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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

UEC fundraising to support Ukraine and UCI to suspend Russian board members – TOP STORY. All the race news from Strade Bianche, Paris-Nice and the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré with video. Rider news: Aleksandr Vlasov calls for peace in Ukraine, Pavel Sivakov changes from Russian to French, Wout van Aert on Tadej Pogačar, Adam Hansen makes a comeback, Dutch track coach not at work after Amy Pieters crash, Vincenzo Nibali will not ride Milan-Sanremo, Ethics Committee to review Alexandre Geniez conviction, Adrie van der Poel on Mathieu’s injury, Elisa Longo Borghini: Two more years with Trek-Segafredo and Alberto Bettiol misses Italian spring races. Race news: Riders for Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of the Basque Country teams, ASO and Netflix Tour de France series, Patrick Lefevere involved. Plus videos: Mauro Schmid and his love for Strade Bianche and interview with Lorenzo Fortunato. **** Stop the war in Ukraine ****

top story
TOP STORY: UEC Fundraising to Support Ukraine
The Union Européenne de Cyclisme is aware that many Ukrainian athletes have been forced to leave their homeland during the crisis and are now seeking refuge in other countries. They are now being supported by National Federations, friends and family and we wish to thank all who have and are continuing to offer support.

In this regard UEC decided to start a fundraiser in aid of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation and its athletes.

This initiative, a first in the continental confederation’s history, was approved this morning by the UEC RemCo (Renumerations Committee) and thereafter by the UEC Management Board after all administrative procedures of the last few days had been finalised. These procedures are in accordance with the UEC’s internal rules and UEC Constitution, as well as Swiss banking regulations.

The fundraiser “UEC Solidarity & Unity Aid for Ukrainian Cycling” is aimed at supporting and providing assistance to the Federation presided by Andry Grivko and to the young athletes who are living through this terrible situation.

With the first UEC donation (100,000 euros), the account is already active and the distribution of funds will be co-ordinated directly by the UEC, UCI and President of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation Andry Grivko. It is anticipated that this distribution will begin immediately.

We encourage and ask all interested parties to join in these efforts to support our Ukrainian friends and colleagues.

Here is how to make a donation:

  • Account name: Union Européenne de Cyclisme
  • Account number: 0269-00920065.70D
  • IBAN: CH110026926992006570D
  • Curencie: Euro
  • Reference: UEC Solidarity & Unity Aid for Ukrainian Cycling
  • BIC (SWIFT): UBSWCHZH80A

Help Ukraine:
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Pressure on UCI to Suspend Russian Board Members Increases
The UCI came up with measures related to the current situation in Ukraine last week. Russian and Belarusian national teams are no longer allowed to participate in competitions, athletes from these countries can compete under a neutral flag for the time being. However, board members from Russia and Belarus are escaping for the time being, according to Algemeen Dagblad.

According to the AD, a small group is escaping the sanctions of the UCI for the time being. These are board members within the UCI and the European cycling federation UEC from Russia and Belarussia. Russia would play an important role behind the scenes and occupy a position of power. In particular, the Russian oligarch Igor Makarov, who founded the Katusha cycling team in 2008, has a lot to say.

However, a counter-movement has emerged in recent days, led by the Dutch, Belgian, British and Scandinavian cycling federations. These unions are now putting pressure on the UCI and UEC to immediately suspend board members from Russia and Belarus. In a letter, printed by the AD, the federations stated that it is “fundamentally wrong to punish Russian and Belarusian citizens and athletes who represent their countries while leaving board members representing the same countries in their positions.”

According to various stakeholders, the call is now supported by a large majority of UCI and UEC member states.

Igor Makarov, oil and gas billionaire:
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Strade Bianche 2022
Tadej Pogačar impressively won the 2022 Strade Bianche. The 23-year-old UAE Team Emirates leader attacked from the peloton 50 kilometres from the finish, on the Monte Sante Marie gravel section, and squeezed a nice solo from his legs. He finished solo in Siena after 184 kilometres.

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From the early leading group of nine riders, only four remained in the run-up to the final. Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Marco Brenner (DSM) and Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën) were caught 52 kilometres from the finish. Before that there had been plenty of action. A massive crash in the peloton at 100 kilometres to go was quite stunning. A strong gust of wind blew part of the peloton off a gravel section, causing in a spectacular crash. World champion Julian Alaphilippe was in the front row and rolled into a field, but was able to continue. Others were not as lucky as Alaphilippe: Tiesj Benoot, Matej Mohoric, Michael Matthews, Victor Campenaerts and Gianni Vermeersch were among the victims. For them, the race was over. Alaphilippe was back in the peloton within 25 kilometres with the help of his teammates. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Lotto Soudal and Bahrain Victorious took control. Just over 50 kilometres from the finish, the last of the early escape were caught. Alaphilippe, Tim Wellens and Tadej Pogačar, and the other favourites, showed themselves at the front on the 11 kilometre long Monte Sante Marie.

The UAE Team Emirates double Tour de France winner got back to the leaders on a downhill section and immediately attacked. On the next uphill stretch, Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers) counter-attacked, but he couldn’t get close to Pogačar. At the Monte Sante Marie, Pogačar was already 35 seconds ahead of Rodriguez and more than 1 minute up on the thinned out peloton, where Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were chasing with Movistar and Trek-Segafredo. On the section between Monte Sante Marie and the last three sections of Monteaperti (800 metres), Strade di Colle Pinzuto (2.4km) and Le Tolfe (1.1km), Pogačar pushed his lead out to 1:30. On the Monteaperti, Kasper Asgreen, Jhonatan Narváez, Tim Wellens, Alejandro Valverde and Quinn Simmons set up a chase group after the Slovenian, they managed to reduce the gap to 1 minute. The lights went out for Alaphilippe. Asgreen used the Strade di Colle Pinzuto to go after Pogačar on his own. The Dane was joined by Valverde on the last white road section of Le Tolfe and they brought to gap down to 50 seconds, but that was it. In the last undulating kilometres towards Siena, Pogačar was able to save his legs for the steep final climb on the Via Santa Caterina. The UAE Team Emirates rider had no problems on the final ramps of up to 16%, raising his hands to celebrate victory in the Piazza del Campo. Behind him, Valverde dropped Asgreen in the streets of Siena for second place. Asgreen was third

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Race winner, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a beautiful, incredible victory. I started from afar, and I was only sure I made it when there were about 5 kilometres to go, but even on the last climb I checked if anyone was coming behind me. I attacked in the Sante Marie sector, a part of the route that is usually crucial for the result of the race: no one followed me, so I decided to continue alone and I am happy to have managed to reach the finish line, also because they never gave up and, with the passing of the kilometres, my energies were decreasing.”

2nd, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “Second behind Pogacar, it’s like a victory. I’m very happy, after the day that it’s been. I had a crash and it took me a long time to get back on a bike. It’s been difficult but the team was phenomenal and it’s a great result to come second. I saw Pogacar attacking. I was in about tenth position in the group but no one managed to go with him. I never thought we’d catch him. He was on a regular rhythm and there was nothing more we could do.”

3rd, Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “Obviously, Julian Alaphilippe’s crash occurred at a very bad moment. The team did a fantastic job to bring him back. Unfortunately he paid the price and couldn’t take part in the finale. After I passed the two steep sectors, I knew it would be more like my terrain until the finishing line. I have always thought Strade Bianche is a beautiful race. It’s my third time here. Unfortunately, the first two times didn’t go so well. I was super motivated this year to show that it’s a race I can perform in. To finish on the podium is a good first step. It gives me motivation for the future to come back and win it.”

5th, Pello Bilboa (Bahrain Victorious): “The first feeling, I must admit, I’m a bit disappointed as I had a super good feel and was believing in the podium. I also thought I could follow the attack of Tadej Pogacar. When he attacked, I was in a perfect position to try to go. But I had a flat tyre, and I had to ride for about 1km before Jan Tratnik gave me his bike. Then I changed it on the tarmac and gave everything to chase the group in front. It was a bit chaotic race, but in the end, we still could find a good collaboration also when it seemed the race was gone.
We had bad luck as a team, as we were involved in the big crash with the wind Matej and me too. But then all the team was compact. They believed in me. They helped me recover the positions to fight for the next gravel sector. I was near the podium, and I finished with a good feeling. Next time I will fight to be on the podium.”

8th, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “We were positioned really well during the first crucial sector but a big part of the bunch was mowed down by a heavy gust of wind. After that the race was put a little on hold until gravel section seven, where we took the initiative with amongst others Harry Sweeny and Maxim Van Gils. As we knew, the selection would be made on the Monte Sante Marie, where I was in fifth position when Pogačar attacked in the descent. I was in the ideal position but Tadej went so fast nobody could follow him. On the Monteaperti, the race exploded again and I was able to escape with four other riders. At that point, I still hoped for a podium place but on the next sector it turned out that Asgreen and Valverde were better. Before the tough final kilometre, a few riders joined our chasing group and on the steep ramps towards Piazza del Campo, I had a weak moment and ended up in eighth place. Of course I had hoped for more, but being in the front line with the best riders in the race makes me happy. Strade Bianche is and will always be a beautiful race but you also need a decent amount of luck, even if you have to create that yourself sometimes. It is a really honest race and in the end, everyone ends up in the place they should. The team did a good job today, although we had quite some bad luck. Victor crashed on the first sector and also Brent was knocked down by the wind.”

9th, Simone Petilli (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Our strong collective performance in Laigueglia last Wednesday and the high level of our leader Lorenzo Rota gave us a lot of confidence ahead of the Strade Bianche. With Taco van der Hoorn in the breakaway it was a perfect start to the race, behind we tried to race in the front and to survive as good as possible. Despite his crash, Lorenzo was again strong today. In the final we worked hard to chase the group of counterattackers but there was no real collaboration. There were many attacks and this is how I managed to finish in the top ten. Given his performance, also Lorenzo deserved this result, so I think we can conclude that we again collectively showed our presence in the front.”

10th, Sergio Higuita Garcia (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was an extremely tough day. I have never ridden this race before and it was my first experience taking on a gravel race. We knew that positioning is very important on a parcours like this, so we tried to stay alert to this at all times. Me and Jai managed to make it into the reduced field, and when Pogačar attacked, we tried to keep up with the best of them. But I suffered a lot in the Santa Maria climb, it was really hard. Despite this, I still wanted to keep fighting and headed full gas into the final. In the end, that effort was enough to take a top-10 finish, a good result for my first Strade Bianche.”

Crash victim Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) finished in 58th place: “At the moment I do have back pain. I don’t know exactly what happened. It was blowing hard, suddenly they fell in front of me and I was there too. It is good for the team that we have someone on the podium with Kasper. He is third, which is not bad and we are happy with that. There was probably not much more in it today. Especially if you look at Tadej Pogačar, he was really doing great.”

Break rider, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It was a fantastic feeling to be back in Italy! It was a hard day in the early breakaway, but I enjoyed the many encouragements during this nice race. Our purpose was to anticipate so I could race in support of our leaders in the final. We worked well together to increase our advantage on the peloton, but also there they kept racing at a high pace. Unfortunately we were caught on the Monte Sante Marie, so I didn’t get a chance to help my teammates. The performance of Simone and Lorenzo was pure class, so I’m a happy man here on the Piazza del Campo. I’ll continue my race schedule with the Tirreno-Adriatico before returning to the Belgian classics, where I’ll try again!”

Strade Bianche Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 4:47:49
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:37
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:46
4. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 1:07
5. Pello Bilboa (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 1:09
6. Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo at 1:21
8. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:25
9. Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 1:35
10. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:53.

Strade Bianche’22:

 

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Strade Bianche Women 2022
Lotte Kopecky won the women’s Strade Bianche 2022. The 26-year-old Belgian champion of SD Worx beat Annemiek van Vleuten on the steep streets of Siena towards the finish line in the Piazzo del Campo. On the Via Santa Caterina Kopecky held Van Vleuten to the final meters where her sprint decided the race. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was third.

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The Norwegian Uno-X team sent Rebecca Koerner up the road after a few kilometres. She was joined by Emily Newsom (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) to make the early break of the day. The pair did not get much of a lead, their maximum never exceeded 3 minutes. In the end the American was soon alone. On the Rada section (the third sterrato of the day), the Danish rider was dropped. On her own, Newsom managed to extend her lead to 3:30. Jumbo-Visma and SD Worx were in control behind. At around 50 kilometres to go, Newsom’s escape was over. At that point crosswinds caused echelons and the peloton split into three parts. This started a lot of attacks. Liv Racing was the most active, but nobody managed to get away. With the sixth of eight ‘white road’ sections approaching, the favourites started to look interested. Movistar took charge of the race for Annemiek van Vleuten. She attacked the peloton on the uphill section of Monteaparti, leaving an elite group. At the summit of one of the climbs it was then Lotte Kopecky who put in a strong move that no one could follow.

On the Colle Pinzuto with ramps of up to 15%. Van Vleuten closed the gap on the Belgian champion, but there was an elite group on her wheel; Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marianne Vos. Soon after it was Demi Vollering and Shirin van Anrooij who crossed to them, followed by last years winner Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini. On Le Tolfe, the final section of sterrato, Van Vleuten went on the attack and only Kopecky could hold her. In the group behind, her SD Worx team was well represented, so that the two looked to be fighting for the win. At just over 5 kilometres from the finish, the chase group caught them. Everone was then waiting for Via San Caterina inside the city gates of Siena. In the final kilometre Van Vleuten took the lead again and she quickly rode the others off her wheel, except for Kopecky. The Belgian champion is not known as a top climber, but she couldn’t be dropped from Van Vleuten’s wheel. In the last few, twisty hundred metres, the Belgian took the lead. Despite an attempt from the Movistar rider to surprise at 150 metres from the line, Kopecky had the fastest finish to win Strade Bianche 2022.

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Race winner, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx): “I cannot believe I just won! It was a great team effort from the whole Team Sd Worx. I knew I had teammates behind me that had my back. I had a good feeling in the finale, I tried to follow Annemiek Van Vleuten and I just kept pushing until the last corner, I knew I had to be first on the last corner, I was prepared for the sprint. It is the biggest victory of my career.”

2nd, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “Usually I would be disappointed with a second place but I can be happy with this one. I played it well. I wanted to be the first one in the last corner because it’s all downhill from there. I tried to drop Lotte [Kopecky] on the climb. She was super strong so she stayed with me. It was a big fight for the last corner. If I continue, and I don’t know yet if I’ll continue, I’ll come back next year to win Strade Bianche for the third time.”

Strade Bianche Women Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx in 3:59:14
2. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
3. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 0:10
4. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 0:19
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Acquitaine Futuroscope at 0:24
6. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 0:28
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:29
8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:34
10. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service.

Strade Bianche’22:

 

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Paris-Nice 2022
Stage 1 of Paris-Nice offered opportunities, and Jumbo-Visma wasted no time to deal a blow to their opponents. After some tussles through the wind, the Dutch squad made the most of the hilly final circuit. Not only did they shred the bunch, Primoz Roglic, Wout Van Aert and Christophe Laporte dropped all their rivals with 6km to go. The trio worked well to gain an advantage of 20 seconds before the Slovenian and Belgian stars gave the Frenchman his first victory in a WorldTour race and his first success with Jumbo-Visma.

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The Sun and fresh temperatures accompany the 154-man peloton starting from Mantes-la-Ville in the early afternoon. The course was rolling from the beginning, setting the tone for a demanding stage. Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) was the first attacker to get away at km 3, he was joined by Aimé De Gendt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) a kilometre later. The gap reached its maximum of 3:10 before the first climb of the day, the Côte de Vétheuil at 32.9km. Holmes took the 3 KOM points on the summit of the cat-3 climb, while Fabio Jakobsen’s Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Jasper Philipsen’s Alpecin-Fenix took control of the bunch. INEOS Grenadiers join in after 50km. The gap decreases to 1:55 before it rose again to 2:55 on the slopes of the second climb, the Côte de la route des Crêtes (59.5km), which was also taken by Holmes. The tension rose in the bunch with open roads exposed to cross and headwinds. Teams are so wary of potential echelons the early attackers were caught with 73km to go.

After a brief battle in the wind, the few dropped riders returned to the bunch and a new break formed with 47km to go as Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) launched an attack. There was a crash in the bunch and Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) was forced to abandon. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana Qazaqstan) and Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM) joined Frison at the front 44km from the finish. The gap was 1:05 as Fedorov won the first intermediate sprint of the day, with 30km to go. The lead went as high as 1:20, but the peloton accelerate again before the final circuit. The gap was 30 seconds as Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) led the bunch across the line for the first time with 17.7km to go. The attackers were eventually reeled in 11km out. The pace remained high to the final climb of the day and Jumbo-Visma put the hammer down as soon as they hit the first slopes. Nathan Van Hooydonck took a hard turn at the front, then Christophe Laporte, only Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) could follow Primoz Roglič and Wout Van Aert. Stybar was dropped with 6km to go, and only the Jumbo-Visma trio remained at the front. They work well together to open a gap of 20 seconds, then Van Aert and Roglic tell Laporte the victory was his. Pierre Latour attacked from the bunch to cross the line 19 seconds behind the winners and 3 seconds ahead of the bunch.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma): “I am thrilled. As a French rider, Paris-Nice is a big race for me. The plan was to keep Primoz in the classification and sprint with Wout. I was allowed to attack to make the race hard, which I did, and only the three of us remained.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “This is really crazy. You can hardly predict this, but we came into this situation and were able to hold on to the finish. I didn’t even know on that climb if anyone else had attacked or if we were driving so fast, but we kept peddling. This is great fun and the choice was not difficult at all. This was the only right choice. Christophe deserves this victory.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “We had the plan to make the race hard on the climb. We thought this could be a good move for my winning chances and Primoz’s classification. Christophe took over from Nathan so fiercely that we put everyone on the limit. I was surprised only three of us were left. Then it was a matter of racing to the finish as fast as possible. I think this is an extraordinary victory for Christophe in his own country. Also because of the yellow jersey that comes with it. I wanted to give him this victory.”

6th on the stage and overall, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Everyone in Eritrea could see live on television how I conquered the white jersey and this makes me incredibly happy. My position at the foot of the Breuil-Bois-Robert climb was not ideal so I missed the breakaway of the Jumbo-Visma riders, but my sprint made up for it. It was a hard day and I hope for the same legs tomorrow. I can rely on the support and the confidence of the whole team. Their experience in the crosswinds is very valuable, I’m very excited for positioning battles. I can’t wait to discover how it feels to compete with this white jersey on my shoulders!”

Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe): “That was a classic Paris-Nice stage today, very hard and very stressful. I’m super happy with how we worked as a team during the stage. We were very well positioned at the crucial points and the guys did a great job to support me. In the end I just didn’t have the legs on the final climb before the finish and couldn’t follow. I’m definitely not at 100% yet but I feel an improvement and that’s what I’m happy about today. Let’s see what the next days have to offer!”

Paris-Nice Stage 1 Result:
1. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma in 3:48:38
2. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:19
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:22
6. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
8. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
9. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 1:
1. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma in 3:48:28
2. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
4. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:29
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:32
6. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
8. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
9. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Paris-Nice’22 stage 1:

 

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Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré 2022
The GP Monseré 2022 was won by Arnaud De Lie. After 203 kilometres between Hooglede-Gits and Roeselare, the 19-year-old sprinter of Lotto Soudal finished ahead of Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) and Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic).

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The early break included Thomas Joseph (Minerva), Robbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Robin Orins (Elevate p/b Home Solution Soenens), Jon Knolle (Saris Rouvy Sauerland) and Robert Scott (WiV SunGod). Halfway through the race a sixth rider joined them, Jonas Hvideberg of DSM. They managed a maximum lead of 5 minutes. Because the leaders had to stop for a closed level crossing, the lead fell to less than 1 minute. Sprinter’s teams; Lotto Soudal and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise didn’t chase to let the group take more time again. At the start of the last local lap of 50 kilometres through Roeselare, Hooglede-Gits, Kortemark, Koekelare, Ichtegem, Torhout and Lichtervelde, the difference was just under 1:30. The lead dropped rapidly when the sprint trains started their work. There was a lot of nervousness as the wind started to cause splits, although 19 kilometres from the finish the race was all together.

Arkéa-Samsic and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl took the front of the peloton, which had been considerably thinned by the wind, the succession of short climbs, cobblestones and narrow roads. The last time through Gitsberg, Ludovic Robeet made an attack and had 8 seconds on the peloton. He was caught 1.5 kilometres from the finish. In the final kilometre Lotto Soudal started the sprint, after which it turned into a battle between Arnaud De Lie and Hugo Hofstetter. The Belgian sprinter, who won in Mallorca early this season, was much faster. Dries De Bondt finished second with a last minute jump, ahead of Hofstetter.

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Race winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal): “Of course I am super happy with this win. The goal of the team was to win today. It feels amazing to able to succeed”, was his first reply after his win. “Without the great teamwork this would not have been possible. I really have to thank my teammates. They brought me to the finish line in perfect position. Jasper De Buyst did a great lead-out and after I went at 250 meters to go, I was able to finish the job. As a 19-year-old, it feels great to have the support of the entire team. This was the second time I could go for victory and for the second time I was able to get the win. What the following races will bring? We’ll see, I take it one race at a time. Without stress and by committing fully to racing. If I am able to get any more victories this year: even better. My first pro-victory on Mallorca was special, but this one ranks even higher. A victory in Belgium is always a bit more special.”

Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré Result:
1. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:45:03
2. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Ethan Vernon (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
7. Donavan Grondin (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
8. Laurence Pithie (NZ) Groupama-FdJ
9. Jensen Plowright (Aus) Groupama-FdJ
10. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB.

GP Monseré’22:

 

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Aleksandr Vlasov Calls for Peace in Ukraine
Aleksandr Vlasov has spoken via social media regarding the situation in Ukraine. The 25-year-old rider, who rides for BORA-hansgrohe, watches as ‘his’ Russia wages war against Ukraine, but he calls for peace.

Vlasov talks on his Instagram page about a “difficult situation for everyone”. “Like many Russians, I just want peace. I am not a political person, but normal Russians have never been asked if we want war. It is a shock to everyone and I hope it stops as soon as possible. I sympathise with all those who suffer. I hope there will be peace soon.”

“I am an athlete and my goal should be to connect people across borders, rather than tear them apart. That should be the role of sport,” Vlasov believes. Earlier, Pavel Sivakov, a compatriot of Vlasov, also decided to speak out against the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine.

Vlasov will not represent his country directly, as the UCI has announced a series of measures related to the current situation in Ukraine. The climber may race under a neutral flag: any entry by Russian or Belarusian athletes must be neutral and organisers are requested to withdraw any reference to Russia or Belarus and replace it with a neutral reference or designation.

Vlasov has spoken out against the war in Ukraine:
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Pavel Sivakov Changes Russian for French Nationality
Pavel Sivakov is now a Frenchman. The INEOS Grenadiers climber rode on a Russian license until recently, but the UCI has agreed to his ‘new’ nationality. “Given the current situation in Ukraine, I wanted to speed up this process,” said Sivakov.

On March 2, the UCI officially approved the change of nationality, allowing Sivakov to race under the French flag with immediate effect. The UCI already announced that it would deal more flexibly with Russian cyclists who want to change to a different nationality, because of the current war in Ukraine.

Sivakov was born in Italy, but has stronger ties to France. “I moved there when I was one year old. I grew up in France, went to school there and fell in love with my bike there. It feels like home,” he says. “I have wanted French nationality for some time and have applied to the UCI, but given the current situation in Ukraine, I wanted to speed up this process.”

“I wanted to thank the UCI and the team for their help in this process. They have made this a reality. I now have the opportunity to compete in international races as a Frenchman and that makes me very happy. It is a dream to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024,” said Sivakov. “And as I said before, I am completely against this war. All my thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. I hope that there will be peace soon and that this suffering in Ukraine will soon come to an end.” Sivakov would have raced under a neutral flag for INEOS Grenadiers, if he had kept his Russian licence.

Sivakov now French:
alps

 

jumbo-visma
Wout van Aert on Tadej Pogačar
Before the first stage of Paris-Nice, Wout van Aert spoke about Tadej Pogačar’s Strade Bianche victory. The Belgian champion was impressed by the Slovenian’s solo win. “We have a new top favourite for De Ronde, surely?” he said.

Van Aert won the Italian gravel classic in 2020, was missing from this year’s Strade Bianche. He opts for Paris-Nice, in order to be in top shape at the start of the major spring Classics. He saw how Pogačar dominated on Saturday in Tuscany. “It was impressive, there are no other words for that,” Van Aert told Sporza.

“In any case, I was already wary of him before the Ronde,” he continued. “He has proven several times that he is more than a tour rider and that he is also super strong in one-day races. It was awesome how he did it. It seemed like a close race, but with the first best attack he rode the rest off. He never saw them again. Impressive.”

The winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad also looked forward to the opening stage of Paris-Nice. “A classic race, with a lot of twists and turns, up and down. The intention is to get a result today. I think it will be too tough for the pure sprinters. Maybe they will survive those climbs, but then their team would have to be disrupted.”

Van Aert talks Pogačar:
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Adam Hansen Makes Comeback in Croatia
Adam Hansen made his comeback as a cyclist in the Trofej Porec in Croatia on Sunday. The 40-year-old Australian raced for Lotto Soudal for years, but decided to stop at the end of 2020 to focus on triathlons. To get in shape, he has made his comeback with the Austrian team WSA KTM Graz.

Hansen said on social media that he is working towards his first triathlon of the year, in early April and wants to be in shape. “In 2003, 2004 and 2006 I rode for manager Christoph Resl’s team. He helped me a lot as a young rider,” he explained. “When I turned pro in 2007, Christoph said I would forget him. But I promised to come back.”

“Last autumn I contacted him to see if I could ride for his team. He agreed,” laughed Hansen. “I can work with the team on my form for the triathlons and I am looking forward to the first race of the year. We are here with a large group and some riders are half my age… But that keeps me young.”

It is not yet known which races the former stage winner in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España will race for WSA KTM Graz this season. Hansen crossed the finish line in 129th place in the Trofej Porec on Sunday. The win went to Serbian Dusan Rajovic (Corratec), who beat Matevz Govekar (Tirol KTM) and Viktor Potocki (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) in the sprint.

Adam Hansen back to racing:
wsa

 

holland dutch
Dutch National Track Coach Not at Work After the Amy Pieters Crash
Fulco van Gulik, national coach of the Dutch track team, is not working until further notice. The former professional cyclist was involved in the crash of Amy Pieters in December, she has been in a coma ever since.

Since the autumn, Van Gulik has been the endurance coach of the national elite cyclists for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. In December, the 42-year-old former rider was in Spain at a training camp with the track team when Amy Pieters had a serious crash during training. It now appears that Van Gulik also crashed. “Amy fell together with Fulco, they came into contact with each other,” KNWU head coach Jan van Veen told NOS.

No further details will be disclosed. The involvement of the national coach did not come out earlier because, according to Van Veen, “this concerns secondarily those present at the accident and primarily Amy’s friends and family.” Pieters’ situation is unchanged. The reigning Dutch road champion and three-time World champion on the track is still in a coma, but stable.

Van Veen and the KNWU do not yet know how long Van Gulik will not be able to work. “We are looking for a solution internally.” Mehdi Kordi, already involved in the national sprint team, will guide the endurance riders towards the first Nations Cup competitions from April 21-24 in Glasgow.

Dutch coach involved in Amy Pieters crash:
Apeldoorn - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Nederland - Netherlands Pays - Bas - Nils van ’t Hoenderdaal - Harrie Lavreyesen - Jeffrey Hoogland pictured during World Championships track - baan - bahn - piste - foto: Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos ©2018

 

astana 2022
Vincenzo Nibali Will Not Ride Milan-Sanremo
Vincenzo Nibali will miss Milan-San Remo in 2022. In his own words, the Italian of Astana Qazaqstan, winner in 2018, is not ready to start the 300 kilometre Classic in two weeks time.

Nibali started the new season last month with the Tour of Valencia, where he rode to sixteenth place in the final overall. Since then, he has struggled with the symptoms of the corona virus, tonsil inflammation and fever, and he has not raced. The 37 year-old is aware that he can’t be fit enough for Milan-San Remo.

“I don’t feel like racing Milan-San Remo,” Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport. He also misses the Trofeo Laigueglia and Tirreno-Adriatico. “I’ve been sitting still for too long. I don’t have the basics, I don’t have the fitness, I don’t know exactly how I am yet. You can’t just improvise in a 300km race like Milan-San Remo. I really don’t think so.”

In the coming days, Astana Qazaqstan will take stock to draw up a possible program for Nibali’s return, with a first question mark on Milan-Turin (March 16).

No Sanremo for the Shark:
nibali

 

total
Ethics Committee to Review Alexandre Geniez Conviction
Alexandre Geniez’s conviction for domestic violence may have further repercussions. The UCI says it will forward the matter to its Ethics Committee. “We will draw the attention of the committee to the ruling of the French court,” the UCI told VeloNews. Last Wednesday, Geniez, who won two stages of the Tour du Rwanda, was sentenced to a four-month suspended prison term for domestic violence against his ex-wife.

“The UCI had not yet been informed about the criminal proceedings against Mr Geniez. As this is a matter that would fall under the jurisdiction of the UCI Ethics Committee, due to Appendix 1 of the UCI Code of Ethics, we are going to point them to the ruling,” was the UCI’s response.

The UCI refers to Appendix 1 of the UCI Code of Ethics, which discusses the protection of physical and mental integrity, but also sexual intimidation and abuse. It is not yet known whether the UCI Ethics Committee will actually start disciplinary proceedings against Geniez. If necessary, documentation must be requested for this.

Team TotalEnergies has released a statement following the conviction of Alexandre Geniez. The team posted a statement on its website. “Team TotalEnergies condemns all forms of domestic violence and wholeheartedly supports actions to prevent and combat such abuse. Respect for people and taking responsibility are cardinal values ​​that are supported by Team TotalEnergies and shared within the team. The team is closely monitoring any situation that could violate these principles, and reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary action in the event of proven misconduct.”

Geniez has been convicted by the Rodez court, but will not go to jail. The three-time stage winner in the Vuelta a España was present at the hearing himself and heard the sentence being handed down against him. He also has to pay a symbolic compensation of one euro. The prosecutor had previously demanded a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Alexandre Geniez:
Alexandre Geniez

 

alpecin fenix
Adrie van der Poel on Mathieu’s Injury
Mathieu van der Poel’s injury seems to be going in the right direction. The Dutchman is currently in Spain and increasing his training. “Occasionally he still has a reaction,” his father Adrie van der Poel told Extra Time Koers. “But what I do find reassuring is that he says it’s not like it’s been in recent years.”

That period is behind Mathieu van der Poel and that makes father Adrie happy. “Because sometimes that wasn’t fun anymore. But when you’re struggling on the bike, other things start hurting and you don’t think about that injury. But that was not good,” said Van der Poel senior, who also doesn’t yet know when his son will be back in action. “I don’t know where to start, he should start when he’s done. He should have very little or no pain anymore.”

Mathieu will in any case not be in action for the next two weeks, according to Adrie. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider extended his stay in Spain. “He is comfortable there. He is very enthusiastic about the location where he is now, he will stay another two weeks. So he will not race for at least two weeks,” said Adrie, who emphasises that his son’s shape still has to improve.

“It’s been three or four weeks now. Things are going well, but those training sessions are not the same as riding races of more than six hours with an average of 45 km/h. He also lacks toughness. His last decent race was actually last year’s Tour. After that it went in fits and starts.”

Van der Poel’s last ‘proper’ race:
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trek segafredo
Elisa Longo Borghini: Two More Years With Trek-Segafredo
Elisa Longo Borghini will race for Trek-Segafredo for the next two seasons. The Italian champion’s contract was due to finish, but she has signed with the American women’s team until the end of 2024 due to a contract extension.

“For me, there was no hesitation in staying with Trek-Segafredo longer,” she said. “We have built up a lot together in the last three years. We are at the forefront of women’s cycling and a reference point for the entire movement. Our group is solid and close, as I rarely see. And the more years pass, the more the strength of our group grows. A bright future awaits us with the team.”

Longo Borghini, who previously rode for Hitec Products and Wiggle High5, has been one of the top names for Trek-Segafredo since 2019. Since then she has won Emakumeen Bira, a stage in the Giro Rosa, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and the GP de Plouay.

Elisa Longo Borghini:
roubaix

 

ef
Alberto Bettiol Misses Italian Spring Races Due to Covid Infection
Alberto Bettiol will not participate in the Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. The EF Education-EasyPost rider has to miss the three Italian spring races, because he is too weak after a corona infection. The former winner of the Tour of Flanders told La Gazzetta dello Sport of his problem.

Bettiol expects to be in action in the coming month, but will skip the big races. “We have decided with my coach Leonardo Piepoli and sports director Charles Wegelius that I will return in Milan-Turin on March 16. Then I do Coppi e Bartali, from March 22 to 26. Corona has weakened me: I was sick with fever and dysentery,” said the Italian, who had started the season well. In the Etoile de Bèsseges he finished second in the final result.

Although he will miss the main Italian races this spring, Bettiol still hopes to show well on Belgian roads. He mainly focuses on the Tour of Flanders. “In Coppi e Bartali I will mainly be busy making kilometres. Maybe I’ll do Dwars door Vlaanderen before I start in the Ronde. If all goes well, I will also ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

Bettiol out till mid-March:
besseges22

 

tirreno 22
Pogačar Among the Stars to Shine From One Sea To The Other
The start list for this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo has been announced. The race will start from Lido di Camaiore (Tuscany) with an ITT. World champion Julian Alaphilippe and race debutant Remco Evenepoel combine forces against the winner of Strade Bianche Tadej Pogačar. Also riding are Giulio Ciccone, Filippo Ganna, Peter Sagan and many other champions. TV images to be distributed in over 200 countries worldwide.

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Peter Sagan, Giulio Ciccone, Tadej Pogacar and Filippo Ganna

The 57th Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo will take place from Lido di Camaiore to San Benedetto del Tronto (March 7-13) with a star studded field competing once again. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar is the hot favourite, having already dominated both the UAE Tour and Strade Bianche. Despite his crash on Saturday, world champion Julian Alaphilippe has confirmed his participation in the Race of the Two Seas, along with Remco Evenepoel who will take to the start for the first time, following his overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve. Among the other big names set to line up for the opening individual time trial (13.9km) are Miguel Angel Lopez, Damiano Caruso, Rigoberto Uran, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jakob Fuglsang, Jonas Vingegaard, Enric Mas, Richard Carapaz, Richie Porte, Romain Bardet and Giulio Ciccone. Other riders include Filippo Ganna, Greg Van Avermaet, who is the only other former winner of the event (2016), Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Tim Merlier, Arnaud Démare, Elia Viviani, Alexander Kristoff, Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan.

Tomorrow the first rider to start in Stage 1 ITT will be Leonardo Basso at 14:10. The last one will be Tadej Pogačar at 16:56.

Tadej Pogačar: “It will be my first time racing against Remco Evenepoel in a stage race. I expect him to be fast in the time trial tomorrow. In the big climbs, we’ll see. I cannot tell how good he is on that kind of terrain but he showed so far that he’s really good. As a team, we are getting stronger every year, but I don’t think people are afraid of us, it’s just a bike race.”

Peter Sagan: “I got Covid for the second time in January. I had a training camp in Gran Canaria after and I started racing in France before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. I got a little flu this week but it’s already passed. What I’ll be able to do in this race depends on my condition and I’m still looking for my good condition. The real season starts now.”

Filippo Ganna: “We have great captains with Richard [Carapaz] and Richie [Porte], we’ll be at their service, notably in the climbs but there are riders more specialised than me in climbing and it’s difficult for me to follow Tadej Pogacar. I hope he’ll be tired after Strade Bianche but I know he recovers well and quickly. I hope he won’t beat me in the time trial but nothing is impossible.”

Giulio Ciccone: “For sure this is a very important race to measure myself against the great champions. My condition is not bad but it’s not easy to compete against Tadej [Pogacar]. The level of the peloton has raised significantly in the past two or three years. My numbers are close to those of 2019. I hope things will turn in my favour and I want to take advantage of this race to prepare for further goals.”

tirreno 22

TV Coverage
The 2022 Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo will enjoy three hours of live broadcasting for each stage. Images of the race will be distributed in over 200 countries around the world. Eurosport, Eurosport Player and GCN+ will live stream the seven stages in Europe and Southeast Asia, while Eurosport Player and GCN+ will live stream the race in America, Australia, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa.

In Japan, the race will be broadcasted by J Sports. In South America it will be broadcasted exclusively on DirecTV and in South Africa on Supersport. In New Zealand, the spectacle of the Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo will be broadcasted on the channels of SKY Sport.

In Italy, the race will be broadcasted initially on RAI Sport HD+ and then on RAI 2 until the finish of each stage.

tirreno 22

The Jerseys
The leader jerseys of the 57th Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo are produced with SITIP garments and designed by SPORTFUL.
Maglia Azzurra (blue), General Classification Leader, sponsored by ENIT – Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), General Individual Classification by Points Leader, sponsored by Made in Italy
Maglia Verde (green), King of the Mountains Classification Leader, sponsored by Trenitalia
Maglia Bianca (white), Young Rider General Classification Leader, born after 1 January 1997, sponsored by Würth Modyf.

Tadej Pogacar, Giulio Ciccone, Filippo Ganna and Peter Sagan:
tirreno 22

 

basque
Tour of the Basque Country Teams
The organisers of the Tour of the Basque Country have announced the teams who will participate in the stage race this year. In addition to the eighteen WorldTeams, the field will consist of five ProTeams who have received an invitation: Spanish teams and one French.

The French team is TotalEnergies, the four Spanish teams are: Burgos-BH, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Equipo Kern Pharma and the local Euskaltel-Euskadi team. Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic, who were first and second ProTeams on the UCI World Ranking for 2021 and have automatic entry to WorldTour races, have declined their invitation. A total of 23 teams will be at the start of the 61st Tour of the Basque Country, which starts on April 4 with an opening time trial in Hondarribia.

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aso
ASO and Netflix in Talks for Exclusive Tour de France Series
Race organiser ASO and streaming service Netflix may soon join forces for an exclusive behind the scenes series about the upcoming Tour de France, British newspaper The Telegraph reports.

After the success of the documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Netflix has turned its attention to cycling. The American streaming service wants to portray the cycling world in the same way and give sports enthusiasts a unique look behind the scenes of the Tour de France. According to The Telegraph, talks are currently underway between ASO, Netflix and eight WorldTeams to close a deal. Production company Box to Box Films should become part of the new project. This production company was also involved in the development of the Drive to Survive series in Formula 1. Netflix was previously (partly) responsible for producing the popular documentary series El Día Menos Pensado, which is based on the Spanish Movistar team.

El Día Menos Pensado:
El Día Menos Pensado

 

quick-step-alpha
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl is Collaborating on New Netflix Series
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has agreed to collaborate on an exclusive behind the scenes series on the upcoming Tour de France. Team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad.

This week it was announced that Tour organiser ASO, streaming service Netflix and various WorldTeams are in talks about a documentary series about the upcoming Tour de France. The intention is to portray the cycling world in the same way as Formula 1 in the successful Drive to Survive series. Production house Box to Box Films, maker of that series, is now also involved in the cycling project.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl is one of the teams cooperating. The first recordings will be made next week. “I have now pledged verbally, but with moderate enthusiasm and with reservations. If the fee for the teams doesn’t go up in the future, it won’t be worth the squeeze,” Lefevere wrote. According to the team manager, it is financially peanuts for the teams. “ASO first passes the cash register and then there is usually little left.”

Nevertheless, he decided to get into the film project. “As a team manager I always hear the same thing: ‘A documentary like this is good for the sport.’ I’m the last person to argue with that. Everyone knows what the Netflix series Drive to Survive has meant for Formula 1. Many people have discovered or rediscovered the sport. Production house Box to Box Films, which made Drive to Survive, is now also involved in the cycling project.”

According to Lefevere, you cannot afford to just say no here. “Even if it means that my riders and staff have to tolerate cameras everywhere for three weeks. It is clear that as a sport we have to provide content that goes beyond the summary of the race. To use another marketing term, it must be storytelling. The story behind the performance, the person behind the athlete.”

In 2016, the team had a film crew accompany his team, which was then still called Quick-Step Floors. Tom Boonen, Julian Alaphilippe and Marcel Kittel, among others, were followed at the time. “In the ideal scenario, the upcoming Netflix series takes the entire cycling world to the next level,” said Lefevere. “And then I hope that the contribution to the teams will increase accordingly. If not, I’ll make my own series again. And it goes to the largest bidder on the market.”

Netflix for Patrick:
lefevere

 

quick-step-alpha
Mauro Schmid and His Love for Strade Bianche
The 22-year-old Swiss rider – who is in his first season with the Wolfpack – looked back on the memorable Giro d’Italia stage victory he took from the breakaway last year on Tuscany’s ancient white roads and talked about how Strade Bianche has charmed fans and riders alike in the 15 years that have passed since its creation, becoming cycling’s unofficial sixth Monument.

Watch the video here!

 

eolo
Interview with Lorenzo Fortunato
The eyes, the words, the emotion, the story. Of those who have seen their lives change on a magical day, and are hungry to grow again.

Lorenzo Fortunato, that’s how he talks.

Enjoy this interview with “the king of Zoncolan”.

 


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