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A lot has been happening in the Giro d’Italia, two stages, big win for Biniam Girmay and the dangers of Prosecco – TOP STORY, plus Giro boss Vegni wants to solve podium problems. Other news: INEOS, Movistar and EF Education all want Richard Carapaz. Team news: Alpecin-Fenix to become Alpecin-Deceuninck and join WorldTour, Patrick Lefevere signs Tim Merlier, no knee problems for Primoz Roglič, Davide Cassani to present his new team and DSM extend with Pfeiffer Georgi and Charlotte Kool. Rider news: Philippe Gilbert gets married, Arturo Grávalos makes a statement on his health and Deborah Shumway passes away. *** Don’t forget Ukraine. ***
TOP STORY: Valerio Piva: “We beat one of the greatest riders”
Valerio Piva, DS of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team, was very happy after the victory of his rider Biniam Girmay in the tenth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday. The Eritrean beat Mathieu van der Poel in the sprint from a thinned peloton in Jesi.
“It’s amazing, I can’t believe it yet,” Piva said after the stage. “We had been thinking about this stage for several days and tried to motivate the whole team this morning. I saw a great team around Bini and he finished it off in a great sprint against a champion like Van der Poel. This win is very important. We beat one of the greatest riders.”
The former Italian professional told his riders, that in the final of the stage they should stay together and ride with Girmay. “Domenico Pozzovivo and Lorenzo Rota did a great job closing all the gaps, because there was still a lot of attacking in the final. Bini missed a corner and that caused some panic for a while, but he was able to return. I am very happy. This win means a lot for the sport. We see a new continent at the top and that is the future. I think this victory is important for cycling in Africa,” said Piva.
“This is amazing! Since the start of this Giro, we were convinced that a stage victory was possible. Day after day, our riders gave a lot to achieve this and as staff members we motivated them a lot. We knew that a victory was coming and our patience was rewarded with intense happiness. This victory is from Biniam, but belongs to the whole team. Our collective strength made the difference today. Our riders had the whole race under control, including the final climb where the acceleration of Domenico Pozzovivo eliminated the fastest sprinters. The final kilometres made me very nervous. We were expecting a duel between Biniam Girmay and Mathieu van der Poel, but we didn’t have any tv images anymore. I could only listen to radio information and encourage our riders to work together. Afterwards, I saw how Biniam concluded the team’s work. What an effort, what a victory!”
Important for cycling in Africa – Girmay and Tesfatsion:
Biniam Girmay Withdraws from the Giro
Biniam Girmay did not appear at the start of the eleventh stage of the Tour of Italy in Santarcangelo di Romagna on Wednesday. The winner of the tenth stage, on Tuesday in Jesi, was victim of an incident on the podium. His left eye was hit and after the podium ceremony the Eritrean rider was immediately taken to the hospital in Jesi for medical examinations. These revealed damage in the left eye, which require the utmost care and rest.
So in consultation with the medical and sportive staff, the decision has been made that Biniam Girmay will not start stage 11. He is leaving with a stage victory, a second place and three other top five finishes. Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux stays ambitious for this 105th edition of the Giro, with a selection that is able to chase more stage victories and is aiming to finish with one rider in the top ten of the final classification.
Piet Daneels (Team Doctor): “Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay. His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days. In order to minimise the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure, it is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that’s why we decided together with the rider and the sports direction that Biniam will not appear at the start of the eleventh stage.”
Valerio Piva (Sports Director): “From the opening stage, Biniam Girmay showed that we were right to believe in our chances to win a stage. It is remarkable to see how his teammates go though fire each day to obtain the best possible result and how happy everyone is to work with him. So his victory brought out an intense feeling of euphoria within the team. The news about the incident felt like a cold shower, but Biniam joined us now and we celebrated the victory together.”
“It is of course a pity to loose an element like Biniam, but the advice of the medical team is clear and the health of Biniam is our priority. However, I stay optimistic because the whole team is making an excellent impression since the start of the race. Rein Taaramäe, for example, proved on the Etna that we can be in the mix for the stage win by anticipating, just like last year. I also saw that several riders grew during the first week. In each of the next stages, we’ll try to seize opportunities.”
“We’ll also continue to focus on the general classification of Domenico Pozzovivo. With his current form and his experience, his chances to finish among the ten best riders are realistic. With Jan Hirt we even have a second rider in the top fifteen of the provisional classification and in the past we have seen that his best performances occur in the third week. This Wednesday we will start with one asset less, but our determination remains unchanged!!”
Biniam Girmay leaves the Giro d’Italia with a stage victory, a second place and three other top five finishes.
Giro d’Italia 2022
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Biniam Girmay showed his best sprint to beat Mathieu van der Poel at the end of a tough final 20 kilometres of Stage 10 to Jesi. The finalé was an exciting toe-to-toe battle of the top men with the Eritrean making history again.
On the route to the finish in Jesi, the race crossed Filottrano as a tribute to Michele Scarponi. An intermediate sprint was also in the hometown of the climber who died in 2017.
The battle for the break of the day came right from the gun and the pace was immediately high. A leading group with three men formed with Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën), Mattia Bais (Drone Hopper) and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech), the peloton then eased off. The escape worked hard to get as much of a lead as possible and had 6 minutes after 55 kilometres. The peloton slowly but surely accelerated and the difference started to shrink. Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, for Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Girmay, rode at the front of the peloton. Lotto Soudal were also seen for Caleb Ewan. In Civitanova Marche the lead was 4:30 as the hilly second half of the stage started. Christopher Juul-Jensen broke away from the large group on the climb of Civitanova Alta. The BikeExchange-Jayco rider, a teammate of Simon Yates, eventually had to drop back to the bunch. Caleb Ewan ran into problems with 78 kilometres to go, he and his team thought he had a chance for victory on this stage. At the same time Richard Carapaz crashed. The INEOS Grenadiers leader, fourth overall, fell into the grass, but was quickly able to regain the peloton. After Juul-Jensen had tried it alone for a while on the climb of Civitanova Alta, Astana’s David De la Cruz also tried to get away. The Spaniard’s escape attempt on the Recanati climb was also short-lived.
With 55 kilometres to go, the lead had shrunk to about 2:30, Mathieu van der Poel had a problem with his derailleur and had to change bikes. The peloton continued at a fast pace, but Van der Poel was able to return quickly after a short chase between the cars. At 42 kilometres, the race passed through Filottrano were there were large banners with images of Scarponi. Michele, semper con noi. Always with us. After Filottrano, the peloton, led by Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, headed for the final climbs of the day. On the climb of Santa Maria Nuova, De Marchi put the pressure on, but Naesen and Bais were initially able to get back to his wheel. De Marchi got away with his next attack. His lead over the peloton was only 1 minute. On the climb Juul-Jensen tried again, but he had a teammate of Van der Poel’s and one from Girmay on his wheel. Juul-Jensen’s attack was neutralised, after which Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert took control again. After Naesen and Bais had been caught, De Marchi’s solo was also over with 20 kilometres to go. The race snaked to the last climb of the day, that of Monsano (4.2km at 4.2%, max. 11%). Several teams moved forward, including Groupama-FDJ, who wanted Arnaud Démare to start the climb from the front. At the foot of the climb, Jos van Emden launched an attack for Tobias Foss and the Norwegian champion opened up a gap.
Alpecin-Fenix overtook Foss on the steepest sections. INEOS Grenadiers pushed hard at a kilometre from the top. Pavel Sivakov kept up a high pace with teammate Richard Carapaz on his wheel which put Démare in trouble, along with many other riders. On the steep part of the climb, Alessandro Covi attacked, but the Italian didn’t get far. With all the attacks, the peloton had thinned considerably by the time they reached the summit. Just after the top, the attacks continued, but Van der Poel brought everything back together. But not for long. On the descent, at the hands of Simon Yates, an elite group came together with Mathieu van der Poel, Giulio Ciccone and Davide Formolo. Van der Poel also tried to go solo, but with kilometres from the finish everything was back together. Then Richard Carapaz and Hugh Carthy also tried in vain to escape. In the end, a sprint would make the decision. Girmay started the sprint and Van der Poel was behind him. The Eritrean and the Dutchman rode side-by-side for a while, but the leader of Alpecin-Fenix had to sit down and Girmay took the victory.
# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Stage 10 Race Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “We came to this Giro with the aim to win a stage, knowing that if I succeeded, I would enter cycling history. After several top five finishes, I became the first black African to win a Grand Tour stage! I’m so grateful for the support of my teammates, the staff, my family, all people encouraging me! They are there for me every day, this victory belongs to them. My teammates all rode in the front for me. Barnabás Peák, Loïc Vliegen, Aimé De Gendt, Rein Taaramäe, Lorenzo Rota and even our GC riders Jan Hirt and Domenico Pozzovivo gave everything to give me the opportunity to take this win. In the final 600 meter, Domenico shouted that I had to follow him. He launched me perfectly. This victory makes me so happy!”
Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo): “When we passed Filottrano, I started to cry. I didn’t get to know Michele Scarponi but I know his family and there were a lot of emotions. I was lucky enough to meet Biniam Girmay three or four years ago. We’ve maintained a good relationship since then. We also keep in touch via social media. He makes history today. Moreover, he’s a very humble and amicable person. As for myself, I enjoy every day and every kilometre in the Maglia Rosa. I don’t know for how much longer but tomorrow I’m sure I’ll enjoy again.”
2nd on the stage, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was a difficult race. I think I just came up short in the end. That nylon stocking we put the ice in had fallen out of my shirt and ended up in my derailleur. So that went a bit wrong. I had to get a different bike and do a hard chase to get back. What really hurt me was that attack at the end. We had looked on VeloViewer and there the last descent seemed quite technical. I had put the whole team in the lead because I said I wanted to attack and only make a difference on the descent. That one was a bit disappointing. I tried to recover, but in the end I was just beaten in the sprint. We all know that he is a super good rider. Today he rode another strong sprint, because he started from very far and didn’t really stop. For a moment I had the impression that I was going over, but he kept accelerating and I had run out a bit. Is it nice that he is so good? Anyway. I like to be challenged. If you see how far we sprinted away from the rest, that also says something about his sprint. When you see how he finished in Gent-Wevelgem, you know he has a strong sprint. Tomorrow I’ll sit in the back to recover and then I’ll come back for the next opportunities.”
4th on the stage, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “The final today was actually not so easy and the reduced peloton went pretty fast on the last climb. I tried to launch an attack before the final but the pace was too high for that. At the end Jai actually rode a super lead-out for me, but with all the fast men still around it didn’t work out in the end. Then I tried something in the final and I’m pretty happy with my fourth place.”
5th on the stage and 4th overall, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “In principal today’s stage seemed like it was going to be an easy one, but in the end it was a bit complicated. There was a moment when we were descending and there was a lot of tension and I ended up coming down on one side, but I’m fine, nothing serious happened, just a bit of road rash. The guys did an amazing job, towards the end I was feeling good, I tried to go to see if there was a possibility to take some seconds by not letting it come down to a sprint, but in the end I came fifth on the stage amongst the sprinters, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “My hellish Giro was continued today. I was dropped on my own with 80 kilometres to go and only just reached the time limit. Since my crash in the first stage, it feels like my Giro is going downhill. A new sprint opportunity tomorrow (Stage 11), so I hope to turn it around.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Result:
1. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:32:07
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
9. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 10:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 37:52:01
2. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:12
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:14
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:15
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:20
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:54
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:09
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:22.
Giro’22 stage 10:
Stage 11 of the 2022 Giro d’Italia 2022 was won by Alberto Dainese. The Team DSM Italian was the fastest sprinter in the streets of Reggio Emilia after a pan-flat stage of 203 kilometres. Dainese finished ahead of Fernando Gaviria, Simone Consonni, points leader Arnaud Démare and all the other sprinters. The pink jersey will remain on Juan Pedro López’s shoulders for another day.
The stage to Reggio Emilia threatened to become a very dull day, because there was hardly any climbing and it was also not a very creative route. The first hours ran on long and wide roads, but it was coloured by two escapees, Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli).
The two Italians were given more than 5 minutes, but the sprinter’s teams kept tight control. At the first intermediate sprint, Mark Cavendish, Giacomo Nizzolo and Arnaud Démare took the most points in the peloton. The lead had fallen to 3 minutes by that point. There was nervousness in the peloton, as echelons were possible on the open plains after passing Bologna. The peloton started a loop north of the city of Modena, eventually ending up in Reggio Emilia. Because of the possibility of echelons, Rastelli and Tagliani were caught 92 kilometres from the finish. The peloton had the wind on its back, which caused a high speed, but a real echelon attempt didn’t come for a long time. At the second intermediate sprint there were 3, 2 and 1 seconds bonus and Richard Carapaz took the full 3 seconds in first place. He jumped over Romain Bardet and is now level with João Almeida on the general classification. About 60 kilometres from the finish, Dries De Bondt attacked. He managed to escape and gained more than a minute and a half, but the bunch didn’t seem too concerned. The sprinter’s teams kept control, but De Bondt stayed ahead of the pack at about 20 seconds for a long time.
The last 5 kilometres were fairly straight forward and so the sprint trains could see the solo De Bondt in front of them. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Lotto Soudal, Groupama-FDJ and Team DSM took the lead, plus the other sprinters also moved forward. At 1.2 kilometres from the line, De Bondt’s escape was over, after which it was up to the sprinters. No train managed to get their sprinter in place properly, after which Arnaud Démare was first to open the battle. He was pulled in, in the final straight by Fernando Gaviria, but Alberto Dainese was coming fast from behind. The little Italian from Team DSM was moving much faster than the rest and passed Gaviria and Simone Consonni. Démare was fourth, Ewan fifth and Cavendish sixth. For Dainese it is only his third professional victory. This was also the first stage victory in this Giro by an Italian rider and is Team DSM’s first WorldTour victory of 2022.
# See more photos in the full PEZ ‘Stage 11 Race Report’ HERE. #
Stage winner, Alberto Dainese (DSM): “I truly didn’t think this morning that I’d win. I slept very badly and I didn’t feel well when I woke up. It’s been an honour to become the team’s sprinter during the race. All sprints are different. Démare seemed to have the best position on paper. I realised with 100m to go that I was the fastest. Romain [Bardet] made me believe in me more than I did myself. I’m so happy that such a great rider who stands third on GC gave me a lead out. Now the team will work for him because we want to win the Giro d’Italia.”
Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo): “Today is the first day I tried to be a leader. Sometimes I’m a little bit nervous. I want to stay more front. But my team-mates help me really well. Otto Vergaerde calms me down. He says ‘stay on my wheel’. I need to rest after this stage. I don’t know if I’m more and more confident or not. I just know that if I’m dropped, it’s after I do 100%.”
2nd on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “Second wasn’t the result we wanted but we have to accept it. The legs are good but today Dainese was just faster. There was a tailwind so we went a bit earlier than usual but he took a good win so well done to him. The form is where I want it to be and I’m really gunning to get a first victory here at this Giro.”
10th on the stage, Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “It was a quiet day. I expected worse after all the efforts that we made yesterday and the announced wind. In the end everything went quite well. We worked very well collectively and I didn’t have to catch a lot of wind before the final sprint. I’m happy to get a small result in a sprint. I recovered well from yesterday and the sensations are improving day by day. I hope to have other opportunities at this Giro d’Italia.”
Late attacker, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix): “I knew the peloton was going to play with me. That’s why I didn’t ride full in the first place. I only opened the throttle at ten kilometres from the finish, hoping to surprise them with that. It worked, but maybe I wasn’t strong enough or I wasn’t lucky. But with the tailwind I thought it was worth the gamble. I was thinking how to do it smartly. There are not a lot of sprint opportunities in the Giro anymore. So I didn’t drive à bloc, but split it up to be able to accelerate at the end. That worked out well. For the same money, there is a moment of stress in the peloton and you don’t know where the ship will run aground. I wanted to take a chance. The chance was small, but if you don’t shoot you can’t hit it.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Result:
1. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM in 4:19:04
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
4. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 11:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 46:43:12
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:12
3. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:14
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:20
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:54
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:09
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:22.
Giro’22 stage 11:
Giro Boss Vegni Wants to Solve Podium Problems: “Girmay abandoning is very unfortunate”
Biniam Girmay had to leave the Tour of Italy on Wednesday with an eye injury, after the cork from the Prosecco bottle hit his face during the podium ceremony on Tuesday. Earlier, Koen Bouwman and Mathieu van der Poel also had a fright after similar incidents. “We will look at how we can avoid such incidents in the future,” Giro organiser Mauro Vegni told Sporza.
Vegni is very disappointed by yesterday’s event. “I am very sorry for what happened. I’m disappointed because we’re losing one of the great protagonists of this Giro,” said the Italian about Girmay. “We always saw him in the front in his stages and yesterday he did something really nice too. That he now has to give up is really very sad, first of all for himself. I hope he can return soon.”
According to Vegni, yesterday’s incident was not comparable to that of Van der Poel, who had a cork hit his shoulder after the first stage. “Yesterday was really an accident. But both incidents have led us to look at how we can avoid such things in the future.”
Valerio Piva, Girmay’s sports director at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, already knows a possible solution. “Why can’t that bottle just be open on the podium, like in F1?,” is his rhetorical question. The Italian does not expect that Girmay will now ride the Tour de France because of his retirement. “I don’t know if we’re going to change his program. We’ll be together again soon. I think it’s important to recover first and then finish the program as planned, including some one-day races in Belgium.”
Later in the season, Girmay will focus on the World Championship in Wollongong. “He has the potential to win a lot of races. The World champs is certainly possible, but he can also try to win the races in Canada. But first rehabilitate. He will stay in Jesi for a few more days and then go to his base in San Marino and then leave for Belgium.”
Girmay out of the 2022 Giro:
INEOS, Movistar and EF Education all Want Carapaz
The INEOS Grenadiers’ Ecuadorian climber, Richard Carapaz, has a contract to the end of this year, he is a free man to negotiate with a new team. The Olympic champion can extend his term with his current squad, but the British team has competition: Movistar and EF Education-EasyPost, Carapaz’s manager, Giuseppe Acquadro, told Velonews.
It’s no secret that 28 year-old Carapaz is in demand in the transfer market, but now his manager is also making it clear that three teams are competing for his signature. “We are in talks with INEOS Grenadiers to extend his contract, but we are also in contact with Movistar,” said Acquadro. “EF Education-EasyPost is also interested in Carapaz. I think he will decide his future at the end of the Giro. He wants to sign a three to four year contract.”
The interest of his old team Movistar was already known, but now it has also become clear that EF Education-EasyPost is in the market for Carapaz. The American team of Jonathan Vaughters is looking for a new leader for the Grand Tours. Rigoberto Urán is currently the most important GC rider with the team. However, the now 35-year-old Colombian’s contract ends this year and he will decide after the Tour de France whether he will continue as a rider.
For the next two weeks, Carapaz will be focused on the first Grand Tour of the year. The rider of INEOS Grenadiers hopes to win the Tour of Italy for a second time, three years after his first Giro victory.
Carapaz off to a new team?
Alpecin-Fenix to Become Alpecin-Deceuninck and Official WorldTour Candidate
UCI ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix will become Alpecin-Deceuninck, from the 1st of July 2022. Deceuninck, on board as partner since January 1st, will take up the torch from Fenix, which in its turn is taking over the position of Deceuninck on the back of the shorts.
Next to Alpecin, Deceuninck will become second naming partner of the Belgian cycling team and entered an agreement until the end of 2025. Both, the agreements with Alpecin and Canyon are running until the end of 2025. Considering this, the team is ready for the next step: a WorldTour-license for 2023-2025.
Bruno Humblet, CEO Deceuninck: “Deceuninck joined a young, dynamic, and ambitious team at the beginning of 2022. It is now the ideal moment to take up a role as naming partner again. From 2023, the step to naming partner will also follow in the women’s team. During the spring classic campaign, we were able to win several races, with the Tour of Flanders as absolute highlight. Making the move to naming partner is a conscious choice to support our clients worldwide and to further develop our Deceuninck brand.”
Next to the upgrade of Deceuninck, also Fenix will remain a prominent partner of Alpecin-Deceuninck and will be taking over the position on the bib shorts.
Alpecin-Fenix: “Our horizon now extends to 2025 and we are ready to take the next steps. The budget will increase towards next year, which is necessary to remain competitive on the one hand and to improve further on the other. We want – and need – to professionalize even more and need to expand the basis of our success. We are now the number 9 in the three-year team ranking and we will also accept the associated World Tour license. It is with great satisfaction that we can take this step with our current partners. This new setting was created in open consultation, based on a shared goal: to repeat our sporting successes of the recent years and to strengthen the team to achieve new goals.”
Matthijs Schoten, CEO Broadview Holding (FENIX): “We look back to a very successful sponsorship over the past years and want to thank the entire team – cyclists and support staff – for the great achievements, but also the pleasant and professional cooperation. Our Fenix brand has significantly benefited from this. The team has showed a strong development in this period, and we are proud to see it making the step towards the World Tour, the top league in cycling. That is why we are pleased to make room for a new key sponsor to support this development. We will however remain actively involved to continue to support this successful team in its journey towards a leading position in the peloton.”
Eduard R. Dörrenberg, managing partner of Alpecin manufacturer Dr. Wolff Group: “After four years in the World Tour, we made a conscious decision in 2019 to embark on a new path and shape it together with Team Alpecin-Fenix and its special focus on the three disciplines of cross, MTB and road. Needless to say, this was the right choice and from 2023 on, we will be able to combine both: the multi-disciplinary approach and the World Tour-license for the road team. After three years of joint development and with the support of all partners involved, we are looking forward to this next step as it is a logical consequence of the development of the team in the past few years.”
Patrick Lefevere Has His Belgian Sprinter – Tim Merlier
Tim Merlier is about to sign a contract with Soudal – Quick-Step, the successor to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. Sources of WeilerFlits, confirm that the deal is complete.
The interest in Merlier, who is at the end of his contract with Alpecin-Fenix, came from many teams. UAE Team Emirates, Israel-Premier Tech and of course Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, and others, wanted to sign the 29-year-old sprinter. Lefevere has Merlier through the media in recent weeks, saying he wanted a Belgian top sprinter in his team. That love appears to be mutual, although the negotiations dragged on a bit. Talks are said to have gained momentum only late last week. Merlier’s current team Alpecin-Fenix made an extra effort, but the Flemish rider eventually chose Quick-Step. It seems he has a verbal agreement for two years.
This probably means the end of Mark Cavendish at Quick-Step. With Fabio Jakobsen and Tim Merlier, Lefevere will have two of the fastest riders in the peloton in the coming years. The Manxman has been offered to other teams by his management.
Tim Merlier to Lefevere:
Primoz Roglič Free From Knee Problems
Primož Roglič has fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained in the Tour of the Basque Country. Mathieu Heijboer, performance manager at Jumbo-Visma, told Het Laatste Nieuws. The Slovenian had to skip the hilly Classics due to the injury.
Roglič is staying with the Jumbo-Visma Tour de France selection in the Sierra Nevada, in preparation for the French Grand Tour. “We are very pleased with how each member of our Tour pre-selection is doing. Compared to last year, we are a lot further ahead,” said Heijboer.
“Wout was at home in bed, recovering from the inflammation of the appendix and Jonas Vingegaard was suffering from the Achilles tendon. Now everyone is fit. Primož Roglič’s knee is also completely fine. He trains without restrictions,” the performance manager said.
A large part of the Jumbo-Visma team will remain at altitude for another two weeks in the Sierra Nevada. Mike Teunissen and Nathan Van Hooydonck leave earlier for the Tour of Norway. Wout van Aert will resume racing in the Critérium du Dauphiné after the training camp. “For us, this is an important step towards the Tour.” said Heijboer. “The time trial on day four counts as a test on the two chronos in the Tour and the penultimate stage is very similar to the twelfth stage of the Tour.”
“We have not yet discussed the precise division of roles for the Dauphiné. If there is something for Wout to pick up, we will not pass it up, but it is certainly not the main goal. We ride the Dauphiné in preparation for the Tour. Our starting point is that we want to come out better than we go in. It is not the intention to waste energy there, which we then lack in the Tour.”
Davide Cassani will Soon Present a New Cycling Team
Davide Cassani has been working on setting up a new team for some time, but now it seems that things are actually getting underway. According to Velonews, the former rider and ex-national coach will present a new Italian ProTeam in the near future.
According to several sources, Bianchi will supply the bikes for the new formation. Much is still unclear about Cassani’s project, but the Italian coffee brand Caffè Borbone is named as the main sponsor. Cassani doesn’t say much when Velonews asks him about his plans. “Nothing is certain at the moment. I’m still working hard. I expect more clarity in a month, I think.”
There is a possibility that Cassani will come with more news during the Giro d’Italia. The former rider hopes to start his team at ProTeam level. The names of Diego Ulissi, Alessandro Fedeli and Matteo Trentin are circulating as possible riders. However, the latter appears to be extending his contract with UAE Team Emirates.
Cassani, now 61, hopes to give Italian cycling a boost with his new team, he told La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this year. The intention is to start the season in 2023 with a ‘Made in Italy’ team: a team with Italian sponsors, bicycles and riders. Cassani emphasises that this is a long-term project. “The goal is to eventually make the step to the WorldTour. It’s not like after a year we say: ‘okay, we’ll stop’.”
News from Davide Cassani soon?
Team DSM build on Strong Foundations as Pfeiffer Georgi and Charlotte Kool Renew and Extend with the Team
Team DSM are delighted to reveal today the contract renewal and extensions of Pfeiffer Georgi and Charlotte Kool – as the team looks to build on strong foundations for the coming years.
As part of a trifecta of announcements for the Women’s program, after Labous’ recent announcement on Saturday, the team continue to make plans and steps for the future. Georgi will continue with her role as captain, using her vast experience and nous that belies her young age, while also focusing on the classics as a finisher where she makes great improvements year-on-year. While sprint star Kool, fresh off a recent victory at GP Eco-Struct, will be given the opportunity to develop as a sprint finisher; something that the team has great track record with. Kool will ride in the team’s distinctive two-striped jersey until at least the end of 2024, with Georgi contracted through the 2025 season as well.
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Still only 21 years old, Georgi has been with Team DSM upon turning professional in 2019 and has steadily grown as an athlete on and off the bike since then. A committed professional, Georgi has overcome bad luck and injury spells, with her 2021 campaign a breakthrough year for the wider public, but not for those within the team. Last season culminated with Georgi taking her first win which was quickly followed up by a very impressive ride to claim the British national title on a challenging course in Lincoln. Building on those performances in 2022, Georgi has further grown in her role as a road captain and an integral member of the team’s sprint and classics blocks, where she herself took a strong ninth at Paris-Roubaix after an attacking race – another sign of her potential for the future.
“I’m really excited to be able to renew my contract even further with Team DSM until the end of 2025,” explained Georgi. “I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made over the last few seasons with the team, and think it is the perfect place to continue my development as we look to even bigger goals together. I have enjoyed stepping into a captain’s role even more this season alongside opportunities as a final rider and I hope to build on both of those aspects in the future. I’m particularly looking forward to targeting some of the Spring Classics in the coming years and also being a part of more wins within the team and sharing nice memories together.”
Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna continued: “Pfeiffer is very important for the energy of the team and she brings a lot of knowledge and tactical skills into our Women’s program. She is a brilliant team member who is always focused and goes 100 percent all-in for the plans and goals. Not only that, but she also brings a really high level on the bike too. Pfeiffer has taken big steps since joining us and we want to continue her development, further building up her overall level. Our first focus will be on the classics where she has shown great talent already and then in the future we will also focus more on her TT, something where we think Pfeiffer has a lot of room for improvement, which will then enable her to be the team’s GC finisher in certain races. She also has really good qualities as a captain and that’s a role she will transition even more into as well.”
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Joining Team DSM for the start of the 2022 season Kool has immediately settled in well, forming a formidable part of the team’s sprint group, often acting as last lead out rider where she can utilise her speed and bike handling skills to great effect. Yet, Kool is more than just a lead out rider and someone that has a lot of untapped potential and room for development as a sprint finisher for the team herself. This was put on full display at the recent GP Eco-Struct where Kool powered to sprint victory with ease after a strong lead out from the rest of the squad, claiming her first win for Team DSM and her first at that level in a one-day race. A glimpse of her sprint qualities that the team firmly believes in, Kool aims to build on that result going ahead as she extends her tenure.
Kool said: “I am really happy to extend my contract with Team DSM for two more years until the end of 2024. In the past few months since joining, I have found out that this team suits me even better than I already thought it would have beforehand and I feel at home here. The way of working and the really nice atmosphere with the staff and riders is something special and it really gives me a lot of confidence in my abilities but also motivation to keep pushing to get better as a rider. I can’t wait to continue developing myself and become stronger and better, year-by-year together with Team DSM. If we keep working like we are, then I hope we can celebrate a lot in the future together and I would love to become the best sprinter possible here.”
Team DSM head coach Rudi Kemna continued: “In her short period with us so far after joining the team at the beginning of the year, we’ve seen Charlotte make good developments with us on the bike. Her attitude is great, and she is always interested to listen to our advice to help push her to that next level. So far in races she has mostly filled in the role as a lead out rider, to great effect, but as her recent ride at GP Eco Struct has shown, she also has brilliant potential as a sprint finisher for the team. That is something we really believe in and where we see her qualities lie, and in the coming years we will work to develop that even further, chasing sprint successes together. Next to that, off the bike Charlotte is an important member of the team as she is smart and good at helping to make tactical decisions in the hectic moments during races, and she brings a lot to the group with her energy.”
Philippe Gilbert Marries Girlfriend Bettina
Philippe Gilbert tied the knot with his partner Bettina Pesce on Saturday. After the Four Days of Dunkirk, where he seized the overall victory, Lotto Soudal’s veteran already announced that he would get married during this period.
Gilbert was previously married to Patricia Zeevaert, with whom he has two sons, Alan and Alexandre. That marriage came to an end in 2019. The 2012 world champion then found love again with Bettina Pesce. The couple had a daughter, Valentine, in 2021.
Congratulations to Bettina and Philippe:
Statement From the Professional Cyclist Arturo Grávalos
Last Wednesday 11th May I was operated again by Dr. Clara Del Río at the Hospital Lozano Blesa in Zaragoza. Today, already in the room, I want to inform that my recovery is going very well and I hope to return soon to training, as I was doing these months ago.
The reason why this new surgery has not been made public before has been simply: to maintain the peace of mind that both my family and I needed to face this new phase; a phase that, with your care and with the support of my team, I am sure I will win.
I would like to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for the many expressions of affection and support I have received since this fight began for me. Now you will forgive me for not being able to answer you one by one as you deserve, but for the moment I must continue to think only of recovering.
I send you a big hug.
Deborah Shumway Passed Away on the 7th of May 2022
3rd Overall in the 1984 Tour de France Femme and 2nd USA National Champs.
Tour de France feminine 1984 final stage 18 – Chaville to Paris Champs Elysées
We were very sad to hear that Deborah Shumway lost her life on Saturday 7th May. The circumstances of her death are so far unclear. She was married to Greg Herbold, and was now known as Deborah Leigh Herbold. There was a death notification in Moab, where they have a house. They also have a ranch in Ignacio Co.
1985 Tour de France
There is no funeral details to date. https://spanishvalleymortuary.com/Obit.php?ID=1173 Deborah Leigh Herbold Obituary, Spanish Valley Mortuary Deborah Leigh Herbold. b: 02/21/1955, Amherst, Massachusetts d: 05/07/2022, Moab, Utah.
Service: Pending obituary to be added at a later date spanishvalleymortuary.com.
Thanks to John Pierce of PhotoSport International for the information and photos.
The 1986 Tour of Texas time trial
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