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EUROTRASH Monday: Wonderful Wout and All the Other News

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A hat-trick of wins for Wout van Aert in UCI World Cup Zonhoven, Telenet Superprestige Hexia Cross in Gullegem and the Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde – Reports and video. And the Australian national road championships results.
Iván Ramiro Sosa assaulted with a gun while training – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Giro is Remco Evenepoel’s biggest goal, Van der Poel’s back problem returned, Daryl Impey announces his final season, Miguel Ángel López to race for Team Medellín-EPS, Cian Uijtdebroeks to ride la Vuelta in 2023, Guillaume Martin to Tirreno-Adriatico, Fabio Jakobsen starts season in Vuelta a San Juan, possible career end for Chloe Hosking, Julian Alaphilippe to start in Mallorca, Antoine Raugel out with pinched femoral artery, Alejandro Valverde in the new Movistar kit and looking fit and Sonny Colbrelli enters politics with Silvio Berlusconi.
Team news: Uno-X looking for a new co-sponsor, Soudal Quick-Step, Movistar and Cofidis to the Tour Down Under, New kit for SD Worx, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost and Amazon Prime Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl docuseries.
Race news: Paris-Nice stages and teams.
Contract news: Cofidis extend with Axel Zingle and Alexis Renard and Kamil Małecki completes Q36.5 Pro Cycling team roster for 2023 season.
BIG Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.

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top story
TOP STORY: Iván Ramiro Sosa Assaulted with a Gun while Training
Iván Ramiro Sosa was attacked by a truck driver while training in Colombia, according to El Tiempo. The 25-year-old Movistar rider is said to have been hit with the handle of a revolver and then taken to hospital.

Sosa was training when he got into a fight with the driver of a truck, the Colombian newspaper wrote. He is being treated in Fusagasugá hospital, all will be well with the climber given the circumstances. “He is conscious and in good health. They continue to treat him,” an acquaintance of Sosa told El Tiempo.

For Sosa, 2022 was his first year at Movistar after a long time with INEOS Grenadiers. Last October he won the Tour de Langkawi. Earlier in the season he won a stage and the final classification of the Vuelta Asturias.

Iván Ramiro Sosa attacked:


cross world cup
UCI World Cup Zonhoven – Men 2022
Wout van Aert won the Zonhoven World Cup on Sunday with a great display of power. The Belgian champion took a gap on the third lap, which he soon expanded into an unbridgeable lead. Mathieu van der Poel had to settle for second place and Laurens Sweeck was third.

UCI World Cup Zonhoven23

At the start of the Zonhoven World Cup, the expected names were right at the front. Laurens Sweeck had the best start, but soon Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel took over. However, the Dutchman slipped, causing him to fall back a bit. Van Aert had a gap, but Van der Poel quickly closed it. As a result, we had three front riders: Van Aert, Van der Poel and Michael Vanthourenhout.

Laurens Sweeck was also able to make contact again on the second lap. At least, for the moment. After a new acceleration from Van Aert, the leading group split again. Van der Poel was able to make the connection at the start of lap three. Vanthourenhout and Sweeck didn’t return immediately. They did get to Van der Poel, who crashed again later in the lap. Van Aert also had to get off the bike, but was quickly back in action. He then immediately took a good lead.

After three of the eight laps, the difference between Van Aert and the trio behind was 16 seconds. Halfway through the race he had a lead of 36 seconds, after five laps that had become more than 1 minute. In the sixth lap, Van der Poel recovered a bit. He rode away from Sweeck and Vanthourenhout, but the Dutchman didn’t get any closer to Van Aert. The difference remained about a minute. On the penultimate lap, the gap widened even further. Van Aert could start the final lap with confidence. He would cross the line first by a wide margin. Van der Poel came in second. Behind that it was a battle for third place between Vanthourenhout and Sweeck. Sweeck came out on top for the last place on the podium.


Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I had the feeling I could ride a high pace. After the challenging races of the previous weeks, a meaningful acceleration was no longer possible today. At the start of the race, I tried to take advantage of Mathieu van der Poel’s errors. When he fell in front of me, I managed to establish a significant gap. It is the only cross on the calendar where you get this kind of connection with the public. You can hear from the audience what is happening. That’s gratifying, even if you are suffering.”

2nd, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It didn’t go well. I can be brief: it’s not going the way I would like. My back hurts again, that’s frustrating. It’s very hard to focus, I just think about the pain in my back. You have to be 100 percent focused on the race, but I can’t do that right now. I might be able to ride at the pace I want for half a lap, but then I have to hold back because of the pain. That is very frustrating.”

3rd, Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads): “I think this was the highest possible today. The two big boys were a bit better. I was a bit defensive for the ranking, because Michael (Vanthourenhout) is the only dangerous customer for me. That’s why I stayed on his wheel to beat him afterwards. So third place was very good for me.”

UCI World Cup Zonhoven – Men Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 58:49
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 1:23
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 1:31
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:02
5. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 2:08
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise-Trek Lions at 2:17
7. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 2:37
8. Jens Adams (Bel) ChocoVit at 2:49
9. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) Tormans at 3:01
10. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Deschacht-Hens-Maes at 3:14.



cross world cup
UCI World Cup Zonhoven – Women 2022
Shirin van Anrooij won the women’s Zonhoven World Cup. After going alone on the second lap, she slowly but surely extended her lead. Puck Pieterse finished in second place, Fem van Empel was third.

UCI World Cup Zonhoven23

There was a strong field for the Zonhoven World Cup. Shirin van Anrooij, Puck Pieterse and Fem van Empel all made an appearance. Van Empel said before the race that she was suffering from a cold, but had an excellent start. The Jumbo-Visma rider took the lead in the first metres.

Soon after the start things went wrong for Van Empel. At the drop into the famous Kuil, a steep sand descent, she fell forward. She got back and then fell again. Shirin van Anrooij and Puck Pieterse, who also made a slide in the first lap, had meanwhile created a gap. After one lap they had more than 20 seconds on Lucinda Brand in third place. Van Empel came through seventh at 36 seconds.

The Kuil continued to take victims. on the second of six laps, Pieterse crashed and had to let Van Anrooij go. The Baloise-Trek Lions rider had 15 seconds on Pieterse when she crossed the line. Behind; Van Empel, who visibly had trouble with the Kuil, Lucinda Brand, Inge van der Heijden and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado remained close to each other. Later Van Empel would leave the other three behind, but she wouldn’t get to the first two. It became a battle between Pieterse and Van Anrooij. The latter had a lead to defend and did so successfully. She slowly but surely extended her lead over Pieterse and started the last lap with a 38 second lead. She had no problems and didn’t take any risks and was able to celebrate well before she crossed the finish line.


Race winner, Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise-Trek Lions): “It wasn’t easy, but I had a very good feeling. I was in control on this course, I didn’t make any mistakes, I could just ride my pace. I was in a good flow, then the sand is great to race through. I knew it was possible. After Koksijde I knew that I could rely on my sand qualities, and that the power pieces uphill also suit me well. But I didn’t expect to go solo on the second lap. I think it’s just going to get harder. Now I might want to ride at elite level, while before I was pretty sure I wanted to stay with the U23’s. During the last part of the lap I thought: this is what people are going to ask about. But I’m still not sure. It is a very difficult choice.”

2nd, Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “During the reconnaissance I thought: nobody goes down here faster, but then, in the race itself, I was too eager to go full throttle. As a result, I fell a few times. After two laps I actually didn’t make any mistakes anymore, and yet Shirin rode further and further away. So she was definitely the strongest today. I’m not surprised she’s so strong. I know from Shirin that she is always very strong after the Christmas season. Last year we also saw that she grew to her top form towards the World championships. It is then very difficult to beat her.”

UCI World Cup Zonhoven – Women Result:
1. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise-Trek Lions in 55:41
2. Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:37
3. Fem van Empel (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:54
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise-Trek Lions at 1:46
5. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 2:10
6. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 2:27
7. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 2:41
8. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 2:59
9. Line Burquier (Fra) at 3:35
10. Laura Verdonscchot (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache at 3:41.



Telenet Superprestige Hexia Cross Gullegem – Men 2023
Wout van Aert won the Superprestige Gullegem on Saturday. The Belgian champion dropped everyone halfway through the race and soloed to the finish. Eli Iserbyt was second, Michael Vanthourenhout third.


There was no duel between Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert in the Superprestige Gullegem, as the Dutchman didn’t have the cross on his race program. Van Aert was kept quiet in the first lap. He sat in fifth place, while Lars van der Haar and Eli Iserbyt took turns leading. Felipe Orts and Michael Vanthourenhout also had a good start and were part of the leading group of five.

While Van Aert continued to watch from the last position, Vanthourenhout took the initiative during the second lap. The European champion took a nice gap. That was the signal for Van Aert to take control and he went into the lead of the chasing group and quickly closed down on Vanthourenhout. When he was almost on the wheel, he made a mistake and the Jumbo-Visma rider was knocked back for a while, but soon recovered. Before the end of the third lap he made contact.

Van der Haar and Iserbyt were also able to return, leaving four riders at the front. Van Aert then put pressure on his opponents, but initially only dropped Van der Haar. The other two were still able to hang on. On the fourth lap Vanthourenhout lost ground after bike problems and Iserbyt had to pass and they saw Van Aert ride away slowly but surely. Van Aert extended his lead to about 20 seconds on Iserbyt and kept it stable in the last laps. The Belgian champion, who has raced ten crosses this winter, recorded his seventh victory without any problems. Behind him, Iserbyt stayed ahead of his teammate Vanthourenhout.


Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a difficult cross because of the rain. The course had become very technical, it made it difficult to get the right feeling. I wanted to stay close behind the others longer today, but that made it more difficult. When I could ride my own lines, it went more smoothly. Due to the limited possibilities to employ my strength, being perfect was essential. I am overjoyed with my first victory in Gullegem. The past several weeks have gone smoothly, and I’ve been successful in races I had trouble with in the past. The absentees are always wrong (Tom Pidcock and Mathieu van der Poel), the riders who are present are motivated. That is never easy. I’ve had a good winter thus far, and I’ve made steady progress. It makes me happy.”

2nd, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “In the beginning it was a bit of a search for me, I was struggling a bit and had to leave a few meters, just when Wout accelerated, halfway through the cross. He raced impressively through the mud there. I changed profile once. From coarse to even coarser and from soft to very soft (tyres). It was a bit like riding brown soap. But that’s something I like to do. It was also a super crowd, so I really enjoyed today.”

3rd, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “At the start it all went pretty well, but then I started making more and more mistakes. In addition, I had another puncture. At least I’ve had some of my bad luck. I felt good in the beginning, but with that flat tire I fell a bit alone and it was hard to get back to Eli. All in all, I’m happy that I’m still on the podium. It took some adjusting, but a lot had changed after the reconnaissance. Everyone had a hard time with the course in the beginning. In itself I can do that well, so it’s a pity that I’m a bit out of the race because of that flat tire. I made some mistakes trying to close that gap. But I am satisfied after a week with a lot of training. I am back on the podium and the feeling was good.”

Telenet Superprestige Hexia Cross Gullegem – Men Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma) in 1:03:05
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:22
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:41
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise-Trek Lions at 0:53
5. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) Tormans at 1:33
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 1:44
7. Felipe Orts (Spa) Burgos-BH at 2:09
8. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 2:47
9. Lander Loockx (Bel) Deschacht-Hens-Maes at 3:14
10. Curtis White (USA) at 3:59.



Telenet Superprestige Hexia Cross Gullegem – Women 2023
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the Superprestige Gullegem. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider rode away from the other riders early, and managed to hold them off for the remainder of the cross. Inge van der Heijden came second, Denise Betsema was third.


Zoe Bäckstedt had the best start in the women’s race in Gullegem. Right on her heels was Denise Betsema and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, who was the big favourite in the absence of Puck Pieterse and Fem van Empel. Inge van der Heijden, second in the Superprestige, was also at the start, but had to leave a gap to the first three in the early part of the race.

At the front, 19 year-old Bäckstedt took the initiative. She came through alone after one lap, shortly ahead of Alvarado and Betsema. Van der Heijden was also close, but the rest seemed to have no chance for victory at that point. In the second round, Alvarado went past Bäckstedt, who dropped back to Betsema. A little later Van der Heijden also joined and there were now three pursuers. They could still see Alvarado at this stage. On the fourth of seven laps, Alvarado got a bit further ahead. Van der Heijden was in second place at 24 seconds at the line. Later the difference would increase even more, so it was soon clear that Alvarado would take the victory. The battle for second place was more exciting. Betsema recovered after a bad moment and joined Van der Heijden.

At the start of the final lap, Van der Heijden had again taken a small gap on Betsema. That gap widened when she switched bikes. In the end, this was the final result, because Betsema could not return. Van der Heijden finished second, behind Alvarado. Betsema took third place. Fourth was Bäckstedt, who was well ahead of Sanne Cant. In sixth place was Marion Norbert-Riberrolle, who had crashed on the washboard in the first lap.


Race winer, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It is always good to win, no matter who is at the start, but I had to keep going in the first half of the race. The gap was ten, fifteen seconds, but with a small mistake, that lead is gone in no time. When I saw that it was over twenty seconds, I was able to temporise. The last two laps I was a bit more comfortable. The gap with second is now four points. And it’s in places, not in time. So that’s already four places she has to make up for. It’s always great to win, no matter who’s at the start. You have to do it yourself anyway. It is very nice that we succeeded today.”

2nd, Inge van der Heijden (777): “It was quite exciting. I tried to keep a bit of a lead for the standings, otherwise I think we would be tied. It was quite a tough race, it was constant keep giving. I was able to build up a bit on some bits, but she could come back over and over again. So it was a fight to the end, but I’m glad I can stay second in the standings. The start was extremely bad. I was also behind the crash of Marion (Norbert-Riberrolle), so I immediately had to chase. Unfortunately I never closed the gap on Ceylin (del Carmen Alvarado), but I definitely think she is the deserved winner. I was already three points behind, now four. Something really needs to happen if I want to win. But I’m happy with second place. I am happy that I have taken an extra point compared to Denise Betsema.”

3rd, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I miss the freshness in my legs a bit, I miss that explosiveness. I already knew it wouldn’t be great today, so I’m really happy with a podium finish. That was exciting for a while, because Bäckstedt was also very strong. Especially in the mud I came up short, but luckily I was able to make up for that. Only Inge (van der Heijden) and Ceylin (del Carmen Alvarado) were just too strong. A podium place is always good. I find it difficult, because of course I prefer to win. But I don’t feel quite in shape. That’s too bad. That’s why I’m not going to start tomorrow. I’m planning a little rest and hope to be completely fresh again for the Dutch championship. I hope I can make up for something. I think everything is still possible, so I’m definitely going to ride a good race in Middelkerke. I’ve shown more than once that I can do that, that I can win there. I hope that the form is a bit better and that I can still win the final classification. That remains a main goal.”

Telenet Superprestige Hexia Cross Gullegem – Women Result:
1. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 51:49
2. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 0:35
3. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:45
4. Zoe Bäckstedt (GB) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB at 1:13
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 1:54
6. Marion Norbert-Riberolle (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 3:04
7. Alicia Franck (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache at 3:41
8. Francesca Baroni (Ita) Pissei-Groep T.O.M. at 4:52
9. Lucia González Blanco (Spa) Nesta-MMR at 4:52
10. Annie Last (GB) at 5:09.



X2O Trofee Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde – Men 2023
Wout van Aert won the Duinencross in Koksijde on Thursday. Before halfway through the race, the Jumbo-Visma rider rode away from Mathieu van der Poel and Laurens Sweeck. Van der Poel came second, Sweeck third.


Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, the two top favourites for the Koksijde race, started in the second row of the Duinencross. Toon Vandebosch was the first onto the off-road, but the ‘Big two’ moved up quickly. In no time they were in third and fourth place, behind Vandebosche and Laurens Sweeck. Sweeck took over on the sand and immediately accelerated.

Van der Poel saw the danger, closed the gap and immediately continued the move and came through solo after one lap. Van Aert followed 5 seconds behind with Sweeck and Niels Vandeputte, who was dropped. Sweeck and Van Aert were able to catch Van der Poel. It was the Belgian champion who then took the initiative. The three were together when started the third lap. Sweeck made a gap after a strong sand passage, but it was short-lived, as the two tenors soon closed the gap again. On the fourth of eight laps, bigger differences emerged. This happened due to Van Aert, who put in a strong attack. Van der Poel and Sweeck watched the Jumbo-Visma rider disappear. Van der Poel came through at the halfway point at 18 seconds, Sweeck at 34.

As the cross went on Van Aert took more time on Van der Poel, who stretched his back several times. Not only the Dutchman lost time, the gap to Sweeck also got bigger and bigger. Going into the final lap, Van der Poel was 1:12 behind, Sweeck was at 1:45. Van Aert did not have to worry and was able to celebrate long before the finish-line. Van der Poel came second, Sweeck third.


Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I don’t think I’m the best in racing through sand, but the form is just good. It had also rained a bit this afternoon, but that didn’t affect the grass too much. So I dared to start with slicks. But during the cross it started to rain harder. I didn’t want to have to take risks on the grass all the time, so I quickly decided to switch. I was determined to win today. Not necessarily because I lost in Herentals, but I haven’t raced in Koksijde for a long time, due to injuries and the calendar that didn’t allow it. I am happy that the race now fell in this week and that I could win here.”

2nd, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “I suddenly had a lot of back pain again, so that sucks, but there is nothing you can do about it. I felt it pretty quickly. I felt pretty good, my legs too. But at a certain point I could hardly get one foot in front of the other. It actually went quite well this cyclo-cross season. I don’t quite understand why it played out like this today. We have been evenly matched in the past five races, which should have been the case today if you continue the line. But I couldn’t suffer today. I’m a bit worried about that, but it will be all right. Loosen up well tomorrow and then give the best of myself again on Sunday (Zonhoven World Cup).”

4th, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “One of my two cleats broke on the second lap. Then I thought: shit, the standings. If you change those shoes, you lose a lot of time. I put it off every lap because I wanted to stay with Lars anyway. My foot kept popping out. It wasn’t ideal, but I’m still very happy with the result. It was a bit of a mess in the beginning. From the moment the cleat shot off, there was some panic. But luckily they are good shoes and you can continue racing with one cleat. The first three were soon too far away. In the first lap I was more in my head with my shoe and I lost some places. But I’m happy with the race. I also rode fairly well through the sand for my doing, I also worked on my relaxation technique in the sand. In any case, it was a successful day.”

X2O Trofee Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde – Men Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 1:02:48
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 1:38
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 2:05
4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:12
5. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 2:20
6. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 3:11
7. Jens Adams (Bel) Chocovit Cycling Team at 3:13
8. Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 3:19
9. Gerben Kuypers (Bel) Proximus-AlphaMotorhomes-Doltcini CT at 3:59
10. Daan Soete (Bel) Deschacht-Hens-Maes at 4:02.



X2O Trofee Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde – Women 2023
Shirin van Anrooij won the women’s Duinencross in Koksijde, part of the X2O Badkamer Trofee. The Duinencross ended in a duel between Van Anrooij and Fem van Empel, who eventually had to settle for second place.


It was a crazy start to the Koksijde cross for women. A rider crashed and took quite a few other riders with her. However, the ‘top guns’ were faced with no problems. Inge van der Heijden was the first off road, but Shirin van Anrooij soon took over. In the absence of Puck Pieterse, she was seen as the biggest challenger to Fem van Empel. During the reconnaissance, Van Empel also banged the knee that she had previously hurt in Val di Sole.

At the end of the first lap, Van Anrooij came through alone. Van Empel, Lucinda Brand, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Inge van der Heijden were chasing at 11 seconds. Denise Betsema and Annemarie Worst were 26 seconds behind, a group with World champion, Marianne Vos, were at more than 30 seconds.

In the second of five laps, Van Empel was chasing Van Anrooij alone, but she couldn’t close the gap. The difference widened slightly. It then looked like she would catch up, until she took the wrong line and Van Anrooij rode further away. After three laps, Van Empel was 15 seconds behind. Lucinda Brand, who had dropped Alvarado, came through after 43 seconds. The battle was not over yet, as Van Empel closed the gap again on the penultimate lap, as the leading riders were somewhat hindered by the stragglers who they were catching. The European champion still had to bridge 11 seconds. That turned out to be too much and Van Anrooij held on strongly. The Baloise Trek Lions rider crossed the line solo.


Race winner, Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions): “I finally had a good start, I think one of the first times this season. It was very nice that I wasn’t directly chasing. I just wanted to ride my own lines through the sand. I did from the first strip, after that it was just not making mistakes. But because of the stragglers, that was quite annoying, I couldn’t really ride my own lines. Of course, they didn’t really step aside. That made me make some mistakes. The only times I looked, however, I saw that she (Van Empel) always didn’t catch up. And I always ran slightly ahead in the long running climb. I have emphasised the pieces in the beach, which I also agreed with Sven (Nys), and then recover on the pieces in between. That worked well. The World Cup is still very open, it can still go either way, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a choice.”

2nd, Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma): “I had a lot of trouble with my knee, the question was whether I would start, but I just made the best of it. It will be a while before I respond to this. Maybe the Zonhoven World Cup will get in trouble, but I hope it won’t be too bad, but I never had the legs to win. I just tried to get the most out of it. I really didn’t feel 100 percent fit. It says a lot that I hesitated to start. But gee, I’m back on the podium, so I think I can certainly be happy. I took the inside of the corner and shot out of the dirt track. As a result, I hit the crash barrier with my knee. That can happen, but if it is still sensitive, it will be hard.”

X2O Trofee Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde – Women Result:
1. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in
2. Fem van Empel (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:09
4. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Deceunink at 1:52
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:18
6. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:27
7. Sanne Cant (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 2:54
8. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache at 3:16
9. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 3:30
10. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 3:56.



Australian National Road Championships – Men 2023
Luke Plapp is the Australian road champion for another year. The 22-year-old INEOS Grenadiers rider crossed the finish line in Buninyong solo. Plapp was joined on the podium by two experienced men: Simon Clarke took the silver medal, Michael Matthews the bronze.

The best cyclists from Australia competed for the national titles on the road on Sunday. In and around Buninyong they were presented with a very difficult race, with a lot of climbing with 3,000 vertical meters. Probably not the best course for Caleb Ewan. “The course is quite tough, but if I have a good day, I can compete for the win,” the Lotto-dstny rider said before the start. The sprinter did not really feature in the race, the better climbers were too fast. In the first hours of racing there was a leading group of five, but this break didn’t manage to stay away until the end. With just over 50 kilometres to go, the first serious moves came in the peloton. Simon Clarke, Lucas Hamilton and defending champion Luke Plapp tried to cross.

Due to these attacks, a natural selection took place and an elite group was created with many top riders. James Whelan and early breakaways Tristan Saunders, Drew Morey, Brendan Johnston were still leading at the start of the last lap, but with just over 10 kilometres to go a regrouping was inevitable. Plapp, Matthews and Clarke managed to make the jump to the leading group. It turned out to be the start of a fast final, in which several riders tried to get away. Matthews went into battle several times, but was always pulled back. Plapp attacked with 2 kilometres to go. The all-rounder then soloed to another Australian title in time trial mode.


Australian champion, Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers): “I can’t believe that. I’ve seriously got no words, that was so much different to last year. I’ve been wrapping my brain around that for the whole year trying to work out how to win. I’m lost for words to be honest with you. There wasn’t really anyone missing here today and it’s so awesome to have a race like this. I almost wish that I was just watching from the sidelines as it was such an amazing field. I didn’t know how to play it today I really just tried to bide my time. I don’t know what happened on that last lap but I can’t believe I pulled it off. I felt good all race. There was that big move at the start that me, Beno and Clarkey missed that was really dangerous. We all looked at each other and said we need to go all in and did a really hard climb to bring that back. That kept us in the race. After that the heat sort of dwindled down everyone. It was a really weird race it was quite negative, it wasn’t that quick considering the field that we had. But on that last lap I still don’t know what happened – I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to go over there. Keep this jersey, keep this bike and start the Tour Down Under.”

18th, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-dstny): “I knew I had to have a really good day here to be able to compete for victory. It is a difficult circuit that does not really suit me. I had that good day, but the pace was so high all day long. Lap after lap riders were dropped and we were left with about 20 riders to go into the final lap. I was the fastest rider in that group, but on the final climb the attacks started. Unfortunately, I had to let go and there was no chance of getting back. It is a pity, but at the same time I am very satisfied with the feeling I had on the bike, and am looking forward to Tour Down Under.”

Australian National Road Championships – Men Result:
1. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:40:42
2. Simon Clarke (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:03
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco AlUla
4. Drew Morey (Aus) Kinan Cycling Team
5. Kane Richards (Aus) ARA Skip Capital Sunshine Coast at 0:06
6. Chris Hamilton (Aus) DSM at 0:08
7. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
8. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Jayco AlUla
9. James Whelan (Aus)
10. Tristan Saunders (Aus) Team BridgeLane.

Men’s Australian National Road Champs’23:


Australian National Road Championships – Women 2023
Brodie Chapman is the new Australian women’s road champion. The 31-year-old Trek-Segafredo rider put in one big attack in the final lap to win the title. Grace Brown won the sprint of the pursuers half a minute after Chapman. Amanda Spratt completed the party for Trek-Segafredo by sprinting to third place and the bronze medal.

Australian National Road Championships – Women Result:
1. Brodie Chapman (Aus) Trek-Segafredo in 3:01:35
2. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ at 0:31
3. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
4. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus) Jayco AlUla
5. Danielle de Francesco (Aus) Zaaf Cycling
6. Emily Watts (Aus) Team BridgeLane
7. Amelia Watkinson (Aus)
8. Justine Barrow (Aus)
9. Ella Simpson (Aus)
10. Elizabeth Stannard (Aus) Zaaf Cycling Team at 0:36.

Australian road champion, Brodie Chapman:
Brodie Chapman


soudal quick-step
Remco Evenepoel: “Il Giro is my Biggest Goal”
The Belgian is hugely motivated for his first year as World Champion.

Remco Evenepoel was a man in high demand at the Soudal Quick-Step Family Day, the event held at the Plopsaland Theme Park in De Panne, where we presented our 29-man team for this year and met the fans who came in large numbers to see the riders.

Having written history in 2022, when he captured Liège–Bastogne–Liège, the Vuelta a España and the World Championships – a performance not seen in decades – the soon to be 23-year-old took the stage Friday afternoon to talk about his annus mirabilis, which culminated with him winning the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy.

“I can tell you for sure that I will never forget 2022. I won my first Grand Tour, I took the rainbow jersey, I got married and I received the Velo d’Or, which is the biggest award you can get in our sport. At the same time, during La Vuelta, I learned a lot about myself, I learned how to handle the pressure better and how to be more relaxed. All this will definitely help me this season, a special one for me in the rainbow jersey, which I will start with a lot of motivation and desire to get good results together with the team”, said Remco, who will get things underway at Argentina’s Vuelta a San Juan, in just a few weeks.

Evenepoel’s road in his fifth season with the Wolfpack will lead to the Giro d’Italia, where he is eager to return after two years, but will see him also pin a number for ‘La Doyenne’, the spring’s final Monument, an appointment he already looks forward to.

“I think Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be the most special day of the year, because I will race it as the reigning champion and with the iconic rainbow jersey on my shoulders. After that, my focus will move onto the Giro d’Italia, my biggest goal of the year. We’re exactly four months away from the race and I can tell you that my objectives going there are to get at least a stage win and do a good general classification. But we also know a lot can happen in three weeks, so we’ll take it one step at a time, just like we did in the Vuelta, and see how things go”, added Remco, who will be one of the stars of an upcoming docuseries on Amazon Prime about the team’s memorable 2022 season.

Remco Giro bound:


Has Van der Poel’s Back Problems Returned?
Mathieu van der Poel’s back problems may be the result of his lingering injury from last year, according to Christoph Roodhooft, manager of Alpecin-Deceuninck, after the X2O Trofee in Koksijde. “The fact that Mathieu missed a full winter last year takes time and we cannot just catch up,” said Roodhooft.

“You see with several riders that they don’t just get back to their old level. That also applies to Mathieu,” said the team manager in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad. Van der Poel was beaten by Wout van Aert in the Duinencross on Thursday by a minute and a half. “But is that more than twenty seconds?” Roodhooft wonders. “If you see that it’s not your day, it ultimately doesn’t matter how much difference you lose. In a mountain stage in a grand tour, one and a half minutes is a lot if you go for a classification. That doesn’t count here. Mathieu is second here, but the difference is big,” he said. On Sunday, Van der Poel gets a chance for revenge in the Zonhoven World Cup.

David van der Poel also spoke to the newspaper. “Mathieu is not used to losing by so much difference, but Wout is just a little better at the moment. Mathieu was the better before New Year, but then did not find the courses to make the difference, now it is up to Wout. And you really see that on a courses like Koksijde. The World championship is still a month away, so he certainly won’t panic.”

No panic for Van der Poel:


Daryl Impey Announces his Final Year as a Professional Cyclist
Daryl Impey will stop as a cycling pro at the end of the 2023 season. The 38-year-old South African announced his retirement via a video message on YouTube. Impey does not yet know what his last race will be.


“This will be my last year racing. I’m looking forward to it,” said the Israel-Premier Tech rider in the video. “There are still many races to come. I don’t know exactly what my last race will be, but I want to let you know that this will be my last season. Yesterday we received the fantastic news that we have been invited to the Tour de France, so it will be my goal to get in the team for that.”

Impey starts his sixteenth season as a professional cyclist in the Tour Down Under. “It’s one of my favourite races, I’ve had so many great moments there,” said the two-time winner of the Australian stage race (2018 and 2019). Impey does not want to stop racing until he is completely done with it, he says. “I still enjoy it now, but after that I want to spend my energy elsewhere.”

So far, Impey has managed to take thirty victories in his career. In addition to two overall victories and a stage in the Tour Down Under, he has also won two stages in the Tour of the Basque Country, Tour of Switzerland, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Catalonia. He also won a stage of the Tour de France in 2019, were he beat Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint.


Miguel Ángel López Signs for Medellín-EPM
Miguel Ángel López has found a new team. The 28 year-old Colombian, who was fired by Astana Qazaqstan in December because there would be new evidence against him in a doping case, will race for Medellín-EPM in 2023. The Colombian Conti team announced the news on social media.

The rumour that López would join Medellín, where Óscar Sevilla is also under contract, has been going on for a while. “We are pleased to announce that Miguel Ángel López has committed to the team for next season,” the team said. “We are proud that you will wear our colours and represent Medellín for Colombia and the whole world. Welcome, champion! Medellín will always be your home.”

Astana Qazaqstan suspended López in July for his alleged involvement in the Maynar case, but later lifted that suspension because there was “no evidence”. Later, the Kazakh team came across new evidence. “We have discovered new elements that indicate a connection between Miguel Ángel López and doctor Marcos Maynar,” they said in a press release. “The team therefore had no choice but to terminate the contract.”

Future for López at home in Colombia:


Cian Uijtdebroeks will Make Grand Tour Debut in 2023
Cian Uijtdebroeks will ride his first Grand Tour in 2023: the Vuelta a España. He previously hinted at a participation in the Spanish stage race, but now he has confirmed in conversation with Sporza that the three-week race is on his program. In the same interview he talks about the role of Remco Evenepoel in his own career.

The 19-year-old Uijtdebroeks is in his second season as a professional. “I hope to finish in the top 10 of WorldTour stage races a few times,” the talented BORA-hansgrohe rider expressed his ambitions. “I am also looking forward to my first Grand Tour: the Vuelta.” Initially, it was not the plan to make this debut so early in his career. “But during the program discussions, the team suddenly said: ‘We think it’s very good for you to ride a Grand Tour this year.'”

The fact that Remco Evenepoel is already among the best in the world at a young age played a role in the choice, Uijtdebroeks admits. “But also the Ayuso factor. He finished third in the Vuelta at the age of nineteen. And the young Brenner (Marco Brenner of Team DSM) also came forward in certain stages. The important thing is that those guys didn’t burn themselves out. So it is not a risk to ride a Grand Tour at my age.”

The winner of the 2022 Tour de l’Avenir explains that he will go to the Vuelta without pressure. “It will be an experience that I have to take with me into the future. I don’t think I will race a result. A classification is certainly not the expectation.”

Uijtdebroeks also says that it helps him to look at Remco Evenepoel’s career progress. “It’s soothing to have someone show you how. If certain things go wrong with me, then I will think: ‘That also happened with Remco, so that’s no shame.’” He also thinks Evenepoel’s victory in the Vuelta is beneficial for himself. “Belgium has been waiting for a Grand Tour winner for so long. If Remco hadn’t won the Vuelta, that pressure might have been on me, as winner of the Future Tour (Tour de l’Avenir). But I like to grow in the shadows.”

Cian Uijtdebroeks to la Vuelta in 2023:


Guillaume Martin Makes Tirreno-Adriatico a Main Goal
Guillaume Martin hopes to play a leading role in Tirreno-Adriatico this year, the French climber told the Spanish website Ciclo21. The 29-year-old Cofidis rider has always opted for Paris-Nice in recent years.

Martin has never been at the start of Tirreno-Adriatico, but this year he would like to shine in ‘The Race of the Two Seas’. The Frenchman will start the new season later this month on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Martin will participate in a few rounds of the Challenge Mallorca.

The 58th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico will take place from 6 to 12 March and will start with an 11 kilometre time trial in Lido di Camaiore, over a flat course. However, climbers like Martin are also sure to get their chances, with tough stages to Tortoreto, Sassotetto and Osimo.

Martin had a year with ups and downs in 2022. “I was able to show quite regularity and also collected the most UCI points, but there was also the abandonment in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España did not go as planned either. It was a difficult year after all,” said Martin, who will also focus on the Tour de France in 2023.

Guillaume Martin to Tirreno-Adriatico in 2023:


soudal quick-step
Fabio Jakobsen Starts Season in Vuelta a San Juan
Fabio Jakobsen starts his season this month in Argentina. The European champion of Soudal – Quick-Step will be at the start of the Vuelta a San Juan, alongside World champion Remco Evenepoel. This was announced at the team presentation in De Panne.

It will be the first time for Jakobsen that he will start his season outside of Europe. In 2019 he started in the Volta ao Algarve and a year later he started in the Tour of Valencia. In 2021 he was recovering from the bad crash in Poland and only started in Turkey in April. Last season, Jakobsen again rode his first race kilometres in Valencia.

The Vuelta a San Juan is a UCI 2.Pro race and will be held from January 22-29. After the Argentinian race, Jakobsen will travel to Belgium to complete a number of one-day races: Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (February 26), the Classic Bruges-De Panne (March 22) and Gent-Wevelgem (March 29).

Fabio Jakobsen to San Juan:


Career End Looms for Chloe Hosking
Chloe Hosking is considering the end of her career. The Australian sprinter doesn’t have a team after the B&B Hotels project was cancelled. “I have had several setbacks and I perform well when my back is against the wall. But maybe this is too much of a setback,” Hosking admitted to Cyclingnews.

Hosking wanted to participate in the Tour de France alongside the French rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot and end her career with B&B Hotels. Despite the doubts, the Australian was told everything was going to be fine. She had meetings and contact with people from the staff. But still things came to nothing. The new women’s team didn’t happen and the men’s team disappeared.

“It’s very disappointing how the whole situation has been handled,” said Hosking, who raced for Trek-Segafredo for the past two years. “There are still many questions that need to be answered and I hope that the people responsible for this are held accountable.”

“It was difficult for me to hear the news only after other riders had already been told to leave. Why was that information not shared with all riders involved?” she wonders. As a result, she only knew on December 6 that she was teamless for 2023.

The future of 32-year-old Hosking is now mainly focused on the short term. “I know what I can add to a team and I know my value. But I’m not going to race for free in Europe. I’ve already passed that point in my career. It is important that women recognise their worth and that they do not settle for less.”

The national team has offered Hosking a place in the squad for the upcoming Australian races. And she may be able to ride the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. “I have done a full preparation, so I will just ride the Australian races. As much as I can, and then we’ll see where I am in February,” she concludes. “The uncertainty is difficult, but it is especially difficult to digest that a possible pension is not my own choice.”

What next for Chloe Hosking?
Chloe Hosking


Bahrain Victorious Sends Buitrago to the Giro
Santiago Buitrago said in December he wanted to ride the Tour de France in 2023, not the Giro d’Italia. The course of the Giro didn’t suit him because of the three time trials. Nevertheless, Bahrain Victorious will send him to the Italian tour, he now says in conversation with Win Sports.

“I will return to the Giro,” says Buitrago, who finished twelfth in the Giro’s final overall in 2022 and managed to win a stage. “I would have loved to go to the Tour, but the team already has two leaders in Pello Bilboa and Mikel Landa. So they prefer that I go to the Giro without special tasks and with less pressure.”

Buitrago starts his season in the Saudi Tour. Last year, the now 23 year-old rider took his first professional victory in Saudi, winning the second stage. It is not yet known what Buitrago’s program will look like in 2023.

Santiago Buitrago to the Giro:


soudal quick-step
Julian Alaphilippe to start his campaign in Mallorca
The double World Champion looks forward to his tenth season with Soudal Quick-Step

For Julian Alaphilippe, this year will be a special one, as it will mark a decade since he joined the Wolfpack, making him one of the longest-tenured riders in the current roster. In this time, the charismatic Frenchman has built a remarkable palmarès, featuring two world titles, Milano-Sanremo, a hat-trick of victories in Flèche Wallonne, Strade Bianche, Clasica San Sebastian and half a dozen stage wins at the Tour de France.

In 2023, he’ll look not just to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet, but also to shrug off the disappointment of last season, when a mix of illness and bad luck ruined many of his goals. As he gears up to kick off his campaign – which will happen in a couple of weeks’ time, at the Challenge Mallorca, an event which he’ll race for the first time since 2014 – the Frenchman talked about his expectations for the coming months, which include a return to one of his favourite races, De Ronde.

“I’m incredibly motivated for this year after what has been a very difficult 2022. I took time to recover physically and mentally, then worked hard this winter to return to my top level for the goals that I have set. First and foremost, I hope to have a strong start to the season. I have a nice calendar and I hope to be up there in every race, help the team and get some wins. My first major target will be the Ronde van Vlaanderen. It’s a race that I love and I hope to do good there”, said Julian, who played a key role in the team’s victory there back in 2021.

After the Challenge Mallorca, the 30-year-old will race the Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic, before traveling to Italy, where in a span of just three weeks he’ll line out for Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo, the season’s first Monument.



ag2r cirtoen
Antoine Raugel Out with a Pinched Femoral Artery
AG2R Citroën will have to do without Antoine Raugel for the time being. The 23 year-old Frenchman underwent surgery on a strangulated femoral artery last Tuesday and will not be able to race for several months.

According to the French WorldTeam, Raugel will be sidelined for at least two months. The operation is a result of a thickening of the inner layer of the vein that also runs through the pelvis. It is a well-known injury among cyclists and the procedure has also been done before. Steven Kruijswijk and Annemiek van Vleuten, among others, have undergone the same operation.

Raugel made his professional debut with AG2R Citroën last year, after coming over from the Groupama-FDJ development team. He finished the Vuelta a España and had a total of 69 race days.

Antoine Raugel out of action for two months
Antoine Raugel


Valverde in the New Movistar Kit and Looking Fit
Alejandro Valverde may have retired, but he still looks fit in the new Movistar race kit. The Innsbruck World champion had photo shoot in the new outfit of the Spanish team.

Last autumn, Valverde finally retired at the age of 42. In his last professional year he managed to win three times and took quite a few places of honour. In 2023, Valverde will remain involved with the team, as a point of contact for managers, coaches and riders. “Normally I will also be in the team car. The idea is to be at the Giro, Tour and Vuelta. However, that will not be the whole race, but five to six days,” he said.

But how many times has Valverde announced his retirement and that he would continue for another year? Movistar responded to that gut feelings of some cycling fans by posting two photos of El Imbatido in the 2023 competition kit, including the rainbow stripes on the sleeves. The team expects many reactions from followers, asking whether that comeback will really come…

Will Valverde be back in the peloton?


Sonny Colbrelli Enters Politics with the Party of Silvio Berlusconi
Sonny Colbrelli has run for regional elections in the Lombardy region, which also includes his hometown of Valle Sabbia. The Italian former winner of Paris-Roubaix, who was forced to stop racing due to heart problems, is on the list for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, Brescia Oggi reports.

Colbrelli is on a list of ten candidates for Forza Italia, a center-right party in Italian politics. Three current representatives of that party in regional politics are also on the list. The chance that the ex-cyclist is chosen seems small. Colbrelli has already said in the past that he is a fan of the 86 year-old Berlusconi, who has been Prime Minister of Italy three times.

Despite his retirement as a cyclist, 32 year-old Colbrelli is still with the Bahrain Victorious team, as he plays a role in the technical staff and is ambassador of the WorldTeam.

Colbrelli from cycling to politics:


uno x
Uno-X Looking for a New Co-Sponsor
Uno-X cycling team is looking for a new co-sponsor. General manager Jens Haugland said this when he announced that Uno-X has been invited to the Tour de France.

The Norwegian ProTeam hopes to use the enormous appeal of the Tour de France to bring in a new partner. According to Haugland, it is important to find a future name sponsor who can take the project of Uno-X (a company that runs unmanned fuel stations in Norway and Denmark) further.

“We are looking for a partner with similar values and a willingness to grow even bigger,” said Haugland, who has been at the helm of Uno-X since 2016 and has since expanded the team with a women’s and training team. “We hope for a sponsor who shares our enthusiasm for cycling and sustainable mobility.”

Vegar Kulset, the CEO of the company Uno-X, agrees. “In addition to our belief in keeping things simple and efficient, we also get a lot of strength and pleasure from ‘daring to dream big’. Dreams don’t always come true, but now that our riders are going to the Tour, let’s see what can happen if you dare to dream and combine that with hard work for a long time.”

With the arrival of Alexander Kristoff, Uno-X has a new Norwegian card to play in the Tour de France. Kristoffer Halvorsen, Rasmus Tiller and the brothers Tobias and Anders Halland Johannessen will also lead the team in 2023.

Rasmus Tiller, on the way up with Uno-X:


soudal quick-step
Soudal Quick-Step to the TDU
Soudal Quick-Step’s selection for the Tour Down Under includes two Belgians. Dries Devenyns and Stan Van Tricht are part of the seven-man selection, which also includes climber Mauro Schmid.

The Belgian team announced the official selection for the WorldTour race during the team presentation in De Panne. Jannik Steimle, Martin Svrček, James Knox and Mattia Cattaneo complete the roster for the Tour Down Under. Probably more riders will join the team for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

The provisional start list also included the name of Josef Cerny, but the Czech will not travel to Australia. Included in the team in his place in Van Tricht. The Tour Down Under starts on January 17 and lasts until January 22. A week later is the Cadel Evans race.

Soudal – Quick-Step for Santos Tour Down Under
Mattia Cattaneo (Ita)
Dries Devenyns (Bel)
James Knox (GB)
Mauro Schmid (Sui)
Jannik Steimle (Ger)
Martin Svrček (Slo)
Stan van Tricht (Bel).

James Knox to the TDU:


Movistar Team to Tour Down Under
The Movistar team has made their selection for the Tour Down Under (January 17-22). The Spanish team goes to Australia with a team of opportunists. There is no pure sprinter in its ranks, but also no favourite for the overall victory. However, Gorka Izagirre has already performed well in the Tour Down Under in the past. The now 35 year-old finished seventh on the final overall in 2013 and 2018 and may also be able to go for a top 10 ranking again this year.

Movistar is also counting on climbers Óscar Rodríguez and Sergio Samitier, the Swiss all-rounder Johan Jacobs, attacker and domestique Lluís Mas, Imanol Erviti and the promising Iván Romeo. The latter will make his professional debut for his new team in the Tour Down Under.

Unlike previous years, the TDU will start with a prologue through Adelaide. It is the first time that a race against the clock has been included in the route of the Australian race. In addition, the race does not end on Willunga Hill, but on Mount Lofty.

Movistar Team for Santos Tour Down Under:
Gorka Izagirre (Spa)
John Jacobs (Sui)
Sergio Samitier (Spa)
Lluis Guillermo Mas (Spa)
Oscar Rodríguez (Spa)
Ivan Romeo (Spa)
Imanol Erviti (Spa).

Ivan Romeo to the TDU:
Iván Romeo


Cofidis to Take Bryan Coquard and Victor Lafay to Tour Down Under
Cofidis has announced its selection for the Tour Down Under. Bryan Coquard and Victor Lafay are the two leaders in the Australian stage race. Coquard focuses on the sprints, Lafay aims for a good overall classification.

“Lafay showed good things last year and seems to be in very good shape. He is a rider who will continue to surprise us,” said Roberto Damiani, sporting director of Cofidis, on the team website. Coquard will look for a stage win in Australia. He will be helped by Davide Cimolai, who will take care of the lead-out.

The Frenchmen Alexis Renard and François Bidard, the Portuguese André Carvalho and the Briton Harrison Wood are also on the start list of the Tour Down Under. The Australian opener of the season runs from January 17 to 22.

Bryan Coquard to the TDU:


Colourful and Dynamic, the New Team SD Worx Shirt Demands Attention
Team SD Worx sets the tone in women’s cycling. So the best team in the world deserves an eye-catching kit. Once again, we opt for a colourful design, but with a unique twist. The result is a cool bold jersey, with a neon touch.

The bar was set high. For two years in a row, Team SD Worx’s kit has been voted the most beautiful in the women’s peloton at GCN. Team SD Worx also wants to shine in 2023. In collaboration with Specialized, they once again created a shirt that stands out from the rest by harmoniously fusing together vibrant colours in a symmetrical-style design. The new kit combines orange, pink, (deep) purple and yellow and does so in an energetic way.

“The 2023 kit attracts attention and exudes personality,” says Demi Vollering. “It really is a colourful and dynamic jersey.” It truly shows off the corporate identity of our main sponsor SD Worx. The yellow of sponsor Yuzzu was also nicely incorporated on the side. Also new this year is FinVision, a corporate financial partner.

Niamh Fisher-Black was also set up with her new kit. “This is a kit you stop and look back for. I really like the symmetry in this jersey. The shirt colours match perfectly with the dark blue trousers. So I think it’s a successful design.” Lotte Kopecky concludes with: “Because of the eye-catching design, they won’t be able to see past us in the peloton. That makes it just a bit easier to spot your teammates in the big group.”

SD Worx


EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost Reveal the 2023 Kit Designed in Collaboration with Rapha
EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost revealed our kit for the upcoming 2023 season, proudly designed in collaboration with Rapha.


EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
At our recent training camp, we took to the roads of Northern California, exploring the coastline, the towering redwoods, and all that’s in between. Seeing our new kit in action, the pink playing against the drama of nature, left us inspired.

This is our sophomore year wearing pink and we have fallen in love with it. Given the different shades of pink and the cleaner, sleeker look, this year’s design is sure to turn heads.


EF Education-EasyPost
At our recent training camp, we took to some of our favourite roads in Girona to show off our new threads. Seeing our new kit in action, the pink dancing against the winter sky, left us inspired.

Our classic pink remains present in our updated kit, but with each panel of the jersey incorporating a different shade, a nod to the past, present and future of the team. This year’s design, a cleaner, sleeker look, is sure to turn heads.


Both our women’s and men’s squads will pair black bibs with the iconic pink jersey. With proven-in-the-peloton performance technology and a new, exciting roster of riders, get ready for a whole new year.

Since the beginning of the Rapha and EF Pro Cycling partnership, we have jointly sought to enliven our sport and to encourage new perspectives. Today, the partnership has evolved the essence of its ethos; performance with character.


The men’s and women’s EF 2023 kits will be available for purchase later this year on rapha.cc


Amazon Prime Docuseries on Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl
Soudal Quick-Step with have their own documentary series, which will be shown this spring on Amazon Prime. Last season, riders and staff members of Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl were closely followed.

A camera crew filmed everything within the Belgian team of manager Patrick Lefevere. For the recordings, the cameramen were present at team meetings, at riders’ homes and at training camps. The docuseries is a production of the Flemish television company Woestijnvis. During the team presentation of Soudal Quick-Step for the 2023 season, a first sneak preview was given to the guests present. The six-part series will be available this spring on Amazon Prime.

More behind the scenes TV:


Paris-Nice 2023: A Balanced Menu for a 90th Anniversary
For twenty-three years now, nearly a quarter of its existence, François Lemarchand – with the helping hand of Yannick Talabardon – has designed the race signalling the return of spring – Paris-Nice. He certainly put his stamp on the first major stage race of the cycling calendar. And this personal touch is obviously to be found in the course of this special edition as Paris-Nice celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. It can be summed up in two words: variety and balance. “In the twenty years since I took over the management of Paris-Nice from Laurent Fignon, the sporting level has risen considerably. We had to find suitable playing fields for a new generation of riders,” the race director said.

The Race to the Sun, once seen as a preparation race for classics of Grand Tours, has become a major objective crowning versatile riders, as was the case for Primoz Roglic last year. “My objective is to design an all-round course for an all-round rider,” François Lemarchand explained. As a result, the contenders to take over from Primoz Roglic – who is expected to leave his team leader spot on this Paris-Nice to last year’s Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard – have much to look forward to. There will be something for everyone from the start in La Verrière on Sunday 5 March to the finish on the Promenade des Anglais a week later.

The big novelty of this edition is the return of a team time trial, thirty years after an ONCE team victory in 1993 in Roanne. The decision was imposed by the terrain in Dampierre-en-Burly, which was perfectly suited for such an effort, but also by the desire to do something different: instead of being taken on the third or fourth finishing rider, the times in this TTT will be registered on the first rider of each team across the line. This should force each team to adopt the best strategy to lead out their leader in the final stretch, which is not unlike team sprint events on the track. The innovation should also stop a whole team sweeping the top GC standings, while the hierarchy is likely to be reshuffled the next day, when the peloton will change gear to tackle a new climb.

La Loge des Gardes, in the Allier department, is probably the closest winter sports resort to Paris (390 km) and the climb leading to it is certainly the hardest within this radius around the French capital. With its 6,7 km length and its 7,1% average slope, this very promising climb should sort out the general classification ahead of the weekend’s showdown.

The main course of this 81st Race to the Sun will be on Saturday’s menu with Col de la Couillole, at the top of which Richie Porte won in 2017 while Sergio Henao took the leader’s jersey. At an altitude of 1,678 m, the pass is still the highest one ever climbed in Paris-Nice and it could once again crown the future winner, unless the Sunday finale on the heights of Nice, via Col d’Eze, offers once again a breathtaking suspense, forcing the leaders to rely on their best support to triumph on the Promenade des Anglais.

Sprinters and aggressive finishers have not been forgotten. Depending on the race conditions, the first could find suitable terrain – unless there are echelons – in the first two stages finishing in La Verrière and Fontainebleau, but also in stage 5, which ends in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. Breakaway specialists, who can set their sights on the Loge des Gardes, will be particularly spoiled on Friday between Tourves and La Colle-sur-Loup, a stage with no lull and an elevation of 2,750 m, a perfect foretaste of the weekend ahead.

Key points:
Ø For the 14th consecutive year, Paris-Nice will start from the Yvelines department. La Verrière takes over from Mantes-la-Ville where the race started last year.
Ø A team time trial (32.2 km in Dampierre-en-Burly) is on the race menu for the first time in 30 years.
Ø Paris-Nice returns to its highest summit, the Col de la Couillole (1,678m), six years after Richie Porte won the stage there in 2017 while Sergio Henao seized the overall lead.
Ø The 6.7km, 7.1% climb to La Loge des Gardes in the Allier region, the closest winter sports resort to Paris, is unprecedented.

Paris-Nice 2023 stages:
Sunday, March 5th, stage 1: La Verrière > La Verrière, 169,4 km
Monday, March 6th, stage 2: Bazainville > Fontainebleau, 163,7 km
Tuesday, March 7th, stage 3: Dampierre-en-Burly > Dampierre-en-Burly (T.T.T), 32,2 km
Wednesday, March 8th, stage 4: Saint-Amand-Montrond > La Loge des Gardes, 164,7 km
Thursday, March 9th, stage 5: Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise > Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, 212,4 km
Friday, March 10th, stage 6: Tourves > La-Colle-sur-Loup, 197,4 km
Saturday, March 11st, stage 7: Nice > Col de la Couillole, 142,9 km
Sunday, March 12nd, stage 8: Nice > Nice, 118,4 km

22 teams selected
In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:

AG2R Citroën Team (Fra)
Alpecin-Deceuninck (Bel)
Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora – Hansgrohe (Ger)
Cofidis (Fra)
EF Education – Easypost (Usa)
Groupama – FDJ (Fra)
INEOS Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché – Circus – Wanty (Bel)
Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Soudal Quick-Step (Bel)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team Arkea – Samsic (Fra)
Team DSM (Ned)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

Furthermore, the first two teams in the 2022 classification of UCI ProTeams will take part by right in Paris-Nice 2023:
Lotto Dstny (Bel)
TotalEnergies (Fra)

The organisers have invited the following teams:
Israel – Premier Tech (Isr)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor)



Cofidis Extend with Axel Zingle and Alexis Renard
The contracts of Axel Zingle (24) and Alexis Renard (23) with Cofidis have been extended. Both Frenchmen will now be with the French WorldTeam until the end of 2024.

Zingle broke through in 2022 with victories in La Route Adélie de Vitré, the Famenne Ardenne Classic and a stage win in the Arctic Race of Norway. He had a contract until the end of 2023, but that has now been extended by a year. “This year I want to discover the classics,” said Zingle. “I know those races are very demanding, but that’s my style of racing. I will do everything I can to do that. And then of course I also have the Tour de France in mind…”

For Renard, the contract extension is a sign of confidence. He started last season with places of honour in the Saudi Tour and the Tour du Var, but rode his last race in June due to cardiac arrhythmia. In August, Renard had surgery and then had to undergo further treatment. He hopes to be back to normal again in 2023.



Kamil Małecki Completes Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team Roster for 2023 Season
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is delighted to announce the signing of Polish rider Kamil Małecki, the 24th and final rider of the Swiss-registered team for 2023.

With three seasons at the WorldTour level under his belt the 27-year-old Polish rider will bolster Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team for the upcoming season. Małecki has previously shown great performances in both one-day and stage races, collecting multiple Top10 placings at World Tour races, such as the Giro d’Italia and Tour de Pologne.

“I’m very happy to join Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. I believe I will be able to progress and develop further as a rider in this team. My goal is to show good performances at the races and be in the fight for stages as well as achieve good results in the classics,” said Małecki. “The team is well organised and we have a very strong squad with whom we can get a lot of nice results in the upcoming season. I know I’ll get my chance to fight for victories and I can’t wait to get this season started!”

Małecki joins a team that includes a mix of experienced riders and up-and-coming talent, and will no doubt be a key part of the team’s future success.

“Kamil impressed us with his consistency across a wide range of races and we believe his versatility will be a great asset to our brand-new team. His experience at the World Tour will be equally important as we aim to race competitively in the biggest races on the calendar,” said Alex Sans Vega, Head of Performance at Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. “After a bad crash in 2021, Kamil made great progress in the previous season and, with our support, we’re confident that he will get back to his real level. We’re happy to have him onboard as our 24th rider and fully trust that he will bring valuable firepower to our stage-race lineups as well as the one-day races.”

Małecki is the second Polish rider to sign with Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. He joins compatriot Szymon Sajnok in a team that boasts no less than 13 nationalities on its roster.

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to sign Kamil Małecki! He’s a disruptor that can support and challenge in the classics and 1-week stage races and therefore becomes a great addition to our international team. We’re extremely proud of the great roster that we’ve assembled and feel confident that Małecki, and his new team mates, will help us achieve our goals.” Douglas Ryder, General Manager, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team.



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