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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 9, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats. - Rebecca West

TDF volume 1

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 1: 1903 - 1975 is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Luke Plapp & Brodie Chapman win Australian road race championships

Here’s the report from Luke Plapp’s Team INEOS Grenadiers:

The 22 year old Luke Plapp had to get through a lot of work across the 185.6-kilometre course in Buninyong, but still had the energy left for a pair of stinging attacks on the run-in.

The first big acceleration came with 7.2km to go, with the Grenadier launching a move to put a select lead group on to the limit. Just four riders entered the long finishing straight together, and with a group bearing down behind Plapp timed his final move to perfection, jumping clear again with 1.5km to go.

There would be no catching Plappy, who held on to claim a second road title to ensure he’ll remain in the famous green and gold jersey for another season on the road. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Michael Matthews (Team Jayco AlUla) rounded out the podium places.

Luke Plapp wins the Aussie road champs for the second year in a row.
“I can’t believe that. I’ve seriously got no words, that was so much different to last year. I’ve been wrapping my brain around that for the whole year trying to work out how to win. I’m lost for words to be honest with you.

“There wasn’t really anyone missing here today and it’s so awesome to have a race like this. I almost wish that I was just watching from the sidelines as it was such an amazing field. I didn’t know how to play it today I really just tried to bide my time. I don’t know what happened on that last lap but I can’t believe I pulled it off.

“I felt good all race. There was that big move at the start that me, Beno and Clarkey missed that was really dangerous. We all looked at each other and said we need to go all in and did a really hard climb to bring that back. That kept us in the race. After that the heat sort of dwindled down everyone. It was a really weird race it was quite negative, it wasn’t that quick considering the field that we had. But on that last lap I still don’t know what happened – I can’t believe it!”

“I can’t wait to go over there. Keep this jersey, keep this bike and start the Tour Down Under.”


  1. Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) 4hr 40min 42sec
  2. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) @ 3sec
  3. Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla) s.t.
  4. Drew Morey (KINAN Racing) s.t.
  5. Kane Richards (ARA Skip Capital) @ 6sec
  6. Chris Hamilton (Team DSM) @ 8sec
  7. Ben O'Connor (Ag2r Citroën) s.t.
  8. Lucas Hamilton (Jayco-AlUla) s.t.
  9. James Whelan (Hawthorn Cycling Club) s.t.
  10. Tristan Saunders (Team Bridgelane) s.t.

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And here's the report from the women's race winner Brodie Champman's Team Trek-Segafredo:

After just one race in her new Trek-Segafredo team colors, Brodie Chapman will be swapping white and blue for green and gold after a strong move on the last lap of Mount Buninyong saw her riding solo to victory at the Australian National Road Race Championships.

Brodie Chapman is the new Austrailian road champion.

The Trek-Segafredo trio of Chapman, Amanda Spratt and Lauretta Hanson proved a force to be reckoned with over the course of the nine laps and their team performance was nothing short of perfection.

Luckily it won’t be too long a wait before we see Chapman in action as Australian champion. She will be heading to next week’s Tour Down Under, where her new kit is already waiting for her…

Reaction from Brodie Chapman:
“This feeling is definitely as good as I expected it would be. This race means so much and our team of three just played it perfectly. For out first race together, we couldn’t be more stoked and I am also just so stoked to be able to come back here and to now be national champion! [cheering].

“It was only in the last 500 meters that I knew I had the race won. I didn’t look back so often because it’s not over until you cross that finish line, anything can happen. When I was coming into the final, I was being pushed all the way and so there was a big feeling of relief on the line as well knowing that I had done it.

“It means so much to start the season like this. I have missed coming back to Australia for the last couple of seasons and I really wanted to show that I had a performance like this in me with my new team. I have really been working on my long efforts as my strength and I used that today.

“We wanted it to be hard with four laps to go. We knew we needed a hard race and on the last lap I decided to make it really hard, thinking it would either benefit me or my teammates but I knew that was our strength. I had no worries while I was out in front because I knew Spratty was behind me and Lauretta had been up the road all day forcing the chase, so it was just perfect."


  1. Brodie Chapman (Trek-Segafredo) 3hr 1min 35sec
  2. Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez) @ 31sec
  3. Amanda Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) s.t.
  4. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Jayco AlUla) s.t.
  5. Danielle De Francesco (Zaaf Cycling) s.t.
  6. Emily Watts (Team Bridgelane) s.t.
  7. Amelia Watkinson (Sunshine Coast) s.t.
  8. Justine Barrow (Roxsolt-Liv-SRAM) s.t.
  9. Ella Simpson (Kights of Suburbia) s.t.
  10. Elisabeth Stannard (Zaaf Cycling) @ 36sec

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Wout van Aert victorious in World Cup cyclocross in Zonhoven

Here’s the report from van Aert’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has soloed to victory in Zonhoven. The Belgian champion quickly established himself in the lead.

Again, Wout van Aert leaves the best of the rest well behind.

Van Aert controlled the cross from the start and was alert on the treacherous course in Zonhoven. "I had the feeling I could ride a high pace. After the challenging races of the previous weeks, a meaningful acceleration was no longer possible today. At the start of the race, I tried to take advantage of Mathieu van der Poel’s errors. When he fell in front of me, I managed to establish a significant gap", the winner said.

He steadily increased his lead and won by a significant margin. It was Van Aert’s eighth win of the season. With 'the pits' serving as the deciding factor, it was also a feast for the spectators in Zonhoven. This did not go unnoticed by Van Aert. "It is the only cross on the calendar where you get this kind of connection with the public. You can hear from the audience what is happening. That’s gratifying, even if you are suffering", Van Aert said.


  1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 58min 49sec
  2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 1min 23sec
  3. Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads) @ 1min 31sec
  4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 2min 2sec
  5. Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 2min 8sec
  6. Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 2min 17sec
  7. Niels Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 2min 37sec
  8. Jens Adams (Belgium) @ 2min 49sec
  9. Kevin Kuhn (Tormans) @ 3min 1sec
  10. Corné van Kessel (Deschacht-Hens-Maes) @ 3min 14sec

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Shirin van Anrooij wins Women's Zonhoven cross race

Shirin van Anrooij wins after a race on the sand.


  1. Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) 51min 44sec
  2. Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 37sec
  3. Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) @ 54sec
  4. Lucinda Brand (BAloise Trek Lions) @ 1min 46sec
  5. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 2min 10sec
  6. Inge van der Heijden (777) @ 2min 27sec
  7. Annemarie Worst (777) @ 2min 41sec
  8. Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx) @ 2min 59sec
  9. Line Burquier (France) @ 3min 35sec
  10. Laura Verdonschot (Belgium) @ 3min 41sec

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