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Namur - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Van der Poel Mathieu (Ned) pictured during the sixth leg of the men’s elite UCI cyclo-cross World Cup 2019 cross, on December 22, 2019 in Namur, Belgium - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2019

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

A muddy and cold weekend, but Mathieu van der Poel took two out of two races. Video and reports from Namur and Waaslandcross. Remco Evenepoel added Belgian Sportsman of the Year to his palmarès – TOP STORY. Christmas week, but the cycling news just keeps coming: Team news from Movistar, Nippo-Delko One Provence, AG2R-La Mondiale, Jumbo-Visma, Bahrain-Merida and CCC. Rider news for Julian Alaphilippe. Race news for la Vuelta a España and some words from US Cross champion Gage Hecht. Monday EUROTRASH time!

TOP STORY: Remco Evenepoel Named Belgian Sportsman of the Year
19-year-old Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider becomes the youngest recipient of the trophy.

Just twelve months after taking home the Talent of the Year award, Remco Evenepoel was elected Belgian Sportsman of the Year following a stunning neo-pro season that saw him claim five victories. Remco, who joined the Wolfpack after a spectacular year in the junior ranks, opened his successful campaign by finishing atop the general classification at the Belgium Tour, in early June, before claiming a spectacular stage victory at the Adriatica Ionica Race.

Summer brought more phenomenal results for the 19-year-old – who became one of the youngest riders in history to win a one-day race when the attacked from the distance at Clasica San Sebastian and held off an entire peloton – a victory to which he then added a resounding European ITT Champion title. One month later, Evenepoel closed out his season in the United Kingdom, where he time trialled to silver at the World Championships.

“It’s unbelievable. I don’t have words for it. In 2018, I won the Talent of the Year award, now I’m Sportsman of the Year after my first season as a professional rider. It’s crazy, an incredible feeling”, a visibly emotional Remco said at the gala held in Schelle, where he collected the award voted by Belgian sports journalists. “I understand this raises expectations for the upcoming season, but I think I can handle it. My parents taught me to deal with that. The more people expect of me, the better I perform it seems. And with my team, my family, my girlfriend, and Patrick Lefevere I always have the best people around me to support me.”

Evenepoel, who at the beginning of the month won another prestigious trophy, the Kristallen Fiets, outlined his objectives for next year, his second with Deceuninck – Quick-Step: “Meanwhile, my training is going really well and I’m on schedule. I have four main goals for 2020: Liège- Bastogne-Liège, the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and Il Lombardia. I know I set the bar really high and I know I can’t win them all, I’m not saying I’m going to do that. But these are all races of a very high level, races I’m quite fond of and I am keen on trying and giving it my all there for the team.”

Remco Evenepoel – The best of a young star:

UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Namur 2019
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) had to fight hard for his world cup victory in Namur. The World champion fought an exciting duel with the Belgian champion Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions), until the latter fell on a descent. Aerts took second place and Corne van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions) was third after passing Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) had a mechanical problem.

Just like in Koksijde, World champion Mathieu van der Poel had to start at the back of the grid due to his lower position in the UCI World cup classification. Van der Poel started in the third row, but quickly moved up to the top 5. Four riders from Telenet made the pace, although without the slow starting Toon Aerts. British top talent Tom Pidcock had an even worse start and wasn’t even in the top 25.

Van der Poel went into the lead for the first time on the famous Naamse slanted descent. Just like in previous years, Van der Poel dropped like a stone and took 12 seconds from his closest competitors. The only rider able to follow was Toon Aerts. The Belgian champion has been on a cloud since he managed to beat Van der Poel in Ronse and did not hesitate to put pressure on his Dutch competitor immediately. Van der Poel lost ten seconds in no time, but a little later it turned out that it was due to a flat tire. Van der Poel needed more than a lap to recover from his problem, but he did fight back to Aerts’ wheel. The latter had gone deep in his effort to keep Van der Poel off and then had no answer to the acceleration of the World champion. Aerts, in turn, lost ten seconds.

Another flat tyre for Van der Poel after about three-quarters of the race, but he go back with three laps to go. This time the flat tyre of the Dutchman had cost a lot of energy and he seemed to stand still on the cobblestone slope. Aerts saw it happen and switched up a gear and he took a gap of twenty seconds. Of course Van der Poel was not finished, and when Aerts started to suffer the world champion was given extra hope. Aerts lost time and in the pit area, Van der Poel again sprinted onto the wheel of Aerts. The two went into the final lap together. An image that we have never seen in this cyclo-cross season.

Van der Poel wanted to be the at the front on the technical descents, hoping to put pressure on Aerts there and not come under pressure. That tactic worked. Aerts had to take risks to be able to follow the technically stunning Van der Poel and went wrong. On a descent he lost control of his wheels and ended up in the banners. Aerts was visibly affected by his crash and lost a lot of time… and the race was over.

Halfway through the race, World Cup leader Eli Iserbyt had to stop with hypothermia and lost an important race in the battle for the final win in the World Cup and lost the lead Aerts.

Winner in Namur, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “It was epic circumstances. It was a hard-fought victory. With yesterday it was a very tough weekend and I am very happy to finish it here for so many fans. They were epic conditions. We like that as crosses, but today it was very cold and wet. Normally you don’t get your feet and hands warm in this weather as a crosser, but if you get cold all over your body like you do today, then you know that the weather conditions are extreme. It was very technical and there were many stones covered in mud, so it’s not surprising that you get a flat tire. At a distance from the pits I lost time and strength, but I stayed on track due to Toon’s error. It was a bit to be expected: whoever stayed faultless here would be close to it.”

2nd and UCI World Cup leader, Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions): “It doesn’t feel right at the moment (his ribs after the crash). At my first fall, I ended up in a puddle that made me very cold. I think that, partly due to the cold, I made mistakes and ended up against that pole. When I try to bend my body in the opposite direction, it really hurts. I now have until Thursday to recover… It was a course in which other things were constantly happening. But at the moment I cannot think enough to repeat what happened. Someday we will be able to look back on this with pleasure, at least I hope so. These are competitions that make you a cross rider. Afterwards, after my career, I will be able to tell nice stories about it.”

3rd, Corné van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions): “I had a good start, I rode my own pace, but there were three better today. Pidcock broke his seat post in the final lap, so I was able to finish third. I came closer and closer to him and saw it happen in the last difficult descent. I have benefited from that. I prefer cold rather than hot, I always feel good about it myself. It was a matter of finding your own pace today and hoping that you did not have a puncture, because there was a lot of gravel on the course. Every lap you are close to a crash two or three times, that is part of the fact if you are heading for the limit at the front.”

4th, Thomas Pidcock (Trinity Racing): “Well that was agonising and also the coldest I’ve ever been. I’ve just stopped shivering. So close to a World Cup podium. The last lap I just couldn’t function anymore. C’est la vie.”

Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Bingoal) didn’t finish and lost his white World Cup jersey to Toon Aerts: “I was the first to be called to the start, I knew that I would have to wait a long time and that it would be cold, so I had covered myself well. I tried to stay warm for as long as possible at the start, but immediately after the start I felt it was not right. My legs quickly blocked because of the cold, I also couldn’t get my heart rate up. I hoped it would improve during the race, but that didn’t happen. That helped a bit, but then I got cold again and I just couldn’t go on. I stopped, that was the right choice because at the end I was no longer racing around alert. I did not realise what I was doing and I can be glad that I did not fall in those many descents. I’m going to watch the series by race. You never know, but of course I lost a lot of points. I have to take this experience into the future and learn lessons from it. It is not the first time this has happened to me. I also suffered from it at the World Championship in Bieles. I wonder what the cause is, I just never really was in the competition. I don’t want this to happen again. I am apparently sensitive to the cold and it’s a shame that this happens to me in this cross, because I felt really good the past week.”

UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Namur Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:05:59
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:55
3. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:14
4. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing at 1:31
5. Tim Merlier (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:41
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:48
7. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 1:56
8. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 2:02
9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:23
10. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 3:11.


Waaslandcross – Sint-Niklaas 2019
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) added the Waaslandcross to his palmarès without much problem. The Dutchman waited 20 minutes, and then completed the second half of the race at his own pace. Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions) and Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) filled the podium.

The day before the World Cup in Namur, the start-list at the De Ster recreational park in Sint-Niklaas was not particularly impressive. The World Champion, Mathieu van der Poel was there with Quinten Hermans and Tom Pidcock, but the other top riders preferred to save themselves for Sunday.

Hermans was the fastest starter with Van der Poel in his wheel and surprisingly Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in third place in only his third race of this winter. The triple world champion has clearly not forgotten all his tricks and rode near the front. In the opening lap it wasn’t super fast. Only when Pidcock, who started badly, moved forward on lap two, did the pace really rise.

Pidcock caused a split of four riders, with Van der Poel, Hermans and Wietse Bosmans. Van der Poel decided to put the pressure on after 20 minutes, thanks to a mistake by Hermans in the sand, the world champion pushed hard on the pedals. Hermans and Pidcock looked at each other, and Van der Poel was able to build a gap without much effort.

In the second half of the race, Hermans dropped Pidcock, but he was unable to get close to Van der Poel. Maybe the riders went into energy saving mode, thinking of the hard cross of Sunday in Namur in mind, but in the meantime Van der Poel took yet another win.

Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “It was not my plan to accelerate so early, as it was difficult to keep driving full-on. I accelerated because the speaker said that someone got stuck in the sand. I then turned around and saw a beautiful chasm. I then decided to continue pushing, but it wasn’t that easy. It is also one hour at the limit for me. It is always difficult to win a cross. At first I mainly wanted to make the gap, but then I got better at my rhythm. However, it is difficult to get someone off the wheel here. I finally chose not to make the move, since I wanted a quiet week.”

Waaslandcross – Sint-Niklaas Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:33:00
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions at 0:28
3. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing at 1:03
4. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Creafin–TÜV SÜD at 1:11
5. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 2:31
6. Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:40
7. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 3:14
8. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers at 3:22
9. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:25
10. Mathijs Wuyts (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 4:07.


Movistar Team Ready to Open New Era in 2020
Eusebio Unzué’s women’s and men’s squads start fifth decade of uninterrupted activity with big event at Telefónica’s Madrid headquarters on Thursday, as title sponsor celebrates ten years of support to the Abarca Sports organisation.

Telefónica’s central headquarters in Madrid were the venue for Thursday’s launch of the 2020 Movistar Team. The longest-standing, most successful cycling team in the international peloton kicked off its 41st season of uninterrupted activity, a period (since 1980) in which the Blues’ men’s and women’s teams have achieved more than 950 victories.

Telefónica celebrated its ten years of title sponsorship of the Abarca Sports organisation with the two full rosters of the team coordinated by general manager Eusebio Unzué. Media from Spain and abroad, VIPs, famous names from the world of cycling and members of Telefónica and other team sponsors enjoyed the unveiling of the new Blue jersey, a design created by new sponsor Alé.

The Movistar Team’s 2020 roster combines its everlasting support to Spanish cycling, with 21 local riders – more than half the team – with a reinforced international focus and a rejuvenated group. The women’s team, recently confirmed by the Union Cycliste Internationale as new member of the Women’s WorldTour – only five other cycling teams in the world will have its 2020 men’s and women’s squads at the respective top tiers – is made of riders all 29 years old or under. National champions Oyarbide and Sheyla Gutiérrez, as well as Eider Merino and Colombia’s Paula Patiño, are the most important names of a really compact group.

The 2020 men’s team, in turn, marks a stark change from last year. Fourteen new names make for a new face to a block still led by the legendary Alejandro Valverde, with youngsters Enric Mas and Marc Soler also leading a group featuring eight riders aged 23 or younger: Elosegui, Rubio, Jorgenson, Alba, Jacobs, Hollmann, Cullaigh and the only absence in the gala, Mathias Norsgaard, due to his leg injury earlier this month.

Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, Telefónica’s Director of Brand, Partnerships and Media Telefónica, remember during the event that the Movistar Team’s sponsorship came into a very difficult moment for cycling, and took advantage of the gala to reaffirm Telefónica’s commitment with this sport both in the professional and amateur scenes, through different initiatives such as different group rides and projects carried out with the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation.

During the event, it was also announced that an inside documentary will be aired in 2020 on the team’s previous season, a set of cameramen joining the group in all competitions and capturing all moments, good and not so good, lived by the Blues during 2019. The series will follow other original products by Movistar+ during the past season, such as the documentary on Alejandro Valverde’s ‘rainbow season’ or the one summarising the 40 years of existence of the team.

Once again, the Movistar Team will make its season debut at the men’s Tour Down Under in Australia (Jan 19-26) and the women’s Vuelta CV Féminas in Spain (Feb 9), covering a calendar over 300 days of racing, across twenty countries in five continents, which combines most of the WorldTour in both categories with the best Spanish races. In 2020, the Blues will reach 3,000,000 kilometres of racing with Telefónica as title sponsor, having obtained 280 victories, three Grand Tours and two World Championships in the process. More than 30 high-end companies and a fan base near two million followers on social media and its official website (www.movistarteam.com) will again be the biggest assets of this phenomenal sports team.

Movistar Team – 2020 Rosters
Men’s Team:

Juan Diego Alba (COL), Jorge Arcas (ESP), Carlos Betancur (COL), Héctor Carretero (ESP), Dario Cataldo (ITA), Gabriel Cullaigh (GBR), Iñigo Elosegui (ESP), Imanol Erviti (ESP), Juri Hollmann (GER), Johan Jacobs (SUI), Matteo Jorgenson (USA), Enric Mas (ESP), Lluís Mas (ESP), Sebastián Mora (ESP), Mathias Norsgaard (DEN), Nelson Oliveira (POR), Antonio Pedrero (ESP), Edu Prades (ESP), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), José Joaquín Rojas (ESP), Einer Rubio (COL), Sergio Samitier (ESP), Eduardo Sepúlveda (ARG), Marc Soler (ESP), Albert Torres (ESP), Alejandro Valverde (ESP), Carlos Verona (ESP), Davide Villella (ITA).
General Manager: Eusebio Unzué (ESP).
Sports Directors: José Luis Arrieta (ESP), Chente García Acosta (ESP), José Luis Jaimerena (ESP), Pablo Lastras (ESP), Maximilian Sciandri (GBR).

Women’s Team:
Katrine Aalerud (NOR), Aude Biannic (FRA), Jelena Erić (SRB), Alicia González (ESP), Barbara Guarischi (ITA), Sheyla Gutiérrez (ESP), Eider Merino (ESP), Lourdes Oyarbide (ESP), Paula Patiño (COL), Gloria Rodríguez (ESP), Alba Teruel (ESP).
Manager: Sebastián Unzué (ESP).
Sports Director: Jorge Sanz (ESP).

Alaphilippe to Kick off 2020 in South America
One of the most successful riders of 2019, Julian is ready to start his seventh year with the Wolfpack in one month’s time.

Just like in the past two seasons, Julian Alaphilippe will commence his campaign in South America. The swashbuckling Frenchman will appear at the start of the 38th Vuelta a San Juan, from January 26 to February 2, and subsequently at the third edition of the Tour Colombia, from February 11 to 16.

Alaphilippe, who notched up three superb stage wins for Deceuninck – Quick-Step in Argentina and Colombia last year – in addition to being the best placed European rider in the general classification of both events – is looking forward to getting the new season going with the same two multi-day races where our team has tasted success on numerous occasions.

“This past season I had an excellent start of the year in the Vuelta a San Juan and Tour Colombia. It’s been amazing for me, a great experience, made even more memorable by the fantastic fans over there. I’m really happy I can start my season in these beautiful countries again and I will do my utmost to get some good results”, said the 27-year-old Frenchman, whose sterling 2019 season was capped off by winning the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy, which rewards the best rider in the world.

Alaphilippe in yellow:

Nippo-Delko One Provence New Kit
The team that we knew as Delko Marseille Provence last year presented their new name and the new kit for 2020. With the arrival of the new Japanese sponsor, the team will be called: Nippo-Delko One Provence next year.

The team will race on a French license, but will have several Japanese influences. Nippo has made the switch from Nippo-Vini Fantini, the Italian team that will not run in 2020. After that contract was concluded, four Japanese riders were signed to the new team: Fumiyuki Beppu, Hideto Nakane, Masahiro Ishigami and Atsushi Oka.

The new jersey is a big change. The light blue and white has been exchanged for a dark blue and white stripes and the sleeves are completely dark blue, as are the shorts. Main sponsors Delko and Nippo are clearly visible on the front. The term “One Provence, many futures” is the marketing term with which Aix-Marseille-Provence wants to profile itself internationally. Nippo-Delko One Provence will ride Look’s bikes next year.

Like the character Escartefigue in Marcel Pagnol’s famous film Marius, the riders’ tunic is adorned with navy blue and white stripes, the sailor jersey!

The First Three Races in 2020 for the AG2R-La Mondiale Riders
The AG2R-LA MONDIALE team has just completed a training camp in Gandia (Spain). Over the course of nine training sessions, the group racked up 1,250 kilometres and 15,000 meters of climbing in 39 hours of riding. The next training camp will take place from January 16th to 24th in Altea (Spain).

The Riders First 2020 Races:
Romain Bardet
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

François Bidard
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
UAE Tour (23-29 February)

Geoffrey Bouchard
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Clément Champoussin
(Makes his professional debut 1 April)
Route Adélie (3 April )
Itzulia Basque Country (6-11 April )
Tour du Finistère (18 April )

Mikaël Cherel
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Clément Chevrier
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Benoît Cosnefroy
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Silvan Dillier (Sui)
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )
Omloop Hert Nieuwsblad (29 February )

Axel Domont
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Julien Duval
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (29 February )

Mathias Frank (Sui)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (1er mars)

Tony Gallopin
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Ben Gastauer (Lux)
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Alexandre Geniez
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February)
UAE Tour (23-29 February )
Strade Bianche (7 March)

Dorian Godon
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
Omloop Het Nieuwsblawd (29 February )

Alexis Gougeard
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February)
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )

Jaakko Hänninen (Fin)
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
UAE Tour (23-29 February )
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (23-30 March).

Quentin Jaurégui
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Pierre Latour
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )
Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

Oliver Naesen (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Lawrence Naesen (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Aurélien Paret-Peintre
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

Nans Peters
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Harry Tanfield (GB)
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (1 March)

Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Andrea Vendrame (Ita)
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Clément Venturini
Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
Clasica de Almeria (16 February )

Alexis Vuillermoz
Classic Loire Atlantique (28 March)
Cholet Pays de Loire (29 March)
Route Adélie de Vitré (3 April )

Larry Warbasse (EU)
Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Clément Venturini will attempt to defend his title as French Cyclocross Champion on January 12th at Flamanville. He will be the only AG2R-La Mondiale rider to start the race.

AG2R-La Mondiale training in Spain:

‘Proud and Motivated’ Team Jumbo-Visma Fully Committed to Tour de France
During the team presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma at HEMA in Amsterdam, the team of CEO Richard Plugge announced to go to the Tour de France with the three leaders Steven Kruijswijk, Primoz Roglic and new addition Tom Dumoulin. Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen focuses on stage wins in the Giro and the Vuelta. In those grand tours, Team Jumbo-Visma counts in the GC on George Bennett and Steven Kruijswijk respectively. Dumoulin makes his debut for Team Jumbo-Visma in the Tour of Valencia on 5 February and has also included the Amstel Gold Race and the Walloon Ardennes classics in his programme.

“The goal is definitely to win the Tour”, Dumoulin said during his first official appearance for the only Dutch World Tour team. “Full on, with three leaders! It was very nice to find out that all three of us are on the same page.” In France the trio of GC riders will be assisted by Wout van Aert, Tony Martin, Laurens De Plus, Sepp Kuss and Robert Gesink.

Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of the black-and-yellow formation, explained how the choice to go to the Tour with three leaders came about. “We have made an analysis of the last five years of all grand tours. What is the influence of the time trials on the final classification? What was the composition of the team that was able to conquer and defend a jersey? We found a common thread in that. We have to go to the Tour with the strongest possible team. Then we’ll have a chance to win. We’re going to do everything we can to conquer the yellow. We are very happy, proud and motivated to do so. I also think the supporters of Team Jumbo-Visma will think this is really cool.”

Kruijswijk finished third in the French stage race this year. With Mike Teunissen, for the first time in thirty years, a Dutchman rode in the yellow jersey. Kruijswijk thinks that his team will have a shot at the final victory next year. “We want to win the Tour as a team. You do that with the strongest riders possible. Look at who we can line up, with Tom, Primoz and myself as leaders. I think we can fight with these guys”, the Dutchman said. Vuelta winner Roglic concurs: “Our goal is to win the Tour. I want to be part of that. I definitely want to be in that team”, he said.

After three successful years in the Tour, Groenewegen focuses on both other grand tours. Milano-Sanremo and Brugge-De Panne are also on his programme again. Groenewegen: “You prefer to ride all three grand tours every year. But I also have to look at what suits me best. Where do I have the best chances? There are a lot of chances in the opening stages of the Giro. We pretty quickly realised that I should ride the Giro. And the Vuelta, starting in the Netherlands. Four years ago I joined the team and then I said that I want to win in all the grand tours. It will be a very nice year to do that.”

According to Zeeman, this has been well thought out. “We’ve sat together a lot and really thought about his career in general. He has extended his contract. Dylan will be on this team for the next four years. Then you wonder: what do you still want to achieve in your career? He is very clear about that: win as many races as possible and win stages in all grand tours. He will go to the Giro and the Vuelta with the best possible help. The Vuelta starts with a team time trial in the Netherlands. We couldn’t be more motivated. That’s a fantastic challenge and that’s why Tony Martin and Jos van Emden will start there too. That’s an absolute goal of the team. A start in the Netherlands, with two sprint chances for Dylan Groenewegen. We want to be very successful there.”

Especially Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen and Amund Jansen have ambitions in the Flemish spring, Team Jumbo-Visma goes to the Walloon classics with the same goals. This autumn Roglic won two Italian classics. Now spring is also calling. “We have seen that Primoz is developing in the one-day work. Tom is also getting a warm feeling from those races. It fits the calendar and the goals of the team. It’s a nice next step that we can ride those races with a strong team that’s well prepared”, Zeeman explained. Dumoulin agrees. “That classic period has a place in my heart. Especially the Amstel Gold Race of course. I really enjoy riding it again. I’ll really start with a winner’s mentality.”

Team Jumbo-Visma also welcomed a new co-sponsor in Amsterdam in Zuiver Vastgoed Groep. In addition, it was announced that Unilever and Heineken will remain loyal to the combined cycling and skating team. With this, Team Jumbo-Visma once again succeeded in strengthening the sponsor group. On Tuesday, it was already announced that co-sponsor HEMA will appear on the team’s apparel. “This makes me proud”, said Team Jumbo-Visma director Plugge. “These partnerships with leading brands make an important contribution to the further realisation of our objectives”, he said at the presentation of both the World Tour Team and the brand new development team. The presentation was broadcast live on television.

The line-ups of Team Jumbo-Visma can be found here: https://www.procyclingstats.com/team/team-jumbo-visma-2020 and https://www.procyclingstats.com/team/team-jumbo-visma-academy-2020.

Team Bahrain Merida Training on Picturesque Roads of Hvar Island
From 10th to 20th of December Team Bahrain Merida riders and staff were hosted on the scenic Mediterranean island of Hvar in Croatia, where they planned the last strategic details and training for the upcoming season.

In the last few days, the team’s management and staff have been planning and preparing all the necessary details for the upcoming season, which will start in Australia in January. In the meantime, the team’s riders have been enjoying amazing views while training on the idyllic roads of island Hvar. This last training camp has also been a great opportunity to welcome and get to know some newer members of the team.

Vladimir Miholjević, sports director at Team Bahrain Merida commented “We are very satisfied because what we planned ahead of this training camp was completely fulfilled. We believe that we have done a very good job, that will turn out in brilliant results in the upcoming season. Like the last years, we are also very thankful for the great hospitality, atmosphere, and conditions that we found there”.

“In fact, we have been visiting Hvar for the third time. Here we found the perfect combination of infrastructure and other conditions, needed to carry out the winter training camp. So it was no surprise that the team chose again the same venue. The destination itself, with everything that Hvar can offer, is perfect for the needs of our athletes. And the appreciation is mutual.”

“To host a team like Bahrain Merida is important for building our brand and destination – not only the island of Hvar but the whole Split-Dalmatia County, where high-quality training of world-class teams can be held. Precisely cycling is the discipline that we’ve been focusing on for the last five years. We have 4.000 kilometres of cycling routes, 125 routes in the county and 200 “bike and bed” accommodations. So we are intentionally developing infrastructure to attract such world-class teams as well as amateurs to enjoy everything our county has to offer,” commented Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board. Petar Razović, director of the Hvar Tourist Board, shares his views: “We can be proud to be a part of the Team Bahrain Merida, especially since we are their chosen destination for winter training camp already for 3 years. It is important to state that on Hvar we are intentionally developing cyclo-tourism with the objective of offering a tourist product for the time before and after the main season. These kinds of partnerships help contribute to the development of cyclo-tourism in the future but also give us some guidelines on how to continue our efforts. For the third year in a row, Hvar is the host of this world-class team and that has an important impact on developing our brand as well as promoting Hvar as a luxury tourist destination.”

The same as the last year, the Team Bahrain Merida stayed at the Hotel Amfora, where everything was suited to the team’s needs. Zdravko Tudor, director of marketing at Sunčani Hvar is delighted to see the team coming back every year: “It was a true pleasure to host again the Bahrain Merida team in our Hotel Amfora for their winter training camp. Hvar as a perfect destination for the training of a professional cycling team, and hotels of Sunčani Hvar are a perfect introduction to the new cycling season, for which we believe will be another successful year, especially now, under the leadership of the new strategic joint-venture partner, McLaren.”

Many other individuals and companies are deserving of the training camp to be such success each year, among them are certainly Jadrolinija, Croatia’s main shipping transport company, which contributes greatly to the safe delivery of all the team’s gear and also transportation of staff and team to the island. So, all the circumstances, including the weather, are perfect for this year’s winter training camp and a perfect intro to the new successful season for the team.

INSCYD partners with CCC Team
“INSCYD is like a compass that guides us in the dark”
INSCYD — the world’s most advanced software for performance analysis — has signed a contract with the WorldTour cycling team CCC Team. The partnership with CCC Team follows a six-month pilot project where the team has had the opportunity to use INSCYD with a restricted group of riders. CCC Team is now scaling up the use of INSCYD to the whole team as they were impressed with the results and possibilities we brought to the table.

“INSCYD is like a compass that guides us in the dark,” says Marco Pinotti, former rider (2 x stages at the Giro and 6 times Italian Champion in Time Trial) and now Head of Performance for CCC Team. “It gives us an understanding of the riders’ potential and their limits and it gives us a guidance on where we need to work on. With INSCYD we understand why some rider are limited in some capacity, if they can improve or not and where they can develop.”

Our collaboration with CCC Team comes at a crucial moment for both the team and for INSCYD. CCC Team coaches and management were looking for a way to optimise lactate testing throughout the season and our new and soon-to-be-released Metabolic Power Testing Protocol (MPT) will help them in this task perfectly.

“We are super excited to have CCC Team on board,” says Sebastian Weber, INSCYD Project Leader. “The main part of our partnership is linked to our 2020 upgraded testing protocol, which allows coaches to use power-only data in combination with lactate data. This was the tipping point for the team to be able to follow up riders’ testing during the season even when they can’t have face time with them. In 2019 this technology has been used as a prototype by some teams and coaches, but now they will use it as the main tool to benchmark riders’ performance for the next two seasons.”

“At CCC Team, we are always looking to innovate and identify new technology that will help us optimise rider performance so we are excited to start this partnership with INSCYD,” says CCC Team President Jim Ochowicz. “INCYSD’s software offers a detailed and unique analysis of individual rider abilities that will allow us to better understand our riders’ strengths and the areas that can be further developed. Our collaboration with INSCYD is an exciting initiative from our performance team that we believe will be beneficial for the team’s results in 2020 and beyond.”

The new protocol consists of a power-only test that the riders can perform on their own, without the help of their coaches or the need for someone else to take lactate samples. At the same time, though, because of the precision and technology behind INSCYD’s algorithm, the test will return to the coaches full metabolic profiles of their riders, with physiological metrics including VO2max, Anaerobic Threshold, glycolytic power (VLamax), Lactate Accumulation and — very important in professional cycling – recovery rates as well as Fat and Carbohydrate Combustion. Furthermore, the riders can do the test at any time of the year and anywhere in the world and they don’t need to go to a lab.

Once the test is completed, the coaches can analyse the results on INSCYD cloud platform and share the results within the performance group. This level of precision and accuracy, now trusted by several high-profile cycling teams, is of course possible only with INSCYD, the most advanced software for performance analysis you can find on the market.

The INSCYD team also joined CCC Team at their training camp in Denia, Spain for technical support during the testing, but also to delve into the software’s main features so that the team can take full advantage of INSCYD ahead of the 2020 season.

See also: https://cccteam.eu/news/ccc-team-partners-with-inscyd-to-further-develop-performance-analysis/?fbclid=IwAR3zPRgUlwmuoKHp7vsUGsxVJMXbkSoZSoCYCkujDq8Ih0Fx25DelKfduIk

La Vuelta 2021 Will Depart From Burgos to Celebrate the Cathedral’s 8th Centenary
La Vuelta and the Fundación VIII Centenario de la Catedral. Burgos 2021 have signed a collaboration agreement formalising the fact that Burgos will host the official departure of La Vuelta 2021 as part of the various events commemorating the Burgos cathedral turning 800 in 2021. The Castilian capital and its province will host three stages.

The event took place at the Constable’s Chapel and was attended by Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta; Fidel Herráez, President of the Fundación VIII Centenario de la Catedral. Burgos 2021; Antonio Miguel Méndez Pozo, Executive Vice-President of the Fundación VIII Centenario de la Catedral. Burgos 2021; Pablo González Cámara, President of the Metropolitan Chapter, Ángel Ibáñez, Presidency Counsellor of the Council of Castilla y León; Daniel de la Rosa, Mayor of Burgos; and César Rico, President of the Burgos Provincial Council.

The 2021 official departure will be the first La Vuelta official departure to take place in Burgos, despite the Castilian province’s close ties to the race. 15 La Vuelta stages have left from Burgos (24 in total from its province) and 17 have ended in its streets (23 in the province). The only stage to have taken place entirely within the Province of Burgos was an individual time trial (Burgos > Burgos), in La Vuelta 15, won by Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin.

More information about La Vuelta : www.lavuelta.com

From the left to the right: Pablo González Cámara, Ángel Ibáñez, Fidel Herráez, Javier Guillén, Daniel de la Rosa, Antonio Miguel Méndez Pozo et César Rico:

Hecht crushes elite CX competition at nationals
We have another national champion on our hands. This time it’s Gage Hecht, who despite already having a stellar cyclocross season, capitalised on his form with an impressive win at the Cyclocross National Championships in Tacoma, Washington this past weekend.

“I can’t describe the excitement I feel to be wearing this country’s colours other than it feels amazing,” Hecht said. “Winning this as an elite is something I’ve dreamed of all my life. The season is not over yet though. I will be heading straight to Europe to race over Christmas week and all the way through Worlds.”

Hecht’s Donnelly-Aevolo teammate and friend, Lance Haidet, also competed in the elite category and finished a strong fifth place. Not bad considering both athletes are still in their early twenties.

“Not to sound cocky, but I was confident either Gage or I was going to come home with the Stars and Stripes,” Haidet said. “We both put in a ton of work and preparation, but more than anything we had some serious motivation to show up and demonstrate that although we are young, we are there to either win. That is exactly what Gage did. I am super proud and excited for him.”

The cyclocross talent on our Aevolo road team doesn’t stop there. Riding for Blue Stages Racing, Eric Brunner took home top honours in the U23 competition as well as the collegiate title. Both Brunner and Hecht will travel to Europe to do some fine-tuning before taking part in the Cyclocross World Championships Feb. 1-2.

For more on Hecht and Haidet’s cyclocross performances, visit donnellycycling.com.

Exclusive PEZ interview with Gage Hecht coming soon.

US National cross champion – Gage Hecht:

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