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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, June 28, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. - Samuel Johnson

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:


Maarten Wynants to retire after Paris-Roubaix 2021 to become a coach at Team Jumbo-Visma

Here the team's update:

Maarten Wynants has decided to retire. The 38-year-old, who has been part of Team Jumbo-Visma and its predecessors since 2011, will swap his bike for the team car after the spring of 2021. He has revealed this news in a conversation with Werner Bourlez from Het Nieuwsblad.

Maarten Wynants

Maarten Wynants at the 2014 Tour of Britain

The Belgian isn’t planning to retire immediately. The oldest active Belgian professional cyclist has decided to extend his contract with six months because of the coronavirus. Paris-Roubaix in 2021 will be his final race. “I don’t want to stop like this. Paris-Roubaix two more times and then it’s time to get behind the wheel”, Wynants said in the interview.

Wynants actually intended to retire at the end of last year, but decided to go on for another year after the team’s impressive 2019 season. Though the Belgian had imagined his farewell season slightly differently. “It seems that everything has been canceled due to the coronavirus, but if we can still race for four months, that is already something. The season is not considered to be lost yet and I am still very eager to race”, he said.

“This way I don’t want to retire. That is why I decided to ride another spring in 2021. Therefore I am able to say goodbye as a cyclist under normal circumstances. Paris-Roubaix will be my last race. In principle, this is already possible in October because of the new calendar, but I would like to retire after a normal, full spring season. Paris-Roubaix is my favourite race. One with a lot of emotions. The way in which Tom Boonen (Wynants raced with Boonen for four years while racing for QuickStep) said goodbye in his Roubaix unconsciously may have played a role too. I would very much like to lead Wout van Aert or a teammate to the victory on the Velodrome.”

Wynants is of unprecedented value for Team Jumbo-Visma and has been playing a significant role in many successes of the team in recent years. That is why the team car is a logical next step. “Firstly, I will still play my role as team captain in the race”, the Belgian clarified.

“Our younger riders in the team for the spring races still need guidance. They all can ride their bikes very hard, but you have to be able to make the right decisions at the right time. You have to learn and know when to go fast and when you’d better save your energy. To choose your position. Then it is good that an experienced rider like me can still guide them. Even after my retirement, I want to pass on that experience.”

Wynants will initially learn the ropes at the development team. “The idea is that I learn everything about being a coach with them before I move on to the WorldTour team. However, I will also do some smaller professional races, but the Tour de France is not immediately on my program. I have been learning a lot about coaching for a while now. I have to take one more exam and then I will have my coaching degree”, he tells Het Nieuwsblad.

Wynants wasn’t able to clinch an individual victory in his professional career, but he did collect a series of podium places. He was also one of the major engines of Team Jumbo-Visma in the unique performance that the team delivered in the team time trial victory in the 2018 Tour of Britain.

“This corona crisis has made me realise how beautiful cycling is”, he continues. “Although it was a pleasure to put my body to rest in the past months. I had been going full throttle for seventeen years. It was good to give my body some rest. Now I am able to go and give my best on the roads again. And I have proven that I am still able to keep up with the other guys.”

Wynants will leave with the team on July 7th for a two-week altitude camp in the Zillertal in Austria. The Tour team won’t be there as they are having their preparation in Tignes, France. “I’m really looking forward to train with my teammates again for a long time. The last few months I’ve been training on my own enough. I will restart my season in Strade Bianche and then ride the Czech Cycling Tour with the younger guys. But my main role remains the same, team captain for the classics. Luckily for me, they don’t come until the end of the year. By then my body will definitely be back on track again”, he concluded with a wink.

Trek-Segafredo team updates: Training camps & Tour, Giro riders

Here's the team's release:

The countdown to the official restart of the 2020 season has begun with all but a month until the Vuelta a Burgos, the first race for Trek-Segafredo.  Since the UCI announced the new racing calendar, the team’s management, performance group, and directors’ work to reorganize races, training, camps, and schedules has been hectic.

“New dates for the most important events, Grand Tours and Classics first and foremost, was what all cycling stakeholders wanted,” said Luca Guercilena, General Manager of Trek-Segafredo. “Now we have to outline the way to prepare the team in the best way. It’s not easy with a compressed calendar, with three racing programs – even four – running simultaneously most of the time and also with few intercontinental transfers. But we are confident and satisfied with the work we are doing.

“We have 28 riders on the men’s roster, and that is enough in an ordinary season, but it may be too limited for an extraordinary one. We are making an effort to select the right riders to achieve our goals, providing more scenarios in case of unforeseen events. The biggest difficulty is that significant choices must be made today if we want the riders at top condition, and this leaves very little room for changes, given the proximity of the races.”

The first important decisions refer to the most demanding events in terms of planning, the Grand Tours. And the biggest concern is the preparation. Trek-Segafredo has planned two altitude training camps – one in France and one in Italy. Both camps will follow the strict UCI in full compliance with the regulations of each country to minimize the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In France, part of the team will train in Isola 2000, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, which is close to the Italian border, from July 12-28.  Performance Manager Josu Larrazabal and Sports Directors Steven de Jongh and Kim Andersen will oversee eight riders – Bauke Mollema, Richie Porte, Jasper Stuyven, Julien Bernard, Niklas Eg, Alex Kirsch, Toms Skujins and Edward Theuns – who will be attending the camp on variable dates.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte will train in Isola 2000 and then probably ride the Tour de France. Sirotti photo

From July 10-25, another group will be based in Italy in the Dolomites, at Passo San Pellegrino. The training program will be led by trainer Paolo Slongo and involve seven riders: Vincenzo Nibali, Giulio Ciccone, Gianluca Brambilla, Nicola Conci, Jacopo Mosca, Antonio Nibali, and Pieter Weening.  Unlike the training camp in France, all seven riders will stay the full period.

The Rosters for Tour de France and Giro d’Italia

“We are about two months away from the start of the Tour de France, three months until the Giro d’Italia, and four to the Vuelta a España,” added Guercilena. “In a normal situation, we would have indicative lists of riders who could be at the start, and we would have a roster of 10-12 riders to select from, also depending on their performance on the road. Not this year.”

“We’ve drawn up a roster of nine riders for each Grand Tour. The reference group for the Tour will train at Isola 2000, except for Julien Bernard. For the Giro, the group will be at Passo San Pellegrino. The Vuelta is the only Grand Tour where we have more room to make decisions. The only certainty is that Mollema is the captain,” continued Guercilena.

In Nice, for the start of the Grande Boucle, Trek-Segafredo will field eight of the following nine riders: Mollema, Porte, Stuyven, Eg, Kirsch, Skujins, Theuns, and two who are not attending the France training camp, World Champion Mads Pedersen, and Kenny Elissonde.

At the Corsa Rosa, now confirmed to start in Sicily, the selection will be among the seven riders training in the Dolomites – Vincenzo Nibali, Ciccone, Brambilla, Conci, Mosca, Antonio Nibali, and Weening – plus Julien Bernard and Koen de Kort.

“These confirmations give light on two fundamental events of the men’s season, but the work for the rest of the calendar also continues at a fast pace. We’re finalizing the detailed calendar for both teams and soon will announce the first steps of the women’s season, including their presence in the training camps and the most important races,” concluded Guercilena.

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