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EUROTRASH Monday: Contract Battles & Snowy Cross Action!

All the latest cycling news

The Cian Uijtdebroeks transfer chaos – TOP STORY. Plus UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Val di Sole and the Exact Cross Robotland Cyclo-Cross in Essen with reports, results, rider quotes and video.

Rider news: Cian Uijtdebroeks strengthens Team Visma | Lease a Bike… Or Not? Mathieu van der Poel might ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Guillaume Martin wins literary prize, Mathieu van der Poel trains better in Spain, Richard Carapaz is Going for the GC in the Tour, Eusebio Unzué talks about resigning Nairo Quintana, Lenny Martinez is not thinking about a Tour debut yet, Albert Philipsen goes to Lidl-Trek, Antwan Tolhoek gets his new team, Sylvie Swinkels moves to Israel-Premier Tech Roland, Mark Cavendish’s coach believes in the Brit’s Tour stage chances and PCS Favourite500 2023: Who is the fans favourite?

Team news: Russians and Belarusians allowed to the Olympic Games under a neutral flag, Yana Seel leaves Lotto Dstny, Jumbo-Visma had no scenario in the Vuelta a España, UAE Team Emirates commence pre-season camp and announce riders & backroom team for 2024, Bahrain Victorious unveil new look for 2024, Cofidis gets a new clothing sponsor, the new UAE Emirates development team and the UCI suspends ex-Lotto Dstny team DS.

Race news: Updates to the Cycling Canada 2024 national calendar, UCI puts the Limburg Region and Limburg Cycling in the spotlight, Vuelta 2024 features tough mountain stage in Burgos Province, Olympia’s Tour starts next year with a ‘hard stage’ through North Holland and Ster van Zwolle wants to create more excitement with a new finish.

Plus: Shimano starts investigation after article about labor abuses.

You’ll need a big EUROTRASH coffee this Monday!

 

top story
TOP STORY: Richard Plugge Not Popular Over Transfer of Cian Uijtdebroeks
Since Saturday there has been a lot of controversy about the transfer of Cian Uijtdebroeks from BORA-hansgrohe to Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch team announced the young Belgian as its latest addition, but BORA-hansgrohe then announced that Uijtdebroeks is still under contract with the German team until December 31, 2024 (you can read more below). Now Cédric Vasseur, the team boss of Cofidis, is also joining in the argument.

Vasseur is not amused with the turn of events and directs his anger at Richard Plugge, the team manager of Jumbo-Visma, which will be known as Visma | Lease a Bike in 2024. “What is this again as chairman of the AIGCP (Plugge is also chairman of the interest group for professional cycling teams)??? Respect the rules and resign immediately!!! Get out,” the Frenchman wrote on X (Twitter).

On Saturday afternoon, Jumbo-Visma made the surprising announcement that Cian Uijtdebroeks will compete for the Dutch team from 2024. The 20 year-old rider had (or has) a contract with his current team, BORA-hansgrohe. However, after two seasons, Uijtdebroeks is looking elsewhere and has signed a contract with Jumbo-Visma until the end of 2027.

Or not? BORA-hansgrohe was quick to respond. The team denies the transfer and announced in a statement that Uijtdebroeks will remain part of the team next season. “Cian is and will remain a member of BORA-hansgrohe in the next season. He is contractually bound to us until December 31, 2024,” wrote BORA-hansgrohe.

Cian Uijtdebroeks’ management has said that his contract with BORA-hansgrohe has indeed been terminated. In addition, they indicate that legal procedures have been initiated and that the UCI has also been informed of the situation. Uijtdebroeks has also shared his management’s response on his social media. “Of course Cian is enthusiastic and looks forward to his collaboration with Visma | Lease a Bike,” they said.

Lefevere Speaks Out About the Uijtdebroeks Transfer: “UCI Must Adhere to its Own Rules”
The cycling World has been talking since Saturday about the valid or not transfer of Cian Uijtdebroeks from BORA-hansgrohe to Jumbo-Visma. The two WorldTeams are currently arguing over the promising Belgian climber. Patrick Lefevere, the boss of Soudal Quick-Step, has also spoken on the subject. The Belgian clearly sides with BORA-hansgrohe. “I think Cian Uijtdebroeks has an agreement until the end of 2024. He hired an agent and knew the situation. The UCI must adhere to its own rules. Only if three parties agree can a transfer take place, with the permission of the UCI,” Lefevere wrote on X (Twitter).

But Lefevere does not think that Ralph Denk, the boss at BORA-hansgrohe, should play too much of the victim role. “On January 21, 2021, I had a meeting with Ralph in Brussels, We agreed that he would wait until March 31 to make an offer to Remco Evenepoel, if I had not secured the future of the team by then. On March 8, he sent a written offer to Remco’s father. So please don’t come crying now.”

BORA-hansgrohe Wants a Buyout Sum of €1 million Cian Uijtdebroek
BORA-hansgrohe wants a buyout sum for Cian Uijtdebroeks’ ongoing contract of approximately 1 million euros. Several sources have confirmed this to WielerFlits. From the side of Visma | Lease a Bike would have offered an annual salary as compensation to the German team ‘without obligation and out of collegiality’, an insider said. “However, BORA-hansgrohe now wants to receive almost ten times his annual salary.”

Cian Uijtdebroeks Trains in a Sponsor-less Jersey, but with Jumbo-Visma Shorts
Cian Uijtdebroeks was spotted on Sunday during a training ride, which he rode in a completely black outfit without sponsors.

It was Chris Froome who spotted Cian Uijtdebroeks. Froome is on a training camp in Catalonia with Israel-Premier Tech, according to his data on Strava. A training ride of 152 kilometres and 2,400 metres of climbing was planned for the Briton on Sunday. In the photo that Froome shares, several teammates can be seen and Uijtdebroeks is on their wheel. He is still wearing the green Specialized helmet from BORA-hansgrohe, but otherwise a black outfit. In other online images, shared by YouTuber Benji Naesen, Uijtdebroeks could be seen wearing Jumbo-Visma shorts.

Secret training in black for Uijtdebroeks:
Uijtdebroeks

 

cross world cup
UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Val di Sole Men 2023
Joris Nieuwenhuis has won a cyclo-cross World Cup for the first time. He impressively soloed to victory in Val di Sole. The 27 year-old rider of Baloise Trek Lions took the lead in the first corner and never looked back. Toon Vandebosch was able to go with him for a while, but Nieuwenhuis got further and further away. Joran Wyseure finished third.

val di sole 2023

Several top riders preferred a training camp instead of the snow. The best start in Val di Sole went to Joris Nieuwenhuis. He had snow specialist Niels Vandeputte behind him and together they opened a gap on the other competitors. The Dutchman was clearly looking for a top performance and pulled away from Vandeputte by 10 seconds in the first lap. Iserbyt followed behind in third place, more than half a minute down. He led a group of about nine riders, including Laurens Sweeck, Michael Vanthourenhout and Toon Vandebosch. However, they couldn’t prevent Nieuwenhuis and Vandeputte from getting further and further away. The difference between the two fluctuated between 10 and 15 seconds for a long time.

On the third lap of seven, Nieuwenhuis further extended his lead. He put Vandeputte at more than 20 seconds and the rest at more than 1 minute. There was no holding the only Baloise Trek Lions rider there, who made few mistakes. In the final laps, he doubled his advantage over the others. Nieuwenhuis took his fourth victory of the season, but it was the first World Cup win for Nieuwenhuis, who is really breaking through at the highest level in cyclo-cross this winter. Second place went to a strong Vandeputte, who was clearly the best of the rest. There was fierce competition for third place in Val di Sole. Joran Wyseure surprisingly took the last place on the podium. At one point he came close to Vandeputte, but couldn’t beat him. Vanthourenhout, Iserbyt and Sweeck completed the top 6.

val di sole 2023

Race winner, Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions): “This means a lot to me. This means that I have made a good choice in recent years (giving up on road racing to concentrate on cross). I feel good about myself, and this is the result. My style is that it seems easy on TV, but I am also suffering. I had to stay focused and concentrated so I could do well. My form is good. I rode here for the first time so I couldn’t compare. That’s why I had no idea what the race was going to be like. In the first corner I was at the front, otherwise I knew I was going to make mistakes. Now I could ride my own lines and focus well, that’s what I did. I always used to do BMX and that really helped me today to stay calm and have the technique on this course. It wasn’t until the last lap that I knew I was going to win. If you start thinking about winning or other things, you’re going to make mistakes.”

2nd, Niels Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It was very tough. Physically it was tougher here than last year and technically too. The circumstances were very different, but I think it was a great race. In the first lap I was able to keep up with Nieuwenhuis’s pace, but in the second lap I made too many mistakes. I didn’t ride at the level necessary to compete for the win. I couldn’t ride faster than Joris in the pursuit. I hung around a bit, but he was too strong. Then I had to settle for second place. There were some laps in which I was not technically up to standard, and the gap also widened there. Joris was also perfectly fine, so it became very difficult. If I can be honest, I came here to compete for a win. I’ve never had that position, so now I’m still a little disappointed, but soon I will be satisfied. I feel like my form is getting better every week. There is a busy period coming up, I want to reach this level in as many competitions as possible and sometimes compete for the podium.”

UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Val di Sole Men Result:
1. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) in 1:00:19
2. Victor Vandeputte (Bel) at 1:01
3. Joran Wyseure (Bel) at 1:33
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) at 2:05
5. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) at 2:08
6. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) at 2:09
7. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) at 2:44
8. Timon Rüegg (Sui) at 2:53
9. Ryan Kamp (Ned) at 2:56
10. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) at 3:00.

Val di Sole’23:

 

cross world cup
UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Val di Sole Women 2023
Manon Bakker won her first major victory in cyclo-cross. The Dutch rider from Crelan-Corendon defeated Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado in the snow of Val di Sole after an exciting battle. Puck Pieterse, the top favourite in advance, finished in third place.

val di sole 2023

World champion Fem van Empel, Shirin van Anrooij, Lucinda Brand, Denise Betsema, Annemarie Worst and Inge van der Heijden were all conspicuous by their absence. But fortunately, with Puck Pieterse, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Manon Bakker, Maghalie Rochette and home favourite Sara Casasola were on the start line in Val di Sole. Alvarado, who had recovered from illness, had an excellent start and took the lead, but slipped and was passed by Casasola, but this turned out to be short-lived.

The Czech rider, Kristyna Zemanová took the lead and immediately made a nice break. Alvarado saw the danger and quickly crossed to Zemanová. Pieterse, who was the winner in Val di Sole last year, had more difficulty getting into her rhythm and lost more and more ground. Three women rode at the front of the race: Alvarado, Zemanová and Manon Bakker. Alvarado made some mistakes, but she did seem stronger than her two. The World Cup leader went off on her own and managed to build a seemingly unbeatable lead. However, Bakker kept up the pressure and came very close to Alvarado again in the penultimate lap. At the start of the last lap, there was a regrouping, and so there was going to be an exciting battle in the snow of Val di Sole.

Pieterse was busy catching up and was already in third place, but this turned out to be the highest achievable for the Fenix-Deceuninck rider. Pieterse started the final lap with a deficit of about 40 seconds and had no chance of victory. Bakker and Alvarado were now involved in an intense duel. Bakker took the lead in the fourth and final lap. The Crelan-Corendon rider forced Alvarado to the limit until she forced her to slip. Bakker remained clear in the finale of the cross and took the biggest victory of her career. Alvarado had to settle for second place, but is looking good for the final World Cup overall victory. Pieterse came third.

val di sole 2023

Race winner, Manon Bakker (Crelan-Corendon): “I’ve thought about winning, but I had never done it before. This is my favourite race and is certainly now. It was slippery and many parts on the power. That suited me very well. I had to stay calm and ride my own race. My coach told me to keep looking ahead. After a bad start I wanted to calmly overtake the rest. As soon as you start rushing, you make mistakes that are not necessary. That was the goal. It has been a year with ups and downs so far. To win here confirms that I still have it in me. The fact that I am winning here for the first time in the World Cup is truly incredible. After coming third twice (in the 2021 Overijse World Cup and the 2022 Val di Sole World Cup), I hoped to finish on the podium again. But to actually win, that’s crazy.”

2nd, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It was very tough and it felt like Bambi on ice. The course was fast, but there was also heavy snow. It had everything. In some parts it was really good and I got the flow, but then I made mistake after mistake after mistake. There were too many and that cost me the victory. You were riding everywhere on ice, there was no real grip anywhere. It was often a gamble and therefore you had to go slowly through the bends. That was really disappointing. It was difficult to race over the limit and stay clear. and I felt that I was very tired at the end. In the end I didn’t win, but I’m really happy with those points for the World Cup rankings.”

3rd, Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck): “It was very tough. The tone was set in the first corner, it was such chaos there. The rest of the race went very well. Then you rode well, but you were also taken out of focus. That made it very difficult. It was quite icy because it was a hard surface. You really had to choose your moments where you could really cycle. It was really exciting, but it’s good that I still finished on the podium. I want to continue that streak of podium finishes. I already saw on Wednesday that she (Bakker) was flying during training, but to confirm it like this is very nice for her.”

UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Val di Sole Women Result:
1. Manon Bakker (Ned) Crelan-Corendon in 46:14
2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:23
3. Puck Pieterse (Ned) Fenix-Deceuninck at 1:35
4. Kristyna Zemanová (CZ) Brilon Racing Team MB at 1:47
5. Sidney McGill (Can) Cervelo/OrangeLiving at 2:14
6. Valentina Corvi (Ita) Trinx Factory Team at 2:34
7. Francesca Baroni (Ita) Hubo-Remotive at 2:46
8. Maghalie Rochette (Can) Rapha Canyon at 3:43
9. Sara Casasola (Ita) FAS Airport Services-Guerciotti at 4:06
10. Katerina Hladiková (CZ) Brilon Racing Team MB at 4:59.

Val di Sole’23:

 

exact cross
Exact Cross Robotland Cyclo-Cross – Men Essen 2023
Wout van Aert took his first 2023 cyclo-cross victory in his first race of the season. The three-time World cross champion was the best in the tough Exact Cross Essen on Saturday, where he made the decisive attack halfway through the race and stayed away to the finish. Jens Adams was second and Thijs Aerts third. Van Aert will ride his next cross on December the 22nd after a team training camp in Spain.

essen 2023

Wout van Aert returned to cyclo-cross on Saturday and started on the front row, but the fastest start went to Yorben Lauryssen. He was overtaken in the first lap by Zdenek Stybar. The Czech had decided at the last minute to start in Essen and he shot out of the starting blocks. It was short lived, as Stybar was soon passed. After 4 minutes, Van Aert took the lead for the first time, but he didn’t look like he would dominate the race at that point. He ended up in a group that included Lander Loockx, Jens Adams, Tom Meeusen and Lauryssen. After 11 minutes it looked like the Belgian was going to split the race, but Loockx, Adams and Thijs Aerts were able to pull him back.

Van Aert looked good when he was running, but it you could see that he was not yet in top form. He had difficulty dropping Aerts and Adams in the first half hour, but halfway through the race he first got rid of Loockx and also opened a gap on the other two. This turned out to be the decisive move, as the Belgian slowly opened up a lead of more than 30 seconds. That gave Van Aert the opportunity to choose his own line in the deep mud. Behind him, Adams managed to distance himself from Aerts in the battle for second place.

Van Aert’s lead continued to increase. He started the last two laps with a 1 minute lead and continued to extend it for his first victory since January 28, when he won the Flandriencross Hamme a week before the World Championship, where he was beaten by Van der Poel. Wout van Aert celebrated his cross season debut with a victory. Now he is going on a Spanish training camp before his next cross race, the Zilvermeercross Mol on Saturday, November 22, where he will be up against World champion Mathieu van der Poel.

essen 2023

Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I actually enjoyed myself today. It was extremely tough, the conditions became increasingly tougher. So it was not self-evident to keep it up. I started today in a cautious manner. We rode a fast first lap, so it quickly became apparent that a number of guys were messing up. After two or three laps I looked for areas where I could make a difference. I did that after I could see what the level was and who was strong. It was a dangerous race to go beyond your limits. It was also very difficult for me at the end, it was certainly not an easy cross to start with. My feeling was better than I had thought in advance. Whether I was confused about my form in advance? No, I’m always honest. I think people know that’s who I am. I really didn’t know how it was going to go today. It was really nice to race close to home and see some familiar faces. I enjoy it when I can please the fans.”

2nd, Jens Adams: “Wout was a class stronger. This was the highest achievement for me, I achieved my goal. At the beginning of the cross I still had some left, but when he accelerated I quickly realised that it was going too fast. Towards the end of the cross I was also very cold, which made it difficult to survive towards the finish. It was a tough cross, especially with that running lane. I am satisfied with the result, things have been going well lately.”

Exact Cross Robotland Cyclo-Cross – Men Essen Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 1:01:53
2. Jens Adams (Bel) at 1:35
3. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Circus-Reuz-Technord at 2:50
4. Lander Loockx (Bel) at 3:12
5. Yorben Lauryssen (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:13
6. Viktor Vandenberghe (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:19
7. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) at 3:32
8. Clément Horny (Bel) at 4:33
9. Thomas Verheyen (Bel) at 4:58
10. Wout Janssen (Bel) at 5:17.

Essen’23:

 

exact cross
Exact Cross Robotland Cyclo-Cross – Essen Women 2023
Marion Norbert Riberolle took full advantage of the absence of many of the top cross women in Essen. The Belgian of Crelan-Corendon was the best in the mud of the Exact Cross Essen after a duel with Aniek van Alphen. Laura Verdonschot was able to hold the front riders for a while, but eventually dropped back to finished third.

essen 2023

With many of the top riders in Val di Sole or at a training camp in Spain, there were three contenders for victory: Marion Norbert Riberolle, Laura Verdonschot and Aniek van Alphen. Those three rode away from the rest of the field in the first lap. The pouring rain made the course in Essen even more boggy and muddy than it already was, which made the race very hard. The surprising Julia Kopecky was able to join the leaders at the start of the second lap, but the young Czech, sister of Tomas Kopecky (TDT-Unibet) and Matyas Kopecky (Team Novo Nordisk), had done too much and had to let them go.

On the third lap, Norbert Riberolle and Van Alphen dropped Verdonschot, after which the Dutchwoman launched an attack through a muddy section. Norbert Riberolle was able to pull her back for a battle in the final lap. The Belgian made a serious attack, but this time Van Alphen had an answer. A second acceleration from Norbert Riberolle was more successful. She forced Van Alphen to make a few small mistakes and opened a decisive gap. In this way, the Crelan-Corendon rider was able to take the victory after more than 40 minutes, eleven seconds ahead of Van Alphen. More than a minute later, Verdonschot finished in third place.

essen 2023

Race winner, Marion Norbert Riberolle (Crelan-Corendon): “I am very happy, my second victory after I won for the first time ever in Otegem. It was very difficult today and Aniek was not easy to beat. For a long time I thought: ‘who is going to win here?’ At a certain point I saw my moment and I tried it. In the reconnaissance it was not as difficult as in the race. It was very difficult today. I didn’t want to sprint here and thought it was better to take the lead first.”

2nd, Aniek van Alphen (Cyclocross Reds): “I don’t think so (could she have been better?), otherwise I would have won. I’m not very happy, because I wanted to win. Marion was super strong, she deserved it. She has already shown a lot of good things this season. This is also due to the weather, because these courses suit her more.”

Exact Cross Robotland Cyclo-Cross – Essen Women Result:
1. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) Crelan-Corendon in 40:23
2. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Cyclocross Reds at 0:11
3. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache at 1:17
4. Julia Kopecky (CZ) at 1:52
5. Kiona Crabbé (Bel) Proximus-Cyclis-AlphaMotorhomes CT at 2:06
6. Kim Van de Steene (Bel) at 2:06
7. Anna Kay (GB) Cyclocross Reds at 2:58
8. Isa Nomden (Ned) 2:59
9. Larissa Hartog (Ned) 3:11
10. Jana Dobbelaere (Bel) 3:49.

Essen’23:

 

bora
Talented Cian Uijtdebroeks Strengthens Team Visma | Lease a Bike… Or Not?
Cian Uijtdebroeks will join Team Visma | Lease a Bike on 1 January 2024. He will sign a four-year contract until 2027.

The talented GC rider has been on the team’s radar for a long time. At Team Visma | Lease a Bike, the 20-year-old Belgian will have every opportunity to develop.

Despite his young age, Uijtdebroeks has already shown that he is one of the biggest talents on the WorldTour. In 2022, he won the Tour de l’Avenir, the premier stage race for U23 riders, and this year, he finished eighth in the Vuelta a España.

“We have been following Cian since his junior days”, sportive director Merijn Zeeman says. “When the opportunity arose to sign Cian as of December 1st, we didn’t hesitate. Cian is a perfect fit for our team. He wants to develop in all areas. We are happy that he has chosen us and our approach.”

As a result, he will be able to develop in abundance with Team Visma | Lease a Bike. “In the coming years, the focus will be on improvement and growth. He can learn from our top riders like Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss. We see Cian as a future leader of our team”, Zeeman says.

Uijtdebroeks: “I am delighted to be joining Team Visma | Lease a Bike. It has proven to be a leading team in recent years. And it was absolutely outstanding in 2023, winning the three Grand Tours. It is an honour to learn from guys like Jonas, Wout and Sepp. I am looking forward to start with Team Visma | Lease a Bike.”

Statement Concerning Today’s News from Jumbo-Visma Regarding our Rider Cian Uijtdebroeks
Cian is and will remain a member of BORA – hansgrohe, also in the coming 2024 season. He is contractually bound with us until 31 December 2024.

Cian Uijtdebroeks Management Comments
Cian Uijtdebroeks’ management has said that his contract with BORA-hansgrohe has indeed been terminated. In addition, they indicate that legal procedures have been initiated and that the UCI has also been informed of the situation. Uijtdebroeks shared his management’s response on his social media.

“The agreement between Cian Uijtdebroeks and BORA-hansgrohe was terminated on December 1, 2023. Legal proceedings have been initiated by Cian and the UCI has been informed of the termination of the contract. Cian is confident about the outcome of the ongoing proceedings and will not comment at this time. Of course Cian is enthusiastic and looks forward to his collaboration with Visma | Lease a Bike,” he said.

The management of Uijtdebroeks feels forced to respond after BORA-hansgrohe denied the news that the Belgian rider will compete for Visma | Lease a Bike next year. “Cian is and will remain a member of BORA-hansgrohe in the next season. He is contractually bound to us until December 31, 2024,” the German team stated.

Cian Uijtdebroeks off to Jumbo?
Cian Uijtdebroeks

 

alpecin-deceuninck
Mathieu van der Poel Doesn’t Rule out Liège-Bastogne-Liège
The summer of 2024 is going to be a difficult time for Mathieu van der Poel to work out his race plan with the Tour and the Olympics and there is also his spring campaign. The current World road champion will again focus on his favourite classics in 2024 and doesn’t rule out starting Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The leader of Alpecin-Deceuninck finished the ‘corona edition’ of 2020 in sixth place, but in recent years he has missed out La Doyenne. However, Van der Poel has the idea of including Liège-Bastogne-Liège again in his spring program. “My program will be largely the same: from Milan-Sanremo, with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as my biggest goals. I will also include Gent-Wevelgem. The question is whether I will also do Liège-Bastogne-Liège afterwards. That option is there, but it is not a certainty,” the World champ told Het Nieuwsblad.

His participation in Liège-Bastogne-Liège is not certain and Van der Poel is not expecting to win. “I am realistic. When men like Tadej Pogačar or Remco Evenepoel start on La Redoute it is almost impossible for me to follow. The difference in weight is too high for that. I rode Liège once before and then I also had to let go at Roche-aux-Faucons. Then the competition was strangely placed on the calendar, one day after the BinckBank Tour, where I had won in Geraardsbergen after one of the most difficult solos of my career.”

Maybe Liège for the World champion:
madrid 2023

 

cofidis
Guillaume Martin Wins Literary Prize with ‘The Peloton and I’
Guillaume Martin took an extra win at the end of the year. Not as a rider, but as a writer. The philosophy graduate received the Prix Jacques de Fouchier last Wednesday, a literary prize awarded by the Académie Française. Martin received the award for his book ‘The Peloton and Me’. A philosophy of man in the peloton.

In The peloton and I (in French: ‘La Société du Peloton’), which was partly written during the 2021 Tour de France, Martin investigates what the cycling peloton can teach us about that larger peloton: society. He plays with questions such as: when do you choose for yourself and when for the group? When should you be selfish and when should you be altruistic? He takes the reader on a personal journey through the social problems of our time and uses examples from sports to offer a different perspective.

The Prix Jacques de Fouchier is awarded to a work that is ‘remarkable for its subject matter, composition and style’ and written by someone who is not a professional writer. The prize often goes to a retired minister or a diplomat for their memoirs, but with Martin there is now a professional cyclist in the winner’s list.

The ‘Peloton and I’ is Martin’s second book. Previously, the 30-year-old rider wrote ‘Socrates on the Bike’. A philosophical Tour de France.

Guillaume Martin – Philosopher:
giro22st15

 

alpecin-deceuninck
Mathieu van der Poel: “I Train Much More Here Than in Belgium”
Mathieu van der Poel has hardly been to Belgium recently, as he has been training for weeks in Spain, where he has had a home for two years. In conversation with Het Laatste Nieuws, he mentions his move south as one of the possible reasons for his top 2023 season.

In the last two months, Van der Poel was in Belgium for three days due to commitments. “And the weather was really not pleasant,” said the Dutchman. In Spain he lives near Moraira (Alicante region), where he enjoys cycling. “Training in Spain is much more fun than training in Belgium. I’m gone most of the day. I work long hours. I stop along the way for lunch and a coffee. I don’t come back in until four o’clock, leisurely. I’m not in a hurry.”

“I like to think that was one of the reasons why I had such a good season. I train much more in Spain than in Belgium. Better too. I don’t think, if I had stayed in Belgium, I would have trained one third of what I have already done here.”

Van der Poel took three weeks of rest after the test event for the Olympic mountain bike race in Paris on September 24th. He then resumed training again. “I’m not saying that I will be much better next year, but the basis is already broader than last year.” Van der Poel does not want to make predictions for 2024, “but I can certainly reach the level of 2023 again. The form I had at the World championships was better than that of the spring Classics. We are now thinking about how I can ride the classics with that shape.”

In recent weeks, the wearer of the rainbow jersey has also trained several times with the previous World road champion, Remco Evenepoel. “When we are in Spain, we meet up regularly. Remco arrived in Spain a little later, we trained together three or four times. We get along well, we laugh a lot together. The relationship is different than with Wout. Remco is, to put it bluntly, no competitor in the races I ride.”

However, Van der Poel and Evenepoel could be up against each other in a big race next year, because the Dutchman has not yet ruled out a riding Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the race that Evenepoel in the last two years. “I don’t know if he sees me as a competitor there. We have now agreed that Remco will ride the Tour of Flanders if I don’t do it. And Remco stays away from Liège when I race to Liège,” he joked.

Van der Poel and Evenepoel talking about L-B-L on a training run in Spain:
van der poel evenepoel training

 

ef
Richard Carapaz is Going for the GC in the Tour
Richard Carapaz will make a bid for the general classification in the Tour de France in 2024. The Ecuadorian wants to put the past season behind him and start the next season with ambition. “If the legs are good, I can chase a good ranking,” Carapaz told GCN.

2023 was a season to forget for Carapaz. The climber won only two races, the Ecuadorian National Championship and the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes. He did collect a lot of placings, but he was not up there in the big events. The Tour de France was the big goal, but Carapaz had to give up early due to a crash.

Team boss Jonathan Vaughters explains what Carapaz’s problem was last year. “He came out of 2022 tired. In addition, his tonsils were cut out and he had a number of falls. Now he has a much better plan ready for next season.”

“I feel very comfortable in this team and there are great opportunities for me. The riders who can help me are of a high level, such as Neilson Powless and Andrey Amador,” said Carapaz, who will go to the Tour next year. “I’ll start from scratch again. But if the legs are good, I can chase a good ranking. That is my goal. I just have to forget about last season.”

Carapaz clearly states that he will go for the GC, but Vaughters does make a comment. “We are not chasing eighth place, we also want to win races effectively. His form and results in smaller stage races will determine what support he receives and what goals we will set with him.”

Richard Carapaz going for the Tour:
basque23

 

movistar
Eusebio Unzué Talks about Resigning Nairo Quintana
Nairo Quintana will race for his old team Movistar again in 2024. In conversation with Mundo Deportivo, team boss Eusebio Unzué explained why he is giving the Colombian another chance. “He was in an unfair situation, cycling was not fair to him,” said the manager of the Spanish WorldTeam.

“He has made mistakes, that is indisputable, but he has not been able to race for a year,” said Unzué, who offered Quintana a contract for 2024. The climber has been without a team since October 2022, after he left despite an ongoing contract Arkea-Samsic. He was recently removed from the results of the Tour de France after a positive test for Tramadol. The painkiller is not on the WADA prohibited list, but is banned by the UCI.

“It is true that at the last moment we understood that we could not sit back and do nothing after everything Nairo has meant to cycling and our team. The human side played an important role. We are also still convinced that he is someone who can add a lot to the team with his experience. He will certainly be there on important days, even though his best days are behind him… And we had a lot of fun on those days.”

Unzué also sees the arrival of Quintana as an advantage for Enric Mas, the other big name at Movistar. “I think he can help Enric Mas if they race together, especially by sharing the responsibility of leadership. I think Nairo’s arrival will be good for Enric because it will free him from some of his problems, such as the pressure he has been under this year.”

Nairo Quintana back with Movistar:
Nairo Quintana

 

groupama
Lenny Martinez is Not Thinking About a Tour Debut Yet
Groupama-FDJ may have had to say goodbye to Thibaut Pinot, but with Lenny Martinez the French team seems to have a worthy successor. The 20 year-old climber has already had a good first professional year.

In conversation with CyclismActu, Martinez looked back on his first year at the highest level of cycling. “I performed above expectations this year. So I can only be satisfied. I have already won a race and worn the leader’s jersey in my first Grand Tour,” Martinez said of the Vuelta España.

The young Frenchman showed his best side in the Tour of Spain, but also won his first professional race with the CIC-Mont Ventoux. Martinez also finished second in the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs, fourth in the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes and twelfth in the Tour of Poland.

But it was not all easy for the Groupama-FDJ rider. “I also had a few disappointing races, but that’s part of cycling. Overall, it was a very good and pleasant cycling year,” said Martinez, who comes from a real cycling family. His father Miguel, grandfather Mariano and uncle Yannick were all professional cyclists.

What does Lenny Martinez expect from next season, a Tour debut? “I don’t really like that at the moment. I’m still young and there’s still plenty of time. I’m not in a hurry.”

No Tour for Lenny Martinez, yet:
vuelta 2023

 

lidl trek
Top talent Albert Philipsen Goes to Lidl-Trek
Albert Philipsen has signed a contract with Lidl-Trek. The Danish top talent could have gone to many teams, but in the end the American Lidl-Trek won his signature. Philipsen will make his debut in the WorldTour in 2025, and next year he will compete for the Tscherning Cycling Academy.

The 17 year-old Philipsen has had a successful season. The first-year junior won the World road championship, European road champion and European and World mountain bike champion. He is also road and time trial champion of Denmark. Several WorldTour teams were interested in Philipsen, including INEOS Grenadiers, Lidl-Trek, BORA-hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Jumbo-Visma.

“For me, Lidl-Trek was simply the best match,” said Philipsen. “I wanted to choose the team that could best help me with my development as a rider. I could feel from the start how enthusiastic and passionate the people in the team were, while also being focused on not rushing the process and not putting too much pressure on my shoulders. With my multidisciplinary approach, it was also important for me to find a team that could provide support not only on the road, but also on the MTB in cross.”

Philipsen, who signs a three-year contract, said that the road will be his main goal. “I still have to work on a number of things. I am also still figuring out which competitions I will focus on in the future. At the moment I’m a bit in between as a type of rider, so I hope to become the best all-rounder in the World.”

The general manager of Lidl-Trek, Luca Guercelina, is of course very pleased with the arrival of Philipsen. “For him to sign with us when so many teams were interested is a testament to the structure we have built. Our approach to Albert remains the same as that of all young riders: give him all the support we can while letting him develop naturally, not rushing him.”

“When he joins the team, we plan to give Albert a calendar that covers his different disciplines, but with a focus on the road. On the road, he will divide his time between the training team and the WorldTour team to ensure balanced progression. Personally, I can’t wait to see Albert put on the Lidl-Trek jersey and start his professional career with us!”

Albert Philipsen to Lidl-Trek:
worlds23 mj rr

 

glassdrive
Antwan Tolhoek Gets his New Team
As reported last month Antwan Tolhoek will ride for Sabgal-Anicolor in 2024. The Portuguese Continental team has now also announced the news through a press release.

“I am happy and grateful to be part of Sabgal, and with the opportunity that Rúben and Carlos Pereira (team management) gave me to rediscover myself and rediscover my love for cycling,” said Tolhoek. “I want to get back to my old level after two difficult years, with the falls and injuries. It took me a long time to recover. I believe that with this team – with the mentality and the goals we have – we can achieve everything we want. I hope we can achieve great success as a collective. Personally, I hope to be a force within the team.”

Sabgal-Anicolor was known as Glassdrive Q8 Anicolor. Before that, the team was called Efapel for many years. The team is led by the Pereira family. It has been agreed with new sponsor Sabgal Foods that the team will participate in a more international program. The team, which will have a selection of fourteen riders in 2024, has also attracted several other foreign riders, like André Carvalho from Cofidis.

Tolhoek rode for Roompot-Oranje Peloton in 2016 through Rabobank’s training team and as a stagiaire with Tinkoff-Saxo. He made an impression in his first season, after which LottoNL-Jumbo took him on. After several promising years, the climber seemed to end up in a domestique role with the Dutch WorldTeam, after which he decided to leave. He would have more opportunities at Lidl-Trek, but he was never able to take them due to a lingering knee injury.

Antwan Tolhoek to Portugal:
tolhoek

 

israel roland
Sylvie Swinkels Moves from Team Coop-Hitec Products to Israel-Premier Tech Roland
Sylvie Swinkels will be in Women’s WorldTeam Israel-Premier Tech Roland from January 1, 2024, CyclingOnline and PCS report. The 23 year-old Dutch woman, the younger sister of Karlijn Swinkels, has raced for Team Coop-Hitec Products for the past two seasons.

Sylvie Swinkels started racing for Parkhotel Valkenburg from 2019 to 2021 and then rode for the Norwegian Team Coop-Hitec Products for two years. Last season she was out of action due to a broken collarbone, but she still managed 39 racing days. Her best result was 10th place in the Clasica de Almería.

The young rider has competed at Continental level in recent seasons, but is now moving up to the Women’s WorldTour as Swinkels is said to have signed a contract with Israel-Premier Tech Roland. Her sister Karlijn, who is two years older, has been competing at the highest level of cycling for several years. In recent years this was with Jumbo-Visma and from January 1, 2024 for UAE Team ADQ.

Israel-Premier Tech Roland, the new team of Sylvie Swinkels, currently has nine riders under contract for next season. The biggest name is probably Anna Kiesenhofer, the current Olympic road champion. Tamara Dronova-Balabolina and Antri Christoforou are also part of the team.

Sylvie Swinkels joins Israel-Premier Tech Roland:
Sylvie Swinkels

 

astana
Cavendish’s Coach Believes in the Brit’s Tour Chances
Mark Cavendish wanted to quit at the end of the 2023 season, but after his crash in the Tour de France, the British rider decided to postpone his retirement in the hope of taking a 35th stage victory in the Tour in 2024. But is this realistic? “Yes,” his coach Vasilis Anastopoulos said to Portuguese Cycling Magazine.

The 38 year-old Cavendish hopes to write cycling history next year with a 35th stage victory in the Tour de France. The British sprinter hopes to become the sole record holder of the number of stage wins in the French Grand Tour. Cavendish and Eddy Merckx are at the moment level with 34 stage victories.

It is very important to Astana Qazaqstan, Cavendish’s team, to break the Tour record and so the Kazakh team decided to provide Cavendish’s sprint train with new impetus by recruiting Davide Ballerini, Max Kanter, Rüdiger Selig and the best lead-out man, Michael Mørkøv. Cavendish has also been reunited with his former teammate Mark Renshaw, who will work as a team DS and sprint adviser.

Cavendish’s coach, Vasilis Anastopoulos, still has faith in his rider. “Mark is a great champion and a real fighter. If he didn’t like it anymore, he would have stopped a long time ago. That is also why we have recruited certain riders, in order to build the best sprint train. Mørkøv, Ballerini and Cees Bol are good and experienced riders, who can drop Mark in the last meters of a sprint. Then it is up to Mark to complete it.”

Last year, just before his crash, Cavendish came close to his 35th stage victory in the Tour with a second place in the stage to Bordeaux. “Mark had a very good level last year and we hope to make a little bit of progress so that it is enough. In the Tour stage in which he crossed the line in second place, he suffered a mechanical problem. Without mechanical failure he could have won, I’m sure.”

Cavendish will not change much in his training structure in the run-up to the new season. “The focus is on improving his endurance and we will also work a lot on his sprint and aerodynamic position,” outlined Anastopoulos. “The stages in the coming Tour are very tough and it is therefore important that Mark is able to survive the longer climbs and days. And then at the end I still have the right freshness and energy to be able to sprint.”

Cavendish’s coach believes he can do it:
tdf23 st7

 

pcs 500
PCS Favourite500 2023: Who is the Fans Favourite?
The end of the year is rapidly approaching. Christmas trees are being adorned here and there, and on the northern hemisphere, the first snowflakes have already fallen and melted, or not. December also traditionally marks the month when cycling fans worldwide choose their all-time favourite cyclist in the PCS Favorite500. The voting booths for the fourth edition will open on Friday, December 8, at 8:00 PM.

4th edition
Since 2020, cycling fans at Pro Cycling Stats have been selecting their favourite cyclists of all time every December. In the inaugural edition in 2020, Pro Cycling Stats followers chose Peter Sagan as their number one. The Slovakian appeared on a remarkable 47% of all lists, still a record. In the following two years, the Belgian crowd favourite, Wout van Aert, emerged as the most beloved rider. In 2021, it was a neck-and-neck race with Sagan and his eternal rival, Mathieu van der Poel. In 2022, once again, it was a tight competition until the very last votes between the Belgian and the Slovak. In 2023, the audience will choose their favourite cyclists of all time for the fourth time.

Voting for the 2023 Edition
Starting from Friday, December 8, 2023, at 8:00 PM, the lines will open, and you can cast your votes for the PCS Favorite500 of 2023. Cast your votes by following this link: https://www.procyclingstats.com/favorite500/your-list

Voting operates similarly to previous editions: every visitor can vote for their minimum of ten and a maximum of fifteen favourite male and female cyclists from the present and the past. It’s not about determining the greatest cyclist of all time, as there are other statistics for that, but rather about the fifteen riders that the visitor is the biggest fan of, the ones they admire the most. After submitting the list, visitors can share their list of favourite cyclists. Voting is open until 8:00 PM on December 23.

Results
Once the lines close on December 23, the winner will be revealed! The complete PCS Favorite500 will be published in reverse order starting from December 24. Between 9:00 AM and 8:00 PM, a new name will be announced every ten minutes. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, the suspense will build. The last 20 names of the 20 most favourite cyclists according to the followers of Pro Cycling Stats will be revealed one by one, every half hour. On New Year’s Eve at 8:00 PM, we will unveil the winner of the PCS Favorite500. The winner, male or female, will receive the PCS Favorite500 trophy from Team PCS, join an illustrious list, and be honoured as the favourite cyclist of the PCS audience for the entire year!

Lastly, don’t forget to VOTE!

PCS wishes all of you a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and joyful 2024!

Wout van Aert – PCS 2022 favourite:
pcs 22

 

russia
Russians and Belarusians Allowed to the Olympic Games under a Neutral Flag
Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to attend the Olympic Games next year under a neutral flag. The International Olympic Committee IOC confirmed.

The IOC’s decision does mean that Russian and Belarusian national teams are still not welcome. Government officials from Russia and Belarus will also not receive accreditation or invitation to the Olympic Games and national anthems and logos are banned. In addition, there are some other preconditions for athletes. Athletes who actively support the war, serve as soldiers or work in the national security services will not be admitted.

In cycling, Russian and Belarusian riders were not welcome at the World championships and European championships after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022. Also, all applications of Russian and Belarusian events for the UCI calendar were refused and national championships of Russia and Belarus were not registered on the UCI calendar. Since February 2023, they have been welcome back under a neutral flag, under the same conditions that the IOC now applies.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Russian and Belarusian athletes were also only allowed to compete under a neutral flag, due to the Russian doping scandal. The neutral athletes from both countries will start with their own emblem as Athlete Individual Neutre (AIN).

Russians, but no flag:
Heiko Salzwedel

 

lotto
Yana Seel leaves as Chief Business Officer at Lotto Dstny
Yana Seel says goodbye to Lotto Dstny after two seasons. Seel, who was born in Kazakhstan but is Belgian by nationality, has worked as Chief Business Officer with the Belgian team for the past two years.

In her position, Seel managed the Business Development, Marketing, Communications and Finance portfolios for the three teams of Lotto Soudal. As Chief Business Officer, she initially worked closely with John Lelangue, but the Belgian left the team. Seel remained on board, but is now, after two seasons, looking for another job.

“It’s time to say goodbye after two wonderful years,” Seel said via Instagram. “Thank you everyone for the hard work, especially for the past year when the turnaround has started after a difficult period. We did that together.”

The 39 year-old Seel previously worked at Astana Qazaqstan. She was Managing Director with the Kazakh team for several years, but Seel’s role ended after Alexander Vinokourov came back to the WordTeam.

Yana Seel moves on:
lotto

 

jumbo
Merijn Zeeman: “Jumbo-Visma Had No Scenario in the Vuelta a España”
Jumbo-Visma had never anticipated the unique scenario of three riders from one team taking the first three places on the overall in a Grand Tour. In the Vuelta a España, the team leadership was faced with a difficult dilemma when Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglič were in the first three places in the rankings.

Sports manager Merijn Zeeman admits this candidly in an interview in Masters Magazine with journalist Jaap de Groot. It was a situation from which Zeeman also learned a lot. “With three leaders during the Vuelta, I couldn’t be in a better place to develop my own leadership style and learn lessons. Because this was definitely very extreme. What I have especially experienced is the power of realising what our culture is and what our values are. That turned out to be the railing I could hold on to.”

“Starting with our strategy. We completely surprised our opponents with the way we raced. We kept attacking. Even when we were in the lead. The motto has always been that we keep attacking so that we never have to defend. Only there was no scenario for when we were at one, two or three, the moment when there was no one left to attack. Suddenly there were three of us, but the option of attacking each other had always remained undiscussed.”

During the stage to the Alto d’Angliru it became clear that the division of roles within Jumbo-Visma was not clear at that time. “When Roglič felt good, he thought he could take the red jersey at the expense of Kuss and launched an attack against his own teammate,” Zeeman admits. “With the risk that Kuss would have to let go and someone else would come on stage. So we as a whole had become less of that. At that moment I quickly started sparring with Richard Plugge. And we found that after all these years we had become so close as a team that this was no longer possible.”

“I later talked about this one-on-one with Primoz, and then raised it in the group. Then we had an intense but beautiful conversation with each other, in which everyone agreed on one thing: we do not attack each other. We should not compete against each other, but against our opponent who is in fourth place. We have to ensure that we remain one, two and three and we will defend that.”

“That was a very special moment for Richard and me. To experience, in such an extreme situation, how everyone was so aware of our culture and philosophy. During the conversations in recent weeks towards the new season, I have noticed how more than ever everyone understands that their own ambitions are very important, super important even, but that there is a limit. The team interest always comes before your interest. With us, everyone gets many opportunities, no one is limited in their possibilities, but unconditional support for each other is above all. That is a wonderful lesson I learned in 2023.”

Jumbo-Visma learning on the job:
vuelta23 st21

 

uae
UAE Team Emirates commence pre-season camp, announce riders & backroom team for 2024
Team gathers in Alicante, Spain from 10-21 December

With the 2024 season already fast approaching, UAE Team Emirates are pleased to announce the riders and technical staff who will work behind the scenes for the forthcoming campaign. The team is also excited to announce the 11 young riders who will make-up the Gen Z squad which will race at a Continental level.

The base of the World Tour team remains similar to 2023 with a couple of new recruits:
The team will continue to work under the management of Mauro Gianetti (CEO & Team Principal) and Andrea Agostini (Chief Operating Officer) while the sporting side remains supervised by Matxin Fernandez (Sports Manager).

Speaking on the announcement Mauro Gianetti said “The cohesion within our team, through both riders and staff, holds significant value for us. We prioritise having both skilled and friendly individuals who excel in their respective fields. As a squad, we place great emphasis on assembling a collective of top-tier professionals, and with this exceptional group, comprising both staff and riders, we are best placed to continue our success in the years ahead.”

Riders 2024:
João Almeida (Portugal)
Igor Arrieta (Spain)
Juan Ayuso (Spain)
Filippo Baroncini (Italy)
Sjoerd Bax (Netherlands)
Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark)
Jan Christen (Switzerland)
Alessandro Covi (Italy)
Isaac Del Toro (Mexico)
Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand)
Felix Großschartner (Germany)
Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)
Alvaro Hodeg (Colombia)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway)
Rafał Majka (Poland)
Brandon McNulty (USA)
Juan Sebastián Molano (Colombia)
António Morgado (Portugal)
Domen Novak (Slovenia)
Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)
Rui Oliveira (Portugal)
Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia)
Nils Politt (Germany)
Pavel Sivakov (Russia)
Marc Soler (Spain)
Diego Ulissi (Italy)
Jay Vine (Australia)
Michael Vink (New Zealand)
Tim Wellens (Belgium)
Adam Yates (Great Britain).

Sports Directors:
Fabio Baldato (Italy), Fabrizio Guidi (Italy), Andrej Hauptman (Slovenia),Tomas Gil (Venezuela), Marco Marcato (Italy), Marco Marzano (Italy), Manuele Mori (Italy), Simone Pedrazzini (Switzerland).
Jan Polanc (Slovenia/Gen Z), Yousif Mirza (UAE/Gen Z).

Medical Staff:
Raaghib Fredericks (South Africa), David Ogg (South Africa), Federico Paoletti (Italy), Adriano Rotunno (South Africa), Maurizio Piombo (Italy), Jason Suter (South Africa), Filipe Quintas de Lima (Portugal).

Training & Performance Staff:
Didac Navarro (Spain), Kevin Poulton (Australia), Iñigo San Millan (Spain), Javier Sola (Spain), Jeroen Swart (South Africa), David Herrero Llorente (Spain), Gorka Prieto Bellver (Spain), Giacomo Notari (Italy/Gen Z).

Uae team 2023

 

bahrain
Bahrain Victorious Unveil New Look for 2024
Team Bahrain Victorious is delighted to present our new 2024 season look, which sees the team transition from the traditional red to pearl white.

bahrain

Building on the tremendous success of the Tour de France 2023 kit, the design keeps the striking teal touches that represent the tones of the shallow waters of the ‘two seas’ renowned for their rich pearling beds surrounding the kingdom. The gold accents across the design hark back to the team’s foundation in 2017, which perfectly highlights the pearl white design.

Along with the gold touches, the team returns to its foundation, switching back to navy blue from black. With the connotations around black and carbon, this is more than just a mere colour change; it represents a commitment from the team and our partners to reducing our carbon footprint, aligning with the UCI’s mandate for teams to cut emissions by 2030.

In this sustainability journey, we are proud to further develop our partnership with Bapco Energies, a company with ambitious plans to pursue ‘net zero’. Bapco Energies will embark on this journey with us, providing knowledge and expertise to help reduce our team’s environmental footprint in line with the UCI targets. Our commitment as a team towards achieving these sustainability goals is also to inspire future generations and encourage broader adoption of cycling as a sustainable form of movement.

bahrain

 

cofidis
Cofidis Gets a New Clothing Sponsor, but Little Change for 2024
The Cofidis team has announced their clothing next year. Mobel has replaced Van Rysel as clothing sponsor for the French team, but the design will not change too much.

The French team once again opts for red and white colours, and little has been done to the design. There is, however, a slightly clearer camouflage pattern. The red also looks a bit darker than last year. Van Rysel was the Cofidis team kit sponsor last year and is part of Decathlon. From next year, the French sports store chain will be the main sponsor of Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale in 2024.

Not much change from 2023:
vuelta23 st11

 

uae
The New UAE Team Emirates Development Team
UAE Team Emirates, on Thursday presented its WorldTour team and also the eleven riders who will be part of the new Continental development team in 2024.

UAE Team Emirates will have its own Continental team from 2024. ‘UAE Team Emirates Gen Z’, as the team will be called, aims for a core of riders under the age of twenty and will compete in the most important races on the U23 circuit. The ‘Gen Z’ team will have the same resources available as the WorldTeam. From equipment to coaching and from nutrition to other advanced support.

The selection for 2024 consists of eleven young and talented riders. The Belgians Duarte Marivoet and Gibbe Staes, the American Owen Cole, the Italian Luca Glaimi, the Slovenians Gal Glivar and Anze Rabvar, the Colombian Johnatan Guatibonza, the Spaniard Pablo Torres and Abdulla Alhammadi, Mohammad Almutaiwei and Abdulla Jasim from the United Arab Emirates.

Duarte Marivoet and Gal Glivar are perhaps the best-known. The 18 year-old Belgian is known as a promising time trial and tough rider. This year he became Belgian junior time trial champion and seventh at the World Time Trial Championships in Stirling, Scotland. Glivar, three years older, is a strong all-rounder. He showed this last season with a final victory in the Orlen Nations Grand Prix, but he also finished fifth among the pros in the CRO Race.

José Antonio ‘Matxin’ Fernández will, as with the WorldTeam, be the sports manager of the training team. Jan Polanc and Yousif Mirza will again operate as team DS. Polanc recently ended his cycling career due to heart problems, while Mirza rode for the UAE Team Emirates WorldTeam until the end of 2022.

Gen Z Riders:
Abdulla Alhammadi (UAE)
Mohammad Almutaiwei (UAE)
Owen Cole (USA)
Luca Giaimi (Italy)
Gal Glivar (Slovenia)
Johnatan Guatibonza (Colombia)
Abdulla Jasim (UAE)
Duarte Marivoet (Belgium)
Anze Ravbar (Slovenia)
Gibbe Staes (Belgium)
Pablo Torres (Spain).

uae

 

lotto
UCI Suspends Ex-Lotto Dstny team DS who Hit Race Marshal in the GP Rik van Looy
The UCI has suspended sports director Carl Roes for six months. As sports director of the Lotto Dstny Development Team, Roes made a mistake during the GP Rik van Looy (1.2) in mid-September. He was not allowed to enter the course, but tried to do so and hit a marshal who tried to stop him. The man fell, but the DS continued on in the race.

The UCI looked into the incident and has now made a statement: “When team DS Carl Roes returned to the course after a diversion, he ignored the instructions of a signalman, manoeuvred around him and pushed him to the ground. Roes acknowledged that he violated the UCI rules and he accepted the sanction proposed by the UCI, namely a six-month suspension from January 20, 2024.”

The International Cycling Union emphasises that safety is of paramount importance. “The safety of riders, people involved in the race and on the side of the road is a priority for the UCI. The UCI cannot therefore tolerate behaviour that endangers safety and reminds all its stakeholders of the need to comply with its regulations.”

Roes was immediately suspended by his employer after the incident, but resigned the next day. “I am very affected by this incident. That is why, after forty years, I have decided to completely withdraw from the sport that I have enjoyed with great passion. I would like to once again offer my sincere apologies to the signalman, the organisation, my Lotto-Dstny team and the cycling world,” he said at the time.

Not good:

 

canada
Updates to the Cycling Canada 2024 National Calendar
Cycling Canada is pleased to announce exciting new additions and updates to the 2024 national calendar of events after its initial unveiling in September.

“Building a national events calendar in Canada has many layers of complexity but we continue to work towards making progress in our offerings year after year,” said Jolène Dupuis, Cycling Canada Events and Officials Manager. “We strive to meet growing demands by working closely with all partners, including our Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations and expanding pool of organisers, to determine the feasibility and sustainability of new initiatives. After successfully implementing new changes in 2023, we’re thrilled to announce more this year with new events, new titles and overall updates that we’ve put in place for the 2024 season.”

Three Canadian Championships Awarded
The following Canadian Championships have been newly approved for organiser, date and location:

  • 2024 Canadian Masters Road Championships: July 5-7, Victoria, BC (Wheelhouse Cycling Society)
    *The 2024 Canadian Masters Road Championships will continue to act as a qualifier for the 2024 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
  • 2024 Canadian BMX Freestyle Championships: Oct. 26, Bromont, QC (Centre national de cyclisme Bromont)
  • 2024 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships: Nov. 16-17, Lévis, QC (CX418)

New Canadian Champion Titles
In recognition of the needs of Canadian athletes and provincial/territorial teams, the following new Canadian Champion titles will be recognised in 2024:

  • Track Elimination: Elite Men & Women
  • Track Points: Elite Men & Women
  • Track: Masters D Men & Women
  • Road Race: U17 Men & Women
  • Road Individual Time Trial: U17 Men & Women
  • Gravel: U17 Men & Women

All detailed competition information for these new categories and events will be indicated in the Technical Guides as the season progresses.

Mountain Bike Calendar
Canada Cup mountain bike racers can expect a more competitive season in 2024 with changes made to the Canada Cup points allocation. To align with the UCI’s approach, seeding runs will be hosted for all categories at each round of the 2024 Canada Cup downhill (DH) series, with bonus points allocated to the fastest ten finishers. In addition, elevated points will be awarded at the final stops of both the cross-country Olympic (XCO) and DH series. The Canada Cup points allocation tables will be updated in the Canada Cup Regulations and Cycling Canada’s Companion Guide in the new year.

Furthermore, DH will include new official categories for U17 Men Expert and U17 Women. Both categories will join the Juniors and Elites chasing for the leaders’ jerseys and points throughout the season.

The 2024 Canadian Enduro Championships, originally scheduled for July 28, is postponed due to host withdrawal. Event organisers interested in bidding for the event should contact [email protected].

Cyclo-cross Calendar
Cycling Canada is excited to start the 2024 cyclo-cross season with the return of the Western Cyclo-cross Challenge in Canmore, AB, on Sept. 14. Information regarding additional Challenge events will be shared as it becomes available. Should organisers be interested in hosting the Eastern, Atlantic, or Pacific Cyclo-cross Challenge events, please contact [email protected].

The 2024 Canadian Cyclo-Cross Championships will be moving east to Lévis on Nov. 16-17, which will wrap up the domestic calendar.

Also continuing in 2024 will be the successful National Ranking Series, which was established in 2022 to continue the development of a national cyclo-cross calendar while building an improved call-up mechanism at the Canadian Championships for all categories.

Track Calendar
The 2024 Day of the Hour will once again have its place on the track calendar, returning to Milton, ON, on Aug. 24. An event dedicated to hour record attempts (world or Canadian records), this track cycling event provides athletes the opportunity to test themselves for the record books while all competition logistics are taken care of by The Hour Team. More information, including event applications and additional resources, will be available on the event webpage in the new year.

Esports Update
Leading into the 2024 Canadian Esports Championships, Cycling Canada will be extending their virtual offerings by hosting a three-part race series on Zwift called “Canada vs. the World”. This series will include a race on the Canadian Championships course a week in advance to allow riders to familiarise themselves ahead of the competition. The series results will not only track Canadian athletes by age group for the official standings but also how the top Canadian results compare to fellow international competitors with category offerings reflecting those of the Canadian Championships. More information will be available on the event webpage.

For the full list of events on the national calendar, click here.

canada

 

uci
UCI Puts the Limburg Region and Limburg Cycling in the Spotlight
The UCI has highlighted the Limburg region and Limburg Cycling. The cycling governing body did this following the climate summit in Abu Dhabi, the COP28. “They help promote cycling as a solution to climate change.”

In 2016, the UCI named the Limburg-Valkenburg region as one of the ‘Bike Regions’. They did this because numerous races are organised in the Limburg region, culminating in the Amstel Gold Race, and because there are many active cycling tourists. Now the UCI is also putting Limburg Cycling, the central cycling organisation in Limburg, in the spotlight.

“They increase the use of bicycles for the benefit of health and the economy. Through its cycling culture and inclusion policy, Limburg-Valkenburg helps promote cycling as a solution to climate change,” they said on the UCI website.

Milan van Wersch, the manager of Limburg Cycling, also has his say. “We use the power of cycling to grow our platform, engage more people, achieve better results and, above all, promote cycling.” An important link in that process are the many ambassadors of the region, including Tom Dumoulin. “His involvement in youth cycling started when he was on his bike and has only increased since he ended his career. We are blessed with such a great ambassador for sport in general and for Limburg in particular.”

The Limburg Region ‘helps promote cycling as a solution to climate change’:
amstel22

 

vuelta 24
Vuelta 2024 Features Tough Mountain Stage in Burgos Province
The presentation of the 79th edition of the Vuelta a España will take place on Tuesday, December 19, but there are already quite a few rumours about next year’s route. The Diario de Burgos reports that the Vuelta organisers have planned a tough mountain stage, with more than 4,000 meters of climbing, in the northern province of Burgos.

According to the newspaper, next year’s Vuelta will pass through the province of Burgos in the second or third week, for a particularly tough mountain stage. The riders will start in Villarcayo and finish on the Picón Blanco. In recent years, this climb has been used for stage finishes in the Tour of Burgos.

Two years ago, in the 2021 Vuelta a España, the Picón Blanco ridden. The victory that day went to Rein Taaramäe. The Estonian from Intermarché-Circus-Wanty was the strongest from an early break. The Picón Blanco was climbed on day three that year, but could play a more crucial role next year.

At the top of this climb there is an abandoned military base, which made the small village of Espinosa de los Monteros of great importance for the province of Burgos for a long time. The more than 1,000-year-old base served as a guard post for the former kingdom of Castile. The Picón Blanco climb is just under 8 kilometres long with an average gradient of 9.3%, the gradient in the last 4.5 kilometres is below 10%.

Evenepoel on the Picón Blanco:
burgos evenepoel

 

olympias tour
Olympia’s Tour Starts Next Year with a Hard Stage Through North Holland
Olympia’s Tour starts next year on Wednesday, March 20 with a stage to and from Medemblik, the race organisers announced their website. It is the first time in ten years that the oldest Dutch stage race will visit North Holland.

“We are happy that we are returning to the origins of Olympia’s Tour, North Holland, with the 70th edition,” wrote organiser Thijs Rondhuis of Courage Events. “The riders are immediately presented with a tough stage in the first stage in Medemblik. That will immediately result in a first selection in the rankings so early in the tour.”

The start and finish of the stage takes place in the centre of Medemblik. The 145 kilometre stage consists of two circuits of 60 kilometres and a final circuit of 25 kilometres. In the big circuit crosses Medemblik, Onderdijk, Wervershoof, Andijk, Oosterdijk, Enkhuizen, Stede Broec, Schellinkhout, Westwoud, Zwaagdijk-Oost and Hauwert, in the final loop there are Medemblik, Onderdijk, Wervershoof, Zwaagdijk-Oost and Hauwert.

The rest of the route of Olympia’s Tour 2024 has not yet been announced. Last year the overall victory went to the Dane Mathias Bregnhøj of Leopard TOGT.

A hard opening stage for the Olympia’s Tour:
The Olympia's Tour in Holland has become an underrated race, previously it was the race that National team time trial squads would batter each other in the Dutch crosswinds. Pic:CorVos/PezCyclingNews.

 

zwolle
Ster van Zwolle Wants to Create more Excitement with a New Finish Location
It was previously reported that the Salverda Bouw Ster van Zwolle will no longer finish on the Ceintuurbaan near the Isala Hospital next year, but a few kilometres earlier on an industrial estate. The race ended in 2024 in front of the furniture boulevard on Blaloweg in Zwolle.

And that is for good reason. “The municipality of Zwolle has long wanted to no longer finish at the Isala clinics,” board member Gerben Kroeze said in conversation with CyclingOnline. “The Ceintuurbaan is a busy and important road in Zwolle. You can’t just close it for a long time. In addition, we cannot organise any other activities around that finish.”

“That is why we consulted with the municipality and have now found a great alternative that allows us to organise more without bothering traffic,” says Kroeze. The organisers also want to showcase Zwolle’s manufacturing industry. “Can you picture it already? A helicopter in the air, around the IJsseltoren with Scania and all those other companies in the picture with the IJssel in the background! Awesome!”

The organisers don’t only look at the safety aspect. Finishing at the Blaloweg has an additional advantage. By removing the long roads around Zwolle from the course, the race becomes more challenging and exciting for the riders and spectators. “n escapee could make it now,” says Rik Jansen, commentator of the event. “In other years there was often a fairly large, select group left for a sprint. That could turn out differently now.”

The Salverda Bouw Ster van Zwolle will start as usual on the Grote Kerkplein in Zwolle. The 63rd edition of the event will take place on March 2, 2024. This year the victory, in a sprint, went to the experienced Coen Vermeltfoort of VolkerWessels. The 35 year-old Dutchman is also the co-record holder with three victories, together with Dries Klein in the 1980s.

Ster van Zwolle’23 – Coen Vermeltfoort:
zwolle23

 

shimano
Shimano Starts Investigation After Article about Labor Abuses
Cycle parts manufacturer Shimano has been embarrassed by an article in The Telegraph. According to the British newspaper, Shimano is said to have sold parts from a Malaysian supplier that were produced by ‘modern slaves’.

This concerns the Malaysian supplier Kwang Li Industry. The Telegraph accuses this company of exploiting migrant workers from Nepal. Workers at the factory say they have been subjected to physical abuse and threats, unlawful deductions from salaries and recruitment fees, unpaid suspensions of up to 15 days and forced dismissals. The Telegraph spoke to current and former employees of Kwang Li Industry for the investigation, but also obtained access to contracts, pay slips and correspondence between Kwang Li Industry and the Nepalese embassy in Malaysia.

Kwang Li Industry strongly denies the allegations. “We deny all false allegations made against us. As a company, we have always adhered to all requirements and regulations of Malaysia’s employment law, which governs various aspects of employment. Including working hours, minimum wage and other related matters.”

Shimano said in a statement that it was shocked by the results of the research. “These are serious allegations and it goes against our principles and what we believe in. We are currently investigating the matter with the parties involved and will take appropriate action to ensure the situation is properly resolved.”

Shimano uses ‘sweat shop’ workers?
shimano

 

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