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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? - James Thurber


Tour de France: 2021

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2021: The Little Cannibal Dominates is available in both Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tom Dumoulin ends cycling career with immediate effect

Dumoulin’s Team Jumbo-Visma posted this news:

Tom Dumoulin has decided to end his professional cycling career with immediate effect. At the beginning of June, Dumoulin announced that 2022 would be his last season as a professional cyclist. The Klasikoa San Sebastián at the end of July was his final race.

Tom Dumoulin finishes fourth in stage 7 of this year's Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Dumoulin: “I decided to quit professional cycling with immediate effect. About two months ago I announced that I would retire as a professional cyclist at the end of the year. During last spring, despite my love for the bike, I noticed that things weren’t going how I wanted. I felt that I was ready for a new phase in my life. But, I still had one project on my wishlist to end my career with a bang; the World Championship in Australia. I wanted to tackle that road to the World Championship the way I tackled the road to the Tokyo Olympics. With a sense of freedom, on my terms, with the support of the team and with my intrinsic motivation as the main fuel. That’s what brought me back the joy of cycling back then.

"But I notice that I can’t do it anymore. The tank is empty, the legs feel heavy and the training sessions are not working out as I hoped and I also need to do a good performance and have a good feeling at the World Championship. Since my hard crash in training last September, something has broken again. I had to interrupt my efforts to return to my old shape yet again and deal with another disappointment. It was one too many. Even though the farewell didn’t turn out the way I hoped, I look back on my career with incredible pride. I worked hard for it, took a lot of passion and pleasure from it for many years, and delivered brilliant performances. I will never forget that. Now it’s time to enjoy other things and be there for the people I love. A big thank you to my team and everyone who supported me during my fantastic career. And a special thank you to my wife, who had my back all these years.”

General manager of Team Jumbo-Visma Richard Plugge: “We are sorry that Tom is ending his career with immediate effect, but we respect his decision. Tom has meant a lot to cycling fans, both in the Netherlands and worldwide. He can be proud of his career. We wish him all the best for the future.”

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Jumbo-Visma announces Vuelta team

Here’s the team’s announcement:

This Friday, the Vuelta a Espana kicks off with a team time trial in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This is the line-up of Team Jumbo-Visma.

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman explains the selection. "We are delighted that Primoz can start in the Vuelta after his serious injury in the Tour de France. Logically, he didn't have the best preparation, but we greatly respect him for how he managed to get ready."

Can Roglic do it again? Sirotti photo

"We have a good and balanced team at the start that can optimally support Primoz in all areas. It is a pity that Koen Bouwman will not make it to the start due to his injury. We would have loved to see him in the Vuelta in the great form he displayed during the last Giro d'Italia."

It's been a few years since a Grand Tour started in The Netherlands. "The Dutch start makes it very special for us. We look forward to showing ourselves in front of our own audience from coming Friday."

The squad:
Primoz Roglic
Edoardo Affini
Sam Oomen
Sepp Kuss
Robert Gesink
Mike Theunissen
Chris Harper
Rohan Dennis


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Team DSM reveal 2022 Vuelta a España roster

The team sent me this:

An excursion into the Netherlands awaits the peloton as they take on this year’s Vuelta a España, with Team DSM revealing an eight-rider strong roster that will line-up in Utrecht to take on an action-packed 21 days of racing at La Vuelta as the curtain on the Grand Tour calendar draws to a close.

Getting under way, a predominantly flat route lays ahead of the bunch in the Netherlands, starting with a fast 23-kilometre time trial through the streets of Utrecht before two days which should see the sprinters do battle for stage honours; unless the infamous Dutch wind has a role to play. Heading back to the north of Spain after their travel day, a succession of challenging and hilly terrain lends itself to exciting and attacking racing, with several tough hilltop and mountain finishes; including the brutally steep Nava finale that returns after its inclusion in 2018.

Thymen Arensman will be riding for a good finish in the GC. Sirotti photo

Following the first rest day a long individual effort against the clock will put the racing rhythm back into the riders’ legs before they take on some days that could suit the attackers or sprinters. A handful of mountain-top finishes will also shake things up while the second week concludes at altitude with the bunch reaching 2500 metres above sea level atop Sierra Nevada. Racing concludes with a mixed bag of terrain in the final week, where every type of rider will find a route that suits them and should result in some fierce battles for the breakaway.

Aiming to build on their good recent form and momentum due to well thought-out and planned training, alongside targeted racing and altitude camps, Team DSM’s Vuelta a España squad are ready to take their jersey around the Netherlands and Spain as they race offensively, whilst keeping an eye on the GC throughout the three weeks.

Team DSM coach Matt Winston said: “We’re looking forward to the Vuelta and the start in the Netherlands; with some hard stages beginning with the team time trial and then two potential sprint days where we also need to be really sharp on potential crosswinds. Returning to Spain we immediately have some hard days in the Basque Country, making for a tough first week; before breakaway opportunities, a time trial, sprint stages and tough mountain days follow in week two and three. We will look to hold Thymen in the GC and not lose time early in the race, taking a day-by-day approach with him. Alongside that, we have plenty of guys that are hungry for the breakaways and will look for opportunities to go for stage results from those moves. We have a nice mix of youth and experience in our squad and we’re all excited to get the final Grand Tour of the season underway.”

Full line-up:
Thymen Arensman
Nikias Arndt
Marco Brenner
John Degenkolb
Mark Donovan
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg
Joris Nieuwenhuis
Henri Vandenabeele


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INEOS Grenadiers Vuelta a España 2022 Roster

The team sent this:

The INEOS Grenadiers are pleased to confirm their line-up for the final Grand Tour of the 2022 season, the Vuelta a España.

The team is going all out to win the race, with a balance of Grand Tour-proven talent and youthful exuberance to make its presence felt throughout.

Line-up: Richard Carapaz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Ethan Hayter, Luke Plapp, Carlos Rodríguez, Pavel Sivakov, Ben Turner, Dylan van Baarle.

Hayter, Plapp, Rodríguez and Turner will all make their Grand Tour debuts in Spain, marking a key moment in their impressive development.

Richard Carapaz, who wore pink for a while at this year's Giro, will try for the Red Jersey at the Vuelta. Sirotti photo

2020 Giro d’Italia winner Geoghegan Hart, recent Vuelta a Burgos champion Sivakov and Paris Roubaix victor van Baarle complete the line-up, alongside Carapaz.

Rod Ellingworth, Deputy Team Principal said: “Our team for the Vuelta is a really exciting one; a great mix of experience and youth, which we believe will produce some outstanding racing.

“To have four Grand Tour debutants in Carlos, Luke, Ethan and Ben reinforces the belief we have in the quality of our young riders and we know that they’ll provide fantastic support for Richie in his last Grand Tour with us. All four have impressed in 2022 and this will be the next big step in their development at the very highest level.

“As a previous winner, and having placed second in 2020, we’re looking forward to Richie drawing on that experience and leading the team as the race heads for Madrid, in what undoubtedly will be a very exciting edition of the Vuelta.

“Dylan, Pavel and Tao provide invaluable experience to complete a group we believe can deliver some incredible moments in the final Grand Tour of a brilliant season.

"I know that the riders and the staff will be going all out to finish this part of our campaign on a high, and we look forward to a successful race together.” 

INEOS Grenadiers VUELTA A ESPAÑA TEAM

Richard Carapaz – 29, Ecuador
Carapaz is taking to the line for his second Grand Tour of the year, after placing second at the Giro d’Italia back in May. The Ecuadorian will start the race as team leader, supported by a mix of experienced as well as developing talent. Having placed second on GC at the 2020 edition of this race, the Olympic gold medallist is looking to go one better in Spain.  

Tao Geoghegan Hart – 27, Great Britain
The 2020 Giro d’Italia winner comes into the Vuelta after being a key member of the winning team at the Vuelta a Burgos. This will be Geoghegan Hart’s third Vuelta a España, a race he loves. The mountain stages so synonymous with this race are where Geoghegan Hart excels and he will grab chances of his own as well as helping his team leader.   

Ethan Hayter – 23, Great Britain
Fresh from his breakthrough WorldTour stage race win at the Tour de Pologne, Hayter will be fighting it out in the sprints. As one of the team’s Grand Tour debutants, the Vuelta will provide invaluable experience to Hayter as his development continues at the top level. The current GB national time trial champion will also have the chance to demonstrate his strength in the individual time trial, as well as the team time trial on the opening stage.

Luke Plapp – 21, Australia
Plapp stormed into his first year in the WorldTour, becoming Australian national road champion in January, then racking up three top five Young Rider jerseys as well as third on GC at the Tour of Norway. The Vuelta a España will be Plapp’s first Grand Tour, a great opportunity for the WorldTour debutant to learn and seize his chances during the race.  

Carlos Rodríguez – 21, Spain
Four top five GCs at stage races this year, as well as the Spanish national road race title leaves no doubt about the bright future ahead for Rodríguez. Lining up for his first Grand Tour in his home country promises to be a very special moment for the talented 21-year-old. 

Pavel Sivakov – 25, France
It was great to see Frenchman Sivakov back onto the podium in recent weeks, taking the overall at Vuelta a Burgos and second at Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa. This will be Sivakov’s fourth Grand Tour and third hit out at the Vuelta a España, where he looks forward to sharing his experience and seizing his chances along the way.

Ben Turner – 23, Great Britain
Recently placing 7th at the Commonwealth Games road race and 4th at the British national road race back in June, Turner has shown impressively consistent form across the year, most notably during his first full Classics season at WorldTour level, which included a hard fought 11th place at Paris-Roubaix. Another of the team’s GT debutants, Turner is relishing his ride at the Vuelta a España, and will be all in for the team. 

Dylan van Baarle – 30, Netherlands
This has been van Baarle’s most successful year on the WorldTour, winning in style at Paris-Roubaix and finishing 2nd at the iconic Tour of Flanders. Van Baarle has been a much valued Grand Tour domestique for the Grenadiers for a number of years, and is lining up for his second GT of 2022, his fourth Vuelta a España and twelfth career Grand Tour.

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