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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 5, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. - A. A. Milne

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CCC Team to ride Tour de l'Eurométropole and La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic

The team sent me this:

04 October 2019: CCC Team is set to line up at back-to-back Belgian one-day races this weekend with Tour de l'Eurométropole on Saturday (5 October) and La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic on Sunday (6 October).

Sports Director Steve Bauer will be at the helm of the team car as CCC Team heads to the start line of both races with well-rounded rosters.

"Tour de l'Eurométropole and La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic are well-positioned for most of our riders to race hard in preparation for the Tour de Guangxi. However, that said, all of our riders are motivated to challenge for results as both of these races fit the capabilities of our selected rosters," Bauer explained.

"The majority of the group, Josef Černý, Kamil Gradek, Jonas Koch and Simon Geschke, should be holding good fitness coming out of the challenging World Championships in Yorkshire while Gijs Van Hoecke and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck are ready to race on home turf. Francisco Ventoso brings his wealth of experience to Belgium and will provide solid leadership for the group while, it's clear that Jakub Mareckzo will be there for a final sprint challenge if the peloton arrives at the finish together at Tour de l'Eurométropole."

Jakub Mareckzo

Jakub Mareczko wining the first stage of the 2018 Tour of Hainan.

Mareczko is looking forward to racing on Belgian soil once again after some strong finishes in bunch sprints previously.

"I have had some nice results in Belgium this year with third at Grand Prix Cerami and the opening stage of VOO-Tour de Wallonie as well as top ten finishes at Primus Classic and on one stage of Binck Bank Tour. However, I am still searching for the top step of the podium and although we are reaching the end of the season, I remain motivated to chase that victory," Mareczko said.

Tour de l'Eurométropole (5 October)

Rider roster: Josef Černý (CZE), Kamil Gradek (POL), Jonas Koch (GER), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP)

Sports Director: Steve Bauer (CAN)

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La DH Famenne Ardenne Classic (6 October)

Rider roster: Josef Černý (CZE), Simon Geschke (GER), Kamil Gradek (POL), Jonas Koch (GER), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP)

Sports Director: Steve Bauer (CAN)

Rui Costa re-signs with UAE Team Emirates as Alessandro Covi moves up to pro ranks

UAE Team Emirates sent me this release:

UAE Team Emirates completes its roster for 2020 with renewal of veteran and signing of young talent.

Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, 32 years old, will race for the next two seasons in the colours of the emirati squad. The 2013 world champion is a key rider in the World Tour line-up, given his ability to compete both in the short stage races and in the classics.

Rui Costa

Rui Costa winning the 2013 World Road Championship. Sirotti photo.

Born in 1986, Rui Costa has achieved 25 wins in his career, including the World Championship in Florence and three stages in the Tour de France. Another major title was his victory at the Abu Dhabi Tour 2017, which made him one of the most prominent riders amongst Emirati fans.

Rui Costa explained the decision to continue to be a leading rider in the emirati project: “One of my prioritise was that I wanted to have continuity for my future as a rider and I thank UAE Team Emirates for giving me the opportunity to allow me to work with them towards my goals. It is a great boost to know that we have the confidence of the whole team and I am really happy to still be part of the great cycling project which is UAE Team Emirates“.

Having been in the sights of UAE Team Emirates already for some time, Alessandro Covi will enter the professional ranks next season. Born in Borgomanero on 09/28/1998, Covi represented the Italian national team at the recent World Championships, forming part of the breakaway there.

“I can’t wait to face this new cycling challenge. I’m happy to do it at a big team like UAE Team Emirates and alongside great champions – said Covi – The team has put a lot of faith in young riders and I think I will be in the best place in order to reach the goal of giving my best “.

UAE Team Emirates 2020 roster: Andres Camilo Ardila (Col), Fabio Aru (Ita), Mikkel Bjerg (Den), Tom Bohli (Sui), Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor), Valerio Conti (Ita),  Rui Costa (Por), Alessandro Covi (Ita), David De La Cruz (Esp), Joseph Dombrowski (USA), Davide Formolo (Ita), Fernando Gaviria (Col), Sergio Henao (Col), Alexander Kristoff (Nor), Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor), Marco Marcato (Ita), Brandon McNulty (USA), Yousif Mirza (UAE), Sebastian Molano (Col), Cristian Muñoz (Col), Ivo Oliveira (Por), Rui Oliveira (Por), Jasper Philipsen (Bel), Tadej Pogačar (Slo), Jan Polanc (Slo), Edward Ravasi (Ita), Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr), Maximiliano Richeze (Arg), Oliviero Troia (Ita), Diego Ulissi (Ita).

Francisco Ventoso continues with CCC Team in 2020  

CCC Team sent me this:

04 October 2019: Francisco Ventoso has extended his contract with CCC Team, a move that will see the Spanish rider continue his mentor and road captain role within the Polish team throughout the 2020 season. 

Francisco Ventoso

Francisco Ventoso at this year's Vuelta. Sirotti photo

General Manager Jim Ochowicz noted that Ventoso's versatility and experience were key factors for his contract extension.

"We are very happy to extend Francisco's contract beyond the 2019 season. His now 16-year long career as a professional cyclist makes Francisco one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and this season he has once again proved himself to be both an excellent road captain and mentor for the younger riders in our squad," Ochowicz explained.

"Francisco is an asset to CCC Team and his professionalism and positivity make him a perfect teammate both on and off the bike. Over the next year, Francisco will continue to play an important role in our Classics season as well as at stage races and Grand Tours, where he has enjoyed a lot of success in his career with stage wins at both the Vuelta a España and Giro d'Italia as well as an impressive 17 Grand Tour participations to his name."

Ventoso is motivated to continue working hard going into his 17th season as a professional cyclist. "I am super happy and proud to re-sign with CCC Team for the 2020 season. Next year will be my 17th year as a professional cyclist, that's much longer than many of the guys who became a pro with me in 2004, and I still feel ready to suffer and work hard in support of my team. I am also really happy with the confidence that Och and our Sports Directors have in me and I need to say thanks to them for that," Ventoso said.

"I feel really good in this team and after arriving here three years ago, I quickly understood what they needed from me and since then, I have always been ready to help in any situation. I try to do my best in every circumstance, both in and out of racing, and I feel good doing this kind of work. For next season, after a difficult year in terms of our number of victories, I would like to help the team get back onto the road to success and I think we can do that with some really good riders coming in to reinforce our squad."

Team Sunweb sign Alison Jackson and Wilma Olausson

Team Sunweb sent me this annoucement:

Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the signings of Canadian all-rounder Alison Jackson and the young talent Wilma Olausson, strengthening their Women’s program for next year. Jackson will ride in the team’s colours for 2020 while Olausson will stay with the team until the end of 2021.

Alison Jackson (CAN):
A solid all-round rider, Jackson is capable of surviving a tough day in the saddle before delivering a punchy and strong sprint to the line. This year she’s highlighted those qualities with success at the White Spot Delta Road Race, alongside being crowned the first ever stage winner at the Women’s Tour of Scotland. Furthermore, Jackson has shown ability in the tricky spring classics and will add more depth to the team’s block of classics riders. Jackson will also add her experience of riding both in the European and North American circuit to the team, while also continuing her development as a rider too.

“I am really excited to be joining Team Sunweb for 2020,” said Jackson. “It is the next step in my career that I needed to bring myself to the next level and keep growing as an athlete. I am looking forward to playing the tactical game with Team Sunweb and to contribute to team wins throughout the year. I race with a lot of heart and I think it will balance well with the resources and expertise available within the team. I think we can accomplish a lot together next year.”

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “With Alison we strengthen the core of our team and she brings a good balance. She is an all-round rider with a strong sprint, but she can also survive the harder classic races, with several top ten results the Women’s WorldTour. Alison will be one of our more experienced riders but it will be new for her to work in a team like ours; because of that we are confident that she can make another step in her development. We are very much looking forward to working together.”

Wilma Olausson (SWE):
A talented youngster, Olausson has had two good seasons riding in the junior ranks, picking up several strong results throughout both years. In 2019 she has taken numerous top tens and podium places, with the highlight of her season being winning both the road race and time trial at the Swedish national championships, alongside the overall title at the Watersley Ladies Challenge. A good all-round rider, Olausson has performed well in time trials but also has shown the ability to pack a good sprint after a tough day of racing. Looking to the future, Olausson hopes to continue her development as a rider with the team, building on her strong years as a junior.

“I’m really excited to be joining Team Sunweb next year and I can’t wait to make the step up to racing in the pro peloton,” explained Olausson. “The team has a very good development plan for me and that appealed to me a lot. All of the younger riders that have joined the team get stronger every year and I’m looking forward to learning from both them and the coaches so I can do that too. Coming out of the juniors I still have a lot to improve on and I think this is the right place for me to do that.”

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “Wilma is one of the biggest talents in the junior women’s peloton. She is an excellent climber and she’s also strong in the time trials which she showed with a third place at the European championships earlier in the year. Building on that she confirmed her talent at the Watersley Ladies Challenge Nation Cup race in Sittard where she won the GC in a very impressive manner. Of course as a youngster she still has a lot to learn and we are looking forward to helping her with that and to watch her grow as a cyclist with us.”

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