EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
All the weekend news.
Christmas is under our belts, all that food… We also have a full EUROTRASH Monday: Cyclocross mud from Dendermonde and Heusden-Zolder. Remco Evenepoel planning ahead – TOP STORY. Other cycling news: Fabio Aru riding cyclocross, Pello Bilbao hopes to ride Giro/Tour in 2021 and Philippe Gilbert getting fit. Race news from the Tour de l’Ain and the Giro Rosa. Transfer news: Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, Alpecin-Fenix and Rolf Aldag. Team news from Bahrain Victorious. Crashes for Ruben Guerreiro and Valerio Conti. Video from Rapha: Festive 500 – Sleepless in Seattle. Happy holiday time.
TOP STORY: Evenepoel not to ride the Tour in 2021
Remco Evenepoel does not expect to make his debut in the Tour de France in 2021. The 20-year-old Deceuninck – Quick Step rider said in conversation with VTM. He prefers to finish the Giro or the Vuelta first.
Initially, Evenepoel – just back from a month’s training camp in Altea, Spain – planned to make his debut in the Giro d’Italia this year, but his crash in Il Lombardia made that impossible, but he is still working hard on his recovery. “I’m still rehabilitating to be the old me,” he explained. “My body has not yet been able to really go deep. That would only do more damage than good. At the moment it is mainly a matter of riding kilometres and catching up from two months behind.”
He has not yet made his race schedule for 2021. “I want to take the first races as training at ease. Then it is building up to the big goals.” One such goal is the Olympic Games. The chance that he will ride the Tour in 2021 seems small. “I first want to start in one of the other two Grand Tours and finish it before I go to the Tour,” said Evenepoel. “First see what the result will be there. Then we can speak of more.”
Evenepoel getting the Ks in:
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Men – Dendermonde 2020
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won the World Cup cyclocross in Dendermonde. Van Aert was by far too strong in the East Flanders mud. After a strong solo of more than 50 minutes, he crossed the line almost 3 minutes ahead of world champion Mathieu van der Poel.
The fastest from the start was the World champion, Mathieu van der Poel, ahead of Michael Vanthourenhout and Wout van Aert. Van Aert was slowed a little because his bike tangled with Corné van Kessel. Toon Aerts and Quinten Hermans took advantage to both take over the lead from Van der Poel. Many moves were made in the first lap but came to nothing. Seven riders crossed the start-finish together: Van der Poel, Hermans, Aerts, Van Aert, Vanthourenhout, Pidcock and Van Kessel. In the second lap: the two top men got free from the rest. As a strong runner, Van Aert made the difference, while Van der Poel tried to follow his rival.
Van Aert and Van der Poel had a gap of 10 seconds on Hermans, Vanthourenhout and Van Kessel. The Jumbo-Visma rider then rode another 10 seconds away from the World champion who had to make a bike change. The very strong Van Aert was increased his lead over Van der Poel, with four laps to go, to half a minute. There was no chance for the World champion, because Van Aert plodded through the mud like mad. After four laps of seven, the gap was exactly 1 minute between the two top men of cross. Behind; Vanthourenhout and Aerts competed for third place, but that was already more than 2 minutes after the solo Van Aert. Lars van der Haar and Tom Pidcock had abandoned.
Because the organisers had gone for seven laps on this very tough course, the race lasted well over an hour. Van Aert did not care, he went into the final lap with a lead of 2:14 on Van der Poel, Aerts at 2:32 and Vanthourenhout at 2:44. The World champion had to watch out for Aerts on the last lap, but Van der Poel held him off.
Race winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a difficult race but I love these circumstances. It was one of the craziest crosses I’ve ever done. The course worsened every lap. It was epic and I really enjoyed it. It didn’t make much sense to apply tactics. You just had to find a maintainable pace and apparently mine was higher than the rest. When I created the gap, it quickly became bigger and that was certainly good for my morale. The differences on such a course automatically become significant. Here everyone is constantly giving everything. It’s not that I’m suddenly that much better than the rest, although this is of course a confirmation that I am in good shape”
2nd, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “I thought this was a bit unworthy of the World Cup, but that doesn’t take anything away from Wout’s performance, because he was just extremely strong on such a circuit. I knew that this was really something for Van Aert, and he also had a good day. It soon became clear that I was not going to be able to follow, then I focused on second place. I certainly didn’t let it go after that. It was a must. Whether it’s a minute or three minutes behind, that doesn’t really matter to me. I think he stood out today. I immediately noticed that his pace was too fast. It was not my thing, I thought it was a shitty course. Did I lose all the moral beforehand? Not really. It can’t be your thing every week. On to the next. It is no problem to make the switch to Bredene, it will be better there.”
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Men – Dendermonde Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 1:06:10
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 2:49
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise at 3:06
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:42
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 3:58
6. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans CX at 4:14
7. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans CX at 4:22
8. Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 4:29
9. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise at 4:49
10. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 5:04.
As usual the UCI are not keen on people watching their races for free. Here is a short taste of the mud in Dendermonde’20:
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Women – Dendermonde 2020
Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise) won the World Cup cyclo-cross in Dendermonde on Sunday. She made the decisive move in the mud just before the start of the final lap. She also consolidated her lead position in the World Cup standings. American Clara Honsinger beat Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado in the battle for second place.
Storm Bella caused quite some consternation the morning before the cross. After an emergency meeting at noon, it was decided to allow the World Cup to take place, but without the big bridge and without a finish arch. That did not make the mud in Dendermonde any less. Denise Betsema and Lucinda Brand were the fastest out of the starting blocks in the tough conditions. Sanne Cant held up well in the opening lap, while Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado made a mistake at the start, but worked her way up. At the first crossing of the line, Brand led, ahead of Alvarado and with Cant, Betsema and Worst, a little further behind. On the second lap, World champion Alvarado took over command as she plowed through the mud. She was also better on the running sections.
At the start of the third lap of the four, Alvarado had a 10 second lead over Brand, but the World Cup leader managed to close the gap again. A group with Worst, Cant, Betsema, Clara Honsinger, Fem van Empel and Kata Blanka Vas followed within half a minute. Alvarado made several mistakes, but she managed to fight back again and again on Brand’s wheel. Due to the heaviness of the course it became more and more a woman-against-woman fight.
Honsiger managed to break free from the group of pursuers. The American champion even got ahead of Alvarado, who had been well dropped by Brand at the start of the final lap. Honsinger was riding well and was getting close to the World champion. She did get within 15 seconds to Brand, but Telenet-Baloise rider held on to her lead for another victory of this winter.
Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise): “It doesn’t make any sense at all. I can run faster, because I have run 10 kilometres faster than that. It was really, really tough. I don’t know if you could ride a bit faster somewhere, but I have not found it. It was very difficult and halfway through I switched to slightly softer tires. It was a lot of searching, especially in the beginning to get into your rhythm. Saving was also not an option. At one point I only ran everything on a certain stretch, because it was so difficult. And it only got worse. It is very nice that I have already won my tenth victory. It is also a nice anniversary for the sponsor Telenet, which is leaving after this year, It’s nice to end that collaboration like this.”
Cyclo-Cross World Cup Women – Dendermonde Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise in 45:27
2. Clara Honsinger (USA) at Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld 0:15
3. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:24
4. Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:40
5. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 at 0:45
6. Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan at 0:48
7. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport at 0:54
8. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:22
9. Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 1:35
10. Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 2:13.
The best video available from Dendermonde’20:
Telenet Superprestige Men – Heusden-Zolder 2020
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won the Superprestige round in Heusden-Zolder on Saturday. The World champion attacked in the first lap, when Wout van Aert had to deal with a puncture. Eli Iserbyt had the worst luck of the day as he crashed out with a painful injury to the elbow.
The Formula 1 circuit of Heusden-Zolder has always been a fixture in the World Cup in recent years, this season it is the penultimate round of the Superprestige competition. After the long road section immediately after the start, there was a massive crash on the chaotic first corner. Toon Aerts, Tom Pidcock and Michael Vanthourenhout, with others, were held up and were out of the top 30 and any chance of the win. At the front it was the expected protagonists: Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel who made the going. Not for long, because just before the end of the first lap, Van Aert had to deal with a flat tire. The unfortunate Van Aert still had a long way to ride on his flat tyre before he could change bikes, this caused him to lose numerous places and a good half minute. It was also the end of his chance of victory.
Of course, Van der Poel didn’t hold back to make the most of the situation. The World champion lifted the speed with Lars van der Haar and Eli Iserbyt struggling strongly to hold on, in the end there was nothing they could do. In no time he had a gap of more than 15 seconds and they were already looking at each other. It was all over when Eli Iserbyt crashed on a corner. The European champion immediately held his elbow in pain. Iserbyt was taken away by ambulance and would loose his lead in the Superprestige classification.
In pursuit were: Daan Soete, Corné van Kessel, Lars van der Haar, Laurens Sweeck, Michael Vanthourenhout and the unlucky Wout van Aert, who had ridden well to fight his way back. The gap to Van der Poel was nearly a minute, and so the World champion had no need to push too hard. The six rode well together well, but without getting any closer to the world champion, who rode to the victory without any problems. On the penultimate lap Van Aert made his move. The Jumbo-Visma rider left the others fairly easily to take second place. The new leader of the Superprestige is now Toon Aerts, who finished 7th after his difficult start.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “When you hear something like that, you shouldn’t wait (puncture for Wout van Aert). I didn’t want to let him get back in the race, I think that makes sense. I tried to increase the pace and got a gap. Just then Iserbyt falls, which is a shame for him, but that made the difference in one go quite big. That way I could set my own pace for the rest of the hour. I was fine today, certainly not bad. It is a course where, if you only ride in front, you can race very well. I knew exactly where to continue and where to give my legs some breathing space. But still it was a long hour alone. I’ve heard a lot about it (Sunday’s race in Dendermonde). It will be a tough course with a lot of mud, so I’m looking forward to that. A new location is usually nice, but I might have to reconsider my opinion tomorrow [laugh].”
Telenet Superprestige Men – Heusden-Zolder Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 1:02:07
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:38
3. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise at 0:39
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:44
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:48
6. Corne van Kessel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert at 0:51
7. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise at 0:55
8. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:59
9. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity at 1:01
10. Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers at 1:08.
Telenet Superprestige Women – Heusden-Zolder 2020
Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise) won the woman’s Superprestige Cross in Heusden-Zolder. Brand held off Ceylin Alvarado, Annemarie Worst and Denise Betsema in a final sprint.
The Formula 1 circuit of Heusden-Zolder traditionally guarantees a fast race, and that was again the case on Saturday. A fresh Annemarie Worst took care of the opening lap after she was sidelined for a week due to exhaustion. There was little of that exhaustion to be seen, because Worst reduced the large group on her own to a leading group of eight riders. After a mistake by Lucinda Brand; Denise Betsema, Ceylin Alvarado, Inge van der Heijden and Worst had a gap, but they did very little with it. On the long asphalt section towards the finish, the pace dropped at the front, so that Brand could easily cross a gap of 10 seconds.
On the next lap Brand put more pressure on and only Worst could handle the pace of the Telenet-Baloise rider on the technical parts, but a flat tire from Brand gave the rest a second chance. This provided a relative respite for everyone except World champion Alvarado. She had to chase after she fell painfully on the logs. On laps three and four nothing much happened. This was most obvious on the long asphalt finishing straight as many riders managed to close the gap to the front. Manon Bakker, Alicia Franck and Anna Kay were about to catch the five at the front, but – again – Brand prevented it. She jumped from behind, and put in a very fast final lap.
It wasn’t until the very last uphill of the day that the differences were made. Brand only had Alvarado stuck to her wheel, but Betsema and Worst also managed to join them for the sprint. Brand started the sprint from the front and kept everyone off effortlessly.
Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise): “Having to start the sprint from the front didn’t feel like the ideal starting position for me. Certainly not on such a long finishing straight as this one, but afterwards it turned out to be the right approach to start the sprint first. Apparently I had the most powerful sprint in my legs. I soon knew it was going to be a sprint, because we were quite silent at the front and the gaps never got bigger than fifty to a hundred meters. It was hard to hold on to the differences, a bit like every year here. We are indeed in good shape, but I don’t want to say it’s in yet.”
Telenet Superprestige Women – Heusden-Zolder Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise in 40:38
2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777
4. Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
5. Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads at 0:15
6. Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 at 0:16
7. Anna Kay (GB) Starcasino CX at 0:17
8. Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT at 0:20
9. Anne Tauber (Ned) Cst Postnl Bafang at 0:30
10. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:31.
Aru Fourth in Italian Cyclocross
Fabio Aru took a 4th place in an Italian cyclocross on Sunday. The UAE Team Emirates rider, who will ride for Qhubeka ASSOS in 2021, competed again in a national race in Anconca in the northeastern Province of Marche, bordering the Adriatic sea. This was his first race in four months.
Aru saw the victory go to Italian champion Gioele Bertolini. Luca Pescarmona and Stefano Capponi finished second and third at over two minutes. Aru finished fourth. “The surface was very difficult, it was certainly not easy,” Aru told OA Sport. “My congratulations to the guys who took the podium. For me it was a lot of fun, but also very difficult. That’s just how it is. To return to cyclocross is always good and this environment too.”
Aru is expected to ride another national cyclocross race in San Fior in the province of Treviso. He may also be able to participate in the Italian cyclo-cross championship in the weekend of January the 10th.
Fabio Aru riding cross in Anconca:
Pello Bilbao Hopes to Ride Giro/Tour in 2021
If it is up to Pello Bilbao, he will ride the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France next year. The Bahrain Victorious climber told the Basque newspaper Deia. “But there is nothing on paper yet,” said Bilbao.
Bilbao also combined the two grand tours this year and apparently that went well. “I would also like to contest the Giro, but I am still waiting for the green light. I have not yet discussed it with the team management, but the idea is to ride the Giro and Tour in 2021.”
Bilbao should start the season in the Tour of Valencia (February 3-7), followed by the Volta ao Algarve (February 17-21) and Paris-Nice (March 7-14). After the ‘Race to the Sun’, the rider will focus on the Tour of the Basque Country (5-10 April) and, if Bahrain Victorious allow, the Giro d’Italia (8-30 May) and the Tour de France. (June 26-July 18).
Bilbao finished fifth in the Giro d’Italia this season, after a tough Tour de France in the service of fellow countryman Mikel Landa. Bilbao finished in the Tour of Italy at just over three minutes from overall winner Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Gilbert On the Way Back
Philippe Gilbert decided to end his season prematurely three months ago due to knee problems. The Lotto Soudal rider has had a difficult period physically, but can now slowly look ahead “For the first time since I had to end my season three months ago, I am kicking decent values again,” Gilbert said on social media. Gilbert broke his kneecap in the previous Tour de France and had to leave after one stage. The classic specialist returned to competition, but had to end his season early due to a recurrence of the pain. “Never before have I raced so little, not even as a newcomer. Whether I will be fresher at the start of the new season with that? Nothing beats competition,” Gilbert said recently.
“But the hunger will be great, I already know that.” The goals for 2021 are not yet on paper, but in addition to Milan-Sanremo and the Tour de France, Gilbert has more races on his wish list. “There are still many great races that I want to win: Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem…”
Philippe Gilbert in Strade Bianche’20:
Tour de l’Ain To be After the Tour de France in 2021
The Tour de l’Ain was a preparatory race for the Tour de France in this strange corona year, but in 2021 the multi-day race will take place again after the Tour de France. The Tour de l’Ain organisers announced this via Twitter.
This year’s Tour de l’Ain was an important preparatory race for the Tour de France for men like Primož Roglič, Tom Dumoulin, Egan Bernal, Steven Kruijswijk, Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte. The French race was held from 7 to 9 August, the Tour de France started on 29 August this year. The Tour de l’Ain is normally on the program a few weeks after the Tour and that will be the case in 2021. The Tour de France will end next year on July 18, the Tour de l’Ain will start on July 29 and finish on July 31, 2021. This year, the overall victory in the French department of Ain went to Primoz Roglič. Roglič, winner of two of the three stages, was ahead of Bernal and Nairo Quintana in the final general classification.
Tour de l’Ain stage 2 win for Roglič:
Giro Rosa to Prato Nevoso and Cascata del Toce in 2021
The 2021 the Giro Rosa will visit the winter sports resort of Prato Nevoso and the famous waterfall Cascata del Toce, according to Italian site Cicloweb. The Italian stage race, the most prestigious tour for women, is on the calendar next year from 2 to 11 July.
The route has still to be announced, but the riders will start next year with a team time trial of about 25 kilometres from Fossano to Cuneo in the Piedmont region. On day two there will be some climbing with a finish in Prato Nevoso, a climb of more than 13 kilometres at 7%. In the past, the winter sports resort of Prato Nevoso hosted several finishes of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. The third stage goes on relatively flat roads to Ovada. The fourth stage is a hilly time trial of only 7 kilometres to Cascate del Toce. This ascent to the famous waterfall in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, we know from the men’s Giro d’Italia. In 2003 the 19th stage finished at Cascata del Toce. Race leader Gilberto Simoni put the finishing touches, after a last brilliant performance by Marco Pantani.
After the hilly time trial there is a stage in the Brianza region and one to Lake Como. The riders also get a difficult mountain stage in the province of Sondrio. The 8th stage has its finish in Schio, the penultimate stage takes place in and around Fregona. The final stage is also very tough with a finish on Monte Matajur, very close to the Slovenian border.
The Giro Rosa was won this year by Anna van der Breggen. The reigning world champion, who also won the Italian stage race in 2015 and 2017, she was ahead of Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini in the final general classification. The Giro Rosa is no longer part of the Women’s WorldTour and continues as a 2.Pro race.
Anna van der Breggen:
Taco Van der Hoorn Spearheads Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux can rely on a new asset for 2021, thanks to the arrival of Taco Van der Hoorn. The winner of the Schaal Sels (2017), the Primus Classic and a stage at the BinckBank Tour (2018) reinforces the squad for the classics and one day races. After this long series of victories and places of honour in his orange kit of Roompot, the Dutch rider stepped up to the World Tour with Jumbo-Visma. During two seasons, the 27 year old rode at the services of leaders like Van Aert and Teunissen. The resident of Wageningen brings his World Tour experience in the classics to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, but he will also receive his own opportunities in certain races.
Taco Van der Hoorn: “I’m very happy to be able to defend the colours of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux next season. My goals and capabilities will come into their own perfectly in the team. Riding at the services of others really suits me, but racing for the victory also intrigues me. Within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, I will discover a perfect balance between the role of a helper and my own opportunities. It’s a very nice challenge! I’m also looking forward to ride a Grand Tour, in which I want to shine in the typical offensive race style of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!”
Aike Visbeek: “After his revelation in 2018, Taco gained World Tour experience. This intelligent and self-conscious rider is preparing next season full motivation. After two years at the service of others, we want to offer him again some more freedom. Combining this with good mentoring and coaching, a World Tour programme and a first Grand Tour participation, we’re convinced that he can take a next step in his career. The profile of the 27 year old with a margin for growth matches perfectly with the strategy of our team in full development.”
# Interview by Ed Hood with Taco coming soon on PEZ. #
Alpecin-Fenix Signs Edward Anderson
Alpecin-Fenix has added Edward Anderson to the team roster. The 22-year-old American rider comes from Hagens Berman Axeon, Axel Merckx’s development team, according to the UCI website.
Anderson is originally a mountain biker specialising in gravel riding. He has been under contract with Hagens Berman Axeon since 2017 and has been a pro for two years during that time as the team rode on a ProContinental license for two seasons. Anderson has not yet won on the road, but he has ridden the Tour of California, the Tour of Utah, the Tour de l’Ain and the Giro d’Italia U23.
The Belgian ProTeam of Mathieu van der Poel looks to be entering the 2021 season with 29 riders. In addition to Anderson, newcomers are Silvan Dillier, Jasper Philipsen, Xandro Meurisse, Laurens De Vreese, Edward Planckaert, Lionel Taminiaux and Tobias Bayer.
A notable absentee from Alpecin-Fenix’s roster on the UCI site is Roy Jans. He will no longer be part of the team in 2021. Zwift Academy winner Jay Vine is also still missing from the list. Alpecin-Fenix will also start next year with a Continental road team, in addition to the current professional team.
Alpecin-Fenix team for 2021:
Edward Anderson (USA), Tobias Bayer (Aut), Dries De Bondt (Bel), Floris De Tier (Bel), Silvan Dillier (Swi), Jimmy Janssens (Bel), Alexander Krieger (Ger), Senne Leysen (Bel), Marcel Meisen (Ger), Tim Merlier (Bel), Xandro Meurisse (Bel), Sacha Modolo (Ita), Jasper Philipsen (Bel), Edward Planckaert (Bel), David van der Poel (Ned), Mathieu van der Poel (Ned), Alexander Richardson (GB), Jonas Rickaert (Bel), Oscar Riesebeek (Ned), Kristian Sbaragli (Ita), Diether Sweeck (Bel), Lionel Taminiaux (Bel), Scott Thwaites (GB), Ben Tullett (GB), Petr Vakoc (Cz), Otto Vergaerde (Bel), Gianni Vermeersch (Bel), Louis Vervaeke (Bel), Philipp Walsleben(Ger).
A strong Alpecin-Fenix team for 2021:
Team Bahrain Victorious Announce Rolf Aldag as Sports Director for 2021 SEASON
Rolf Aldag is joining Team Bahrain Victorious as a Sports Director for the 2021 UCI WorldTour season.
The 52-year-old Aldag joins the team with a wealth of experience, who raced in the Pro Peloton for over 15 years starting with Helvetia – La Suisse, and later with Team Telekom. Along with his professional racing background, Rolf worked in similar roles as Sports Director with Canyon-Sram in the UCI Women’s WorldTour and Head of Performance at MTN-Qhubeka.
Rolf is excited about the new role. “The Team showed a lot of fighting spirit and raced in a very structured way, during the complicated 2020 season. That was very attractive to me and raised my attention. When the opportunity came to be part of this team, I didn’t hesitate. Now I am looking forward to contributing to the future success. I’m happy to join the team because it offers a lot of opportunities and riders with big potential. I’m looking forward to helping develop the riders and contribute to the team’s success. Team Bahrain Victorious is a team that managed to make positive structural changes during a challenging 2020 season. Therefore I am happy to get the chance to join the team to help build future success.”
A spokesperson from the team commented “We are delighted to secure Rolf as a Sports Director for the team. He brings great experience leading races and development projects. Rolf also has a great eye for scouting and discovering young talent along with experience in developing the team’s technical department, which is proven through his previous roles.”
Bahrain Victorious in Nalini for 2021
Team Bahrain McLaren will compete with the evocative name “Team Bahrain Victorious” in the 2021 UCI WorldTour and will be dressed by the long-established sportswear company from Mantua, which has been by the side of professionals for half a century and now, more than ever, is present to demonstrate its great, unaltered passion for cycling.
Victorious because it was necessary to give a sign of optimism, beyond the goals that the team has set, and this fighting spirit has also been represented by the striking light blue touches in the new uniform design, which celebrates the national colour of Bahrain.
“In a very difficult year for professional cycling, where the easiest choice would have been to take a step backwards,” said Claudio Mantovani, owner of the brand from Mantua, “Nalini, a brand which historically has always been close to the world of professional cycling, decided, once again, to be present and become the new partner of a team at the highest level as Bahrain Victorious. The spirit that guides us is closely tied to a value of cycling known as resilience and the drive to cross the finish line despite the obstacles. Ours is meant to be a message to everyone: let’s look forward with optimism and support this extraordinary sport with genuine team spirit.”
Performance apparel designed by Nalini, in collaboration with the team and produced in exceptionally quick time, includes everything needed for racing and training in order to cope with the widest range of potential weather conditions. This means various types of jerseys, bib tights, jackets and accessories including underwear, socks and supply bags. Sizes have been customised for each athlete, in order to achieve perfect ergonomics, aerodynamics and maximum comfort. Nalini pays great attention to detail and uses the highest technical skills to create garments for professionals, the same reserved for the amateur world and its fans.
The replica clothing will be available starting from the end of February and the beginning of March in the splecialised sales dealer and e-commerce networks.
To learn more about what’s new in Nalini: www.nalini.com
Ruben Guerreiro Breaks Collarbone in Training Accident
A training run ended in hospital for Ruben Guerreiro. The 26-year-old Portuguese EF Education-Nippo rider crashed due to an unexpected manoeuvre by a motorist and broke his collarbone.
Guerreiro has undergone surgery in the hospital of Évora. “I was training with some friends when I was suddenly hit by a car in the village of Vendas Novas. The driver decided to turn left out of nowhere, without respecting the rules. I don’t know if the woman has seen us at all,” Guerreiro told A Bola.
“I could not avoid a collision and was then taken to the hospital in Évora. There, the doctors found a clavicle fracture. I have now undergone surgery,” said the climber, who wants to start on the rollers in two weeks’ time. “I will start my season with the UAE Tour at the end of February.” Guerreiro, won a stage and the KOM classification in the Giro d’Italia this year, hopes to contest two Grand Tours in 2021. “But I depend on Rigoberto Urán and his competition schedule. I will have a meeting with the team soon. I know that I will be starting an important season.”
Ruben Guerreiro – Giro’20 stage 9:
Conti Sustains Dislocated Collarbone in Training Crash
Italian ruled out for three weeks after collision with vehicle
Valerio Conti will be out of action for up to three weeks after sustaining a dislocated collarbone.
The 27 year old was out training near his home in Monaco when he collided with a wall after being struck from behind by a motorist.
Conti was training alone at the time of the accident when a passing cyclist alerted the emergency services and ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after.
UAE Team Emirates doctor Michele De Grandi: “X-Rays at the hospital in Nice showed a 2nd degree dislocation of the clavicle and it was decided that surgery was not required. Valerio will be off the road for 3 weeks but should be able to resume indoor training in the coming days.”
Festive 500 – Sleepless in Seattle
500km. Eight days. Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. There’s no right way or wrong way to ride the Festive 500; every rider is free to rise to the challenge in whichever way they see fit. But for some, simply going the distance is not enough. Every year, an intrepid few take on the challenge of riding the requisite distance in one fell swoop.
For the last three years, many of those all-at-once attempts have taken place in Washington state as part of Rapha Seattle’s brevet rides. The first two editions were routed between Portland and Seattle, but last year’s route took the 32 riders taking part into far more remote backcountry on the iconic Olympic Peninsula.
For a little last minute inspiration ahead of this year’s challenge, settle down to watch what was surely one of the toughest rides attempted anywhere on the 2019 Festive 500.
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