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The professional road season has really finished with the Ronde van Drenthe men’s and women’s races at the weekend. Race reports and video from Drenthe and cyclo-cross from Ruddervoorde and Zonhoven. Bahrain Victorious know nothing about Tizanidine – TOP STORY. Kelsey Mitchell wins first World championship medal, Annemiek Van Vleuten ends 2021 as World No.1, Pogačar and Gianetti honoured, Nibali looks back at Trek-Segafredo, Miguel Ángel López where he is appreciated and Qhubeka NextHash still hopeful. Rider news: Chad Haga leaves DSM, Davide Ballerini extends, Matteo Sobrero to BikeExchange, Jetse Bol extends, Alexandr Riabushenko, Simone Velasco and Michele Gazzoli to Astana, Dorian De Maeght joins Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and David Martín moves up to EOLO-KOMETA pro team. Team news: Pirelli and Trek-Segafredo together, Jayco new co-sponsor of BikeExchange and the Wolfpack committed to the environment. Get the EUROTRASH coffee.

top story
TOP STORY: Milan Erzen of Bahrain Victorious Knows Nothing of Tizanidine
Milan Eržen, the boss at Bahrain Victorious, has responded to news that the National Center for Biotechnology Information found Tizanidine in hair samples taken from cyclists. Links have been made with the raid by the French authorities on the hotel of the Bahrain Victorious team during this years Tour de France. “Tizanidine? What is that?” said Eržen.

According to the NCBI, the French public health agency requested that hair samples be examined in the lab. They wanted these samples, collected from cyclists, to be tested for Tizanidine. The investigation showed that Tizanidine had indeed been found in three riders from seven samples. The concentration of the substance in the three positive samples was 1.1, 3.7 and 11.1 picograms per milligram.

Eržen has said: “Tizanidine… What is that? We don’t use that. I’ve never heard of it. Our team and our riders have not been informed of such findings. We will therefore refrain from commenting further.”

Nowhere in the publication is there any mention of a specific team or a date of collection. But the link with the Bahrain Victorious raid on the Tour de France has been made by some people, as the organisation’s request comes from a French public health agency. The full report, which WielerFlits reports on, also says: “During an international three-week cycling race in France, a special police health organisation checked an entire team.”

That fits well with the story of Bahrain Victorious. Last July, when the team had only seven riders in the Tour due to the withdrawal of Jack Haig, a police operation was carried out on the team by the public prosecutor of Marseille and the OCLAESP, a French unit that fights crimes against public health and the environment. During the raid, the hotel rooms of the riders and staff members were searched and some had to give up some belongings. Some members of the team were also questioned.

Tizanidine is a drug used as a muscle relaxant. Use can have a relaxing effect on the muscles (faster recovery, easier sleep) and may reduce cramping. It is provided by Sirdalud and Zanaflex brands. The use of this drug is not prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but can only be obtained for therapeutic purposes through a temporary use authorisation.

Bahrain Victorious not involved:


Men’s Ronde van Drenthe 2021
Rune Herregodts won the Ronde van Drenthe on Sunday, the final road race of the 2021 professional season. The Belgian Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise rider crossed the finish line in Hoogeveen solo at the end of the 200 kilometre race, having attacked out of an early break of three riders. Andrea Pasqualon won the sprint for second place from Dylan Groenewegen.


The leading group of the day consisted of three riders. Adriaan Janssen (ABLOC CT), Pierre-Pascal Keup (Lotto Kern Haus) and Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). They quickly took a 5 minute lead. The chase in the peloton was in the hands of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and some other. Janssen and Herregodts were the stronger riders in the leading group, more than their German fellow escapee. At the start of the last hour they had dropped Keup, but the peloton wasn’t hanging about either. A group including Jan Bakelants, Coen Vermeltfoort, Sjoerd Bax and Rick Pluimers went in pursuit of Herregodts, who had gone solo from Janssen.

In the final section towards Hoogeveen, the peloton managed to catch the chase group, but they started too late to catch early breakaway Herregodts. For the 23 year-old rider of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise it is his first victory at professional level. Last year he won Paris-Tours for U23S. Andrea Pasqualon and Dylan Groenewegen joined Herregodts on the podium. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Italian beat the Dutchman of Jumbo-Visma (today riding with the development team) in the sprint from the peloton.


Race winner, Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise): “I actually didn’t expect to wipe out the zero this year, but I managed to do it in my last race this season. We came down to the Ronde van Drenthe with a strong team. We certainly did not lack motivation. We wanted to assert ourselves in the last race of the season. It was not the intention to get away so quickly and with only three men, I jumped to the other two riders but behind me they stopped their legs and we were gone with three. There is then no way back. It was then a question of adopting a nice speed with which the peloton could also settle. We only raced full throttle for the last 50 kilometres and Keup was dropped. Also with Janssen his best was gone and so I took some more and longer turns. At the last passage on the Vamberg he also had to let go and I went on full. There was still 13 kilometres left in the headwind until the finish in Hoogeveen. I have to thank my team. Without them I would not have achieved this victory because they stopped behind me perfectly. I am going to enjoy a short holiday. Two or maybe three weeks without a bike. After that I build up to next season. A win like that in the last race of the season is always nice.”

2nd, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I continued to train hard with the motivation to end the season with a win. I felt today was my day and the team did everything they could to help me win. We toughened up the race all day and forced the selection. However, we did not receive any help from the other teams so we had all the weight of the pursuit. It’s a shame that I came too late to come away with the win, but I’m proud of my strong sprint and the great team spirit that reigned there, like always during the season.”

3rd, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s really good for me that I can ride finals, I need that to grow back to my old level. It was a nice, selective race. A lot of jumping, always groups that raced away and fell back again. A battle of exhaustion. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert had a very strong team with them and they showed the initiative. But we were also always good, despite the fact that we lost two boys quite quickly. The four of us were able to do quite well. There were about 25 people in there, I think. Rick was in good shape for that in a group of six. We always had someone in the race to ride for a good result, but for the win we gave away a little too much space to the early breakaways. That’s a shame, but it is what it is. I’ve noticed all season that I haven’t been at my absolute top level. Sometimes it was good, but sometimes not at all. I know what that is about. At the beginning of this year we went through a lot after the birth of my son, which meant that I was not able to train much. Actually, I started the season again without having trained a lot. In addition, it is not good if you have to go to the hospital so often. The condition was good, but I missed that last kick in the sprints. I know what I need to work on. It is important for this winter that I can improve my basic condition again. Then I can really return to the level where I belong next year.”

Men’s Ronde van Drenthe Result:
1. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 4:22:07
2. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:13
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) VolkerWessels Cyclingteam
5. Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Timo de Jong (Ned) VolkerWessels Cyclingteam
7. Thimo Willems (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
9. Jon Knolle (Ger) SKS Sauerland NRW
10. Victor Broex (Ned) Metec-Solarwatt p/b Mantel.



Women’s Ronde van Drenthe 2021
Lorena Wiebes has won the Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday. In Hoogeveen, the 22-year-old rider was the strongest of a leading group of seven riders, including four from team DSM.


Unlike other years, the Ronde van Drenthe was the last Women’s WorldTour race of the season. The race covered 159.1 kilometres from Assen to Hoogeveen, including ten cobblestone sections and four climbs of the steep VAM mountain. The race started around noon. Lieke Nooijen of Parkhotel Valkenburg took care of the first serious attack after 10 kilometres and the 20 year-old took a 3 minute lead on her own. It was Janneke Ensing who then counter-attacked.

For Ensing it was the last race of her career and the 35 year-old BikeExchange rider wanted to say goodbye in style. She joined just after the first cobblestone sections. Nooijen was dropped from the front due to a mechanical, leaving Ensing alone. She then rode alone for a while, but with 84 kilometres to go the peloton was all together again. New attacks were not long in coming. Kirstie van Haaften (Parkhotel Valkenburg) escaped and Margaux Vigie (Valcar-Travel & Service) crossed to her. Vigie and Van Haaften took a nice gap, but were caught again on the first ascent of the VAM mountain, 59 kilometres from the finish. On the climb the peloton split and not long after that a strong breakaway group broke away with Demi Vollering, Lonneke Uneken (both SD Worx), Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing), Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM), Megan Jastrab (DSM), Anouska Koster (Jumbo-Visma), Femke Markus (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Britt Knaven (NXTG). Chiara Consonni (Valcar) was also able to jump, but after 47 kilometres everything was back together.

A grouped peloton then crossed the finish line in Hoogeveen for the first time, after which there was still 43 kilometres to race. However, it continued to rain attacks and Alice Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) and Pfeiffer Georgi (DSM) were the next to try. Both on the second and third ascent of the VAM mountain, the British couple stayed ahead, but for the last pass they were being chased down by the peloton. After the last climb of the VAM, Elena Cecchini (SD Worx), Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) and Floortje Mackaij (DSM) were leading. Behind them were Eleonora Gasparrini from Valcar and three more women from DSM, with Pfeiffer Georgi, Franziska Koch and Lorena Wiebes. They joined the front, so that DSM had four women. The race finished in a sprint from these seven riders. Mackaij started the sprint for Wiebes, who successfully rounded off the domination by DSM in the leading group. Cecchini was second, Gasparrini third. For Wiebes it was the twelfth victory of the season.


Race winner, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “The team were incredible today. We set out with a plan to race aggressively and that’s exactly what we did. Pfeiffer made a really good move and the rest of us looked after each other well in the chasing group. On the last time up the VAM-berg I wasn’t sure how the legs would be after a hard race but they were great and four of us made the front. We just went full all the way to the finish and the girls were superb in their lead out to set up the sprint. I’m just really happy that I was able to finish it off for the team and end our season in a really good way.”

Women’s Ronde van Drenthe Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 4:07:34
2. Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx
3. Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
4. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon SRAM
5. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM
6. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM
7. Franziska Koch (Ger) DSM at 0:06
8. Susanne Andersen (Nor) DSM at 1:15
9. Chiara Consonn(Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
10. Nina Kessler (Ned) TIBCO-SVB.



Superprestige Ruddervoorde Cyclo-Cross 2021
Eli Iserbyt won the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde on Saturday. Until just after halfway through the race, the European champion dominated the race together with Quinten Hermans, who couldn’t hang on after a stumble at the beams. Iserbyt then stayed out of trouble and secured his sixth win of the season.

The Swiss rider Kevin Kuhn (Tormans-Circus) had the best start, but Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) also started well and quickly took over the lead. The European champion wasn’t in the lead for long when he was overtaken by his teammate Toon Vandebosch. Together they grabbed a gap, but at the end of the first lap everything came back together. Then Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus) took over the lead and Iserbyt got himself onto his wheel. The Belgians distanced themselves from the rest on the second lap, but Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) initially managed to close the gap. The winner of the cross in Gieten had to let his competitors go in the third lap. With a lead of 9 seconds over Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Iserbyt and Hermans started the fourth lap.

Hermans then increased the pressure on Iserbyt, but he would not crack. Hermans, who won the Fayetteville cross a week and a half ago, mainly set the pace, while Iserbyt, winner in Waterloo and Iowa City, was glued to his rear wheel. On the fifth lap Hermans made a mistake on the beams, after which Iserbyt saw his chance and rode away. The gap between the two men was 10 seconds in one go. Aerts, Van der Haar and Sweeck were back together again in the battle for third place. In the remaining laps, Iserbyt was able to slowly expand his lead over Hermans. With almost half a minute lead, the European champion entered the 9th and last lap, in which he secured his sixth victory of the cross season. Hermans had enough lead over his pursuers for second place. Aerts had ridden away from Van der Haar and Sweeck in the last laps and took third place. Van der Haar was fourth.


Race winner, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “It was a difficult feeling. I had a lazy head. It felt like I was still in my bed, I wasn’t quite there yet. But I do find a course here that I really like, so I think this was the best possible race to come back with that feeling. I think Quinten was just a little better at the beginning. Quinten rode a very strong race and didn’t ask to take over either so I just kept following. I also made some mistakes. As the race progressed, I got more and more in and I saw that Quinten started to make mistake after mistake. When he fell on the beams, I knew it was my moment to speed things up a bit. I had a good time. It didn’t take much effort in the corners, but the straights were a bit more difficult.”

2nd, Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus): “I really felt good today and I wanted to put pressure on Eli Iserbyt all race long. I thought it was the best strategy to try to distance this explosive rider. But in the end, unfortunately, I made a mistake myself. I was a little too enthusiastic approaching the planks, one of the difficult elements of the parcours. So I can conclude that I recovered well from my trip to the USA and had to battle against a very strong contender today. I’m satisfied about this 2nd place and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow in Zonhoven, one of the only natural sites in Belgium and close to home!”

Superprestige Ruddervoorde Cyclo-Cross Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in 59:22
2. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans-Circus at 0:27
3. Toon Aert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:42
4. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:55
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:33
6. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:43
7. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH at 1:50
8. Diether Sweeck (Bel) IKO-Crelan at 2:02
9. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers Maes at 2:15
10. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 2:22.



world cup
Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Zonhoven 2021
Toon Aerts took the victory on Sunday in the Cyclo-cross World Cup in Zonhoven. The Baloise Trek Lions rider made the decisive attack on the penultimate lap, after which the other riders only saw him after the finish. Lars van der Haar was second, Eli Iserbyt third.

World Cup leader Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck, Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar had the best start, but the differences remained small in the opening lap. In the second lap it was sand specialist Sweeck who had made a gap. He kept a group of Iserbyt, Aerts, Van der Haar, Quinten Hermans, Michael Vanthourenhout and Toon Vandebosch at a distance. A slippery slope from Sweeck led to a merger after the 4th lap of 10. Iserbyt and Van der Haar crept away on the 6th lap, but Hermans, Vanthourenhout and Aerts did not give up on the course in and around ‘De Kuil’. It was European champion Iserbyt who time and again placed an attack, but every time the race came together again.

On the penultimate lap it was Iserbyt again who made a strong attack, but this time it was Aerts who countered him. The Belgian leader of Baloise Trek Lions continued his move and went solo. Aerts immediately took a gap of 10 seconds and expanded it to 20 seconds in the final lap. He had enough time to celebrate the victory in fine style. The party was complete for Baloise Trek Lions, as teammate Van der Haar came second. Iserbyt finished third.


Race winner, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions): “It was clear that I had no control over the race, but I had an idea of where I could make the difference. The others had to get off the bike and I could take full advantage of that. It was one of the most exciting crosses in recent years, certainly because we are entering the final with such a large group. The weather was beautiful and there were a lot of people. Quinten Hermans was the first to dive into the Kuil here in his Limburg. That was special too. He definitely fits the bill. Two years ago I also won here after a battle with Laurens Sweeck, who was also good. But I could not have dreamed of this outcome halfway through the race. It’s also great that Lars (van der Haar, his teammate) was second, but I now also have to see how I can get into the running in the World Cup. Today it brings a lot of points. I don’t want to give up that classification just like that.”

2nd, Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions): “I’m glad Toon won, but otherwise I would have loved to have won myself. I was really working on it. Toon really went at the best time. For me the hardest part of each lap was running uphill the second time. That’s where I broke down. I felt good on the rest of the course. Eli made some mistakes there sometimes. But if you take the lead yourself, you also make a mistake. But I thought it was a nice cross. I’m especially happy that this weekend is over. Now I’m going to do some endurance training this week and go to Overijse.”

Cyclo-Cross World Cup – Zonhoven Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions in 58:58
2. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:10
3. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:14
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:19
5. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans-Circus at 0:26
6. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:37
7. Daan Soete (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers Maesat 1:12
8. Corne VAN KESSEL (Ned) Tormans-Circus at 1:22
9. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:33
10. Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:52.



Olympic Gold Medallist Kelsey Mitchell Wins First Career World Championship Medal
Kelsey Mitchell has clinched Canada’s first medal of the 2021 UCI Track World Cycling Championships in Roubaix, France in the women’s Sprint after facing teammate, Lauriane Genest in the bronze medal final.

After breezing through their respective qualifying heats, both Canadians advanced to the semi-final round, where Genest faced Lea Sophie Friedrich of Germany, while Mitchell rode against her teammate Emma Hinze. After two races, the Germans came out on top to qualify for the gold medal round, with Genest and Mitchell facing off in the bronze medal final. In the end, Olympic gold medallist Mitchell edged out Olympic Keirin bronze medallist Genest in two races to win her first World Championship medal.

“It was great to be back racing and exciting to have both Lauriane and myself in the finals,” said Mitchell. “It’s never ideal having to race against each other but she raced well and I was happy to walk away with the bronze. Next up is Keirin, and I am excited to go out there and give it my all. Who knows what will happen.”

Despite the lack of competitions over the last two years, Canadian athletes have proved to be tough contenders throughout the week, with Maggie Coles-Lyster just missing the podium in the women’s Scratch race before helping the young women’s Team Pursuit squad place 4th. On the men’s side, Hugo Barrette finished 9th in the Keirin, his best-ever result at a World Championships.



Van Vleuten Ends 2021 as World No.1
Dutch superstar completes another sensational season, leading the table at the two most important world rankings: the WWT one and the Union Cycliste Internationale list
As the Ronde van Drenthe, the last categorised race of the 2021 season, was held on Saturday, the Movistar Team can now celebrate the final success from its main reference, Annemiek van Vleuten, in the two biggest international rankings: the UCI Women’s WorldTour, which she has led uninterruptedly since July, and the UCI World Ranking, whose list will be led by the Dutchwoman at the end of the year.

Van Vleuten, who obtained 12 victories in 2021, including the Olympic ITT gold, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and three stage races two of them (Norway, La Vuelta) part of the WWT, will end the season with almost 1,600 points of advantage in the World Ranking over her nearest pursuer, Elisa Longo Borghini (TFS). At the WorldTour, which only counts top-ranked events, ‘Miek’ has a 600-point margin over a trio with Demi Vollering (SDW), Longo Borghini and Marianne Vos (TJV).

The Movistar Team’s enormous growth in 2021, with Emma Norsgaard just off the top-ten (11th) in the world ranking, also sees its effects applied to the team WorldTour and UCI ranking, both of which feature the Sebastián Unzué led squad in 3rd place, behind SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo. That position could improve even further on January 1st, thanks to the points scored by their 2022 signings: Arlenis Sierra (26th) and Sarah Gigante.



UAE Team Emirates Pair Honoured with Golden Visa
Pogačar and Gianetti presented with prestigious title in Abu Dhabi.

In recognition of their continuing successes, both Tadej Pogačar and Mauro Gianetti were bestowed with the UAE Golden Visa in honour of their contribution to sport and the growth of cycling in the UAE. Both were awarded the 10-year residence visa on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in a ceremony given by Naser Yousef Al Zaabi, Communication office Director and Adel Saeed Al Yaqoubi, Communication Section Head (pictured bellow). Since its launch in 2019, the UAE’s Golden Visa has been honouring the work of many skilled and talented individuals across fields including sports, science, culture and art.

Tadej Pogačar: “To be recognised in this way is a real honour for me and I’m very thankful for it. It feels like we are doing something special for the country and when I come here and see kids starting to ride bikes it makes me very happy. If I can help to inspire people to get out and do sport then that’s something I can be proud of.”

Mauro Gianetti, CEO & Team Principal: “The success we have achieved both on the international stage and here domestically in the UAE has been brilliant, so for Tadej and I to be honoured in this way is something very humbling. Personally I’d like to thank the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their hard work and continued support as we move forward to promote the importance of cycling and sports as part of a healthy lifestyle together.”



trek segafredo
Nibali looks back on time at Trek-Segafredo: “Two difficult years”
Vincenzo Nibali is preparing for a second spell at Astana. The almost 37-year-old Italian raced for Trek-Segafredo for the last two years, but that was not an unqualified success. Nibali said he had trouble finding his place there. “It has been two difficult years, physically and mentally,” he said in an interview with OA Sport.

The Sicilian was brought in by Trek-Segafredo in the winter of 2019, but there was no question of a really successful collaboration. Nibali only recorded his first victories for the American team a little over a month ago, in the Giro di Sicilia. “I struggled to integrate. This was due to several things, such as a language barrier. It went well initially, but something broke in me after the corona lockdown.”

“It has been two difficult years, both physically and mentally,” according to Nibali. “I’ve never really been able to find my place like this.” The experienced cyclist is all the more happy that he will race again for Astana next year. While employed by Kazakhstan team, he achieved his greatest successes with a win in the Tour de France (2014), the Giro d’Italia (2013 and 2016) and the Tour of Lombardy.

Nibali will also be reunited with Giuseppe Martinelli, who will be the sporting manager at Astana Qazaqstan Team. The former rider was Nibali’s confidant for years. “Beppe was and is very important to me. I have had great results with him and I have a lot of confidence in him. We’ve had clashes in the past, but the most important thing is that we always find a solution.”

Nibali has no idea yet of his final program for next season, but hopes to one day be at the start of Paris-Roubaix. “I’ve never ridden Roubaix, but maybe next year will be the right time. Perhaps the Tour is also an option, now that they will be riding on cobblestones there again. The podium in the Giro? Why not… Although it is important to keep both feet on the ground. The competition is fierce.”

Nibali hopes to be flying with Astana again:
Como - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) pictured during Giro Il Lombardia 2015 - Bergamo - Como 245 km - 04-10-2015 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2015


Miguel Ángel López: “I am now going to a team where I am appreciated”
Miguel Ángel López has reacted extensively for the first time after his departure from Team Movistar. The Colombian climber can’t say too much about his time with the Spanish squad, as López has signed a confidentiality agreement of sorts, but he is still critical of his former employer in the Spanish media.

Movistar decided in September to dissolve the contract with López on 1 October. This was done by mutual consent. The Colombian still had a contract with the Spanish WorldTeam until the end of 2023. It was the final piece of a turbulent period between Movistar and López. The bomb exploded during the last Vuelta a España, in which the 27-year-old Colombian decided to stop the fight in the penultimate stage after a disagreement with the team management.

López then kept quiet for a long time, but now looks back on his time at Movistar. “I decided to extend my contract before the Tour, but in the run-up to the Vuelta there were several pain points. For example, I was taken out of the Tour against my will, the team did not allow me to go to the Olympic Games and in the Vuelta there were tensions with regard to the leadership. The fact that I was not allowed to travel to Tokyo caused irritation.”

According to López, there is always a certain tension between the leaders within Movistar’s camp. “That has always been the case at Movistar, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa have also experienced it in the past. I also felt a certain tension with Movistar. Teammates, staff members, masseurs, mechanics… They really did a fantastic job. The problem is that the team doesn’t manage certain things well, so they can never go for the very highest.”

The Colombian will race again for Astana next year, where he had great successes in the past. “I am now leaving for a team where I am appreciated. They also work in a different way. You have to be in an environment where you feel good, where you can accomplish something without people taking things from you. Where everyone supports you and where there is a good atmosphere, without selfishness and tensions under the skin.”

López glad to leave Movistar:
lopez mas


Lars Michaelsen (Qhubeka NextHash): “There are Talks with Two Companies”
Despite the fact that Qhubeka NextHash is currently in bad shape, sports director Lars Michaelsen remains optimistic about the survival of the team. According to the 52-year-old former professional, the team is currently talking with several possible partners. “Talks are underway with two companies,” the Dane told Feltet.

Qhubeka NextHash has been associated with Premier Tech in recent weeks, the sponsor leaving Astana-Premier Tech. However, the Canadian manufacturer of packaging equipment is not one of the two companies in talks with the South African team, says Michaelsen. “Premier Tech is not one of the two companies we are talking to right now.”

The squad has reportedly received commitments from companies such as BMC, Mercedes-Benz and Burberry to co-sponsor next year and may also stay with NextHash as a partner. However, the situation is not good and riders like Giacomo Nizzolo (to Israel Start-Up Nation) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) have meanwhile found employment elsewhere.

If everything works out, Michaelsen will have to put together a team at the last minute, just like a year ago. With last year’s experience, the Dane has quite a lot of confidence. “Last year, in November, I had to contract twenty riders that I didn’t really know and that I had to offer a minimum wage. It didn’t go wrong, if you think about it.”

Despite the positive view of the situation, he is of course frustrated that he finds himself in this situation again. “Of course it’s a pity. We went into 2021 thinking it would be a transition year. We also had promises from some sponsors, but in the end they were not fulfilled,” he explained the course of events that led to this crisis.

Lars Michaelsen:
Lars Michaelsen


Chad Haga Leaves Team DSM After Eight Years
Chad Haga will leave Team DSM after this season. The 33-year-old American raced for the German team with Dutch roots for the past eight seasons. “Now it’s time to challenge myself in a new squad,” Haga said on social media.

Haga experienced some highlights during his time at Giant-Shimano, where he made his WorldTour debut in 2014, Team Sunweb and Team DSM. He won, among other things, the final time trial in the Giro d’Italia of 2019. “And I was able to help my teammates to victories in Milan-San Remo, the Giro d’Italia, the GP Québec and the GP Montréal. And I also took a win myself,” he says.

In his message, Haga also looks back on the serious training accident with the team in early 2016, in which he was badly injured in the face. “But in all those years I have also been married, I lost my father to cancer, I became a father myself and I became more and more used to Europe than I had thought.”

Which team the American will ride for next year will be announced soon. “But for now I want to thank Team DSM for eight unforgettable years.”

Chad Haga in the Giro:
Chad Haga


Davide Ballerini Extends with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The 27-year-old has agreed to a new two-year contract

What a year it’s been for Davide Ballerini! In his second season with the Wolfpack, the man from Cantù became the first Italian in eight years to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, took two other victories, made his Tour de France debut and contributed to many of the successes that helped Deceuninck – Quick-Step return at the top of the UCI World Team Classification.

His finest moment of 2021 came at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where after a flawless job and lead-out of his teammates, Davide sailed to victory, fulfilling a life-long dream – winning a northern Classic. His solid campaign was recently rewarded with a new contract, which will see the 27-year-old remain with the most successful squad of the season until the end of 2023.

“I am really happy, because I can continue my dream here. I feel excellent here and at no point was I thinking about leaving this team. It’s like a family for me, so continuing was an easy decision. With the Wolfpack I won my first big one-day race, Omloop, and this makes me confident that one day I can fight for victory in Paris-Roubaix, which is the biggest goal of my career. Racing the Tour de France and playing a part in Mark’s success in the points classification also makes me very proud and makes for another great memory. For the next two years, I am motivated to work hard, to improve and to help the team remain the best in the world,” a delighted Ballerini said after inking the new deal.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere is confident that Davide has plenty to show in the next seasons with the team: “We knew his potential when we signed him, and Davide didn’t disappoint. He took several victories with us in these two years, and at the same time, showed that he is always ready to work for his teammates. On top of that, he still has a lot of room to improve, and that’s why signing a new contract was the logical thing to do. We are happy that he is happy here and has agreed to stay with the Wolfpack.”



astana 2021
Matteo Sobrero from Astana to BikeExchange-Jayco
Matteo Sobrero will ride for BikeExchange-Jayco next year. The 24-year-old Italian switches from Astana-Premier Tech and signs with the Australian formation of Gerry Ryan for two years. “I really believe it’s a good step in my career,” said Sobrero.

The Italian is a promising time trialist, which he showed this year by beating two-time World champion Filippo Ganna in the Italian time trial championship. Sobrero was also part of the winning Mixed Relay team at the past European Championship cycling in Trento. At the World Championships in Flanders, the Italians, with Sobrero as one of the engines, were good for bronze.

Sobrero also showed this season that he can do much more than just time trial. He finished third in the Tour of Slovenia, behind Tour winner Tadej Pogačar and Diego Ulissi, but ahead of men like Rafal Majka, Tanel Kangert and Matej Mohorič. “I believe that Team BikeExchange is the right team for me, also because they always perform well in the time trial. I asked Edoardo Affini and Alex Konychev for advice and they told me it’s a great environment to work in.”

Team manager Brent Copeland expects a lot from newcomer Sobrero. “I have been following his results for a while and I am not surprised by his exceptional performance. Matteo is still young and we will guide him in the best possible way to achieve even better results. He is an important asset to our team.”

Matteo Sobrero – Italian TT champion:
worlds21 mtt


Jetse Bol Extends Contract with Burgos-BH
Jetse Bol has extended his expiring contract with Burgos-BH for one season. The 32-year-old Dutchman has been riding for the Spanish team since August 2018. Ángel Madrazo, Jesús Ezquerra, Daniel Navarro and Óscar Cabedo have also resigned for next year.

Bol has become one of the mainstays of Burgos-BH and regularly distinguishes itself with his attacking spirit. He took part in the Vuelta a España in 2018, 2019, 2020 and this year and also achieved several places of honour in the smaller Spanish races. “I’m happy to be able to ride for Burgos-BH for another year. Next year it is again the intention to race for stage victories. That should be the challenge,” Bol said in a press release.

Madrazo (33), Navarro (38) and Cabedo (26) are also important pillars within the team. Two years ago, Madrazo was responsible for Burgos-BH’s biggest victory, with a stage win in the Vuelta a España and Bol was second that day. As an older rider, Navarro provides much-needed experience and rode an attacking Vuelta last summer and finished in 24th place in the general classification. Navarro was not the first Burgos-BH rider in the overall ranking. Cabedo was even better with 19th place and the climber may be able to develop further next year. Ezquerra also regularly attacked last season, with 6th place in the Tour of Murcia.

Jetse Bol with the stage 16 team prize at la Vuelta:


astana 2021
Alexandr Riabushenko, Simone Velasco and Michele Gazzoli to Join Astana Qazaqstan Team
Three more riders will join Astana Qazaqstan Team in the new season: Alexandr Riabushenko, Simone Velasco and neo-pro Michele Gazzoli all signed a two-year contract for 2022 and 2023.

Belarusian rider Alexandr Riabushenko (26) turned pro in 2018 after a few impressive victories: he won the U23 European Road Championships in 2016 and Piccolo Giro di Lombardia in 2017. During these four years in the WorldTour Riabushenko continued to develop as a professional rider, gaining experience and taking first important results: in 2018 he was second at a stage of Itzulia Basque Country, in 2019 he won Coppa Agostoni, reached the podium at Gran Premio Citta di Lugano and finished fourth in the road race of the European Games, in 2020 Alexandr was third both at Memorial Marco Pantani and Coppa Sabatini.

The 2021 season was impacted by a hand fracture in a bad crash at the Tour of the Alps, however Riabushenko still was able to get some good performances as, for example, second place on a stage of Settimana Ciclistica Italiana and 11th place at Vuelta a Castilla y Leon.

“After four years in one team I feel like it is time to get a change in my career, to do a new step towards my development as a rider. I can say that I really like Astana and I was cheering for this team since I was junior. It is a great team and I saw many champions riding for this team and scoring many big successes in Astana colours. It is a pleasure and honour for me to join this team and to become a part of its history. I am ready for any calendar and any race in the upcoming season, I just want to be useful to the team, trying to help the leaders to reach their biggest goals. Of course, I would like to get a chance to ride for my personal result and I hope it will come at the one-day races, for example, as I like it a lot. But also would be great to do the Giro or the Tour, as my only Grand Tour experience was La Vuelta in 2020. I am looking forward to start the new season with Astana Qazaqstan Team,” said Alexandr Riabushenko.

Italian rider Simone Velasco (25) is one-day races specialist with a good sprint from a reduced group. After a number of important successes on the Under 23 level, Velasco turned pro in 2016 with a pro continental team. Trofeo Laigueglia (2019), a stage at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (2019), a stage at Tour du Limousin (2021) and a third place at a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico (2021) can be named about rider’s best results.

“For every rider who is turning professional the biggest dream is to join a WorldTour team, to reach the highest level of cycling. For me Astana is the best solution, the best team I could join, and I am really happy with that. It is an honour for me to meet big riders in this team and at the same time to work for them and to help them to reach the goals. I hope I will be able to do another step ahead in my progress and also I hope I will have a chance to show all my abilities, working hard for the team. Of course, I would like to find my chance too in any race which would suit me and where the team would trust in me,” said Simone Velasco.

Michele Gazzoli (22) is preparing to begin his professional career with Astana Qazaqstan Team. This year the young Italian rider impressed many specialists with a strong performance at the U23 World Road Championships, where he finished fourth, and at the famous Italian U23 one-day race Gran Premio della Liberazione, won by Michele in a sprint from a reduced leading group.

“I am really happy to come to Astana Qazaqstan Team as for me it is one of the best teams in the world. I am excited with the chance to ride side by side with the biggest stars as Vincenzo Nibali and Gianni Moscon, for example. I know that my first year in the WorldTour will be a hard one and I have to learn many things and to gain a lot of experience, but I am ready for this challenge. My main goal for the new year is to learn as much as possible and to help the team in the best possible way. I have a dream to start at the Giro d’Italia and I hope I’ll do it one day, but right now I just hope to start the season with the team and to keep on working day by day,” said Michele Gazzoli.

“I welcome the new riders in Astana Qazaqstan Team. Alexandr Riabushenko is already well-known young rider, who showed some good results in one-day races. I think we can keep on improving this direction for him but, of course, Alexandr can provide a good help to our leaders in stage races too. Simone Velasco is going to step into the WorldTour with our team and I think, this new chapter of his career will motivate him. We saw him improving fast over the last few years and it seems that Velasco can strengthen our one-day race direction. Michele Gazzoli is a young rider and Astana Qazaqstan Team will be his first professional team. We see a big potential in this rider, and I think that in our team he can find all necessary for a good development on a professional level,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Simone Velasco Laigueglia’19:


Dorian De Maeght Joins Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB for 2022
Dorian De Maeght has signed a two-year contract (2022-2023) with the professional team, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB. The 24-year-old from Brussels, in the CT Borgonjon-Dewasport team, won this season at Mazenzele-Opwijk, he finished 3rd in the Internations at Reningelst, 17th in the Gullegemse Koerse. Trainee with the professional team since August 1, 2021, he rode the Tour Poitou-Charentes, the Tour of Denmark as well as one-day races such as Paris-Chauny, the Primus Classic, Paris-Bourges, the GP Marcel Kint, Binche-Chimay-Binche. He had many opportunities and took advantage of it to understand the pro world through contact with the more experienced riders. Dorian has shown his potential and his good mentality, two assets that will help him grow within the team.

Dorian De Maeght: “I am very happy to have signed my first professional contract. I wanted to finish my studies in business management marketing this year, which I did in June. It was my first priority. After that, I got the chance to sign my two-year pro contract, which makes 2021 a very successful year for me.”

“I trained well in July before joining Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB as a stageiere. My services to help Timothy Dupont and Milan Menten in the Tour of Denmark were appreciated by the staff, who asked me to follow up with the Tour du Poitou-Charentes. My dream as a young rider was to become a professional: the team gave me this chance and I thank them for it. I am an explosive rider and have learned to ride the bike well in cyclocross. I appreciate the bad weather. I am always ready to help my teammates, especially in the preparation of the sprints. I have a huge desire to continue to discover professional racing. I have already learned a lot during my internship and I will benefit from these first experiences as soon as I integrate into the pro kernel. But I still have a way to go in the profession and I am open to anything to continue learning: I know that the races will help me a lot, as well as the contact with the more experienced riders of the team, the advice of the directors, athletes and our trainer Christophe Prémont. If, in absolute terms, I had to point out the great race I want to compete in, I would say Paris-Roubaix, without hesitation!”

Dorian De Maeght will compete on October 24 in the last race of the team’s season, the Ronde van Drenthe (P-B).

Dorian De Maeght


David Martín Moves up to the Professional Ranks with EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team
Sevillian David Martín Romero is the second incorporation of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team for the next two seasons. The rider from Mairena de Aljarafe, with a sprinter profile, comes from the U23 structure of the Contador Foundation, in which he has competed in the last two seasons under Rafa Díaz Justo management. Martín (19 February 1999) makes the leap after having been one of the most outstanding riders of the category in the Spanish scene, backed by four victories and several other notable positions.

“To this day I still can’t quite believe it, I think about it and I still get goose bumps. It’s a unique, magical feeling. It’s something I’ve been waiting for since I was a little boy. It’s a dream I’ve had since I started mountain biking”, describes a happy Martín. “The road to get here is very hard. For me and my family to reach professionalism is a very important achievement. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible. Of course also without all my teammates who have supported me over the years, and especially my teammates this season. This 2021 season has perhaps been the most beautiful I have experienced in the U23 category. It has been because we have done very nice things, but above all because we have made a lot of friends among my teammates. Many of them are like family to me. This opportunity would not have been possible without the help of my family and friends, they are also part of this dream that is coming true and that’s why I want them to participate by taking advantage of this opportunity, not 100%, but 110%”.

In 2021, four triumphs. Two of them, Valladolid and Ontur, in the Spanish Cycling Cup (Copa de España Élite y Sub23). And a multitude of very good opposites throughout the campaign. “David is a very interesting rider,” says U23 team manager Rafa Díaz Justo. “He is a very fast cyclist, but above all what both Carlos Barredo and I think is that he still has a long way to go. He is a pure sprinter capable of passing certain mountains with relative ease. What mountains? That has to be polished in the pros, which is a totally different universe at those levels. But we mustn’t confuse ourselves with him, he’s not a cyclist with a climbing profile. Before David came to the Foundation, we were watching him for quite some time. He had already done some places in important races, but what impressed me above all was his ability to recover ground in a moment of fans in a hilly area that we experienced in a stage of a Vuelta a Palencia. It was a spectacle to see him riding between groups, with what gas. That same day I called Barredo to tell him that there was a rider, David, who had left me speechless”.

The Andalusian began his cycling career in mountain biking, a modality in which he won the overall final of the Spanish Open in the cadet category, as well as the national runner-up position. From 2019 he focused on road cycling with Team Extremadura. Two seasons later, he joined the U23 team of the Contador Foundation. “I will never forget the moment when they told me that they wanted me for the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. I remember every moment, every detail: I was walking down the street with my girlfriend when Ivan Basso called me to tell me that they wanted me. I started to tremble and even some tears came to my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. Then Fran Contador called me to tell me that they were counting on me, that it was no joke, and then I really believed it”. Martin had been one of the three riders chosen to form as stagiaires during the second part of the season, but unfortunately his debut could not materialise neither in the Circuit de Gexto, where his presence was foreseen, nor in the Gran Piemonte. “It was perhaps the worst thing about this season, the only but I can say about the year. I would have liked to have made my debut, but first because of the COVID-19 and then because of a fall in Ronde de l’Isard that caused a crack in the radius of my left arm, it was not possible. That’s how this sport is. When these inconveniences happen, the only thing left to do is to face them and move forward; that’s all there is to it”.

Martín Romero has been closely following the sporting developments of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team and has really enjoyed the development of their season. “Seen from a distance, the ProTeam’s season has been remarkable. The first season in the category and there have been important victories. Just the victory of Lorenzo Fortunato in the Giro d’Italia would be enough. But there is also the great season of Vincenzo Albanese, for example. From the outside, it has been possible to see how a team that is in theory a minor team has put fear into the big teams. And that has to be appreciated and respected.” The team’s second signing for 2022 also stands out for his discipline and his capacity for work, alternating in past seasons the competition with his work in a shop in the town of Bormujos. “I would love to race Paris-Roubaix one day. And of course to win it. It would be a dream come true”, he said the day his arrival to the U23 team was announced. David Martin joins Diego Rosa in the plot of novelties of the second project ProTeam of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team.



trek segafredo
Pirelli and World Team Trek-Segafredo boost their partnership for 2022
Official announcement on the occasion of the Formula 1® Aramco United States Grand Prix™ 2021.

The collaboration with the team will be instrumental in the development of new racing tires. Trek-Segafredo champions Mads Pedersen and Elisa Longo Borghini took a lap of honour around the famous Circuit of The Americas, on the eve of the Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix 2021.

Pirelli and World Tour Team Trek-Segafredo will deepen their relationship even further with an expanded partnership deal heading into 2022. The announcement comes on the eve of the Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix 2021, taking place in Austin TX. on October 24th.
At the Grand Prix event Trek-Segafredo champions Elisa Longo Borghini and Mads Pedersen took a lap of honour on their Trek bikes, around the famous Circuit of The Americas, underlining the racing matrix of the partnership with Pirelli.

Firstly inked in 2020, Trek-Segafredo’s technical collaboration with Pirelli has already produced plenty of reasons to celebrate. In just two seasons rolling on Pirelli’s flagship P ZEROTM tire range, the team won monuments such as Milan – Sanremo, Liège – Bastogne – Liège Femmes and, still fresh in our memories, the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, where tire choice played a crucial role.

In 2022 the World Tour team will be racing again with Pirelli tires and technical development will remain a core aspect of this collaboration. The expanded partnership will also put Pirelli in a prominent position on the upcoming Trek-Segafredo 2022 men’s and women’s kits.

From Races to Tires
The racing matrix of Pirelli is a constant in all its forms, whether it be road cycling, mountain biking, motocross, or Formula 1 tires. Technological evolution explains Pirelli’s decision to be present in competitions, which are an open-air laboratory where it develops products that become available to all cycling fans. In this context, the partnership with the athletes of the Trek-Segafredo team is paramount, especially owing to the feedback it produces. For example, Pirelli’s first cycling tubeless tire P ZERO RACE TLR is a direct outcome of the technical partnership with the team.

In 2022 Trek-Segafredo riders will continue to provide feedback from a variety of terrains across the gamut of men’s and women’s races. The ultimate goal of this extensive testing process is to provide consumers with the best experience with Pirelli tires on their own rides.

Matteo Barbieri, Head of Pirelli Cycling: “To Pirelli the partnership with a leading company like Trek and with the athletes of the Trek-Segafredo team is crucial to further raise the technological level of our cycling tires. They are designed with the quality and performance required by professional cyclists and with the adaptability and versatility needed by amateurs. Today the collaboration expands further, in confirmation of our mutual satisfaction with the path we’ve taken together so far.”

Roger Gierhart, Vice-President of Trek Bicycle, said: “The Pirelli brand has been making race-winning tires for decades. We’re proud to work with a company that has played such an outsized role in cycling’s rich history. Pirelli has been an invaluable partner to Trek Segafredo, especially when working with our riders and staff to make products that excel within the World Tour peloton.”

Italian National Champion Elisa Longo Borghini, commented: “We are proud to race with Pirelli and work with their technicians. Because of the intensive and extensive use of technology that Pirelli is putting in their cycling tires, the development work with them is continuous and we are always sure we can rely on the most advanced material we can get. Plus, it is exciting to know that our cycling tires are designed, produced and tested with the same technology Formula 1 drivers are getting every weekend!”

  • More info at: velo.pirelli.com
    Mads Pedersen Elisa Longo Borghini – The Circuit of The Americas Trek-Segafredo and Pirelli:


    bike exchange
    Jayco New Co-Sponsor of BikeExchange Team
    Team BikeExchange has found a new co-sponsor for next season. Australia’s WorldTour squad was close to reaching an agreement with Premier Tech, but after that deal fell through, team owner Gerry Ryan jumped into the gap with his Jayco company. If you look at the UCI list of WorldTour teams for 2022, the Australian team is listed as BikeExchange-Jayco.

    Jayco is a company that specialises in motorhomes, caravans and camping equipment. Ryan is the founder of the company and so now he sponsors his own team with two companies. He is also part owner of BikeExchange, a sales platform for bikes and bike accessories. Ryan was previously a sponsor of the WorldTour team with winery Mitchelton.

    BikeExchange-Jayco – that is how the team is officially registered with the UCI – will start its eleventh season in the professional peloton next year. The team was called Orica GreenEDGE at its debut in 2012 and was later renamed Orica-Scott and Mitchelton-Scott. Last year there was the possible takeover by Manuela Fundación, but this was swept off the table at the last minute by Ryan.

    Jayco with BikeExchange in 2022:


    The Wolfpack Committed to its Environmental Projects
    At the end of September, Deceuninck – Quick-Step auctioned a unique Tarmac SL7 frame with the support of Specialized.

    The special frame is made from left raw carbon and with a superb hand-drawn texture, instead of paint. The final touch is the #ItStartsWithUs sustainability manifesto mirrored in chrome, forcing the person looking at the design to reflect on themselves and remember that they too play a role in the fight to save our planet.

    This great initiative raised 7500 euro for the #ItStartsWithUs environmental project in Bretagne, France and is an additional initiative in the framework of the company’s commitment towards the climate. With this money, trees will be planted during the beginning of 2022 in the region where the Tour de France had its Grand Départ this year. CO2 logic experts will make this possible and will follow up on the execution part of the project. The whole Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team is committed to the climate and this project is a step to give back to the environment and become CO2 neutral.

    Antoine Geerinckx, founder of CO2 logic, was extremely proud with the result of the auction: “It’s fantastic to see world athletes and companies give back to global issues such as climate change. CO2logic and the Centre National de la Propriété Forestière (CNPF) are very thankful for the support.”

    After the success of this auction, more initiatives will follow in the near future. Until then, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and its partners want to thank everyone for the support shown to this project.



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