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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

I got rabies shots for biting the head off a bat but that's OK - the bat had to get Ozzy shots.  - Ozzy Osbourne

Tour de France: 2021

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2021: The Little Cannibal Dominates is available in both Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Thomas De Gendt re-signs with Lotto Soudal

The team sent me this:

Thomas De Gendt has extended his contract at Lotto Soudal with 2 years. The breakaway king will continue to share his experience with the young and talented Belgian WorldTour squad. “I am very curious for the evolution of the team in the coming years and very happy to be a part of that.”

Thomas De Gendt winning stage 8 of this year's Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

De Gendt is, with his 8 years of service, one of the most experienced riders of the Lotto Soudal team. He has developed himself into an attacker and stage hunter, with stage wins in all grand tours over the years. “Thomas De Gendt in the breakaway in a Lotto Soudal jersey: that is a familiar sight for every cycling fan”, says Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue. “Although we all know him as someone who jokes around and never gives up, last season has not been easy for him. Therefore, I am very happy to see his strong comeback this year. First of all, he has worked very hard for the team every time we needed him. But with his stage win in the Giro has proven once again what everybody already knew: with Thomas De Gendt you are never done.”

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Just as Lelangue, De Gendt is very satisfied with his prolonged stay at the team. “In this team I have been able to become the rider that I always wanted to be: an attacker”, says De Gendt. “The past 8 years have been a success for the most part of it, with beautiful victories and great memories. I am looking forward to adding another 2 years.”

De Gendt is full of ambition about his own future and that of the team. “I am very curious for the evolution of the team in the following years, with young talents as Maxim Van Gils or Arnaud De Lie and also the new cosponsor coming on board. Although it will become harder and harder for me, my goal still remains to win races. Next to that, I hope to help the team whenever I can.”

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Mads Pedersen extends with Trek-Segafredo

Here’s the team news release:

After an unforgettable Grand Depart in Denmark, Trek-Segafredo is thrilled to announce that Danish star Mads Pedersen has been inked with a new contract through 2025

Yes, you read that correctly. Mads showed his commitment to Trek-Segafredo by getting some fresh ink at the Trek tattoo studio.

Mads is a big character on and off the bike; a rider whose confidence is infectious.

“Aside from his obvious ability as a bike racer, Mads brings a lot to the Team. He cares about the people around him and raises the overall morale. Keeping him for three more years is an important step in our progress,” said Trek-Segafredo General Manager Luca Guercilena.

“Since Mads first joined the Team in 2017 he showed immediate signs of his potential. We saw flashes of his brilliance each year – Tour of Flanders in 2018, World Champs in 2019 and Gent-Wevelgem in 2020. Mads has had his share of bad luck along the way but his strong mentality has helped him refocus after each setback. This year he has reached a new level of consistency, whilst maintaining a very high level. I’m certain we will see him winning a lot more races with us.”

Mads Pedersen wins the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire, U.K. Sirotti photo

Mads Pedersen joined Trek-Segafredo in 2017 with high expectations of himself, though few outside the Team expected him to achieve quite so highly. The Dane stunned the cycling world for the first time at his Tour of Flanders debut, putting his big engine to use on his way to finishing 2nd. A year later he went one better – a surprise winner of the coveted rainbow jersey at the rain-soaked world championships in Yorkshire, England.

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Six years on with Trek-Segafredo and Mads is hungry for more success.

“This team gave me the chance to move into the WorldTour after two years at pro-conti level. Now this is my sixth season and I’m adding another three. If you’re staying in the same team for nine years, it must be something special,” said Mads. “Trek always said that they don’t want to be just colleagues, they want to be a big family, and that’s what I’m growing into. It’s a second family for me and that’s also why I decide to stay.

“It was a natural choice for me to extend my contract with Trek-Segafredo. We’ve had some amazing moments during my time here, but also some really tough ones. I’m working super hard for this and I’m doing everything I can, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. I’m only a human, I mess up sometimes. For me, having the support and confidence of the team through these low moments is even more important.”

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