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We might be in the lull between the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, but the peloton is still at ‘full gas’. Brian Holm talks about Mark Cavendish’s chances of going to the Tour – TOP STORY. Reports from the Gullegem Koerse, Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes and Marcel Kint Classic all with video. Rider news: Mathieu van der Poel Giro most combative rider, Alejandro Valverde honoured by the Giro, Adrie van der Poel on Mathieu’s road/MTB/cross career, Filippo Ganna gets offer from Trek-Segafredo, Mikel Landa to la Vuelta, Tim Merlier not going to the Tour de France, Jasper De Buyst returns, Nicolai Brøchner retires and Finn Fisher-Black out with broken femur. Team news: Jumbo-Visma, Trek-Segafredo, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Groupama-FDJ, Israel-Premier Tech, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, DSM, UAE Team Emirates and AG2R Citroën. Race news: Vuelta a España, Baloise Belgium Tour and the 2025 Road World Championships in Rwanda. Plus ‘The Emotion of the Giro d’Italia 2022’ video by UAE Team Emirates. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***

top story
TOP STORY: Quick-Step DS Holm: “Cavendish messed up the chance for a Tour record last year”
Brian Holm thinks it will be “difficult” for Mark Cavendish to be part of the Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl’s Tour roster. Cavendish could become the only record holder in the number of stage wins in the Tour de France, but according to the team director, the team with Jakobsen has more chance of success. “He (Cavendish) would have made his own life a little easier if he had won last year on the Champs Elysées,” the Dane told FloBikes.

“He had a good chance on the Champs Elysées and he blew it. That’s life,” says Holm about Cavendish, who finished third in the final stage of the Tour, which was won by Wout van Aert. Earlier in the Tour he had already won four times, putting him on a level with Eddy Merckx, as both have 34 stage wins in the Tour. According to Holm, Cavendish would be able to add another stage this year, but Fabio Jakobsen is more likely to do so.

“Of course he can win,” Holm refers to Cavendish. “He could probably break the record, but in a professional team… If they sprinted against each other three times, maybe Jakobsen would win twice. I think most would take Fabio.” It therefore seems unlikely that Cav will be selected for the Tour. “That seems rather difficult to me, because he has signed with Quick-Step. We have Fabio Jakobsen and that makes it less easy for him. Fabio is the future of Quick-Step.”

‘Cav’ might miss the Tour:
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gullegem
Gullegem Koerse 2022
Remco Evenepoel won Gullegem Koerse by riding away from a leading group of six men, eleven kilometres from the finish .The leader of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl finished solo on the Schuttershoflaan after 171 kilometres.

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The top names at the start of the 78th edition of the Gullegem Koerse was Remco Evenepoel, the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Norway, plus Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen, Sep Vanmarcke, Niki Terpstra, Dries Van Gestel, Tom Devriendt and Iljo Keisse. The race was eighteen laps of 9.5 kilometres, 171 kilometres. Originally Biniam Girmay should have started, but after his injury in the Giro he had returned to Eritrea.

The fact that Evenepoel was at the start in Gullegem two days after his overall victory in Norway was a gift to the race chairman Carlos Demeulemeester on his 75th birthday. Because Demeulemeester wants to take it easy next year, Patrick Lefevere, team manager at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and godfather of the race, wanted to make an extra effort. The extra nice present from Lefevere was the participation of Evenepoel. “A complete surprise and a very nice name,” Demeulemeester told Het Nieuwsblad. Evenepoel went on the attack in the first laps of the race with Stijn Steels, his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammate, Sasha Weemaes (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and the young British rider, Tom Portsmouth (Mini-Discar Academy). The attackers took a 1 minute. On the 5th lap the peloton accelerated and split. A first chasing group was 30 seconds behind at the next passage of the finish. On the 6th lap, everything came back together again.

Then a leading group with 17 men broke away and this group started the 7th lap with 50 seconds behind the first pursuers. In addition to the four first escapees of the day, there were also Corné van Kessel (Intermarché), Sander De Pestel & Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Greg Van Avermaet & Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën), Julien Vermote (Alpecin-Fenix) and Arjen Livyns (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB). Halfway through the race, after 9 laps, the lead was about 2 minutes. The leading group then slowly but surely moved further away from the peloton. Going into the last 5 laps, Evenepoel tried to get away again. However, the star of the race was not given any space by the others, but he tried again. Four laps from the finish, the leading group split and Evenepoel, Weemaes, Van Avermaet and Livyn escaped with Jarne Van Grieken (Acrog-Tormans) and Australian Angus Lyons (ARA Sunshine Coast). They started the last 2 laps with a nice lead. At 11 kilometres from the finish, at the end of the penultimate lap, Evenepoel attacked from the leading group. The others could only watch him slowly disappear from view and eventually the 22 year-old Evenepoel put the victory to his name. A minute behind Evenepoel, Weemaes won the sprint for second. Van Groeten managed to hold off Van Avermaet, Livyns and Lyons in the sprint for third.

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Race winner, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “We went into the break quite early. I can’t say this was the plan, but it turned out well. The race was hard with all those tricky corners, we rode full gas all the time, and it was good when the others joined us, because it meant I could conserve some energy. With a couple of laps to go, a cat-and-mouse game began, as some riders attacked, while others stayed at the back. Then the speed went up again, and a group of seven I was part of rode clear with four laps remaining. I noticed everybody was on their limit, so before the last lap I decided to have a go and launch an all-out attack which I could finish off. I am happy with my fifth win in seven days, it’s been a great week, and I now look forward to recovering a bit before my next race.”

Gullegem Koerse Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 3:35:33
2. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 1:22
3. Jarne Van Grieken (Bel) Acrog-Tormans
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
5. Angus Lyons (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
6. Arjen LIVYNS (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
7. Stijn Steels (Bel) Quick Step Alpha Vinyl at 2:49
8. Maxime De Poorter (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
9. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën.

Link to the 2022 Gullegem Koerse on Sporza
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mercantour
Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes 2022
Jakob Fuglsang has added the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes to his palmarès. On the Col de Valberg, the last climb of the day, the experienced Dane of Israel-Premier Tech attacked from an elite group to ride the last 6 kilometres solo. Guillaume Martin won the first edition of the French climbers race last year.

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Two days after the Boucles de la Mayenne, the French calendar continued with the 2nd edition of the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes, the 12th round of the Coupe de France. The race was from the new start of Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée and finished in Puget-Théniers. The route was much the same with the climbs of La Colmiane, the long Col de la Couillole and an uphill finish on the Col de Valberg. A total of 4,200 metres of climbing.

A leading group of five men were out front for a long time. Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), second in Paris-Camembert and third in La Route Adélie de Vitré, escaped with Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën), Théo Delacroix (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels-KTM), sixth in the Boucles de l’Aulne, and the young neopro Alessandro Verre (Arkéa Samsic). In the run-up to Le Colmiane, the first climb of the day, they were 6 minutes ahead of the peloton. At La Colmiane, the peloton accelerated, mainly led by the Israel-Premier Tech and Groupama-FDJ, and the gap to the leading group slowly but surely started to decrease. On the Couillole, the difference was still 2 minutes, but the leading group fell apart: Warbasse and Delacroix had to let the others go and Ferron, Schönberger and Verre pushed on together. The leading group didn’t work well together and at 5 kilometres from the top of the Couillole the peloton, with the riders of Groupama-FDJ on the front, got the remaining escapees in their sights. Everything came back together soon after. Then a small elite group with the best riders of the day crossed the top of the hors category climb. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Israel-Premier Tech was there along with Ion Izagirre, Warren Barguil, and many others who had not been dropped.

Along with Froome, his teammates Jakob Fuglsang and Michael Woods were also up front, as were Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot, Sébastien Reichenbach & Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché), Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), Matteo Jorgenson & Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar) and Michel Ries (Arkea Samsic). After the first tome through Valberg, this group started the descent to the foot of the last climb of the day, the Col de Valberg of 12 kilometres at an average of 7.4%. Groupama-FDJ saw Pinot drop out on the Valberg after working hard for the team. Froome also had to leave early. Reichenbach led the elite group for the first kilometres uphill, with Gaudu on his wheel. Their 18 year-old teammate Martinez, son of former top mountain biker Miguel Martinez, lasted a bit further. Seven kilometres from the finish, Reichenbach started the attacks. Fuglsang opened things up, after which Woods also accelerated. Gaudu went with the Canadian and also Herrada, Fuglsang and Cras. With 6 kilometres to go, Fuglsang attacked again and this time the Danish climber had a gap. Gaudu went on the counter-offensive, but had Woods, a teammate of Fuglsang, as watchdog. Fuglsang had no problems and claimed the victory after 167.9 kilometres. It was his first win since the 2020 Tour of Lombardy. Woods completed the celebrations at Israel-Premier Tech by beating Gaudu in the battle for second place. Herrada and Cras completed the top five.

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Race winner, Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech): “We came here with a strong team and it was a pleasure to race today. I’m really happy I could finish off the hard work from the guys. The start of the season was a bit difficult for me so I’m super relieved and happy to be able to win this race.”

11th, Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech): “It was a great day for the team. We couldn’t have wished for more. We wanted to make the race hard, especially on the last three climbs. It’s great that the team can fight back like this, because we had a difficult start to the season due to illness. The boys are now okay and can put results on the scoreboard. I’ve made progress in the last few months and I just got back from a training camp. The legs feel good. Next up is the Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-16). I watch it all every week. I’m trying to be my old self again. I’m not there yet, but I’m one step closer.”

Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes Result:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech in 4:50:34
2. Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:31
3. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:34
4. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 1:05
5. Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:07
6. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 1:46
7. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 2:03
8. Lenny Martinez (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:53
9. Michel Ries (Lux) Arkéa Samsic at 3:15
10. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 3:49

Mercan’Tour’22:

 

kint
Marcel Kint Classic 2022
Arnaud De Lie celebrated his fourth win of the season in the Marcel Kint Classic. The 20-year-old Walloon rider was the fastest of a reduced bunch after an impressive lead-out from Lotto Soudal. This victory is number seventeen of the season for the Belgian WorldTour team.

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The Marcel Kint Classic was the seventh race in the Exterioo Cycling Cup, a series of races in Belgium and The Netherlands. Arnaud De Lie comfortably leads the classification. After passing over the Oude Kwarement and Paterberg twice during a first big loop, a reduced bunch made it to the local circuit in Zwevegem. All the Lotto Soudal riders were present, only Florian Vermeersch had to abandon after a mechanical.

At the local circuit, the early breakaway was reeled in just in time. After that, Victor Campenaerts, Brent Van Moer, Cedric Beullens and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg made sure Arnaud De Lie was in the perfect position to launch his sprint. De Lie had no trouble putting the rest of the group far behind him with an impressive sprint.

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Race winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal): “I had an incredibly good feeling today”, said a satisfied Arnaud De Lie after the race. “We did everything we could to make the race as hard as possible and we succeeded. After the different climbs, we aimed for a sprint with the reduced group. That turned out perfectly for us. In the finale the team did everything perfectly. There has been some criticism on my lead-out the past couple of weeks, but today we have shown that we had the best lead-out of the race. When I could start my sprint, I still had a lot in the tank. This is very promising for our next races as well.”

3rd, Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The past week in the Antwerp Port Epic, the Circuit de Wallonie and today’s GP Marcel Kint I confirmed that I made a step forward and that I can play a role in the final of difficult classics. In general, I’m satisfied about my race and my result. However, I could have managed the sprint better to finish closer to Arnaud De Lie. I made a mistake with 500 meter to go, which almost resulted in a crash a little later. These errors are part of my learning process and I’ll definitely do it better next time. I want to thank my teammates for their full confidence in my capabilities!”

Marcel Kint Classic Result:
1. Arnaud de Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:38:49
2. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
3. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Christopher Lawless (GB) TotalEnergies
5. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
6. Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
7. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies
10. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis.

Kint Classic’22.

 

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Mathieu van der Poel Giro Most Combative Rider
Mathieu van der Poel has been voted most combative rider of the 2022 Giro d’Italia. After the final time trial through Verona, the leader of Alpecin-Fenix, winner of the first stage and the wearer of the pink jersey for three days, was awarded the Premio Combattività 2022.

Van der Poel made his debut in the Giro d’Italia this year. In his team’s special olive green jersey instead of blue, he won the first stage in Visegrád and wore pink. A day later, he successfully defended his jersey in Budapest by setting the second fastest time in the individual time trial. In the stage to Mount Etna, he decided to ride up the volcano at his own pace and so he lost the overall lead to Juan Pedro López.

After sprint stages five and six, Van der Poel tried in the seventh stage to Potenza with the break, but that attack was short-lived. In the eighth stage to Naples he was again involved in the long escape, but in the end he could not prevent Davide Gabburo, Thomas De Gendt, Harm Vanhoucke and Jorge Arcas from battling for victory – even though he was with Biniam Girmay and Mauro Schmid in the final.

After the mountain stage to Blockhaus and the rest day, Van der Poel again played a leading role. In Jesi he sprinted with Girmay, but had to realise that the Eritrean was the faster finisher. After the sprinter’s stage to Reggio Emilia, he was part of the break again on the way to Genoa. But on the last climb of the day, he had to let the better climbers go. The leader of Alpecin-Fenix ​​was also busy during the weekend at the end of the second week, in the stages to Turin and to Cogne.

That continued into the third week. Due to his attacking spirit, the Giro’s media team even made a bet with Van der Poel: if the rider won another stage, the media team would eat a Hawaiian pizza – an abomination for Italians. Winning was no longer possible, but the Dutchman showed himself every day: if it was not through an attack, he would ride up a mountain on his rear wheel. In the end he took a podium place in the final time trial, behind Matteo Sobrero and Thymen Arensman with the third fastest time.

Because MVDP won the Super Combatant Prize, the Giro media team kept their word: they reluctantly ate a pizza with pineapple:
giro22 pizza

 

movistar
Alejandro Valverde Honoured by Giro for his Career
Alejandro Valverde has been awarded a special prize for his career after the final stage of the Giro d’Italia by the race organisation. The Spanish Movistar veteran appeared in his farewell year for the second time in his career at the start of the Corsa Rosa and finished the race in 11th place.

Valverde won the mountain stage to Andalo in his previous participation in 2016, where he beat pink jersey Steven Kruijswijk and was third on the general classification that year. Although the Spaniard tried a number of times this year, a victory was not possible and he finished eleventh in the general classification. “I’m glad I was able to finish my last Giro, just off the top 10,” he wrote on social media. “We fought to the end for a win and I’m leaving here with a good feeling.”

Now Valverde is going to work towards the Vuelta a España, which starts on Friday 19 August in Utrecht. There, together with Enric Mas, he forms the spearhead of the Movistar team. He will miss the Tour de France. “Now it’s time to rest, recover, enjoy and think about the Vuelta. Thanks to all the audiences in Italy and Hungary, and to those of you who follow me from home, for your support at all times!”

Alejandro Valverde honoured by the Giro d’Italia in Verona:
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alpecin fenix
Adrie van der Poel: “Maybe Mathieu Should Not Race on the Road in 2024”
Adrie van der Poel has not yet heard his son Mathieu van der Poel talk about mountain biking this year. In an interview with Helden Magazine, by WielerFlits’ reporter Raymond Kerckhoffs wrote, father Van der Poel indicates that it might be wise to skip mountain biking in 2022 and 2023. “In order to then not ride on the road in the year of the Olympics, but only focus on mountain biking,” said Van der Poel senior.

“Combining the three disciplines (mountain bike, cyclo-cross and road) has resulted in a busy program in recent years. Not in terms of competition days, but in terms of preparation. In a more limited training period, he had to make the transition from one discipline to another, which nevertheless required the necessary adjustments. Still, it always worked out pretty well. I think he would have come a long way without that fall at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Adrie van der Poel.

Father Van der Poel reflects on the more difficult transition from road bike to mountain bike. “The switch from road to cross bike is easy to do, but on a mountain bike you have a different attitude. That combination is quite difficult. Also because you always have to fight for your starting position for the most important mountain bike races. If you ride few races, you start from behind in such a way that you have no chance before the start. I think the Olympics are still running through Mathieus’s mind, but I don’t hear him talking about it right now. Let alone that he thinks about an approach towards Paris. Still, I don’t rule out the possibility that he wants to go for this again.”

WielerFlits asked Mathieu van der Poel at the Giro start in Budapest about his plans for the mountain bike. He confirmed that he is taking a mountain bike sabbatical this season. “In 2023, the intention is to get back into the mountain bike routine,” Mathieu van der Poel said. “In 2023 I already want to work towards the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.”

No MTB for MvdP?
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ineos
Filippo Ganna Gets Offer from Trek-Segafredo, INEOS Grenadiers Wants to Keep Him
Filippo Ganna is still under contract with INEOS Grenadiers until the end of 2023, but after then, Trek-Segafredo would be happy to take the Italian rider. The American-Italian team has made Ganna a big offer, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ganna could sign a contract with Trek-Segafredo for five years, the period from 2024 to 2028. His annual salary would be more than two million euros and he would become the big leader. However, INEOS Grenadiers is also keen to extend the deal with Ganna. The Italian, who has raced for the British squad since 2019, could stay until 2025 or 2026.

Ganna will be back in action next Sunday as he will start in the Criterium du Dauphiné, after which he will prepare for the Tour de France. Reportedly, the world time trial champion will attack the World hour record in Grenchen, Switzerland on August 23 or 24.

Ganna off to Trek?
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bahrain
Mikel Landa is Thinking About Vuelta Participation After Successful Giro
Mikel Landa has doubts about his participation in the upcoming Tour de France. The Spanish climber from Bahrain Victorious, after his third place in the Giro d’Italia, is thinking about skipping the French race in favour of the Vuelta a España.

Landa said that he is thinking of changing his plans. The 32-year-old rider has started his home tour five times, but has never managed to get a good overall classification in the Vuelta. Landa did win a tough mountain stage in the Vuelta a España seven years ago and also made an impression that year as a ‘top domestique’ for his then teammate and later overall winner Fabio Aru.

In the Tour de France, Landa has been successful as a GC man in recent years. In the 2017-2020 period, he was fourth, seventh, sixth and fourth in the general classification. Landa finished on the final podium of a Grand Tour for the second time in his career last Sunday. The Bahrain Victorious leader finished, just like in 2015, third overall in the Giro, behind overall winner Jai Hindley and runner-up Richard Carapaz.

Vuelta or Tour for Landa?
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alpecin fenix
Tim Merlier Not Riding the Tour de France
He is still on the Tour long list for Alpecin-Fenix, but Tim Merlier no longer thinks that he will be at the start of the Tour de France next month in Copenhagen. “Although I do keep myself ready in case someone drops out,” he said. Merlier also hopes for selection for the Vuelta.

Merlier had to pass for the Giro after a bad elbow injury, suffered during a crash in the final of Paris-Roubaix. He then hoped for the Tour, but according to the 29-year-old sprinter, they are sticking to the plan with Jasper Philipsen at Alpecin-Fenix.

“I’ll keep myself ready, you never know that someone will drop out,” Merlier told Het Nieuwsblad in an interview. “And I hope that I will be selected for the Vuelta. But I haven’t heard from the team yet.”

The former Belgian champion, who it is rumoured will ride for Quick-Step in 2023, has been in Tenerife since May 21, where he is laying the foundation for the second half of the season. Later this week he will return to Belgium, on Sunday he will resume the his season in the Brussels Cycling Classic, on Monday he will ride the Ronde van Limburg.

Dwars door het Hageland and the Elfstedenronde are also on his program. Then Merlier travels to Slovenia. The Tour of Slovenia is on the calendar from 15 to 19 June and is the last preparation for Merlier for the Belgian championship in Middelkerke, where he is aiming for a second tricolor.

No Tour for Tim Merlier?
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lotto
Jasper De Buyst Returns in the Elfstedenronde van Brugge, 19 Days Before the Tour
Jasper De Buyst may still make it to the Tour de France. If all goes well, the rider from Brabant will make his comeback in the Elfstedenronde van Brugge (1.1) nineteen days before the start of the Tour.

Caleb Ewan missed his regular lead-out man during the Giro. De Buyst was unable to help his leader in Italy, because he had a bad crash two weeks earlier during the final stage of the Tour of Turkey, which was later cancelled. De Buyst broke his collarbone. De Buyst has not raced since April 16.

A month ago, De Buyst had trouble again, shortly after resuming training. New scans revealed a fracture in the hip socket. The sprint train rider then had to rest again. A Tour participation suddenly seemed far from possible, but De Buyst can resume on June 12 in the Bruges race. He is also on the provisional list of participants for the Heistse Pijl, but according to the team, that race is still too early.

Three days after the Elfstedenronde van Brugge, team leader Caleb Ewan will start in the Baloise Belgium Tour. There, De Buyst could gain some more competition riding, and work on the sprint train with the Australian on the flat stages. De Buyst, an indispensable link in Ewan’s train, might be ready just in time for the Tour.

Jasper De Buyst sprint training:
sprint training

 

riwal
Nicolai Brøchner (ex-Riwal) Ends Career
At the age of 28, Nicolai Brøchner has decided retire from competitive cycling. “A very difficult decision, but I’m sure it’s the right one,” he said in a press release from his team, Team ColoQuick.

Brøchner has struggled with various injuries and illness recently and is now taking a different tack. The Dane will soon start to study at university, but will remain involved with Team ColoQuick in a different way. Brøchner will soon be part of the technical staff of the Danish continental formation.

Brøchner rode for various teams in his cycling career and competed at ProContinentaal level for two years. In 2018 he rode for Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources, the team of ex-pro George Hincapie. After a year with the American team, he returned to Denmark with Riwal Readynez Cycling Team. In recent years he raced for the continental Team ColoQuick.

The strong Dane recorded several victories in his career. He was the best in the Tour of Overijssel and he won stages in the Tour de Normandie, Tour of the Gila and An Post Rás. In 2017 he also finished second in the Danish Road Championship, behind Mads Pedersen.

GP Himmerland Rundt 2019 podium: Nicolai Brøchner, Niklas Larsen and Bas Van Der Kooij:
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uae team
Finn Fisher-Black Out with Broken Femur
Finn Fisher-Black will not be racing for UAE Team Emirates for the time being. The New Zealander broke his femur in the final stage of Boucles de la Mayenne.

UAE Team Emirates reports that Fisher-Black crashed early in the fourth stage of the French race. In the crash, he fractured his femur. The 20-year-old rider was taken to a local hospital after medical assistance, where he was operated on immediately. Fisher-Black is expected to remain in the hospital for several more days.

Fisher-Black is in his second season with UAE Emirates. Last season he made the transition from Jumbo-Visma to the team of Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar.

Fisher-Black out for some time:
Finn Fisher-Black

 

jumbo-visma
Kruijswijk, Kuss and Dennis Not Yet Sure of a Place in Jumbo-Visma Tour Team
Only Primoz Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert are sure of a place in the Jumbo-Visma Tour team. At the team presentation in January, the team announced that Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss and Rohan Dennis would also be guaranteed to be selected for La Grand Boucle, but that is now being discussed. “We want to keep some more options open,” sports director Merijn Zeeman told Algemeen Dagblad.

“We have looked at the course in great detail in recent months and have to arrive at the best composition,” explains Zeeman. Will the first week of the Tour, which also includes a cobbles stage, have any consequences for the relationship between climbers and riders with other qualities? “That could indeed be possible, but we also want a broad group to be ready to start in the most important race of the year. We are also still dealing with corona. Boys can drop out at the last minute, also because of falls and injuries. We have to be ready for that.”

Eight riders still have a chance to join Roglič, Vingegaard and Van Aert in the Tour team. In addition to Kruijswijk, Kuss and Dennis, it concerns Mike Teunissen, Robert Gesink, Tiesj Benoot, Nathan van Hooydonck and Christophe Laporte. Five of them will start in Copenhagen on Friday 1 July.

“All these riders are ready for the Tour, but unfortunately we have to disappoint some of them. That is hard, but also top sport. At the same time, it is also a logical consequence of the development within the team. The level is extremely high,” said Zeeman, who is also asked about Kruijswijk, Kuss and Dennis. “Nothing changes in their preparation. The chance for those eight riders is still high that they will go. It was also explained to them that we want to have the widest possible group that is ready to perform. A place in the Tour is very expensive.”

Who will be on the Jumbo-Visma Tour team?
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trek segafredo
Bauke Mollema Extends his Contract with Trek-Segafredo Until the End of 2026
Bauke Mollema has extended his expiring contract with Trek-Segafredo by four years. The 35 year-old Dutch climber, who has been active in the 2022 Giro d’Italia, will ride for the American WorldTeam until the end of 2026.

Mollema has been riding for Trek-Segafredo since 2015, which was then called Trek Factory Racing. Since coming to the team, he has had sixteen victories, including in the Clásica San Sebastián, stages in the Tour de France and the Tour of Lombardy. “I’ve been with the team for eight years now, and I’ve felt really happy here from the start, and I still can’t imagine being anywhere else. I’m really looking forward to staying with this team for years to come. I’ve said it so many times, but it’s become like a family to me,” he said in a press release.

The climber is proud of his relationship with the team. “I’ve had some really nice highlights here: the Tour of Lombardy, my two stage wins in the Tour and San Sebastián are at the top of that list. Fighting for the Tour standings in 2015 and finishing seventh is also a good memory. The same goes for the 2016 Tour when I was close to the podium until I fell in the final days, and my 2019 Giro. What I like the most is the great collaboration with the team. I have freedom here and that is important for me as a rider.”

His role has changed somewhat in recent years and he expects it to change even more in the coming years. “When I came to this team, I was mainly a rider for the classification, mainly focused on the Tour. After doing that for many years I started to focus on one day races and more recently on stage chasing in Grand Tours. I like that role and maybe, at this point in my career, it suits me a little bit better than going for the standings.”

For team manager Luca Guercilena, it was an easy decision to give Mollema the chance to continue his sporting career with Trek-Segafredo for another four years. “There was no doubt about keeping Bauke with the squad; he has become an important member of the Trek-Segafredo family. To have him with us for the next chapter of his career gives me confidence that the key pillars of our team will continue to keep us at the top of the cycling world.”

For Guercilena, Mollema is one of the best pro riders we’ve seen in years. “He’s a real fighter, a real racer, and he’s constantly setting a good example for the new generation. He is one of the captains of our team and I believe he can help make our team even stronger. His role in the squad in the race will remain unchanged, focused on one-day races and chasing stage wins, and I’m sure he will continue to be successful,” said the Italian.

Mollema started his long professional career with Rabobank in 2008. “I would like to finish my career in this team. After this contract I’ve been here for twelve years and that’s a very long time. I am happy with the confidence that the team and sponsors have shown in me with such a long contract. I don’t think that happens much for riders my age. At the moment it is very likely that this will be my last contract, but who knows what I think after four years.”

“I have always said that I still feel quite young. I’ve been a pro for 15 years, but I still really enjoy what I do. I like to train hard. I like racing. I like to be competitive and get the best out of my body; I am constantly trying to improve and set new goals for myself, even now,” said de Mollema.

Bauke Mollema extends to the end of 2026:
giro22st7

 

wanty
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert aims to collaborate with Axel Merckx’ Hagens Berman Axeon
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert would like to collaborate with Hagens Berman Axeon. The Belgian team, which has had an extremely successful 2022 so far, has already spoken several times with Axel Merckx, the boss of the American development team. Merckx was also asked by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert to be a sports director of the WorldTour team.

“That’s right”, Merckx confirmed to Het Nieuwsblad that there have been talks about a possible collaboration between the two teams. “But there is no agreement yet. We had already sat at the table a few times and they insist to make something out of it. They could place young riders with us to gain experience before they are ready to ride in the WorldTour. And vice versa, my riders can head over there when they’re ready. Such as Dries De Pooter, who has signed with Intermarché for next year. We are very interesting for teams that do not have a training team of their own.”

As mentioned, Merckx was also asked to become sports director at Intermarché-Wanty Gobert. “Yes, but that can only happen if both teams merge and I don’t see that happening any time soon. I want my team to continue to exist independently, I love this team wholeheartedly. I will therefore continue to work on what I am doing. But working together is certainly possible if it benefits both of us.”

Hagens Berman Axeon is currently a continental squad. In 2018 and 2019 the team raced at ProContinental level, but after that it took a step back. In the past, Jasper Stuyven, Jasper Philipsen, Tao Geoghegan Hart and João Almeida, among others, raced for Axel Merckx’ team.

Axel Merckx:
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groupama
Groupama-FDJ Brings Paul Penhoët to WorldTour in August
Groupama-FDJ transfers Paul Penhoët to the WorldTeam from August 1. The 20-year-old French sprinter is making good progress in the continental training team and sees that being rewarded with a professional contract. Penhoët signs a contract until the end of 2024.

Penhoët has already made his appearance several times in the selection of the WorldTour team. According to the UCI rule, as a rider of the training team, he may gain experience with the professionals in UCI .1 and UCI .Pro level races. This has already happened this year in Boucles de la Mayenne and Circuit Cycliste Sarthe.

In March Penhoët won a stage in the Tour de Normandy, although he does have a string of places of honour. In the Tour of Oman he achieved three top-10 places and also in the Dorpenomloop Rucphen (fifth), the Tour of Normandy (five times top-10, third in the classification), de Sarthe (once fourth) and the Tour de Bretagne (four times top-10).

Since 2020, Penhoët has been part of the Groupama-FDJ training team. Last season he won the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir (UCI 2.2) and was eighth at the World U23 Championships in Leuven.

groupama

 

israel premier
Climbing up the ranks: Mason Hollyman to turn pro in 2023
Israel – Premier Tech’s 2023 roster will be bolstered by the signing of Mason Hollyman, who is set to step up from Israel Cycling Academy on a two-year contract.

21-year-old Hollyman is considered one of the UK’s brightest new talents, and has flourished in his time with ICA, since joining the development team in 2021.

“Mason Hollyman is one of the most promising talents when it comes to the next generation of General Classification riders. Although he is only 21-years-old, he has proven that he has what it takes to make the step up to the WorldTour level. His victory last year at Volta a Portugal was a sign of what is to come, and this year, he has impressed with fourth in Trofea Piva and fifth in the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” says Kjell Carlström, IPT General Manager.

“Mason is the third ICA rider we have announced to step up next year and between these riders, we feel we have invested in three exceptional riders, all of whom bring a diverse skill set to the team.”

IPT Partner Sylvan Adams is thrilled to welcome Hollyman to the WorldTour team, alongside Canadian Derek Gee and Italian Marco Frigo.

“Our announcements over the last couple of weeks that three riders from our U23 Continental team ICA will make the leap to the WorldTour is a validation of our rider development program. With a mix of young talents and strong, savvy veterans, IPT is poised to continue our steady progress. Of course, I am particularly pleased for Derek Gee, whom I have known back in Canada since he raced as a junior, and who wasn’t really on anyone’s radar until he signed with ICA. Welcome to IPT, Derek, Mason, and Marco!,” adds Adams.

Hollyman, who hails from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, has relished the opportunity to learn from IPT’s most experienced riders, including Chris Froome, while getting stuck into racing this season.

“I went to Gran Canaria with Chris before the season started to get some good kilometres in, and it was super cool for me to be riding day in, day out with a childhood hero and to be learning from him. I remember running home from school to watch him winning on Mont Ventoux before I went on the evening chain gang. It’s a dream come true to be turning pro with Israel – Premier Tech! I really liked the environment from the start and I think that’s an important part to get the best out of us. It’s really nice I’ve had the opportunity to ride with the big boys and learn the craft from them. I’m excited to step up and see what I can do there,” says Hollyman.

As for his future ambitions, Hollyman wants to find his place on the road first and see where he is best suited.

“So far my season has been pretty good with a few top 5s at Trofeo Piva and U23 Liège- Bastogne – Liège. I want to use the next two years to see what I’m capable of. I guess you don’t really know the level until you’ve tried it, so I think it’s important just to have fun with what I’m doing and get the best out of myself. Riding a Grand Tour would be nice! Obviously climbs are where I see my best opportunity for results. I enjoy the one day Ardennes-style races and also the stage races, so I don’t think I’ll spread myself too thinly. I guess the next couple of years will tell me what I’m more suited to.”

Mason Hollyman:
Mason Hollyman

 

quick-step-alpha
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to Heistse Pijl
Our first appointment of the month will see us race on home turf this weekend

The Belgian one-day race once again takes place on the first Saturday of June, when the peloton will line up in Vosselaar, where they will complete a local circuit and then head to Heist-op-den-Berg for six laps that should favour the attackers thanks to the presence of the short and sharp Heistse Berg climb. On paper, the sprinters will also hold a chance of fighting for victory, but it will all depend on how the final laps of this 15th edition will be raced.

Having completed the Giro d’Italia last weekend, Davide Ballerini and Mark Cavendish will pin on again a number this Saturday, as both will be part of a strong Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team comprising also Iljo Keisse, Stijn Steels, Stan Van Tricht, Ethan Vernon and Louis Vervaeke.

“I trained on these roads for 13 years, so I can tell you that both scenarios are possible – sprint or breakaway. This race is a bit like Scheldeprijs meets Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, so there should be plenty of action. We go to the start of Heistse Pijl with a motivated squad that wants to be in the mix at the end and fight for a good result”, said sports director Brian Holm.

04.06 Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl (BEL) 1.1
Riders:

Davide Ballerini (ITA)
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Stijn Steels (BEL)
Stan Van Tricht (BEL)
Ethan Vernon (GBR)
Louis Vervaeke (BEL).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN).

Cavendish from Giro to Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl:
giro22st20

 

dsm
Heistse Pijl – JUN 4
Bennie Lambregts – Team DSM coach: “Heistse Pijl is a typically aggressive Belgian classic with a lot of attacks and breakaways, but most of the time it is traditionally decided in some sort of sprint finish. However, we want to race as offensive block and with good communication so that we never miss the important breaks if and when they do form. If it all comes down to a sprint in the finale then we will go for Patrick as our finisher, and fight for a good result.”

Line-up:
Joost Brinkman (NED)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Bart Hordijk (NED)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED).

Critérium du Dauphiné – JUN 5 – 12
Pim Ligthart – Team DSM coach: “WorldTour stage racing continues for us at the Critérium du Dauphiné which as usual takes place on a very hard course without a real flat stage. We have some stages that could end in reduced sprints, days that look good for the attackers, big days in the mountains and an individual time trial. We go to the race with a young and very motivated group, with the goal of chasing day results. This means we will ride aggressively throughout the week and try to take any opportunity that presents itself to us.”

Line-up:
Marco Brenner (GER)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA).

Women’s Tour – JUN 6 – 11
Albert Timmer – Team DSM coach: “After a successful three days at RideLondon Classique, we continue our block of racing in the UK at the Women’s Tour. We head to the race with two strong and fast finishers in the form of Lorena and Charlotte, and we have a few sprint opportunities that we are looking forward to with them. In the harder stages, we can look for our options to go into the breakaway and on the attack, looking to ride an open race as we look to do the best we can on the hilly days and mountain-top finish.”

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Megan Jastrab (USA)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED).

Ronde van Limburg – JUN 6
Bennie Lambregts – Team DSM coach: “Ronde van Limburg takes place over some hilly terrain with a few cobblestone sections, but with a flatter finale. As in previous races, we want to ride with an offensive block in Limburg, but with Nikias and Casper in the line-up we can also play the card to wait until the final sprint, with both of them as finishing options for us. Normally, the day is decided in a reduced bunch sprint, because of the cobblestone section close to the finish where the finale starts, so positioning of the guys up to that section will be crucial. It is a nice opportunity for our Development program riders to learn to race like this in combination with the two more experienced guys.”

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Joost Brinkman (NED)
Bart Hordijk (NED)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED).

Lorena Wiebes to the Women’s Tour:
nokere koerse 22

 

uae team
Season rolls on in Belgium and Giro dell’Appennino
Ackermann returns for Brussels Classic

With the first Grand Tour of the season done and dusted, UAE Team Emirates will continue with a busy racing period with Giro dell’Appennino (2 June) in Italy followed by the Brussels Cycling Classic (5 June) and the Ronde Van Limburg (6 June) in Belgium.

The in-form Alessandro Covi arrives to the Giro dell’Appennino fresh from his win on stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia and will be one to watch. While Pascal Ackermann makes a welcome return to racing at the Brussels Cycling Classic where he was victorious in 2018 and is joined by fellow sprinter Fernando Gaviria where the pair will hope to team up to take home a big result.

The team for Giro dell’Appennino will be overseen by Sports Director Manuele Mori (Ita) while the squad for the Belgian races will be led by Aart Vierhouten (Ned).

Giro dell’Appennino (1.1) – 02-Jun-2022
Camilo Ardila (Col)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Ivo Oliveira (Por)
Jan Polanc (Slo)
Oliviero Troia (Ita).

uae

Brussels Cycling Classic [1.Pro] – 05-Jun-2022 & Ronde van Limburg [1.1] – 06-Jun-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Fernando Gaviria (Col)
Rui Oliveira (Por)
Jan Polanc (Slo)
Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
Joel Suter (Swi).

uae

 

ag2r cirtoen
Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-12)
Aurélien Paret-Peintre: “I am coming out of a good training camp in Sierra Nevada (May 9-29). The weather was on point. As a climber, I appreciate working at altitude to get the pedal stroke and the physiological benefits it brings. I was originally supposed to return to competition at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes but I had some stomach problems and had to give it up. I am approaching the second part of the season with a lot of desire after having had a mixed first part of the season. The Critérium du Dauphiné is a very important race for me and for the team. It’s always a pleasure to race at home. We will start with ambition and the goal of getting on the podium with Ben O’Connor. I am looking forward to the last mountainous weekend. It is a good test before the Tour de France.”

Ben O’Connor finished eighth in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2021. Aurélien Paret-Peintre meanwhile took thirteenth place in the general classification and second in the classification of the best young riders. Geoffrey Bouchard and Stan Dewulf will participate at their first Critérium du Dauphiné.

ag2r

 

vuelta
Vuelta Has Plans for the Final Stage to Madrid
According to the Spanish sports newspaper Marca, the organisers of la Vuelta a España has very ambitious plans for the next edition of the three-week stage race. On the final stage to Madrid, organiser Unipublic would like to visit Wanda Metropolitano, the home of football club Atletico Madrid.

Unipublic want’s the final stage of the 2022 Vuelta a España to pass through the football stadium of Atletico Madrid, on their way to the finish in the centre of Madrid. The idea is to do this during the half-time of a match of the top Spanish club. Wanda Metropolitano can accommodate nearly 70,000 spectators.

Sports newspaper Marca emphasises that the plans are still in their infancy and have only been discussed informally for the time being. The Vuelta organiser has not yet spoken with the management of Atletico Madrid and other involved bodies. There is therefore no concrete proposal on the table yet. What is certain is that the Vuelta will start in the Netherlands this year. After a team time trial in Utrecht, there are two more stages (Den Bosch-Utrecht and Breda-Breda) on Dutch territory. The Vuelta caravan then heads to Spain for the remaining stages.

In the 2019 Vuelta, the 13th stage started from San Mamés, the home of football club Athletic Bilbao. After the riders had signed-on outside the stadium, they made a lap of honour. In 2002, the Vuelta also finished with a time trial in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the home of Real Madrid. It was Aitor González who clocked the fastest time to take the final leader’s jersey from Roberto Heras.

Athletic Bilbao in 2019:
vuelta19 st13

 

belgium tour
Seven WorldTour Teams to the Baloise Belgium Tour
The Baloise Belgium Tour 2022 teams have now been announced. In total there will be twenty-one teams at the start, a third of which come from the WorldTour. These include the home Belgian Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and Lotto Soudal team.

Defending champion Remco Evenepoel will not be there this year, when the five-day event starts on June 15 in Merelbeke. But Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will have Fabio Jakobsen. Sprint lead-out man, Michael Mørkøv, Florian Sénéchal and Yves Lampaert will also make an appearance. Lotto Soudal has Victor Campenaerts, Florian Vermeersch, Tim Wellens and Arnaud De Lie in its ranks.

In addition, BORA-hansgrohe, Israel-Premier Tech, DSM and Trek-Segafredo will also be present. The organisers can also count on six ProTeams. In addition to Arkéa-Samsic, B&B Hotels-KTM and UNO-X, there are three Belgian teams: Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Bingoals Pauwels Sauces WB and Alpecin-Fenix. Alpecin will have Oscar Riesebeek, Gianni Vermeersch and Giro stage winner Dries De Bondt.

The field will also consist of eight continental teams. These are the Australian Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling, the Dutch VolkerWessels and BEAT Cycling, and five Belgian formations: Baloise Trek Lions, Geofco-Doltcini Materiel Velo.com, Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal, Minerva and Tarteletto-Isorex.

Mørkøv to the Baloise Tour:
morkov

 

uci anoce
2025 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships in Rwanda: Union Cycliste Internationale and Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa join forces to develop African riders
Selected athletes will then be able to train at the UCI WCC in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe where they will gain appropriate race experience over the next three years

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) (https://AfricaOlympic.com) are delighted to announce that they have joined forces to develop cycling on the African continent in the lead up to the 2025 UCI Road World Championships to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two bodies aims to ensure that African countries are well represented with strong podium chances at the UCI’s flagship event being held for the first time on the African continent in 2025. It is envisaged that the momentum will be carried on to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and beyond.

The MOU was signed at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, on Wednesday 25 May, as part of Africa Day celebrations. The signature came at the end of fruitful discussions between UCI President David Lappartient, UCI Director General Amina Lanaya, the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) ad interim Director Jacques Landry, ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Chief of Development of Sport in Africa Yassine Yousfi.

The parties agreed on a UCI Cycling Development Strategy supporting African athletes so they can be competitive by 2025, notably in the Junior and Under 23 categories.

The strategy begins this year with the identification of athletes from African countries to be chosen for a training camp at the UCI WCC Satellite in Paarl, South Africa. Selected athletes will then be able to train at the UCI WCC in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe where they will gain appropriate race experience over the next three years, in the lead-up to the 2025 UCI Road World Championships in the Rwandan capital.

It is envisaged that some 30 athletes (male and female) will be targeted through the UCI WCC’s established physiological testing, results at international races and recommendations from UCI certified coaches and the Director of the UCI WCC Satellite in Paarl, Jean-Pierre Van Zyl.

The UCI WCC – the UCI’s education and training arm – has already launched the careers of some incredible African athletes, for example Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane and Biniam Girmay, and of course Chris Froome, who spent his first months in Europe at the UCI WCC after arriving from Kenya back in 2007. Several of the UCI WCC’s female trainee athletes from Africa have also gone on to sign contracts with professional teams, and this year the WCC Team, a UCI Women’s Continental Team, has two African members: Ethiopian Selam Amha Gerefiel and South African Maude Le Roux.

After signing the MOU, UCI President David Lappartient declared: “When I stated in my Agenda 2022 that I wanted to take the UCI Road World Championships to Africa for the first time, it was part of a wider vision to strengthen our development work on the continent. I am incredibly excited to work alongside the ANOCA to ensure that African athletes will be forces to be reckoned with in Kigali in three years’ time.”

“The continent is teaming with talent, and we will make sure that the whole world will be witness to that at the 2025 UCI Road World Championships and beyond.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).

The fans will love the Worlds in Rwanda:
rwanda

 

uae team
The Emotion of the Giro d’Italia 2022
A @Giro d’Italia full of beautiful moments with some tough challenges thrown in along the way, but we lived it all together as a team. #WeAreUAE

 


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