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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan


Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories

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Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert gets new racing kit

Here’s the team’s new release:

The riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will continue to distinguish themselves in the peloton thanks to their new kit, which is presented by Italian brand Nalini this season. For its second year in the World Tour, the team directed by Jean-François Bourlart associates with the clothing manufacturer from Mantova, which is known for being on the cutting edge of technology and for dressing the most prestigious teams and the best riders in the world.

The presence on the sleeves of yellow fluo and navy blue, traditional colors of the Belgian World Team, is combined with a predominance of white on the breast. This new design offers both sobriety and a perfect visibility  for the sponsors, with title partners Intermarché, Wanty and Gobert Matériaux in the middle of the kit. The logo of Circus keeps its traditional place on the back of the shorts, just like the one of Tormans on the sleeves in its typical orange color.

The new team kit.

The know-how of Italian clothing manufacturer Nalini enabled to allocate a prominent position to new partner Vini Zabù, present on both the left part of the abdominal belt and the left side of the shorts. As an ambassador for the Walloon Region, the team based in Tournai will wear the logo of Wallonia on the left sleeve, the back and the right side of the shorts. Industrial group Technord based in Tournai makes its appearance on the front of the kit, with online employment agency Digital Interim staying on the back.

Just like last year, the breast shows the technical partners of the World Team, namely bike manufacturer Cube Bikes, cycling and leisure shoes DMT, Force helmets and henceforth new clothing manufacturer Nalini, which is also on the back of the shorts and on the back. Just like in 2021, Bière des Amis 0,0% stays visible on the shorts, but moved towards the right leg.

The new kit produced by Nalini worn the whole season by the riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the most prestigious races honors the champions in the team. For example, the sleeves of Alexander Kristoff show champion bands referring to his European title from Herning 2017, just like the ones from his compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm, South-African Louis Meintjes, Hungarian rider Barnabás Peák est Estonian Rein Taaramäe, former national road race champions. The last named rider is the reigning national time trial champion and will wear a Nalini time trial suit in Estonian colors.

Nalini is an Italian clothing manufacturer founded on the passion of the brothers Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani in the sixties. With a special care for details, Nalini went through the cycling history dressing great champions like Fignon, Bugno, Chiapucci, Indurain or Pantani, thanks to the ongoing follow-up on the technical innovations to stay on the cutting edge of textile modernity. Nalini is a brand of factory MoaSport, which is still directed by Claudio Mantovani and produces its clothing line in its historical headquarters of Castel d’Ario (Mantova) to always defend "Made in Italy".

“I'm pleased with this new partnership with Nalini. Their society, MoaSport, is an emblematic reference in the cycling world as they already dressed countless champions. From the first contacts with the historical founder, Claudio Mantovani, this partnership between our team and Nalini was an evidence. We share the same family values with the continuous willingness to improve ourselves. Their designers designed an elegant kit in all its simplicity, by using colors which enable Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux to stand out in the peloton. I can't wait to see them a first time in action in competition!” - Jean-François Bourlart (CEO)

“We begin this partnership with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux with enthusiasm as the team has grown strongly the last couple of years and at the same time maintains a strong relationship with its origins. This is an important value in cycling, and this particular attention to authenticity, the basis and the roots is entirely in line with the principles we defend with our company. Nalini realizes almost the entire production in Italy, which is very important to us. We wish that this partnership, started with sharing values an similarities, will be advantageous for us and for cycling in general.” - Claudio Mantovani (Founder Nalini)

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Team Jumbo-Visma continues to put more effort into development and sporting success

Here’s the team’s news release:

Team Jumbo-Visma presented the riders of the World Team today, not as planned just before Christmas at Move on the Stadionplein in Amsterdam, but during a training camp in Alicante. With this move, corona was hardly kept at bay. Partly due to all the strict measures, the formation that presented itself to the media and via a live stream was also not complete in Spain. That did not keep the team of manager Richard Plugge from looking back at 2021 with pride and, above all, eagerly looking forward to the coming cycling year.

Last season Team Jumbo-Visma won one race after another, yet there is still plenty to wish for. "We want to compete for victory in the monuments", said sporting director Merijn Zeeman. "And with Primoz (Roglic) and Jonas (Vingegaard) we are going for the highest achievable in the Tour as well."

Via a live link from his quarantine address in the French Alps, Plugge additionally dwelt on his team’s extra-sports appeal. "Companies like to associate with us. This results in new partners, such as Vacansoleil on our women’s team’s shirts, and the growth of our Business Peloton, which we started last year. We are building a sustainable model that will allow us to remain successful in our sport in the future."

Women's 2022 Jumbo-Visma kit

Therefore, the development of up-and-coming talent continues to be a guiding theme at Team Jumbo-Visma. A novelty is the introduction of Young Team Jumbo-Visma. This team of ‘high potentials’ consists of riders from the development team, neo-pros from the World Tour team, and a few riders who have been riding at the highest level for a while, like Tobias Foss, David Dekker, Olav Kooij and Gijs Leemreize. With a well-thought-out race programme and specific race intentions, they are prepared for the next step in their careers. And through the Team Jumbo-Visma Academy and CyclingClassNL, young riders will continue to broaden the base.

With the classics team, led by Wout van Aert, the riders who start racing soon were addressed. The core around the Belgian leader was further strengthened for next season with Christophe Laporte, Tosh Van der Sande and Tiesj Benoot. "I think we will be competing for victories there. That is the goal in any case", Zeeman said. "These riders have already won their spurs. Christophe has already shown that he can get far in the classics. I think he was one of the surprises of 2021. We spoke with him at length, analysed his data and discussed his ambitions. There is still a lot to gain, particularly in terms of performance. Much has already been said about Tiesj. We are super happy with him. His availability was a big opportunity for us. He has been one of the best in the world in the classics and the grand tours for many years. When we look at Tosh, apart from the fact that he has already been active in finals such as the Amstel Gold Race and Dwars door Vlaanderen, he strikes us as a brilliant rider. He’s very good at positioning and reading races. He makes our classic team stronger."


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The Giro and the Vuelta also passed in review on a cloudy Costa Blanca. Tom Dumoulin was asked about his planned participation in the Giro and his love for Italy. However, the team could not say much about the Vuelta. That selection will only be made after the Tour, but Zeeman made it clear that the start in the Netherlands inspires him to put together an orange-tinted formation that should do well in the opening team time trial.

Much attention was obviously paid to the Tour de France. After podium finishes of Steven Kruijswijk, Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard, the French stage race is again the main goal for Team Jumbo-Visma in 2022. Zeeman: "In 2021 we had our best Tour ever, with four stage wins and second place in the general classification. We will do everything to be the best version of ourselves in July, but we know the competition is strong. Tadej Pogacar is the top favourite again and we are one of the challengers."

Six of the eight names appearing at the start in Denmark are already known: in addition to both leaders, they are Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, Rohan Dennis and Wout van Aert. The last two names will be announced in May. Zeeman: "First, we have to get through the hectic opening week without any injuries. The Tour is the biggest race in the world and the hardest to win, but we find it a fabulous challenge. We are looking forward to it."


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Wayne Stetina leaves Shimano after 37 years, joins SRAM

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this surprising update:

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Wayne Stetina is leaving Shimano American, where he has held leadership and product positions for 37 years, to join arch rival SRAM, according to several BRAIN sources and an interview published Friday on RoadBikeAction.com.

BRAIN has not been able to reach Stetina yet, but he told RBA that he is leaving Shimano on good terms. He also discussed the departure on his Twitter feed (see below).

"(I) have to say that it’s actually been better than I thought it would be.  Of course they were concerned about product confidentiality so I had to sign some papers, but I think they're also aware of my history of integrity. In fact, even SRAM made me sign papers that would hold me responsible if there was ever any information passing over," Stetina told RBA editor Zapata Espinoza.

Stetina joined Shimano in 1984. One of the most successful road racers in American history, Stetina was involved in product development and later served as vice president and road product specialist. He said that at SRAM he will become a “Senior Field Guide” at SRAM.

"I see an opportunity to concentrate on making better parts for road and gravel riders to use, as well as visiting shops and working with our sponsored teams," he said. Wayne Stetina is the uncle of pro gravel privateer Peter Stetina.

You can read the entire story here.

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