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EUROTRASH Monday: Christmas Cross & All The Holiday Cycling News

All the latest from the peloton

Merry Christmas everyone! But the news from the peloton never stops:
Race action from the Exact Zilvermeercross in Mol with video.
UCI revise race points – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Remco Evenepoel to get revenge on Lombardia, Jonas Vingegaard leads Jumbo-Visma in the Tour, UAE Team Emirates matures Jan Christen with Hagens Berman Axeon, Richie Porte thinks Chris Froome and Tadej Pogačar are psychological beasts, Joao Almeida to the Giro with Jay Vine, Jan Bakelants and Benjamin Declercq retire and Jumbo-Visma wants to win Giro d’Italia with Roglič and Kelderman.
Team news: Jumbo-Visma wants to win Giro with Roglič and Kelderman, Stéphane Heulot to be Lotto Dstny CEO, Jumbo-Visma on SRAM, Cynisca Cycling announces bike & equipment, Nalini presents the 2023 Intermarché-Circus-Wanty kit,
Race news: Vuelta a San Juan and Tour of Valencia 2023 routes and teams for the Étoile de Bessèges.
Contract news: Another year for Óscar Sevilla, Nick Schultz to Israel-Premier Tech, Kévin Vauquelin extends with Arkéa-Samsic to the end of 2025 and Yara Kastelijn extends with Fenix-Deceuninck to 2026.
Plus the sad news that former World champion, Vittorio Adorni passed away on Saturday.

 

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TOP STORY: UCI Revise Race Points: Monuments and Grand Tours More Important
The UCI announced on Friday that the points system will be adjusted. From now on, the points of the best twenty riders will be included in the Team Ranking. In 2023, more UCI points can also be earned in Grand Tours and Monuments.

The UCI had already communicated that it was considering revising the points system. After discussions with various stakeholders in the cycling world, the UCI has made some adjustments.

This not only increases the number of points that can be earned in Grand Tours and Monuments, but also in stages in multi-day races in the WorldTour and the ProSeries. Depending on the level of the race, the first five, ten or fifteen riders in the stage result will gain points. More points will also be awarded to good performances at the World championships and the Olympic Games from 1 January 2023.

The new points system should make it more attractive for WorldTour teams to field the best riders in the biggest races. This year, some teams chose to have their strongest riders start in 1.1 races, because more points could be earned in those races. Things are also changing in the world ranking for teams. Where only the points of the best ten riders of a team counted for this ranking in recent years, this will apply to the best twenty riders in the coming years. This was chosen because of the risk of injuries and illnesses within a team.

UCI Assures Israel-Premier Tech of Starts in Most WorldTour Races
Israel-Premier Tech will be invited to almost all WorldTour competitions next year. Only in Grand Tours does the relegated WorldTour team not have an guaranteed wildcard. The UCI announced along with the changes in the points system on Friday.

“The teams that have lost their WorldTour license in 2022 will be invited to all WorldTour races, with the exception of the Grand Tours. This adjustment is intended to preserve stability within teams,” the UCI press release said.

As the best ProTeam, Lotto Soudal (Lotto Dstny in 2023) was already assured of an invitation to all WorldTour races in 2023, so this adjustment only applies to Israel-Premier Tech, which is, at the moment, the third ProTeam in the ranking after Lotto Soudal and TotalEnergies. The Israeli team was only entitled to participate in one-day WorldTour races.

More options for Israel-Premier Tech:
israel

 

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Exact Zilvermeercross in Mol – Men 2022
Wout van Aert won the Zilvermeercross in Mol on Friday. After an exciting cross, Van Aert rode away from Mathieu van der Poel in the last 20 minutes of the race. Van der Poel finished second and Tom Pidcock was third.

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All big names of cyclo-cross were present in Mol on Friday. In the first lap there were already attacks from Laurens Sweeck, Pidcock and Van der Poel. This caused Van Aert, Pidcock, Van der Poel, Sweeck and Quinten Hermans to go into the lead after three laps. The five looked evenly matched, especially after Hermans put in a serious attack on the fourth lap and the rest had to close the gap.

Pidcock and Sweeck couldn’t close, while Van Aert and Van de Poel slowly but surely joined Hermans in the lead. After 25 minutes it was Van Aert who finally made a big move and took Van der Poel with him. For the first time this season, the two rivals fought a duel against each other. The pair were well matched for a long time. Meanwhile, Sweeck took third position from Hermans.

After 40 minutes of racing, the decision was made. After a strong attack by Van Aert, the elastic was broken and Van der Poel had to give way to Van Aert in the last laps. Van Aert’s lead of 8 seconds was soon 46 seconds and Van Aert took his second victory of the season. The Jumbo-Visma rider previously won the World Cup in Dublin. Van der Poel and Van Aert will both be racing on Sunday in Gavere. Pidcock, who eventually finished third in Mol, will also also be in Gavere.

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Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very satisfied, because I didn’t expect to win here. It was a fight when Mathieu went hard halfway through, I really had trouble following him. When I stayed with it, I knew that there was a good chance that I would finish it. Mol is a nice cross. My stats are good here as a pro and it is a very fast race. I am always grateful to come here to race.”

2nd, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpein-Deceuninck): “I didn’t have a good feeling today. And so I can’t be satisfied with the result. I hope to offer Van Aert more resistance in the coming races, otherwise I will just chase him in the coming weeks. It’s a bit of a swallow, but we have to keep going.”

3rd, Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’ve gained confidence. It will always be difficult for me in the sand. I train on it, but I’m not getting any better at it. It doesn’t seem to help. I was looking for my rhythm, but that was obviously not the rhythm of Wout and Mathieu. A third place on this course makes me happy. I was able to beat Sweeck and Hermans, who was very good at the end. The intention was to work on the form for the next races. In that respect I can be satisfied. So in the end I did gain confidence, yes.”

Exact Zilvermeercross in Mol – Men Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 58:28
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpein-Deceuninck at 0:56
3. Tom Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:20
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 1:37
5. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo-Cross Team
6. Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 3:13
7. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans Cyclo-Cross Team at 3:15
8. Gerben Kuypers (Bel) Proximus-Alpha Motorhomes-DoltciniCT at 3:27
9. Timo Kielich (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 3:38
10. Witse Meeussen (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:51.

Zilvermeercross’22:

 

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Exact Zilvermeercross in Mol – Women 2022
The Zilvermeercross in Mol was won by Shirin van Anrooij. The young Dutch rider took the lead early and wasn’t seen till the finish. Lucinda Brand was second, Annemarie Worst third.

mol

Van Anrooij, Brand and Worst were the biggest names on the start list in Mol, which also included riders such as Zoe Bäckstedt, Clara Honsinger, Aniek van Alphen and Laura Verdonschot. Bäckstedt got off to the best start. However, the 18 year-old British rider was quickly passed by the three Dutch women. First by Brand, then by Worst and Van Anrooij.

Brand was only able to maintain her lead for a few minutes, because after a mistake it was Van Anrooij and Worst who passed her. Van Anrooij took the lead after the first lap and didn’t let that leadership go. Brand and Worst were not be disappointed with their second and third places as both riders are returning after illness and injuries.

mol

Race winner, Shirin van Anrooij “I didn’t expect to go solo so early. I had to wait and see how I would feel after the road training in Spain. The course was very tough and with all that rain I thought: shit. Fortunately, it was not so technical and fun to do. I was able to ride my own lines everywhere and based on my own strength. I didn’t expect this before the season, but I race very consistently. I hope to continue this form during the Christmas period.”

2nd, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions): “It feels good to come back like this. I felt quite comfortable today. Sand isn’t my main specialty so I’m happy with how it went. Shirin was the strongest today anyway. Without mistakes, I might have been able to stay with her a little longer.”

Exact Zilvermeercross in Mol – Women Result:
1. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in 46:54
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:48
3. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 1:11
4. Zoë Backstedt (GB) at 1:20
5. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) 777 at 1:30
6. Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Crelan-Fristads at 1:56
7. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) at 2:05
8. Clara Honsinger (USA) at 2:54
9. Leonie Bentveld (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:25
10. Anna Kay (GB) 777 at 3:33.

Zilvermeercross’22:

 

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Remco Evenepoel To Get Revenge on the Tour of Lombardy
Remco Evenepoel seems ready for the new season. The Soudal – Quick-Step rider has already marked his most important races. The reigning World champion hopes to shine in the Giro d’Italia, but the Tour of Lombardy is also important to the young Belgian.

Evenepoel says he has four main goals for 2023. “The big goals for next year will be the Giro d’Italia, Clásica San Sebastián, the World Championship time trial and the Tour of Lombardy,” he told Het Nieuwsblad on Wednesday when he received the Trophy of Sports Merit. “Liège-Bastogne-Liège is also fixed, but I do not yet know in what form I will be at the start there.”

“In function of the Giro, I have to complete a long altitude training camp shortly before La Doyenne and you never know how you will come back from that. We’ll see how I feel, but the focus will initially be on the Giro, which starts two weeks later. It will be special anyway to race in Liège in my rainbow jersey, where I won my first Monument. I’m going to give everything I have in me and if I can, why not win a second time.”

Evenepoel wants to shine in several major events next year. After the World championships in Glasgow, the 22 year-old rider hopes to peak one last time at the Tour of Lombardy. Evenepoel still has something to make up for in the Italian classic, after he crashed heavily on the descent of the Sormano in 2020. “This year, after the World champs, I was no longer interested in continuing to the Tour of Lombardy, I deliberately pushed that goal forward a year, to 2023.”

“Now I really want to concentrate on it, with the aim of performing sportively and trying to win, but on the other hand also for an emotional reason. I want to draw a line under what happened two years ago.”

Evenepoel looking to the Giro and Lombardia:
evenepoel

 

jumbo-visma
Jonas Vingegaard Leads Jumbo-Visma in the Tour
Jonas Vingegaard will defend his title in the Tour de France in this summer. While Primoz Roglič has been selected for the Giro d’Italia, the Dane is leading Jumbo-Visma in the Tour de France. The team announced the decision during the presentation.

“My wish was to return to the Tour de France, to defend my title,” said Vingegaard. “I’m happy to come back, we’re going for another win. It will of course be different from last year. On the one hand there is more pressure, but on the other hand there is not. I have already won the Tour. If that doesn’t happen again, I can still be proud of what I did.”

Merijn Zeeman also says that Vingegaard will start in the Tour to win again. “We figured out last year how to beat Pogačar. We know his strength and the points where Jonas is superior to him. We return to the Tour with a good plan and we believe that we can go for the yellow again with Jonas,” said Jumbo-Visma’s sporting manager.

Besides Vingegaard, Dylan van Baarle and Wout van Aert are also in the pre-selection of the Dutch team for the Tour de France. Tiesj Benoot also expressed his hope to start. It is not yet known which races Vingegaard will ride in preparation for the Tour de France as the rest of his program has not yet been revealed.

Vingegaard back to the Tour to win:
tdf22st21

 

uae
UAE Team Emirates Matures Jan Christen with Hagens Berman Axeon
Jan Christen has signed a contract from 2023 to 2027 with UAE Team Emirates this year, but the Swiss top talent will not join the team immediately. The 18-year-old Christen will race next season at Hagens Berman Axeon, the American development team of Axel Merckx.

Christen was under contract with Pogi Team, a youth team founded by Tadej Pogačar, and won the junior cyclo-cross World title in January 2022. UAE Team Emirates then decided to sign the Swiss rider, but not directly to the WorldTeam. The plan was to let Christen “develop within the structure of the team”. UAE Team Emirates has now changed their mind on that plan.

“For me, Hagens Berman Axeon is the best place to develop and gain experience that I will need in the future,” said Christen. “I can win all types of races, whether it’s on the flat, with hills or in the mountains. I like tough races in which I can race offensively. I like to push my limits and hurt other riders, especially on steep climbs.”

The all-rounder, who is also good on the track, as a time trialist and mountain biker, knows that his future lies in the WorldTour. “I want to prepare myself perfectly for that step to UAE Emirates after the Tour de l’Avenir,” said the Swiss rider. “My main goals for next season are the spring classics and after that I want to be in top form for the Giro U23 and the Tour de l’Avenir.”

Jan Christen to Hagens Berman Axeon before UAE Team Emirates:
Jan Christen

 

australia
Richie Porte Thinks Chris Froome and Tadej Pogačar are Psychological Beasts
Richie Porte said goodbye to his professional cycling career this season. The Australian rode at the highest level for many years, so he has been through a lot. “I’ve always doubted my abilities,” Porte said in an interview with L’Equipe. “That’s just how I am,” continued 37 year-old Porte. “I have quite low self-esteem, I never saw myself as one of the best riders. I was thinking about things all the time. My best days were often after a puncture at a bad time or a crash at the start of the day, then it was just all or nothing.”

Porte also could get annoyed with riders who would talk endlessly about nutrition: “That was exhausting. I myself have always been better when I was a kilo above my supposed competition weight, I just felt better then. You can’t deny that human element, you have to feel ready to take the fight. Take Chris Froome, when he was top, or Tadej Pogačar, those guys are just psychological beasts.”

With Team Sky and INEOS Grenadiers, Porte rode in a team where marginal gains played a major role. Still, the Australian tried to avoid a number of things. “I was never the type to weigh my food. If I wanted a burger and a beer, I wasn’t going to deny it. Whether that has cost me major victories, that human approach? Probably yes. I never won a Grand Tour for some reason. Maybe I let other people influence me too much or was too concerned with what people thought of me. I never had that win-or-die attitude.”

Richie Porte: “I’ve always doubted my abilities,”
dauphine

 

uae
Joao Almeida will Go for the Giro in 2023, Along with Jay Vine
Joao Almeida will start the Giro d’Italia for the fourth time in 2023. The Portuguese rider previously expressed his wish to participate in the Italian stage race again, but has now confirmed to TopCycling that he will participate. After that, he will not go to the Tour de France to support Tadej Pogačar: Almeida’s Tour debut is scheduled for 2024.

The 24-year-old Almeida wore pink in his first Tour of Italy, in 2020, and eventually finished fourth overall. Sixth place followed a year later. In 2022 he was sitting in fourth place again, but had to abandon after seventeen stages due to covid. The UAE Team Emirates rider will return next year to take revenge. He hopes to ride top three, but his team believes that winning is possible.

In addition to Almeida, Diego Ulissi, Alessandro Covi and Jay Vine are also sure of a place in the Giro team. The Portuguese rider is the undisputed leader, said team manager Joxean Fernández. “It is not the intention to only take pure domestiques, but Joao Almeida is the leader. There is no discussion about that. There is always a lot of respect for the leader and the riders who have a domestique role with us also have a considerable honours list themselves,” says Matxín.

In the spring, Almeida will race a lot with those who will be with him in the Giro d’Italia. “The riders who come with me to the Giro will often ride with me in the preparation races,” said the Portuguese rider. “Jay Vine, for example, rides the Volta ao Algarve, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Catalonia just like me. This is important to get to know each other better in the race.”

Almeida wants to put everything on the Giro one more time, but he has other plans for the future. “In 2024 I will turn the page and do the Tour de France. That race is one level above the Giro and the Vuelta. When I do the Tour, I will also ride the Critérium du Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse. The calendar will then change a bit, so that it does not become too monotonous.”

The Giro again for Almeida:
Joao Almeida

 

wanty
Jan Bakelants Retires
Jan Bakelants will not be in the professional peloton next year. The 36-year-old Belgian announced his retirement as a professional cyclist on Saturday on Sporza TV. “I am retiring from professional cycling. It’s official now and it’s time to let everyone know.”

“It was not an easy decision and the process has grown,” continued Bakelants, who has raced for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert since 2020. “During the Tour I was told that I could not stay with the team, after my stage victory in the Tour of Wallonia at the end of July things really started to ripen. It’s not a hasty decision. I didn’t take any chances and I made that decision in consultation with my family. It feels good.”

“I did not actively look for a team,” he continued. “If something came my way, I would have listened to it. There have been casual contacts, but I never really agreed with the terms. I decided it a while ago, but I’ve continued to live like a pro until now. It would be bad to change those habits right away, but it’s time to wrap up this chapter.”

Bakelants says that he saw his stage victory in the Tour de Wallonie as ‘the end of a difficult chapter’. “After my bad fall in the Tour of Lombardy in 2017, I tried to win for a long time. We are now five years later and I have often searched fruitlessly for that déclic. That was my cross that I had to carry and it was quite heavy. But with that win I shrugged that off. There were a lot of emotions involved.”

The fact that he stops does not mean that Bakelants has had enough of cycling. “No, absolutely not. I still love cycling and I will continue to do so. If I haven’t cycled for two days, I miss it too. The future brings a different approach with few obligations. The pleasure will count more. I will be 37 years old in February. That’s also a good age to retire. I also don’t stop when the lemon has been squeezed to the last drop. I just don’t have the psyche to spend years chasing where I’m sportingly irrelevant. I stop at a time when things were still going well.”

What will Jan Bakelants do in the future? “I don’t have a concrete plan yet. Fortunately, I have the luxury that I can probably choose what I will do and that I don’t have to do anything against my will. I will certainly not make a hasty decision and I will calmly watch what comes next. Although you often have to look for happiness and success a bit. I have a wide range of interests and it may be time to broaden horizons without cutting ties with the sport.”

We may see him back in the race someday. “It’s no secret that the adrenaline of management really appeals to me,” he says. “Team manager, that’s less for me, but managing the broad horizon of a team and taking it to a higher level, looking for money, contact with the rider and developing a career: that appeals to me very much.”

Bakelants won seven times in his professional career. The first victory was on June 30, 2013, when he won the second stage of the Tour de France, he also wore the yellow thanks to that victory. It was the highlight of his career, he confirmed to Sporza.

Afterwards, Bakelants was the best in the Grand Prix de Wallonie (2013), a stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné (2014), the Giro del Piemonte (2015), the Giro dell’Emilia (2015), a stage in La Méditerrané (2016) and the final stage of the Ethias-Tour de Wallonie, last summer.

Jan Bakelants to stop:
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Benjamin Declercq Ends his Career
Benjamin Declercq has given up the search for a new team. The 28-year-old Belgian raced for Arkéa-Samsic this year, but wasn’t offered a contract extension and has now decided to put an end to his career.

Benjamin Declercq, the brother of Soudal – Quick-Step rider Tim Declercq, announced his retirement on social media. “Once upon a time there was a little boy. His biggest dream was to become a professional cyclist. He was over the moon when his dream came true. A professional career followed with ups and downs. When he had to let go of his dream after sixteen years, he should be happy, but unfortunately that is not entirely the case.”

“The diagnosis of a blood clot in my left leg was definitely the biggest setback of my career. After a successful operation I was finally free of physical problems. I had the feeling that the best was yet to come, but unfortunately there was no longer any faith in me,” continued Declercq. “It is very difficult to keep fighting like before, if there is no respect and appreciation for the work you do.”

“I now say goodbye to cycling with many fond memories and friendships that have continued through the years. I want to thank everyone who helped me along the way, especially my friends, family and girlfriend. It is now time for something completely new with a job at Deloitte (financial services), where I can still help riders with their accounting. I hope to find some of the same passion I have for cycling.”

Declercq started his professional career in 2017 at Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and after three seasons switched to the French Arkéa-Samsic team. The Belgian was unable to take a professional victory in his career, but he did collect some places of honour and was a valued domestique. However, Arkéa-Samsic decided not to renew his contract after three seasons. Declercq says he was a victim of the battle for promotion and relegation to the WorldTour.

Greg Van Avermaet leads Tim Declercq and Benjamin Declercq:

 

jumbo-visma
Jumbo-Visma Wants to Win the Giro d’Italia with Roglič and Kelderman
Jumbo-Visma heads to the Giro d’Italia with Primož Roglič and Wilco Kelderman. The Slovenian is the leader in the first Grand Tour of the year and the Dutchman will support him. The team will be at the start with the ambition to win, said Merijn Zeeman during the team presentation. It is very unlikely Primož Roglič would start the Tour de France.

Merijn Zeeman says that this plan has been thought about for a long time. According to him, the course of the Giro d’Italia is ideally suited for Primož Roglič, who finished third in the Italian stage race in 2019. Roglič has an account to settle with the Giro. “This is the perfect year to go for it,” said Zeeman. With Wilco Kelderman, Roglič has a team captain in Italy. “When you have Wilco next to you, you can have a lot of confidence.”

Jan Tratnik will also assist his compatriot Roglič in the Giro d’Italia. Before that, he will ride some Classics in the spring. He mentions the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo. After that he also rides the Tour of Catalonia.

Primož Roglič will ride the Tour of Italy, but not the Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard is the leader of the Jumbo-Visma team in the french Grand Tour, said Merijn Zeeman. The Dane defends his title there. “Of course a team with both Jonas and Primoz would be stronger, but we are confident that we can win the race that way. And we have the same ambition for the Giro. That race is also very important to us.”

Roglič said the Giro a race “that I love, but that I have not won yet.” This fall, Roglic rode the Tour of Spain, where he crashed hard and had to give up. At the beginning of October he underwent surgery on his shoulder. “I am still recovering from that procedure, but I hope to be in good shape again in May. In any case, I will do everything I can to succeed.”

Roglič heading for the Giro:
vuelta22st9

 

lotto dstny
Stéphane Heulot to be Lotto Dstny CEO
Lotto Dstny has found a new CEO, the French newspaper Le Télégramme reported on Thursday and was confirmed by the team on Friday. The new team boss will be ex-rider Stéphane Heulot. The now 51-year-old Heulot, who rode for Banesto, Gan and La Française des Jeux during his racing career, is the successor to John Lelangue.

Heulot rode for several top teams and was known as a good climber and won stages in Paris-Nice and the Étoile de Bessèges in his career. He was also the winner of the Tour du Limousin, the GP Cholet and La Polynormande and he was also French road champion in 1996. Heulot’s best performance was in the 1996 Tour de France where he wore the yellow jersey for three days, but on the seventh stage to Les Arcs, he had to give up due to knee problems with the yellow jersey still on his shoulders.

Heulot started his own team after his career, Besson Chaussures. This team later grew into Saur-Sojasun and then Sojasun, and took part in the Tour de France several times. In 2019 he became the ‘European manager’ of the American Rally Cycling team. Now Heulot, who has been living in Belgium for years and speaks Flemish, will be the new CEO of Lotto Dstny.

Lotto Dstny, now Lotto Soudal, has been looking for a new general manager for some time, after it was announced in September that John Lelangue would leave. Lelangue had been the general manager of the Belgian squad since 2019. In recent months, Axel Merckx, Andrei Tchmil and Frank Glorieux, the former CEO of Cycling Flanders, had been mentioned as possible candidates.

Stéphane Heulot: “I am very honoured to get the confidence of the Captains of Cycling Board of Directors and become a part of this beautiful team, based in the heartland of cycling. As a rider, I have spent hours and hours in the peloton with the Lotto riders. During all those years, it has always been clear what this team stands for: passion, striving for excellence, ethics in sportsmanship, riding for success and with bravery. We are facing a challenging time, but I am ready to take on the responsibility to lead us towards the next chapter. Like me, the Lotto Dstny team has always had a strong focus on talent development. Helping the women’s team take the next steps, is a challenge I very much look forward to as well. Thanks to its unique structure, Lotto Dstny has a very strong fanbase. Some of our fans are even shareholders. I look forward to meeting each of them in the upcoming general assembly of the Captains of Cycling.”

“With the support of the strong, reliable and loyal sponsors of the team – Lotto, the historical partner of the team, and Dstny the newcomer – I want us to get results and win races. The sponsors believe in this team to increase their reputation in Belgium and abroad and I am convinced we can give back to them what they give to this team. There is a group of strong and talented riders, supported by sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer, the performance team, the medical team, the trainers, sports directors, soigneurs, mechanics, administrative team and all the suppliers. It will be an honour to lead all of them. All those years in cycling and the fact that I have been living in Belgium for the past years, have taught me where the heart of cycling beats. As general manager, I will be the biggest fan of Lotto Dstny with the ambition to bring it back to the WorldTour and to guarantee its bright future for the next decades.”

NEW Top man at Lotto Dstny: Stéphane Heulot:
stéphane heulot

 

jumbo-visma
Jumbo-Visma On Using SRAM
The Jumbo-Visma team is switching to SRAM in 2023, the Dutch team confirmed at their presentation. Jumbo-Visma says goodbye to Shimano after just over 25 years.

Since the foundation of the Rabobank team in 1996, Shimano has been involved in the Dutch team as an equipment sponsor. Even when the team had to continue as Blanco after 2012, Shimano remained unconditionally loyal to Richard Plugge’s team during this difficult period. Because Shimano’s European headquarters has been located in the Netherlands for many years (first Nunspeet, now Eindhoven), there have always been strong ties between the team and the company.

After SRAM made an offer last summer to become Jumbo-Visma’s new material sponsor, Shimano quickly indicated that this amount was too high for them. And so a long collaboration came to an end, and it is also the beginning of a new cooperative. Jumbo-Visma’s mechanics and technical staff members have a big job to do, since almost 180 bicycles have to be converted before 1 January 2023.

“Within Team Jumbo-Visma we are constantly looking for ways to improve and we firmly believe that this step will take us further. We have the opportunity to develop team-specific materials together with SRAM and take our performance to the next level,” explained performance manager Mathieu Heijboer in a press release.

Richard Plugge, general manager of Team Jumbo-Visma, adds: “In order to perform at the highest level, all factors must be optimal. In terms of materials, we are ready for the next step in our development. Together with SRAM we can take this step.”

The move to SRAM also opens up new options for wheel, pedal and shoe choice, all previously Shimano. The team will now ride on Reserve wheels in the new season and the shoes will be supplied by Nimbl from 1 January. Speedplay will be the supplier of the pedals and Oakley will supply the glasses.

New kit for Jumbo-Visma:
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cynisca
Cynisca Cycling Announces Bike, Equipment for the 2023 Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for building bikes for Cynisca Cycling’s (CYN-USA) inaugural season. Cynisca’s jolly Technical Director John Gatch and his elves were busy assembling the team’s initial fleet of bikes for the 2023 season. Cynisca Cycling, a UCI-registered Women’s Continental team, announced partnerships with Ventum for frames, Shimano for groupsets and wheels, Vittoria for tires, WTB for saddles and Arundel Bicycle Company for tape, cages and bags. The Cynisca team will wear Lazer helmets, Mumu Apparel kits and Shimano shoes and glasses.

“We are extremely proud and grateful for the confidence these companies are showing for the Cynisca team and vision in our first season,” said Chris Gutowsky, team co-founder and general manager. “They are putting their support behind not only the athletes but also the behind the belief that women’s cycling deserves sponsorship from the best suppliers in the world.”

ventum
Cynisca will race Ventum NS1 bikes with Shimano drivetrain, brakes and wheels (not pictured)

The team will train and race on cobalt blue Ventum NS1 frames. These frames shatter the notion that a road bike must be either lightweight or aerodynamic. Every element of the Ventum NS1 has been optimised for maximum aerodynamic performance, and yet fully configured, it weighs about 14.9 pounds. Learn more at https://ventumracing.com/bikes/road/.

The frames will be equipped with Shimano drivetrains, brakes, pedals, power meters and wheels. With more than 100 years of experience and innovative research, Shimano products are known for being lighter, faster, stronger and more reliable. https://road.shimano.com/us/.

Shimano will also supply the team with comfort and quality from head to toe with Shimano glasses and shoes and Lazer helmets. Like Shimano, Lazer has been at the front of the race for more than 100 years, leading the industry in innovation, design, safety and technology. https://lazersport.us/.

The bikes will meet the road on tires by Vittoria, the world’s leading brand of performance bicycle tires and accessories, known for its unique graphene-enhanced compounds and advanced cotton & nylon casings. Many professional road teams confidently count on the quality and reliability of Vittoria tires in all conditions.

Rounding out the bikes will be WTB saddles and Arundel Bicycle parts. Different options of WTB saddles will provide the comfort needed for long training rides or races. https://www.wtb.com/ The final touches include bar tape, bottle cages and seat bags from Arundel Bicycle Company. https://www.arundelbike.com/.

 

wanty
Nalini Presents the 2023 Kit of Team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty
Thanks to the new kit of Italian brand Nalini, the riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will continue to distinguish themselves in the peloton in 2023.

For a second year in a row, the jersey and bib shorts of the World Team directed by Jean-François Bourlart are presented by the clothing manufacturer from Mantova, which is known for being on the cutting edge of technology and for dressing the most prestigious teams and the best riders in the world.

The neon yellow and dark blue colours, traditional and characteristic for the team’s identity, have been harmonised in a modern and sophisticated design from Belgian designer stycle.design.

wanty

As the first title partner, Intermarché stays omnipresent on the jersey. For the first time, the logo also appears on the back of the bib shorts. Circus, who occupied this place since 2017, now moves to the centre of the jersey as new title partner, above the logo of Wanty.

The sides of the bib shorts remain unchanged, with the presence of Bière des Amis 0.0% on the right leg and Vini Zabù on the left leg. The logo of Groupe Gobert Matériaux, which sponsors the team of Jean-François Bourlart since 2001, stays visible both on the front and the back side of the jersey.

The predominant white colour on the shoulders and the upper part of the back offers an adequate visibility to each sponsor, like Wallonie, tile distributor Pierre & Sol, expert in reusable cups and solutions Re-Uz and historical partners Technord, Full Services and Digital Interim. The logo of Belgian sparkling wine Ruffus stays on the collar.

The breast of the jersey reveals the collaboration with two new technical partners, more specifically helmet and glasses partner Uvex and cycling shoe specialist Gaerne, accompanied by the logos of Cube, Bryton, Nalini and Ford Steveny.

Biniam Girmay Hailu (Eritrea) and Rein Taaramäe (Estonia), the current national time trial champions of their respective countries, will wear a custom aerosuit in all time trials in which they will participate.

The new kit produced by Nalini also honours the former road race champions. The rainbow stripes decorate the sleeves of former world champion Rui Costa, just like the champion’s bands on the jerseys of Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway), Louis Meintjes (South-Africa) and Rein Taaramäe (Estonia) refer to their achieved national titles.

Nalini is an Italian clothing manufacturer founded on the passion of the brothers Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani in the sixties. With a special care for details, Nalini went through the cycling history dressing great champions like Fignon, Bugno, Chiapucci, Indurain or Pantani, thanks to the ongoing follow-up on the technical innovations to stay on the cutting edge of textile modernity. Nalini is a brand of factory MoaSport, which is still directed by Claudio Mantovani and produces its clothing line in its historical headquarters of Castel d’Ario (Mantova) to always defend ‘Made in Italy’.

Gerben Thijssen: “I’m pleased to discover our traditional colours on this new original and playful design! The collaboration of all our technical partners resulted in a successful composition around this new cycling jersey produced by Nalini. Each year, we continue making steps on the visual aspect, just like on a performance level. The collaboration with partners like Nalini, which don’t overlook any detail, pushes us forward. Each rider receives a personalised and tailor-made kit. In 2022, the interaction with our sprinters, among whom Alexander Kristoff, led to the development of a faster sprint suit. I know that other projects to improve our aerodynamics and safety are currently in the pipeline. Our bright colours play an essential role for our visibility on the roads and enable us to distinguish ourselves in the peloton every day!”

Claudio Mantovani (Founder Nalini): “For 2023, we unreservedly reaffirm our support for Team Intermarchè-Circus-Wanty, which in 2022 has been an amazing revelation for us, to say the least. Indeed, in its second World Tour year, it won an impressive 24 victories, and we can’t help but feel a surge of pride for the talent and perseverance it has shown on the field, as well as for the values that unite us, such as the strong link with the territory and the roots. Just like Nalini, which has been producing cycling apparel in Italy for more than 50 years.”

wanty

 

san juan
Vuelta a San Juan: No Time Trial, but Mountain Stage to 2,624 Meters
The Vuelta a San Juan (2.Pro) has announced the route for the 2023 edition. The Argentinian stage race, from January 22 to 29, will probably be decided on stages four and five, as there is a lot of climbing. In 2023, the Vuelta a San Juan will not have a time trial.

The last edition of the Vuelta a San Juan was in 2020, just before the outbreak of the covid crisis. The overall victory went to Remco Evenepoel, who seized the lead in the time trail on day three. Evenepoel, current World champion, will also start this season in Argentina.

The Vuelta a San Juan will start on Sunday 22 January with a flat stage to and from San Juan. Stage two goes through the mid-mountain range, after which it will probably be the turn of the sprinters on day three. The fourth stage has a difficult middle section as the Alto de la Virgen de Andacollo at 2,219 metres is halfway through the stage. In the final they also have to climb the Barreal.

A rest day follows on Thursday, after which the race continues on Friday with the Queen stage. The 173.7 kilometre stage goes over several climbs to the Alto del Colorado (18.9km at 4.4%). In 2020 there was also a finish on this 2,624 meter high mountain, Miguel Eduardo Flórez finished ahead of Óscar Sevilla and Brandon McNulty. Evenepoel finished fifth that day, 4 seconds behind the winner. The winner of the eight day race will have to be at the front on this stage. The last two stages are flat.

In addition to Soudal – Quick-Step, INEOS Grenadiers, Trek-Segafredo, BORA-hansgrohe, Astana Qazaqstan and TotalEnergies will participate. Filippo Ganna and probably Egan Bernal will start for INEOS Grenadiers, TotalEnergies will send Peter Sagan and Movistar will go to Argentina with new signing. Fernando Gaviria.

Vuelta a San Juan 2023 Stages (January 22-29):
01/22 – Stage 1: San Juan – San Juan (143.9km)
23/01 – Stage 2: Valle Fertil – Jáchal (201.1km)
24/01 – Stage 3: Villicum Autodrome – Villicum Autodrome (170.9km)
25/01 – Stage 4: Villicum Autodrome – Barreal (196.5km)
26/01 – Rest day
27/01 – Stage 5: Chimbas – Alto del Colorado (173.7km)
28/01 – Stage 6: Vicente Chancay Velodrome – Vicente Chancay Velodrome (144.9km)
29/01 – Stage 7: San Juan – San Juan (112km)

No TT for Remco in San Juan 2023:
evenepoel

 

valencia
Tour of Valencia 2023 has Two Summit Finishes
The organisers of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana has revealed the route for the next edition, from the 1st to the 5th of February. Two stages will have uphill finishes.

The 74th edition of the Tour of Valencia will start on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 with a stage between Orihuela and Altea. The stage has a lot of climbing, with two serious climbs in the second half of the stage. The finish should see a sprint, as the top of the last climb, is 35 kilometres to Altea.

The second stage, from Novelda to Alto de Pinos, is for the climbers. The stage itself isn’t too hard, although there are several climbs on the route, but the sting in the tail. In the final kilometres the gradient rises above 10% at times. Day three to Sagunto will probably go to a sprinter.

On the penultimate stage the overall victory will probably be decided. The fourth stage is probably the Queen stage due to the amount of climbing and the finish is on the tough Alto de la Cueva Santa. The final stage goes from Paterna to the City of Valencia. There are two climbs along the way, but the last one is roughly 40 kilometres from the finish on flat roads.

Aleksandr Vlasov won the Tour of Valencia this year. The BORA-hansgrohe rider beat Remco Evenepoel and Carlos Rodríguez.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2023 (February 1-5)
01/02 – Stage 1: Orihuela – Altea
02/02 – Stage 2: Novelda – Alto de Pinos
03/02 – Stage 3: Betera – Sagunto
04/02 – Stage 4: Burriana – Alto de la Cueva Santa
05/02 – Stage 5: Paterna – Valencia.

2022 winner Aleksandr Vlasov:
valencia22 st3

 

besseges
Eight WorldTour Teams for the Étoile de Bessèges
The organisers of the Étoile de Bessèges has announced the teams for 2023. The stage race will take place from 2 to 6 February next year.

The field of participants of the 53rd edition of the Étoile de Bèsseges consists of twenty teams. In addition to four Continental formations and eight ProTeams, eight WorldTeams are also participating. Four of them from France: Arkéa-Samsic, AG2R Citroën, Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ. Alpecin-Deceuninck, EF Education-EasyPost, INEOS Grenadiers and Trek-Segafredo are the other top level teams present. Lotto Dstny and Israel-Premier Tech, who were relegated from the WorldTour last season, are also present.

As in previous years, the French multi-day race starts with a stage around Bellegarde. Then there are stages to Aubais, Bessèges and Mont Bouquet. The race traditionally concludes with an individual time trial around Alès. Benjamin Thomas won the Étoile in 2022.

L’Étoile de Bessèges 2023 (February 1-5) Stages:
01/02 – Stage 1: Bellegarde – Bellegarde (162.2km)
02/02 – Stage 2: Bagard – Aubais (169.9km)
03/02 – Stage 3: Bessèges – Bessèges (169.7km)
04/02 – Stage 4: Saint-Hilaire-de-Brethmas – Mont Bouquet (147.5km)
05/02 – Stage 5: Alès – Alès (ITT, 10.7km)

WolrdTour Teams:
AG2R Citroen
Alpecin-Deceuninck
Arkea-Samsic
Cofidis
EF Education-EasyPost
Groupama-FDJ
INEOS Grenadiers
Trek-Segafredo

ProTeams:
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Equipo Kern Pharma
Israel-Premier Tech
Lotto Dstny
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
TotalEnergies
Uno-X

ProContinental:
CIC U-Nantes Atlantique
Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole
Nice Métropole Cote d’Azur
St. Michel-Mavic-Auber93.

2022 winner Benjamin Thomas:
besseges22st5

 

medellin
Another Year for Óscar Sevilla with Team Medellin-EPM
Oscar Sevilla will continue to race in 2023. The 46 year-old Spaniard, who turned professional with Kelme-Costa Blanca in 1998, has extended his contract with Team Medellin-EPM for another year, the team announced via social media.

“I have signed up with the Medellin team for an extra year to keep racing,” Sevilla said in a video message. “I am happy to continue the adventure within this family, this great team that grows every year. If all goes well, the Vuelta a San Juan will be my first race of the season.” The Vuelta a San Juan runs from January 22 to 29.

Sevilla, second in the Vuelta a España 2001, has been riding for Medellin since 2017. In his six years for the Colombian Continental team, he won the Vuelta a San Juan after the original winner Gonzalo Najar lost the win due to a positive dope test. Sevilla didn’t have any victories last season, but in 2021 he was the best in a time trial in the Tour of Táchira and the prologue of the Tour of Colombia.

Sevilla still racing:
Buga - Colombia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Oscar Sevilla and Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA (Columbia / Team Sky) pictured during the 2018 1st Colombia Oro y Paz stage 3 - from Palmira to Buga (163.2KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

 

israel
Room for one more: Nick Schultz signs with IPT
Israel – Premier Tech’s 2023 rider roster has grown to 29 riders with the arrival of Nick Schultz in a last-minute deal.

Although the IPT roster was considered complete with the signing of Stevie Williams in early December, the team didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sign the 28 year-old Australian climber, explains IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström.

“We are very happy to have found room for Nick Schultz in the team for the 2023 season. Like Stevie Williams, Nick came onto the rider market late in the off season but he was a rider we were immediately interested in. Nick is a great climber and will provide key support for our GC and Classics leaders while also pursuing his own ambitions, something he proved is well within his reach having narrowly missed a Tour de France stage win this year in his debut participation. We look forward to helping Nick continue to grow as a rider and take on an important role in the team,” says Carlström.

“I am especially pleased to welcome Nick Schultz to our team. He is a solid and versatile professional who can contribute in a variety of ways. Moreover, he’s known to be an excellent teammate, which will fit well with our team culture. Welcome to IPT, Nick!”, adds IPT owner Sylvan Adams.

Schultz claimed his first pro win on home soil at the Herald Sun Tour in 2019 and followed it with a summit finish win at Sazka Tour in 2021, with both victories confirming his climbing capabilities.

With his one-year deal with IPT secured late in the year, Schultz is motivated to hit the ground running in his new colours in 2023, in what will be his seventh year as a pro.

“I’m really grateful to IPT for offering me a contract so late in the year. I’m very excited to join a group of great people where I’ll find some familiar faces. I hope to play an important role in helping the team wherever I can and also be ambitious trying to achieve some results to repay the confidence that the team showed in me. All in all, I’m just really looking forward to being with everybody at the races and getting stuck in,” says Schultz.

Schultz will join his teammates as the next pre-season training camp in Spain in January.

Nick Schultz to IPT:
tdf22st10

 

arkea
Kévin Vauquelin Extends to the End of 2025 with Arkéa-Samsic
Kévin Vauquelin has extended his contract with Arkéa-Samsic. The 21 year-old Frenchman, who finished second in the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour Poitou-Charentes, will be with the WorldTeam until the end of 2025.

Vauquelin was a trainee with the French ProTeam in 2020 and 2021, after which he signed a professional contract as a neo-pro for 2022 and 2023. Two more years will now be added for the talented rider. “With director Emmanuel Hubert and the management of the team, we have established a career path that should allow me to continue to progress, with the desire to perform better and better,” Vauquelin said.

“The contract extension also gives me peace of mind, because I can work on a solid basis for the future,” said Vauquelin. “My contract also lasts through all three years of the team in the WorldTour. That gives us the opportunity to grow together. I’m 21, still a neo-pro, and I know I can’t ride all the big races. But now I do get the chance to expand my program every year.”

Arkéa-Samsic has also extended the contract of Matîs Louvel (23) until the end of 2024. He has been driving for the team since 2020 and surprised this year with a win in the Druivenkoers-Overijse. Louvel was eager to stay and repay Hubert’s trust. “The classic core is expanded every year with a lot of quality and experience. I feel the enthusiasm for spring and that motivates me, and I’m also looking forward to stage races and grand tours,” he says.

Kévin Vauquelin with Arkéa-Samsic to the end of 2025:
Kévin Vauquelin

 

arkea
Yara Kastelijn Extends with Fenix-Deceuninck to the End of 2026
Cyclo-cross rider, Yara Kastelijn has extended her contract with Fenix-Deceuninck up to and including 2026.

“I am very proud of this extension,” she said in a press release. “I feel at home with this team and for me that is the key to success. In addition, I am well supervised here. I am convinced that I can get even better. This team has a good future and I want to be part of it.”

The 25-year-old cyclocross rider has not done much cross this season. Two weeks ago she finished third in the Robotland Cyclo-cross in Essen.

Yara Kastelijn with Fenix-Deceuninck to the end of 2026:
ronse

 

black
Former World Champion Vittorio Adorni has Passed Away
Former cyclist Vittorio Adorni died early on the Saturday morning of the 24th of December. The 85 years-old Italian was World road champion in 1968.

Adorni was a professional from 1961 to 1970. In his ten-year career, he won eleven stages in the Tour of Italy and in 1965 he won the Giro overall. He also finished second in the Giro in 1963 and 1968. He also won the Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie (twice). He rode the Tour de France three times, but only once made it to Paris. In 1964 he was tenth in La Grande Boucle.

Adorni won the 1968 World road championships in Imola in an impressive manor. Herman Van Springel, who finished second, was almost ten minutes behind the Italian. Adorni rode for Faema that year, but moved to Scic in the winter. He ended his career with that team in 1970.

He retired as a rider after that year, but did not leave the race. Until 1973 he was sports director at Salvarani, an Italian team for which he had raced for three years. He then became president of the Italian cyclists’ union and started working as a cycling commentator at the RAI. From 2001 he was on the board of the UCI for many years.

Vittoria Adorni – RIP Champion:
adorni


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