EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
Free cycling news
Egan Bernal’s crash is a blow to INEOS’ plans for 2022 – TOP STORY. Report and result from Mallorca, with video. Rider news: Kevin Geniets, Stephen Hyde and Alex Bogna. Race news: 2023 Tour de France start, Tour of America’s Dairyland races, 2023 Vuelta a España start, wildcards for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Giro del Belvedere 2022 route. Team news: UAE Emirates will not use Jumbo or INEOS tactics, Hendrik Redant new DS with Human Powered Health, AG2R-Citroën for La Marseillaise, DSM to Saudi Tour, Gilbert, Schachmann and Aleotti have covid, Niamh Fisher-Black extends contract and Rapha & EF Education First unveil 2022 team kits. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Bad Crash for Egan Bernal While Training in Colombia
Egan Bernal hit a parked bus during a training session in Colombia on Monday. The exact condition of the INEOS Grenadiers rider was at first unclear, Colombian police said he only suffered minor injuries.
Bernal, 25, was training near Gachancipá, a town in the Colombian department of Cundinamarca, when he collided with a bus. Bernal was training with some INEOS Grenadiers teammates on his time trial bike but, according to the Spanish-language newspaper El Periódico, noticed too late that a bus stopped in front of him to let a passenger get off. Photos show the 2019 Tour winner lying on the ground and receiving care. It was at first unclear how bad the damage to Bernal, but according to several Colombian news sites, including Mundo Ciclístico, the tour rider was not seriously injured. INEOS Grenadiers has since said that Bernal was conscious when he was taken to hospital.
In hospital Bernal was treated for his injuries. He was conscious when he was taken to the Clínica Universidad de la Sabana in Bogotá, but there were already fears for multiple fractures. The doctors announced in a press statement that Bernal has suffered multiple traumas. The chest area is badly affected, as are many muscles, his neck and lower leg, with the possibility of a broken knee cap. The two-time Grand Tour winner had another hour-long surgery later on Monday. After surgery, Bernal will begin a lengthy rehabilitation process, but it looks like Bernal will be out for a long time.
Egan Bernal’s first surgeries after his collision have been successful. The Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where the Colombian rider has been treated, announced in a press release:
“The neurological operation performed on Egan Bernal was successful. We expect progressive development over the next 72 hours in the Intensive Care Unit and we hope he will respond to the treatment he has received.” The back of the winner of two Grand Tours was stabilised and his nervous system was unaffected. According to the hospital, the “functionality of the treated body parts has been preserved” and the rehabilitation process has already started “to achieve the best possible results for the patient”.
Update on Egan Bernal from the INEOS Grenadiers Team:
Following Monday’s training accident, Egan remains in a stable condition in intensive care after two successful surgeries.
Egan suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs in the crash. Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilise the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries last night. He is now in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body’s response to the trauma.
The Team would like to thank the medical staff at Clinica Universidad de La Sabana and everyone who has sent messages of support to Egan. All of our focus is on ensuring Egan is given the best possible care as he starts on his road to recovery.
Bernal’s Manager: “Egan is mentally strong, he will fight back”
Giuseppe Acquadro, the well-known cycling manager and representative of Bernal, is optimistic about his future as a professional cyclist.
Acquadro has known Bernal for a very long time and expects the Colombian climber to make his comeback to the peloton sooner or later. “I understand that it all went well and that he is now in the Intensive Care Unit. He is in good hands, the hospital in Bogotá is very professional and good. There are several people from INEOS Grenadiers who keep him company and his family is also present.”
“Obviously it’s a huge blow. Egan was really looking forward to the new season and was already focused on the Tour de France. He was looking forward to duelling with Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič, but that won’t happen for a while. But knowing Egan, he will soon find the motivation to fight back and recover. We will help him with that. Egan is mentally strong and will fight back. If he can focus on a certain goal, he is really unbelievably strong.”
It is a new setback for Bernal in his young career, after he previously suffered from persistent back problems. Meanwhile, the cycling world sympathises with the two-time Grand Tour winner. Teammates, fellow riders, former pros, sports directors, race organisers have all sent messages of support to the climber.
“Egan is a good boy and people see that. He also does a lot to help other people, including behind the scenes. He respects his rivals and vice versa. Every cyclist knows the dangers of training on the road and fellow cyclists feel the pain of such an accident. I’m sure it will help, those many messages of support,” concluded Acquadro.
Encouraging news from Colombia. The Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where Egan Bernal is being treated, said the INEOS Grenadiers rider had responded well to the surgery he had previously undergone. He also responded well after being taken off the ventilator. “At the moment he is conscious and he can move his four limbs (arms and legs).”
Bernal should have started his 2022 season in the Tour de La Provence on February 10.
Possibly career ending injuries for Egan Bernal:
Kwik Trip Tour of America’s Dairyland – 13th Edition Dates & News
Lucky 13 they say? We agree! What’s the news across the nation; we have got the information! Yea, corny, I know, but here’s the latest from your beloved Kwik Trip Tour of America’s Dairyland……………
Kwik Trip has again shown their commitment to supporting great Wisconsin events and upped that commitment by signing on for anther three (3) years AND has jumped into the title sponsor level! I guess they kinda like us and this little thing we’re doing for 11 (maybe 12 days; hint hint!) days in a row each June just like all of you!
Jakroo USA has officially joined us as the “official custom apparel” sponsor ALSO with a three (3) year commitment! Early impressions are that this will be an amazing collaboration and for those of you with cycling clubs or ambitions to sell cycling wear, this is the “fit” for you! With crazy quick turnarounds and a simple to use design process and NO MINIMUMS, why would you shop anywhere else?
Roaring Fork Restaurant Group has joined the family; franchisors of Qdoba in Wisconsin! Currently operating 58 restaurants throughout the state, there are lots of fun ways for us to engage with each other and if you love Qdoba as much as so many of us, better make sure you’re on-site this summer!
Sponsor socials are on their way as we aggressively move towards our goal of connecting more of you with each other! Right now we’re planning one for April and one for May! Stay tuned for details soon.
2022 Series Calendar will be announced February 1st! As hinted above, there is a chance we could add a 12th day of racing (sorry for adding more visibility for your brands!), but lots of work yet to do to make it a reality. It would then see us open racing on Wednesday, June 15th, but for now, this is the latest……………
Thursday, June 16 – Janesville
Friday, June 17 – East Troy
Saturday, June 18 – Grafton
Sunday, June 19 – Manitowoc
Monday, June 20 – Bay View
Tuesday, June 21 – tbd
Wednesday, June 22 – Greendale
Thursday, June 23 – Brady Street
Friday, June 24 – Shorewood
Saturday, June 25 – Downer Avenue
Sunday, June 26 – Wauwatosa Village
Many of you are committed for 2022 and maybe beyond and some have yet to confirm. As you know, we’ve been focused on securing our venues and not so much driving sponsorship discussions, but that has changed and contacts are being made between us. If you wanna jump the gun and say yes here publicly, bring it on. We’ll be in touch soon and as always THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH from the bottom of our hearts for your amazing support of the Kwik Trip Tour of America’s Dairyland.
Challenge Mallorca – Trofeo Calvià: Perguera – Palmanova 2022
Brandon McNulty performed a masterpiece in the first race of the Challenge Mallorca. The 23 year-old American of UAE Team Emirates escaped from a group of favourite in the Trofeo Calvià, a hilly one-day race, 61 kilometres from the finish and held on for the win.
The Trofeo Calvià kicked off the season for the WorldTour riders on Wednesday. Three riders escaped early after the start in Peguera: James Piccoli (Israel-Premier Tech), Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa) and Pablo Alonso (Electro Hiper Europa). Their lead soon got to more than 7 minutes. In the peloton, Lotto Soudal and Movistar were leading the chase. The difference on the steep Coll de Sóller, halfway through the race, was down to under a minute. On that climb, the peloton split into several pieces, and the break was caught after 80 kilometres. On the next climb, the Col den Bleda, more than 70 kilometres from the finish, nine riders got away. This included Tim Wellens, Brandon McNulty, Kobe Goossens, Einer Rubio, Diego Rosa and 18-year-old ‘Young Gun’ Cian Uijtdebroeks. That group didn’t last long, but the race was fully on. McNulty went for a solo and took a 40 second lead over a sizeable group including Alejandro Valverde, Emanuel Buchmann, Michael Matthews, Harm Vanhoucke, Warren Barguil, Simon Clarke, Wellens, Uijtdebroeks and Goossens. The UAE Team Emirates rider managed to extend his lead over the Coll den Claret and on the descent to a minute.
A new group then managed to escape from the peloton and got closer to McNulty. But Vincenzo Albanese, Buchmann, Clarke, Simon Geschke, Goossens, Matteo Jorgenson, Lukasz Owsian, Joel Suter, Valverde, Wellens and Ben Zwiehoff failed to close the gap. The lone leader started the last 25 kilometres with a lead of 45 seconds. Valverde attacked on the Coll de sa Gramola, but the Movistar leader was not given any space by the others. Meanwhile, McNulty, a strong time trialist, kept pushing hard and started the last climb with just under a minute lead, but his grew on the run-in to the finish. Swiss rider Joel Suter completed the celebration for UAE Team Emirates by finishing second at the front of the chase group, Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa) was third. Tim Wellens and Simon Clarke completed the top-5. Alejandro Valverde finished sixth.
Race winner, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m super happy: it’s a great way to start the year. It was a tough day out there but it was good for me and also for my teammate Joel who came second which was perfect for us. It was up and down terrain all day with no real flat roads so as the group got smaller I was able to establish a gap. I knew if I could hold on it would be tough to chase me down with the twisty, undulating roads. I put the attack in and was able to hold on so I’m very pleased.”
4th, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “We decided to go full throttle with the squad on the toughest climb and from there the race was broken, right to the end. I think Brandon McNulty was the best rider. That was certain. That it was pretty weird racing. There was constant attacks and it was difficult to find organisation. First I was in the lead with McNulty, but the peloton came back. He then continued alone. To stay ahead on your own, you have to be super strong. It was technical, sometimes a bit wet and it went up and down continuously. Perfect for riding alone, but you also have to have the legs. It was a weird sprint, suddenly the finish line was there. A few riders were a bit surprised by that. But it was a nice and tough race.”
Challenge Mallorca – Trofeo Calvià: Perguera – Palmanova Result:
1. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates in 3:57:37
2. Joel Suter (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 1:17
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) EOLO-Kometa
4. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Simon Clarke (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
7. Kobe Goossens (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Łukasz Owsian (Pol) Arkéa Samsic
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Ben Zwiehoff (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:54.
Luxembourg Champion Kevin Geniets: Two More Years at Groupama-FDJ
Kevin Geniets will stay with the Groupama-FDJ team in 2023 and 2024. The 25-year-old Luxembourger has extended his contract for two seasons. Geniets has been riding for manager Marc Madiot since 2019.
After three seasons Geniets is still having a good time at Groupama-FDJ and so he didn’t have to think long about a contract extension. The rider is ambitious for the coming years. “I want to see with the team how far I can go in the Classics. There are no limits for me. In addition, I want to continue to work for my leaders in the Grand Tours in the coming years. I want to get even better as a climber, so that I can do my job for longer.”
Sports director Yvon Madiot, the younger brother of team manager Marc Madiot, is full of praise when it comes to Geniets. “Kevin has a lot of qualities, also on a human level. He is part of our Classic core, but is also a valued teammate. He will remain an important pawn within our team in the coming years.”
Geniets, who wants to develop himself even further as a Classic specialist in the coming years. He finished 9th in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 16th in Strade Bianche. He also managed to successfully complete his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, in 2021.
Multiple American Cyclo-Cross Champion Stephen Hyde Retires
Stephen Hyde announced his retirement from competitive cycling on Monday. The 34-year-old American was mainly a cyclo-cross rider and was American cyclo-cross national champion three times in his career. He also won gold twice at the Pan-American cyclo-cross championships.
Hyde looks back on his career with great satisfaction. “I have given a lot to this wonderful sport and have received a lot in return. I have learned so many important life lessons during my cycling career. I am who I am, partly because of that crazy cross world. A world of a lot of traveling and hard work, of suffering pain and then getting satisfaction from it. From long training and racing hours in extreme weather conditions.”
“I have always fought hard to get the best out of myself in sport, but also to achieve the maximum as a person. Because of all this I have really lived and I have also blossomed,” said Hyde, who has already ridden his last cross of his career. The American will not be at the start of the Cyclo-cross World championships in his own country next Sunday. But, he will be there in Fayetteville, but as a coach for the American cyclocross team.
Hyde was US cyclo-cross champion in 2017 and 2018 and also won two Pan-American titles. During his career he rode more than thirty World Cups and was at the start of the cyclo-cross World championships six times. In Valkenburg (2018) he had best performance, finishing in 15th place after a very tough race.
Zwift Academy winner Alex Bogna to Join Alpecin-Fenix Development Team
Alex Bogna earned a contract with the professional Alpecin-Fenix team through the Zwift Academy, but the 20-year-old Australian chooses a different path. He will race for the Development Team.
Bogna was presented with two options by the management of Alpecin-Fenix. Either he could become a professional cyclist with the ProTeam for a year, or he could race for the Development Team for two years. The Australian went for the second option. “Because it was spread over two years,” he explains. “I still have a lot of development ahead of me. In the Development Team you have access to the same equipment and knowledge and you get the chance to race more.”
In the Development Team, the 20-year-old rider gets more time to develop and find his place in Europe, and to discover how he is doing in the races. “It gives me more time to learn how to race here and to develop myself as a rider. It’s great that I was offered these two options. It shows that the team wants the best for me and has a long-term plan for me, which is pretty great and special.”
His first goals are mainly to master and develop racing in Europe. “And learning to be part of a professional team and how to become a professional rider myself, to understand the race technique and to use all the help of the team. At the end of the year I hope to be able to taste some good results at continental level. Hopefully I can eventually grow into a supporting role, that would be great.”
Bogna won the Zwift Academy in December, a competition on the training platform Zwift in which participants can earn a professional contract with Alpecin-Fenix. Since then he has participated in two training camps with the team. “It is going very well so far. I have a lot of fun and it’s nice to meet everyone. I feel a lot of support from the team. Everyone is open to chat. They make sure I really enjoy myself.”
He struggled with a small injury during the second training camp. “The team was very involved in this. We are working hard on it: physio twice a day, I work through a program and then there are treatments later in the day. I received a lot of support from the team, from doctors but also from professional physios. The performance team is also very supportive. We have a clear plan that I just have to follow.”
Alex Bogna: “The team has a long-term plan with me”:
Grand Départ 2023: A Basque Flavour
The Tour de France will be visiting Bilbao for the very first time. However, the Basque Country’s largest city is nonetheless the epicentre of its rich cycling history, whose talents have contributed to the reputation of the Spanish contingent in the pack. Indeed, Bilbao has featured on the programme of 35 editions of La Vuelta, with an uninterrupted run between 1955 and 1978, since the country’s leading race was organised by the El Correo Español del Pueblo Vasco newspaper, which was based in the city. In the 21st century, only Basque rider Igor Anton in 2011 and Philippe Gilbert in 2019 have enjoyed the privilege of tasting victory on a Vuelta stage finishing line in Bilbao. In 2023, the first Yellow Jersey of the 110th Tour de France will be awarded on completion of a loop, with Bilbao as the start and finish, which will not leave the province of Biscay and which in particular will visit the village of Guernica. Its recipient will need to boast the qualities of a puncher in order to withstand the energy sapping programme and overcome his rivals on a finishing line at the top of a 5% slope.
The pack will spend part of the following day in the province of Álava, commencing with its capital Vitoria-Gasteiz. Here in 1977, the Tour de France bestowed eternal pride upon José Nazabal, who is still at present the only Basque rider to win a stage of the race in his homeland. It is very unlikely that a solo breakaway will be granted the same indulgence as the pack heads to San Sebastián, where Miguel Indurain won on the prologue of the Tour de France 1992. In fact, the scenario for the second stage is much more likely to resemble one on the “Clásica”, which traditionally takes place after the Tour de France. Indeed, it is on the Monte Jaizquíbel that the crucial steps towards victory could take place just before the race reaches the capital of Gipuzkoa.
The 2023 Tour de France’s stay in the Basque Country will end with a stage start in Amorebieta-Etxano in the province of Biscay. The pack will then head towards France on a route that perhaps might be favourable to sprinters’ teams. In any event, they will hold all the cards for controlling the race on a coastal route that will take them on a final passage through San Sebastián. The pack will bid farewell to the Basque Country as they leave the border town of Irun, on the way towards…
The Basque programme for the first three stages in 2023:
- 1st July: Bilbao > Bilbao, 185 km
- 2nd July: Vitoria-Gasteiz > San Sebastián, 210 km
- 3rd July: Amorebieta-Etxano > …
Ø The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2023 will be the second in Spain and particularly the Basque Country, following the race’s visit to San Sebastián in 1992, at the beginning of Miguel Indurain’s reign in yellow.
Ø The three Basque provinces will feature on the programme for the three days that will mark the start to the 110th edition. From Bilbao to San Sebastián, the pack will also ride through the streets of Vitoria and tackle often steep roads on which the most glorious pages of Spanish cycling history have been written.
Ø The relief of the Basque Country will incite the punchers to move into action and conquer the first Yellow Jersey on the Tour de France 2023 in Bilbao, with a second bite at the cherry the following day on the roads of the “Clásica San Sebastián”.
Barcelona Will Host the Official Start and the Two First Stages of La Vuelta’23
Barcelona will host the official departure of La Vuelta 23. The 78th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour will take off with a T.T.T. that will take place entirely within the city.
Barcelona will also host the second stage finish-line and will play a prominent role in such key, emblematic La Vuelta events as the team presentation gala and the filming of the race’s official videoclip, providing its natural settings as a backdrop.
This Monday, the 24th of January, the agreement was presented before Jaume Collboni, the Deputy Mayor of the Barcelona City Council, David Escudé, the Councillor for Sports, and Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.
An Event with Global Impact
La Vuelta’s presence in Barcelona will boost the city’s international exposure as a sports capital and headquarters for large-scale events with high global impact. This impact can be seen, not just in the sporting aspect, but also in the economic aspect and in other such variables as the image or perception the territory creates.
The route of the first two stages will be outlined in collaboration between the Barcelona City Council and the race organisation, both of whom seek to put together the best possible sports spectacle, all while showcasing the city’s most emblematic landmarks.
In this sense, the first Deputy Mayor of the City of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, wished to highlight that “it’s a joint project for the different teams within the Barcelona City Council, who work tirelessly to host international events, including sports ones.” Collboni expressed that “today is a great day for Catalan and Spanish cycling as Barcelona is a city that has been traditionally linked with the world of sports and cycling in particular. To be the host of one of the three main cycling events worldwide fits perfectly with Barcelona’s international vocation.”
On his part, David Escudé, the Councillor for Sports, pointed out that “we’ve been waiting a long time to be able to present this project. Finally, 60 years later, Barcelona will host the official departure of La Vuelta once again. A lot has happened in that time. We are all for hosting large events and it makes all the sense in the world to bring La Vuelta to Barcelona, a city that is closely-linked to cycling, and has been for many years.”
Javier Guillén, the General Director of La Vuelta, stated that “For La Vuelta to start in Barcelona is a dream come true.” Guillén admitted to having “a strong personal connection to Barcelona, and I’m particularly grateful for the effort, passion and excitement that the Deputy Mayor has put into this project. Cycling is a sport with a strong popular following, currently placed at number two in terms of viewing and practice within Europe. Bikes are an essential element in the sustainable development of cities, which is why we’re so thrilled to be able to participate in this project.” The Director of La Vuelta added that “The official departure is like an event within the event, due to all the organisation involved. The route’s official presentation and the filming of the race’s official video will both take place in Barcelona. We want it to be a cycling celebration.”
Barcelona, thus, reinforces its commitment to using bicycles as an efficient and sustainable means of urban transport. The celebration of a first-level competition such as La Vuelta also helps to promote this initiative.
La Vuelta Returns After an 11-Year Absence
Barcelona is a city with a long-standing sporting tradition with close ties to cycling. This fact is evident through the numerous sporting events that take place there throughout the year – the Volta a Catalunya and the City of Barcelona International Track Cycling or Mountain Bike Trophy, in particular.
The last time La Vuelta stopped in Barcelona was in the race’s 2012 edition. The 9th stage left from Andorra and ended at Montjuïc, with Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert crossing the finish-line in first place.
Barcelona already hosted La Vuelta’s official departure in 1962, with a first linear stage spanning over 90 km that both started and ended within the city itself. Victory went to Antón Barrutia.
The last time Barcelona held a time trial was back in 1978, also in Montjuïc. Victory went to Bernard Hinault, who inaugurated a brilliant victory tally featuring five Tours de France, three Giros d’Italia and two Vueltas.
The City of Barcelona has also seen the Tour de France ride through in 2009, with a stage finale won by Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd (stage 6) and the departure of the 7th stage. It also hosts an emblematic and historic cycling race every year: the Volta a Catalunya.
Barcelona is now preparing to receive La Vuelta once again. The event will be broadcast on TV in almost 200 countries, with daily average ratings of 1.5 million viewers in Spain. The race mobilises a travelling caravan that transports over 2500 people, among them over 600 journalists from around 20 countries, and over 200 different types of media.
- The city of Barcelona will be the setting for the inaugural T.T.T and will host the second stage finish-line of La Vuelta 23.
- The last time Barcelona hosted a La Vuelta stage finale was in 2012, the last time trial to be held there took place in 1978 and its one and only time hosting the race’s official departure was in 1962.
- La Vuelta’s presence in Barcelona will boost the city’s international exposure as a sports capital and headquarters for large-scale events.
- More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com
David Escudé (Councillor for Sports of the Barcelona City Council); Jaume Collboni (Deputy Mayor of the Barcelona City Council) and Javier Guillén (general manager of La Vuelta):
B&B Hotels-KTM and Uno-X Receive Wildcards for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
B&B Hotels-KTM and Uno-X will start the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on a wildcard invitation. The organisers of the Belgian WorldTour race announced the list of participating teams on Tuesday morning.
B&B Hotels-KTM and Uno-X are not the only ProTeams with a wildcard at the start, the Belgian teams Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise can also count on an invitation. Alpecin-Fenix, Arkéa-Samsic and TotalEnergies were assured of starting as the best ProTeams in 2021. All eighteen WorldTeams will also be at the start.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is scheduled for February 26.
Giro del Belvedere 2022 Back to the Classic Route
After the slight detours of the 2021 edition, the international U23 race scheduled on Easter Monday, April 18th returns to tradition on 166.2 km distance.
The 2022 Giro del Belvedere is sticking with the tradition: following the last edition with a few route adjustments due to road maintenance, the 83rd appointment with the cycling event dedicated to the best U23 international prospects in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, North-East Italy), goes back to its classic race course on April 18th, on the usual date of Easter Monday.
“Nearing our race’s centenary, as the first edition dates back to 1923 – Pro Belvedere organiser Gianfranco Carlet explained – the return to the classic route paves the way to this historic event. Since 2016, indeed, in addition to the Canalet wall, we have also included the Via della Longhe ramp, a short but intense climb that makes the race even more selective and exciting: a real international test for five-star talents”.
The start of the race will be as usual in Villa di Cordignano, for an overall 166,2 km distance. The initial part consists of a circuit of about 10 km to be repeated 14 times: 131,6 km in total, mostly flat but highlighted by the traditional “Conche” climb, with gradients up to 9%. This first ramp will stretch the bunch selecting the strongest riders ahead of the final circuit: 17.3 km with steeper climbs to be repeated twice.
The Montaner uphill, engaged by the side of Borgo Canalet, will be tackled first: around 1500 metre with 12% average gradient and 20% spikes, shortly followed by the ascent of Via delle Longhe, shorter but still demanding with steep 17% gradient peaks. After the last effort, the riders will quickly descend and enter the last 6,5 km, all flat, towards the finish line in Villa di Cordignano.
The race course allows athletes with different skills to be competitive and maybe winners of this prestigious international event, which boasts a top-level roll of honour. Besides the recent victories of Juan Ayuso and Samuele Battistella, former champions such as Stefan Küng, Ivan Gotti, Silvio Martinello and Maurizio Fondriest got the glory here.
Giro del Belvedere 2022 will go back to its classic route for an overall 166,2 km:
UAE Team Emirates Will Not Use Jumbo or INEOS Tactics
UAE team Emirates has strengthened its roster considerably this winter. With João Almeida, George Bennett and Marc Soler, three strong climbers, who can support Tadej Pogačar in the mountains. However, these riders will not be used to set the pace for Pogačar at the front of the pack. “We will not bring in champions to make them work as farmhands,” team manager Joxean Fernández Matxin told CyclingWeekly.
So UAE Team Emirates will not use the tactic that other big teams have used in the past, where big riders mainly serve in a climbing train. “We don’t think about using that tactic. We are not going to use the tactics or strategies of Jumbo, INEOS or any other team. We simply want to be UAE Emirates.”
In recent years, such a strategy did not seem appropriate for the team from the Emirates. The team was regularly accused of not being well enough supported. But Matxin is clear that there have been many moments where Tadej was surrounded by a lot of teammates. “It also often happened, for example in the Tour stage to Tignes, that three of our riders were with him when he attacked. Well, they couldn’t follow him, but nobody could,” said Matxin. “I think it’s hard to stay with the best rider in the world because it means being one of the best riders in the world yourself.”
Pogačar not always on his own:
Hendrik Redant New Team DS with Human Powered Health
Hendrik Redant will be behind the wheel of the Human Powered Health team car this season. The 59-year-old Belgian was without a job after Qhubeka NextHash folded. Redant had been DS with the South African team for the past three years.
Redant has been a sports director at TVM, Quick-Step, Silence Lotto, and UnitedHealthcare after he stopped racing in 1997. During his time with UnitedHealthcare he got to know Jonas Carney, the manager of Human Powered Health, which was the Rally team in recent years.
“I know how he works. He’s also very passionate and I love that,” Redant said of Carney. With Human Powered Health he will be at ProTeam level. “Somehow I like this level much more because in the WorldTour it is much more structured. I’d like more challenges, and sometimes you don’t have many with a WorldTeam because there are so many specialists. With a ProTeam, my job is much broader and more varied. But even if you’ve been a sports director for 26 years, you keep learning. You get more and more baggage and you always take that with you to a new situation. The most important thing is that you don’t get stressed, because there is always a solution.”
New job for Hendrik Redant:
Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise (January 30)
Five of the seven riders of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM at the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise have come up through the team’s U23 and U19 training programs: Geoffrey Bouchard (U19), Clément Champoussin (U23), Benoît Cosnefroy (U23), Paul Lapeira (U19 + U23) and Antoine Raugel (U19 + U23). Paul Lapeira and Antoine Raugel are making their debut with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM.
Over the last four editions of the Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise, the AG2R CITROËN TEAM has won it three times: Alexandre Geniez in 2018, Benoît Cosnefroy in 2020 and Aurélien Paret-Peintre in 2021.
Saudi Tour Feb 1-5
Roy Curvers – Team DSM coach: “We’re excited to kick off our 2022 season at the Saudi Tour. As it is a race held mostly in the desert it has a special dynamic to it, with high speeds in the bunch and the potential for crosswinds which we will need to be alert to. We expect this year’s edition of the Saudi Tour to provide three clear chances for a bunch sprint and two hillier finals. Our main goal will be to get our sprint train up-and-running and after some great recent camps we’re really motivated to do that. Alberto will be our designated finisher and we have a group of riders who will give everything to put him in the best possible position to start the sprint from, as we chase day success on the flatter stages. On the hillier parcours we want to use good teamwork, race offensively and search for opportunities to put a Team DSM jersey on the podium.”
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Nico Denz (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS).
DSM to Saudi’22:
Sick Philippe Gilbert Not Riding the Challenge Mallorca
Philippe Gilbert will not start the new season on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The Classics specialist of Lotto Soudal, who is preparing for his last year as a professional, was scheduled for the Challenge Mallorca. However, that is canceled: Gilbert feels a bit sick and has to postpone his start to the season.
“Unfortunately no Challenge Mallorca for me, as I’m feeling a bit sick. I will have to postpone the start of my season a bit, but I remain optimistic and look forward to returning to training and pinning a jersey number soon,” Gilbert said on social media.
It is currently unclear when Gilbert will start his season. Ex-pro Nicolas Maes, currently sports director at Lotto Soudal, talked in Het Nieuwsblad about the GP La Marseillaise as the first race of 2022. Gilbert wants to participate in the Tour de La Provence next month (10-13 February).
The Walloon classic specialist will also make an appearance in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Le Samyn in the spring. He will ride Paris-Nice with a view to Milan-San Remo. The now 39-year-old rider wants to take one last shot at victory in ‘La Primavera’ this year and fill a gap in his palmarès.
Gilbert will also ride the Tour of Catalonia, Volta Limburg Classic, Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the spring.
No Mallorca for Philippe:
Schachmann and Aleotti Miss Season Opener Due to COVID-19 Infection
After both Schachmann and Aleotti tested positive in routine rapid tests over the weekend, the team reacted in accordance with the requirements of the Spanish health authorities and took all necessary measures. The results have since been confirmed with PCR tests. Both are doing well, but will miss the season opener in Mallorca.
No Mallorca for Schachmann:
Niamh Fisher-Black Extends Contract with Team SD Worx Until the End of 2024
Team SD Worx has managed to renegotiate and extend its contract with Niamh Fisher-Black until the end of 2024. The team has secured one of the greatest talents in the women’s peloton for the next three seasons. The 21-year-old New Zealand rider won the youth classification in the WorldTour in 2021, her debut year in the Team SD Worx colours.
“I enjoyed my first year at Team SD Worx and learned a lot from the experienced riders on the team,” Niamh Fisher-Black said. “Team SD Worx is extremely successful and I am very happy with that. I joined the team in 2021 without any expectations. It was a good learning year. I mainly rode in service of the team, but was also able to achieve some nice results myself.”
“For example, wearing the leader’s jersey in the Vuelta a Burgos was one of my highlights. I feel I was able to take a big step forward thanks to the team. The final victory in the youth classification of the WorldTour is a nice proof of that. I’m happy that I can continue to ride for the best women’s team in the world.”
Also sports manager Danny Stam looks back with great satisfaction on the collaboration with Niamh Fisher-Black in her first year for the team. “Niamh has shown to be one of the biggest talents in the peloton,” stresses Danny Stam. “In addition, she fits in very well with the team. She is driven to get the most out of it. We are pleased that we have been able to extend her contract for another two years until the end of 2024 and look forward to achieving great successes with Niamh.”
Rapha & EF Education First Unveil Men’s and Women’s 2022 Team Kits
Rapha welcomes EF Education-TIBCO-SVB to 2022 athlete roster
EF Education-EasyPost and EF Education-TIBCO-SVB unveil their 2022 kits from their
training camp in Girona, designed in collaboration with Rapha.
This season is the first time EF Education-TIBCO-SVB will line up wearing Rapha, as EF
Education First join TIBCO and Silicon Valley Bank as co-title sponsors of the longest running women’s team in North America.
Both teams will compete in a kit of the same design with a subtle colour variation. The new design, executed through creative coding and image/pattern manipulation, is a modern
Interpretation of the Argyle pattern that has been a staple part of EF’s visual language for years.
Together, Rapha and EF will continue to bring new perspectives to the sport of cycling. As well as wearing the kit in the WorldTour, riders from both teams will again take part in a number of events elsewhere in the cycle racing calendar, including Life Time Grand Prix.
These will be shot by Rapha’s in-house media team for a new series of films celebrating cycling’s characters and stories.
The men’s and women’s EF 2022 kits will be available to buy this Spring on rapha.cc.
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