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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 24, 2022

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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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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Israel-Premier Tech signs Nick Schultz at the last minute

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Israel – Premier Tech’s 2023 rider roster has grown to 29 riders with the arrival of Nick Schultz in a last-minute deal.

Although the IPT roster was considered complete with the signing of Stevie Williams in early December, the team didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sign the 28-year-old Australian climber, explains IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström.

Nick Schultz wins stage four of the 2019 Herald Sun Tour.

“We are very happy to have found room for Nick Schultz in the team for the 2023 season. Like Stevie Williams, Nick came onto the rider market late in the off season but he was a rider we were immediately interested in. Nick is a great climber and will provide key support for our GC and Classics leaders while also pursuing his own ambitions, something he proved is well within his reach having narrowly missed a Tour de France stage win this year in his debut participation. We look forward to helping Nick continue to grow as a rider and take on an important role in the team,” says Carlström.

“I am especially pleased to welcome Nick Schultz to our team. He is a solid and versatile professional who can contribute in a variety of ways. Moreover, he’s known to be an excellent teammate, which will fit well with our team culture. Welcome to IPT, Nick!”, adds IPT owner Sylvan Adams.

Schultz claimed his first pro win on home soil at the Herald Sun Tour in 2019 and followed it with a summit finish win at Sazka Tour in 2021, with both victories confirming his climbing capabilities.

With his one-year deal with IPT secured late in the year, Schultz is motivated to hit the ground running in his new colors in 2023, in what will be his seventh year as a pro.

“I’m really grateful to IPT for offering me a contract so late in the year. I’m very excited to join a group of great people where I’ll find some familiar faces. I hope to play an important role in helping the team wherever I can and also be ambitious trying to achieve some results to repay the confidence that the team showed in me. All in all, I’m just really looking forward to being with everybody at the races and getting stuck in,” says Schultz.

Schultz will join his teammates as the next pre-season training camp in Spain in January.

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Stéphane Heulot appointed as new CEO of Lotto Dstny cycling team

The team sent me this announcement:

The Belgian based Heulot starts with the ambition to get Lotto Dstny back to the WorldTour.

Belgian professional cycling team Lotto Dstny has found a new CEO in Stéphane Heulot. The Belgium based manager will succeed John Lelangue as of January 1st. After a thorough search in which all possible options were carefully explored, both the team and Stéphane Heulot concluded that their history and experience in the sport, professional ambition and shared vision towards the future make a perfect match.

Stéphane Heulot (51) was a professional cyclist from 1992 until 2002. He wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France of 1996. In the same year he became French champion. After his active career, Stéphane Heulot was involved in the management of several professional and development teams. He also worked as a business coach in France and Belgium.

Stéphane Heulot in yellow at the 1996 Tour de France.

The team and Stéphane Heulot found each other after a thorough search by Lotto Dstny. The team wanted someone with a profound knowledge of and experience in cycling, but with proven skills outside the sport as well. Stéphane Heulot is the perfect candidate. After his professional cycling career in France, he moved to the heart of cycling in Belgium, where he further developed himself as a manager. Lotto Dstny and Stéphane Heulot have a shared vision on the way a team should be run, talent development and ethics in sports. The team is convinced that he, together with sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer, Chief Business Officer Yana Seel and all other staff and riders, will get Lotto Dstny back to the WorldTour.


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Stéphane Heulot comments: “I am very honored to get the confidence of the Captains of Cycling Board of Directors and become a part of this beautiful team, based in the heartland of cycling. As a rider, I have spent hours and hours in the peloton with the Lotto riders. During all those years, it has always been clear what this team stands for: passion, striving for excellence, ethics in sportsmanship, riding for success and with bravery. We are facing a challenging time, but I am ready to take on the responsibility to lead us towards the next chapter. Like me, the Lotto Dstny team has always had a strong focus on talent development. Helping the women’s team take the next steps, is a challenge I very much look forward to as well. Thanks to its unique structure, Lotto Dstny has a very strong fanbase. Some of our fans are even shareholders. I look forward to meeting each of them in the upcoming general assembly of the Captains of Cycling.”

“With the support of the strong, reliable and loyal sponsors of the team - Lotto, the historical partner of the team, and Dstny the newcomer - I want us to get results and win races. The sponsors believe in this team to increase their reputation in Belgium and abroad and I am convinced we can give back to them what they give to this team. There is a group of strong and talented riders, supported by sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer, the performance team, the medical team, the trainers, sports directors, soigneurs, mechanics, administrative team and all the suppliers. It will be an honor to lead all of them. All those years in cycling and the fact that I have been living in Belgium for the past years, have taught me where the heart of cycling beats. As general manager, I will be the biggest fan of Lotto Dstny with the ambition to bring it back to the WorldTour and to guarantee its bright future for the next decades.”


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UCI modifies points scale for men’s events in UCI International Road Calendar

Here’s the UCI’s announcement:

Following the publication of the lists of the teams registered by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for the 2023 season, the UCI is today communicating several modifications to “Part 2 – Road Races” of the UCI Regulations, which will come into effect on 1 January 2023.

At the conclusion of the three-year cycle, at the end of which UCI WorldTour licences were granted to teams, the various stakeholders involved in professional men’s road cycling expressed a wish to adjust the existing points scale to attach more value to the most prestigious UCI WorldTour races, and rebalance the respective importance given to one-day races and stage races.

The main changes to the points scale attributed by the different race classes in the UCI International Road Calendar are as follows:

  • increase in the number of points attributed by the three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta Ciclista a España (final general classification, stage and secondary classifications);
  • creation of a special category for the five Monuments (Milano-Sanremo, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia) with a greater number of points attributed to them compared with the other one-day races on the UCI WorldTour;
  • increase in the number of points attributed during stages of races of the UCI WorldTour and of the UCI ProSeries; in future, points will be awarded for finishes lower than third place (all the way down to fifth, tenth or 15th, depending on the competition);
  • increase in the number of points distributed during the Olympic Games and the UCI Road World Championships (road races and time trials in the Elite categories).

These changes, which will serve to widen the gap between the points scored in the most prestigious races and those in lower categories, are aimed at encouraging teams to enter their best riders in the most important races and to ensure a better correlation between the points awarded and the sporting achievement involved, which is clearly at a higher level in UCI WorldTour races featuring all UCI WorldTeams.

Furthermore, the UCI World Ranking for teams, which up until now has been determined by the total points obtained by the best 10 riders in each team, will now be calculated on the basis of the results of the best 20 riders (which corresponds to the minimum number of riders for UCI ProTeams).

This increase in the number of riders is designed not only to better reflect the competitive strength of the teams, but also to reduce the downside of their best riders being unavailable for any reason (for example injury or illness) during a given season. With the UCI World Ranking for teams acting as the basis for the evaluation of the teams in terms of sporting criteria (for the purpose of awarding UCI WorldTour licences), an increase in the number of riders whose results are taken into account will help to reduce the pressure that is currently imposed solely on a limited number of them, and which can lead to a series of negative consequences (risks of injury, excessive numbers of race days, temptation of doping etc.)

The system of mandatory invitations to UCI WorldTour races has also been modified, on a temporary basis. For the 2023 season, any UCI ProTeam which lost its UCI WorldTeam status at the end of the 2022 season due to sporting criteria and which is not one of the teams eligible for mandatory invitations (as set out in article 2.1.007 b of the UCI Regulations) will automatically receive invitations to stage races (with the exception of the Grand Tours) and one-day UCI WorldTour races. This modification is aimed at maintaining stability within teams, and is limited to one transition year – i.e. only for 2023, coming as it does after three years of significant upheaval due to the global pandemic.

All of the aforementioned regulation modifications can be viewed in their entirety on the UCI website.

The list of mandatory invitations for men and women will be published on the UCI website at the beginning of January, after the registration procedure for UCI Continental Teams and UCI Women’s Continental Teams.


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