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EUROTRASH Thursday: TDU Latest, Vuelta’23 Route and All the Other Cycling News

The Season Starts Here

The 2023 season starts this weekend and we have more team announcements from the Tour Down Under and the Australian time trial championships.
La Vuelta a España 2023 route – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Tadej Pogačar brings the start of his season forward a week, Mathieu van der Poel announces his 2023 race program, gold letters not allowed on Richard Carapaz’s EF Kit, Allan Peiper returns to UAE Team Emirates, Filippo Ganna’s program to the Giro, Yves Lampaert: “wake-up calls from Lefevere are necessary”, Clément Venturini wants French cross championship, Mark Cavendish can’t take coach to Astana, Iván Ramiro Sosa and the truck driver who attacked him in court, Carapaz recovering from tonsillectomy and Quinten Hermans starts road season in the Algarve.
Team news: Israel-Premier Tech, UAE Team Emirates, Arkéa-Samsic, INEOS Grenadiers, Movistar, Astana Qazaqstan, AG2R-Citroën, Soudal Quick-Step and DSM to the Tour Down Under, Fenix-Deceuninck development team, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team unveils 2023 kit and partnerships with Scott, SRAM, Syncros, Breitling & UBS, Maarten Tjallingii leaves Chinese project and new kit for Hagens Berman Axeon.
Race news: Saudi Tour teams and stages.
Contract news: Human Powered Health signs Sebastian Schönberger.
Get the EUROTRASH coffee.


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top story
TOP STORY: The Route of the Vuelta a España 2023
The route of the Vuelta a España 2023 was presented in Barcelona on Tuesday evening. On August 26, the Spanish Grand Tour will start with a team time trial of 14.6 kilometres in Barcelona, the Vuelta will finish on September 17 in Madrid, the Spanish capital. There are finishes on well-known climbs such as in Andorra, the Col du Tourmalet and the Alto de l’Angliru. There are seven serious mountain stages, two flat stages with an uphill finish, six stages through the medium mountains and four flat stages. In addition to the first team time trial in Barcelona, there will also be an individual time trial in Valladolid the day after the first rest day.

After the team time trial stage 1 in Barcelona. On stage 2 the peloton departs from Mataró, but the finish is again in Barcelona. There are some climbing in the first part of this second stage. The second part of the stage is easier, but the final is suitable for the puncheurs as they finish on Montjuïc. There is a lot of climbing in the first week. The third stage is to the winter sports village of Arinsal in the Principality of Andorra, where there are no flat roads. Stage six to Javalambre also has an uphill finish as does the eighth day to Xorret de Cati.

Four uphill finishes are completely new in the history of the Vuelta; the Larrau, Larra-Belagua, Cruz de Linares and the Tourmalet. The mythical French climb will be the finish line for the first time in the Tour of Spain. The Spanish race will race through three countries; Andorra, France and of course, Spain.

“Mountains are part of the DNA of the Vuelta and they will make the 2023 edition very exciting, again,” said race boss Javier Guillén. “The Tourmalet will be a milestone in the history of our round and will be this year’s big fish, along with the Angliru. We also keep looking for new mountains to finish, to show great course. In that search we found finals in Larra-Belagua, Cruz de Linares and Bejes, but also mountain passes such as Larrau and Issarbe.”

Enric Mas is Happy with the Vuelta Route
Enric Mas will be going for the overall victory in the Vuelta in 2023. The second placed rider of last year thinks that the course is made for him. “What a luxury for me,” he said at the route presentation.

“I hope to make the best of it. I would like to thank the organization for this course. I love it and am happy with the tough stages. It looks really great. Despite the many tough rides, I think the organization has not gone over the line. It will be a spectacular round. One day you can lose three minutes, the next day you can take back three minutes. It will be worth watching.”

  • Stay PEZ for a ‘Vuelta’23 First Look’ from Ed Hood.

Vuelta a España 2023 Stages:
26/08 – Stage 1: Barcelona – Barcelona (14.6km, TTT)
27/08 – Stage 2: Mataró – Montjuïc/Barcelona (181.3km)
28/08 – Stage 3: Suria – Arinsal/Andorra (158.5km)
29/08 – Stage 4: Andorra La Vella – Tarragona (183.4km)
30/08 – Stage 5: Morella – Burriana (185.7km)
31/08 – Stage 6: La Vall d’Uixó – Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (181.3 km)
01/08 – Stage 7: Utiel – Oliva (188.8km)
02/08 – Stage 8: Dénia – Xorret de Cati (164.8km)
03/08 – Stage 9: Cartagena – Caravaca de la Cruz (180.9km)
Rest day
05/09 – Stage 10: Valladolid – Valladolid (25km, ITT)
06/09 – Stage 11: Lerma – La Laguna Negra (163.2km)
07/09 – Stage 12: Olvega – Zaragoza (165.4km)
08/09 – Stage 13: Formigal – Col du Tourmalet (134.7km)
09/09 – Stage 14: Sauveterre-de-Bearn – Larra Belagua (161.7km)
10/09 – Stage 15: Pamplona – Lekunberri (156.5km)
Rest day
12/09 – Stage 16: Liencres Playa – Bejes (119.7km)
13/09 – Stage 17: Ribadesella – Alto de l’Angliru (122.6km)
14/09 – Stage 18: Pola de Allande – La Cruz de Linares (178.9km)
15/09 – Stage 19: La Bañeza – Íscar (177.4km)
16/09 – Stage 20: Manzanares El Real – Guadarrama (208.4km)
17/09 – Stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela – Madrid (101km)

7 stages in the high mountains
2 flat stages with an uphill finish
6 stages in the middle mountains
4 flat stages
1 team time trial
1 individual time trial.

vuelta23

 

uae
Australian ITT Championships 2023
Still in his first days officially as a UAE Team Emirates rider, Jay Vine has hit the ground running with victory in the Australian National Time Trial Championships. The 27-year-old put in a blistering ride on the 37.5km course, clocking an average speed of 48.2 kmph and narrowly edging out TT specialist Luke Durbridge (Jayco-Alula) in second by a close 3 seconds. The result marks the first win of the season for UAE Team Emirates and is encouraging heading into the upcoming Tour Down Under which gets underway on the 17th January.

Jay Vine: “I’m super happy with this win. Time Trialing is always something I thought I could improve on, but I just hadn’t been able to go fast in a good position on the bike since turning professional. We’ve worked a lot with the team to get me in the right position, and it’s definitely working for me so far. To win the title here with the great support of my wife, friends and family is just an amazing way to start the season.”

Australian ITT Championships Result
1. Jay Vine (Aus) UAE Team Emirates at 46:38
2. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:03
3. Kelland O’Brien (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 0:26
4. Luke Plapp (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:27
5. Chris Harper (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 1:14
6. Callum Scotson (Aus) Jayco AlUla at 1:31
7. Connor Sens (Aus) Bendigo & District CC at 2:26
8. Riley Fleming (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team at 2:44
9. William Moloney-Morton (Aus) AC Bisontine at 3:04
10. Conor Leahy (Aus) Team BridgeLane at 3:51.

uae

 

uae
Tadej Pogačar Brings the Start of His Season Forward a Week
Tadej Pogačar is going to bring his season start forward, sources have told La Gazzetta dello Sport. The UAE Team Emirates leader was initially to start his season in the UAE Tour, but he may start a week earlier in the Clásica Jaén Paraiso, a gravel race in Spain.

This means that Pogačar will not start the UAE Tour on Monday, February 20, but will race for the first time in 2023 on Monday, February 13. It would be the first time since 2020 that the two-time Tour winner will not start his season in the WorldTour race in the United Arab Emirates.

The Clásica Jaén Paraiso will be held for the second time this year. Last year Alexey Lutsenko was the first winner in Andalusia, after a race of 187 kilometres with more than 3,000 metres of climbing and almost 40 kilometres of gravel roads. Pogačar won Strade Bianche last year.

Tadej Pogačar Race Schedule:
13-02 Jaen Paraiso Interior
20-02 – 26-02 UAE Tour
04-03 Strade Bianche
06-03 – 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
18-03 Milano-Sanremo
29-03 Dwars door Vlaanderen
02-04 Ronde van Vlaanderen
19-04 La Flèche Wallonne
23-04 Liège-Bastogne-Liège
01-07 – 23-07 Tour de France.

Pogačar in the dust:
strade bianche 22

 

alpecin-deceuninck
Mathieu van der Poel Announces his 2023 Race Program
Mathieu van der Poel spoke about his road program for 2023 at the Alpecin-Deceuninck media day in Spain on Wednesday. The Alpecin-Deceuninck leader will ride almost all major spring classics and will start in the Tour de France for the second year. “It’s almost a copy of two years ago,” he pointed out. Only the Amstel Gold Race is missing.

Van der Poel is currently on a training camp in Spain in preparation for the road season, but also in preparation for the Cyclocross World Championships in early February in Hoogerheide. After that World championship he takes a month off before he starts his road season in Italy.

The 27 year-old Dutchman has chosen Strade Bianche as his first race in the spring. He will then prepare for the rest of the classics in Tirreno-Adriatico, starting with Milan-Sanremo where he finished third last year. After that, it is the major spring Classics in Belgium, including the Tour of Flanders, which he has won twice.

Paris-Roubaix is also on his program. “The hunger to win ‘Roubaix’ is no greater than to win Flanders,” he admits. “I would be just as happy with Flanders as with Roubaix, of course. I haven’t won Roubaix yet, so it would be nice to add it. It’s not like I rank that higher than De Ronde.”

For now, Roubaix is the end to his spring. That means he will not be seen in the Amstel Gold Race, which he won in 2019. He also does not ride Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

In the summer, the Tour de France is the main goal, he will be looking for revenge after his disappointing Tour of 2022. In the run-up, he will ride the Tour of Switzerland. “It goes without saying that I will ride the Tour. It remains one of the biggest events in sports. In the past two years, due to circumstances, it has gone wrong to go to the end. That is the goal this year.”

Mathieu van der Poel Race Schedule:
22-01 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Benidorm
05-02 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships
04-03 Strade Bianche
06-03 – 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
18-03 Milano-Sanremo
02-04 Tour of Flanders
09-04 Paris-Roubaix
11-06 – 18-06 Tour de Suisse
01-07 – 23-07 Tour de France
13-09 UCI World Championships – Road Race.

All the usual races for Van der Poel:
Serenissima

 

ef
Uncertainty Over the Gold Letters on Richard Carapaz’s EF Kit
EF Education-EasyPost presented the new 2023 kit last week, showing Richard Carapaz getting a special edition. The Olympic champion has gold letters on his shorts and on the sleeve in the photos of the team announcement. But this is not allowed according to UCI rules.

“A real outfit for the Olympic champion. The gold accents on his jersey and shorts are subtle,” the US team wrote. In addition to the lettering on the shorts, the name of clothing sponsor Rapha is also gold on the sleeve, for all other riders it is white.

The question is whether this is allowed, because the UCI rules contain clear guidelines about the clothing for the reigning Olympic champion. Only a gold-coloured trim can be added to the standard outfit, around the sleeves and around the collar. This may be about 5 centimeters high. There is no mention of gold letters or other printing.

It isn’t know if clothing sponsor Rapha has had the special kit approved by the UCI, who must first grant permission. If that doesn’t happen, the UCI can issue fines. According to a Rapha spokesperson, the company has yet to produce Carapaz’s official race clothing.

Carapaz Olympic champion with gold writing:
ef23

 

uae
Tadej Pogačar Gets his Favourite Sports Director Back
Allan Peiper returns to UAE Team Emirates after more than a year of absence. The Australian has responded positively to the request of two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar to assist him again as part of the team staff. For health reasons, Peiper distanced himself at the end of 2021, but he is now physically able to focus on team work again. According to WielerFlits.

Peiper, who lives in Belgium, was behind Tadej Pogačar’s first Tour de France victory in 2020. The former rider always emphasized to the young Slovenian that the decision in that tour would only come on the penultimate day in the hilly time trial to La Planche des Belles-Filles. He made a master plan for that day with a well-prepared bike change for the 21 year-old Pogačar.

After Pogacars’ second Tour victory, Peiper announced in December that he would focus on his fight against cancer. “My treatment is taking its toll. So much that I can no longer perform my role in cycling the way I want to,” he said at the time.

The team still hoped that he would continue as an advisor to the team, but Peiper had to step back altogether. “My cancer treatment, which I have been undergoing for six years, has taken a huge toll. Both on a mental and physical level. So much that I can’t do my job the way I want. The past three years I have had a fantastic time at UAE. The team took me on knowing I was ill and gave me every chance. They supported me through thick and thin and showed understanding for my situation. I am grateful for that.”

At the end of 2021, team boss Mauro Gianetti was full of praise for the role Peiper had played in the team. “Although he is taking a step back, he will always be part of our team. We have learned a lot from him. His professionalism, dedication and knowledge have been invaluable to our team and we are grateful for everything he has done,” said Gianetti.

After Pogacar lost the last Tour de France to the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, various experts indicated that the Slovenian would have been tactically much smarter against the Jumbo-Visma collective if Peiper had still been involved in the sporting strategy. Pogacar would, among other things, have been much too impetuous with his powers.

WielerFlits asked Pogacar on the eve of the GP Québec what he had learned from the last Tour de France, he replied: “I learned a lot. I can’t specify exactly what, because then I let my competition look at my cards. However, it’s not like I made a big mistake. When you add up all the little mistakes, it definitely had an impact on my performance. I think I can avoid a lot of those little mistakes in the future and improve towards next season. That is why I am optimistic about the future.” In order to improve tactically and strategically, Pogačar has asked his former team DS Peiper back for this season. Peiper was also previously with Davitamon-Lotto, T-Mobile, Highroad, Garmin and BMC.

Allan Peiper to return to UAE with role of Race Analyst New part-time role created for Australian
UAE Team Emirates is pleased to welcome Allan Peiper back into the team where he will fulfil a newly designed role.

Peiper, who formerly served as Sports Director will return with the role of ‘Race Analyst’ which will see him focus on technical elements, mainly collaborating with the sporting department to strategise and prepare material ahead of key races.

Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal & CEO): “When Allan stopped for his health reasons I said there would always be a place for him and when he called me I was really happy to maintain that promise: not for the job but because he finally got back in good health, which is really the best news. In the meantime the team has grown but it is always a pleasure to have his experience and expertise close at hand.”

Allan Peiper: “Throughout the past year we’ve maintained in contact and I’m grateful to Mauro and the team for the opportunity to return.
It’s been great to see the team doing so well. I love this sport and the team so to be back involved is really good. It’s going to be a less intensive role for sure, I’m not going to be in the car like before but I’ll be able to focus on some specific elements and offer feedback to the sporting department which can hopefully be beneficial on the road.”

Allan Peiper back with UAE:
allan peiper

 

ineos23
Filippo Ganna’s Program to Giro d’Italia
Filippo Ganna previously announced that he would focus on Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d’Italia in the first half of 2023, but the Italian has now revealed more details about his plans for the coming months. In conversation with il Giornale, he said that he would go to an altitude training camp twice this spring.

It was already known that Ganna will start his season with the Vuelta a San Juan (January 22-29) in Argentina. “Then I will do the European Championships on the track in Grenchen (8-12 February), the Volta ao Algarve (15-19 February) and a short altitude training. This will be followed by Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12), Milan-Sanremo (March 18), Gent-Wevelgem (March 26) and another short period at altitude, before Paris-Roubaix (April 9).” Both monuments, Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix, are high on his wish list. “But Roubaix is a bigger goal.”

Following his spring campaign, the World Hour Record holder will start the Giro d’Italia (May 6-28). There he hopes to take the pink jersey on day one by winning the time trial. The INEOS Grenadiers time trial specialist will have to deal with Remco Evenepoel in the 18.4-kilometre chrono. “I will do my very best to beat him. And if he beats me, it won’t be the end of the world. Losing is part of cycling.”

Filippo Ganna Race Schedule:
22-01 – 29-01 Vuelta a San Juan Internacional
15-02 – 19-02 Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta
06-03 – 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
18-03 Milano-Sanremo
26-03 Ghent-Wevelgem
09-04 Paris-Roubaix
06-05 – 28-05 Giro d’Italia

Ganna in pink again in 2023?
giro ganna

 

soudal quick-step
Yves Lampaert: “Wake-up Calls from Lefevere are Sometimes Necessary”
Yves Lampaert thinks it is essential that Patrick Lefevere has put the Classic team of Soudal – Quick-Step on edge for 2023. “Sometimes a rider needs a bollocking (bolwassing), so that he does not fall asleep. Patrick has every right to do that: he is the boss and decides on our contracts,” said the Belgian in conversation with Sporza.

“He means well. Patrick wants to get the most out of his riders’ careers. His wake-up calls are sometimes necessary. It has also happened to me a few times that he has said straight out what he thinks. Fortunately, that was some time ago now.”

Lampaert can look back on an excellent 2022. He wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France and rode a good Paris-Roubaix, in which he just missed out on a podium due to a collision with a spectator.

“I was very disappointed with the Classics,” Lampaert admits. “It really looked like I could put something right in Paris-Roubaix, but I couldn’t do that because of that collision. I’m really keen to ride a good spring. If I win a cobbled Classic at all, that would be phenomenal.” Lampaert will start his season in less than two weeks. He will be alongside Remco Evenepoel in the Vuelta a San Juan, where he will spend almost three weeks preparing for the Classics.

Yves Lampaert looking forward to the Classics:
roubaix22

 

jumbo-visma
Dylan van Baarle Want’s to Win Flanders
Dylan van Baarle was described by sports manager Merijn Zeeman as a dream transfer for Jumbo-Visma last winter. He particularly praised the quality of the 30 year-old Dutchman. Van Baarle himself is the defending champion in Paris-Roubaix. “Flanders is close to my heart,” he said in a WielerFlits video.

Previously, Van Baarle was always a rider who could go for his chance with INEOS Grenadiers, in races in which Quick-Step and, in recent years, Jumbo-Visma dominated. Van Baarle thinks that he has a better chance of winning the Tour of Flanders with the Dutch team than he had with the British team. “That chance is quite big, at least for us as a team. Whether that’s me, or Wout van Aert, Tiesj Benoot or Christophe Laporte. All four can win.”

Given his qualities, it seems plausible that Van Baarle will have to attack next spring to create a tactical advantage. After all, Van Aert can then rest on his laurels, with his final shot at hand. “In theory, that’s the ideal scenario, then our competitors have to get to work. But practice must show whether this is the case. Nothing changes in my way of racing. Jumbo-Visma wants to make it an interesting race, just like me.”

With the Hell of the North already in his pocket, Van Baarle now prefers to aim at the Tour of Flanders. He would rather win it once than Paris-Roubaix again. “Flanders is something very close to my heart. I think the Tour of Flanders is a super cool race. I would like to win in this one time. And yes, then Wout can win Roubaix,” the classic specialist grined.

Dylan van Baarle Race Program:
25-02 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
26-02 Kuurne – Bruxelles – Kuurne
06-03 – 12-03 Tirreno-Adriatico
24-03 E3 Saxo Classic
29-03 Dwars door Vlaanderen
02-04 Ronde van Vlaanderen
09-04 Paris-Roubaix
16-04 Amstel Gold Race
01-07 – 23-07 Tour de France.

Dylan van Baarle want’s to win Flanders:
roubaix22m

 

ag2r cirtoen
French Cyclocross Championships (January 15)
Clément Venturini: “I took a blow to my right knee when I fell during the Zonhoven World Cup (January 8). After consulting the physio, I am a little more reassured, but it is not ideal just a few days before the French championships. My preparation however has been very good. I tested myself by riding some of the toughest cyclocross races on the calendar. With experience, I’m starting to know myself and I think I’m in better than decent shape. Sunday, I will ride like I have never been French champion before. I want to relive the pleasure and the honor of wearing the tricolor jersey. I race cyclocross with a double challenge: to have fun and make the team colors shine, but it’s also good preparation for the road season.”

Clément Venturini has been French elite cyclocross champion four times: 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 2022, he finished fifth in the UCI cyclocross world championships in Fayetteville (USA).

Clément Venturini French cross champ again?
Clément Venturini

 

astana 2022
Cavendish Can’t Take Trainer to Astana
Mark Cavendish wanted to take his trainer Vasilis Anastopoulos to Astana Qazaqstan, but that didn’t work out. Last week, the Greek coach was presented as part of the Soudal Quick-Step staff.

Cavendish, who didn’t get a contract extension with Patrick Lefevere’s Belgian team, wanted to take his trainer to the Astana Qazaqstan team. The British sprinter is about to sign a contract with the WorldTeam, along with Cees Bol. Both have yet to be presented.

Reportedly, Anastopoulos was also interested in switching to Astana Qazaqstan. Talks did take place for him to become a coach at Alexander Vinokourov’s team, but the deal has not been finalised. Soudal Quick-Step confirmed that the Greek will remain part of the full-time staff in 2023.

Cavendish was full of praise for his collaboration with Anastopoulos. “I would have preferred to have met him ten years ago,” the sprinter told Procycling at the end of 2021. “Every pedal revolution he follows me. He invests a lot of time in me and is very passionate. He knows how to get so much out of me.”

Vasilis Anastopoulos staying with Soudal Quick-Step:
Vasilis Anastopoulos

 

movistar
Iván Ramiro Sosa and the Truck Driver who Attacked him Both in Court
After the incident while training, both Iván Ramiro Sosa and the man accused of assaulting him have been brought to court. Colombian state television channel Canal1 reported. The Movistar rider is said to have been hit with the handle of a revolver by a truck driver during a training session in Colombia.

According to the current report of the Colombian police, Sosa would have caused damage to the driver’s truck before the scuffle. The Colombian rider is said to have thrown water at the truck driver in question, as well as a stone at the truck’s windshield. He did this after the truck driver made a dangerous manoeuvre.

After the incident, Sosa spent some time in hospital being treated for his injuries. The truck driver was arrested by the police shortly after the incident, after which he voluntarily handed over the revolver with which he allegedly hit Sosa. He legally owned the weapon.

Both Sosa and the truck driver have now been brought before the authorities. The driver of the truck must answer for causing injury to Sosa, while Sosa has been arraigned for causing damage to other people’s property. Meanwhile, the 25 year-old climber spoke on social media for the first time. “I want to thank everyone for the many messages and support. It was a shocking event, but I feel good now,” he wrote.

Sosa in court after being attacked:
asturias22 st2

 

ef
Carapaz Recovering from Tonsillectomy
For years, his tonsils often became infected, inevitably affecting his ability to train and race. After consulting with the team, Richard Carapaz underwent surgery in December to have his tonsils removed.

“I had this problem for about three years, a recurring problem of tonsil infections. When I was at camp, I had consulted with the team to have a tonsillectomy because last year I had had many recurrent infections and in the end it was becoming a problem. Wherever I went and whatever I did, I always had this problem. At the end of the day, it is a nuisance,” the 29 year-old Richard Carapaz says.

The surgery took place in Richard’s home country of Ecuador in mid-December and the procedure itself went well, though Richard’s recovery has taken longer than initially expected.

“Richard Carapaz had a planned tonsillectomy the week before Christmas in Ecuador. The surgery was successful but he had a minor complication during the recovery which saw bleeding from the tonsils. He has had two and a half weeks off the bike and is now back to training normally,” says EF Education-EasyPost team doctor Jon Greenwell.

As is common with tonsillectomy, Richard also experienced a great deal of inflammation, essentially restricting him to liquids, porridge, and soft fruits for about ten days.

After more than two weeks on a total hiatus from training, Richard was given the green light by his doctors to resume light training early in the new year.

“The first day, I was a little awkward on the bike,” he says. “The first few days I started with a couple of hours, just two or three. [This week] I will begin to add on a little more. I think things are getting back to where they belong again, the body adapting to the bike again and returning to routine.”

“Richard’s health and the health of all our riders is always our first priority. This isn’t a longterm setback for him, though we may need to adjust some of his spring goals. His main objective, the Tour de France, is still on track,” says team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “The performance staff and Richard will work together to ease back into racing at a pace that makes sense.”

Though he was disappointed that his recovery meant he had to forgo the traditional turkey dinner at Christmas, Richard was happy just to be with family for the holidays and looks forward to eventually getting back to full training.

“The holidays were a little quieter than usual but the important thing is that I got to be with my family and could enjoy each moment,” he says. “I can start thinking now about starting to structure good training sessions and, above all, to start the year off right.”

Tonsil operation for Carapaz:
vuelta2st19

 

alpecin-deceuninck
Quinten Hermans Starts Road Season in the Algarve
Quinten Hermans rode his last cross of this winter in the Zonhoven World Cup. From now on he will focus on the road season. He will start his spring campaign with the Volta ao Algarve, which will take place from 15 to 19 February.

“After that I will go altitude training to be top in the Ardennes classics,” Hermans told Het Laatste Nieuws. “My main goal will be the week of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I may ride one more Flemish cobblestone classic, but that has not been decided yet.” The Strade Bianche, where he finished 54th last year, will certainly not be on the menu for the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider.

Last year, Hermans, then with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, surprised with a second place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A year earlier he was fourteenth in the Waalse Pijl and twentieth in the Amstel Gold Race.

Hermans participated in eleven crosses in recent months. Once, in the Kermiscross Ardooie (C2), he managed to win, but otherwise he was never on the podium. “I might have expected a bit more from it, but the level of competition is just very high and I’ve only been on the bike for five and a half weeks. Then you cannot expect miracles.”

A win in the Belgium Tour for Hermans in 2022:
belgiumtour22 st4

 

israel
Froome, Impey and Clarke to the Tour Down Under with Israel-Premier Tech
Chris Froome will start the Tour Down Under for the second time in his career. The four-time Tour winner also rode in 2010, his debut year for Team Sky and now, at 37, Froome is back with Israel-Premier Tech.

Froome is not the only experienced rider in the Israel-Premier Tech team, Australian Simon Clarke and South African Daryl Impey will also be there. Sebastian Berwick and Taj Jones, also Australian and New Zealand sprinter Corbin Strong and Canadian Derek Gee complete the selection.

Israel-Premier Tech was relegated from the WorldTour last season, but can still participate in the Tour Down Under as a ProTeam. The UCI has recently decided that the Israeli team will automatically receive a wildcard for all WorldTour races, except for the Grand Tours. This is to maintain stability within the team.

“Despite the fact that we received an invitation late, I still hope to do my best,” said Impey. “Hopefully I can help Corbin Strong and support the rest of the squad in the finals. My role will be a bit different from other years, but I am motivated to start my 2023 season in Adelaide.”

Israel-Premier Tech team for Santos Tour Down Under
Derek Gee
Sebastian Berwick
Simon Clarke
Chris Froome
Daryl Impey
Taj Jones
Corbin Strong.

Chris Froome to the TDU:
tdf22st12

 

uae
Squad announced for Down Under as season gets underway
World Tour calendar begins in Oz after 2-year hiatus

UAE Team Emirates have announced the team to take on the first challenge of the year as the team heads to Australia for the Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 Jan). The six days of competition will be based in and around Adelaide, kicking off with a 5.5km prologue. It will be the first time the race has been held since 2020, where Diego Ulissi climbed the podium for 2nd overall. This year the UAE contingent will be captained by the experienced head of George Bennett on the road with the likes of Marc Hirschi and local rider Jay Vine capable of contesting for the overall podium.

Vine is excited to make his Tour Down Under debut in his home race.

Jay Vine: “I’m really looking forward to starting my first World Tour event as a World Tour rider.We have a really strong team coming into the race with plenty of options for wins. This race has been postponed the last couple of years so everyone in Australia is excited to get it back and us riders feel the same. It’s been a really good build up with the new team and we’re coming in off a solid training camp together before Christmas so now I’m just keen to show my strengths with the new colours on.”

The team will be guided by Sports Director Marco Marcato (Ita) who will oversee the seven man squad:

Santos Tour Down Under [2.UWT] – 17-Jan-2023 / 22-Jan-2023
Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
George Bennett (NZ)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Finn Fisher Black (NZ)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Jay Vine (Aus)
Michael Vink (NZ)

The same team will also take part in the Schwalbe Classic criterium (14 January) and the first single-day World Tour race of the calendar the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 January).

tdu

 

arkea
Arkéa-Samic Tour Down Under Riders
the Arkéa-Samsic team will make its WorldTour debut next week in the Tour Down Under. The French team managed to gain promotion to the top division of cycling for 2023. In Australia, where the team also competes in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Arkéa-Samsic starts with almost all French riders.

Their hopes for success will be pinned on sprinter Hugo Hofstetter and climber Élie Gesbert. For the 28-year-old Hofstetter it will be his first participation in the Tour Down Under. “I have already ridden the Vuelta a San Juan, but wanted to race in Australia at least once in my career,” he said on the team website.

“It is good to do something different with my competition program. I want to break that monotony, because I have often started my season in Europe,” said the French sprinter. “The fact that this is a WorldTour race with bunch sprint opportunities means that I have high ambitions.”

With two leaders, Arkéa-Samsic sports director Yvon Caër admits that Gesbert get space to ride for a good overall place. “And it ensures that we have something to drive for every day. All lights are green for Élie, who is always good early in the season and can also handle heat well. He has already shown that several times in the Tour of Oman.”

Arkéa-Samsic to the Santos Tour Down Under:
Ewen Costiou
Mathis Leberre
Elie Gesbert
Kevin Ledanois
Alessandro Verre
Hugo Hofstetter
Lukasz Owsian.

Stage wins for Hugo Hofstetter:

 

ineos23
INEOS Grenadiers Tour Down Under Roster
INEOS Grenadiers sends former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas to the Tour Down Under. The Welshman has sprinter and climber Ethan Hayter and the new Australian champion Luke Plapp with him.

This is not the first time that Thomas has started his season in the Tour Down Under as he has ridden the Australian stage race eight times. His best final result was ten years ago, when he finished 3rd in the Tour Down Under 2013. A year later he finished eighth overall.

Luke Plapp, who successfully defended his Australian road title last weekend, is the only home rider in the squad. He could also go for a good GC just like Thomas and Ethan Hayter. The American Magnus Sheffield could also pull off a surprise.

The selection is completed by the German Kim Heiduk, the experienced Ben Swift and debutant Leo Hayter, the younger brother of Ethan who won the Giro d’Italia U23 last year.

INEOS Grenadiers team for the Santos Tour Down Under:
Ben Swift
Kim Heiduk
Magnus Sheffield
Geraint Thomas
Ethan Hayter
Leo Hayter
Lucas Plapp

National champion Lucas Plapp in his home stage race:
australia

 

movistar
Movistar a Man Down in the Tour Down Under
Movistar will start the Santos Tour Down Under with six instead of seven riders. Óscar Rodríguez, who was part of the original selection, didn’t travel to Australia due to stomach problems. The Spanish team reported on social media.

“Óscar Rodríguez will not be in the final team for the Australian stage race after suffering stomach problems just hours before the trip,” writes Movistar. “The team’s medical staff has advised against the trip. He will not be replaced, which means that Movistar will start with six riders.”

Those six riders are Iván Romeo, Gorka Izagirre, Imanol Erviti, Johan Jacobs, Sergio Samitier and Lluís Mas. The Santos Tour Down Under kicks off Tuesday, January 17 with a prologue in Adelaide. The six-day stage race ends on Sunday 22 January with a stage to Mount Lofty.

Movistar for Santos Tour Down Under:
Gorka Izagirre
John Jacobs
Sergio Samitier
Lluis Guillermo Mas
Ivan Romero
Imanol Erviti.

No Óscar Rodríguez for the TDU:
Óscar Rodríguez

 

astana 2022
Astana Qazaqstan to the Tour Down Under
Astana Qazaqstan is taking two experienced riders to the Tour Down Under. Luis Léon Sánchez will be a leader after his comeback to the Kazakhstani team and he shares that role in the opener of the WorldTour 2023 with Gianni Moscon.

The now 39 year-old Sánchez raced for Astana from 2015 to 2021, but left for Bahrain Victorious, only to return after a year. He will be riding the Tour Down Under for the thirteenth time. In 2005, Sánchez managed to win overall. He also finished second twice, in 2006 and in 2010.

For Gianni Moscon it is his debut in the Australian stage race. With them will be Manuele Boaro, Fabio Felline and Leonardo Basso. Astana Qazaqstan will have Martin Laas for the sprints, Dmitry Gruzdev is the only Kazakh in the team.

The Tour Down Under will be held from January 17-22, but on Saturday January 14 there will be a criterium in Adelaide as a warm-up for the stage race.

Astana Qazaqstan team for Santos Tour Down Under:
Fabio Felline
Martin Laas
Dmitriy Gruzdev
Leonardo Basso
Luis Leon Sánchez
Gianni Moscon
Manual Boaro.

LL Sánchez the Astana leader in the TDU:

 

ag2r cirtoen
Santos Tour Down Under (January 17-22)
Ben O’Connor: “My preparation for this new season has been excellent. I feel very good and I am in a good state of mind. I am enthusiastic and motivated at the idea of returning to competition with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. Racing in Australia, “at home”, is always a pleasant feeling. The Santos Tour Down Under is always lively and there is real excitement around us. The atmosphere promises to be beautiful for the week. I can’t wait to see what will come out of it, but I hope to be competitive to try things and have fun.”

Ben O’Connor took seventh place in the Australian Road Race Championships on Sunday, 8 January. This is his fourth participation in the Santos Tour Down Under after 2017, 2018 and 2019.

ag2r

 

soudal quick-step
Soudal Quick-Step to the Tour Down Under
The race will take place between 17-22 January.

For the first time since 2020, the Tour Down Under will open the World Tour calendar, a 5.5km prologue kicking off proceedings at the 23rd edition, which promises to give the sprinters at most two opportunities to fight for victory. Surprisingly, one of these will come on the Willunga stage, meaning that this year the now iconic climb of the race won’t make an appearance, with the spotlight now being on the ascent of Mount Lofty, a climb never before used at the Tour Down Under.

Featuring on the final day of the race, one taking in an elevation gain of more than 3000 meters, Mount Lofty will come at the end of a stage punctuated by numerous short but demanding hills, and will average 7.3% over 1300 meters, with the steepest part coming beyond the flamme rouge.

Mattia Cattaneo, Dries Devenyns, James Knox, Mauro Schmid, Jannik Steimle, Martin Svrcek and Stan Van Tricht will be the seven riders lining up for Soudal Quick-Step in Adelaide, where our 21st season will officially commence next week.

“It won’t be an easy Tour Down Under, that’s for sure. It’s an unusual edition, with a short opening stage against the clock – where we hope to place some of our guys in the top 10 – and not that many chances for the sprinters. On some of the days, we can expect smaller groups to fight for victory – and our objective is to be there and try something – before the main showdown on the hard Mount Lofty”, explained sports director Geert Van Bondt. “We have a strong and motivated squad, with the experienced Dries as our road captain, and guys like Mattia, Jannik or Mauro who can be in the mix and get some good results during the week.”

17.01–22.01 Santos Tour Down Under (AUS) 2.UWT
Riders:

Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauro Schmid (SUI)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Martin Svrcek (SVK)
Stan Van Tricht (BEL).
Sports Director: Geert Van Bondt (BEL).

Dries Devenyns to TDU:
quick-step

 

dsm
Tour Down Under – JAN 17 – 22
Luke Roberts – Team DSM coach: “After a two year absence from the calendar we are very happy to be returning to Australia to kick off the season at the Tour Down Under. This year promises to be exciting racing with the inclusion of some challenging climbs coming late in the stages. Starting out with a 5.5 kilometre prologue the general classification will be sorted slightly from the beginning, then we will expect a race for bonus seconds throughout the week. The finishes on stage three into Campbelltown and the final stage up to Mount Lofty will be the chance for the better climbers to make the difference over the fast men. With Patrick and Chris we have two riders that know the race well and have proven themselves in previous editions, so our goal will be to target a top result in the overall classification.”

Line-up:
Patrick Bevin (NZL)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Matthew Dinham (AUS)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Martijn Tusveld (NED).

More success for Patrick Bevin in the TDU?
bevin

 

fenix
Ciclismo Mundial Completes Structure with Development Team Fenix-Deceuninck
After the creation of a development team for our men’s team Alpecin-Deceuninck, there will also be a continental team for Fenix-Deceuninck. With this, the team confirms its commitment to gender equality and development.

“We see this as a logical step in our growth. The women’s development team completes the structure. Where we want to offer the same chances to women as to men, we also see this as a necessary step to be future-proof, both towards riders and partners. And future is a synonym for development.

Both our women’s and men’s development team will have the continental status. It allows us to mix with the WT-teams in order to adjust the rhythm of development during the season in a way that it becomes tailor-made.

To complete the pyramid, we intensify our 5-year collaboration with the WAC TEAM. They have over 125 members, girls and boys until U19, including G-sports. All riders wear the symbolic MerciPoupou-jersey: this is not only a way to show the connection with Alpecin-Deceuninck/Fenix-Deceuninck but it also symbolizes the passing on the passion for cycling from grandparent to grandchild. It’s a way to make cycling more accessible to the youth.”

fenix

 

Q36.5
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team Unveils 2023 Kit and Elite Partnerships with Scott, SRAM, Syncros, Breitling & UBS
The official Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team presentation took place this Tuesday, January 10th in Zurich, Switzerland. The 2023 jersey of our Swiss-registered UCI ProTeam by Q36.5 was unveiled as well key partnerships, namely SCOTT – official bike supplier – SRAM, Synchros, Breitling and UBS.

The team presentation and kit launch took place in the Kongresshaus in the heart of Zurich and was attended by management, new partners, media and technical advisor and cycling legend Vincenzo Nibali. Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team riders sported the team jersey for the very first time, showcasing our key sponsors and revealed the SCOTT Foil RC, in custom paint job, matching the team’s colorway.

In its debut season Q36.5 Pro Cycling team will champion innovation in professional cycling and have partnered with exciting, and likeminded brands who share our values for progress, social mobility and performance excellence.

q36.5

The official Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team Cycling kit features Q36.5’s most advanced RaceWear pieces: the signature R2 Jersey and Gregarius Ultra Bib Shorts. Handcrafted in Italy with award-winning fabrics and technologies, they reflect our vision of #RacingTheFuture and are designed for the demands of the professional peloton, meeting the highest standards of fit, performance and durability.

The distinctive gray, white and black color pattern is highlighted by lime body sensor motifs that symbolize Q36.5’s groundbreaking body-mapping and thermoregulation technology.

With only 110 grams, the R2 Jersey is extremely lightweight, breathable and super fast-drying, combining 4 proprietary fabrics and 11 patterns, all strategically placed to allow for maximum aerodynamics and thermoregulation.

Q36.5

The Gregarius Ultra Bibs are equally lightweight, with 175 grams, and sport Q36.5’s Super Moulded Chamois, Tabular Strap System and Leg-band Finishing, all developed by their in-house R&D team for optimal RaceWear benefits and power transfer.

Underlining our shared commitment for a more sustainable sport, the Q36.5 Pro Team bibs are made from 100% recycled yarns, whilst the Jersey is produced using 70% recycled yarns. Entirely sourced, handcrafted and made within a 350km radius of their Bolzano headquarters, they’re bringing sustainability and performance cycling clothing to the next level.

SCOTT joins as official bike supplier

Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team proudly announces that it has partnered with SCOTT on a multi-year sponsorship deal. SCOTT will provide the team with premium, race-proven road bikes, as well as with high-performance helmets and eyewear.

As one of leading brands in road bike manufacturing, SCOTT stands for innovation, technology and design, developing some of the fastest road bikes in the world. In the 2023 season our riders will be racing in the all-new SCOTT Foil RC and SCOTT Plasma.

“It is a privilege to support Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team, a young, exciting team with a progressive and modern approach to professional cycling. We have many shared values with the team partners and are all committed to the same long-term vision and ambition. This is an exciting time for professional cycling as we look to support Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team on their journey,” comments Pascal Ducrot, Vice President, SCOTT Sports.

This new partnership marks SCOTT’s return to Pro Tour sponsorship and represents the Swiss brand’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team. Furthermore, SCOTT proudly shares the team’s vision of making a positive social impact and empowering communities through bicycles, beyond the world of pro-cycling.

“We’re excited to partner with SCOTT as our bike, helmet and eyewear partner into the future. SCOTT are innovators with a rich history in professional cycling and this partnership has helped us secure the riders we have today. When riders are committed to join a new project because of the partnerships and equipment, you know you have a great foundation to build from,” comments Douglas Ryder, General Manager, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team.

Q36.5

Syncros, a brand within the SCOTT Group, has also announced its partnership with Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team as the official supplier of bike components, including saddles, cockpits, and seatposts. SRAM completes the set-up as supplier of drivetrain components and Zipp wheels in a significant sponsorship that once again sees SCOTT and SRAM collaborating on a Pro Tour team.

“At SCOTT, it’s invaluable to work with a great caliber of riders and have them using our products under the toughest race conditions. Also, thanks to our long-standing relationship with SRAM through 20 years of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing, we’re delighted to join forces now on this exciting road team together. This is a great opportunity for our two brands to share competences and support riders across the two teams,” adds Pascal Ducrot, Vice President, SCOTT Sports.

For the 2023 season Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team will be taking the start line at races around the world on SCOTT Foil RC, SCOTT Cadence and Centric helmets, SCOTT performance sunglasses, and Syncros Tofino and Belcarra saddles.

The Future is BREITLING

In its first-ever cycling team sponsorship, Swiss watchmaker Breitling will support Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team on their mission to reach the World Tour. Breitling owns a long history of serving as the official timekeeper for major cycling events, including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and with this unprecedented partnership further underlines its commitment to the sport.

Combining classic watchmaking with the latest innovations, Breitling adds a new chapter to its long-standing affiliation in the world of professional cycling by empowering Q36.5 Pro Cycling to challenge the status quo and leave our mark in the biggest bike races in the World.

“Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It’s also a big part of our history and we needed the right partner with a strong vision to carry this heritage into the future,” said Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling. “Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team, with its ambitions to perform at a world-class level while making a positive social and environmental impact, proved the model team to put our support behind.”

As a longtime supporter of an organization that supplies bicycles to remote communities in South-Africa, Breitling is fully aligned with Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team’s vision that bicycles move society forward in a sustainable way.

Q36.5

“With progress at the heart of who we are, one of our goals is to leverage our international team and global racing calendar to raise awareness to the benefits of social mobility, through education, and physical mobility in Africa. Another is to reduce our carbon footprint, minimizing the use of plastics and showcasing the benefits of cycling as a means of building healthier and more sustainable communities. This all ties into our mission statement of ‘Racing the Future’ to make the world a better place for all,” said Doug Ryder.

Breitling will provide Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team with a range of chronographs, including the Endurance Pro, which has been specially designed for the team and features the team’s colors.

UBS & Mercedes partner up with Q36.5 Pro Cycling
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is equally proud and honored to announce the partnership with UBS, the leading global wealth manager. Whilst sharing our values of creating impactful opportunities for communities, the support of UBS throughout 2023 and beyond will enable our team to pursue sports excellence as we look to racing the future.

Finally, Mercedes Benz as joined forces with Q36.5 Pro Cycling and will provide the team will a full fleet of racing and logistics vehicles as we race to empower people and progress the sport.

Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team will make the 2023 racing debut at the upcoming Saudi Tour (30 Jan – 3 Feb) and show their colors in Europe for the very first time one day later at the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana.

Q36.5

 

china glory
Maarten Tjallingii Leaves Chinese Project after One Year
Maarten Tjallingii has left as manager of the Chinese Continental China Glory Cycling Team. Last year, the Dutch former rider was the initiator of the project to train Chinese talents to become fully-fledged professionals. Tjallingii worked together with Amaël Moinard, who is also leaving.

The plan was to use experienced cyclists from the European peloton as mentors for the Chinese talents. Etienne van Empel, Reinier Honig, Sean Bennett and Willie Smit, among others, were employed for this task. China Glory ere invited to the Arctic Race of Norway, Antwerp Port Epic, the Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic, the Tour of Turkey and other events.

“China Glory has allowed me to create a vision for the future, towards the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, and I am grateful to the team for that,” said Tjallingii. “Within five weeks we had to build a professional team from scratch. I can’t recommend that to anyone. It has shown me the value of building relationships with people. You have to keep investing in that.”

According to the former LottoNL-Jumbo rider, it was his dream to lead a team. “That meant that I spent countless hours on the phone and in Zoom meetings. I’m almost ashamed that in 2022 I spoke more to my team than to my family,” he said. But now Tjallingii is leaving after a year. “The team has a solid foundation, and I am proud of that. I will keep an eye on all the talents that will be in the team next year.”

The Chinese cycling federation CCA has always had a major role in the continental team of Tjallingii and Moinard, and now the federation is back in charge of management. The French sports director Lionel Marie will remain active at China Glory as a DS.

Maarten Tjallingii moves on:
Maarten Tjallingii

 

hagens
New Kit for Hagens Berman Axeon
The Hagens Berman Axeon team have released their kit for 2023. The riders of the American team, who raced in a light blue and purple jersey last year, will be seen in black next year. On top of this base color are ‘paint splashes’.

The paint splatters are white and different shades of blue. A straight, purple stripe also stands out on the back.

hagens

 

saudi
Saudi Tour 2023: In Geological Wonderland
For the second year running, the Saudi Tour, of which this is the third edition after a successful launch in 2020, is concentrated in the region of AlUla, an increasingly popular tourist destination in Saudi Arabia strongly linked to cycling. In 2022, the peloton rode through Hegra – the first place in Saudi Arabia designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (in 2008) – on a 7.5km stretch of an eight meters wide graveled road, just before Caleb Ewan’s win at Winter Park.

Early season races in the Middle East (since the turn of the 21st century) have built a reputation for themselves as a sprinter’s paradise. In fact, Dylan Groenewegen won the other two flat stages last year, but the Saudi Tour showed that in five days, all types of cyclists could find a way to express themselves. The event therefore returns to the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid, where Maxim Van Gils had sealed his final victory. The final consists of a 2,8km long ascent at 12% with a section at 22% preceding 7km on a plateau offering a lunar landscape. This steep route led to a wonderful fight where the 2022 Giro stage Winner, Santiago Buitrago was beautifully trapped by the young Belgian.

At the end of stage 3, the 2023 Saudi Tour also returns to Abu Rakah where the Colombian from Bahrain Victorious had preceded Andrea Bagioli. “But it is not the same finale, the approach to this one is less steep”, warns technical director Jean-Marc Marino. The new course features a 1.5km slope at an average of 8.5% followed by a flat kilometer to finish. It’s a puncher’s affair.

Once the difficulties on the route were established, the course designers could then focus on showcasing the local sceneries: “the general desire is to highlight all the sites of the AlUla region designated by UNESCO”, Marino informs. It is also an archaeological site that has been inhabited for over 200,000 years. Listed as a World Heritage Site since the end of 2022, it features rock formations resembling kites.

The old Al Manshiyah train station, refurbished and recently reopened to the public, also listed as “Heritage Site”, will host the start of stage 3 while Maraya, on the program for the last two days, represents the other novelty of the route. Its concert hall, a masterpiece of engineering amidst sandstone cliffs, is recognized as the world’s largest building covered with mirrors. It will mark the finishing point of this third Saudi Tour, on a newly asphalted road with the last 500 meters at an average gradient of 6%. After the sprinters, the punchy climbers, the climbers and possibly the echelons’ experts (if the wind is part of the game), a punchy sprinter should have the last word on this final stage.

Key points:

  • The third edition of the Saudi Tour, a 2.1 stage race on the UCI calendar sanctioned by the Saudi Arabia Cycling Federation, will feature five stages, suitable for sprinters, explosive riders and climbers, from January 30 to February 3rd.
  • The route, located in the north-west of the country around the wonders of AlUla, returns to the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid and showcases other World Heritage Sites recently designated by UNESCO.

The stages of the 2023 Saudi Tour:
Stage 1, Monday, January 30th: AlUla International Airport – Khaybar, 180,5km
Stage 2, Tuesday, January 31st: Winter Park – Shalal Sijlyat Rocks, 184 km
Stage 3, Wednesday, February 1st: Al Manshiyah Train Station – Abu Rakah, 159,2 km
Stage 4, Thursday, February 2nd: Maraya – Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid, 163,4 km
Stage 5, Friday, February 3rd: AlUla Old Town – Maraya, 142,9 km

The 16 teams selected
7 UCI WorldTeams:

Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Cofidis (Fra)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team DSM (Ned)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

6 UCI ProTeams:
Bingoal WB (Bel)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (Esp)
Human Powered Health (Usa)
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team (Sui)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Nor)
Team Corratec (Ita)

With these 13 teams, 3 more are selected:
Saudi Arabian Cycling Federation (Sau)
Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team (Mas)
JCL Team Ukyo (Jap).

saudi 2023

 

human powered health
Human Powered Health Signs Sebastian Schönberger from B&B
Sebastian Schönberger will be part of the professional peloton in 2023. The Austrian, who was without a team due to the dissapearance of B&B Hotels-KTM, has signed a contract with Human Powered Health. “I am very happy to be with the team, because it has been a stressful few months,” he said on the website of his new team.

“I am very much looking forward to this new adventure,” continued the 28 year-old rider, who is currently on a training camp in Portugal with the American ProTeam. “It is the first time in a long time that I can communicate completely in English and I really like the team’s strategy. I hope I can add something with my experience. I think I can achieve good results with the team. I am very much looking forward to finishing my competition program, because it suits me. I am motivated and the mentality here is good for me.”

Schönberger turned professional halfway through the 2018 season with Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia, after racing at Continental level for many years. In 2020 he joined B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM, for which he would ride for three years. In 2021 he finished third in the Tour de Vendée (1.1), in 2022 he took sixth place in the Boucles de l’Aulne-Châteaulin. Schönberger also finished the Tour de France last season. He finished 33rd in the final standings.

Sebastian Schönberger to Human Powered Health:
Sebastian Schönberger

 


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