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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 13, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say: I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger. - Harriet Tubman

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Jumbo-Visma to ride Tour de la Provence for first time

Here's the team's racing update:

This week, Team Jumbo-Visma will be at the start of the Tour de la Provence for the first time. Sports directors Jan Boven and Sierk Jan de Haan selected a team without a clear race leader. Robert Gesink, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Sepp Kuss and Chris Harper will start the race in a free role.

Robert GEsink

Robert Gesink at the 2019 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Jumbo-Visma Development Team rider Gijs Leemreize will ride his first professional race. The UCI gives riders from the development team starting opportunities in the World Tour team.

“We want to ride this race as a team that takes initiative”, Boven said. “Pascal, Maarten Wynants and Gijs will support the climbers in the second and third stages. After the second stage we will see wether the general classification is a realistic goal for one of our riders. This race will be a new experience for Gijs. The whole team will help him and guide him during his first race between the pros.”

Twenty-year-old Leemreize is happy with the opportunity offered to him. “I did not expect to ride a professional race that fast. This winter I trained well and with a professional race in my legs I expect that my condition will only get better. My goal is to gain as much experience as possible and to do my job for the team.”

Andrey Amador joins Team INEOS

Team INEOS sent me this news:

Team INEOS can confirm the signing of Andrey Amador on a three-year deal.

Amador, 33, has long been admired by the Team and is renowned as one of the sport’s outstanding riders. The Costa Rican is set to make his Team INEOS debut at the UAE Tour.

Andrey Amador

Andrey Amador racing at the 2019 World Championships. Sirotti photo

A consummate professional and incredible teammate, Amador has a track record of supporting the best riders in the world while achieving excellent results of his own. Previously a part of two Grand Tour winning lineups – including Richard Carapaz’s 2019 Giro d’Italia win – Amador also has a Giro stage win to his name, and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Tour in 2015.

He arrives after spending the first 11 years of his professional career with the Movistar setup.

Andrey said: “Who wouldn’t be excited to sign with Team INEOS? I’m very happy to be part of this great Team. I have spent all of my sporting career with Movistar and I owe them a lot – but I felt now is the right time in my career to seek some new motivations. This is a new challenge and I will give everything I have for this Team.

“Everyone can see there is a strong unit at this Team – there is an impressive bunch of riders and staff. I’m excited to be part of this group, joining alongside Richard Carapaz. I’m happy we can continue to ride together after what were able to do with Movistar at the Giro d’Italia.

“My aim will be to try to contribute as much as I can in every race. I still have many things I can learn and improve on as a rider, and Team INEOS is the perfect place for me to do this.”

Team INEOS Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “Andrey’s consistent record speaks for itself. He is a rider of the highest calibre and his experience in the sport’s biggest races will be invaluable.

“I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve admired Andrey’s performances over the years. His consistent commitment to Team goals and his ability to race across a wide range of terrain, combined with his upbeat personality is exactly what we seek in a Team INEOS rider. Everyone on the Team is excited to have Andrey join us and we are looking forward to giving him a warm welcome and making great things happen.”

Matteo Trentin to lead CCC Team at Vuelta a Murcia 

The team sent me this:

Matteo Trentin will lead CCC Team at the two-day Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia on February 14 and 15, while Patrick Bevin will make his season debut.

Despite the climbing-heavy parcours, Trentin has showed his versatility at the race with fourth place overall at the then one-day race in 2018, and seventh place in 2019 having finished in the top ten on both stages.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin winning stage 17 of the 2019 Tour de France

“Although Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia consists of two mountain stages, it is not necessarily a race for the pure climbers. As we have seen from previous years, Matteo Trentin is definitely capable of a good result so we have a strong team around him. Our goal is a top five in the General Classification and a stage win. Of course, we are not lining up as the favorites and it won’t be our responsibility to control the race. Instead, we will look to race aggressively and help Matteo get over the climbs and set him up for the finales on both days,” Sports Director Piotr Wadecki explained.

Trentin is hoping to build on his form from Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

“I’m feeling good after racing in Valencia but it was a really hard race considering it was the first race of the season for most riders. I think it was good in terms of testing the legs and getting back into the racing rhythm after the off season so I’m a bit more confident ahead of Murcia as I think I will get better and better with every race I do,” Trentin said.

“They’ve changed the parcours a bit from last year but I think the first stage should be a sprint as it is not so hard. The second stage is quite interesting as the last big climb is still 60 kilometers from the finish so it’s a mix between the last two editions. I think we have a good team for the race and my aim is to improve on my results from Valencia.”

After withdrawing before the start of the Santos Tour Down Under, Bevin has opted to forgo the New Zealand National Championships in order to start his European racing season earlier than planned.

"I am lining up at Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murica very excited to start my season. I want to slot straight into the team objectives but it is my first race after an extended break from racing. My precautionary withdrawal from the Tour Down Under was extremely frustrating but I appreciate the work the team has done, along with the Olympic Medical Team in New Zealand, to make sure that I am 100 percent fit and healthy to begin my season"

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia (14-15 February)

Rider roster: Patrick Bevin (NZ), Josef Černý (CZE), Kamil Małecki (POL), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).

Sports Director: Piotr Wadecki (POL) 

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