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EUROTRASH Monday: Action From Down Under & All the Other Cycling News

Everything you need toknow

A full EUROTRASH Monday: The first stages of the women’s Santos Tour Down Under and the Schwalbe Classic in Adelaide. Plus the Belgian, Netherlands and French cyclo-cross championships.
International companies involved in possible new British WorldTeam – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Cavendish spotted with Astana, Miguel Ángel López maintains his innocence, Greg Van Avermaet wants to participate in the finals of classics again, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot ends her cyclocross season early, Thibaut Pinot to retire at the end of the season, Benoît Cosnefroy to ride the Flemish cobbles and Andrea Bagioli starts final year contract with Soudal Quick-Step.
Team news: Simon Clarke covid positive before the Tour Down Under, ten riders and two sports directors of W52-FC Porto charged with doping, Jorgen Nordhagen selected for cross-country skiing world cup, Tour de Tietema-Unibet kit, Michel Cornelisse to Work with Fenix-Deceuninck and BORA-hansgrohe launches global talent scouting program with Red Bull.
Race news: Tom Dumoulin Stops his Tour de Dumoulin.
Contract news: Team SD Worx contracts Marie Schreiber and Eduard-Michael Grosu signs with a Polish team.
And the sad news of the death of Lieuwe Westra at 40 years old.


Watch the Tour Down Under on GCN+ Starting on Saturday (January 14-22)
You can watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of Tour Down Under on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device
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top story
TOP STORY: International Companies Involved in Possible New British WorldTeam
Last autumn it was announced that the British Continental Ribble Weldtite team would not race in 2023 due to sponsorship problems, but the management behind the team doesn’t want to give up. Team managers Tom Timothy and Jack Rees have ambitious plans. They want to set up a new British WorldTour team and are in talks with several international companies, according to Cycling Weekly magazine.

Apparently, Timothy and Rees met potential sponsors in Amsterdam. “We are now in talks with several major global partners. Nothing is fully confirmed yet, but there are several interested companies from different regions of the world,” Timothy said. The team, which as yet doesn’t exist, wants to be part of the WorldTour in three years, from the start of 2024 to 2026.

Two years ago, Timothy and Rees also had talks with a major investor, but that failed. “We decided to decline their offer, even though it was quite a large offer from the Middle East,” said Timothy. “It is clear that British sport in general is becoming increasingly popular with international investors. However, we want to make sure that every investment or partner we work with contributes something to the sport as a whole. We see cycling as a way of giving back. It’s more than just cycling.”

Also important to the duo is that the British identity is preserved. They want to offer young British riders a chance, but also, following Team Sky/INEOS, also inspire young people to start racing.

A new British team for the future:
tanfield

 

tdu
Women’s Santos Tour Down Under 2023
Daria Pikulik of Human Powered Health won the Stage 1 of the women’s Tour Down Under. The stage ended in a bunch sprint in which the Polish rider beat Clara Copponi of FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope and Georgia Baker of Jayco AlUla. Pikulik also took the lead in the general classification.

tdu

Stage 1 was a mostly flat stage from Glenelg to Aldinga with Chaffeys Climb (600m at 7%) as the only categorised QOM. So it all looked like the peloton would sprint for victory in Aldinga. At 110.4 kilometres it was the longest stage of this women’s TDU.

A mass sprint did seem in doubt at certain times because the wind played a major role and the peloton split into echelons at various times. Several riders also tried to prevent a sprint by attacking from the peloton. These efforts turned out to be in vain and everything came back together 7 kilometres from the finish and the peloton got ready for the sprint. FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope and Jayco AlUla led-out their sprinters Copponi and Baker well, but Pikulik turned out to be the fastest with a powerful sprint to cross the line first. It is also the first victory for the 26 year-old rider for her new team.

TDU

Stage winner and overall leader, Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health): “It feels amazing to win our first Women’s WorldTour tour race today with my new team. I knew that we could win before the race and everybody believed in me so it’s a really nice feeling and gives me so much motivation. The tactic was to be in the front because we know that will be a really strong wind, but I like conditions like that so for me it was the perfect last kilometre. The girls helped me all the race to keep my legs fresh for the finish. I want to thank all the girls and staff for today. We made the win together. I am just a Polish rider making my dream come true. I really like this bike. It’s really stiff so it’s easier to be in the sprinting position.”

Women’s Santos Tour Down Under 2023 – Stage 1 Result:
1. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health in 3:03:01
2. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ-SUEZ
3. Georgia Baker (Aus) Jayco AlUla
4. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Can) Zaaf Cycling Team
5. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
6. Ally Wollaston (NZ) New Zealand
7. Kaia Schmid (USA) Human Powered Health
8. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Lucinda Stewart (Aus) ARA Skip Capital Sunshine Coast
10. Brodie Chapman (Aus) Trek-Segafredo.

Women’s Santos Tour Down Under 2023 – Overall After Stage 1:
1. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health in 3:02:51
2. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ-SUEZ at 0:04
3. Georgia Baker (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:06
4. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ at 0:07
5. Alexandra Manly (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:08
6. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:09
7. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Can) Zaaf Cycling Team at 0:10
8. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
9. Ally Wollaston (NZ) New Zealand
10. Kaia Schmid (USA) Human Powered Health.

TDU’23 stage 1:

 

schwalbe
Schwalbe Classic – Adelaide Men 2023
The 2023 season opens with the Schwalbe Classic, an evening criterium in down-town Adelaide – The curtain lifter for the Tour Down Under. Ally Wollaston won the women’s race from a break and Caleb Ewan won a bunch sprint finish from the men.

schwalbe

Caleb Ewan won the Schwalbe Classic for men, riding for the Australian National team. The Australian of Lotto Dstny was the fastest in the bunch sprint ahead of the Belgian Jordi Meeus of BORA-hansgrohe and Kaden Groves of Alpecin-Deceuninck. The criterium runs over a 1.35 kilometre flat circuit through the streets of Adelaide, a bunch sprint is always on the cards.

About halfway through the race, a group of six men managed to break free and gain a lead of 30 seconds, but they had no chance against the peloton, which wanted a sprint. Home rider Caleb Ewan turned out to be the fastest of the pack, while Meeus finished second ahead of Groves.

schwalbe23

Race winner, Caleb Ewan (Australia): “You don’t count this race when you add up your wins at the end of the season, but maybe you should. It’s against a WorldTour field, in a pure sprint and we’re all going full throttle. But whatever the record books say, a win here in Adelaide this early in the season and ahead of the season is a confidence boost. As a sprinter it’s important to keep the momentum going. There are important sprints coming up in the Tour Down Under and I now know that my sprint is pretty good. That gives confidence for the next races. When you come out of winter, you always have a little doubt whether you have prepared correctly. I also changed coaches, so my training was slightly different. That’s why I didn’t know how it would go. I was already surprised with my performance at the Australian championship, but my sprint was still a question mark. So this win is important. It may not be noted as an official victory, but it means something to me. It’s confirmation.”

2nd, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “It’s a bit of a shame to finish a close second in a bunch sprint, but it’s not a bad result to start the season like that. We knew Caleb would be one of the big favourites tonight, but he’s not here with his usual team, rather with the national squad. So we didn’t quite know which team would control the race. As expected, a small group went clear and we then had Marco at the front, which was perfect for us. The other guys executed our plan well and supported me as much as possible. In the end, my positioning could have perhaps been a bit better, but second place is not so bad in the end.”

Schwalbe Classic 2023 – Adelaide Men Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Australia in 1:02:35
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Kaden Groves (Aus) Alpecin-Deceuninck
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
5. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) DSM
6. Campbell Stewart (NZ) Jayco-AlUla
7. Kim Heiduk (Ger) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Paul Penhoët (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
10. Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo.

Schwalbe Classic’23

 

schwalbe
Schwalbe Classic – Adelaide Women 2023
Ally Wollaston won the Schwalbe Classic for the women, riding for the New Zealand National team. The 22-year-old rider was the fastest of a leading group of seven after more than an hour of racing. She beat compatriot Michaela Drummond of Zaaf and the Dutch rider, Nina Buijsman of Human Powered Health.

The Schwalbe Classic is traditionally held the week before the Tour Down Under. The criterium runs over a 1.35 kilometre flat circuit through the streets of Adelaide. The race regularly ends in a bunch sprint, but on Saturday a leading group was able to stay away. Wollaston, who is under contract with AG Insurance-Soudal-Quick-Step, was the fastest of the break and sprinted to victory.

Schwalbe Classic

Schwalbe Classic – Adelaide Women Result:
1. Ally Wollaston (NZ) New Zealand in 1:02:41
2. Michaela Drummond (NZ) Zaaf Cycling Team
3. Nina Buijsman (Ned) Human Powered Health
4. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus) Jayco-AlUla
5. Chloe Moran (Aus) ARA Skip Capital
6. Loes Adegeest (Ned) FDJ-SUEZ
7. Anya Louw (Aus) Australia
8. Georgie Howe (Aus) Jayco-AlUla at 0:10
9. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ-SUEZ at 0:17
10. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health.

Schwalbe Classic’23

 

belgium
Belgian National Cyclo-Cross Championship – Lokeren 2023
Michael Vanthourenhout is the Belgian cyclo-cross champion for the next year. The Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal rider fought a duel with Laurens Sweeck in Lokeren. Thibau Nys finished third.

Last year’s champion, Wout van Aert, was missing from the championship race in Lokeren due to a team training camp. Riders such as Laurens Sweeck, Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout had the opportunity to take the Belgian jersey. All three had a good start, but it was Thibau Nys who hit the off-road first. He took the initiative in the first part of the first lap. Iserbyt made some mistakes and also crashed. He was already well behind after one lap. Sweeck and Vanthourenhout had escaped the others. Nys was the closest in this point. Behind him followed Jens Adams and Emiel Verstrynge, followed by Iserbyt. Nys tried to came back, but Sweeck and Vanthourenhout had flown, he crossed the line 30 seconds ahead of Iserbyt after three of the six laps.

The two at the front put pressure on each other. One take a gap, and then the other. On the fourth lap, Sweeck was a few meters ahead of Vanthourenhout for a long time, but he was unable to break the European champion. Later in the lap it was Vanthourenhout who went away, but he also couldn’t drop his opponent. On the fifth lap, Sweeck had a problem with his bike change. He hooked his bike into Vanthourenhout’s and so lost a few metres. After that it was an exciting battle. Sweeck didn’t give in, but in the end it was Vanthourenhout who took the victory. Behind the two, Thibau Nys was third. Iserbyt and Gerben Kuypers completed the top five.

belgian cross

Belgian cyclo-cross champion, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I’m very happy. It was a nice duel between Laurens and me. I think he might have been a bit better in the running, but in the last laps I felt that he was a bit worn out. Then I just tried to get out of the loop first and then go full to the finish. That was enough. I think it was always behind my back. It is also always a bit of chaos in the pits. Anyone who knows my family knows that this was not deliberate. I didn’t see it either, but I don’t think it was on purpose. During the race he already shouted that I had to drive my own race. I didn’t have to let Laurens set the pace, I tried that in the last two laps. That was switching. In the beginning I tried to get in the lead to get Eli to come back, but I could see that maybe he wasn’t having the best day. Then I knew I was on my own. It’s nice that I finish it anyway. It’s a bit of a luxury problem.”

2nd, Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads): “I’m disappointed, because I don’t think it went completely sportingly. I do think we were evenly matched. In that respect he deserves it, but I think you choose a pit before the start and you stand in it for the entire race. I think tactically I made a good choice to be in the beginning. You saw that on the first lap, when I made a gap there. Then you come in the second lap in the pit and then suddenly the opposition is in the same place as you, while they were at the back before. I don’t know why there are rules that aren’t followed. It was a bit deliberate that he (the mechanic of Vanthourenhout) The bike… You feel that as a rider that that happens. That is still a bit of course, but as I say: there are rules. They are made to comply with. I think that last gap is, I really had to give all my strength to reconnect. The course was a bit slippery and more treacherous, so mistakes creep in.”

2023 Belgian National Cyclo-Cross Championship Result:
1. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in 1:00:04
2. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 0:02
3. Thibau Nys (Bal) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:42
4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:29
5. Gerben Kuypers (Bel) at 2:39
6. Jens Adams (Bel) ChocoVit at 2:53
7. Timo Kielich (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 3:44
8. Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 3:53
9. Joran Wyseure (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 3:53
10. Jente Michels (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 4:03.

Belgian Cross Champs’23:

 

holland dutch
Netherlands National Cyclo-Cross Championship – Zaltbommel 2023
Lars van der Haar is the Dutch cyclo-cross champion, a repeat of last year. The 31-year-old Baloise-Trek Lions rider was at the front for almost the entire race together with his teammate Joris Nieuwenhuis. Van der Haar made his move in the final.

Joris Nieuwenhuis had a good start to his national cyclo-cross. He was first into the extremely muddy off-road. His teammate Lars van der Haar, the big favourite in the absence of Mathieu van der Poel, was a bit under pressure, but was soon able to move up again. He was soon in fourth position, behind Nieuwenhuis, Corné van Kessel and Tibor del Grosso. Later Pim Ronhaar also joined them. With Van Kessel having to pass, Baloise Trek Lions was in an ideal situation as they had three riders in the leading group of four. When U23 rider Del Grosso was dropped on the second lap, there was a trio of the red and blue team at the front. However, this situation didn’t last long, because after Nieuwenhuis accelerated, Ronhaar was gone. Van der Haar was still able to hang on.

The duo, where Nieuwenhuis invariably took the lead, quickly got further ahead of the rest of the field. It would be a duel between the two teammates. They didn’t attack each other for a long time, but on the penultimate lap Van der Haar seemed to have to leave a few meters a few times. However, he didn’t attack. The two leaders started the final lap together. There Van der Haar tried, while running, to put in an attack. Nieuwenhuis, however, was alert and countered his teammate right away. Then it was Van der Haar again who took the lead and had a gap. Although he came to a standstill in the very last metres, he held on and took the Dutch title again. A disappointed Nieuwenhuis, who turned out to be slowed by a broken cleat was second.

2023 Netherlands National Cyclo-Cross Championship Result:
1. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in 1:04:11
2. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:03
3. Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:47
4. Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:25
5. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Deschacht-Hens-Maes at 1:47
6. Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Crelan-Fristads at 2:20
7. Stan Godrie (Ned) at 2:51
8. David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 3:13
9. Klaas Groenen (Ned) at 6:58
10. Bart de Veer (Ned).

Two years in a row for Van der Haar:
ned cross2023

 

france
French National Cyclo-Cross Championships – 2023
French cross champion, Clément Venturini (AG2R-Citroën): “It is a huge satisfaction to win my fifth French championship title, the fourth with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. I have struggled a bit the past few weeks with a tough schedule. I did it that way to challenge myself against the best so that I could progress more, and that has paid off today.
Fabien (Doubey) was very strong, but I didn’t give up until the end. I used my strengths on the most difficult parts to impose myself. The main thing was to win, for myself but also to win for the team. I am very happy to be able to wear the blue-white-red colours on the jersey. January is looking good.”

french cross23

Clément Venturini has now become French elite cyclocross champion for the fifth time after winning in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The rest of Clément Venturini’s program
Clément Venturini will race three cyclocross events to end the season: the UCI World Cups in Benidorm (January 22) and Besançon (January 29), and then the UCI World Championships in Hoogerheide (if selected). He will start his road season at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (February 17 to 19).

French Cross Champs’23:

 

astana 2022
Cavendish Still Not Announced, but Spotted with Astana
It seems to be becoming increasingly clear that Mark Cavendish’s future lies with Astana Qazaqstan. It has been previously reported that the deal was done, and now the Briton has been spotted being picked up at Malaga airport by the Kazakh team.

Cavendish had originally signed a contract with B&B Hotels-KTM, but after this project collapsed, the Manx Missile had to look for a new home. So he found it at Astana Qazaqstan. For the past two seasons he was under contract with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, but had to make way for Tim Merlier.

After a long silence about the transfer, the transfer seems like it will be confirmed soon. After a mediocre season and the retirement of Nibali, Aleksandr Vinokourov’s team could use a new top rider.

Cavendish in Malaga:
astana cav

 

medellinMiguel Ángel López Maintains his Innocence
Miguel Ángel López was sacked by Astana Qazaqstan in December 2022 because of new evidence against him in a doping case. “I have not used any doping. My biological passport is also clean,” López insists he is innocent.

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

The 28-year-old López, who finished fourth in the Vuelta a España last year, eventually managed to find a new place for 2023 with the continental Medellín-EPM team. “It remains my ambition to race for a WorldTeam team again before I retire. Sometimes in life you have to take a small step back in order to take another big step forward.”

“Thanks to the help of my friends and family, I got through this period. It’s what if you suddenly don’t have a team close to Christmas. I can’t blame myself.” López will race alongside the now 46 year-old Óscar Sevilla, Fabio Duarte and Aldemar Reyes.

López innocent:
lopez

 

ag2r cirtoen
Greg Van Avermaet: “I Want to Participate in the Finals of Classics Again”
Greg Van Avermaet didn’t have his best spring Classics campaign last year, but the 37 year-old rider is hopeful that he can compete again at the front in 2023. “If I no longer believed that I could win another classic, I wouldn’t be here anymore,” he told PezCyclingNews at the AG2R-Citreon media day (full interview soon).

“If everything goes perfectly, I can certainly still achieve good results in the classics. I want to participate in the final again at the front. I want to ride finals again and finish in the top-10, top-5.”

Van Avermaet will start his season on January 22 with the Gran Premi València. He will then ride the Étoile de Bessèges (February 1-5) and the Tour of Oman (February 10-15), then back to Flanders for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (February 25) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (February 26). Then an Italian block of: Strade Bianche (March 4), Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12) and Milan-Sanremo (March 18). “From there I ride almost all classics up to and including the Amstel Gold Race. I don’t do Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

Van Avermaet is not thinking about stopping yet. “I can definitely go on for a few more years, I don’t know when I’m going to stop. I don’t want to set a date yet, because I’m still having fun. And I don’t want to go on too long, but I certainly don’t want to stop too soon, but I still have to reach a certain level, that is the condition. I will see this year if that is still possible or not. I will draw my conclusions from that.”

Greg Van Avermaet’s Race program:
22-01 1969 Classica Comunitat Valenciana – Gran Premi Valencia
01-02 – 05-02 Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard
10-02 – 14-02 Tour of Oman
25-02 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
26-02 Kuurne – Bruxelles – Kuurne
04-03 Strade Bianche
06-03 – 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
18-03 Milano-Sanremo
24-03 E3 Saxo Classic
26-03 Gent-Wevelgem
02-04 Tour of Flanders
09-04 Paris-Roubaix
16-04 Amstel Gold Race.

Van Avermaet looking forward to 2023:
ag2r van avermaet

 

ineos23
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot Ends her 2022/2023 Cyclocross Season Early
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will end her 2022/2023 cyclocross season earlier than planned due to the injury she incurred whilst racing in the Gavere World Cup cyclocross race on the 26th December.

Ferrand-Prévot, whilst disappointed to have to end her cyclocross season early, is still incredibly pleased with her 2022 season and is planning to start competing again in mountain bike races in the spring.

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot said: “Obviously I would have loved to compete at the cyclocross World Championships but my leg just hasn’t healed as quickly as we would have thought. So I have taken the decision, along with my coach and the team, to concentrate on recovery so I can come out fit and strong for the start of the mountain bike season in April.”

The last season has been a standout one for Ferrand-Prévot, having secured four world championship titles, three in mountain bike and one in gravel racing, as well as coming on board and being the first female athlete to compete with the INEOS Grenadiers.

Pauline added: “I cannot be disappointed with how this season has gone, to have won four rainbow jerseys is pretty mind blowing when I look back at it. Then joining this Team has been incredible, everyone has really welcomed me in and I already feel at home here. The support I receive from all the staff is pretty special. I’m looking forward to having some downtime and then coming back and seeing what we can do together for the rest of the year.”

Rod Ellingworth, Deputy Team Principal said: “Pauline can only look back on this last season and be really proud of what she has achieved. She has been such a great addition to the Team and we have all been impressed with her work ethic, attitude and knowledge. It’s now important that she takes some time to heal so she can come back stronger and ready to go all in for 2023.”

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot

 

groupama
Thibaut Pinot Will Retire at the End of the Season
For Thibaut Pinot, 2023 will be his last year in the pro peloton. The 32-year-old Frenchman will stop after this year. His Groupama-FDJ team made the announcement in a press release.

Pinot will compete for the last time in the Tour of Lombardy (October 7), a race he won in 2018. In his farewell year, the Giro d’Italia will be the main goal, but Pinot also hopes to contest the Tour de France once more, he told L’Équipe.

“It’s a decision that I’ve thought about over the past few years,” Pinot said in the Groupama-FDJ press release. “I am looking forward to the new things I can experience after my career, but I also want to race for one more year. I have rarely been so motivated before a season and I want to finish on a high. I am doing everything I can to achieve the best possible results and will continue to do so.”

For Marc Madiot, the team manager of Groupama-FDJ, it was no surprise when Pinot said that he wanted to stop racing. “I almost expected it. You can say it’s the right time, or not, but it’s his choice. I’ve experienced it myself. I know what top sport is, and what it’s like when your body and mind say at the same time: it’s time. Thibaut has made a successful comeback and I am sure he will have a successful conclusion.”

In his career, Pinot won stages in all three Grand Tours: one in the Giro, two in the Vuelta and three in the Tour. He also finished on the podium of the Tour in 2014, finishing third. He also finished fourth in the Giro in 2017 and sixth in the Vuelta, 2018. The climber also had stage victories in the Tour of the Alps, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Switzerland. In 2018 he was the best in Milan-Turin.

Thibaut Pinot to retire:
tdf22st12

 

ag2r cirtoen
Benoît Cosnefroy to Debut in Flemish Cobbles Classics
This year Benoît Cosnefroy will be at the start of several Flemish cobbled Classics for the first time, his AG2R Citroën team announced in a press release. These are Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Participation in the Tour of Flanders is also possible.

Cosnefroy is not a novice when it comes to racing on the cobbles. As a junior he was in the top 20 in Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, but as a professional he has never been at the start of a Flemish cobbled Classic. Cosnefroy is scheduled for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (February 25) and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic (March 24). And the chance that Cosnefroy will make his debut in the Tour of Flanders this year is also not excluded. AG2R Citroën has now announced that participation in Flanders’ Most Beautiful is a realistic scenario for 2023.

The French puncheur starts his road campaign in France, first with the Grand Prix La Marseillaise (January 29) and then the Étoile de Bessèges (February 1-5). Last spring he finished second in the Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race and in the autumn he won the Grand Prix de Québec.

Benoît Cosnefroy’s race program:
29-01 Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise
01-02 – 05-02 Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard
10-02 – 14-02 Tour of Oman
25-02 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
24-03 E3 Saxo Classic
02-04 Tour of Flanders.

Benoît Cosnefroy for the cobbles in 2023:
amstel22

 

soudal quick-step
Bagioli Starts Final Year Contract with Soudal Quick-Step
Andrea Bagioli contract with Soudal Quick-Step will run out at the end of 2023. The 23 year-old Italian, who turned professional in 2020 with Patrick Lefevere’s team, faces an important season. “After three years in the pro peloton, it is time to raise the bar and prove a little more,” he said in conversation with Bicipro.

“I have already shown a few things,” said Bagioli, who has won four times as a professional cyclist so far. In 2022 he won the final stage of the Tour of Catalonia and was third in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. “But something always goes wrong. That was also the case last season. I have never been able to perform consistently due to various health problems, including corona and bronchitis. I hope that from now on I no longer have those ups and downs and can always stay at a decent level.”

Bagioli took a different approach this winter than before. While in the past he was often in shape in November or December, he has now picked up his specific training later, he says. “Of course it wouldn’t be a bad thing to race well in Mallorca (where he will start his season), but it’s more important to be in shape in the months of March and April, up to and including the hilly Classics.”

Prior to those Classics, Bagioli will contest one or a few of the one-day races in Mallorca. He then does the Faun Drôme Classic and Faun Ardèche Classic, before traveling to Italy for Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico. “The Faun Drôme Classic and Faun Ardèche Classic are good tests for me, the hilly course suits me,” said the winner of that first race in 2021. The Giro d’Italia is not on his program, much to Bagioli’s disappointment, a second participation in the Tour de France has not yet been ruled out.

Bagioli envisions a future as a leader. “For now I still have that character, I want to win.” He does realise that it is difficult to get that role with his current team, with teammates such as Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphilippe. If that does not work out in the long run, he will make himself available to the team. “That is something that I will have to take into account with regard to the future. The presence of such toppers certainly influences my own place. If I was with another team, maybe it would be different.”

2023 – An important year for Andrea Bagioli:
bagioli

 

israel
Simon Clarke Covid Positive Before the Tour Down Under
Simon Clarke is missing part of the preparation for the Tour Down Under. The Australian of Israel-Premier Tech, tested positive for the covid virus and is staying at home as a precaution, it is hoped that he will rejoin the team.

Israel-Premier Tech said in a short statement that 36-year-old Clarke has no symptoms of the corona virus. His test result was positive and so he will stay longer at home in Victoria. “He skips Saturday’s criterion (the Schwalbe Classic, ed.), after which he will rejoin the team in Adelaide as soon as he takes a negative test,” said the team.

Clarke will begin his second year with Israel-Premier Tech in the Tour Down Under. Last year, the team only caught him very late, after which he stunted in the Tour de France with a stage victory in the cobbled stage to Arenberg. Clarke will participate in the Tour Down Under for the twelfth time; his best result was eighth place in 2006.

Israel-Premier Tech team for the Tour Down Under:
Derek Gee
Sebastian Berwick
Simon Clarke
Chris Froome
Daryl Impey
Taj Jones
Corbin Strong.

Covid for Simon Clarke:
tdf22st5

 

w52 fc porto
Ten riders and Two Sports Directors of W52-FC Porto Charged with Doping
Ten former W52-FC Porto cyclists must appear before the Portuguese court. They are accused by the Public Prosecution Service of dealing in prohibited substances and methods of using them. Two DS’s have also been charged.

A total of 26 people are on trial in the context of operation Prova Limpa (clean evidence). Also included are former sports director Nuno Ribeiro and team boss Adriano Quintanilha and cyclists João Rodrigues, Rui Vinhas, Ricardo Mestre, Samuel Caldeira, Daniel Mestre, José Neves, Joni Brandão, Ricardo Vilela, José Gonçalves and Jorge Magalhães.

Documents seen by Portuguese media show that Ribeiro, Quintanilha and general manager Hugo Veloso of W52-FC Porto had drawn up a ‘doping plan’ to improve the performance of the riders. Since 2020, doping use, including blood transfusions, growth hormones, testosterone, have been within the team.

“The riders were instructed on the methods of introducing the doping into the body without it being detected in doping controls. In addition, they received instructions for administering the doping,” is stated against the team management. Ribeiro would do that “with the knowledge and consent” of team bosses Quintanilha and Veloso.

The riders involved are accused of having “always voluntarily and consciously carried out the facts, with the sole purpose of obtaining a financial and sporting advantage for themselves or for the team through the use of prohibited substances or blood transfusions”.

In April, news came out that sports director Ribeiro had been arrested for his involvement in a doping case. The Portuguese police had a large team of investigators and during house searches, according to various national media, doping substances were found in all ten riders of the team. Following the doping investigation, the UCI decided to withdraw the license of the Continental team.

W52-FC Porto team in court:
W52-FC Porto

 

jumbo-visma
Nordhagen Selected for Cross-Country Skiing World Cup
The Norwegian selection for the junior World Championship cross-country skiing in Canada at the end of January includes Jorgen Nordhagen. The 17-year-old Norwegian will be racing for Jumbo-Visma from 2024 and is still combining skiing with cycling.

Nordhagen is a great cross-country skiing talent in Norway. Last year he finished second in the national championship. He is also a successful cyclist. In 2022, as a first-year junior, he won a stage in the GP Rüebliland and took the Norwegian time trial championship. He also took second place in the road race in the European Championships in Portugal.

“I will continue to combine cycling and cross-country skiing in the coming season. I want to do the combination as long as possible. It is a great exercise that helps me to train and develop my whole body,” Nordhagen said after he signed a contract with Jumbo-Visma.

Jumbo-Visma is happy to let Nordhagen continue combining both disciplines. “We see exceptional talent in Jorgen,” said Robbert de Groot. “He is a highly motivated boy who is looking for a training program that he feels will benefit him. The fact that he already knows where his future lies means that he can concentrate on training, racing and developing.” Nordhagen will be a junior for another year in 2023.

Jorgen Nordhagen going to the junior World Championship cross-country skiing in Canada:
Jorgen Nordhagen

 

tietema
Tour de Tietema-Unibet Kit
Tour de Tietema-Unibet Cycling Team has announced their kit for 2023. Bas Tietema’s cycling team has gone for a light blue shirt with black shorts. The lines on the shirt, which express different cycling stories.

“The lines represent routes that are of great importance to ourselves and of great importance,” explains Devin van der Wiel. “We have asked our master craftsmen to share their most special cycling tours with us. We have selected a number of them.”

“For example, the outline of France represents the beginning of our Tour de Tietema adventure in the Tour de France. The Tour of Flanders was a great adventure for us in 2020 and Bas has a special bond with Paris-Roubaix.”

In the coming weeks, Tour de Tietema will share more about the stories of the ‘Meesterknechts’ on the outfit on social media.

tdt

 

fenix
Michel Cornelisse to Work with Fenix-Deceuninck
Michel Cornelisse will have a new position in 2023 within the cycling teams of the Roodhooft brothers. The experienced ex-rider from Amsterdam will play a prominent role in the women’s team Fenix-Deceuninck, which will make its debut in the Women’s WorldTour this year.

Last season he was regularly active as a sports director for the women’s team; he was present in the very first Tour de France Femmes. The collaboration has gone well on both sides, making the promotion a logical next step.

Last year, former rider Heidi Van de Vijver was the main DS of the women’s team. Due to private circumstances, she had to resign from her position. Cornelisse will take over her duties for the time being.

In recent years, Cornelisse has regularly participated in the successes of Mathieu van der Poel with Alpecin-Deceuninck. The 57 year-old Cornelisse, with a past as a DS in teams such as Vacansoleil-DCM, MTN-Qhubeka and Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij, will not completely disappear from the men’s peloton. The intention is that he will occasionally work for the Alpecin-Deceuninck team.

In 2018, Cornelisse was still in the picture as a possible national coach of the KNWU. At the time, he was still under contract with the training team of SEG Racing Academy. The following year, Corendon-Circus, a predecessor of Alpecin-Deceuninck, picked him up.

At the team presentation it was announced that, in addition to Fenix-Deceuninck, a second women’s team will be added: Fenix-Deceuninck Continental.

Michel Cornelisse to be DS with Fenix-Deceuninck:
Vuelta09 4st Michel CornelisseJohnny Hoogerland

 

bora
BORA – hansgrohe Launches Global Talent Scouting Program with Red Bull
BORA – hansgrohe is pleased to announce the launch on 1 February 2023 of a new joint scouting project with Red Bull. Entitled “Red Bull Junior Brothers,” this is a global road cycling talent scouting program aimed at finding the next generation of talented road cyclists.

At the conclusion of the program, two young riders from around the world will be given a contract with BORA – hansgrohe’s U19 squad, Team Auto Eder, and a contract as a Red Bull athlete.

The program is open to participants under 19 years of age born between 2006 and 2007. From 1 February to 31 May, riders will be able to use Strava or Zwift to compete for their chance to become a Red Bull Junior Brother. They may complete their application form online from 1 to 30 June, with the strongest riders then participating in a test camp in August. The two successful applicants will be signed in September. More details will become available at redbull.com/juniorbrothers from 1 February.

BORA – hansgrohe Team Manager, Ralph Denk, remarks, “this is the first time that Red Bull is involved with a project in road cycling globally, and I am proud that they are doing this together with BORA – hansgrohe. In addition, the program itself is also a milestone for us in terms of scouting. Through the Red Bull Junior Brothers, we can search for talent worldwide and even reach those who might not otherwise take part in races at all.”

Dr. Christian Schrot, Head of Scouting and Development at BORA – hansgrohe, comments, “successful applicants must bring with them talent and strength, but also the potential to improve. Particularly at the camp, we will have the opportunity to put the riders through their paces, and also get to know them personally. Character is important, because to have a professional career, you need commitment and stamina.”

bora

 

holland dutch
Tom Dumoulin Stops his Tour de Dumoulin
After three editions, Tom Dumoulin has decided to stop the Tour de Dumoulin. The event was where children could come into contact with cycling and for adults there were various rides on the favourite training roads of the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner were mapped out. The problem was that it was invariably plagued by bad weather conditions, so that the full potential was never visible.

The first edition was held in October 2019. The event was canceled in 2020, but the Tour de Dumoulin was again on the agenda in 2021 and 2022. “The starting point of the Tour de Dumoulin is to let children come into contact with cycling and in this way give them a fun day,” Dumoulin told WielerFlits for the second edition of his event. “I want to show the children how beautiful my sport is. With all kinds of games and competitions, children between the ages of 4 and 13 in different age groups can get to know aspects of cycling.”

“Moving more and eating healthy are increasingly important topics,” emphasised Dumoulin. “Overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle are increasingly seen among young people and this threatens to become a problem for the future. The corona pandemic has once again shown how important a healthy lifestyle is. I want to show the children that a healthy day can also be fun.”

In a message on Facebook, the organisers of the Tour de Dumoulin now says: “Due to various reasons and a combination of circumstances, we have decided that last edition was the last edition. We never know what the future will bring, but for now we close the chapter ‘Tour de Dumoulin’. Joy and sadness go hand in hand with this kind of news, but with us the feeling of pride prevails. We are very happy that we have been able to let so many children and adults enjoy the sport: cycling. But now it is time for other ambitions.”

No more Tour de Dumoulin:
dumoulin worlds22

 

sd
Team SD Worx Contracts Marie Schreiber
Marie Schreiber has signed a three-year contract with Team SD Worx. The 19-year-old Luxembourger will ride cyclocross races for her current team, Tormans Cyclo Cross Team, until the end of February. Schreiber has already joined Team SD Worx’s training camp in Denia, Spain.

Thanks to her results in cyclocross, Team SD Worx put the young talent Schreiber in its sights. The Luxembourger has already achieved several good results among the elite, which can be described as exceptional, especially considering her age. For example, she finished second in the Azencross in Loenhout, while in the World Cups in Dublin and Val di Sole she finished fifth and sixth respectively.

“Marie Schreiber has indicated to us that she also wants to make the switch to the road,” indicates Team SD Worx sports manager Danny Stam. “Experience shows that good cyclo-cross riders usually also do well on the road. Where her potential lies, we will find out in the coming season. Given her physique, at first glance she looks like a climber. In the Ardennes block and races in the second tier, we want to cautiously see which races suit her best.”

“It was really a surprise for me that Team SD Worx was interested,” says Schreiber. “It’s a huge boost to my confidence that they also see opportunities on the road. I have never ridden a full road season before. Because of Corona, hardly any races took place in Luxembourg for juniors, while I had obligations for school last year. So this season I will have to figure out a bit on which terrain I can do best. Although this road season will mainly be about cyclocross. If you want to perform well in cyclocross in winter these days, you need a solid road season.”

So Schreiber will definitely remain active in cyclocross in the coming years. “Besides Blanka Vas, we now have a second great talent for cyclocross with Marie Schreiber,” Stam continued. “It also fits in with our aims to become more prominent in cyclocross. Vas and Schreiber have the potential to make strides in this field as well.”

Schreiber herself considers it an advantage to go into the cyclocross season with Vas: “When there are two of you, you can share your experiences well. Furthermore, you pull together. I have surprised myself somewhat with my performance in recent months. Things are going better than I expected. Those performances in the field also give confidence for the road season. After all, some of the girls I am competing with now in cyclocross are also doing well on the road.”

Marie Schreiber to SD Worx:
Marie Schreiber

 

HRE
Eduard-Michael Grosu Signs With Polish Team
Eduard-Michael Grosu will be racing with a Polish team this year. The experienced sprinter from Romania has signed a contract with the continental team HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski.

The 30-year-old Grosu no longer races for a professional team for the first time since 2014. Last season he raced for Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli and before that for Delko (2019-2021) and Nippo-Vini Fantini (2014-2018).

Grosu usually has good results every season. Last season he also managed to win a stage in the Tour of Romania.

Eduard-Michael Grosu will be home based:
Eduard-Michael Grosu

 

holland dutch
Lieuwe Westra Passed Away at 40
Lieuwe Westra passed away on Saturday afternoon. The Frisian was 40 years old. In his active career he raced for Vacansoleil-DCM and Astana. As a professional he won thirteen races, including two Dutch titles in the time trial. The cause of death is still unknown.
It is with great dismay that Westra’s family reports that he was found on Saturday afternoon at his business premises in Zwaagdijk, North Holland. CPR was of no avail. The last few years have been tough for Westra. He found it difficult to live with professional life and his retirement from the sport. After his career he married his Australian girlfriend, with whom he started a cycling hotel in Spain. The two had been divorced since last summer, the hotel was sold and Westra returned to Friesland.

Lieuwe Westra was a talented amateur cyclist, but never really broke through. He went to work as a road worker, but saw his brother Jan Hendrik still achieve a high level at amateur level. Lieuwe started to itch again and after three years with the continental Krolstone, he turned professional in 2009 with the then new Dutch professional team Vacansoleil. Westra was then 26 years old.

In his first year he immediately won the Arno Wallaard Memorial and the Tour de Picardie. Westra quickly gained fame with his attacking spirit and time trial skills. In his third year as a professional, he rides the Tour de France and triumphs in the prologues of the Tour of Belgium and the Loire Atlantique Classic. Until then, he mainly remained with small competitions, but in the winter of 2011 to 2012 he takes a different approach.

This is immediately reflected in Paris-Nice 2012. Westra can stay with the best classification riders in the world and on Mende he impressively takes the fifth stage. His attack remains unanswered. Alejandro Valverde stranded on six counts that day, just ahead of Bradley Wiggins. He would win the Tour de France later that year and is the only one who can stay ahead of Westra in the final classification of Paris-Nice.

In the following years, Westra seized two Dutch time trial titles, wins the Tour of Denmark in 2012 and takes a stage in the Tour of California. In 2014 he then made the switch to Astana. Via stage victories in the Tour of Catalonia and the Critérium du Dauphiné, Westra cycles into Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour team. The Dutchman then plays a crucial role in the cobbled stage.

Two and a half weeks later, Westra enters Paris with the Italian in yellow. It is perhaps his best success, Westra often seemed more proud of it than his own victories. After that he never reaches the level he was before. At the beginning of 2016 he experienced a last revival with the victory in Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, before he hangs up the bike at the end of 2016.

RIP Lieuwe Westra:
Lieuwe Westra


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