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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, January 28, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

History is a set of lies agreed upon. - Napoleon Bonaparte


Dirty Feet: Early days of the Tour de France

Les Woodland's book Dirty Feet: How the Great Unwashed Created the Tour de France 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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Trofeo Andratx - Mirador des Colomer team reports

We posted the report from team Bora-hansgrohe with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Lennert Van Eetvelt's Team Lotto-Dstny:

Lotto Dstny rider Lennert Van Eetvelt has immediately showed himself in what was only his second day of racing as a pro. At the third race of the Mallorca Challenge, the 21-year-old Belgian climbed – under rainy conditions - towards third place on the Mirador des Colomes in Pollença. On the three kilometres long summit finish, the already reduced peloton split to pieces and it was Van Eetvelt who showed to be one of the strongest riders of the day. Van Eetvelt finished behind the Spaniard Sánchez and Belgian Goossens and took his first podium, only one month into his pro career. Lotto Dstny rode an attentive race with also Mathijs Paasschens, who was part of the early breakaway.

It was Kobe Goossens who got away. Photo: Photonewsbelgium/Cube Bikes

Lennert Van Eetvelt: “Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about a result at the end of the race, it was especially a case of reaching the finish as fast as possible after a freezing day out on the bike. I even went to the team car at four kilometres from the line to get an extra jersey because I was so cold. Afterwards, I rode to the top as fast as I could, which eventually resulted in my first podium at the pros, which of course makes me really happy.”

“To be honest, I had imagined my first time on the island of Mallorca a bit differently. The bad weather made the roads really slippery and tricky. Despite the weather conditions, the race exploded quite early on today. In the beginning, I already got in a move but was brought back. On the final climb, the temperature dropped to only two degrees and it was just a matter of surviving. At some twenty kilometres from the finish, there was a moment of hesitation in the peloton and we knew the victory was gone. That I could still finish third makes this a very nice day of course.”

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Here’s the Trofeo Andratx report from Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Cold, wind and rain. Lots of rain. No, we’re not talking about Belgium here, but about the third race of the Challenge Mallorca, which this year replaced the usually sunny and warm weather that is one of the island’s trademarks with one more suited to the cobblestone classics. To add to the difficulties of the day, Trofeo Andratx – Mirador D’es Colomer also had a demanding course, peppered with four classified climbs, the last of which, averaging 6.2%, came in the final three kilometers.

But there was a reason to smile for Soudal Quick-Step, as Thursday marked the return of Kasper Asgreen to racing for the first time since a knee injury forced him to abandon last summer’s Tour de France. The Dane, who is aiming again for a strong Classics campaign, worked hard in the peloton in the early part of the race, setting a high tempo that dropped many riders before the action kicked off.

Here's Kasper Asgreen racing last year at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sirotti photo

The race exploded on the very first climb, the moment double World Champion Julian Alaphilippe attacked, a move that caught many by surprise. As a result, only a handful of riders could follow him, and despite not having the numbers, they quickly established a 40-second gap over the bunch. But the race was far from over, and the chasers managed to bridge across after 80 kilometers, the newly-formed peloton numbering around 70 riders.

Helped by the rain and the wet roads that made it difficult for the large group to control things, two men got away on a descent with 75 kilometers to go and put more than two minutes between them and the field. Our riders took again the front and tried to claw back time, but despite their incredible effort, the move remained clear, and Kobe Goossenns (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) soloed to victory, while Julian Alaphilippe concluded the race as our best placed rider.


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Marianne Vos extends contract with Team Jumbo-Visma Women

The team sent me this update:

Team Jumbo-Visma and Marianne Vos have extended their collaboration by two years. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma Women recently signed a new contract that runs until 31 December 2025.

Marianne Vos (in orange) finishes fourth in the 2020 World Road Championships. Sirotti photo

Vos (35) has been with Jumbo-Visma Women since the team's inception. She made her debut with the team in 2021 and has since won 15 races in the yellow and black jersey. Last year she won two stages in the Giro and two stages in the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes by Zwift. She also won the green jersey.

"I still really enjoy cycling", an enthusiastic Vos says. "I enjoy racing together and fighting for victory as a team. In recent years, women's cycling has advanced to such a professional level that I continue to discover new challenges. And my own development is still ongoing. I am motivated to train hard to get the best out of myself."

"At Team Jumbo-Visma, I also find the ambition to get better every day and the drive to go all out for it", Vos continues. "That is one of the reasons why I feel at home in this team. I also like the professionalism and the personal approach. There is a lot of room for the individual within the team, which makes the team stronger. I really like that."

Rutger Tijssen, sports technical director of Team Jumbo-Visma Women, is happy that his team will continue to be able to rely on the Dutch rider after 2023. "Marianne has an impressive track record. Her list of honours is already long, and she keeps winning races. We are confident that this will continue in the years to come. Marianne also acts as a mentor to the young riders. Not by telling them what to do or not to do, but by 'learning by example'. She teaches the newcomers a lot about how to prepare, communicate, work together and deal with the setbacks that can come with being a top athlete. She is also of great value to us in this respect."

Vos: "It's nice to share my experience with the team's younger riders while also learning from them. They make me look at things differently. That's how we maintain sharpness and establish a strong team."

Esra Tromp is entering her third year as manager of the women's team with Vos. "Since the start of our women's team, we have gone through a lot of development, and Marianne has always been there. We will continue to develop in the coming years. We wish to inspire female cyclists and compete against the world's best riders. It is a privilege to do this with Marianne as our figurehead."


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Jarne Van de Paar steps up to ProTeam Lotto Dstny

The team sent me this release:

After an evaluation during the team’s training camp in Spain, it was decided that Jarne Van de Paar will already step up to the Lotto Dstny ProTeam. Together with 3 other members of the Development Team the 22-year-old sprinter trained with the ProTeam for 9 days. Although Van de Paar has integrated the ProTeam as of now, his original racing calendar will not change.

Sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer explains the decision: “Together with Jarne Van de Paar, we have made an individual plan which we believe is best for his development. We want to give him the opportunity to compete with the pros in .1 and ProSeries races, but we do not want to skip any steps. It is important that he also continues racing at a lower level, where he can compete for victory in .2 races. Those plans remain unchanged. We have the opportunity to select riders from our ProTeam in races we do with our Development Team.”

“In the four years Jarne Van de Paar was with our Development Team,  he has never been able to race a full season due to various reasons. That was why, at first, we wanted to keep him in the Development Team for an extra year, before he would turn pro in 2024. But after the winter he has had and the form he showed at training camp, we feel he is ready to take the step up now. We want to give Jarne the confidence already, but without any pressure on him. His personal development is the most important thing.”

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