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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Update on Egan Bernal's condition

Bernal's INEOS Grandiers team posted this:

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Team Jumbo-Visma puts Tour de France win high on wish list

Here’s Jumbo-Visma’s post:

With second and third places on the final podium of the Tour de France, Team Jumbo-Visma will once again aim for the highest achievable in 2022 in the biggest race of the cycling calendar. During the team’s presentation in Alicante, Spain, the Tour did not go unnoticed. It became clear that the Slovenian Primoz Roglic and the Dane Jonas Vingeraard will start as the team leaders.

Sports director Grischa Niermann revealed that six riders are already sure of their place in Team Jumbo Visma’s Tour selection. “Primoz Roglic, Jonas Vingegaard, Sepp Kuss, Rohan Dennis, Wout van Aert and Steven Kruijswijk will be there. We will select the last two riders at the beginning of May. Then we will start with the specific preparation for the Tour.”

Primoz Roglic has won the Vuelta a España in 2019, 2020, 2021 (shown). He would like to add the 2022 Tour de France to that list. Sirotti photo

Niermann thinks that a powerful team will be at the start. “We are going to put together a tactical plan, together with the riders, to beat the top favourite Tadej Pogacar. We are working out all kinds of possible scenarios.”

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman agrees. “It’s the biggest race in the world and the hardest to win, but we think it’s a great challenge. We are looking forward to it. As Team Jumbo-Visma, we want to win the Tour one day. The competition is huge, however.”

Roglic embraces his team’s approach. “We are going to look step by step how we can be at our best there. That’s the most important thing: then the results will come naturally.”

Belgian champion Van Aert would like to clinch the green points jersey. “But I hope to be part of the team that won the Tour. I have shown that I can be a team player and achieve personal success. We will try to combine that again in the upcoming edition.”

With Dennis, the yellow-black brigade attracted a tried and tested all-rounder. “I am thrilled to be part of this team. This team is doing everything it can to get better every day and that really appealed to me”, the Australian says. “I can play an important role in the team. Also in the Tour.”

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Lotto-Soudal starts 2022 season at Challenge Mallorca

Here’s the team’s news:

Mallorca will be the battleground for Lotto Soudal’s first races of the new cycling season. From Wednesday 26 until Sunday 30 January, the Challenge Mallorca is scheduled. Over five days, Lotto Soudal will take part in the following five one-day races: Trofeo Calvia, Trofeo Alcudia, Trofeo Serra Tramuntana, Trofeo Pollença and Trofeo Playa de Palma.

The following riders are part of the selection for Challenge Mallorca and will be rotated during the five days: Arnaud De Lie, Matthew Holmes, Andreas Kron, Kamil Małecki, Michael Schwarzmann, Harry Sweeny, Harm Vanhoucke, Viktor Verschaeve and Tim Wellens.

In the past, Lotto Soudal rider Tim Wellens has often performed well on the Balearic island. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 he was victorious in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. In 2017, Wellens was also first across the finish line in the Trofeo Andratx. The 30-year-old Belgian looks ahead to his first races of the new cycling season.

Tim Wellens winning Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in 2019.

Tim Wellens: “The first races of the season always give me a special feeling. At the same time, they often lead to a healthy portion of stress. For me, the races can’t start early enough and I am really looking forward to get started. At the moment, I’m not yet in top shape because the big objectives come a little bit later in the season. But that doesn’t mean that I will start without any ambitions, on the contrary. With already four victories under my belt, I have very good memories of the races on Mallorca. I really like the technical and honest courses; with good legs you automatically go a long way. This year, I would like to create some new memories. A victory would be a nice way to start the season and that is what we are going for with the team.”

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Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena’s open letter about the 2022 season

The team posted this:

Last week I sat down with the riders – albeit virtually – to discuss what has been and what will be. It’s something we have always done as the start of the season draws near. To give us morale, to motivate us, but above all to honestly analyze our balance of strengths and weaknesses. We believe that only in this way can we truly improve ourselves.

In 2021, on the Men’s side, we made a good impact on the Classics, especially with Stuyven’s win at Milano-Sanremo. We were competitive and a more than good grade is deserved, but for the potential we have, I think we could have achieved more. The problems related to the Pandemic affected us in the Spring, but this should not be used as an excuse.

Jasper Stuyven wins 2021 Milano-Sanremo. Sirotti photo

The same goes for the Grand Tours. Mollema gave us great joy with his stage victory in the Tour de France, but in the Giro and the Vuelta, we didn’t achieve what we expected. Of course, we can’t ignore injuries, especially as they affected captains like Ciccone and Nibali, but we also can’t deny that certain synergies didn’t work as we wanted. A similar discourse is valid for the short stage races, where we showed our strength only intermittently.

The happiest note of the year was the growth of our young riders. We’ve always believed in a gradual maturation – and this is why we invested in new talents for the upcoming season – and 2021 was significant in that sense. Riders like Simmons, Skjelmose and Tiberi showed their consistency. They did well, but we are still at the beginning, and we expect a new leap in quality in 2022.

On the Women’s side, we confirmed our solidity, especially in the most important events. Deignan’s win at Roubaix and Van Dijk’s double victory at European Road Race Championships and World Time Trial Championships were the icing on the cake of an undoubtedly positive season. But settling is not part of our DNA. I think it’s right to focus where we could have done better, such as in the sprints where – with a bit more luck – you can expect to win more.

At the end, in my eyes, 2021 has been a good season. And the confidence of the sponsors is comforting. We’ve achieved some great results, as we’ve been able to do for a couple of years now. But – again – entering a sort of ‘comfort zone’ would be the biggest mistake we can make. Our potential allows us to be ambitious throughout the season and not just at certain moments. The goal we must pursue is consistency on all terrains and continuity from January to October. Raising the bar, for us, means aiming for those two goals. How to get there? There are no special formulas, only dedication, discipline and work ethic.

This is the goal the whole team must set for itself, not just the riders. From a structural point of view, every year we try to add pieces that can improve performance; from the roster side, the key riders are those who are under the spotlight, but every rider must be ready when needed: we need a change of pace to run all at the same speed.

In our meetings, we’ve given clear goals to the riders, not just aiming for one or another race. The Classics group was strong in 2021 and must be even stronger in 2022: I ask them to prove their worth. For the stage races, we need a real leap in quality, starting from the captains, passing through the sprinters and arriving at the young riders: we need proof of consistency. To our Women’s Team, I can only ask them to confirm themselves as the best team once again in a more and more competitive World Tour and to race the Giro-Tour double, trying to continually raise the bar.

The last hope I express is to see everyone soon, in person, at the races, surrounded by the passion of our fans.

Good season to all,


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