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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, January 23, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. - Samuel Johnson


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2021 Santos Festival of Cycling stage two report from Team BikeExchange

We posted the race organizer's reports with the results.

Here's the report from Team BikeExchange:

Stage one winner Luke Durbridge maintained his overall race lead at the Santos Festival of Cycling as teammate Kaden Groves sprinted to third on a tough stage two in Lobethal.

A four-rider breakaway edged clear in the opening kilometres with Team BikeExchange assuming their position at the head of the peloton in support of race leader Durbridge. The time gap was kept at a manageable distance throughout the stage before it started to fall rapidly with 30km to go as Tirreno-Adriatico stage winner Lucas Hamilton drove the pace.

The leading quartet were eventually reeled in at the foot of the Fox Creek climb and attacks were soon launched out of the thinning peloton. Luke Plapp (Australia) managed to escape over the top with Durbridge and a number of his Team BikeExchange teammates forming part of a select chase group behind.

The race leader kept a close eye on several counter attacks as he shut down numerous moves on the run into the finish, but Plapp was able to hold off the chasing pack to claim the win, while Groves sprinted to third place from the small chase group.

Luke Plapp

Luke Plapp wins stage two.

Luke Durbridge:
"It was a hard stage, they really handed it to us, and the boys were really, really good. Lucas Hamilton was on the front all day, he was exceptional, and everyone was around me, looking after me and keeping me watered and fed.

"Luke Plapp did an amazing effort with around 200 metres to go of that climb and we were there but couldn’t do anything about it. I think he knows that climb and that descent, so it was an impressive, so chapeu to him. But yeah, we kept the jersey and we’re fine, so another day."

Team Qhubeka Assos unveils 2021 race jersey

The team sent me this release:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 22, 2021/ -- Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com), Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour professional cycling outfit, is thrilled to present our iconic 2021 race jersey.

Qhubeka-Assos jersey

The unique ASSOS design was first presented to our riders earlier this week at a team training camp in Girona, Spain, ahead of what promises to be an exciting season. The vibrant elements of the jersey showcase our incredible partners but most importantly, to us all, bear the iconic Qhubeka hands (front and back) to reflect upon the story of our team’s desire to change lives through the bicycle, together with the Qhubeka Charity.

In 2021 Team Qhubeka ASSOS is set to compete in approximately 70 races over the course of 270 race days, broadcast around the globe, sharing the message that sport has to do good. The Qhubeka hand is the key symbol in illustrating that bicycle beneficiaries are receiving a hand up in their lives and in so doing are able to move forward.

This iconic feature is also a signal to current and potential future partners to put their own hands up in having the opportunity to join our team, as we continue to move forward in effecting meaningful change in the world.

Team Qhubeka ASSOS are scheduled to make their racing debut in the jersey at Étoile de Bessèges early in February while the plans for the jersey to be made available for sale to the general public will be communicated in due course.

Team Israel Start-Up Nation to ride UAE Tour

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Team Israel Start-Up Nation is delighted to announce its return to the UAE Tour. The team made its first appearance in the UAE Tour last season and was warmly received as the first Israeli team to race in an Arab country. A few months later, Israel and the UAE signed a historic peace agreement.

Team Israel Start-Up Nation

Team Israel Start-Up Nation is presented at the 2020 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

ISN has confirmed that its new rider, Chris Froome, will make the UAE Tour his inaugural race for the team in 2021, alongside Israeli champion, Omer Goldstein. “It’s great to return, this time as the Israeli champion,” said Goldstein. “I hope that this time we will have Israelis visiting the UAE as peace tourists, coming to support us in person for the first time!”

ISN’s co-owner Sylvan Adams: “It is great to be returning to the Emirates, with whom Israel signed a peace accord in September. I had the privilege of being present at the White House in Washington for the signing of the historic Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. We received a warm welcome from our neighbors last year, and I’m looking forward to renewing our friendships under this new umbrella of peace.”

Froome, who is currently training in California, was supposed to start the Vuelta a San Juan this January. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the race was cancelled, and Froome continued his training and rehab program in California. He will join the team for his racing debut in ISN’s blue and white in the United Arab Emirates.

“Chris has been making great progress in California, rehabilitating from his injuries,” said the team’s manager Kjell Carlstrom. “We are excited to see him racing soon.”

The UAE Tour starts on the 21st of February and finishes six days later. It is the first WorldTour race on the 2021 racing calendar.

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