EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
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Happy New Year and new jersey. A full EUROTRASH Monday: Jan Ullrich not addicted again – TOP STORY. All the cross action from Hulst, Baal and Loenhout. Rider news: Van Aert not going to the Worlds? Van der Poel’s back problems, Froome’s knee, Dumoulin’s mindset, Higuita Wants to be leader at a Grand Tour, Romeo in training crash, no Giro for Colbrelli, one-day races for Cort, plans for Poels and Wout van Aert wins ProCyclingStats Favorite500. Team news: New kit for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and UAE Team Emirates, two leaders for INEOS Grenadiers at the Giro d’Italia, Suter joins UAE Team Emirates, Gradek joins Bahrain Victorious and Salmon and Pfingsten retire. Race news: Vuelta a San Juan canceled. Plus Antwerp Cycling Club WAC will race in the special Poulidor kit and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ready for 2022. All the best for the coming year.
TOP STORY: Jan Ullrich had Severe Blood Poisoning
Jan Ullrich has responded for the first time to the news that he was back in hospital. Last month, Bild announced that the German former cyclist had been admitted after a relapse from his alcohol and drug addiction, but that is not correct. “I had a thrombosis and a very severe blood poisoning,” Ullrich told the newspaper.
“It is true that I was admitted to a hospital,” said Ullrich, now 48, who is now in the hospital. On his return from Cuba, where he had celebrated his birthday with friends, to Germany a stopover had to be made because Ullrich was not feeling well. “But I’m not addicted again. At the start of the treatment I had a drug test, which of course was negative.”
“I escaped death again,” he adds. Earlier this year, Ullrich had indicated in conversation with Lance Armstrong that he also almost died in 2018. “Three years ago I had big problems and I was just like Marco Pantani. Almost dead. Now I’m very happy,” he said on the podcast The Move.
Armstrong was also on the side of his former rival. “He was the first person who came to see me in the hospital. He helped me a lot. I want to thank him for that,” said Ullrich, who also struggles with back problems. “Three or four intervertebral discs have completely collapsed in the meantime. I’m only 1.81 meters now, I used to be 1.83 meters.”
Jan Ullrich – Sick not addicted
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Hulst Men – Vesting Cross 2022
Tom Pidcock took his second victory of the cross season in Hulst. The British champion won the World Cup race after a duel with Eli Iserbyt. Lars van der Haar was third. Due to chain problems, Wout van Aert lost for the first time this season, but he fought his way back to fourth place.
Lars van der Haar and Wout van Aert were the fastest from the start line. The Belgian champion started from the second row, but soon found himself in fourth place. However, there was soon problems for Van Aert as his chain came off on one of the slopes. He had some problems getting it back on and because of that he fell back to around 40th place. In that first lap, the Jumbo-Visma leader was 40 seconds behind the leading group, consisting of; Van der Haar, Eli Iserbyt, Quinten Hermans, Toon Vandebosch and Tom Pidcock. At the end of the second lap, the difference was 43 seconds to Van Aert, who had to pass a lot of riders and was stopped several times.
On the third lap of nine, Pidcock decided to make his move. Only Iserbyt could follow the British champion’s acceleration, while Van der Haar had to leave a gap. Van Aert was on his way to the top-15 and was getting closer, but Pidcock’s attack ensured that the gap went up to 50 seconds. Pidcock didn’t give up and tried to get rid of Iserbyt as well. The INEOS Grenadiers rider distanced himself from his Belgian opponent in the fifth lap, although Iserbyt continued to put the pressure on. Van Aert was now in the top-10, although 1 minute behind Pidcock, chasing a group including Toon Aerts. This group was competing for fourth place.
Iserbyt didn’t let Pidcock get away. The difference between the two riders fluctuated for a long time between 5 and 10 seconds, while Van der Haar was holding third place at just under 30 seconds. With three laps to go, Van Aert was seventh, with Aerts, Michael Vanthourenhout and Quinten Hermans just ahead. Going into the final lap, Iserbyt was 8 seconds behind Pidcock. The Briton made no mistakes in the last lap through the centre of Hulst. After Rucphen he added another Dutch cross to his palmarès. Wout van Aert was fourth with a lap to go in the company of Aerts, who he then threw dropped to make sure of that fourth place.
Race winner, Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “He (Eli Iserbyt) really put a lot of pressure on me. I really couldn’t make any mistakes because of that. I felt good after the start and immediately opened a gap. I grabbed a few seconds, but Eli kept the gap small throughout the race. He made a good effort. And on the last lap I couldn’t switch to my big gear either. That wasn’t a huge problem, but I took it a bit easier on the descents. I didn’t want to get into the problems that Wout had. Maybe this will be the duel. He was really strong. This way of racing, man against man, is also different than if you can get into the wheels. But I am happy with this result. Now I’m still racing in Gullegem and Herentals, and then I go to a training camp.”
2nd, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “This opens up a number of options for the World championships. The faster, the better. I’ve been chasing that final win in the World Cup for a few years now, glad I succeeded this year. It proves that I have achieved a consistent level this winter and of course it is an extra asset that I can already check this off my list. It gives me a number of options towards the World championships. To acclimatise better (going to the US early). Who knows, that might give me an advantage. Suppose Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert do not make the move, that World champs might turn into a duel with Tom Pidcock. I don’t think the difference between the two of us is that big. Too bad I lost the wheel. Otherwise it could have been even more exciting, I think. Now I got stuck on a handful of seconds and on this lap you couldn’t really go much faster than we were now. Although I am not completely satisfied with my running sections. Tom was stronger in that. Who knows, in Fayetteville it may be the other way around…”
3rd, Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions): “Mentally I wasn’t in good shape the last few weeks, but I found myself again. That’s the mistake of the first two laps leading the way, I wanted to get off to a good start so as not to be in trouble. It worked, but I knew it was going to be hard when they took over. It turned out to be that. I just gave up, I felt that it was difficult. I was still able to follow Eli, but when Pidcock took over, the pace picked up a little more. That was too much for me. It’s going a lot better than last week. I’m finding the legs again and I’m looking forward to it again. It didn’t go the way I wanted.”
4th, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I got to the hop and there was a track with a big hole. My chain falls off there. I tried to continue pedalling, but because of that I lock it between the small ring and the frame. It was stuck. I wanted to walk to the pits, but still managed to get it loose. There was nothing wrong with it, as the bike ran perfectly for the rest of the race. A sad incident. I focused on my place, but after half a lap I thought: ‘Shit, I’m really far’. Then I did two laps as fast as I could, but I didn’t feel like I was getting any closer. There was a big gap behind Van der Haar, I knew that. That fourth place was the highest achievable and it worked out nicely. I was there to go for it. I didn’t want to give up, but I’m happy with my race. That winning streak was something that lived with me. It was nice if I could continue, but all good things come to an end. Today was a shame, on a beautiful and fast course. I was fine, but it wasn’t supposed to be. On Wednesday (Herentals) there are new opportunities.”
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Hulst Men – Vesting Cross Result:
1. Tom Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
3. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions
4. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
5. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions
6. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans-Circus
8. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
9. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers Maes
10. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Hulst Women – Vesting Cross 2022
Lucinda Brand won the cyclo-cross World Cup in Hulst on Sunday. The Baloise Trek Lions World champion struck out in the final two laps. A strong Puck Pieterse dominated the race for a long time, but in the end had to settle for second place. Annemarie Worst finished third.
The fastest start was from Marianne Vos, who rode her first cross of the year. Fem van Empel, Puck Pieterse and Shirin van Anrooij also started strong. Blanka Kata Vas, Annemarie Worst and World champion Lucinda Brand had to chase on the technical course with steep slopes. Pieterse took over the lead halfway through the first lap. The leader in the U23 World Cup had a course tailored to her talents and was in good shape. After two laps she had a 14 second lead over Vas, which she managed to hold on to. Denise Betsema, started badly, and Marianne Vos could not get on terms. They were around seventh place, half a minute from the leader. Behind Pieterse it was Brand who managed to work her way up to second place, although Vas was also at her best. On the fourth lap of six, Brand and Vas narrowed the gap to Pieterse to 8 seconds.
The pursuers were hunting down Pieterse and on the penultimate lap they caught her. Pieterse, Brand, Vas, Worst and also Van Empel followed within seconds of each other. When starting the last lap, Brand went past Pieterse. The young Alpecin-Fenix rider didn’t give up, but was no longer able to close the gap. Slowly the lead grew towards 10 seconds. As a result, Brand won her first participation in Hulst. Pieterse had to keep Worst behind her in the finalé, but she succeeded. Vas was fourth and Van Empel (who had shoe problems) was fifth.
Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions): “Fifteen wins, it’s bizarre. I wrote her down for today (Puck Pieterse). She was super strong from the start. My start was not bad, but on these kind of laps you have to have a great start. It’s not easy to overtake here either. That may have saved my life, that I didn’t roll over. At the end I was therefore able to open the engine a few more times. You shouldn’t sprint with her. The climb just before the finish was also decisive. I knew I had to sit there for her and I didn’t expect to unload her there. There were also all kinds of technical things that I had to fight against.”
2nd, Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix): “I wanted to stay with it, but she kicked so much power on those long stretches that it was no longer possible. I’m really happy, I started quickly and when Marianne Vos made a mistake, I had a gap. I thought: now is the time to make a gap. I had fifteen seconds at halfway, but then they came closer and closer and I realised it was going to be difficult. I heard the seconds ticking away. Of course it’s never over, even if it’s five seconds… I still had to keep riding hard to hold on to second place.”
3rd, Annemarie Worst (777): “A Boost for the Dutch Championships. I am certainly happy with this podium place. My start was a little less. It was short, with a lot of twists and turns, and it was difficult to overtake. But when I finally came forward, I had a really good feeling. I’m happy with that. I like the course here too. I love that. This is a boost with a view to the Dutch championships. The feeling is better again. It took a while to find that feeling in recent races, but there are many strong ladies in the Netherlands. It will certainly be a tough battle.”
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Hulst Women – Vesting Cross Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in 49:14
2. Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:05
3. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 0:11
4. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus at 0:14
5. Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:26
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:37
7. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:43
8. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:08
9. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 1:46
10. Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini at 1:52.
X2O Badkamers Trofee Baal Men – GP Sven Nys 2022
Wout van Aert remains unbeaten this cyclo-cross season. In Baal, the Belgian champion had a lot of trouble with Tom Pidcock and Eli Iserbyt, but in the end the Belgian champion again took the honours.
Before the GP Sven Nys, Wout van Aert wondered when his winning streak would come to an end. After victories in Boom, Essen, Val di Sole, Dendermonde, Heusden-Zolder and Loenhout, Van Aert’s competition was only too happy that he wouldn’t win in Baal.
On Saturday, the biggest opposition came from Eli Iserbyt, who recovered after some smaller races, Tom Pidcock and Toon Aerts, who is the leader in the X20 Bathrooms Trophy. The four of them escaped during the first lap, although the differences to Lars van der Haar and Michael Vanthourenhout was small. Aerts would be the first to be dropped after a steering error at a time when Vanthourenhout looked to be coming back to the front. It would not come to that, because Van Aert decided to put the pressure on for the first time after 25 minutes. Pidcock and Iserbyt managed to hung on.
A lap later, Van Aert decided the race early. After another attack, he put Pidcock and Iserbyt at more than 10 seconds. Due to a crash, Pidcock got back again and when Van Aert had to change shoes at the pits, the Belgian champion had 20 seconds to make up on Pidcock and 10 seconds to Iserbyt. Just before the start of the last lap, Van Aert returned to Pidcock. An exciting duel in the last lap followed, in which Pidcock put Van Aert under pressure. On the Balenberg, Van Aert finally put in the winning move to remain unbeaten this year.
Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Perhaps I got into unnecessarily trouble. In retrospect it is of course nice that it has become so exciting, but I didn’t see it that way during the cross. That pit with my shoe made it extra difficult for me. The win gives me just a little more relief. That’s also a bit because of the opponents. I didn’t race against the first best, you realise who you are riding against. Even though I wasn’t so concerned with that during the cross. I was able to use my strength very well there, so I kept getting closer to Tom on those parts. As we went into the final laps, my plan was to hit there as well.”
2nd, Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “I did have a chance to win when Van Aert fell. Falls are not pretty, but I think it’s part of the sport. He still beat me honestly. He was a lot stronger during the run especially I just had to make sure I kept my rhythm. After he fell behind, Van Aert quickly closed the gap. He was just stronger, so I hoped for a mistake. He eventually made it Kurt (Bogaerts), told me I had to keep riding until the finish to still have a chance, but to no avail.”
X2O Badkamers Trofee Baal Men – GP Sven Nys Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 1:04:22
2. Tom Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:10
3. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:29
4. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:16
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:58
6. Ben Turner (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:13
7. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 2:25
8. Jens Adams (Bel) Hollebeekhoeve at 2:44
9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:48
10. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers Maes at 2:50.
X2O Badkamers Trofee Baal Women – GP Sven Nys 2022
Lucinda Brand had to work hard for her victory in Baal on Saturday. The World champion got rid of Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado several times during the GP Sven Nys, but saw her return again and again. She was able to take the victory in the finalé of the race.
As usual the first cyclo-cross of the new year was the GP Sven Nys in Baal, part of the X20 Badkamers Trofee. All eyes were on Lucinda Brand again as she seems to be unbeatable at the moment. As usual there was a challenger who made it difficult for the World champion. It was Fem van Empel in Heusden-Zolder and Clara Honsinger in Dendermonde. On Saturday it was Alvarado who was her main rival. Partly due to her aggressive riding, the Dutch champion was able to battle early with Brand, Van Empel and Denise Betsema.
The two riders of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal proved unable to cope with the power of the Dutch champion and the World champion and so there was a duel for victory between Brand and Alvarado. Brand was slightly stronger than Alvarado at the end of the race. Alvarado hung on several times, but also several times she managed to return. On the final lap Brand managed to take a small gap, but Alvarado kept the pressure on the World champion up to the finish line.
Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions): “This is a very difficult time for me. Of course it’s great to win. Unfortunately cyclo-cross isn’t important at all when you look at what’s going on with Amy now. My thoughts are very much there, with her family. I had to keep riding to win, it was so hard. I hope the Pieters family can get some strength out of this.”
2nd, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix): “I have no idea what made the difference. I went to bed a little later myself yesterday, but I was really looking forward to it and felt okay, maybe the others were a bit less because of the new year. I’m very happy because I really enjoyed myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this much fun. I don’t know, I’m looking at it game by game. Today went very well. Hopefully I can continue this.”
X2O Badkamers Trofee Baal Women – GP Sven Nys Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in 44:28
2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:04
3. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:37
4. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 1:15
5. Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:32
6. Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO-Crelan at 2:08
7. Blanka Kata Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 2:20
8. Maghalie Rochette (Can) Specialized-Feedback Sports at 2:25
9. Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld at 3:01
10. Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.
X2O Badkamers Trofee Men – Azencross Loenhout 2021
Wout van Aert added another win to his unbeaten run this cyclo-cross winter. The Belgian champion recorded his sixth victory in a row in the X2O Bathrooms Trofee van Loenhout on Thursday. Michael Vanthourenhout and Toon Aerts joined him on the podium in the last cross of 2021.
David van der Poel had to do without his injured brother Mathieu in Loenhout, but the eldest of the two did not let that hinder him. He had the fastest start, but was quickly caught by Toon Aerts, Laurens Sweeck and Eli Iserbyt, and others. Wout van Aert opted for a quiet start, but moved forward in the second lap.
The Belgian champion went with Quinten Hermans and Laurens Sweeck, after which Corné van Kessel and Michael Vanthourenhout also made the crossing at the start of the third lap. Eli Iserbyt and Toon Aerts, who were fighting for the X2O Trophy, seemed to make a tactical game of it. But it was impossible for Iserbyt to do better and had to let Aerts go and saw a good position in the overall classification disappear. At the start of the fourth lap Hermans, Van Aert and Sweeck got together. Vanthourenhout joined them and Aerts and Van Kessel got closer on muddy circuit. Three laps before the finish, the gap was only 8 seconds, but they could not connect, because Van Aert and Vanthourenhout lifted their speed. The Belgian champion didn’t look back and dropped Vanthourenhout.
In no time Van Aert had a lead of 11 seconds, with two laps to go. After Boom, Essen, Val di Sole, Dendermonde and Heusden-Zolder, the Jumbo-Visma rider was well on his way to victory in Loenhout. Van Aert soon had his lead over Vanthourenhout going towards half a minute, while Aerts settled in third place at the start of the final lap. Once again there was no match for Van Aert, who completed the final lap without taking too much risk. Six out of six for WVA this winter. Vanthourenhout crossed the finish line at 14 seconds and Aerts at 27 seconds behind.
Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s a pity that the public is not allowed. Usually the meadow, in particular, is always packed here. In the beginning, I pushed along, and then I accelerated towards the end. It went well, especially on the muddy section. I’m happy with this victory. I tried to ride as economically as possible, especially because the wind was blowing pretty hard. If you go full speed right away, you won’t be able to do that. It’s going really well. I have to make sure I get through the next races well, especially in the run-up to the Belgian championships. There are still a few more races to come in a short period, but I’m enjoying it.”
2nd, Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “That’s nice when you know that he is the best at the moment. If you give Wout five meters on the road or at a cross, it is difficult to keep up with him. I focused on second place and the seconds that were important. He was already putting pressure on me and I had to pass right after the pits on the tough part. I felt that he was much too strong. I fell alone, which made it difficult to hold off Toon Aerts (third). I wanted to give everything for the classification as well. The last three weeks have been going well, from Italy actually. I’m happy. It’s not that it’s super busy. Hopefully I can stretch this form until the Belgian Championship and then have a training period to extend it to the World championships. Next week I will ride in Baal, Hulst, Herentals and the Belgian championship. Not Gullegem, but I think everyone makes choices during this period. Unfortunately, everything is not possible to ride.”
3rd, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions): “Today it was a bit for the classification. And I quickly lost myself on the podium, I thought. I stayed with Eli for the classification. It was Michael Vanthourenhout who could take advantage of that moment. I also didn’t feel like riding for Eli, so it had to be on the tough sections. Partly due to his problems in the pits, I was able to build up a nice lead over Eli. I’m glad I could still get on the podium. It’s a pity that I didn’t recover from Dendermonde in Zolder. Perhaps it was my own fault that I had gone so deep in Dendermonde. With that I lose the Superprestige ranking. This is the most important for me now. It will be very difficult, or he will have to have another bad day in Gavere. But I’m now focusing on this X2O classification, because in the Superprestige it will depend more on him. I’m not thinking about the Belgian championships and the World championships yet. I’m thinking of the rankings, especially the X2O Trophy. It would be stupid to focus on the Belgian champs, now that Wout is with us. He is currently playing with us and is way above.”
X2O Badkamers Trofee Men – Azencross Loenhout Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 56:16
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:14
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:27
4. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans-Circus at 0:41
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:54
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans-Circus at 0:59
7. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH at 1:04
8. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:10
9. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers Maes at 1:17
10. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:25.
X2O Badkamers Trofee Women – Azencross Loenhout 2021
Lucinda Brand won the last cyclo-cross of 2021 on Thursday. The World champion managed to distance herself from Denise Betsema and Shirin van Anrooij in the final lap of the X2O Trophy in Loenhout.
The Azencross had to do without big names such as Blanka Kata Vas, Puck Pieterse, Fem van Empel and Marianne Vos. Hélène Clauzel was there and she had the best start. It didn’t take long before Denise Betsema and Shirin van Anrooij took over command in the mud, ahead of Lucinda Brand, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Annemarie Worst.
After the first lap, Betsema, Van Anrooij and Brand had a lead over Worst, who again had a gap compared to Alvarado and Sanne Cant. At the front there were four, because Worst managed to close the gap. However, it was not fast enough for Betsema. She rode away for 6 seconds on the second lap, but was then caught and passed by teammates Van Anrooij and Brand. It went too fast for Worst at that time. Betsema was in the clutches of the Baloise Trek Lions, but several times took the initiative herself. She couldn’t shake off the World champion. Brand chose to follow and then struck on the final lap. With her power she put Betsema at a few metres and was not to give up that lead. Van Anrooij was third and Worst finished fourth. Behind, Belgian champion Cant won the sprint for fifth place from Dutch champion Alvarado.
Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions): “I had the feeling that Betsema was better today, but sometimes you have to eat someone else’s plate first. I was sprinting. It hurt, it was a long straight road. I had that feeling too. But you have to eat someone else’s plate first, or however that saying goes. I wasn’t able to get away from everywhere today, but I could improve on that. I also tried bluffing along the way. It’s always hard to describe a race, but it could have gone the other way too. It wasn’t easy. There was a difficult course and the wind also played a role. Shirin and Denise were both strong and that made it difficult.”
2nd, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I’m a bit disappointed. I felt very good and maybe I was the best in the race today, but the one who crosses the finish line first is the winner. Unfortunately I wasn’t. Lucinda and Shirin did a good job together, but I’m a bit disappointed. I had to make a choice, whether I wanted to sprint with three, or whether I had to take the initiative with the risk that Lucinda would get over me. I am still second, fortunately not so much behind.”
3rd, Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions): “The first two were slightly stronger. I think I made too many mistakes in the last two laps. Maybe I was also a bit tired and I didn’t really dare to take the initiative. I think the other two were just a bit stronger today. It’s certainly no shame to be behind them. I notice that I have grown a lot during the season. This was coming. I was just not lucky every time and now I was off to a good start at the start. I actually rode the cross with confidence, and in the end I ended up in third place. I want to keep combining it as long as possible. I will continue this winter until the cyclo-cross World championships, and then I will have a rest so I can build up towards the road season. The goal is to keep combining it. I may occasionally race or cross a little less than most, but I want to grow slowly and hope that I can keep it up for a long time.”
X2O Badkamers Trofee Women – Azencross Loenhout Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions in 46:33
2. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:15
3. Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:33
4. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 1:05
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO-Crelan at 1:36
6. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:40
7. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) Starcasino CX at 1:46
8. Yara Kastelijn (Ned) IKO-Crelan at 2:08
9. Hélène Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike at 2:22
10. Anna Kay (GB) Starcasino CX at 2:38.
Belgian Coach Vanthourenhout: “At the Moment, Van Aert’s Participation in the World Champs is Not on the Agenda”
Will Wout van Aert appear at the start of the cyclo-cross World championships in Fayetteville at the end of January? It is a frequently asked question in cyclo-cross circles. The triple World champion does not provide any clarity for the time being, the Belgian national coach Sven Vanthourenhout makes that clear in conversation with the Belgian newspaper De Morgen. “At this point, I’m assuming he’s not going.”
The call for a World championships participation from Van Aert is getting louder, since the Belgian champion is currently unbeatable in cross races. Last Thursday in Loenhout he recorded his sixth victory in six crosses. Vanthourenhout also looks at his compatriot with admiration. “What strikes me is his look. He radiates and rides around relaxed.”
“He makes few or no mistakes and if he does, he immediately corrects them,” said the Belgian selector. “You don’t notice frustration, he doesn’t rush and grows in a competition. We haven’t seen that from him in recent years. It’s a pleasure to watch him race.” So there are opportunities for Van Aert in Fayetteville, especially now that his major competitor Mathieu van der Poel is struggling with his back and may not be fit in time for the World title fight.
And yet Vanthourenhout does not have too many illusions. “It’s pretty clear to me. At this point, I’m assuming he’s not going. That is plan A. He now rides his crosses and has a plan that runs up to and including the Belgian championship. If his plans change after that, then that’s plan B. It’s not that he will head off to the World championships in a hurry. There is a path to participate in the World champs, but it depended on his results and his feeling on the course.”
“So it’s been thought about, but Plan A is still a fact and not yet questioned. So at the moment, participation in the World championships in America is not an option,” the national coach is clear.
Surely Wout van Aert must go to the cross Worlds:
Osteopath Jochems on Van der Poel’s Back Problems
After a delayed return to cyclo-cross due to a knee injury, Mathieu van der Poel now has to rest again. The cross World champion still has problems with his back. Sports magazine Knack submitted all available information to osteopath Yves Jochems, who has made a suspected diagnosis of Van der Poel’s back problem.
Jochems has treated many athletes with back problems in his practice. The Belgian magazine presented him with all the statements of Van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix team, without seeing the Dutchman’s medical file. He cannot make a hard judgment, but the osteopath explains Van der Poel’s probable problem on the basis of what he knows. According to Jochems, he is suffering from a bulging disc, which you can compare with a hamburger sandwich. When you crush the bun, the meat bulges out. This is how you should see the back problem according to Jochems.
“Such a disc bulging occurs when the lower back is put under too much pressure, or when there is too little fluid in the intervertebral disc,” said the osteopath. “Then it can bulge and put pressure on the structures around the vertebra, causing them to start to ignite. This in turn can lead to swelling and thus even more pressure. In some cases also on a nerve and that causes pain or loss of strength. The problem with such a bulging is that it is very difficult to see direct pressure on the nerve on a scan. Which is the case with a hernia that presses on one specific point. However, the symptoms and complaints are the same. That is why it often takes a long time before the exact cause is known.”
That is also the case with Van der Poel. But now that it is clear, according to Jochems, the nature of the problem is not too good news. “It is difficult to solve the bulging of the disc, but you can remove the swelling with medication or a cortisone injection. Also in combination with physiotherapy or osteopathy, with an adapted cycling position and with preventive back exercises. For example, the symptoms may slowly disappear, but there is a real chance that the pain will return afterwards. Which may now be the case with Van der Poel, after his complaints from last summer.”
The persistent injury may endanger the rest of his cross winter – including the World championships. Jochems states that the recovery will take quite some time and may continue to bother him for a long time. “How long he will be out now will depend mainly on the severity of the current injury and how much his body can recover/heal during his upcoming rest period and his training camp. And to what extent he can or cannot strain that back there. In any case, it will become a permanent problem or point of attention throughout his career.”
Will Van der Poel get over his back problem:
Mathieu van der Poel Training on New Year’s Day
Mathieu van der Poel was back on his bike for a training ride on New Year’s Day, five days after his abandonment in the Superprestige cross in Heusden-Zolder. The reigning World cyclo-cross champion started the new year with a 60 kilometre ride.
The Alpecin-Fenix rider shared his ride on Strava. Van der Poel stuck to a training ride of about 60 kilometres around Schilde, Merksem, Ekeren and Kapellen. Less than a week after he had to abandon with back problems. The Dutchman is back on his bike, but it is still unclear whether Van der Poel will be in action in any more cross races this winter. The Dutchman is struggling with a swelling of an intervertebral disc, which means that he cannot fully train and race. Caution is advised and that is why Van der Poel was not at the start of the Azencross in Loenhout after his retirement in Heusden-Zolder.
Van der Poel didn’t ride in Hulst on Sunday, the thirteenth round of the World Cup. For the time being, he is still on the list of participants of the X2O Trophy in Herentals on Wednesday.
60K for MvdP on new year’s day:
Knee Injury Puts Froome Behind in Preparation
Chris Froome has had a problem with his preparation for the 2022 road season. The Israel Start-Up Nation rider is currently suffering from a knee injury. According to the four-time Tour winner, this is a result of overload, he said on his YouTube channel.
Froome, now 36, has been unable to train for a week. It all started at the end of December, when the cyclist started suffering from his knee. It’s on the outside of the knee. Some scans showed that Froome is suffering with a tendon problem. “Apparently my body wasn’t ready to put pressure yet. I may have been a little too eager in recent weeks,” he said.
Because of this problem, Froome can’t train for a week and even after that he has to take it easy. “After a week I can start cycling again, but I will have to train for another two to three weeks. This is a major setback. I don’t know when I can and will start my season, but it will take a little longer now,” said Froome. “It’s a shame, but I have to make the best of it now.”
Froome still has hopes that he can return to the very highest level. “After what I’ve been through, there is no guarantee that I can win the Tour for a fifth time. However, it is and remains my goal. And whether it is in 2022, 2023 or 2024… I will continue to work towards it until it turns out that it is no longer possible,” he said in October 2021.
Tom Dumoulin with a Different Mindset in 2022
Tom Dumoulin is, after a period full of doubts, completely ready to shine as a cyclist. In an extensive and candid interview with Algemeen Dagblad, the Dutchman looks back on an eventful year, but also looks ahead to 2022. “In training or nutrition or I don’t know what, I am not going to do much differently. That’s not where my profit is. It’s mainly a different state of mind.”
Dumoulin is also very candid at the end of 2021 when it comes to the past period and his mental problems. The winner of the Giro d’Italia 2017 was looking for himself for a long time. 2021 may not have been the best year of his career in sporting terms, but it was very instructive for other reasons, Dumoulin says. “This year has been much more valuable to me.”
“It has been a special year, on several levels. Not comparable to 2017, which was a top year in terms of performance. 2019 and 2020 have also brought me a lot, but were not fun years. This year has been a very nice experience for me. The feeling of freedom. Nothing is necessary, everything is allowed in the months of February, March and April. I experienced that as great. I was able to experience what it is like not to be a cyclist at all.”
And yet it soon started to itch for Dumoulin, who made his return with extra impetus by taking a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The now 31 year-old rider of Jumbo-Visma will focus again next season on riding for the general classification in a Grand Tour. It is not yet clear which tour it will be, but Dumoulin is looking forward to hurting himself again for three weeks.
“I am curious where I am now among the big men in tours. That is the feeling I want to experience one more time. I just want to ride a Grand Tour again. Prepare myself for that as best I can. And then see where the ship is stranded without having any expectations attached to it. There will always be expectations, but that’s not why I stopped or why I took a break.”
Dumoulin now looks at himself differently. “In training or nutrition I’m not going to do so much differently. That’s not where my profit is. It is mainly a different state of mind. The realisation that I have a very special talent. That I find it very challenging and cool to try to get everything out of that. At this time in my life. That often gives me a lot of pleasure. Sometimes not. But I will never find that challenge again in the rest of my life.”
“I loved it when I took a break, took the dog for a walk and cleaned up the leaves in the garden. I may be able to do that for another fifty years. This challenge in my life will never come back.”
Tom Dumoulin want’s to ride a GT in 2022:
Sergio Higuita Wants to Go to a Grand Tour as a Leader
Sergio Higuita, the Colombian pocket climber, switched from EF Education-Nippo to BORA-hansgrohe for 2022. With the German team, Higuita will focus on the tours and he would like to start as leader in one of the Grand Tours. Although that won’t be in the Tour de France.
“I will start my season in the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina and after that I would like to ride the Colombian championships,” he told the VBAR program on the Colombian radio station Caracol Radio. Higuita was Colombian road champion in 2019. What his schedule looks like after that depends on which Grand Tour he will contest.
The Colombian Ciclismo International states that Aleksandr Vlasov and Emanuel Buchmann will probably prepare for the Giro d’Italia and that Wilco Kelderman will again contest the Tour de France. So it seems that the Colombian will go to the Vuelta a España. “That hasn’t been decided yet; but it will be the Giro or the Vuelta.”
Sergio Higuita for the Vuelta:
Talented Spaniard Iván Romeo in Training Crash
Iván Romeo will not be able to touch his bike for the next few weeks. The 18-year-old Spaniard, who will ride for Hagens Berman Axeon next year, was hit during training last Wednesday. Romeo suffered a broken rib and abrasions. “But luckily the damage is not too bad,” he said via social media.
Romeo was knocked off his bike by a car, which, according to the young Spaniard, ignored the right-of-way rules. The rider eventually had to be taken to hospital, but the damage is not that bad. Romeo will have to take a forced rest period, as he suffers from a broken rib and several wounds. “It continues to go well. I am now recovering at home. Thanks for the messages,” he said on Twitter.
Romeo was Spanish junior champion on the road and time trial last summer. That also aroused interest from Movistar, which was seriously considering transferring the junior to the pros next winter. The blue armada wanted Romeo, just like Juan Ayuso before, and don’t want to miss Spanish top talent. Romeo will first join Hagens Berman Axeon, the continental training team of manager Axel Merckx, in 2022. He may only stay there for six months, because according to Marca it is likely that the 18-year-old will transfer to the Movistar pro team in the summer, reportedly a three-year WorldTour contract is ready for Romeo.
No Giro for Sonny Colbrelli – Italian Focuses on the Tour
The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport knows for sure: Sonny Colbrelli will not participate in the Giro d’Italia in 2022. The European champion dreams of La Corsa Rosa, but his Bahrain Victorious team wants to take a shot at the final overall win with Mikel Landa.
The 31-year-old Colbrelli was last at the start of the Giro in 2016, but would like to return to his home tour one day. The 2022 Giro was penciled in his agenda. “I would like to return to the Giro d’Italia, even if it is a tough and difficult tour. I haven’t raced the Giro since 2016, I’ve never raced there in a Bahrain kit and the first stage is ideal for me. The first pink jersey will be awarded there.”
Bahrain Victorious, however, has other plans for Colbrelli. The Middle East team would like to take a shot at final victory in the Italian tour next year. Mikel Landa will be the absolute leader and this has consequences for Colbrelli. The winner of Paris-Roubaix will work towards the Tour de France after an intensive spring, just like the previous seasons.
Damiano Caruso, who was second in the Giro last season, will also not be part of the Giro selection in 2022. The experienced Italian climber will also focus on the Tour de France. Jack Haig and Matej Mohorič will also be at the start of the Tour next year.
No Giro for Sonny Colbrelli in 2022:
Magnus Cort Focuses on One-Day Races
Magnus Cort will focus on one-day races for the first time. The 28 year-old Dane from EF Education-Nippo has mainly focused on stage success in the tours in the last two years, something he succeeded in seven times. The highlight was the last Vuelta a España, where the strong sprinter won three stages. “My program will be different this year,” he told Danish TV2.
The first race circled in Cort’s agenda is Milan-San Remo. “It won’t be easy to win. But when I look at my honours list, there is simply a big one-day race missing. However, I do dream of that and that’s why I go for it. Of course it is difficult to hope for a monument victory, especially Milan-San Remo. That’s the easiest to race, but at the same time the hardest to win. But I believe I can do it, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it a goal,” said the Dane.
According to ProCyclingStats he will not contest the cobble classics, but he will be at the start of Strade Bianche, the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Eschborn-Frankfurt. In the spring campaign he mainly wants to score in Milan-San Remo, in which he finished eighth in 2018.
Classics for Magnus Cort:
Wout Poels: “I Can Still Ride Classifications in Stage Races of a Week”
Wout Poels knows that his role at Bahrain Victorious will change slightly next season. Yet the Limburg climber does not always want to resign himself to a domestique role. “I can certainly still ride classifications in stage races of a week, but in Grand Tours my role will probably be different,” he told WielerRevue.
“Especially a stage win in a Grand Tour is very high on my wish list. And preferably in the Tour de France of course,” said Poels, who was very close to winning the polka dot jersey in the Tour last year, but was eventually beaten by Tadej Pogačar. “It’s a shame, because if I had won that jersey, it would have given my period through Bahrain Victorious.”
The WorldTour team’s season was very successful and Poels sees that his teammates are developing well. Does that also affect him? “Maybe my role will indeed be slightly different than it was two years ago. That is due to the natural development of the team, but there is such a large program that I can continue to do my own thing,” he expects.
There was also a lot to do about Poels’ contract. It was first reported that he would be leaving Bahrain Victorious, but in the end, due to the departure of Mark Padun, he was set to stay. “I really wanted to take the time to visit interested teams, but all in all there was little reason to change teams. I’ve been racing here for two years now. It is also not ideal to switch every time. Then you need a period of getting used to it again and I just feel good.”
Wout van Aert Wins Second Edition ProCyclingStats Favorite500
The second edition of the Favorite500, organised by ProCyclingStats, has been won by Wout van Aert. The Belgian received 2613 votes, which was enough to beat last year’s winner Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel. In total, 5914 lists of 10 to 15 riders were submitted, with Van Aert featuring on more than 44% of the lists. The full ranking of most favourite cyclists can be found here.
The award, a glass trophy with the Favorite500 logo and list of the recipients’ names engraved in it, was presented to Van Aert at the Azencross in Loenhout, out of the hands of Bert Lip, co-founder of ProCyclingStats. A few hours later, Van Aert would win his sixth consecutive cyclocross race of the season. “It’s a big honour to win this prize and I’m hoping I can count on your support in 2022 as well,” said the newly crowned favourite rider of all time.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Castelli Announce Performance Clothing Partnership
Deal set to run until the end of 2024.
Two organisations with a long history of innovation and domination in the pro cycling peloton join forces to turn innovation into more results. The three-year deal (2022-2024) will see Castelli provide its full arsenal of racing and training clothing to the WorldTour’s best team, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team has dominated the pro cycling scene since the team’s debut in 2003 and has topped world cycling’s win rankings every year since 2012. Castelli has consistently been at the forefront of technical progression in cycling clothing for racing and training in extreme conditions as well as pioneering aerodynamics for road racing.
“We have long admired the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team’s meticulous approach to pushing the technological limits of the equipment, the same approach we take with clothing”, says Luca Martines, Castelli brand manager. “We’ve shown that clothing can provide a significant performance advantage, and we will continue the research and development alongside Quick-Step in the coming years.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be the only WorldTour team wearing clothing by Castelli, the brand that boasts more than 145 years of history and is noted as being the first to bring performance-enhancing innovations to pro cycling such as Lycra shorts, aero jerseys, the most advanced TT and road suits, and the iconic Gabba jacket that has become indispensable for every pro cyclist.
“At Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team we have always been looking to innovate and find new ways of thinking to help us improve, so we are delighted that we can build a partnership with Castelli”, said team CEO Patrick Lefevere. “Like us they have a long and rich history in cycling, and yet are still pushing to be the best, constantly evolving and looking for new ways to improve their clothing and to stay at the top of their game. Cycling is often a battle of conditions and to be able to go in the world’s biggest races with clothing that is technically the best available, will be of a massive advantage to our riders, we are delighted that they will be joining the Wolfpack family.”
Castelli will be bringing its expertise in aerodynamics for road races, time trials, and track racing. The TT specialists have already been fitted with custom suits and will be testing in the wind tunnel in January to refine the performance further. For Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, the top sprinting team in the pro peloton, Castelli is creating a race suit specifically for the high speeds of mass sprints.
“Castelli is known throughout the pro peloton for our protective clothing for cold and wet conditions, so it’s a natural fit with the Wolfpack”, says Andrea Peron, Castelli’s race performance director. “This is the perfect team to partner with to showcase products like the Gabba and Idro Pro jackets for racing in the rain. And we share the same drive for victory on any terrain, in any conditions.”
The partnership will already see a handful of innovative performance products at the beginning of the season, including the brand-new Free Aero RC Bibshort; the BTW and Superleggera Speed Suits; and the Idro Pro 3, Gabba RoS, and Perfetto RoS jackets.
Every innovative product created with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will eventually trickle down into the standard Castelli collection and the Servizio Corse custom team wear program.
UAE Team Emirates Unveil 2022 colours
Updated kit for the Emirati team.
UAE Team Emirates have unveiled their new strip for the 2022 campaign. The stylish outfit designed by Gobik will be on display at the upcoming training camp as the riders gather to commence the year in Alicante, Spain starting the 5th January.
INEOS Grenadiers Heads to Giro d’Italia with Two Former Winners
It has not yet been finalised, but there is a good chance that Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia in 2022. Former rider Matteo Tosatto, now sports director at INEOS Grenadiers, revealed in conversation with Bici.PRO.
The British team has yet to put together its final squad for the Italian tour, but Tosatto is quick to talk about Carapaz, the 2019 Giro winner, and Hart, who triumphed in the Italian tour in 2020. “It’s no mystery, I think Carapaz will be our leader. We also have Heart. That is the situation for now, but we will plan the programs completely in January.”
What is certain is that Tom Pidcock will contest the Giro d’Italia for the first time next year. The British all-rounder will have a free role in the Italian race. In the sprints, the team will count on Elia Viviani, who will race again for INEOS Grenadiers next year. Viviani will have support from British champion Ben Swift on the flat stages, who has also turned out to be a more than excellent climber in recent years.
Tosatto does not mention the possible presence of Richie Porte, but there is a good chance that the Australian will participate in the 2022 Giro, his farewell year. He had his breakthrough in the 2010 Giro where he finished seventh in the final GC while riding for Saxo Bank. He also took home the young riders jersey. “If I can come full circle there, that would be a dream. I’ve always enjoyed the Giro,” said Porte.
Richard Carapaz announced via his Instagram that he will start next year in the Giro d’Italia. The climber from Ecuador is grateful to his INEOS Grenadiers for the trust. The 28-year-old Carapaz hopes to become the final overall winner of the Italian tour for a second time in 2022. In 2019 he beat Vincenzo Nibali and Primož Roglič.
Carapaz to lead in the Giro’22:
Young Talent Joel Suter Joins UAE Team Emirates
Swiss pens deal with Emirati squad.
UAE Team Emirates have finalised their roster for 2022 with 23-year old rider Joel Suter linking up to complete the 30 rider line-up on a one-year deal.
Suter hails from Frutigen, Switzerland and turned professional in 2020, spending two years at the Pro Team level with the move to UAE seeing him step-up to the World Tour. He will join-up with his new teammates on the upcoming training camp in Alicante, Spain which begins on the 5th January.
Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “Joel is a proven team player who can support our big leaders in key moments. He’s strong on the flat, in time-trials and has shown that he can also perform in the medium-mountains. He is still a young rider at 23 but already has a few years experience at the professional level under his belt and has shown some of what he can do at many World Tour races already. I think he’ll slot in very well with us.”
Joel Suter: “I am very happy to be on the road next year with UAE Team Emirates. It was a dream to make this step and it’s now becoming a reality so I am over the moon and ready to start this new chapter. Next week I’ll link up with the team for the first training camp of the year so I’m already excited for that.”
Kamil Gradek Joins Bahrain Victorious
Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the signing of Kamil Gradek for the 2022 season. The former Polish National ITT winner rejoins the WorldTour following his stint with Vini Zabù.
Gradek: “I’m very happy to be able to join Team Bahrain Victorious. I know I’m in the right environment and one of the best teams in the world. Last year was a challenging year for me, but now I have everything I need to show what I can do in this team. I’m excited and looking forward to the season ahead. I’m grateful for the team’s trust in me, and I would like to repay them with a good season.”
Martin Salmon Ends his Career at 24
Martin Salmon will not be in the peloton next year. The 24-year-old German has decided to end his professional career. Salmon raced for Team DSM since 2017: first for the U23 team, then for the WorldTeam for two years.
Salmon, who as a junior managed some nice results in big races and was given the opportunity to become a professional with DSM in the winter of 2019. In his first season with the pro team, the German won the mountains classification in the Tour du Limousin and rode his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, where he retired in the third week. In his second professional year, his best result was third place in the fourth stage of the PostNord Danmark Rundt. Salmon failed to make an impression at WorldTour level and so DSM decided not to renew his contract.
Salmon left it open whether he would continue his career at all, but now has decided at the age of only 24 to hang up his bike. “Cyclist was one of my first words as far as I know. I’ve had the pleasure of labelling cycling as my job, but now I’m saying goodbye to it,” Salmon said via Instagram.
Christoph Pfingsten Retires
Christoph Pfingsten’s professional cycling career is over. The 34 year-old German rode for Jumbo-Visma in recent seasons, but did not receive a contract extension after two years. “Today it’s time to say goodbye,” Pfingsten said on Instagram.
Pfingsten started his career in cyclo-cross. The German was a talented cross rider with a lightning-fast start. The rider won several small cyclo-cross races in Germany and the Czech Republic during his career and in 2012 was crowned German cross champion. Pfingsten opted for a career as a road rider and worked his way up to WorldTour level as a domestique, first at BORA-hansgrohe and then at Jumbo-Visma.
The German put off the decision to stop for as long as possible. “It is a day that almost all top athletes fear. It is time to say goodbye. After 25 years in the cycling peloton, my career has come to an end. I have to both cry and laugh. I’m crying, because I don’t really want to stop yet, but due to various circumstances there was no new adventure.”
“However, I can also laugh because I can look back on some beautiful moments. I think of my German cyclo-cross title in front of thousands of fans, or of my fourth place in a stage in the Giro d’Italia. My second place in Rund um Köln was also a highlight, as was my vice World title in 2009 in the U23 cross. There are of course many more beautiful moments, but I cannot list them all here.”
In his Instagram post, Pfingsten also reflects on his wife Gini, family, acquaintances, friends and sponsors. “I want to thank you all for allowing me to practice this beautiful sport for so many years. I was able to see everything in the world and meet special people. My father always says: when one door closes, another door opens. I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but maybe I’ll stay involved in the sport somehow. Bisbald, Ciao, Goodbye, Au revoir, Bye.”
2022 Vuelta a San Juan Canceled
The Vuelta a San Juan will not take place this year, reports the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The multi-day cycling race in Argentina (January 30-February 6) was also canceled in 2021 due to the corona pandemic.
The race organisers have not yet responded, but cycling journalist Ciro Scognamiglio of La Gazzetta dello Sport is certain: there will be no 2022 edition of the Vuelta a San Juan at the end of January and the beginning of February. This is another bitter pill for the organisers.
With Astana Qazaqstan Team, BORA-hansgrohe, Cofidis, INEOS Grenadiers, Israel Start-Up Nation, Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Quick-Step – AlphaVinyl and Trek-Segafredo, nine WorldTeams were on the final entry list.
With three-time World champion Peter Sagan, four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, the last winner Remco Evenepoel, Filippo Ganna, Richard Carapaz and Elia Viviani, were expected on the start line.
No San Juan again:
Antwerp Cycling Club WAC will Race in Special Poulidor Kit
Alpecin-Fenix raised €50,000 last year to stimulate children’s sports. Before that, Mathieu van der Poel’s Belgian team had set up the #MerciPouPou campaign. The Antwerp cycling club WAC Team will receive part of the fund and will also race in special jerseys.
Alpecin-Fenix announced on social media that WAC Team will race from January 1, 2022 in the purple-yellow colours in which Raymond Poulidor raced in the past. Last summer we saw Alpecin-Fenix race a Tour de France stage in that kit.
WAC Team has been around for about eighty years, making it one of the oldest cycling associations in Flanders. There are 125 members between the ages of 8 and 18. According to Alpecin-Fenix, the cycling club deserves this contribution from the MerciPouPou fund, because it has passed on the passion for cycling for generations.
“And that in a structure in which everyone can find their place. To visually emphasise that, the WAC Team riders will wear the legendary ‘Merci PouPou’ colours in 2022,” their message reads.
Alpecin-Fenix wants to enter into a long-term collaboration with the five parties with the fund, in which they will also try to draw attention to the organisations in the future. All five organisations will receive €10,000 as a gift from Alpecin-Fenix.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Ready for 2022
31 riders – including three neo-pros – 10 different nationalities, the same formidable Wolfpack spirit, and plenty of hopes and dreams as we start our 20th year in the peloton.
Patrick Lefevere, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s CEO, shared his thoughts about 2021 and the hopes he has for the team’s 20th season.
“Every New Year brings a new beginning and 2022 is no different for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
That is true as much for our team but does not mean that I do not look back at our season with immense pride, because of course I know that my team is special. 65 wins is phenomenal achievement, but it is not only the numbers of wins that pleases me, but the quality of those victories and the consistency over a long period of time, especially while taking on the continuing challenges of Covid-19.
But things move on, and I would like to welcome all the new riders, staff, sponsors and partners that will join from 2022, as well as taking the opportunity to thank those that will no longer be with us. My time in the business of cycling and in sport has seen me be grateful for the support we receive, and I thank those that have supported us until now and wish them well for the future.
We have tried to build a balanced team the coming season and I am looking forward to seeing them race in the manner to which we have been accustomed. This will be a landmark year, marking 20 years since the team was formed, an achievement of which I am very proud. There are so many people who have been involved along this incredible journey – far too many to name individually, but I hope that they all share in the pride and sense of achievement that I do, while still looking forward to new goals and forging a successful future.
On behalf of everyone at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best to you and your families!”
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