EUROTRASH News Round Up: Bernal Progress Update & More
Read all about it!
The 2022 season is now at ‘full gas’ in Saudi, Valencia and Bessèges – All the results and video. More news from Egan Bernal – TOP STORY. Rider news: Mathieu van der Poel on the road, Tom Pidcock in New York, freedom for Filippo Ganna, Fem van Empel ends cross season and Kilian Frankiny retires. Team news: Canada in the cross Worlds and Demi Vollering extends with Team SD Worx. Race news: 2023 Glasgow World championships, The Arctic Race of Norway, E3 Saxo Bank Classic women’s race, Tour of Oman and Ster van Zwolle canceled. Plus no doping cases in the WorldTour, Iljo Keisse: One last time on the road video and play BIKLE, the cycling Wordle variant. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Egan Bernal Still in Intensive Care, But Making Progress
Egan Bernal is still in intensive care a week after his serious accident while training. The Colombian will spend the next few days in the ICU of the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana. The hospital announced in a press release.
The 25 year-old Bernal is making progress and has had all the necessary operations, but the doctors do not want to take any risks, so it has been decided not to move the Colombian to a normal hospital ward yet. “We remain very focused on managing the pain. It is important to have him recover in a safe and controlled environment, with the help of an interdisciplinary team.”
There is optimism about the recovery of the 2019 Tour winner. In recent days, encouraging messages have been coming from Colombia. The back operation was successfully performed and Bernal’s perforated lungs have expanded adequately again. He can also move his limbs. “We are making progress with the patient in his recovery process. We believe in a speedy recovery.”
Wednesday: Egan Bernal Undergoes Cervical Spine Surgery
Egan Bernal underwent surgery on Wednesday at the level of the cervical spine. Spanish-language media report this based on the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where the Colombian rider is being treated.
“This surgery will aid his rehabilitation process,” the medical centre is quoted as saying. “We continue with the patient in all their recovery processes and rely on rapid improvement. We will report on the athlete’s developments after the procedure.” The INEOS Grenadiers rider, who is still in Intensive Care, went under the knife a little after noon on Wednesday (Colombian time).
Thursday: Egan Bernal Successful Operation
The planned operation on the cervical spine of Egan Bernal was successfully performed on Wednesday. The Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where the Colombian rider is being treated, reported in a new communiqué.
“Egan Bernal has undergone the surgical procedure that was planned,” said the institution’s medical director, Juan Guillermo Ortiz Martínez. “The patient is already recovering. The goals of the biomechanical stability of the cervical column (cervical spine) have been achieved with excellent clinical results. There were no complications during the operation.”
Bernal collided with a stationary bus at high speed on Monday, January 26, during a training session in Colombia. The climber ended up in the ICU with a broken spine, right femur and right patella. The 25-year-old INEOS Grenadiers rider also suffered multiple broken ribs, a perforated lung and chest trauma. He has since had several surgeries.
Saudi Tour 2022
Caleb Ewan won Stage 1 of the Saudi Tour. The Lotto Soudal rider turned out to be the fastest in the final sprint on the opening stage to and from Winter Park. Ewan is also the first overall leader, Martin Laas and Fernando Gaviria took second and third.
The first stage of the five-day race was 198 kilometres long and took place in and around the tourist spot of Winter Park. With 20 kilometres to go, there was a gravel strip of 7.5 kilometres. There was also the chance of echelons. Unsurprisingly, this caused nervousness in the peloton.
The sprinter’s teams had to bring back an early break of three riders. Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, a 32-year-old rider from Malaysia who rides for the Continental Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team, attacked and was joined by the Greek Polychronis Tzortzakis (Kuwait Pro Cycling Team) and Uno-X’s Norwegian Martin Urianstad. The peloton let them go and their lead went up to 3 minutes. Tzortzakis and Urianstad were caught by the peloton with more than 25 kilometres to go, before the gravel section. There was a bad crash on the gravel. Andrea Bagioli looked like he hit a rock and his bike caused other riders to fall, but the race came back together.
Yousif Mirza attacked in the last 15 kilometres, but his escape was short-lived and a sprint would finish the day. There was a lack of live images due to the plane that was needed for was not allowed to take off. Ewan was ideally placed with 200 meters to go and was too fast for his competitors. The 27-year-old Australian Lotto Soudal rider won his first race on his first race day of 2022. Laas finished second for BORA-hansgrohe, Gaviria (UAE Emirates) had to settle for third place. Dylan Groenewegen finished in 12th place in his first race for BikeExchange-Jayco. Lotto Soudal has three victories under its belt this season, as Tim Wellens and Arnaud De Lie were already successful in the Challenge Mallorca.
Stage winner and overall leader, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “There is no better way to kick off the season. Of course, I am super happy to start the year this way but I am even more impressed by how the team worked for me today. They just did the perfect job. The gravel section at twenty kilometres from the finished caused some chaos and crashes, but my teammates always made sure I was right at the front of the bunch leading into that sector and that way, they kept me out of the danger zone. Afterwards, they delivered me towards the finish line just perfectly. I only had to sprint for a 100 metres. That is why this victory is one of the entire Lotto Soudal team. Obviously, we wanted to win today. But the first time with a partly new lead-out is always exciting, but all credits to newcomers Rüdiger Selig and Jarrad Drizners. They did a great job immediately integrating into the team and together with the other guys, they brought me to the finish line just perfectly. It is nice to see all the hard work during winter immediately rewarded.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe): “It wasn’t quite as hard as expected out there today. There were a few nervous moments, particularly on the gravel passage, with Matteo unfortunately being involved in a crash. The team protected me well all day and then brought me into a good position for the finale. I had pretty good legs in the sprint, but Caleb was ultimately just too strong. However, there are still several chances here and we’ll definitely be trying again. Hopefully we’ll manage to get the win next time.”
3rd on the stage and overall, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a fast stage out there. We didn’t win but I’m pleased with the team, they worked well. The lead-out came together nicely and I could wait until the last moment to open up, but was just missing that little bit. The gravel section was cool, it was hard but thankfully all our guys passed it without any problems although we heard there were some crashes behind. Tomorrow will be another day, maybe a harder day and we’ll aim for the victory again.”
Saudi Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:41:52
2. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies
6. Felix Groß (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
7. Simon Dehairs (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
9. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&:B Hotels-KTM
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis.
Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:41:42
2. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:07
5. Martin Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X at 0:08
6. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:09
7. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:10
8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies
9. Felix Groß (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
10. Simon Dehairs (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.
Saudi’22 stage 1:
Santiago Buitrago won Stage 2 of the Saudi Tour on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Colombian of Bahrain-Victorious rode away on the steep final slope with Andrea Bagioli and managed to beat the Italian in the sprint. With his win, Buitrago is now the new overall leader.
With Caleb Ewan, who won Tuesday’s bunch sprint, in the leader’s jersey, stage 2 of the Saudi Tour was a hilly one. The 163.9-kilometre stage between Taibah University and Abu Rakah did not have any extremely tough climbs, but the final was hard. So it was one for the puncheurs in the peloton.
Three riders rode away from the start. Norwegian Martin Bugge Urianstad (Uno-X) and the Greek Polychronis Tzortzakis (Kuwait PCT), who were both part of the break on stage 1, the Dutchman Jeroen Meijers (Terengganu Polygon) was also part of the escape. After 35 kilometres the trio had 4 minute lead over the peloton. But they didn’t get any more than that due to Lotto Soudal’s control. While Bugge Urianstad continued collecting points for the intermediate sprint classification, the gap slowly came down. In the end Jeroen Meijers managed to stay ahead the longest. He was caught with just under 10 kilometres to go and from that point the race went full speed towards the last climb.
When the race eased off a little, Jayde Julius saw his chance. The South African of Kuwait Pro Cycling Team took off on his own 7 kilometres from the finish, but 2 kilometres later his attempt was closed down. The whole peloton started the final climb together. It soon turned out to be too hard for the real sprinters. Especially when Santiago Buitrago jumped a good kilometre from the finish and had Daniel Oss with him. The two made a good gap, but Andrea Bagioli managed to make the crossing. The Italian, who had a hard crash yesterday, tried to go past the two front riders, but Buitrago had other ideas. Oss couldn’t keep up with the pace, as Buitrago held onto Bagioli’s wheel. The latter had to start the sprint from the front, but was surprised by the young Colombian. The Bahrain-Victorious rider turned out to have enough left and stayed ahead of Bagioli, taking his first professional victory. At 7 seconds, Anthon Charmig (Uno-X) crossed the line in third, just ahead of Belgian Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Soudal). Caleb Ewan, who lost his leader’s jersey to Buitrago, was sixth.
Stage winner and overall leader, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious): “I’m really happy to win the stage today. It’s amazing. The team did great work for me the whole stage. The team did an incredible job for me today, to prevent any echelons. We had quite a lot of wind. When it was 1 km to go, I saw that I had good legs. We were only three guys fighting at the final. It was very tricky, and I didn’t think that I would have a lot of opportunities to win in the sprint, so I decided to try earlier. I wanted to show my gratitude to the whole team for the job done, all the riders and staff. This is the first victory in my career and the first one in the season for the team. This is incredible. Thanks to the team for trusting me. It’s not the last one for sure.”
6th on the stage and 2nd overall, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “We knew it was going to be very difficult today on this finish, but it was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss. We wanted to try it. I wasn’t that far from victory in the end. I worked on my abilities as a climber. I am happy with my legs today. To be in good shape already and to be close to victory at such a finish bodes well for the rest of the season. In the Saudi Tour there are now two more chances for me, but the general classification will be very difficult and not really realistic.”
Saudi Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious in 3:43:51
2. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:01
3. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:07
4. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
6. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
7. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis at 0:11
8. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
10. Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Arkéa Samsic.
Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Santiago Buitrago(Col) Bahrain-Victorious in 8:25:33
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 0:07
3. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 0:13
4. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
5. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:20
6. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis at 0:21
7. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Rubén Fernández (Spa) Cofidis
10. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates.
Saudi’22 stage 2:
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana 2022
Remco Evenepoel won Stage 1 of the Tour of Valencia. After a difficult final, the Belgian attacked and solo’d to the finish. Aleksandr Vlasov and Pavel Sivakov finished second and third.
The first day in the Tour of Valencia 2022 was tough with 2,900 climbing metres. 166.7 kilometres with various climbs were on the course. After 20 kilometres into the stage, the day’s breakaway managed to escape. The leading group consisted of Joan Bou (Euskaltel), Jesús Ezquerra (Burgos-BH), David González (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Benjamin King (Human Powered) and Iván Moreno (Kern Pharma). The peloton let them go and they gained 5 minutes.
In the peloton Movistar that took the lead working for leaders Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde. During the steep climb of the Alto de Costur (3km at 8.7%) the peloton managed to pull back 1 minute. The climb was the El Remolcador (9.9km at 3.6%). With 70 kilometres to go, this climb did not turn out to be as important as expected, but the lead did decrease. With 32 kilometres left, the escape were caught. Movistar was still leading, they set the pace all day long. There was a crash in the peloton including Casper Pedersen and Tobias Lund Andresen and others. Xabier Mikel Azparren of Euskaltel attacked, but he was caught within sight of the intermediate sprint. The sprint was won by Matej Mohoric, Ryan Gibbons and Aleksandr Vlasov finished second and third.
The peloton continued on the undulating route, but there was another crash. Marc Soler, Juan Ayuso and Nans Peters were the main victims. With 15 kilometres to go we saw Remco Evenepoel for the first time. Yves Lampaert lifted the pace with Evenepoel on his wheel. The peloton was led by the Belgian team towards the Torralba del Pinar (4.6km at 7.2%), the last climb of the day. Eight kilometres from the finish, the road started to climb, that was the signal for Jan Tratnik and Dylan Teuns of Bahrain-Victorious to take over the lead, this was visible at the rear of the peloton, where riders were being dropped. Antwan Tolhoek opened the action with 5 kilometres from the finish. However, it was Evenepoel who had the best legs on the Torralba del Pinar. The Belgian rode away; behind him Vlasov tried not to let the gap get too big. With 1 kilometre to go, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was 15 seconds ahead of Vlasov. Evenepoel won the stage convincingly, Vlasov and Rodriguez joined him on the podium. The Belgian is also the first leader.
Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “It’s fantastic to start my season like this. The team had confidence in me on this finish. The team dropped me off well. I attacked at the toughest point of the climb, we knew I could give everything from there until the finish. It was definitely tough, but I’m glad I was able to finish it with a nice lead. This will make the rest of the Tour a little easier for us. Tomorrow we can win again with Fabio (Jakobsen), on Friday it’s up to me again. Last year I had to start my season with a lot of doubts, now I can race at my best level right away. I knew I was good and the team knew it too. I was able to show my best values during the training sessions of the last few weeks. I hope the team has now started, this is the first win for us this year.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “The team did a really good job keeping me in position before the final climb. Unfortunately I was a bit too far back in the group when Remo attacked. But I gave my best to follow and I’m really happy with the result. Four more stages to come – I’m super motivated!”
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 1 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:16:32
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:31
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:32
5. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
6. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:42
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:53.
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 1:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:16:22
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:19
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:37
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:42
5. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
6. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:48
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 1:03.
Valenciana’22 stage 1:
Étoile de Bessèges 2022
Mads Pedersen won Stage 1 of the Étoile de Bessèges. The Dane managed to win the sprint from a small group. During the race, the peloton was split into two parts due to echelons.
Stage 1 started and finished in Bellegarde. There were three laps with the climb of the Côte de la Tour each time. The climb was 600 metres long at 6.5%. The first escape of the day was by Frenchman Thomas Denis from Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole, but his effort was soon over. Lindsay De Vilder escaped from the peloton soon after. The Belgian of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise quickly got a few minutes ahead. His lead climbed to 3:30, but the peloton decided to pull him in a bit. With a lead of more than a minute, De Vilder crossed top of the Côte de la Tour, Kristoffer Halvorssen and Edvald Boasson Hagen were second and third in the peloton. With 73 kilometres to go, De Vilder was caught and the pace picked up considerably.
The peloton accelerated due to the wind. The peloton broke into pieces and was pulled into echelons. About 30 riders, including Filipo Ganna, Richard Carapaz (both Ineos Grenadiers), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Edvald Boasson-Hagen (TotalEnergies) and Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) were off the front. UAE Team Emirates and Bingoal-Pauwels Sauzen-WB had to work hard behind. The peloton came over the top of the Côte de la Tour for the second time. Arkéa-Samsic’s Matis Louvel was the first, ahead of Alberto Bettiol and Christopher Lawless. In the second group Diego Ulissi jumped away with a small group. Bryan Coquard and Aimé De Gendt and others, followed in the wake of the Italian. On the long roads they had the peloton in sight, but they couldn’t close the gap and were caught by the second peloton.
With 20 kilometres to go, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) and Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën) were dropped by the first group. The lead of the first group dwindled, the gap was reduced to 30 seconds. Twelve kilometres from the finish, Uno-X was in the lead of both the first and second groups. This didn’t make much difference though, the lead lingered around 30 seconds. It became clear that the first group was going to fight for the win. TotalEnergies could set up a nice train for Edvald Boasson-Hagen. However, it was not the Norwegian, but the Dane Mads Pedersen who won the first stage. The Trek-Segafredo rider out-sprinted the opposition. Hugo Hofstetter came in second and Edvald Boasson-Hagen joined them on the podium. Pedersen is the first overall leader.
Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “This win is for Pepinho. The final was really tough, but I knew I could be good on these kinds of finishes. With Toms (Skujins) in the group I was able to save a lot of energy. TotalEnergies started to pick up the pace very quickly in the last kilometre so I could only follow. I jumped away with five hundred meters to go. To be honest I thought maybe it was too early, but I was able to hold on because of my nice lead. When the peloton broke in two, I wasn’t in the front so I ended up in the second part. I was surprised and so had to ride to the first group. It’s always nice to win and start the season right. It’s nice to have this form at this point in the season. I can build on this. The Trek-Segafredo rider dedicated the victory to Pepinho (José Eduardo Santos), the mechanic of the team who died last week. “He would have loved being here with us. Today was definitely a win for him. I’m getting a little emotional about it. It shows that there are more important things in life.”
Étoile de Bessèges Stage 1 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:32:47
2. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:01
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
4. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies
6. Chris Lawless (GB) TotalEnergies at 0:04
7. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:07
8. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
10. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:11
Étoile de Bessèges Overall After Stage 1.
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:32:37
2. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:05
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies at 0:07
4. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:11
5. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies
6. Chris Lawless (GB) TotalEnergies at 0:14
7. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:17
8. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
10. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:21.
Bessèges’22 stage 1:
Mathieu van der Poel Takes His First Training Ride on the Road
Mathieu van der Poel had a training ride in the open road for the first time since his back injury. Last week we saw on Strava that he had already started training on the home trainer.
Van der Poel underwent minor knee surgery this month and had been prescribed rest for his back injury, which forced a break for the Dutchman. After being unable to touch his bike for a few weeks, he took a ride on the trainer last week. Now we see via Strava that he has taken a road ride for the first time. Van der Poel rode 64 kilometres, good for two hours on the bike.
Service course and back:
Tom Pidcock Celebrated his World Title with a Trip to New York
After he was crowned cyclocross World champion in Fayetteville, Tom Pidcock stayed in the United States for a few days. The British rider traveled to New York for five days, where he wanted to celebrate winning the rainbow jersey with his girlfriend.
After the short trip to the Big Apple, Pidcock returns to Europe. First he is in Belgium for two days before a short training camp in the Algarve. He will stay in Portugal to start the Volta ao Algarve on February 16 in Portimão, his first road race of the season. The Portuguese race is a build-up to the Belgian opening weekend. After that he moves on to Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo.
Reportedly, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are also on his program. Pidcock will then focus on his first Giro d’Italia before a long rest period.
There is a chance that Pidcock will ride one more cyclo-cross race this season. The INEOS rider may show off his rainbow jersey next weekend in the Parkcross of Maldegem (Saturday 5 February) or in the X2O Trophy in Lille (Sunday 6 February). “Why not? I’ll be in Belgium for two days before I travel to Portugal, so maybe I’ll show my rainbow jersey in Maldegem or Lille. But nothing has been definitively decided yet,” said Pidcock.
Upcoming Races for Tom Pidcock:
Volta ao Algarve (February 16-20)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (26 February)
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (February 27)
Strade Bianche (March 5)
Milan-Sanremo (March 19).
A few days in New York for the cyclo-cross World champion and his girlfriend (girl in photo below, not his girlfriend, but masseur
More Freedom for Filippo Ganna in 2022
Filippo Ganna started his 2022 season in the Étoile de Bessèges. In conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian said that he will get more freedom in 2022 and show that he is not ‘just’ a time trialist or a track rider.
Ganna has fond memories of the Étoile de Bessèges. Last season he rode an impressive solo to victory in the stage to Saint-Siffret, after breaking away from the leading group in the final and held off the sprinting peloton. The next day he was the best in the final time trial through Alès. He had a successful year with two stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, a Olympic Gold medal and a world title in the team pursuit and the time trial.
This season he will get more freedom and lead the INEOS Grenadiers team: “I have discussed it with the team. This year I will also have my own chances, I will have more carte blanche, with the team at my disposal. A calendar has been designed for me to make the most of my features. There will be great opportunities to show that I am not ‘just’ a time trialist or a track cyclist,” he said.
After the Étoile de Bessèges, Ganna will start the UAE Tour and Paris-Nice, then he moves on to Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix. He should make his Tour de France debut in July, where he is one of the favourites for the first yellow jersey in Copenhagen. “To cope with Paris-Roubaix, I am working on my abs and the upper part of my body more than usual. When that is done, I still have to lose a few kilos in the run-up to the Tour.”
His physique is in an ‘up and down’ phase, which he says is normal during this period. “I will never become a 70-75 kilogram climber, that would be unnatural and I cannot allow myself. But Fabian Cancellara, when he wore the yellow, weighed more than 80 kilograms and he defended himself well on the climbs more than once. We will see. It’s a “new” year for me. I will race less on the track, but maybe I’ll do the European Championships in Munich in August, to score points for the Olympics.”
Ganna may also make an attempt this year to improve the World Hour Record, which is currently held by Victor Campenaerts. The Italian has not been very outspoken about it yet, but La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests he is likely to attack the prestigious record in Manchester in late August or early September.
Filippo Ganna 2022 Early Program:
Étoile de Bessèges (2-6 February)
UAE Tour (February 20-26)
Paris-Nice (6-13 March)
Milan-San Remo (March 19)
Paris-Roubaix (17 March)
Tour de France (1-24 July).
A good year for Filippo Ganna:
Fem van Empel Ends her 2021/22 Cross Season
Fem van Empel will not be in action in the last cyclo-cross races of this winter. On social media, the young Dutch rider announced that the cyclo-cross World championships in Fayetteville was her last cross of the season.
For Van Empel, the World championship turned out to be a disappointment. After bad luck she managed to close a gap twice, but the third time – in the final lap – was too much for her. “I gave everything I could in the sprint, but then my chain got stuck again. I may have lost the world title there,” she said emotionally after the race.
In a message on Facebook, Van Empel announced that she has ridden her last cross of this winter. “This was not what I came to the World championships for, but some things are not always in your control. This was also my last cross of the season. Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement over the past year.”
Fem van Empel disappointed in Fayetteville:
Kilian Frankiny Retires
Kilian Frankiny has stopped his racing career, he announced on his social media. The 28-year-old Swiss rider, who started his professional career with BMC in 2017, was not able to find a new team after the collapse of Qhubeka-NextHash.
In his last year with the U23s, he won the prestigious Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc. He also finished third in the Tour de Alsace and fifth in the U23 version of the Tour of Lombardy. Once he was with the professionals, the big results failed to materialise. He turned pro with BMC in 2017 and pas part of two team time trial wins, but failed to finish the Vualta a España. In his first year with Groupama-FDJ, 2019, he finished twenty-first in the Vuelta a España. A year later, in his second season with the French team, he was top-five in a Giro stage twice.
In his final season with Qhubeka NextHash, Frankiny missed his autumn due to a crash in the Tour of Poland and then couldn’t show himself to any new teams.
The end of the road for Kilian Frankiny:
Four Athletes Crack the Top-10 at the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships
A team of twenty-five athletes represented Canada over the weekend at the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville, USA, with four athletes making their way to the top-10. World Cup medallist Maghalie Rochette was Canada’s top finisher in the Elite field with a career-best 7th place finish, while Pan American champion Ava Holmgren obtained the best Junior result, also placing 7th at her first World Championships.
Rochette came into the event as one of the top contenders in the highly competitive Elite women’s field after a stellar season which includes two podiums on the European World Cup circuit. The Ste-Adèle native had a difficult start, beginning the first lap positioned in 13th before fighting her way to 5th in the first three laps. She eventually eased into 7th place during the second part of the race to earn her best-ever World Championships result.
“A part of me is really proud of what we accomplished this year; I think I had my best season ever and I proved that I could compete with the best in the world,” said Rochette. “I also feel a bit disappointed – I think I had a shot at the podium and I missed out on that but at the same time, I don’t think I would do anything different. At the end of the day, I can be proud of showing up here to the best of my ability and delivering a good ride. Being in a position that we can realistically believe that we have a shot at a medal is a huge step for cyclo-cross in Canada and I think we can be proud of that.”
In the Junior races, three first-year athletes competing at their first World Championships finished among the top-10, highlighting the incredible depth of talent of Canadian development athletes. Twins Ava and Isabella Holmgren were able to put together two strong rides in the women’s field and finished in 7th and 8th place respectively. In the men’s race, national U17 mountain bike champion Ian Ackert unfortunately crashed at the start and fought to make his way back up the pack, setting record lap times to finish with a solid 8th place.
“I’m so happy that my first World Championships were in North America because I got to hear my friends and family on the side of the course cheering me on and it was so great having their support here,” said Ava Holmgren. “I’m just amazed by how everything went and I’m so happy with my race.”
For full results, click here.
Demi Vollering Extends with Team SD Worx Until the End of 2024
Demi Vollering’s contract with Team SD Worx has been renegotiated and extended until the end of 2024. Vollering’s victories in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course and the Women’s Tour last season have shown that she is one of the best cyclists in the peloton.
“I am very happy to stay on with Team SD Worx for the next three years,” Vollering says. “The confidence the team has in me is very important to me. This team feels like a second family. I have wonderful teammates and great sponsors. We help each other through the good times and the bad. The past few weeks have yet again shown me how important my team is, for example. We give each other a lot of support, which I find remarkable and very special.”
At 25, Vollering still has many years ahead of her. “I hope to be one of the best riders in the world in the run-up to the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. I really want to shine in the biggest races. I want to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France and win the Tour. Like last year, I am going for victory in the one-day classics, and I am hoping to win the World Championships as well.”
“Over the past year, Demi has shown that she is one of the best riders in the world right now. It soon became clear that she and the team are a perfect fit. Anna van der Breggen stopped competing at the end of last season, so we needed some strong talent for the hill classics and the harder tour work. Demi’s commitment for the next three seasons are a sound foundation for that. Last year she immediately showed that she can win big races. That is why we look forward to the future with confidence.”
Vollering also believes that it is important to inspire others as a rider. “I want to encourage others to have a healthy lifestyle with lots of outdoor activities, for example,” she says. “I also hope to inspire the next generation of (young) girls to take up cycling. Within the team, I also want to help talented riders like Niamh Fisher-Black, Anna Shackley and Blanka Vas advance.”
Three years for Demi Vollering:
2023 Glasgow World Cycling Championships from August 3rd to 13th
The 2023 World Cup will take place in Scotland from August 3-13, between the Tour and the Vuelta. The World Championships will not only be run for road cycling, but for 13 cycling World championships.
“This is an important moment. That we bring our different World championships together every four years (the Super-World Championships are to be held every four years, one year before the Olympics) was one of my visions when I was elected in 2017. We have been working here for a long time. I am very happy that it will continue in Glasgow, with their experience it will be 11 fantastic days,” said David Lappartient of the UCI.
Glasgow and Scotland already have experience in organising major cycling events, such as the mountain bike and track cycling World championships. In 2018 Glasgow hosted the European Road Race, Track Cycling, Mountain Bike and BMX Championships. So now they will host several World champs at the same time.
“This will be the biggest cycling event we have ever organised. I am proud that it will continue in Glasgow and Scotland. We look forward to welcoming the riders, federations and countries,” said Paul Bush, 2023 World championships president.
The World championships will take place in six locations. These include Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow BMX Center in Knightswood, Emirates Arena, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, George Square and Dumfries & Galloway.
Glasgow had the Euro champs 2018:
The Arctic Race of Norway Heads… South!
Trøndelag is confirmed as a hosting county for the ninth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway with the last two stages to be contested on its soil with the grand finale in the city of Trondheim after the first two stages in Nordland. Mo i Rana will welcome the participants for the Grand Départ on August 11.
For the first time, the Arctic Race of Norway will entirely take place below the Arctic Circle after a first visit to Mo i Rana in 2016. That year, Italy’s Gianni Moscon took his first professional win atop Korgfjellet. The two ascents of the same climb will be tackled on Stage 1 this year but being located quite far away from the finish, it might not be as decisive as six years ago. The conclusive false flat finale (900 metres long) should favour a punchy sprinter on the 10.5km long circuit to be covered twice in Mo i Rana.
Pure sprinters will focus more on Stage 2 for the unprecedented finish in the coastal town of Brønnøysund. At the difference of the photographers, they might miss the unique view over Torghatten, the legendary rock with its distinctive hole but the images will once again showcase the natural beauty of Northern Norway. Starting town Mosjøen will lose its status of southernmost location on the map in the history of the ARN but will enjoy the atmosphere for the second time.
The climbers will take over on the way to Skallstuggu (alt. 475m), the summit designated for the ninth edition. It’s a 3.7km hill with an average gradient of 6% with a passage at 13%. “It’s not a steady climb”, technical director Yannick Talabardon described. “1km of it is very hard. It’s a very nice uphill finish that will come after a lumpy second half of the stage, therefore the riders will be tired before climbing. However, there shouldn’t be too big differences ahead of the conclusive stage. The overall classification is likely to be turned upside down on the last day once again.”
The route of the last stage has been proposed by Trondheim’s cycling legend Atle Kvålsvoll who was fundamental as a domestique in securing Greg LeMond’s third overall victory in the 1990 Tour de France before mentoring Thor Hushovd and many other young Norwegian cyclists. The final 8km circuit to be covered four times features the Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge) that crosses the Nidelva River before tackling the Tyholt tower summit, a 1.4km climb at 8% with a maximum gradient of 17%.
With a larger population than the cities above the Arctic Circle, an even bigger crowd than usual is expected in Trondheim on August 14. The city has a special place in the mind of Norwegian cycling lovers as the country’s mythical cycling event Trondheim to Oslo has attracted more than 100.000 participants since its inception in 1967 over the distance of… 540 kilometres, way before the Arctic Race of Norway became the premier bike race it is now.
Former world champion and race ambassador Thor Hushovd gives his thoughts on this edition: “This very open course will give opportunities to all types of riders, and the race will certainly remain undecided until the finale in Trondheim. Even though the Arctic Race of Norway belongs to the north of Norway, we are proud to be able to export the race outside its usual borders for one edition. TV viewers from around the world will once again be amazed by the unique Norwegian scenery!”
Ø Known as the “Race above the Arctic Circle”, the Arctic Race of Norway will see part of its 9th edition take place below the Arctic Circle from the 11th to 14th August, where the favourites will fight for the Midnight Sun Jersey powered by Equinor.
Ø Four stages scheduled from Mo i Rana, already a hosting city in 2016, to Trondheim, Norway’s third most populated municipality with a long tradition of passion for cycling.
The stages of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway:
Thursday 11 August, Stage 1: Mo i Rana – Mo i Rana (185 km)
Friday 12 August, Stage 2: Mosjøen – Brønnøysund (155 km)
Saturday 13 August, Stage 3: Namsos – Skallstuggu summit (180 km)
Sunday 14 August, Stage 4: Trondheim – Trondheim (160 km)
Best of 2021:
E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Leiedal Koerse to Have Women’s Race
In 2022, E3 will organise a E3 Saxo Bank Classic for women in collaboration with Leiedal Koerse. The race will be on Saturday, April 30, the organisers announced on Wednesday via a press conference.
“We think working together is a smart way to keep Harelbeke and Bavikhove high on the cycling map. Leiedal Koerse can enjoy the course structure and the brand name of E3 Saxo Bank Classic. E3 Saxo Bank Classic can benefit from the hospitality and public appeal of Leiedal Koerse. The collaboration is also cost-effective and energy-saving. 1 course for 1 day, 1 arrival for 1 day, 1 time setting up the entire logistics machine for three races is much easier,” according to the Leiedal Koerse organisers.
Leiedal Koerse has organised the De Vlaamse Pijl and a professional criterium in Bavikhove in the past. So now they will team up with E3 to host a race for women. The race will not take place on the same day as the men’s race, which will be held on March 25. The start and finish of the women’s race will be in Bavikhove, familiar territory for Leiedal Koerse. There will also be a junior men’s race and an elite criterium on April 30. “The junior competition of E3 Saxo Bank Classic has been a highlight on the international junior circuit for years,” they said in the press release.
“We aim high with our event. It will now continue at the 1.2 level, but in the long term we also want to go to the WorldTour. The faster the better,” said Jacques Coussens of E3.
Kasper Asgreen won the E3 Saxo Bank Classic in 2021:
Tour of Oman 2022: Action Returns to the Jewel of Arabia
Once again, Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) rises up on the horizon of professional cycling. In 2022, the Tour of Oman and its iconic roads return to the international calendar with the 11th edition of the race, featuring six stages from February 10th to 15th. The Sultanate and its unique landscape have offered spectacular racing since cycling icon Fabian Cancellara became the first overall winner in 2010. Tour de France winners Christopher Froome and Vincenzo Nibali also feature in a star-studded list of winners, and the Kazakh star Alexey Lutsenko took the last two editions.
Organised in conjunction with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the race is part of the UCI ProSeries of events. For its much-anticipated return following two years of cancellation, 18 teams from four continents will be heading to the shores of the Gulf of Oman including seven WorldTeams, nine ProTeams and one Continental Team. Also, for the first time in the history of the race, the Oman National Team will participate, granting a select team of local riders the opportunity to race against some of the strongest squads in the world.
The 891km route highlights the diversity of terrain and landscapes that define the easternmost country on the Arabian Peninsula. The first stage will start from the inlands, in front of the Al Rustaq Fort, and head to Muscat with a finish at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. Riders will then pass through the port of Suhar, in the North of the country (stage 2), and iconic venues such as the Sultan Qaboos University (stage 3), the Royal Opera House Muscat (stage 4), Samail (stage 5) and Al Mouj Muscat (stage 6). Sprinters will have three clear opportunities and the stages leading to Qurayyat (with a finish atop a 2.8km climb at 6.5%), the Royal Opera House Muscat (after a punchy climb of Boushar Al Amerat) and Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain, 5.7km at 10.5%) will ignite a tight battle for the final victory. Following the six days of action, traditional celebrations will be held in the nation’s capital, Muscat.
Discussing the return of the race to Muscat, His Excellency Basil bin Ahmed bin Amer bin Mansour Al-Rawas, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth said, “We’re delighted that we’re once again able to host this fantastic event. I’m particularly proud of our Oman National Team. Not only will they be competing in the Tour of Oman for the first time, but they will also be attending a training camp in France this summer, aiming to take their abilities to new heights. But inspiring the youth of our country to compete at a global level is only one benefit – the Tour of Oman also brings with it the eyes of the world, giving us a chance to show what our country can offer as a destination, not only for sports, but as a one-of-a-kind travel destination as well. Particularly after the challenges of the past two years, it’s wonderful to be hosting events like this once again.”
2022 stages Tour of Oman:
18 teams selected
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
Team BikeExchange – Jayco
UAE Team Emirates
Groupama – FDJ
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
B&B Hotels – KTM
Bardiani CSF Faizané
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Burgos – BH
Euskaltel – Euskadi
Gazprom – RusVelo
Team Novo Nordisk
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
Astana Qazaqstan Development Team
Oman National Team
Ø The 11th edition of the Tour of Oman will be held from February 10th to 15th, returning to the international calendar after a two-year hiatus.
Ø A balanced route with opportunities for fast riders, attackers and climbers, it will see the peloton climb up the iconic Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) for the 10th time in the history of the race.
Ø For the first time, the Oman National Team will participate alongside seven WorldTeams, nine ProTeams and one Continental Team.
Ster van Zwolle Canceled
The Ster van Zwolle has been canceled on Saturday March 5th. Due to private circumstances with one of the members of the organising committee, it has been decided to cancel the race. The 62nd edition, part of the Holland Cup, may be held later in the season.
The Ster van Zwolle was won last year by Coen Vermeltfoort. The experienced VolkerWessels rider was part of a leading group that sprinted for the win. In the end, the photo finish had to be used to decide the winner, the difference between Vermeltfoort and Tim van Dijke was almost invisible.
The Overijssel race was won in recent years by Dylan van Baarle, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Elmar Reinders, Fabio Jakobsen and David Dekker.
It was a close finish in 2021:
No Doping Cases in the WorldTour for 2021
For the first time since its creation in 2005, the World Tour division recorded no doping cases last year, following an Olympic year that revealed fewer doping cases (all sports combined) but an important rise in corruption convictions.
Since 2014, the MPCC has been publishing this annual “barometer”, which only takes into account cases revealed by federations, anti-doping agencies, the justice system or the press. It also only takes into consideration procedures related to high-level or professional athletes. Since 2018, we have added corruption convictions, which include both financial malfeasance and match-fixing.
Regarding the past year, we can especially observe that Russia has regained first place in our ranking by nation, which had not happened for six years. It should be noted that in 2021, there weren’t almost any revelations following re-analyses ordered by WADA. The clean sweep had occurred before with a spectacular record: the Russians were stripped of 29% of their medals over all the five previous Summer Games (Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio).
This increase in positive cases for 2021 illustrates the need for Russian sports leaders to purge a perverted system, in order to regain trust from the main sports authorities. Their new approach follows the sanctions taken towards the Russian Olympic Committee, which was suspended for the Olympic Games of Pyeongchang (2018), Tokyo (2021) and Beijing (2022). Likewise, the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been extended for a seventh consecutive year in 2022 by World Athletics. Only Russian athletes who proved the absence of doping use were authorised to compete, under a neutral banner.
Once again, 2021 was strongly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many sporting events were canceled, even if the Tokyo Olympics (a year late), the European football championship and the Tour de France did take place. As far as it is concerned, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) assures it was able to successfully carry out its anti-doping program, which was not the case in 2020.
In this context, we surprisingly note, for the fourth year in a row, a significant decrease in the number of cases publicly revealed. This steady decline over the past four years leads us to tally half as many doping and corruption revelations in 2021 in comparison to 2018!
We find the most significant decreases in athletics (half fewer cases than last year) and baseball (with 96 cases, it was the most affected sport in 2017. Only 5 cases this year).
With all its disciplines included, cycling (ranked in 7th position) remains with constant numbers over time (except for a leap in 2019). However, the absence of doping revelations in the World Tour last year is a first since the division’s creation in 2005; it is even a first since cycling decided to really tackle the plague of doping, following the Festina affair (1998).
On the field, some stakeholders and managers are not delighted about this news. Testimonials from emblematic riders once again point out a “two-speed cycling” and the UCI Director said in a recent interview (1) that anti-doping tests are no longer enough to catch cheaters. According to Amina Lamiya, more radical methods of investigation should be considered. The MPCC fully supports this approach and is therefore encouraged to put the flattering reality of the figures in this table into perspective.
Fortunately, cycling seems to not have been affected by the problems of corruption and fixed results. This is not the case for other sports such as tennis, cricket, even football, where convictions are increasing. In 2022, we will also need to closely follow the sex scandals, which are more and more numerous, and which seriously harm the credibility and integrity of certain sports.
(1) Ouest France, January 10, 2022
Iljo Keisse: One Last Time on the Road
He’s one of the most experienced riders in the WorldTour peloton, a legend of Six Day racing, a true professional and a loyal member of the Wolfpack.
Now, Iljo Keisse is embarking on his 13th year with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and he once again looks forward to giving his best and helping the team remain at the top.
Pro Bike Check – Simon Yates 2022 Giant TCR Advanced SL Disc
Simon Yates gives us a rundown of his new 2022 Giant Bicycles TCR Advanced SL Disc!
Guess Names of Riders in Cycling Wordle Variant
The popular online word game Wordle now also has a cycling variant, Bikle, where names of (former) cyclists have to be guessed. Players are given six attempts and each attempt must be a five letter name, such as Coppi, Brand and Zhupa. After each attempt, the colour of the tiles indicates how close you are to the correct answer. Bikle is an initiative of the Italian blog Bidon and an unofficial version of Wordle.
Click here to play Bikle!
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