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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, January 1, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

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I've learned that something constructive comes from every defeat. - Tom Landry

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Riccardo Minali completes Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux rider lineup

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Riccardo Minali will be the fourth Italian rider within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The 25 year old started his professional career with Astana, before moving to Israel Cycling Academy and Nippo Delko One Provence, before returning to the World Tour in the Belgian team in 2021. The sprinter from Verona started his season well with podium finishes in Gabon and in Langkawi. Since 2018, he has two stages in this Tour of Langkawi on his palmares. At the end of the season at the Tour of Portugal, the son of multiple Grand Tour stage winner Nicolas Minali added more podiums. Riccardo Minali signed a contract until the end of 2021.

Riccardo Minali

Riccardo Minali winning the second stage of the 2018 Tour de Langkawi

Riccardo Minali:
" I couldn’t imagine a better Christmas present! 2020 was complicated for me, with the lockdown and roller training in the spring, and then the uncertainty about my professional career at the end of the year. But in the end, the year finishes on a very positive note, it’s incredible! I’m very happy to wear the jersey of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in a couple of days. After a good education within Astana, the year 2020 made me stronger mentally. I’m looking forward to return to the highest level, I want to show my qualities to my new team. I’m eager to win races in the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériau! And as an Italian rider, I’m dreaming of the Giro d’Italia and Milano-San Remo…"

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager):
" We wanted to complete our team of fast riders, with a sprinter with a good top speed and World Tour experience. Riccardo has a past on the track, and a nice palmares on the road. In the fast sprints, he’s able to win races if the team supports him well. The Italian rider is in the pro ranks for four years already, from which two in the World Tour, and his young age offers nice progression perspectives."

Yves Lampaert: “Winning Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne gave me a lot of confidence”

Lampaert’s Deceuninck-Quick Step team posted this:

The Belgian talked about his victory in the last race of the season and the team’s show of strength.

"I remember De Panne like it was yesterday, and that’s because the team was truly outstanding on that day and perfectly mastered the terrible weather conditions, which included strong wind and a lot of rain. We dominated the race and showed our strength in numbers throughout the day, and in the end, I could finish it off, which made me happy, because I could repay my incredible teammates for all their hard work.

Yves Lampaert

Yves Lampert takes an impressive solo win. Despite its name, Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne is currently a single-day race.

"The race was hectic from the off due to the crosswinds, which split the peloton early before a regrouping took place. I remember things calming down for a bit, but then, with 100 kilometers to go it was game on again. Our team responded present and made the first selection with all seven guys, and then, as the race went on and the peloton was being whittled down, we continued to have the numbers at the front and show our collective force and Wolfpack spirit.

"In the final part of the race, there were four of us in a leading group of eight and we put a lot of pressure on our opponents. Inside ten kilometers to go, Tim attacked and delivered a solid effort, but they brought him back. As soon as that happened, I noticed that the others were a bit on the limit while I still had something left, so I just attacked and opened a small gap which I continued to extend and carry all the way to the line.

"Getting my first victory of the year in the last World Tour race was really important, because in the summer I had crashed at Milano-Torino just as I was preparing to reach peak form and missed many races. This kind of win gives you a lot of confidence and makes you more relaxed going into the winter, it allows you to start the off-season with a completely different mindset and that really counts. Not just the victory made me happy, but also having Tim – who is a great friend – with me on the podium. Everybody knows how much he works for the team and what a consistent season he had had, so it was really nice and special to see him there and share that unforgettable moment with him."

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