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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do. - Michel de Montaigne

Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Paris-Roubaix: The Inside Story - All the bumps of cycling's cobbled classic is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Upcoming racing:

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Egan Bernal signs five-year contract with INEOS Grenadiers

The team sent me this news:

The INEOS Grenadiers are excited to announce that Egan Bernal has renewed his contract with the team and agreed a new five-year deal which will mean the Colombian remains a Grenadier until at least the end of 2026.

Coinciding with the start of the 2022 season, both the team and rider have underlined their motivation to chase more success together, with Bernal setting his sights on a return to the Tour de France in July.

Egan Bernal after winning the 2021 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Bernal said: “It’s really important, signing this new contract. I am really happy in this team. I am really proud of the team, the staff, and I’m signing now for my most important years. It will be my best years and I want to spend this time with this team.

“I really want to go back to the Tour. I skipped last year because of the Giro, but it feels like it’s been a long time since I was at the Tour. So I am really excited about this year. I want to go back having prepared really well, taking a good team, and being there to really enjoy the race.”

Deputy Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said: “We have seen Egan really grow over the last four years with the team. He’s demonstrated time and again that he is a phenomenal talent. He has also shown that, in the challenging moments, he has a huge amount of courage to pick himself up, lay himself on the line and go again. As a Grenadier and as a teammate, you can’t ask for much more than that. This season is going to be hugely competitive. Egan and the whole team are motivated to go all in and come out fighting.”

In 2018, Bernal took the leap from Pro Continental to WorldTour team with what was then Team Sky. Just a year later he went on to win the 2019 Tour de France aged 21, making him the youngest rider to ever take the Maillot Jaune and achieving an historic win for Colombia. He added the 2021 pink jersey at the 2021 Giro d’Italia to his Palmares and delivered the team’s 12th Grand Tour win.

Commenting on his decision to stay racing with the team for what will be close to a decade, Bernal says he believes the Grenadiers provide the hardest working and strongest support structure in cycling with a team that is totally aligned and motivated.

Bernal said: “I am really proud to be a Grenadier. You arrive at the races and you feel that you have the support and structure behind you.

“The thing about this team that I noticed right from the beginning is that everyone is working towards one goal. You can see and feel that everyone loves the sport, they are all really devoted and have an all in mentality.”

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Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl’s 2022 season starts in Calpe, Spain

Here’s the team’s latest announcement:

Sponsors, partners, and journalists attended the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team presentation Monday at the Suitopia – Sol y Mar Suites Hotel in Calpe, where CEO Patrick Lefevere began by presenting the new sponsors of the squad – Castelli Cycling, Ekopak, Renson and Safety Jogger – before moving on to the expectations for the season we’ll kick off in just a couple of weeks.

“As we prepare to start a new season, we are motivated to be again among the best squads in the world. For the past ten years, we have been the most successful team in the World Tour and we hope to continue adding more victories and great results to our palmares. We count on a solid team, a mix of experienced and young riders, all hungry and motivated to give their best. We are also very grateful for having so many extraordinary partners at our side, showing the same determination and commitment to be at the top”, explained Patrick Lefevere.

Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl riders in their 2022 kit.

World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, one of the riders in hot demand at the media day, outlined the goals he has for his ninth season with the Wolfpack: “It was amazing to wear the rainbow jersey for a whole year, and win with it on my shoulders some big races, and I feel honored to have the chance to sport it again this season. As you know, I want to improve and to become better, that’s why I always have a couple of goals in mind. Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be one of these, as it’s a race that suits me and where I came close a couple of times. I would also like to take a stage victory again at the Tour de France, because doing it in 2021 as World Champion was quite special. I know I can’t win every race I want to, but the most important thing is to know that I always give everything and enjoy every single moment on the bike.”

Also in the spotlight at the team presentation was Remco Evenepoel, who confirmed he will be at the start of a Grand Tour this year: “I hope to have a normal season, unlike last year when I had a late start. At the end of the day, I can’t complain, as I won eight races and have been on the podium at the National, European and World Championships, but I want more from this year. I will work hard towards the Ardennes Classics and La Vuelta. I like riding in Spain, I won San Sebastian and Burgos there, and can’t wait to ride the Vuelta and gain as much experience as possible.”

One of the main protagonists of the cobbled Classics in 2021, Danish powerhouse Kasper Asgreen has the same hunger for victories: “Last year was a great one. I won Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke, but that’s history now and my focus is on what lies ahead. I like winning races and hopefully I will keep doing that. What I know for sure is that I will keep trying. My main focus will be the Spring Classics, with the Amstel Gold Race as a new addition to my calendar. Then I will prepare for the Tour de France and the World Championships in the second part of the season. The fact that the Tour starts from Denmark will only fuel my motivation.”

“I don’t know yet where my season will get underway, but what I can tell you is that I’ll do everything that I can to be prepared for every race I will start with the squad. I had an unforgettable season in 2021, but what matters the most at the end of the day is that I am happy to be in this team, a team where you feel like in a family”, added Mark Cavendish, who last year enjoyed a tremendous season that saw him equal Eddy Merckx’s record of Tour de France stage victories, in addition to winning a second green jersey.

Going into its 20th season, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl comprises 31 riders from 10 nationalities: Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, Davide Ballerini, Mattia Cattaneo, Rémi Cavagna, Mark Cavendish, Josef Cerny, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Remco Evenepoel, Mikkel Honoré, Fabio Jakobsen, Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Fausto Masnada, Michael Mørkøv, Mauro Schmid, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, Zdenek Stybar, Martin Svrcek (who’ll join the squad from July 1st), Bert Van Lerberghe, Stan Van Tricht, Ilan Van Wilder, Mauri Vansevenant, Ethan Vernon, and Louis Vervaeke.

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Ruby Roseman-Gannon wins Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits

Roseman-Gannon’s BikeExchange-Jayco team posted this news:

New 2022 Team BikeExchange-Jayco recruit, Ruby Roseman-Gannon, got her season off to a flying start today by wrapping up the overall victory at the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits, winning both stages in convincing style.

No better way to start a season. BikeExchange-Jayco photo

The 23-year-old will make her step up into the WorldTour peloton later this season with Team BikeExchange-Jayco in Europe and is already displaying her early season form Down Under with these two stunning stage victories, coming ahead of the much-anticipated Australian road race championships next week.

Roseman-Gannon, riding with mixed team ‘Lexus of Blackburn’ during the two-day Bay Crits, showed her turn of speed on stage one to claim the bunch sprint finish before breaking away on today’s second stage.

The Australian neo-pro successfully escaped mid-way through the stage alongside Matilda Raynolds (InForm TMX MAKE) and the pair were able to hold off the chasers on the 1.9-kilometre course, with Roseman-Gannon throwing her arms in the air for the second consecutive day, to safely secure the overall Bay Crits title for 2022.

Ruby Roseman-Gannon on winning overall:
“It’s good to start off the season with a win, two from two on this Liv bike, so it is going well so far, and I am excited for the rest of the season.

I have put in a lot of hard work over the last few months, so it is good to see that it is paying off. I have been pretty nervous as I have been with good legs so had great expectations and of course you want to finish it off and today I felt really good.”

On dealing with pressure:
“Putting on a WorldTour jersey, there is some expectations, but I think I have realised that it is internal, and I just really, really want to do well and I have always had that pressure on myself. Before I had to convince myself that I could believe in myself when nobody else did and now everyone has the expectations, but I still have that still internal pressure and I guess that is what pushes me forward.”

On next week’s Australian championships:
“I think I’ve got good legs so I hope I can pull it off on the day. It’s an itch to scratch as I’ve been up there for three years now so I really want to win that.”

Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits – stage 1 results:
1. Ruby Roseman-Gannon +0:55:53
2. Alex Martin Wallace ST
3. Matilda Raynolds ST

Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits – stage 2 results:
1. Ruby Roseman-Gannon +0:58:34
2. Matilda Raynolds ST
3. Grace Brown +0:17

Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits – Final Classification:
1. Ruby Roseman-Gannon 24pts
2. Matilda Raynolds 18
3. Alex Martin Wallace 16

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Movistar Team to kickoff 2022 season in Almería

Here's the team's update:

Telefónica-backed Team Movistar will bring its whole set of women's, men's and esports squads to Andalusia; will cover long training rides + vast set of activities in southern Spain through Sunday 23rd.

With the Christmas holidays now behind and just over two weeks before their men’s team starts their busy racing calendar, next January 26th at the Challenge de Mallorca -the eTeam will be starting their 2022 competitions this very Monday, Movistar Team will bring its whole roster, including the 53 members of the women’s, men’s and esports squads, down to Vera, in the southeastern Spanish province of Almería.

Alejandro Valverde and his teammates are headed to Almeria for training.

The Blues will cover there, from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 23rd, twelve days of training to finetune their form before their 43rd season in elite pro cycling. Before starting their journey, though, all members of the Telefónica-backed squad will undergo health tests to ensure the group’s safety is not compromised heading into their first collective event of the year.

Those riders competing at the Challenge will travel directly from Almería to their first round of the season, while the women’s Movistar Team will make its debut at the Vuelta CV Féminas, Sunday 6th February.

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