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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Team EF Education-EasyPost releases names of Tour de France squad

Here’s the team’s announcement:

It’s time for the Tour de France.

As French families head for the beaches of the Côte d’Azur and to campsites high in the Pyrénées and Alps, they will follow the news of their country’s summer spectacle, gathering around TV sets in sweltering bars and reading day-old newspapers or Insta-updates under their sun umbrellas. Americans will rise at dawn to watch the final kilometres of each stage, while Australians wait late into the night to see who will wear the yellow jersey. People from all over the world will camp by the side of French roads and party together long after the peloton has passed. The Tour de France now belongs to you, too. It is the vital side story to your summer holidays.

We’re excited to announce the riders for us that will star in one of summer’s classic traditions: Rigoberto Uran, Neilson Powless, Magnus Cort-Nielsen, Jonas Rutsch, Stefan Bissegger, Ruben Guerreiro, and Owain Doull will race Le Tour for EF Education-EasyPost.

For our riders, the Tour de France will be anything but a vacation. For 21 days, on a 3,328-kilometre race course, they will sweat to dizzying heights up France’s highest cols and throw themselves into mad sprints for the finish line, pushing their bodies to the limits of human endurance, as they try to win stages and pull on cycling’s greatest prize: the maillot jaune.

They are eight riders from eight different nationalities. Ever since they were little kids, they have dreamed of racing onto the Champs Elysées in Paris. We asked them about their ambitions for this year’s race and what Le Tour means to them.

Magnus Cort
"To win stages at the Tour is on a different level to anything else you can do in cycling. It means a lot just to be selected and going, especially this year when the Tour is starting in Denmark. It is probably the only race where you really count how many times you have been there and have finished. It’s not my first time going, but as a small kid, like most other Danes, I just followed the Tour on the TV during the summer holidays. I didn’t know anything about cycling, but watched the Tour every summer. It is pretty crazy to think back to that eight-year-old, myself, sitting there looking at all the bike riders, and now I am actually the one inside the television, riding the Tour de France in my home country."

Magnus Cort in the team's special 2022 Tour de France kit.

Rigoberto Urán
"The best riders are here. The teams come prepared with everything, the new material, the new bikes. Everybody is focused on the Tour de France. You see the new developments. All the world is watching. The level is super high. Every stage is hard. The riders, the masseurs, the mechanics — everyone is focused and nervous for 21 days. Every second is important. It is nice. It is very different, starting in Denmark and not in France is something different, but especially here it is nice because there are many fans in Denmark. We take it day by day. It is one month. You need to stay first lucky and then healthy. You make a strategy, but must take it day by day. The most important thing is to sleep well."

Neilson Powless
"When I think about the Tour de France, I just think of the highest level of competition and just a race filled with athletes who have dedicated their lives to becoming as fit as possible and showing that along the countryside in France for the world to see. It is a pretty massive sporting event that crosses a pretty large area of space in France. It reaches a lot of people, which is really cool. The influence that it has is pretty massive, over the whole globe, which is pretty unique, and not a lot of people get to compete in an event like that, which is pretty exciting."

Alberto Bettiol
"Tour de France for me is the biggest race of the year. It is a big goal for the season. The Tour is the race where all of the teams put in the most effort. The best riders in the world are at the Tour de France, so it is a big show, so I really want to win a stage in this Tour de France. That is why I worked so hard, even if I had some trouble during the season with COVID and so on, but I am confident now after the Tour de Suisse. The team is really ambitious for the GC with the stage racers, and we will try to win a couple of stages. I worked hard for this event. I know it, because I have done it already three times, but I am really looking forward to the race."

Jonas Rutsch
"I have great memories from last year. It is the biggest bike race in the world, the one I am always looking forward to. I always hope that I will be selected, and I managed to get selected. I am just really excited to see what comes next. I love the whole history of the race, how well prepared the riders are every year, and the whole atmosphere."

Stefan Bissegger
"It feels amazing to be here after all the bad things I had in the last few weeks with COVID and having to leave the Tour de Suisse. It feels amazing to be here and be ready to race. The Tour de France is the biggest race of them all, so it is always nice to be a part of. I remember watching a mountain stage on TV and then later we went with the family to Alpe d’Huez. I’m definitely looking forward to it."

Ruben Guerreiro
"The Tour de France is the race that made me a rider. I was young and watching the Tour de France and imagined, dreamed to one day ride the Tour. It is my favorite race. I think it is the race that motivated me to be a professional rider. My ambition is now bigger. With this team I have the opportunity to ride and arrive here in the best condition and now I hope to win something. It is a big achievement, a big honor to make my dream come true. Last year was my first one. This year is my second one. Last year, I didn’t win anything, but I was there, and this year I want to win something."

Owain Doull
It’s a childhood dream. This is my first Tour, so I don’t know what to expect. Watching the Tour is my earliest memory of cycling. I think it probably means the same to every person who starts the Tour, whether it is their first or their tenth. It is the biggest race in cycling and I can’t wait to be a part of it. Even before I got into cycling, ITV used to show the Tour and I would always watch the highlights package in the evening. There is no other bike race where you know the theme tune. I remember watching that and every day they would do a round-up of how the British riders were getting on and it was in smaller numbers then. I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

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Team Israel-Premier Tech makes Tour de France roster changes

Here’s the team’s news:

June 29: Israel – Premier Tech will make a late change to its Tour de France line up after Omer Goldstein was deemed a high risk close contact while travelling to Copenhagen. With the high risk of transmission at this time, the team has decided to replace Goldstein with Canadian Guillaume Boivin, who has joined the team today.

Guillaume Boivin

Substitute racer Guillaume Boivin at this year's Het Nieuwsblad race. Sirotti photo

“It pains me deeply to give up the Tour de France that I worked so hard for and expected to do well at. It’s devastating really. But I do understand the team’s decision to not take the risk and endanger the health of my teammates. I wish my teammates the best for the next three weeks,” said Goldstein.

Daryl Impey was also considered a close contact earlier in the week and as such, has not yet joined the team’s bubble. As such Impey will not be present at tonight’s team presentation and a decision will be made tomorrow morning as to whether Impey can join the team and race on Friday, otherwise a replacement will be named.

Sporting Manager Rik Verbrugghe tested positive while travelling to Copenhagen and will return home before joining the race when it is safe to do so.

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Team INEOS Grenadiers trio of team leaders discuss the Tour

The team posted this:

Geraint Thomas

On his shape:
“I’ve been feeling good. Suisse showed that I’m in decent shape. We’ve got a super strong team and the main thing is that we ride well together, we’re aggressive together, and ride off each other well. It’s what we’ve been doing well all year so we want to continue that.

“Myself personally, hopefully I can be there in the crunch moments and affect the race positively for us.”

Geraint Thomas at the start of the 2022 Tour of Romandie's first stage. Sirotti photo

On the first week:
“The first week suits me more than some other GC guys but so much can go right and wrong in the Tour as we all know. Before we get to the Alps you’ll know roughly where everyone is but I think there’ll be some big days there and we’ll know for sure where we all stand after that.

“We’ve got the riders to ride well in the first week. Hopefully that puts us in the best place and limits the risk of unfortunate things happening. But as we all know with the cobbles, so much can go right or wrong. It’s pure luck. Hopefully we can avoid the bad luck and we can be aggressive as well and take on the first week.

“We’re in the mindset of just going into the race, taking opportunities as much as we can and enjoying the racing as I have been the whole year.”

Role and expectations:
“I’ve won the race and come second the following year. I’m a lot closer to the end of my career now than I am the start. I’ve got a lot of experience and I want to enjoy these races now. Since November these two boys, Dani and Adam, have been the leaders in the team and it’s still that way. Obviously I’m going well and I want to be there and in the mix and take an opportunity if it comes but I’m just pretty chilled. I’ll take it as it comes and try to enjoy it. It’s hard to say that when you’re bashing elbows and swearing at each other at 60km/h on a flat road with wind but I’ll try to enjoy that! I’m pretty relaxed about it all and I’ll take it as it comes.”

Team’s approach compared to previous years:
“The main difference is we don’t have the favourite for the race. We’ve had Brad, Froome, myself and Egan, we’ve always been one of the big favourites going into the start. Now as we all know Roglic, Pogacar, they’re the MPVs of the last couple of years. So we can’t just ride and set a tempo all day, go man vs man, if we do it’s going to be hard to beat them. We’ve got a strong team here, we’ve got numbers, and hopefully we can use them at the right moments. That’s a big change.

“The vibe in the team is as good as ever. Ever since I did the Tour with the team in 2010 it’s been a good group and it’s the same now. The core of that team has stayed the same through the years. We’ve got a good atmosphere and we’re looking to get stuck in and enjoy the race together.”

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Adam Yates

On his COVID recovery:
“I’m much better now obviously. I had maybe three or four days quite bad to be honest. I was speaking with some other guys who’ve had it recently and you have some guys who get a little tingle in their throat, but I had a proper fever and chills.

“It’s not ideal. I also missed the crucial stages in Suisse as we were waiting for the weekend to have a real test, and then I missed that was well. But luckily for me I actually get quite fit quickly so I didn’t lose too much, but here we are. We’ll find out in the TT if I’m good or not.”

On TTs:
“I’ve done pretty well in TTs already. At the end of the day, for guys my size, less than 60 kilos, it’s not easy for us to go well in a TT. That’s just how it is.

“I work a lot. I do two or three sessions a week every week on the TT bike. There’s not much more I can do. It’s just about putting my head down and making sure the power is there. I’ll give it a shot on Friday and whatever will be will be.”

On riding at the front:
“I think if it was a different race it would be a big advantage. You could ride at the front with the whole team and stay out of trouble. But we’re at the Tour, it’s the first week and it’s every man for himself and every team for themselves.

“We’ll just try and get through as safely as possible, hopefully have some luck on our side and take it from there.”

On battles with Pogacar:
“Me and Pog have had some good battles at UAE Tour, especially on Jebel Hafeet. It’s always a good test climb.

“I just hope to be at my best. I’ve not had the best of luck with COVID. I missed out on a few key sessions. It is what it is

“I just hope it’s not effecting me too much and we can have some good battles here at the Tour.”

Dani Martinez:
“After Suisse I trained well and my condition now is good.

“My feeling is good. We’ll see how it is on the road. It’s a long race and we’ll go stage by stage and see. This first week is tough, with the crosswinds and cobblestones. I hope in the climbs I can normally go well.

“I feel good and I’m happy in this team. In G we have any experienced rider here. He won the Tour and he’s come second. He knows a lot about this race and anything can happen.”

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