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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, January 7, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Team Jayco AlUla riders Amber Pate & Kell O’Brien win Australian Criterium Championships

The team sent me this report:

Team Jayco AlUla dominated the 2023 Australian Criterium Championships today as Amber Pate and Kell O’Brien stormed to two stunning victories in Ballarat.

New signing Pate made it a dream start to life in Team Jayco AlUla colours as she took the victory ahead of teammate Alex Manly, while O’Brien finished of an imperious team performance to take the gold medal in the men’s race in front of teammate and debutant Blake Quick.

Amber Pate gives her season the best possible start. Tom Rendall photo

Pate produced a powerful sprint to take home the title after following a late race attack inside the final three laps. With her teammates controlling the peloton in anticipation of a bunch sprint, Pate took her chance out of the last corner, jumping away from her fellow attacker and holding on to take the special win.

Meanwhile Alex Manly proved to be the fastest in the charging bunch behind, as she raced across the line to take second place and make it a stunning one-two finish for the Australian squad.

Shortly after, the men’s team also went for an aggressive approach as they forced an early breakaway of nine that would eventually stay away to contest the win. Callum Scotson put in a 'man of the match' ride to drive the escapees further clear of the peloton, before swinging off and leaving it to O’Brien and Quick on the final lap.

O’Brien looked to lead-out his fast-finishing teammate, but his blistering speed was enough to carry him across the line and to the Criterium title, giving Team Jayco AlUla their second one-two finish of the day.

Amber Pate:
“That’s a really big surprise! The team really stuck to the plan, which wasn’t for me, but we stuck to it to make the race aggressive. I feel so privileged to be a part of this team and I was working hard for my teammates.

"At the end Tilly [Field] did a good attack and I was following just to make sure it came down to a sprint for my teammates behind. I came around the final corner and I was like ‘oh we’ve got a gap’ and I just had to make the decision there. If I was to drop back and help with the lead-out, I wouldn’t have been able to assist, so I gave it my best there and trusted that if my teammates caught us, they could also bring it home.

"I worked hard in the first part of the race, and I was quite tired, but in the last lap when we came around the final corner and I glanced back, there was a good gap, and I thought ‘let’s give it all I’ve got.”

Kelland O’Brien:
“I can’t believe it! Hats off to Callum Scotson out there, he was an absolute motorbike today. We executed a good race together and I really wasn’t expecting to hang on to the finish line, but with a tailwind sprint, I opened up from the last corner and somehow found the legs.

"We wanted a good hard race, a lot of us wanted to open the legs up ahead of Sunday. We were backing Blake Quick and he did everything right to get into the move with Callum and I. In the end I am just so proud of our ride, to be in the Jayco AlUla colours and win and with these amazing crowds in Ballarat. I have had good days and bad days racing here in Ballarat, today was a good day so I am going to enjoy it then wake up tomorrow and set my eyes on Sunday’s road race.”

2023 Elite Women’s Australian Criterium Championships – Results:
1. Amber Pate (Team Jayco AlUla) 59min 25sec
2. Alex Manly (Team Jayco AlUla) s.t.
3. Matilda Field (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) s.t.

2023 Elite Men’s Australian Criterium Championships – Results:
1. Kelland O'Brien (Team Jayco AlUla) 58min 26sec
2. Blake Quick (Team Jayco AlUla) s.t.
3. Taj Jones (Israel-Premier Tech) s.t.

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Lotto Dstny starts road season with Australian championships

The team sent me this:

This weekend at the Australian championships in Buninyong, Lotto Dstny’s colours will be seen for the first time in an official road race. On Saturday, it’s up to Cameron Rogers, newcomer at the Lotto Dstny Development Team. On Sunday, the pro riders battle for the Australian national jersey. Lotto Dstny will bring Caleb Ewan, Jarrad Drizners and Harry Sweeny at the start. Caleb Ewan’s roll of honour already includes a second (2015) and fourth (2018) place in the national title race.

Caleb Ewan (shown at the 2022 Tour de France) will be back at the Australian Road Championships. Sirotti photo

“For the first time since 2020, I’m able to race again in my home country, so I am really looking forward to it. My last participation in an Australian championship dates back to 2019 so it feels great to be competing for the national jersey again this year.”

In total, the elite category will cover 16 hilly laps of almost 12 kilometres, totalling 185 race kilometres. A national championship is often a tactical race and this year will be no different according to Ewan.

“The course is pretty hard but if I am on a good day, I can compete for the win. I was already close with a second place and I conquered the U23 national jersey on the same course in 2014. It’s hard to predict how the race will unfold. Team Jayco AlUla probably holds the key. They have a strong contingent of riders and will do everything to avoid a sprint. But with Harry Sweeny and Jarrad Drizners, I also have two strong teammates. We are ready to battle”, concludes Caleb Ewan.

Australian U23 road championships, Saturday 7 January

Line-up: Cameron Rogers (Lotto Dstny Development Team)
Course: 139 kilometres, 12 local laps of 11.6 km
Start: 13h20 local time, 3h20 CET

Australian elite road championships, Sunday 8 January

Line-up: Jarrad Drizners, Caleb Ewan and Harry Sweeny.
Course: 185 kilometres, 16 local laps of 11.6 km
Start: 13h local time, 3h CET


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Team Uno-X still looking for co-sponsor

The team sent me this:

In 2023 we will race the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. The biggest races on the calendar for men and women. It is an incredible milestone for our team. For our people. For our identity. For our business.

We want to continue and strengthen this long-term project. We want to be competitive against the best riders in the world for many years ahead, and therefore we need world-class partners to come along.

There's room on the Uno-X jerseys for a partner.

With its Norwegian-Danish roots this setup has an enormous potential.

This team is now ready to invite a naming partner into the project. Are you Norwegian or Danish? Do you have Europe (and the rest of the world) as your playground? Do you see a potential connection between your brand and sports? Are you identified by your values rather than your rules? Is a future of sustainable mobility key to your business performance?

FIGURES FROM TOUR DE FRANCE (source: letour.fr)

  • Broadcast in 190 countries.
  • Nearly 150 mill. viewers (reach at 1 minute threshold).
  • 715 mill. hours viewed live in Europe (+8% vs. 2021).
  • 684 mill. people reached on social media.

The last couple of days have been phenomenal. We have gotten to know the effect of the Tour. It is more than we could ever hope for. How many yes’s did you get from my questionnaire above? If 100% - then we have a match. We are very interested in a date.

The price tag? 4-6 MEUR per year. At least for 3 years.

When? Well, 2023 is possible. [FILL IN YOUR NAME].

Jens Haugland
General Manager


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World Champion Remco Evenepoel to ride Giro d’Italia in 2023

Here’s his team’s update:

Remco Evenepoel was a man in high demand at the Soudal Quick-Step Family Day, the event held at the Plopsaland Theme Park in De Panne, where we presented our 29-man team for this year and met the fans who came in large numbers to see the riders.

Having written history in 2022, when he captured Liège–Bastogne–Liège, the Vuelta a España and the World Championships – a performance not seen in decades – the soon to be 23-year-old took the stage Friday afternoon to talk about his annus mirabilis, which culminated with his winning the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy.

Remco Evenpoel will bring his rainbow jersey to the Giro d'Italia this year.

“I can tell you for sure that I will never forget 2022. I won my first Grand Tour, I took the rainbow jersey, I got married and I received the Velo d’Or, which is the biggest award you can get in our sport. At the same time, during La Vuelta, I learned a lot about myself, I learned how to handle the pressure better and how to be more relaxed. All this will definitely help me this season, a special one for me in the rainbow jersey, which I will start with a lot of motivation and desire to get good results together with the team”, said Remco, who will get things underway at Argentina’s Vuelta a San Juan, in just a few weeks.

Evenepoel’s road in his fifth season with the Wolfpack will lead to the Giro d’Italia, where he is eager to return after two years, but will see him also pin a number for “La Doyenne”, the spring’s final Monument, an appointment he already looks forward to.

“I think Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be the most special day of the year, because I will race it as the reigning champion and with the iconic rainbow jersey on my shoulders. After that, my focus will move onto the Giro d’Italia, my biggest goal of the year. We’re exactly four months away from the race and I can tell you that my objectives going there are to get at least a stage win and do a good general classification. But we also know a lot can happen in three weeks, so we’ll take it one step at a time, just like we did in the Vuelta, and see how things go”, added Remco, who will be one of the stars of an upcoming docuseries on Amazon Prime about the team’s memorable 2022 season.

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