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Saturday, June 25, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Team BikeExchange-Jayco names Tour de France squad

Notably, Simon Yates, who abandoned the Giro after injuring his knee, is not racing the Tour.

The team sent me this news release:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco has named a strong team of opportunists for the 2022 Tour de France, led by four-time stage winner Dylan Groenewegen and green jersey and three-time stage winner Michael Matthews.

Dylan Groenewegen winning stage 7 of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

With seven Tour de France stage victories between them, the experienced duo headline the versatile line-up, with stage success the Australian outfit’s primary objective across the three weeks of racing, which begins next Friday, 1st July in Copenhagen.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Jack Bauer (NZL) – 7th appearance
Luke Durbridge (AUS) – 8th appearance
Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – 5th appearance
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR) – 5th appearance
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN) – 5th appearance
Michael Matthews (AUS) – 7th appearance
Luka Mezgec (SLO) – 3rd appearance
Nick Schultz (AUS) – Debut appearance

Experience & Diversity
The eight-rider squad is built on solid foundations, with the majority of riders lining-up for their fifth appearance or more at La Grande Boucle. Dane Chris Juul-Jensen will guide the support team, ready for a Tour de France start in his home country, alongside two Australian riders in the shape of Luke Durbridge, who lines-up for his eighth Tour de France and Nick Schultz, set to make his debut appearance.

Back for more, after two close second place finishes in 2020, will be Slovenian fast man Luka Mezgec and two powerhouses in New Zealander Jack Bauer and Norwegian Amund Grøndahl Jansen, both with crucial support roles.

Target Stages
GreenEDGE Cycling has claimed seven Tour de France stage victories during its ten-year existence (2x 2013, 1x 2016, 4x 2019), plus two overall victories in the young rider classification (2016, 2017), three top-10 overall finishes (2016, 2017, 2020) and seven-days in the Maillot Jaune (3x 2013, 4x 2020). Returning to an opportunistic approach for 2022, the squad looks to get the ball rolling early on, with the second and third stage in Denmark marked out as early targets.

Once the race enters France, stage four and six are also noted as potential stages that can suit the team’s diverse strengths, bookmarking what is set to be an iconic stage five; the ‘Paris-Roubaix’ stage which features the infamous Arenberg cobbles. The middle week brings the high mountains where an open and opportunistic mindset will be key, before more favourable stages await on stages 13, 15 and 19, ahead of the traditional final stage on the Champs Elysées.

Brent Copeland - General Manager:
“It’s almost time for the spectacle that is the Tour de France and we’re delighted to see the event returning to normal each year, with our fans and sponsors able to join us and be a part of what is one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

"Our technical staff have been working hard over the past months to select a well-balanced team ready to challenge for stage victories, which is our main objective for this year’s race, and we are looking forward to taking every opportunity with both hands.

"With the Grand Départ in Copenhagen, I am sure it will be a memorable edition, there is never an easy Tour de France and the parcours looks interesting and should create an exciting three-week race. We believe with the team we have put together; we have plenty of great possibilities to challenge for those prestigious stage victories and we are ready to get started in a week’s time.”

Matthew White - Head Sport Director:
“This is an experienced group to be taking to what is always a beautiful, yet stressful block of racing. We have a team of guys who can win stages and be very competitive across the three weeks over various terrains. There is one thing for sure; this group will put their hearts and souls into our daily plans and objectives from day one in Copenhagen, until we cross that finish line in Paris.”

Dylan Groenewegen – 4x TDF stage winner:
“I’m looking forward to returning to the Tour de France, the last time I raced was in 2019 and it was a success for me, and so it is great to be returning this year. I will have a strong team, the best support that I need, with really good lead-out men like Luka Mezgec. We’ve been working a lot together this year, we’ve had some good wins and that is the big goal for us in France.

"The second stage in Copenhagen is a stage I am looking forward to, I hope there is not too much wind so it can finish with a sprint. The sprints at the TDF are always hectic, not only with all the sprinters but there’s always general classification riders trying to stay at the front too for the time, so it’s always busy in the bunch and this makes it different to other races. Having these experienced riders around me in the finals will be important during the whole Tour.”

Team BikeExchange-Jayco – 2022 Tour de France Team Stats:
Youngest rider: Nick Schultz (27)
Oldest rider: Jack Bauer (37)
Tour de France debutants: Nick Schultz (1x)
Most Tour de France appearances: Luke Durbridge (8x)
Total Tour de France appearances: (40x)

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Team Baharin Victorious announces Tour de France team

Here’s the team’s announcement

Bahrain Victorious head to the 109th edition of La Grande Boucle with a strong line-up and a target of a podium in the General Classification with Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso. The GC leaders will have the support of Jan Tratnik, Kamil Gradek, Fred Wright and the experienced Luis Leon Sanchez. 2021 stage winners Matej Mohorič and Dylan Teuns, both looking for a third stage win at Tour de France, round up the strong and versatile line-up for Bahrain Victorious.

Matej Mohorič wins 2021 Tour de France stage 19. Sirotti photo

The 109th edition of the Tour departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, on 1st July 2022, concluding with the infamous sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées on 24th July 2022. The 21 stages cover 3,349.8 km and a versatile parcour with two time trials, classic like cobble stages, bunch sprints, chances for echelons, and plenty of climbs as riders tackle 48,530 vertical meters.

The GC contenders will be cautiously looking towards the first week with the opening time trial and a technical stage 5, where they take on 11 sectors of Paris Roubaix cobbles.

The first summit finish is on stage 7 on Planche des Belles Filles, a happy hunting ground for Dylan Teuns, where he won his first stage at the Tour de France in 2019 and later proposed to his wife.

Stage 11 and 12 will be the big test in the Alps for the GC contenders as they battle a gruelling 8,730 vertical meters and five Hors Categorie climbs over the two stages.

The next test comes in the Pyrenees on stages 17 and 18, with four category 1 climbs and two Hors Categorie climbs over 7,388 vertical meters, with the final shake-up in the GC coming on stage 20 on the 40km time trial ending in Rocamadour.

Jack Haig will focus on those key stages as he looks to fight for the GC: “I’m feeling really good coming into the Tour and maybe a little more relaxed this year than last year. Last year I went into the race with a lot of pressure on myself and to prove to my new team that I could perform.

"This year I feel much more comfortable in the team alongside the group of riders we have going into the Tour, so I’ve not got much to be nervous about.

"As I said, we’ve got a strong line-up going into the race with really good flat support, which will be important for the first 7-8 days, which will be about minimising the risk of any bad luck.

"For my personal ambitions, I want to go well in the GC, and if I get a top 5 finish by the end of the Tour, I’d be quite happy. For the team’s ambitions, we will look for some stage results, with the strong guys who will have opportunities to look for some results themselves.”

The double stage winner at last year’s Tour Matej Mohorič will offer key support for GC leaders but will also keep an eye out for opportunities to add to his stage win tally: “My goal in this year’s Tour is to try and win a stage again. My favourite stage will be stage 5 with the finish at Arenberg forest. I was the first rider to enter it at Paris Roubaix, so my dream is to be the first there again in July.

I feel confident. I’ve worked as hard as I ever did to be ready for the season’s biggest race. If I can’t do it there, I hope to get a stage win elsewhere from the breakaway. My teammates are also ready; together, we will try and make an even better race than last year.”

Lead Sports Director Gorazd Štangelj on the team’s overall objectives: “Our goal is to take the team’s first podium at the Tour de France, which we narrowly missed out on with Landa back in 2020.

"We’ve selected a really strong group of riders for the Tour. It’s a Tour with plenty of challenges with chances for wind in Denmark and then more wind in France and Cobbles. After this, we go straight into a concentrated block of uphill finishes. I think we have got a group of riders to cover all these difficult challenges and support our leaders, Jack and Damiano, to achieve our objective.

"We will also be looking for chances with our other riders to take stage wins or help us gain time for our overall objective. I’m convinced we have a strong team for the race itself.”

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Pascal Eenkhoorn is Dutch road champion

Here’s the news from Eenkhoorn’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Pascal Eenkhoorn is the new Dutch road champion. The 25-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma beat Daan Hoole on the Col du VAM and was allowed to put on the red-white-and-blue jersey on the podium.

Pascal Eenkhoorn winning stage four of the 2020 Coppi-Bartali stage race.

An eager Tom Dumoulin showed himself in the beginning. After about sixty kilometres, he was the instigator of a sixteen-rider front group. Besides Dumoulin, Sam Oomen, David Dekker, Mick van Dijke and defending champion Timo Roosen were also represented in this group. While Dumoulin dropped back to the chasing group, Mike Teunissen and Eenkhoorn moved to the front group.

Eenkhoorn was alert when Hoole attacked with more than twenty kilometres to go. The two grabbed a comfortable lead and held on to it until the finish line. Eenkhoorn and Hoole battled it out on the Col du VAM. Eenkhoorn won and took his first victory of the season. He took Team Jumbo-Visma’s victory tally to 25 this season.

"This is a dream come true. I was considered one of the favourites beforehand. To finish it off and go down in the history of Dutch cycling is really great", Eenkhoorn said. "I had good legs today and jumped from group to group. I ended up in the front group and jumped along when Daan attacked. That was a good move."

Once at the front, Eenkhoorn felt he could win the national title. "Daan said that I had to do longer turns. It meant he was riding on his limit. Going into the last lap, I knew the situation was so good that the team could rely on me finishing it off."

Eenkhoorn is honoured that he is allowed to ride in the red-white-blue for a year. "For many cyclists it’s a dream to be able to train in this jersey every day. For me, it’s going to be a reality now. That’s really cool."

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Urška Žigart and Lawson Craddock double-up at national time trial championships

Here’s the news from their Team BikeExchange-Jayco:

Slovenian Urška Žigart and American Lawson Craddock have both powered to their second national time trials title in stunning fashion on Thursday.

Lawson Craddock racing the 2021 World Time Trial Championships. Sirotti photo.

The victories give Team BikeExchange-Jayco their first national titles of 2022, with a busy weekend of racing still to come across the various national championships.

Žigart kicked things off with a measured ride against the clock in Novo Mesto to claim the Slovenian time trial championship she last won in 2020. The 25-year-old tackled the short but punchy 14.4km course in a time of 20’11” to take the win by 19 seconds.

Over in America, defending champion Craddock was the last rider down the start ramp in Knoxville, with a strong time of 40’43” set by Magnus Sheffield the current benchmark on the three-lap course.

The 30-year-old was in contention as he passed through the first intermediate checkpoint just 5.80 second down on the fastest time. Craddock then cut the gap to 3.43 second at the next split, before overhauling the deficit to take the victory by more than three seconds with a time of 40’39”.

Urška Žigart:
“Today was quite a short time trial, only 14.4km, but it had quite a few elevation metres, 240 I think. So I played that to my strengths, I paced myself well, I had good legs and I Ieft everything out on the line.

"I’m really happy that I got the title again, when I won it back in 2020 it was kind of a mountain time trial, but this one was a proper one. It was hard, but everything went well today and I’m really happy with it.”

Lawson Craddock:
“I’m really happy and really proud to keep the jersey for another year. Obviously, it’s no secret that we at Team BikeExchange-Jayco have really stepped up all things ‘time trialling’ this year, everyone on the team has really taken it to a whole new level and I think this is a testament to the work we’ve put in with Giant, Cadex and our partners.

"There’s a lot of work that guys like Marco Pinotti have put in over the last six months to give us the best chance, and I think we’re really seeing the results from that. It was just me flying the flag for the team out here, but I felt the support from everyone back in Europe and Australia, and I’m really happy I had the opportunity to come here and fight for the jersey again.

"In the end it was a great battle with Magnus, he’s a really great rider with an incredibly promising future. I had to pull a few tricks out of the bag to squeak the win, but it’s a really exciting day for me and I’m really proud of what we, as a team, have accomplished.”

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