took the silver medal, Blanka Kata Vas finished third. Betsema and Casasola completed the top 5. One of the other favourites, Worst, abandoned.

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European cyclo-cross champion, Fem van Empel (Netherlands): “I had a flat tire and after the change the goal was to ride to the finish without regrets. I found a good pace again and I’m really happy that it worked out. I never thought I’d grab the jersey. It’s already my eighth win of the season. I can’t believe it. It’s an iconic circuit. It was very slippery today, I like it. It really looks like a mountain bike course.”

2nd, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Netherlands): “Is this a surprise? Maybe for many people, but not for us. This was coming. I knew what I could do here, everything went well and I rode a good race. Until that slip, but I couldn’t really control that. It was a beautiful day. It was quite a dry edition, but there was still enough sliding and enough technical sections to make a difference. I also felt good. I didn’t realise at first that Fem was unlucky, but saw her running back into the mechanical zone. I saw that something was wrong, but then I decided not to attack. It was still a long cross. I forced a few things here and there, but she came back. We were the strongest women in the race and we made it into a good battle. I don’t think I could have done anything else. The climbing sections suited her a bit better, the technical passages were for me. It was a bit of a cat and mouse game. We were evenly matched and both rode a good cross.”

3rd, Blanka Kata Vas (Hungary): “This feels really good. It was a very tough and technical cross. It was mentally and physically very tough. I like the descents and the technical sections, but the uphill sections were really tough. I didn’t feel very good uphill and didn’t have my best day. Before the race I only fell during the reconnaissance during the technical passages, but luckily that went well in the race. I then briefly thought about the victory, but Fem was very strong. When she had material problems, I thought for a moment: this is my chance. She just quickly rejoined. She is really racing at a different level right now.”

European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2022 Women Result:
1. Fem van Empel (Ned) in 50:25
2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) at 0:22
3. Blanka Kata Vas (Hun) at 0:36
4. Denise Betsema (Ned) at 0:46
5. Sara Casasola (Ita) at 1:53
6. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) at 2:06
7. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) at 2:26
8. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) at 2:56
9. Marianne Vos (Ned) at 3:07
10. Anna Kay (GB) at 3:15.

European Champs’22 – Full women’s race:

 

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Tour de France Saitama Criterium 2022
When it comes to the final sprint, it’s down to Jasper Philipsen to power to victory! Three months and a half after he won the last stage of the Tour de France, on the Champs-Élysées, the Belgian star wrapped 2022 with another success in the Tour de France Saitama Criterium. Philipsen got the best of Jonas Vingegaard and Geraint Thomas in a three-man sprint after Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali went on the move to say goodbye to their fans and pro cycling. Earlier in the day, Chris Froome’s Israel Premier Tech had won the team time-trial just ahead of local squads.

The crowds gathering in the streets of Saitama were graced with an action packed event. The riders representing Japanese teams were eager to bring battle against some of the biggest names of the Tour de France, with attacks from the start. But the peloton led a hard chase, providing an animated race on the 3.5km circuit through the city and the Saitama Super Arena (17 laps).

Partnering up with Jasper Philipsen and Yukiya Arashiro in the TDF Criterium Legends Team, Mark Cavendish battled for the green jersey points, while Simon Geschke (Cofidis) quickly went on the hunt for the KOM points. Their efforts were crowned with success – the British sprinter powered to another green jersey, after his successes in the point standings of the 2011 and 2021 Tour de France, and the German all-rounder clinched the polka-dot jersey that narrowly escaped him last July.

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) displayed his Maillot Jaune as he attacked 24km away from the finish. But his move was caught by the bunch with 5 laps to go… the moment chosen by the icons Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) to attack in their last event as professional riders.

The stellar duo opened a gap of 25 seconds, but a chase group set off behind them with Vingegaard, Philipsen, Chris Froome (Israel Premier Tech) and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers). Vingegaard, Thomas and Philipsen went together ahead of the final kilometre. And the Belgian sprinter got the best of the two Tour de France winners.

The action had already started before the main race, with a series of individual and team time trials featuring local talents, including young female and male riders, as well as para-cycling stars.

With the 4-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, joined by Hugo Houle, Simon Clarke and Guillaume Boivin, Israel Premier Tech dominated the team time trial in 3:48:50, just ahead of the Japanese talents from Ustonomiya Blitzen (Abe, Onodera, Hashimoto and Kaneko, +0:04) and Special Team Japan for Saitama.

“We went in with a plan, we had checked the course and we knew who was gonna pull in every section and in the corners”, Froome explained after his team’s winning effort. “The TTT was a priority for us coming here and it feels good to win it, especially against the local teams who went really hard. It’s a great feeling on the course. You can feel the fans really love having the World Tour riders in town, especially since we haven’t had an edition here the last three years. Everyone is super excited to have it back again and you can really feel the energy from the crowd.”

A former world champion in the C3 class, Masaki Fujita was the fastest paracyclist (4:26). “I feel so excited”, the two-time Paralympic Champion Keiko Sugiura said after her performance, covering the 3.1km in 4:52. “There are many fans and famous riders! Today I had a better time than three years ago… for one second! And now I’m excited for the race.” The communicative smile she displayed throughout the day confirms she was delighted, and so were the crowds of Saitama.

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Race winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It’s a really nice feeling, it’s been a while and there was a really good atmosphere with so many people in Saitama. I had good legs today and this kind of criterium suits me well. I was happy with how things went. I knew I was normally the fastest in the front group [against Vingegaard and Thomas]. I was hoping for a sprint and I just couldn’t let them go. It was the perfect scenario for me. I had some fun this week, learning about the Japanese culture and sharing new experiences. I think it’s the best season of my career, with two victories in the Tour de France as the big highlights.”

Tour de France Saitama Criterium Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin Deceuninck) in 1:23:44
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers).

Saitama’22:

 

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Van der Poel, Van Aert and Pidcock to Start Cyclo-Cross at the End of the Month
According to the organiser of the Hulst cyclo-cross, Kurt Vernimmen, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock will be at the start of the World Cup in Hulst on November the 27th.

Two years ago the three top cross riders competed in the Vestingcross in Hulst. Van der Poel won, Van Aert and Pidcock were on the podium. Last year, Pidcock won.

“I have spoken to the managers of Mathieu and Wout and they have said they are coming, but you never know for sure. They can suddenly have other obligations, but we assume that they will appear at the start,” Vernimmen told Omroep Zeeland.

The World Cup in Hulst will not be at the normal time. Due to the football World Cup, the men’s cross has moved from 3 p.m. to 12 noon. “Normally you have the youth first and then at the end of the afternoon the professionals with the women and men, but the cycling associations and the Belgian TV channel Sporza have decided it this way,” said Vernimmen.

Top cross riders to meet in Hulst:
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Geraint Thomas Wants to Ride the Giro in 2023
Geraint Thomas plans to ride the Giro d’Italia in 2023. The Welshman hinted at that before, but now seems completely sure of his case. The route of the upcoming Tour de France was recently announced and Thomas does not like the low number of time trial kilometres in the route, he told Cyclingnews.

“I don’t really know why they did that,” Thomas says. “When I did my first Tour in 2007 – okay, that was a long time ago – the Tour had two time trials of more than fifty kilometres. So it’s pretty extreme to reverse it to this extent. Those time trial days are also iconic stages. This year there were only three real bunch sprints, which are also iconic rides. Maybe they just want to do it completely different. But I think it’s disappointing that there aren’t more time trial kilometres in the Tour.”

The Tour de France route reinforces Thomas’ conviction to start in the Giro d’Italia. “But I was already thinking about that. The Giro is less intense, there is a certain atmosphere. I would love to ride there again,” said the INEOS Grenadiers GC rider, who rode the Giro d’Italia four times, in 2017 and 2020, he failed to finish due to a crash.

“It’s a race I’ve always enjoyed, even if I literally dropped out the last two times. It would be nice to turn back and finish the race. I’m still a bit stuck with the feeling: what if? In 2020 I felt I was in very good shape. I would have loved to have seen how I would have done that round.”

He does not yet know exactly what ambitions he has for the Giro. “I just have to go to the Giro as best I can. Whether that results in racing for stages or a classification remains to be seen. But I would love to do the Giro. I should do it the same way I did the last Tour: just go there in the best possible shape and see how it goes.”

Geraint Thomas wants more time trial:
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Julian Alaphilippe Looks Back on His Toughest Season Ever
The 2022 season was not good for Julian Alaphilippe. The wearer of the rainbow jersey had a lot of bad luck. “It was really the hardest season of my career. I was never 100%.”

In an interview with Cyclingnews, Alaphilippe looked back on the past season. “The word to describe 2022 is resilience. I was never 100% in a race, I had to fight back all season. That was difficult, especially because I was wearing the rainbow jersey,” said the Frenchman. In 2022, the ex-world champion won just twice; a stage in the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour of the Basque Country.

“Coming back from the crashes was the hardest,” Alaphilippe continued. “It was really the hardest season of my career. My family was crucial in overcoming the adversities time and again.” All those setbacks have also brought other consequences, the 30-year-old rider speaks of more fear than before. “If it gets dangerous while descending, I have more fear. I feel the dangers more.”

Alaphilippe, however, remains combative. “Fortunately, I no longer have pain when I’m on the bike. So I’m not afraid to race. Nothing will stop me in 2023,” concluded the Frenchman.

Terrible season for Alaphilippe:
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arkea
Quintana Loses Appeal and Results Removed from Tour de France
The International Sports Tribunal (CAS) has dismissed Nairo Quintana’s appeal against the UCI’s decision to scrap his results due to traces of the banned painkiller Tramadol in a blood test.

The 32-year-old Colombian finished sixth in the Tour de France in July, but lost that place in August after being disqualified due to a positive test for Tramadol. The drug is not on the list of performance-enhancing drugs, but it is banned by the UCI. The painkiller will be on the WADA’s doping list from 2024. In September it was announced that Quintana would appeal.

Quintana has always denied taking Tramadol. The 32-year-old rider has not raced for Arkéa-Samsic since the announcement of his suspension, due to health problems. He did ride the World championships in Wollongong for the Colombian national team.

The winner of the Giro d’Italia (2014) and Vuelta a España (2016) has now been removed from the results of the 2022 Tour de France, but can start racing again next season. The only question is which team he will be in next year. Quintana will not ride for Arkéa-Samsic next year, but doesn’t have a new team.

“Unfortunately, the result was not good for me, but I can assure you that in my career I have taken more than 300 doping tests and never returned a positive result,” Quintana said in a video message. “I also know that I’ve never taken Tramadol, but that’s something I’ll show later. I will do this in an explanation, showing how we presented my defence and the steps we took in doing so.”

“But now the storm has to pass, life goes on,” continued Quintana. “We are looking to the future and I know that I have the support of my family, my country and my friends. I will give an interview soon with all the information.”

What next for Quintana?
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INEOS DS Matteo Tosatto is Almost Certain Bernal will Start the Vuelta a San Juan
Earlier this week it was announced that INEOS Grenadiers will compete in the Vuelta a San Juan from January 22 to 29 with Filippo Ganna. Now Matteo Tosatto, DS of the British team, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that there is a good chance that Egan Bernal will also be in the Argentine stage race.

“It is almost certain that Bernal will start in the Vuelta a San Juan, in the heat of Argentina,” said Tosatto. “Egan needs to build up some endurance and get some race rhythm, so I expect him to do some shorter stage races of five or six days to build up something. The Volta ao Algarve, Ruta del Sol, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana or the UAE Tour are options.”

Bernal started his 2022 season in August due to his training accident at the beginning of the year and at the end of the season he underwent knee surgery in Colombia. Soon after, he was back on the bike. He then attended an INEOS Grenadiers meeting in Nice, then went on a two week holiday in Peru and will be at the team training camp in Mallorca in December.

“Now that the problems with his knee have been solved, all doubts have been removed,” said Tosatto. “He could go on holiday relaxed. He looked good, very determined. In Nice he said to me: ‘I can start the season like I always have. Like a real rider, not like an injured rider thinking about the pain he feels. I want to go back to where I was before.'”

Bernal recovered:
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Rohan Dennis feels at Home with Jumbo-Visma
Rohan Dennis has finished his first season with Jumbo-Visma. The Australian feels at home with the Dutch team, he said in an interview with Rouleur. “Jumbo is a good team for me,” Dennis said. In the same conversation, he also extensively discussed the 2022 Vuelta a España and the duel between Primoz Roglič and Remco Evenepoel.

“Everything is so well organised that it’s only your fault if you don’t perform. That’s nice,” explained the 32 year-old rider. “It comes with extra pressure, but that’s a responsibility you have as a pro anyway. I’d rather have this than showing up at a race and noticing that your bike is not set up properly, or that the brakes or the equipment is second-hand, so you have a disadvantage.”

“I’d rather have some pressure on my shoulders, knowing that everything is perfect in terms of equipment, nutrition and the like, than that those things are all my own responsibility,” Dennis continued. “It’s a good place to be. If you finish a race and don’t win, you don’t have to think: I could have won if this or that had happened. If you do that here, you’re just complaining. There is no excuse not to perform now.”

Dennis also gets along well with Primoz Roglič, one of the leaders at Jumbo-Visma. “Roglič is a very good boy to work for,” said Dennis, who had to miss the Tour de France, but was able to assist the Slovenian in the Vuelta a España. “He’s pretty chill. I think he likes his freedom. If he wants to go forward, follow him. He’s not one to let his teammates ride themselves to death to keep him up front.”

In the Vuelta, Roglič was Remco Evenepoel’s biggest challenger for a long time, but in the end Jumbo-Visma’s leader crashed out of the race. “That was a big blow to us. He had a very good chance. I mean, coming second was the worst thing that could have happened.” Dennis does not want to say that Evenepoel could be beaten, but did state that the Belgian showed ‘cracks’. He pointed to Evenepoel’s descending qualities as his weak point.

“You don’t want to exploit someone’s bad luck,” Dennis refers to the crash of Evenepoel on stage 12. “But we wouldn’t just let him win. It is part of the sport to find and exploit the weaknesses of opponents. Before the fall he (Evenepoel) did not show much weakness on the descents, but afterwards he was a bit nervous. There were some cracks.”

“The day Primoz fell in the final, those cracks showed. It was a bit technical and nervous, it was a bit of a fight. It was there where Remco fell back and got out of position. Luckily for him, he had a flat tire in the last three kilometres.”

Dennis has several goals for 2023, both for the team and for himself. “The Tour Down Under is back, I would like to put in a good performance there. After that I don’t know if I’m going to the Giro or the Tour. Of course, the Tour would be a good preparation for the World championships, which will take place ten days later. And the World Time Trial Championship is another race that I want to go all out for.”

A happy Dennis:
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israel
Chris Froome Still Believes in Fifth Tour Victory
Chris Froome still believes he can return to his old level and win the Tour de France for the fifth time. The four-time Tour winner of Israel-Premier Tech has not come close to his old form after his serious crash during the Criterium du Dauhpiné in June 2019, which left him with multiple fractures. “This was the first season that I was no longer bothered by my crash in 2019,” he said to Het Nieuwsblad.

Froome also indicated that he is aware that this dream is still a long way off. “I know I have to take other steps before I can focus on that. Before I can focus on a goal like the classification in the Tour again, I have to try to win at least a few smaller goals, such as stage races of a week,” said the Briton, who if he won another Tour de France he would join Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on five wins.

According to the Kenyan-born rider, his dream will depend on the quality of his preparation. “It is especially important to have an uninterrupted period of training and racing without being hindered by illness and injury. If I succeed in that, I am hopeful that I can return to that level,” said Froome, who had to leave the Tour last year with a covid infection. “I am asthmatic and it hit me hard. It was the first time I had it, but it ruined the rest of the season.”

Before he had to leave the Tour, he showed a glimpse of his old form by finishing third on Alpe d’Huez. “Actually, my main goal was the Vuelta. I used the Tour as a stepping stone. In the build-up to the Tour and during the Tour I felt like I was on the right path again.”

Froome still hopes:
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Pozzovivo Still Hoping to Stay with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
Domenico Pozzovivo still doesn’t know what he will be doing next season, but the 39 year-old climber assumes that he will compete for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert in 2023. “I feel at ease there,” he said in an interview with Quibicisport.

Pozzovivo is not planning to hang up his bike yet, the Italian will celebrate his fortieth birthday later this month, but at the moment has no contract for 2023. Pozzovivo is still hoping for a longer stay with his current Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team. “I never thought of ending my career. I’ve always said that to the team, but for now I can’t count on a contract extension.”

The experienced climber has received offers from other teams. “These are only teams that are not yet sure of participating in the Grand Tours, which are my favourite races after all. A new agreement with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert is very possible. I feel good within the team and I would like to extend. I hope it all goes well.”

Pozzovivo is, despite his advanced age, still very ambitious. “I hope to be at the start of the Giro d’Italia again next year. I already know the course almost in detail. It would be wonderful to relive the fourth stage, the one to Lago Laceno. In 2012 I won my first and so far only stage in the Giro at Lago Laceno. I am very sorry that I have never been on the Giro stage. Maybe that will be possible next year.”

The Italian proved his value this year as he finished 8th in the Giro d’Italia, 9th in the Tour de Suisse, 5th in the Coppa Agostoni, 3rd in the Giro dell’Emilia and 8th in Tre Valli Varesine. Sadly Pozzovivo was sick in the Vuelta a España and he crashed in the Tour of Lombardy, his last race of the season.

Will Pozzovivo stay with Wanty?
giro22st9

 

astana 2022
Moscon Hopes for a Better 2023
For Gianni Moscon, 2022 is a year to forget. The Italian has been struggling with his health in recent months and never managed to reach his usual level. “I am looking forward to the new year, because this season I was not myself,” Moscon looked back on a difficult year with Cyclingnews.

Moscon hoped to be on top form for his new Astana Qazaqstan team in the spring, but a covid infection and bronchitis ruined his early season. The Italian classics specialist was severely affected by the virus. “I wasn’t able to train and got tired very quickly. With every little effort I got even more tired, instead of getting better.”

The 28 year-old Moscon hoped for improvement in the summer months. The Italian took part in the Tour of Switzerland and made his appearance in the Tour de France, but didn’t show much in these races. He had to retire early in the Tour de France. Moscon had tests and it turned out that the rider also suffered from a bacterial infection in his blood. Now things are moving in the right direction for Moscon, as was evident in the Tour de Langkawi: Moscon fought twice for a stage win and managed to finish the race without any problems. “Feeling good is the most important thing in our sport. I now feel good again and that is very nice.”

“My body responds well to training stimuli again and can put a strain on it again. I look forward to the coming season. This season I was not myself, now everything is finally back to normal,” said a hopeful Moscon. “I am now taking a short rest period, but then we will immediately look further to 2023.”

Moscon back to health:
langkawi22

 

holland dutch
Tom Dumoulin Wants to Stay in the Cycling World
Tom Dumoulin does not intend to turn his back on cycling for good. The Limburger who ended his professional career this year plans to return to the sport that has brought him so much. In what role and when, he does not yet know. Dumoulin spoke to NRC about his future.

The World championships in Australia should have been Dumoulin’s last race, but due to his mental exhaustion, the Klasikoa San Sebastián was his last race as a professional cyclist. Because he had already booked airline tickets to Australia with his family, he decided to go to the World champs as a spectator.

“I liked the atmosphere so much that I thought: this is my world. I’m not done with it,” said Dumoulin. “It feels like home. I still feel the love for the bike. Maybe one day I’ll be a coach, a consultant. But I will stay away from a professional team for a while.”

In mid-October, Aike Visbeek, sport manager of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, again announced that he would like to use Dumoulin’s knowledge and expertise. The two previously worked together at Team Sunweb. However, it will take some time before the 31 year-old Limburger is open to such a position. In the interview with NRC, he also looked back on the extremely painful 2020 year, in which he was not feeling well. Afterwards, everyone could see his mental and physical struggle during the Tour de France in the NOS documentary. “It was really, really awful. I hated cycling so much, and I hated being there so much. Almost the entire Tour I rode around with a large tumour under my buttocks. And still I was able to help the team and I finished seventh. Seventh! I really don’t understand how that is possible. And then you have to imagine that the world was able to watch during the most unfortunate period of my life.”

In the meantime things are going much better with the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia. “For the first time in my life I can fill in everything myself. I start with a completely blank page and where I’m going, I have no idea. And I’d like to leave it that way. Because it feels good.”

After thirteen years, his marriage came to an end. “I’m getting a divorce. We decided that last week. I don’t know if that’s necessarily something for the newspaper. Although I also understand that it has to be about that for a while. If you had told me this five months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I always hoped that I wouldn’t become one of those cyclists who got divorced after his career ended. But unfortunately that is the case.”

Tom Dumoulin watched Fortuna Sittard and FC Emmen in Sittard on Saturday:
dumoulin

 

Q36.5
Q36.5 PRO CYCLING TEAM – Racing the Future
We are proud to announce the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team, and to unveil the 23-rider squad that will represent us in the upcoming 2023 season. Italian cycling brand Q36.5, known for its award-winning cycling innovations, will be the sponsor and technical garment provider of the team, which will be managed by Douglas Ryder.

Our mission of ‘Racing the Future’ will guide the team to be focused and conscious of the impact and contributions our decisions have on the professional sport, the environment, and the people we meet along the way.

“Cycling ignites positive change and we believe this roster of riders and staff will live our mission, will be committed to each other, and will race with passion and fight,” says Doug Ryder, General Manager of the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team.

“With progress at the heart of who we are, our goal is also to help communities grow sustainably using the upward mobility that bikes offer. Bikes don’t only bring people together; they also help move them forward. As a team, we’ll be racing for more than just winning; we’re racing to shape the future in a positive way, with a key focus on mobility, education, and development in Africa,” says Ryder.

By partnering with Q36.5, our riders will benefit from their expertise in creating world-class performance cycling innovations, while the team will be a testing ground for further developing the next generation of functional RaceWear.

Luigi Bergamo, CEO & Head of R&D at Q36.5 explains that their radical approach towards product development has allowed athletes for years now to make significant gains to improve their performance. “We’re extremely proud to see the team’s riders benefit from our products and push the limits of what’s possible.”

With former Italian professional cyclist Vincenzo Nibali joining as technical advisor and Q36.5 brand ambassador, Bergamo elaborates that the team will be able to leverage Nibali’s incredible wealth of knowledge and experience.

Head of Performance, Alex Sans Vega elaborates: “We have assembled a talented, motivated and committed group of individuals, who can be competitive in every type of race and terrain. We want to perform at the highest level from the beginning. The experienced riders who have joined us from the WorldTour bring a wealth of knowledge and will be able to mentor the youngsters in our squad. We have an excellent mix to become one of the best Pro Teams.”

With 13 nationalities represented in the Q36.5 Pro Cycling’s squad of 23 riders, our team offers an inspiring blend of youth and experience.

The 2023 Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team riders:
Negasi Haylu Abreha – ETH
Matteo Badilatti – SUI
Jack Bauer – NZL
Gianluca Brambilla – ITA
Walter Calzoni – ITA
Marcel Camprubi Pijuan – ESP
Fabio Christen – SUI
Filippo Colombo – SUI
Filippo Conca – ITA
Corey Davis – USA
Tom Devriendt – BEL
Mark Donovan – GBR
Alessandro Fedeli – ITA
Carl Fredrik Hagen – NOR
Damien Howson – AUS
Tobias Ludvigsson – SWE
Cyrus Monk – AUS
Matteo Moschetti – ITA
Nicolo’ Parisini – ITA
Antonio Puppio – ITA
Joseph Rosskopf – USA
Szymon Sajnok – POL
Nickolas Zukowsky – CAN.

Alex Sans Vega will be supported by sports directors Aart Vierhouten and Gabriele Missaglia. Our coaching staff will be led by Carles Tur Carbonell and Mattia Michelusi.

We will continue to run our development squad as the Q36.5 Continental Team, which will serve as a springboard in creating opportunities for young talent. The full roster announcement for the 2023 season will follow in due course.

“I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all our partners who have backed our team and look forward to welcoming new partners on board as we build a sustainable and successful project,” concludes Ryder.

Q36.5

 

lotto dstny
Axel Merckx Will Not be the New Manager of Lotto Dstny
Axel Merckx was one of the candidates to succeed John Lelangue as team manager of Lotto Dstny, the team recently informed WielerFlits. However, the conversations that were held have led nowhere. In an interview with La Derniere Heure, Merckx says that he will not become the new CEO of the Belgian team.

“Lotto Dstny’s new manager? It won’t be me,” Merckx made clear to the Walloon newspaper. Negotiations between the two parties have since been halted, according to La Derniere Heure. Instead of taking over at Lotto Dstny, Merckx will remain with Hagens Berman Axeon. Eddy Merckx’s son has been the manager of the American U23 team for many years.

During a meeting in Haacht in mid-October, Roger Malevé (chairman of Captains of Cycling) and Daan de Wever (CEO of Dstny) stated that discussions had been held with Merckx. “But there are more candidates. We take the time to choose the right person” said Malevé at the time. Former rider Andrei Tchmil is one of a few others.

Axel Merckx staying with Hagens Berman Axeon:
axel merckx

 

arkea
Bianchi Returns to the WorldTour with Team Arkéa-Samsic
The French team will count on Bianchi’s technology and revitalised Reparto Corse collection, headlined by the new Oltre RC. The partnership will also include a Pro Continental women’s and Development Team line-up.

bianchi arkea

Bianchi has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Team Arkéa-Samsic, thus confirming the return of Bianchi Reparto Corse to the prestigious international UCI WorldTour calendar.

Bianchi’s new sports collaboration is with Arkéa-Samsic, a French-based international team that has gained a solid position in the World Tour category going into 2023 thanks to excellent results achieved in past seasons. This is an exciting comeback for Bianchi, which heralds its return with an ambitious and growing team directly supported by the Italian brand’s Reparto Corse division that’s dedicated to producing high-performance bicycles for use in professional racing.

“In recent years, Team Arkéa-Samsic has demonstrated growth by achieving its planned goals. The solid organisation and the international approach are two factors that we consider decisive, and in the coming years we want to contribute to efforts for achieving new targets and to be well represented in the World Tour”, said Bianchi CEO, Fabrizio Scalzotto.

The partnership with Team Arkéa-Samsic is also strategically important for Bianchi to consolidate its position in the key French market. By leveraging the strength of an actively engaged fanbase, the Team will work closely with Bianchi to get closer to the audience of users and fans through communication and co-marketing initiatives.

Oltre RC’s Debut in the WorldTour
The 2023 season will kick off at the summit of international cycling with the new Oltre RC, the recently launched Hyperbike that has revolutionised the world of aero racing bikes.

Bianchi’s equipment dedicated to Team Arkéa-Samsic includes the Specialissima, the light and reactive all-rounder that’s perfect for stage racing and climbing. For time trials, the multi-winning Aquila will be the Arkéa-Samsic athletes’ ally, while Zolder Pro will return to the international stage of world cup cyclocross.

Barguil, Bouhanni and the Women’s Team
Bianchi’s long-standing commitment to Team Arkéa-Samsic includes a path to steady growth. The captain of the WorldTour squad is the experienced Warren Barguil, winner of two stages in the Tour de France. The team will count on Nacer Bouhanni for sprint finishes. There are also many young riders in the wings, such as Clément Champoussin, Kévin Vauquelin, Hugo Hofstetter, Matîs Louvel and David Dekker.

“I am glad to associate the Arkéa-Samsic team with such a famous brand of bicycles as Bianchi, which is known and recognised by all passionate people for its heritage and innovation. Bianchi has written the history of our sport in gold letters with famous riders – I had the chance to race in the professional ranks on bikes from this Italian brand which was, and still is, one of the crown jewels of the cycling industry. By partnering with the Arkéa-Samsic team, Bianchi is making its big return to the level of UCI WorldTour racing. Bianchi also wants to develop and enhance its high-performance products with us, such as its new Oltre RC, by working in close collaboration with our technical staff and pro riders”, Team Arkéa-Samsic General Manager Emmanuel Hubert said.

As part of Team Arkéa-Samsic, Bianchi will also support the Development and women’s teams, featuring Amandine Fouquenet, the talented and promising French U23 road champion.

Bianchi racing equipment:

  • Shimano Durace Di2 disc and road wheelset
  • Vision TT wheelset
  • Reparto Corse by Vision/FSA cockpit (for Specialissima and Aquila)
  • Continental tires
  • Selle Italia saddles
  • Elite bottles/cages
  • Wahoo computers

bianchi

 

uae
Jay Vine Set to Join UAE Team Emirates
Australian signs a 2-year deal

Jay Vine has put pen to paper on a deal which will see him in the colours of UAE Team Emirates next season, with the new contract running until the end of 2024.

The 26-year-old climbing specialist burst onto the scene this year , claiming two stage victories in only his second Grand Tour at the 2022 Vuelta España and overall podiums at both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Norway. Having originally made his name through the world of E-sports, Vine successfully transitioned to the road and hopes to develop further at the Emirati team.

Vine: “I’m really excited to be joining UAE Team Emirates . With their strong combination of riders and their GC experience, this was the next logical step in my career. I’m really grateful for the opportunities Alpecin has given me, and how they’ve helped me find my place in the peloton. I’m motivated for the new season with UAE, and eager to further refine my GC ambitions whilst helping the boys kick some goals.”

Mauro Gianetti (CEO & Team Principal): “We are very pleased to welcome Jay into the team. He has proven himself as a top-class climber and we feel that he still has a margin to grow and develop more on the road. He came into cycling relatively late but has progressed very quickly and has shown a good mentality and a real desire to join our team. We hope for many good years working together.”

Jay Vine – From Zwift to WorldTour
vine zwift

 

alpecin-deceuninck
Jay Vine set to leave Alpecin-Deceuninck to join UAE Team Emirates
The 26-year old climbing specialist burst onto the scene this year, claiming two stage victories in only his second Grand Tour at the 2022 Vuelta España and overall podiums at both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Norway. Having originally made his name through the world of E-sports, Vine successfully transitioned to the road and hopes to develop further at the Emirati team.

Alpecin-Deceuninck: “Jay Vine still had an agreement with our team until the end of 2023. We would have liked to keep him with us longer, but we respect his wish to leave earlier. Jay is proof that the way Zwift Academy works, is the right one. But Zwift Academy is also about creating opportunities: if Jay Vine thinks he can develop faster as a GC rider at Team UAE, we don’t want to deprive him of that opportunity, even given his late age to turn pro. The transition from Zwift to the road was not the most obvious. It took a lot of energy from our staff to help him make that transition. His departure only strengthens our conviction to continue working intensively with Zwift and Zwift Academy. Currently, five finalists are eagerly looking forward to the next final, mid-November. We are looking forward to it!”

Jay Vine leaves Alpecin-Deceuninck:
vuelta22st6

 

quick-step-alpha
Yves Lampaert Extends with Quick-Step for Three Years
The Belgian inks a new deal with the Wolfpack.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has reached an agreement with Yves Lampaert, which will see him stay with the team until the end of 2025.

The 31-year-old from Izegem has had a memorable 2022, with most remembering the unfortunate crash at his beloved Paris-Roubaix, which cost him a probable podium place. Equally emotional was the opening stage of the Tour de France, where Yves powered his way to victory in the individual time trial in Copenhagen and took the famous and coveted yellow jersey.

Having joined the team in 2015, Yves’ new contact reaches through 2025, meaning it will see him complete a decade with the team, where he has carved a niche for himself as a classic specialist, a powerful time trialist and a reliable domestique and teammate.

His career has seen him take 15 individual victories so far, with as well as the aforementioned Tour de France stage victory, his palmarès including wins also at the Vuelta a España, Tour de Suisse, Tour of Britain, Dwars door Vlaanderen (2017 and 2018) and Classic Brugge-De Panne. He is also part of an elite club of riders to have held both the Belgian National Road Race (2018) and Time Trial titles (2017 and 2021).

Speaking in reaching his new agreement, Yves Lampaert said “I am really happy that I can stay for three more years with the team. I see the team as my family and I am always really proud when can be successful, so let’s see if we can add some more in the coming years. I would like to thank Patrick (Lefevere) for the confidence that he has shown in me and I hope to repay that faith.”

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl CEO Patrick Lefevere reflected on the agreement when saying, “I am very happy that we could come to an agreement that will see Yves stay with the team. When we think of his last year, we think of what happened in Paris – Roubaix and being in yellow at the Tour de France, but the bigger picture is so much more than that. He has taken some big victories individually but he also works tirelessly for others and he is a huge part of our team and we are delighted that we will have him for three more years.”

Three more years for Yves Lampaert:
soudal qs

 

bikeexchange jayco
Team BikeExchange-Jayco add experienced Italian Alessandro De Marchi to round out a well-balanced line-up for 2023
Team BikeExchange-Jayco is pleased to confirm the signing of Italian climber Alessandro De Marchi on a one-year contract, bringing the Australian outfit’s team roster size to 30.

The 36-year-old has been a professional WorldTour rider for the past decade and brings with him a wealth of experience from the biggest races on the calendar. GreenEDGE Cycling believe that the three-time Vuelta a España stage winner will be an important support rider, particularly in the mountains, as the squad continues to chase Grand Tour success.

However, with his all-round talent and professionalism, naturally the squad see De Marchi not only as a rider to captain team line-ups and guide the younger generation, but also capable of continuing to win races in his own right.

Brent Copeland – General Manager: “Having Alessandro join the team is a really great addition for us. He has so much experience and it was important for us to find the right rider that can easily slot into our team environment, but also a rider that we trust to bring great experience and not only be able to act as a role model for the younger riders but be able to perform when given his own opportunity as well. Alessandro is a great asset to have on and off the bike, and we believe that we have signed a rider that will really complement the roster that we have carefully put together for 2023. We have a great balanced team now with youthful talent, and older mature riders to guide the way, with the signings of De Marchi and Stybar. They will play valuable roles, bringing so much to the team after years of racing as professionals. They have experienced all the biggest races and witnessed how racing has evolved. We are very excited to get this new season started.”

Alessandro De Marchi: “First of all, I must admit that I am really proud to receive an offer from such a great team in such a delicate moment of my career. This season hasn’t been the best for me, but to have this new proposal it gives me lots of motivation for 2023. I am very excited to begin this new adventure, it will be an important year for me to show that I am still a strong rider and one of my key roles will be to bring and use my experience from the last ten years as a professional. Team BikeExchange-Jayco looks like a really professional structure that has a strong work ethos, but also a key aspect of being a friendly environment. That allows everyone to work in the best way, of course with pressure to perform, but with the right attitude and this is something I am really looking forward to being a part of. For 2023, the team has many changes, they are bringing a lot of young talent on to the team but mixed with experienced riders like myself, so I will do all I can to support new generations to grow and become the best athletes they can be and support the growth of the team.”

Alessandro De Marchi:
Date of Birth: 19th May 1986 (36)
Nationality: Italian
Joins GreenEDGE Cycling: 2023

Top Results:
1st Tre Valli Varesine (2021)
1st Giro dell’Emilia (2018)
1st Criterium du Dauphine Stage (2013)
1st 3x Vuelta a España Stages (2018, 2015, 2014)
2nd 2x Giro d’Italia Stages (2021, 2012)
3rd Giro d’Italia Stage (2012)
3rd 3x Vuelta a España Stages (2018, 2015, 2014)
5th Tour de France Stage (2014)
7th Amstel Gold Race (2019)
8th Tour de France Stage (2013)
9th Il Lombardia (2016).

De Marchi to BikeExchange-Jayco:
giro22st13

 

tdu
Santos Tour Down Under 2023 Stages Revealed
The stage schedule of the Santos Tour Down Under 2023 was just as well known, but now the organisation of the race has also revealed the stage profiles. The Australian stage race, which could not take place for the past two years, is on the calendar for January 17 to 22.

As was already clear, the next edition of the Tour Down Under for men will start with a 5.5 kilometre prologue in Adelaide. It is the first time that a race against the clock has been included in the WorldTour race route. The Willunga Hill, the traditional executioner of the course, is no longer in the route. This time, the final day has been chosen for an uphill arrival at the top of Mount Lofty.

Tour Down Under 2023 Stages (17-22 January):
P. Adelaide – Adelaide (ITT, 5.5 km)
1. Tanunda – Tanunda (150 km)
2. Brighton – Victor Harbor (156 km)
3. Norwood – Campbelltown (118.5 km)
4. Port Willunga – Willunga (135.3 km)
5. Unley – Mount Lofty (114km)

 

vuelta
Vuelta a España 2023 to Have Stage Finish on the Col du Tourmalet
The Col du Tourmalet will not only be in the Tour de France for men and women in 2023, it will also be in the next edition of the Vuelta a España. According to El Periódico there will be a stage finish on the mythical Pyrenean climb.

The Tour of Spain has crossed the Col du Tourmalet in the past, but it is the first time that a stage will finish on the 20 kilometre climb. The race should have finished there three years ago, but due to covid the route had to be changed. In 2023, according to El Périodico, there will be a finish on the Col du Tourmalet at the end of the second week, on Friday, September 8, after a day in the Pyrenees. The riders may also have to climb the Col d’Aubisque on the same stage.

The Spanish newspaper El Diario de Navarra also has an idea of the stage on Saturday September 9, a day after the Col du Tourmalet. This stage will also take place in the Pyrenees, with the climbs to Issarbe and Larrau and then the final climb to the Larra Belagua ski area.

The 2023 Vuelta a España will run from 26th August to 17th September and will depart from Barcelona. The first stage will be a team time trial of around 14 kilometres. Stage 2 will be a road stage finishing in Catalan capital.

Col du Tourmalet in la Vuelta’23:
tdf21st18

 


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