EUROTRASH Thursday: New Bikes, New Kit and All the News for a New Season
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Never a dull moment in the cycling world: Serge Pauwels understands Xandres Vervloesem leaving cycling at 22 – TOP STORY.
Rider news: Mathieu van der Poel tests a new bike, Remco Evenepoel to Argentina, Julian Alaphilippe not riding the Flemish weekend, Caleb Ewan early season program, Fernando Gaviria looks ahead, Clément Venturini back to cross, Toon Aerts to receive an answer from the UCI, Dylan van Baarle had an incredible spring, Chantal Blaak tested positive, Stijn Steels and Cyril Lemoine retire, Joaquim Rodríguez had heart problems, Tom Dumoulin will have his own race in 2023, Stijn Steels and Cyril Lemoine retire and Arnaud De Lie to ride two monuments but no Grand Tour.
Team news: AlUla Second sponsor with Jayco, Klaas Lodewyck on Evenepoel’s Vuelta win, INEOS Grenadiers, Lotto Dstny and Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè new kit for 2023, BetCity is new sponsor for Jumbo-Visma, TNN and Astana Qazaqstan development team rosters, Movistar presents its ambitions for 2023 and top pro cycling teams create Web3 Fan Universe.
Race news: UAE Tour returns to the WorldTour in 2023, 2023 Vuelta a España to start in Barcelona’s Olympic Port, Volta ao Algarve 2023 route and 2024 Tour de France Grand Départ: First time’s a charm for Italy.
Davide Rebellin’s Autopsy shows his collision with the truck was fatal.
TOP STORY: Serge Pauwels Understands Vervloesem: “Mental often ends up in the background”
Xandres Vervloesem announced his retirement as a cyclist earlier this week. The 22-year-old Belgian has come to the conclusion that cycling does not make him happy anymore. Serge Pauwels, Development Coach at Belgian Cycling, can empathise with his young compatriot. “Data analysis is indispensable, but it is a knife that can cut both ways,” he said to Sporza.
Vervloesem was not so impressed by the harder side of cycling. “I lived like a priest because I thought racing would make me happy, but I was definitely not happy,” he told Sporza. “The fun started to ebb away when I joined the Team DSM training team as an 18 year-old. Suddenly I found out that being a cyclist is much more than just riding a bike fast. Data suddenly determined my life and that was a bitter blow to me.”
Pauwels realises that there is a so-called data culture nowadays. “Data analysis is indispensable, because measuring is knowing. But it is a knife that can cut both ways. For example, if you do not achieve the desired wattage per kilogram, you will be confronted with this as a cyclist. A performance is always reduced to what power the riders have pushed and that is a trend that is frightening.”
“It also takes away the charm of cycling. Cycling is for winning and that will be lost,” Pauwels believes. “If you ask a rider how he feels, he will often look at his or her watch first. It’s fine, they reply. ‘Because my watch said I slept well last night’. But in certain cases, riders would rather listen to their bodies than just rely on the data.”
Pauwels sees a middle ground. “If dealing with data is necessary in cycling, then I can understand that some riders do not get satisfaction from it. It is important to make young riders more aware of data. That is more important than overwhelming them with data. At Belgian Cycling we have a mental support team. Mental strength is difficult to measure alone. That is probably also the reason why the mental often ends up in the background when guiding a cyclist.”
Xandres Vervloesem left cycling at 22:
Mathieu van der Poel Tests a New Bike
It looks like Canyon is working on a new Aeroad. WielerFlits published photos of Mathieu van der Poel testing a new prototype frame, which is very similar to the current Aeroad.
Canyon launched the latest edition Aeroad two years ago, but a new version seems imminent. Mathieu van der Poel can be seen in two different images on a matt black Canyon race bike. The first photo was briefly in Gianni Vermeersch’s Instagram and on Van der Poel’s Strava, but has since been removed. The other image is from a video.
Canyon confirmed to WielerFlits that the frame is a prototype and “something we are working on,” but they are not saying anything about the frame. Given the great similarities, it seems to be a new version of Canyon’s aero bike: the Aeroad. The frame does not show major changes from the current Aeroad. Where the top tube and the seat tube meet, they are at right angles to each other in the current model, but it is triangular in the prototype with an extra piece of carbon on the inside of the frame. The head tube, seen from the side, looks narrower. The seat stays also look slightly different as they are slightly lower.
That a new Aeroad is coming is no surprise as the current model has had its problems. The launch was initially postponed in the spring of 2021 by Canyon and then a few months after it had been presented, when Mathieu van der Poel broke his handlebars during Le Samyn. At the time, Canyon advised all users of that Aeroad to not ride the bike until they came up with a solution. Although the problem was in the cockpit and not the frame of the bike itself, it still affected the Aeroad. Especially since the cockpit was launched at the same time as the Aeroad.
Mathieu van der Poel has announced his race schedule up to the 2023 Tour de France.
Van der Poel’s Race Program:
23-12 Exact Cross Mol – Zilvermeercross – 2022
26-12 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Gavere – 2022
27-12 Superprestige Heusden-Zolder – 2022
28-12 Superprestige Diegem – 2022
30-12 Exact Cross Loenhout – 2022
03-01 X2O Trophy Herentals – 2023
05-01 X2O Trophy Koksijde – Flemish Duinencross – 2023
08-01 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Zonhoven – 2023
22-01 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Benidorm – 2023
05-02 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships – 2023
18-03 Milano-Sanremo – 2023
02-04 Tour of Flanders – 2023
09-04 Paris-Roubaix – 2023
01-07 – 23-07 Tour de France – 2023.
Remco Evenepoel to Start the Season in Argentina
The current World Champion has announced that he will begin his 2023 campaign at the Vuelta a San Juan, in January.
A neo-pro in 2019, Remco kicked off his first year with the Wolfpack at the Vuelta a San Juan, where he enjoyed a solid start to his career, taking third in the individual time trial and the best young rider jersey, as well as helping teammate Julian Alaphilippe finish on the race’s overall podium.
One year later, he returned at the start, and after an impressive demonstration, he was crowned winner of the event, becoming the first Belgian to triumph there in 38 editions.
In 2023, Remco will be present again in Argentina, this time as World Champion, ready to start his fifth season with Soudal Quick-Step. It will be Evenepoel’s – who’ll celebrate his 23rd birthday during the race – first stage race since coming out on top at the Vuelta a España.
“I’m happy to race again in San Juan. It was my first race as a pro in 2019, I have a lot of great memories from my previous outings in Argentina, and I’m delighted to start my year in the rainbow jersey there. I hope to see many of those amazing fans on the road and I can’t wait to debut my Soudal Quick-Step World Champion jersey in a couple of weeks”, said Remco about the race which will take place between 22-29 January.
Evenepoel to Argentina:
Julian Alaphilippe Not Riding the Flemish Opening Weekend
Julian Alaphilippe previously said he would be at the start of some Flemish Classics in 2023, but the Frenchman will now not be seen in the Flemish opening weekend. Alaphilippe prefers the Faun-Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic on the same weekend of February 25 and 26.
On February 25 and 26, are the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but France is also full on with the Faun-Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic. Guillaume Delpech, chairman of the organising committee behind the two French one-day races, announced to the media that two-time World champion Alaphilippe would be at the start of the 1.Pro races.
Alaphilippe is not the only interesting name on the start list of the Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Drôme Classic. Delpech also announced that Romain Bardet and Rémi Cavagna would also be there. Alaphilippe participated in the two French one-day races last season. In the Faun-Ardèche Classic he was 25th, while he crossed the line in 5th place in the Drôme Classic.
The Soudal – Quick-Step rider has already announced several times that he will be at the start of some Flemish Classics again in 2023. The 30 year-old rider is mainly looking at the Tour of Flanders. Alaphilippe was one of the main players in the 2020 edition, but then collided with a motorcycle, while in a leading position.
Flanders in 2023 for Alaphilippe:
Caleb Ewan Early Season Race Program
Caleb Ewan know’s what he will be doing in the first months of the 2023 season. The Lotto Dstny sprinter starts the year as expected, with the Australian road championship, the Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Ewan is mainly aiming for Milano-Sanremo in the spring.
The 28 year-old Ewan will start his season at the beginning of January. He will contest the national championship of Australia. It is the first time since 2019 that Ewan will compete for the Australian champs jersey. His second race of 2023 is the Tour Down Under. Ewan will not be in Lotto Dstny kit, as the Belgian team has decided not to ride the first WorldTour races of the season in Australia. Ewan will be there as the leader of the Australian national team, along with Lotto Dstny teammate Jarrad Drizners. After the Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will follow. After his Australian start, Ewan focuses on the UAE Tour, along the other fast sprinters.
Milan-San Remo will be his next big appointment. After finishing second in the Italian classic in 2018 and 2021, he hopes to win ‘La Primavera’ for the first time this year. He has a different run-up to Milano-Sanremo this year, as his team will not be at the start of Tirreno-Adriatico in 2023. Ewan will ride the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré.
In the summer, Ewan focuses entirely on the Tour de France. It is still unclear what exactly his program will look like before the French tour.
Caleb Ewan Early Race Schedule:
17-01 – 22-01 Santos Tour Down Under – 2023
29-01 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – 2023
20-02 – 26-02 UAE Tour – 2023
05-03 Grand Prix Jean-Pierre Monseré
18-03 Milano-Sanremo – 2023
01-07 – 23-07 Tour de France – 2023.
TDU, Sanremo and Tour for Caleb Ewan:
Fernando Gaviria Looks Ahead
Fernando Gaviria will have to give his career a kick re-start in 2023 after a few disappointing seasons. In an extensive interview with El País, he looks back, but especially ahead to next season.
Gaviria hopes to get his career back on track with his new Movistar team. The past few seasons have not been very successful for the fast Colombian, partly due to illness and injuries. In 2021 he only had one victory and this year he had two. UAE Team Emirates decided not to extend its expiring contract, but Movistar still has confidence in Gaviria’s sprinting qualities.
The now 28 year-old Gaviria has not been able to perform at his best in recent years, he tested positive for the covid virus several times and in the spring of 2022 – after a good start to the season – he broke his collarbone in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. “The last three seasons have been very difficult, professionally and personally. However, I now look ahead again, I have now closed it.”
“I am now in a new team and a new environment. The fact that I am now racing for Movistar only provides extra motivation. The team also knows how to deal with people. If you perform well, there is nothing to worry about. But when the achievements fail, they start talking and rumours arise. People don’t know what a rider’s story is, what really goes on behind the scenes. Fortunately, I feel the confidence of the team, and I also have confidence in the people of Movistar.”
The fast Colombian, who has taken fifty professional victories in his career, hopes to be back to his winning way with Movistar. “Although it is clear that we do not work with a real sprint train here. Still, I see enough riders who are able to push me off in a good position in the last kilometre. I am happy with that. We can show great things with this group. That is my motivation,” said Gaviria, who will start his season in the Vuelta a San Juan, January 22-29.
Gaviria back to winning:
Clément Venturini Back to Cross
Clément Venturini will return to cyclo-cross next week in Superprestige at Zolder. The AG2R Citroën rider, who took part in two events last weekend in Spain, will have a more extensive program than in previous winters.
“I’m really happy to be back in cyclo-cross with a bigger program than in recent seasons. I am proud to be able to measure myself against the best runners in the world in very high level races in Belgium. I hadn’t experienced this since 2017. It’s a renewal and I greatly appreciate that the team is supporting me in this project.
I have just done a good two-week job with the team in Spain. I hope that all the work done will allow me to have good feelings. The month of January will be very important with the ambition of winning the French championship. Then, I hope that my results will allow me to validate a selection for the world championships in Hoogerheide. I want to be present this winter.”
Clément Venturini’s Cyclo-Cross Program:
December 27: Superprestige – Zolder (Bel)
December 28: Superprestige – Diegem (Bel)
December 30: Loenhout Cross des As (Bel)
January 7: Gullegem (Bel)
January 8: World Cup – Zonhoven (Bel)
January 14: French Championships (Bagnole)
January 22: World Cup – Benidorm (Spa)
January 29: World Cup – Besançon (Fra)
February 5: World Championships in Hoogerheide (if selected).
Toon Aerts to Receive an Answer From the UCI this Week
The UCI will issue a ruling this week in the doping case involving Toon Aerts, Het Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws reports. The 29 year-old cross rider hopes it will end soon, but a similar doping case in wrestling causes doubts among Aerts and his entourage.
On January 19, Aerts tested positive for the banned Letrozole Metabolite, a product that can be used to increase testosterone levels and mask the use of steroids in an out-of-competition doping test. He has not raced since his positive test. According to Aerts’ defence, the amount of Letrozole found is so small that there is no ‘conscious’ use of doping.
This was the main conclusion after a hair test. When a contaminated dietary supplement was also found, the defence was able to draw its conclusions and record it in a report, which was eventually submitted to the authorities involved. Aerts himself took into account a light sentence or even an acquittal, but a comparable doping case in wrestling now raises doubts. This is the case of Heiki Nabi. In January 2021, minimal traces of Letrozole were also discovered in this Estonian wrestler. Five months later he was suspended for two years. Nabi then went to the Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) in Lausanne, which ruled against him. According to the CAS, Nabi was an unfortunate victim, but refused to lift the suspension imposed.
“The athlete in question is a world-class athlete, a credible witness and an unfortunate victim of what has been determined to be an accidental administration of trace amounts of Letrozole from an unknown source. He pays a heavy price for circumstances that may or may not have happened without his knowledge and he should not be branded a cheater or a doping user,” CAS explained.
The verdict in the Nabi case dates back to October, but according to Het Nieuwsblad it may play a role in determining the sentence in the case of Toon Aerts. The UCI has announced that a ruling will be made before the Christmas break (December 23 to January 4).
An answer soon for Toon Aerts:
Dylan van Baarle: “It was an Incredible Spring”
Dylan van Baarle was named Cyclist of the Year on Monday evening. Due to a training camp with Jumbo-Visma, he couldn’t be in ‘s-Hertogenbosch to receive the Gerrit Schulte Trophy himself, but his new team manager Richard Plugge was there in his place, but the winner of Paris-Roubaix spoke to the public. “It was an incredible spring,” said Van Baarle, looking back on his cycling season. “Of course you work hard all winter for this, but I would not have dared to dream that it would turn out like this. I was very happy with a second place in the Tour of Flanders. The fact that I hit a solo like that two weeks later in Paris-Roubaix was of course completely beautiful.”
When did Van Baarle know that he was going to win the cobbled Classic? “I really started to realise it when they came to ride next to me,” the 30 year-old rider refers to Servais Knaven, his DS at INEOS Grenadiers and a former winner of Paris-Roubaix. “At that moment I got goosebumps. Servais told me to enjoy it as much as possible, and I think I did.”
Next year Van Baarle will race for Jumbo-Visma. Will he get the same number of opportunities with Wout van Aert and the others in the team? “I think that with Tiesj Benoot and Christophe Laporte we also have four very strong men, who can all win classics. We have to play to the strength of the team. I see no problem with that.”
Dylan van Baarle – Winner of the Gerrit Schulte Trophy:
Chantal Blaak Tested Positive for Furosemide: “Authorities Decided Not to Suspend Me”
Chantal Blaak is said to have had a positive doping test in 2008, but escaped a suspension. The Algemeen Dagblad reports this based on their sources. The then 19 year-old Blaak tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic, during the students World championships in Nijmegen.
Blaak finished second, behind Elise van Hage and ahead of Annemiek van Vleuten. However, the first-year pro was not allowed to keep her silver medal because she tested positive. The existence of this positive test is confirmed by Michael Zijlaard, Blaaks then sports director at AA Drink, and KNWU national coach Johan Lammerts. Blaak continued to race. The penalty for using furosemide in 2008 was a disqualification and a two-year suspension.
Furosemide is a diuretic drug used in renal failure and cardiac edema, but it can also act as a masking agent for other prohibited products. That is why it is on the doping list. According to one of the sources, Blaak would have used the drug for a different purpose, to lose weight through fluids. In 2008, the Dutch Doping Authority found furosemide in one case, according to an annual report, but the organisation says it has sent the test to FISU (the international student sports association). However, that organisation also does not know what happened to the test. At the UCI, to whom responsibility should have been handed over, they say they never received anything.
In addition to Lammert and Zijlaard, many riders from the women’s peloton would also be aware of Blaak’s positive test in 2008. AD writes that it is an “open secret”. The newspaper also contacted Blaak, now Van den Broek-Blaak, who responded in writing. “I explained my story to the parties and authorities involved at the time. They then decided not to suspend me,” said the 2017 world champion.
“I don’t want to go into a case that happened fourteen years ago and that had nothing to do with doping use. I want to emphasise again that I have never used doping throughout my career. And that I can look at myself in the mirror.” Since Blaak’s positive test would date from 2008, the alleged violation has been statute-barred since 2016 anyway.
Van den Broek-Blaak, who is currently pregnant with her first child, is under contract with SD Worx and she will become a sports director after her career. The team manager of SD Worx, Danny Stam, said to the AD that he is not aware of the matter.
SD Worx has responded to the article: “Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has stated to the team that this case has nothing to do with doping use,” the Dutch team said in a statement to nu.nl. “She explained her story to the parties and authorities involved at the time. They subsequently decided not to impose a suspension on her. The rider has also emphasised to the team that she has never used doping throughout her career,” said SD Worx, which says it was not aware of the incident. SD Worx also emphasises that there is absolute zero tolerance within the team towards the use of doping and prohibited substances. “Since the team was founded, there have never been any cases of doping.”
Van den Broek-Blaak was not suspended back in 2008:
Joaquim Rodríguez Had to Stop Cycling Due to Heart Problems
Joaquim Rodríguez decided to put an end to his professional cycling career six years ago. The Catalan climber wanted to spend more time with his family, but this turned out not to be the main reason for stopping. In 2016, heart problems were diagnosed.
The now 43-year-old Rodríguez told Catalan TV3 program ‘La Marató’ this week, in a special episode about cardiovascular disease. “I already felt before the diagnosis that it was time to say goodbye to the sport, but this helped me not to reconsider.”
Rodríguez also emphasises the importance of medical checks in the program. The former cyclist has his heart disease under control and is still very active on the bike. For example, he is an avid mountain biker and in recent years he can often be seen in MTB races as an ambassador for bicycle brand Orbea. He already participated in the multi-day mountain bike race Cape Epic.
Rodríguez can be seen as one of the best climbers of his generation. He twice won the Tour of Lombardy, the Flèche Wallonne and prestigious stage races such as the Tour of Catalonia (2x) and the Tour of the Basque Country. He was also on the final podium at least once in all major Tours, but winning turned out to be just a bit too ambitious. In the Giro d’Italia of 2012, he missed the final win by 16 seconds. He also won two World championship medals. He recorded a total of 48 professional victories.
In 2016 he put an end to his career, although Rodríguez remarkably signed a contract with Bahrain Merida after his retirement. So the explosive climber seemed to go back on his earlier decision, but a month and a half later he had changed his mind again. The decision to stop came two weeks after the UCI reported that Bahrain Merida had secured its WorldTour status. In the license application phase, the new team could make good use of Rodríguez’s UCI points.
‘Purito’ had to stop in 2016:
Tom Dumoulin Will Have His Own Race in 2023
Former professional cyclist Tom Dumoulin will have his own race next year. The first edition of the Grand Prix Tom Dumoulin, an event for juniors, will take place on Saturday 10 June 2023.
The Grand Prix Tom Dumoulin consists of two parts, reports 1Limburg. The juniors start with a hilly race of 85 kilometres at the Tom Dumoulin Bikepark in Sittard, possibly with a cobbled climb. After this climbing race, the riders have two hours rest before a team time trial of almost 20 kilometres in Buchten, on the course where the ZLM Tour had a stage finish this year.
The participating teams, which have to ride both parts, consist of six riders from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The winner of the Grand Prix Tom Dumoulin will be honoured by… Tom Dumoulin. The winner of the Giro d’Italia 2017 will also assist the organisers by planning the course. The Bike Park Sittard-Geleen Foundation and Cycling Committee Buchten are responsible for the organisation of the Grand Prix Tom Dumoulin.
The Tom Dumoulin race 2023:
Stijn Steels Retires
Stijn Steels’ cycling career is over. The 33-year-old Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider has failed to find a team for 2023. “I am proud of my career.”
“As a newcomer I dreamed of a professional career and I succeeded. I wanted to grow even further, but I didn’t reach the absolute top. I was able to help the absolute stars for years,” he looked back with Focus-WTV.
Last month, Steels crashed hard during the Six Days of Gent, breaking three ribs and two vertebrae.
For the past three years, Steels has been racing for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl as a domestique. Before that he rode for Roompot-Charles and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise. He didn’t take a professional victory.
Cyril Lemoine Retires After the B&B Problems
The debacle of B&B Hotels-KTM has another victim: Cyril Lemoine has decided to put an end to a long professional career. The 39-year-old Frenchman wanted to say goodbye after the 2023 Paris-Roubaix, but is now just going to stop.
After the collapse of B&B Hotels-KTM, which did have ambitious plans, Lemoine saw the storm clouds coming. Now, at the age of 39, he has decided to put an end to it. Lemoine can look back on a great career. He made his professional debut for Crédit Agricole (2005-2008), Skil-Shimano (2009), Saur-Sojasun (2010-2013), Cofidis (2014-2020) and finally B&B Hotels -KTM (2021-2022).
Lemoine, who had a preference for the Classics, started eleven Grand Tours. Lemoine was at the start of the Vuelta a España three times and the Tour de France eight times. He also rode his favourite race: Paris-Roubaix fourteen times.
The Frenchman was unable to take professional victory in his eighteen-year career, although he came close a few times. Lemoine joins two other B&B riders; Pierre Rolland and Julien Morice, who have also retired.
The end of the road for Cyril Lemoine:
Arnaud De Lie Will Ride Two Monuments Next Spring, No Grand Tour
On Monday, Het Laatste Nieuws reported that Arnaud De Lie will not ride a Grand Tour in 2023. Kurt Van de Wouwer, the sports manager of Lotto Dstny, has now confirmed this. “A big round is not yet on his program for the time being,” said the Belgian in Het Nieuwsblad about De Lie’s plans.
“He will normally ride Paris-Roubaix in the spring,” the sporting manager continued about his rider. Van de Wouwer also said what the first months of De Lie’s program will look like. “After the internship, he will ride the Classica Communitat Valenciana, then La Marseillaise, Étoile de Bessèges, Kuurne, Paris-Nice and then Milan-San Remo.”
At Lotto Dstny they want to protect De Lie from too much pressure, says Van de Wouwer. “But expectations around Arnaud have been adjusted. From now on we expect him to participate in the big competitions and that should be a win.”
“Arnaud is someone who does not lose sleep when he is at the start the next day as leader. He has a very realistic and healthy self-confidence and can say of himself: I am good, I will succeed in this.”
Die Lie made an impression in his first year with the pros. What’s called, the lightning-fast Waal turned out to be a real multi-winner and in 2022 crossed the line no less than nine times. It started with a victory in the Challenge Mallorca and then De Lie was also the best in the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré, Volta Limburg Classic, Marcel Kint Classic, Heistse Pijl, Ronde van Limburg, a stage in the Tour de Wallonie, Schaal Sels and the Egmont Cycling Race.
More wins for Arnaud De Lie in 2023:
AlUla Steps Up as Second Naming Rights Partner for 2023
As of January 1st, 2023, GreenEDGE Cycling will be named ‘Team Jayco AlUla’ as the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) steps up from official partner to second naming rights partner of the Australian registered UCI WorldTour team. The new signed agreement will run from January 1st, 2023, through to December 31st, 2025.
As GreenEDGE Cycling embarks on its 12th season in the WorldTour peloton, the added commitment and support from AlUla reflects on the upward trajectory of the organisation, which has seen the Australian outfit attract new and exciting partners in recent years. This new major agreement with AlUla is an important step for the future of GreenEDGE Cycling and its vision, as it continues to develop and strengthen both its men’s and women’s teams and evolve and innovate as an organisation.
AlUla is a boutique heritage and culture destination in Northwest Saudi Arabia and as the new official second naming rights partner of GreenEDGE Cycling, it hopes to introduce the stunning landscape of ancient civilizations to millions of cycling and sports fans around the world. Over the past years the region has developed to establish a strong connection with sport, having hosted a variety of events, including the UCI 2.1 Saudi Tour in February 2022.
As Team Owner Gerry Ryan continues to back the team into its 12th season, the well-known and important investor in sport will have one of his company names – ‘Jayco’ – a recreational vehicle manufacturer – as first naming rights partner alongside ‘AlUla’ for the upcoming season.
‘Team Jayco AlUla’ will make its official debut in the UCI WorldTour peloton at the Santos Tour Down Under, starting with the women’s event on the 15th of January in Adelaide, followed by the men’s event on the 17th of January. Prior to this the team will compete at the Federation University Australia Road Championships and Citroën Bay Crits.
Gerry Ryan – Team Jayco AlUla Owner:
“I am very pleased to deliver the news that AlUla, an official sponsor of GreenEDGE Cycling in 2022, will now step up and become an important naming rights partner in 2023. This new commitment will enable the organisation to continue this fantastic journey in the world of professional cycling, with even bigger goals and ambitions for the future.
With this new name, we will have a new look for both our men’s and women’s teams and with the continued commitment and support from all of our other partners, we are very excited to get the new year started after enjoying a lot of success throughout 2022.
For me, it is very special to have the team returning to race in Australia in January and with the Tour Down Under back as an international WorldTour level event. It will be a great moment for us to showcase to the world our new name and image as we begin our 12th season.”
Phillip Jones – Chief Management & Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla:
“AlUla is a new destination with ancient roots. Over the last few years, we have started to become known as an unchartered, intriguing destination for curious travellers and we feel this partnership with Team Jayco AlUla is an important part of our strategy and success. We love working with the passionate team, both those competing and those facilitating, and we love the alignment of the two brands as we continue to develop AlUla into a world-leading example of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Cycling is a big part of our vision for the future of AlUla with natural assets of stunning sandstone mountains, volcanic plateaus and an oasis with long winding roads running through it all. We are excited to be hosting the inaugural cycling camp in AlUla directly after the Saudi Tour 2023 where the cyclists will have a chance to engage and inspire the next generation. We’ve been cheering the team on and encouraging more fans across the region, and we look forward to more success on and off the road for Team Jayco AlUla.”
Brent Copeland – Team Jayco AlUla General Manager:
“AlUla became an official partner of the team in 2021 and we have been very grateful for their support. To see them now step up and confirm their vision for the future with their added commitment to our team, as the new naming rights partner, it is a big moment for us as an organisation.
We had the great pleasure of visiting AlUla in February for the Saudi Tour, and we were blown away with the spectacle that it was. Next year as we grow our partnership, we will have a cycling camp in AlUla to encourage the local community to be engaged with the sport, to inspire new generations for an active lifestyle and to help them dream of becoming the champions of the future. We hope to assist with their growth and likewise they will assist with our growth in the UCI WorldTour peloton.
We feel their great enthusiasm and motivation and we are delighted to have them onboard for the next three years. This makes us very proud as an organisation as we have been working hard in recent years to perform in the races, but also with servicing our partners in the best possible way. We are building the future of this unique organisation and it very exciting to be a part of it.”
All change at BikeExchange:
Klaas Lodewyck: “La Vuelta was a Collective Victory”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s sports director looked back on the team’s biggest triumph of last season.
“Winning the Vuelta brought a lot of joy and emotion to the entire team, but it took us a week or so to realise what we achieved in Madrid. It means a lot for the entire organisation, as it was a collective victory. It meant a lot also on a personal level, because it was the first time that I had been behind the radio in a Grand Tour. I had to be sharp every single day, and I won’t hide there was some weight on me, but I got a lot of help from my colleagues. Leading a team from the car means you have to be on top of your game every meter of the stage, to remain calm, to listen to the riders, and keep their morale high.
People kept saying we were missing the experience to win a Grand Tour, but what we needed was a leader. Once he was there, everybody immediately took their level up a notch. Everyone could see from the first days of the Vuelta how strong Remco was, and once he got that victory in the individual time trial – where he was focused like never before – we began thinking everything was possible.
It wasn’t easy the day he crashed, but a champion always gets back and much stronger after such a moment, and that’s what he did.
Remco believed in himself the whole time and he also had by his side a team and people who believed in him.
Another hard moment was losing Pieter and Julian; they were both important cogs in the machine, and having the World Champion in your ranks can make the difference in many moments, as he is respected by the whole peloton. We had to control half of the race with just five guys, and it wasn’t easy, but we did it. We improvised, changed each rider’s role and adapted to the different situations, and I am incredibly proud of the flexibility the guys showed and how they rode their hearts out. Adding a Grand Tour triumph to the team’s already incredible palmarès was always going to be something remarkable, but the fact it happened on the year we celebrated twenty years made it even more remarkable and unforgettable.
At the same time, it was a win that only motivated us to continue doing better as a team and go for even bigger wins.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl celebrating Evenepoel’s Vuelta’22 win:
INEOS Grenadiers x Bioracer Launch –‘Visibly Fast’– Its New Kit for 2023
The INEOS Grenadiers, together with the Team’s on-bike performance apparel partner Bioracer, are proud to launch a striking new look for its 2023 Pro Team Kit – ‘Visibly Fast’ – a symbolic gesture to the performance-led ambitions of the team.
As a statement of intent for the coming year, INEOS’s ‘brigade red’ will now form the base colour of the 2023 kit, signifying the team’s plan to race with passion, grit and determination. In addition, this kit will see the introduction of the INEOS safety orange, worn by the team’s counterparts at INEOS Britannia (America’s Cup sailing team), as a fluorescent flash across the riders’ right hand sleeve. A nod to detail which helps enhance the visibility of riders out on the road and is part of the team’s on-going commitment to safety.
Rod Ellingworth – Deputy Team Principal INEOS Grenadiers said: “The team is shifting up a gear with our 2023 jersey. We’re excited by the evolution of the design and hope our fans love this new look as much as we do. The shift to INEOS’s brigade red reflects the way we plan to race – with passion, grit and determination. The introduction of the distinctive orange colour is also important. It will increase the visibility of our riders during racing, as the orange kit they wear does whilst they are training, helping to keep them safe on the road and supporting them in all conditions. Bioracer has really risen to the challenge with our 2023 jersey and we’re looking forward to racing in this ‘Visibly Fast’ kit.”
INEOS Grenadiers’ partnership with Bioracer is one of continuous innovation, with an emphasis on developing and utilising the latest advanced technologies to support and push forward performance. The launch of the team’s 2023 Pro Team Kit marks the next stage of this dynamic partnership.
Danny Segers, CEO of Bioracer said: “We are proud to start our second year as the on-bike performance partner of the INEOS Grenadiers. After last season’s successes in both the spring classics, stage races and the world hour record, we have worked in close collaboration with both riders and the team’s performance specialists to constantly test and develop the next generation of cycling apparel. With ‘Visibly Fast’ this 2023 kit highlights two of our main focus points as a cycling apparel brand. Fast, because Bioracer’s mission is to make you faster. Visible, because we believe you need to be able to ride and train all day, every day, without limitations in daylight or weather conditions. Developed in Belgium together with the brightest experts in cycling, tested by our world-class Grenadiers and available throughout 2023 for riders all over the world. We believe this partnership not only pushes the team’s riders to the next level, but all Bioracer riders worldwide to become as fast as they can be.”
From the World Hour Record to the 2023 Season
As part of the preparation for the successful UCI World Hour Record events of both Dan Bigham and Filippo Ganna, multiple products and new innovations have been created for the 2023 season. This includes faster time trial suits for all riders and wind tunnel tests based on individual morphology to determine which fabrics work most efficiently for each rider.
The New Technologies in the 2023 Race Kit
As well as these aerodynamic optimisations, the team will be using new technologies that have been tested throughout the 2022 season and integrated into the 2023 race kits, with a focus on rider comfort. This includes:
Bioracer Stratos Tempest jerseys and winter jackets
Jerseys and jackets that combine Bioracer’s insulating Tempest technology with the new generation Stratos fabric. This fabric is 20% lighter than regular lycra. Thanks to the innovative weaving technique, the fabric is more dense, which in turn repels more water and wind – without using a membrane. This results in a much more breathable product for high intensity performances. Tom Pidcock tested it for the first time during the Cyclocross season and called it: “Magical Bioracer technology.”
Bioracer Stormy rain jacket
During the 2022 season the Grenadiers tested and approved a brand new generation rain jacket. Together with eVent®, Bioracer created a waterproof rain jacket with the newest ‘Direct Venting Technology’. This results in a waterproof rain jacket that has doubled the breathable capacity compared to other membrane technologies. Therefore the jackets feel much dryer on the inside and give the Grenadiers more comfort during high intensity performances.
Lotto Dstny and Vermarc Sport launch New Outfit and Prolong Partnership
Real coureurs: those are the members of Lotto Dstny who will wear the new outfit of the Belgian professional cycling team from 2023 onwards. Today, Lotto Dstny proudly unveils its outfit, which the team will sport in the biggest cycling races next season. Simultaneously, the team announces that it has extended the partnership with clothing manufacturer Vermarc Sport for three more years.
Vermarc Sport has been a loyal partner of the Lotto cycling teams since 2004 and will continue to do so in the next three years. “We are proud that we have linked our brand to a reference in cycling like this team for such a long time”, says Marc Verbeeck, CEO of Vermarc Sport. “During this period, we’ve build up a really strong connection with the team. This bond of trust, the Belgian base and the focus on young talent make Lotto Dstny the perfect billboard for our clothing.”
Lotto Dstny is full of praise for the outfit that, thanks to Vermarc Sport, will allow the team to hit the road in 2023. “The launch of this new outfit means that all eyes are now fully on the upcoming season”, says Yana Seel, Chief Business Officer at Lotto Dstny. “But without forgetting how long this partnership with Vermarc Sport has already been part of this team. At the end of this new commitment, we will have been riding in Vermarc Sport kit for more than half of the team’s existence. This says a lot about the quality of the equipment, the mutual trust and the shared love for the sport.”
Watch the launch video of the Lotto Dstny team kit for 2023:
Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè Back to Green
Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè, as Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè will be in 2023, has revealed their kit for next season. The jersey of the Italian ProTeam has changed considerably. Not purple, but now green, as it used to be.
Bardiani raced in the green for many years. In 2020, the kit became purple, but now the team is returning to the old colour. Bardiani-CSF-Faizane has been the #GreenTeam in recent years and a new sponsor has now also been found: Green Project Agency. Purple has not disappeared completely as the sleeves still have purple accents.
The Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè clothing is made by alé Cycling. The riders will wear the PR-S line. “We are happy to be able to offer our riders clothing of this level,” said team manager Roberto Reverbi. “They will have the best possible equipment to start 2023 in the best possible way.”
Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè:
BetCity Partner of Team Jumbo-Visma
Team Jumbo-Visma will include online gaming operator BetCity on its list of partners as of January 1, 2023. This Dutch company will become a co-sponsor and be seen on the jersey of all World Tour riders beginning in the new year. The contract runs until January 1, 2025.
Team Jumbo-Visma will be able to pursue its cycling teams’ sporting goals for the upcoming season partly because of BetCity’s sponsorship. Additionally, BetCity will make significant investments to promote cycling as a recreational sport, an ambition that Team Jumbo-Visma also embraces.
Richard Plugge, director of Team Jumbo-Visma, is proud of the new partner. “BetCity is a leading online gaming provider of Dutch origin, which has quickly gained a leading position in the market. The company has shown that it is not afraid to challenge the status quo, as our cycling teams have done over the past decade.”
Plugge emphasised that Team Jumbo-Visma is aware of the societal controversy around internet gambling but stated that the team, as always, proceeded carefully. “Although we are aware that working with this new partner may be regarded critically, we have been well-informed and advised. BetCity was one of the Netherlands’s first to receive a government license. It has been very open and transparent in all discussions concerning its working practices, standards, and values. These are essential conditions for us. Together with BetCity, we look forward to making this partnership a success.”
Robert Kooiman, marketing director BetCity: “BetCity is very proud to soon be able to refer to itself as a partner of Team Jumbo-Visma, especially in light of the impressive Tour de France achievements that are still fresh in our memories. Despite its recent successes, the team – which has developed into one of the biggest Dutch sports teams – remains hungry and ambitious. We are as well, and we will always be. In the upcoming years, we wish to assist Team Jumbo-Visma in realising its goals so that sports fans can keep enjoying the team’s successes.”
As is customary within its partnerships, BetCity has given the spot on the children’s jerseys – which Team Jumbo-Visma sells in its webshop – back to the team so that it can be filled in socially. Team Jumbo-Visma makes the logo position available to Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur.
TNN Development Extend Roster to Twelve for Third Year at Continental Level
2023 will see the Team Novo Nordisk Development Team race their third year at UCI Continental level and increase their roster from ten riders to twelve as the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team looks to make the most of what the next generation has to offer.
A tough 2022 season unfolded over a full European racing program and the results of 2021 were always going to be a hard act to follow, but Frenchman Doriand Percrule proved to be the Devo team’s most consistent rider with repeated top 20 stage finishes at the Tour of Sakarya in Turkey and 20th on the final general classification being the highlight of the year.
Percrule wasn’t alone and his compatriot Celestin Wattelle enjoyed a positive debut season with 17th at Grand Prix Develi in Turkey and 25th on stage 4 of Belgrade – Banjaluka in Serbia.
“2022 did indeed prove to be a challenging year,” said Development team General Manager Daniel Holt. “But in terms of learning and experience gained it was very important. Doriand produced some strong performances and we’re looking for him to step up another level in 2023. It will take a lot of dedication and hard work, but we know that we have ability to improve. After some growing pains, most of our guys adapted well by the end of the season, even fighting for the win in our last block of racing.”
“We have made some changes for the upcoming season with four new faces coming in and an old face, Poland’s Przemek Kotulski returning for his second stint with us, after going away and working hard this year. It will be an important season for all the guys and it’s crucial that they give the maximum in both training and racing.”
Team Novo Nordisk’s annual Talent ID camp proved once again to be a valuable part of the team’s development pipeline of athletes who live and compete with type 1 diabetes. 2022 saw the camp held in Italy, in southern Tuscany and it was a success.
“At camp this year there were four riders that really stood out,” continued Holt. “The first was Josh Brown from the UK who has shown considerable improvement over the last three years attending camp. Hjalte Knudsen from Denmark was the second. Hjalte has made a return from illness last year and we’re looking to him to add some much-needed horsepower in 2023.”
“Quinten De Graeve from Belgium had an impressive season of domestic racing, even winning a race and he came to camp prepared and hungry. Our final addition for 2023 is Antonio Polga from Italy, after a year on the TNN junior team back in 2016, Antonio made a strong comeback in 2022 and is ready to see what it’s like racing in the big races.”
“In 2022 we had a few injuries early in the season, which is natural for a Devo team doing the kind of races we do, but this gave us some challenges a in terms of having a strong roster at the early season races. Having added two more riders, we will be able to have some flexibility, without overly stressing the riders and that is crucial to the growth of the team.”
Team Novo Nordisk Development for 2023:
Ben Barnett (GBR, 21)
Sacha Bietry (FRA, 23)
Josh Brown (GBR, 20)
Quinten De Graeve (BEL, 23)
Kobe Godts (BEL, 21)
Hjalte Knudson (DEN, 20)
Przemek Kotulski (POL, 23)
Justin McQuerry (USA, 28)
Doriand Percrule (FRA, 24)
Antonio Polga (ITA, 24)
Nathan Smith (GBR, 23)
Celestin Wattelle (FRA, 20).
Astana Qazaqstan Development Team Presents its 2023 Roster
Astana Qazaqstan Development Team (UCI Continental Team) is happy to present its 2023 roster consisted of 12 riders, 6 of them representing Kazakhstan.
Alongside Juan Carlos Lopez, Harold Martin Lopez, Nicolas Vinokurov, Alexandre Vinokurov, Daniil Pronskiy, Andrey Remkhe, Davide Toneatti and Orken Slamzhanov, who extended their contracts for another season, the team will be joined by four new riders:
Nil Aguilera Norba was second in the individual time trial at the Junior Spanish National Championships. Also, he scored a few victories in the Spanish national calendar: he won Sant Julia Vilatorta and a stage at the Vuelta al Besaya Juniors.
Saveliy Laptev, the winner of Velo Alanya Junoir, Judex Autonomicos Garrovillas de Alconetar, two stages of the Vuelta a las Comarcas and a stage of the Volta ao Concelho de Loule Juniores.
Maxim Taraskin was second in the road race at the Junior Asian Cycling Championships. Also, he was fourth in the General Classification of the Velo Alanya Juniors and 6th in the overall standings of the Tour de DMZ Juniors.
Simone Zanini, the winner of Trofeo Graziella E Francesco Pistolesi and Brescia-Montemagno.
“The last season turned out to be a good one, it brought our development team a lot of experience and now the team is ready for its second season being more confident, more experienced and motivated. I consider the new roster as well-balanced, so we can expect further steps ahead from the riders. Some of them are going to do their first steps in the new age category, while others will aim important results both in Under 23 and Elite categories. As you can see, a half of the team are Kazakh riders of Under 23 category, where Yevgeniy Fedorov became the World Champion this year. Therefore, the project is very important for our youth domestic cycling,” – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
The full 2023 roster:
Nil Aguilera Norba (ESP), Saveliy Laptev, Juan Carlos Lopez (COL), Harold Martin Lopez (ECU), Daniil Pronskiy (KAZ), Andrey Remkhe (KAZ), Davide Toneatti (ITA), Alexandre Vinokurov (KAZ), Nicolas Vinokurov (KAZ), Maxim Taraskin (KAZ), Orken Slamzhanov (KAZ), Simone Zanini (ITA).
Alexandre and Nicolas Vinokurov are now in the Astana Development team:
Movistar Team presents its Ambitions for 2023
Telefónica-backed squad returns to the headquarters of the company’s Auditorium in Madrid before starting their 13th season with Movistar as title sponsor (nearly five decades of uninterrupted activity).
Telefónica and the Movistar Team held on Wednesday the presentation of its women’s and men’s squads for 2023. It will be the 44th consecutive season of activity of the longest-standing structure in professional cycling, with more than 1,000 victories and a present as brilliant as its history, thanks to the 46 victories obtained in 2022. The ambitions for the Blues’ most immediate future, in its 13th season under Telefónica’s title sponsorship, had a new venue, for the first time in three years and back to in-person activities, with Distrito Telefónica’s Auditorium at the company’s global headquarters in Madrid receiving back the riders, team representatives as well as the sponsor’s employees and friends of this legendary squad.
The stage of the Auditorium saw the 45 road riders -that, together with the Blues’ esports / virtual cycling squad, the Movistar eTeam, which compete on Zwift’s top world league during the winter season- of the Movistar Team all being presented, led again in 2023 by the best rider in the world, Annemiek van Vleuten.
Last year’s winner of the Giro, Le Tour, La Vuelta and the World Championships, as well as the current UCI world No. 1 and winner of the first ever Vélo d’Or Femmes prize, which was also presented on stage, Van Vleuten will be the leader of a 15-rider women’s roster also including the notable figures of Pan-American champion Arlenis Sierra; young Dane Emma Norsgaard; two of the finest Spanish riders, Sheyla Gutiérrez and Sara Martín; and two strong reinforcements for 2023. German road race champion Liane Lippert, one of the best stage racers and climbers in the WorldTour, and Dutchwoman Floortje Mackaij, a remarkable allrounder, complete one of the best squads in the WWT.
Alongside them will be the 30 riders of the men’s outfit, the first in nearly two decades without Alejandro Valverde, who remain associated with Telefónica’s brands and the Abarca Sports organisation after an illustrious career, one of the best the sport has ever known. Enric Mas will be unmistakable reference of a group which is reinforcing its ‘second unit’ for 2023, a block built with patience over the last few years, with three strong signings: Fernando Gaviria, a sprinter with stage wins in the Giro and the Vuelta; Ruben Guerreiro, a talented climber from Portugal; and 19-year-old Iván Romeo, a strong Spanish rouleur who hopes to build a great future with the Movistar Team.
Telefónica’s support of cycling -underlined by its work together with the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, through the ‘Women in Bike’ project to get more women on bikes and numerous other initiatives created to link its brands to the sport- was again evident during the presentation with three significant initiatives. The audiovisual efforts continue in 2023 with the launch of Season 4 of ‘El Día Menos Pensado’, focused this time on the women’s team’s success, the growth of the men’s squad and Valverde’s retirement. The work together with the Movistar Team’s performance group continues as efforts from Telefónica Tech improve process digitalisation, development of Big Data + Artificial Intelligence to help the team’s sports directors and coaches, a glimpse of which was offered during the event. Plus, everything was shown again live through the Movistar Team’s YouTube channel, through which fans could interact directly with the event with their questions.
The Movistar Team will kick off its 2023 season on Saturday 14th January with the men’s criterium prior to the start of the Tour Down Under, the first round of the UCI WorldTour, in Adelaide, South Australia. The women’s squad will commence its decorated trajectory’s sixth season on Sunday 29th, with the Spanish event Costa de Almería Women Sport, which opens a calendar comprising about 350 days of racing across Europe, the Americas and Asia / Pacific.
MOVISTAR TEAM – 2023 ROSTERS
Men’s Team: Alex Aranburu, Jorge Arcas, Will Barta (USA), Imanol Erviti, Iván García Cortina, Fernando Gaviria (COL), Abner González (PUR), Ruben Guerreiro (POR), Juri Hollmann (GER), Gorka Izagirre, Johan Jacobs (SUI), Matteo Jorgenson (USA), Max Kanter (GER), Oier Lazkano, Enric Mas, Lluís Mas, Gregor Mühlberger (AUT), Mathias Norsgaard (DEN), Nelson Oliveira (POR), Antonio Pedrero, Vinícius Rangel (BRA), Óscar Rodríguez, José Joaquín Rojas, Iván Romeo, Einer Rubio (COL), Sergio Samitier, Gonzalo Serrano, Iván Sosa (COL), Albert Torres, Carlos Verona..
Women’s Team: Katrine Aalerud (NOR), Aude Biannic (FRA), Jelena Erić (SRB), Sarah Gigante (AUS), Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Liane Lippert (GER), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Sara Martín, Emma Norsgaard (DEN), Lourdes Oyarbide, Paula Patiño (COL), Gloria Rodríguez, Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Annemiek van Vleuten (NED).
General Manager: Eusebio Unzué. CEO: Miguel Grávalos. COO / Women’s Team Manager: Sebastián Unzué. Head of Performance: Patxi Vila. Technical Director: Iván Velasco. Sports Directors: Chente García Acosta, Pablo Lastras, Maximilian Sciandri (GBR), Jorge Sanz, Xabier Muriel, Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL).
Top Pro Cycling Teams Create Web3 Fan Universe
Professional cycling will take a step into the future with the launch of a new platform called Road Code, which is built on Web3 technology and will give fans, teams and riders a place to come together in a single community.
Road Code is being developed in a partnership between Velon, the company owned by the world’s top cycling teams, and The HBAR Foundation. Together, they are delivering the first fan universe in pro cycling built on the Hedera public network.
Unlike today’s centralised social media channels, Road Code is the next generation of platform, offering fans ownership via the representation of in-game assets, digital collectibles and team access tokens, all stored securely in a personal digital vault.
Content is at the heart of the Road Code platform, which is set for a first phase launch for the start of the 2023 season. Teams and riders will be delivering all access content to take fans behind the scenes and through the ups and downs of their lives at races and beyond.
Velon’s proprietary live data system will be integrated with Road Code, delivering new insights into how fast and how hard teams and riders are performing in races. The platform will be the new home for the ever-popular on-bike footage which Velon has pioneered over the past seven years.
Road Code will also contain a new and unique rider ranking system based not on what the riders won but on who they beat. The new system will open the sport to fans in new ways – showing them the team and riders’ rankings for sprints, climbs, one day and Grand Tour racing. In time, amateur riders will be able to make direct comparisons between their performances and the elite.
Gaming will be a part of Road Code, starting with a Fantasy Game complete with assets which fans can own and trade.
Jonathan Vaughters, EF Education-EasyPost CEO, said: “It’s good to see Velon continuing to make strides in reinventing how our fans can consume the entertainment we seek to provide. The media landscape is quickly changing, so staying one step ahead in providing exciting content is crucial.”
Graham Bartlett, CEO, Velon, said: “Our mission is to create a first-of-its-kind platform that grants access to the most relevant and exciting cycling content for fans and sports lovers around the world. Road Code’s mission is to bring the best from the teams to the fans by creating a new community the fans can truly be part of. We want to invite everyone to participate in building the digital cycling universe of the future.”
The Hedera network is dedicated to having a limited carbon footprint and has adopted environmental sustainability as a core value – officially committing to carbon-negative network operations.
Road Code is being built by Reality+ gaming studio, the Web3 developer partner, & Immortal Projects, a Danish venture studio who are building on the Hedera ecosystem and supported by The HBAR Foundation.
Road Code is at: www.roadcode.cc
UAE Tour Returns to the WorldTour Calendar in 2023
The fifth edition of the UAE Tour will start and finish in Abu Dhabi as the United Arab Emirates is set to showcase the best of professional road racing in February 2023.
The UAE Tour will return on 20-26 February 2023, seeing the world’s top male cyclists once again descend on the Middle East for seven days of incredible road racing.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East will bring cycling fans closer than ever to the sport that has dramatically grown in popularity within the region.
Having hosted professional cycling races since 2014, with the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour, it was in 2019 that the first ever UAE Tour was introduced, taking the professional peloton across seven stages of racing throughout the Emirates. Previous high-profile cyclists including Primož Roglič (2019), Adam Yates (2020) and Tadej Pogačar (2021, 2022) have claimed the Red jersey, and many other cycling greats have raced along the roads of the UAE.
The route for the 2023 men’s tour will start and end in Abu Dhabi, with riders tackling the vast and varied terrain in the UAE as they pass significant Emirati landmarks over seven days of unmissable racing. The full routes will be announced in January 2023.
The UAE and Abu Dhabi are rapidly becoming a power-house global sports destinations, increasingly engaging with professional cycling. In 2021, Abu Dhabi claimed the prestigious UCI Bike City Label, becoming the first city in the Middle East and Asia to receive this distinction for its commitment to hosting international cycling events, promoting the sport across the community and developing its cycling infrastructure. Continuing this trajectory of hosting world-class cycling events, the city hosted the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in 2022 and will do once more in 2024.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “We are delighted to see the UAE Tour, the world class cycling event return to the region next year. The UAE Tour has been a firm favourite in the UCI cycling calendar and these races are a great opportunity to showcase the country’s varied territories and historic sites to the world.”
Fabrizio D’Amico, Chief Operating Officer RCS Sports and Events and UAE Tour Director added: “For the past eight years the UAE has exponentially grown from strength to strength in professional cycling. The seven stage WorldTour race will enter is fifth edition in February 2023 and will once again attract the best riders from all the world. The UAE Tour is always an exciting race as it allows the riders to test themselves ahead of the European calendar races and the GrandTour races and sets the tone of the season to come”.
Barcelona’s Olympic Port Will Host the Official Depart of La Vuelta’23
On Tuesday morning, Unipublic and the Barcelona City Council have revealed the route of the two first stages of La Vuelta 23. The event, presented by RTVE’s journalist Carlos de Andrés, featured the attendance of Jaume Collboni, the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona; David Escudé, Sports Councillor for the Barcelona City Council; David Bote, Mayor of Mataró; ex cyclists Roberto Heras, Joaquín ‘Purito’ Rodríguez and Melcior Mauri, Fernando Escartín, technical director of La Vuelta and Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.
La Vuelta 23 will take off from Barcelona on the 26th of August. It will be the second time in the race’s history that Catalonia’s capital hosts an Official Departure, having already done so back in 1962. The city will host one departure and two arrivals during its two first stages, namely: a team time trial and a mid-mountain stage. Mataró will host the departure of the second stage.
Jaume Collboni, the city’s Deputy Mayor, points out that: “Barcelona is a city that loves sports, particularly cycling. To have La Vuelta return to Barcelona after 60 years is wonderful news, not only because it gives us the chance to experience an important sporting event, but because it proves to us, once again, what a driving force sports truly is to our city’s economy. La Vuelta 23 will be an opportunity for us to showcase our city’s cultural, social and artistic wealth. We want people to leave their homes and come and join us in this cycling celebration, and to participate in the passion and spirit of this great sporting event.”
David Escudé, Sports Councillor, states that: “La Vuelta’s arrival in the city of Barcelona will offer all our residents the opportunity to be part of an elite cycling competition. The recovery of such an emblematic route, which includes Montjuic, is an opportunity to watch the best teams cover a distance of 14 kilometres right through the city centre, which is a truly unique, spectacular opportunity. This sporting scene will feature one of the world’s best backdrops: our city streets.”
Stage 1 | Barcelona > Barcelona | 14.6km
The first stage of La Vuelta 23 will take off on Saturday afternoon, and will consist of a team time trial through the streets of Barcelona. This 14-kilometre route will leave from the area surrounding the Olympic Port and will showcase some of the city’s most emblematic locations through a quick, technical circuit that will mark small differences among the teams of the aspiring general classification leaders.
Departure: Playa del Somorrostro
Route: Calle de la Marina , Plaza dels Voluntaris Olímpics (Besòs side), Calle de la Marina, Calle de Ramon Turró, Calle de Sardenya (in the opposite direction), Calle de Pujades (in the opposite direction), Paseo de Pujades (road closest to the sea, in the opposite direction), Paseo Lluís Companys (road on the Besós side), Paseo de Sant Joan (road on the Besós side), Calle de Casp, Calle de Lepant, Calle de Sancho d’Àvila, Calle de Badajoz, Avenida Diagonal, Calle de Cristòfol de Moura, Calle de Bac de Roda, Calle d’Aragó, Calle de Lepant (in the opposite direction), Calle de Mallorca, Avenida Diagonal (central road), Calle Roselló (in the opposite direction), Paseo de Gràcia, Calle d’Aragó, Calle Tarragona, Plaza d’Espanya (on the Llobregat side with lane separations).
Arrival: Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina.
Stage 2 | Mataró > Barcelona | 181.3km
The second stage of the 2023 edition will take off from Mataró and conclude in Barcelona, at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium. The 181.3 km route will feature two climbs: Coll de Sant Bartomeu (3rd category) and Coll d’Estenalles (2nd category). The race will also cross Villanova del Vallés, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, as it passes through Montmeló, Sabadell, Manresa, Castellbell and Vilar, Molins de Rei and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, among other localities. The emblematic Montjuic climb will determine the stage winner.
Route through Barcelona: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Plaza d’Espanya, Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Calle el Polvorí, Túnel de la Foixarda, Camino de la Foixarda, Calle de la Foixarda, Avenida dels Montanyans, Calle Mirador del Palau Nacional, Paseo de Santa Madrona, Avenida Miramar, Calle de Torreforta, Carretera de Montjuïc, Calle del Castell, Paseo del Migdia, Calle del Foc, Calle Jocs del 92 (separated), Avenida de l’Estadi.
During that time, the city will be the global cycling epicentre, which will increase its international exposure, thus earning it an international reputation as a global sports capital. Each year, La Vuelta broadcasts live on 18 stations (RTVE and Eurosport are the official Spanish stations) and is present in 190 countries. Over 1,000 journalists, from 28 nationalities and 298 media outlets, were present to cover the race’s previous edition.
Javier Guillén, the General Director of La Vuelta, stated that “the race’s Official Departure will be just one of the many moments in which Barcelona will take centre stage throughout the year. The city will also be the setting of other important events related to La Vuelta, starting with the official route presentation, that will take place in the Palau de la Música Catalana on the 10th of January. There, we will discover all the details of the 21 stages that make up this edition.” Likewise, the streets of Barcelona will also provide the setting for the race’s official promotional video – a video that will be shown on the various RTVE channels, coinciding with the start of the Tour de France 2023. Also, just a few days before the start of La Vuelta, Barcelona will host the Team Presentation.
During its 21 states and for around a week before the race officially begins, the event mobilises a travelling caravan of almost 3,000 people, which includes the organisation staff, the riders, the team personnel and journalists, among others.
La Vuelta and Barcelona, Biking Together
La Vuelta and Barcelona bike together for sustainability. Cycling is a sport that is very closely linked to the environment. For this reason, La Vuelta continues to implement and improve measures to reduce its environmental impact upon the natural areas through which it passes. Bicycles are very important to Barcelona – one of the cities where they are most-commonly used as a means of transport. Its green areas invite you to discover the city on two wheels through its many bike lanes. La Ronda Verde is a circuit that acts as a cycling vertebral axis consisting of 70 kilometres of bike lanes that connect Barcelona’s metropolitan area and extend through such natural areas as the Barcelona coastline, the Besòs River Park or Montjuïc Mountain, which is hugely emblematic in the world of cycling and will feature prominently in this edition’s second stage.
- The 78th edition of the race will depart from the Barcelona’s Olympic Port on the 26th of August and Mataró will host the departure of the second stage.
- Besides hosting the Official Departure, Barcelona will also provide the setting for the race’s official promotional video and for the team presentation.
- During that time, the city will be the global cycling epicentre, which will increase its international exposure, thus earning it an international reputation as a global sports capital.
Will Evenepoel be back in 2023? Maybe the Giro will be enough:
Spectacular and Demanding Route for the 69th Ruta del Sol Cycling Tour of Andalusia
The 2023 edition of the Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucía already has a definitive route. The race, which will take place between February 15 and 19 of next year, will have five online stages that will cover the provinces of Jaén, Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Cádiz and Málaga.
The Andalusian round will begin on Wednesday, February 15, in the Jaén town of Puente de Génave, right at the gate of the Sierra de Segura Natural Park, a beautiful town with just over 2,100 inhabitants who will be exceptional spectators at the start of this edition, which will feature the best of the international cycling peloton. It will be a tough day, the second longest, with 179 kilometres, a cumulative drop of 5162 meters with an average percentage of 3% and a maximum of 26%, quite a challenge for the squads.
Two 3rd category climbs will be ascended, Collado de los Yesos and Onsares, before facing the triplet of ascents to the 1st category passes of Navalperal, Garganta de Hornos and Despiernacaballos. The latter just 8 kilometres from the finish line, located in the town of Santiago de la Espada. A charming municipality of just over 1,400 inhabitants that will see the winner of the stage put on the first leader’s jersey of the Ruta del Sol this year on a very demanding day and undoubtedly open to a tough battle.
The next day, Thursday February 16, the town of Diezma in the Granada region of Guadix and with just over 770 inhabitants will be the beautiful starting point for the second stage of this race. A somewhat less hard day in his journey, but with the always demanding end in the Fortaleza de la Mota in the Jaen town of Alcalá la Real. There are 156 kilometres that the stage through winding roads has, conducive to a long getaway in which the adventurers of the route seek to surprise the peloton before tackling the pavé and hard finish. Two second category passes will be promoted, Los Rosales and Puerto de la Hoya de Charilla, and one third category, Zegri. It will be the ascent, after passing through the town of Alcalá la Real, to the Fortaleza de la Mota that decides the winner of the stage. An arrival for specialists in high finals with the addition of the traditional paves of the spectacular Fortress that offers views and an incomparable setting.
The third stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía 2023, on February 17, will leave the Seville town of Alcalá de Guadaira, a municipality located a few kilometres from the capital of the autonomous community and belonging to the Alcores region. Transition stage in the middle of the Vuelta, with a 161-kilometre route, serene at the beginning, which has two 3rd category mountain passes, Medina Sidonia and Alcalá de los Gazules itself. A spectacular arrival at the top of the town in Cádiz, which was already the scene of two triumphs for Tim Wellens (BEL) in the 2017 and 2020 editions, so it is presumed to be a day for specialists in short and explosive climbs.
The fourth stage will begin in the Cadiz town of Olvera, in the Sierra de Cádiz. A town that was already part of the Andalusian round in 2005 and that will see the efforts of the route leave again on February 18 on the way to Iznájar in Córdoba. A stage that will cover up to four provinces of Andalusia. The arrival in the town of Iznájar is already a tradition, however a renewed finish on the rise, optimal for runners with high final power that could make some differences in the general classification. The Algámitas, Cerro de San Cristóbal and Fuentes de Cesna ports of 3rd category as well as Jaramillo of 2nd will mark a day of tight control by the teams that have runners with a good finish on hard and short ramps. Iznájar has been a stage finisher twice recently, the first stage of the last edition in which the young Belgian Rune Herregodts (BEL) was placed as the leader and in 2020 in which the Spanish Gonzalo Serrano won in a beautiful sprint by then in the Caja Rural Seguros RGA.
The final stage of the Andalusian round this year will unite the Granada town of Otura and the Malaga town of Alhaurín de la Torre. A complex day of 184 kilometres and 300 meters, the longest of this edition, which will serve as the final battle with the unprecedented ascent to Puerto del Sol in the 1st category of 17 kilometres of hard ramps, 180º turns conducive to breaking the main group, control and raise a battle between the leaders of the race that will dispute the final victory at the arrival of Alhaurín de la Torre. You will also ascend the Cerrajón, Navazo and Los Núñez heights of 3rd category, the latter with the winding and hard passage of the hidden face, located in the town of Almogía.
This is the route of a race in which the company Deporinter, organiser of the event, is drawing up a list of important riders so that, with this spectacular and attractive menu of stages, the highest level cycling in the world can be seen at the start it’s from the season.
Volta ao Algarve Route for 2023
The Volta ao Algarve has presented the complete route for the next edition (February 15-19). The organisers had few surprises with the 2023 route. Next year there are again mountain stages on the program with the Alto da Fóia and Alto do Malhão.
The battle for the overall victory in the Portuguese stage race, part of the new UCI ProSeries, promises to be between pure climbers and all-rounders, with two summit finishes and an individual time trial over more than 20 kilometres. The other two stages should end in a sprint.
The first stage takes place between Portimão and Lagos and, as in previous years, is for the sprinters. Also in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and this year there was a stage in Lagos and the victories went to Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen (3 times).
Stage two is for the climbers with three climbs and a finish on the Fóia (7.1km at 6.8%), the highest point in the Algarve. Luis León Sánchez (2016), Daniel Martin (2017), Michal Kwiatkowski (2018), Tadej Pogačar (2019), Remco Evenepoel (2020), Ethan Hayter (2021) and David Gaudu (2022) have won on Foia.
After a showdown between the GC riders, it will be time to sprint on day three from Faro to Tavira. Then there are two more key stages, with first the classic mountain stage to the tough Alto do Malhão (2.5km at 9.9%) and finally a 24.4 kilometre long, flat time trial in and around Lagao.
Remco Evenepoel was the best in the Volta ao Algarve this year. In 2023, Jumbo-Visma, UAE Emirates, INEOS Grenadiers, EF Education-EasyPost, Alpecin-Deceuninck, BORA-hansgrohe, Groupama-FDJ, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, Arkéa Samsic and Team DSM are amongst the top teams to ride.
Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta Stages (15-02 to 19-02):
15-02 STAGE 1 Portimao – Lagos (200.2km)
16-02 STAGE 2 Sagres – Alto da Foia (189.4km)
17-02 STAGE 3 Faro – Tavira (203.1km)
18-02 STAGE 4 Albufeira – Alto do Malhao (177.9km)
19-02 STAGE 5 Lagoa – Lagoa (24.4km).
Evenepoel won Algarve in 2022:
2024 Grand Départ: First Time’s a Charm for Italy
The Tour de France weaves stories between nations. The chapter set to begin in 2024 with the first Italian Grand Départ is an addition written in golden letters to a long-running epic filled with heroics, twists of fate, auspicious race incidents and anecdotes etched in the minds of cycling lovers and fans of every generation. After all, the earliest pioneer, Maurice Garin, who hailed from the Aosta Valley, had only held a French passport for two years by the time he won the inaugural edition of the Tour in 1903. While the triumphant campaigns of extraordinary champions, ranging from Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi to Marco Pantani and Vincenzo Nibali, have marked the century between Ottavio Bottecchia’s maiden victory and the start of the Tour in Florence in June 2024, the Italians have been among the most creative riders in the peloton, always ready to put on a show on every terrain. Even though he never made a concerted effort to survive until the final showdown on the Champs-Élysées, Mario Cipollini became one of the most prolific stage winners of the 1990s, while Claudio Chiappucci claimed the polka-dot jersey twice (1991 and 1992). In more recent years, it was Fabio Aru who flew the flag for his country by winning on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2017 while clad in his national champion’s jersey.
In 2024, the programme for the first three stages offers a majestic panorama of the Italian cities and countryside while opening the hostilities with an exceptional sporting challenge. After leaving the gorgeous Florence, the trek through Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna leading to the seaside finale in Rimini will pit the peloton against a total altitude gain of 3,700 metres from day one — fortune will really favour the bold. Along the way, the San Marino climb will add the microstate to the list of 14 countries that have hosted the Grande Boucle. The next day, starting from the station in Cesenatico, the final resting place of Marco Pantani, the riders will tuck into another hefty serving of climbs on the road to Bologna, where punchers have long traded blows on the ascent to San Luca in the Giro dell’Emilia-Romagna. It will then be time for the super-speedsters of the peloton to step on the gas pedal in Turin, the capital of Piedmont, which has also become a prestigious sprint finish from all the Giro d’Italia stage finishes it has hosted.
- Christian Prudhomme appeared on Rai’s TG Sport show to launch the official countdown to the Grand Départ of the 2024 Tour de France. The first start of the race from Italy will come 100 years after Ottavio Bottecchia first took the trophy to the other side of the Alps.
- The show will get on the road on 29 June with the opening stage from Florence to Rimini, on the shores of the Adriatic in Emilia-Romagna, followed by a romp from Cesenatico to Bologna and a cross-country trek to Piedmont, where the peloton will finish off its Italian job in Turin on 1 July.
The first three stages of the 2024 Tour de France:
Saturday, 29 June — Stage 1: Florence > Rimini, 205km
Sunday, 30 June — Stage 2: Cesenatico > Bologna, 200km
Monday, 1 July – Stage 3: Piacenza > Turin, 225km
The seven Italian winners of the Tour de France:
Ottavio Bottecchia, Tour de France winner in 1924 and 1925
Gino Bartali, Tour de France winner in 1938 and 1948
Fausto Coppi, Tour de France winner in 1949 and 1952
Gastone Nencini, Tour de France winner in 1960
Felice Gimondi Tour de France winner in 1965
Marco Pantani, Tour de France winner in 1998
Vincenzo Nibali Tour de France winner in 2014
Tour stages in Italy:
1948: Marseille > San Remo (won by Gino Sciardis)
San Remo > Cannes (Louison Bobet)
1949: Briançon > Aoste (Fausto Coppi)
Saint-Vincent-d’Aoste > Lausanne (Vincenzo Rosselo)
1952: Le Bourg-d’Oisans > Sestrières (Fausto Coppi)
Sestrières > Monaco (Jan Nolten)
1956: Gap > Turin (Nino Defilippis)
Turin > Grenoble (Charly Gaul)
1959: Lautaret > Saint-Vincent-d’Aoste (Ercole Baldini)
Saint-Vincent-d’Aoste > Annecy (Rolf Graf)
1961: Grenoble > Turin (Guy Ignolin)
Turin > Antibes-Juan-les-Pins (Guido Carlesi)
1966: Briançon > Turin (Franco Bitossi)
Ivrea > Chamonix (Eddy Schutz)
1992: Saint-Gervais > Sestrières (Claudio Chiappucci)
Sestrières > L’Alpe-d’Huez (Andrew Hampsten)
1996: Le Monêtier-les-Bains > Sestrières (Bjärne Riis)
Turin > Gap (Erik Zabel)
1999: Le Grand-Bornand > Sestrières (Lance Armstrong)
Sestrières > L’Alpe-d’Huez (Giuseppe Guerini)
2008: Embrun > Prato Nevoso (Simon Gerrans)
Cuneo > Jausiers (Cyril Dessel)
2011: Gap > Pinerolo (Edvald Boasson Hagen)
Pinerolo > Col du Galibier (Andy Schleck)
All information about Tour de France on letour.fr/en/.
Davide Rebellin’s Autopsy Shows that the Collision with the Truck was Fatal
The autopsy on Davide Rebellin’s body has shown that the Italian died from the collision with a truck. No other medical abnormalities were found. Now that the autopsy has been completed, Rebellin can be buried by his family.
Initially, the plan was to conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances of his death on December 13, but the Vicenza Public Prosecutor’s Office decided to postpone the autopsy because the process to arrest the German suspect has been delayed. Now that the autopsy has taken place, Rebellin, three weeks after the fatal accident, can finally be taken to his final resting place.
Little is still clear about the European arrest warrant against 62 year-old truck driver Wolfgang Rieke, who allegedly killed Rebellin and then fled to his own country. The Italian police are considering issuing a European arrest warrant. Investigators are also reconstructing the accident as well as possible, based on available video images and eyewitness accounts.
Davide Rebellin’s funeral will take place this Friday at Lonigo Cathedral in Lonigo, not far from Vicenza.
RIP Davide Rebellin:
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