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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, January 6, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour of Flanders, the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour of Flanders: The Inside Story - The rocky roads of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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X20 Trofee Koksijde-Vlaamse Duinencross results

Men's race:

Wout van Aert has left everyone else behind. Jumbo-Visma photo.

Here's the report from winner Wout van Aert's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has won the X2O Trophy Koksijde. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma rode clear of the competition in the Belgian coastal town during the second part of the race.

After the pack picked up the pace in the opening few laps, Van Aert, Laurens Sweeck, and Mathieu van der Poel began to pull away. Van Aert accelerated just as the cross reached halfway. Subsequently, the Belgian gradually extended his lead before winning the race in Koksijde's sand.

Van Aert needed to swap bikes. "It was necessary", the winner acknowledged. "A little rain fell before the start, but it had little impact on the course, so I dared to ride with slick tires. However, during the cross, the rain became more intense. I decided to swap bikes because I didn't want to take unnecessary risks throughout the race. In retrospect, that turned out to be a wise decision."

"I was very keen to win today. That's mostly because I haven't been riding in Koksijde in a while, rather than because I had horrible luck in Herentals. I haven't been able to ride here in recent years due to injuries and the place on the calendar. Fortunately, this time I was able to participate. I am thrilled with my win. My strong physical condition often shows in the second half of a cyclocross race. I recovered well from the several sandy sections and didn't make many mistakes. It feels wonderful to cross the finish line as the winner", Van Aert said after his sixth cyclocross victory of the season.


  1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 1hr 2min 47sec
  2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 1min 38sec
  3. Laurens Seeck (Crelan-Fristads) @ 2min 7sec
  4. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 2min 13sec
  5. Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 2min 21sec
  6. Niels Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 3min 12sec
  7. Jens Adams (Cocovit VT) @ 3min 13sec
  8. Pim Ronhaar (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 3min 19sec
  9. Gerben Kuypers (Proximus-Alphamotorhomes) @ 4min 0sec
  10. Daan Soete (Deschacht-Hens-Maes) @ 4min 2sec

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Women's race:

Shirin van Anrooij can sit up and enjoy her win.

Here's the report from second-place Fem van Empel's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Van Empel battled for the win in the women's race for a long time, but the European champion had to concede victory to Shirin van Anrooij. "I didn't have the legs to win today. I made the most of it. Today, I can be happy with a podium result. Now, it's crucial to recuperate from this challenging race and be ready to race again on Sunday", Van Empel looked ahead.

After more than a month, Vos returned to the field and finished in a respectable fifth place. "My first cross in a long time was arduous. I tried to ride the right lines as much as possible today, but that isn't easy in the sand. It's good to be back. I'm looking forward to the next cyclocross races. The competition is very strong, but I can only ensure I'm in good shape in the coming weeks."


  1. Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) 46min 46sec
  2. Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) @ 15sec
  3. Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 1min 10sec
  4. Ceylin de Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 1min 53sec
  5. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) @ 2min 18sec
  6. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 2min 28sec
  7. Sanne Cant (Crelan-Fristads) @ 2min 55sec
  8. Laura Verdonschot (De Ceuster-Boinache) @ 3min 17sec
  9. Annemarie Worst (777) @ 3min 31sec
  10. Inge van der Heijden (777) @ 3min 57sec

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EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost reveal 2023 racing kits

Here’s the team’s news release:

Today, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost revealed our kit for the upcoming 2023 season, proudly designed in collaboration with Rapha.

Here are the two kits.

At our recent training camp, we took to some of our favorite roads in Girona to show off our new threads. Seeing our new kit in action, the pink dancing against the winter sky, left us inspired.

Our classic pink remains present in our updated kit, but with each panel of the jersey incorporating a different shade, a nod to the past, present and future of the team. This year’s design, a cleaner, sleeker look, is sure to turn heads.
Both our women’s and men’s squads will pair black bibs with the iconic pink jersey. With proven-in-the-peloton performance technology and a new, exciting roster of riders, get ready for a whole new year.

Since the beginning of the Rapha and EF Pro Cycling partnership, we have jointly sought to enliven our sport and to encourage new perspectives. Today, the partnership has evolved the essence of its ethos; performance with character.

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Team Bahrain Victorious to start 2023 Season in Australia

Here’s the team’s update:

The Tour Down Under marks the start of the 2023 WorldTour season in South Australia. Riders will take on a fast-paced 1.35km circuit through Adelaide’s centre on Saturday, January 14, as a pre-race curtain raiser ahead of the six-day race from January 17 to 22.

Starting with the prologue on the Adelaide Riverbank, the race finishes in the Adelaide hills on the summit of Mount Lofty and covers 673km in total.

The course of the 23rd edition, after the 5.5km prologue along Adelaide’s Riverbank, moves to Tanunda with an expected sprint finish.

For stages 2 and 3, Nettle Hill(2km/7.8%) and Corkscrew(2.4km/9%) are the last climbs of their respective stages and could play a crucial role in opening the race.

Stage 4 in Willunga could be a chance for a punchy rider. While stage 5 features an explosive 114km that sees riders take on the punchy Mount Lofty (1.5km/6%) four times before finishing there.

The Prologue and rolling terrain suits our leader from the Basque country. Heading to Australia by leading this versatile group of riders, Pello Bilbao will make his Tour Down Under debut with the help of Hermann Pernsteiner and Kamil Gradek, who will have supportive roles over the weeklong race.

Pello Bilbao (shown at the 2022 Alps Tour) will ride his first Tour Down Under this year. Sirotti photo

For stage wins, Phil Bauhaus can be confident of his first victory of the season with the help of Jasha Sütterlin and Nikias Arndt. In 2018 Phil was second in the bunch sprint in Victor Harbor. Cameron Scott, the 25-year-old from New South Wales, will join forces with the other fast men in our lead-out train and round up our 7-man roster.

Comments from Neil Stephens, our Sports director in Tour Down Under:

“Team Bahrain Victorious has been working really hard out of the European winter to get ready for the Tour Down Under. As we all know, this race hasn’t been on for a couple of years because of the coronavirus. We are really looking forward to 2023.”

“We put together a solid team. Pello Bilbao will lead the team up for the GC, and Phil Bauhaus will be our designated sprinter for the team.”

“We also have some great support from Kamil Gradek and Hermann Pernsteiner. They are really solid workers. We are welcoming some new members of the team this year. Nikias Arndt is coming to the team. He will be our vice sprinter and the worker, and we may even give him the chance for the sprint himself. Also, the local Australian rider Cameron Scott is doing his first race as a professional cyclist. We are happy to have them here within Team Bahrain Victorious.”

“We will be looking forward to going for many different goals in the Tour Down Under. The GC will be lead up by Pello Bilbao. They will be different styles of stages; the pure sprinter stages will be more for Phil Bauhaus. We’ve also got options when the stages get a little bit harder.”

“Not only riders but also our staff members have been working hard throughout the winter, ensuring all the technical aspects of the Tour Down Under have been addressed. We ensure our riders have the best material and conditions to do the best in the Tour Down Under. We are really looking forward to starting the 2023 season with a bang.”

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