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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. - Francis of Assisi


Paris–Roubaix: The Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Paris-Roubaix: The Inside Story - All the bumps of cycling's cobbled classic is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to ride Milano-Torino

Here’s the team’s update:

Created in 1876 – almost three decades before the Tour de France – Milano-Torino schedules its 103rd edition this Wednesday, just three days before the season’s first Monument, Milano-Sanremo. The race will travel from Magenta to Rivoli over a 199km largely flat course that will bring the peloton’s fast men into the spotlight just as it did in 2020, so far the only time this century that the route favoured the sprinters.

Having recently completed Tirreno-Adriatico, Mark Cavendish will continue his adventure in Italy – a country where he tasted some of the biggest wins of his career – surrounded by a strong Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team, that for the first time this year will include Rémi Cavagna. It will be a special moment for the 26-year-old French Champion, who will finally start his sixth season with the Wolfpack, a delay that was caused by an injury at last December’s training camp.

Rémi Cavagna racing in stage four of the 2021 Paris-Nice. Sirotti photo

Rounding out our seven-man roster for the Italian Classic will be Mattia Cattaneo, Dries Devenyns, lead-out expert Michael Mørkøv, Pieter Serry and Louis Vervaeke.

“Mark Cavendish will be our card for this Wednesday and he will count on a strong squad to protect and help him fight for a good result. We are very happy that Rémi is back after his unfortunate crash during the training camp, we missed him. It will be for the first time that he pins on a number this year and having him again with us it’s a big morale-boost”, explained Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Davide Bramati.

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Team DSM’s upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Milano - Torino: MAR 16

Matt Winston - Team DSM coach:
"The route this year has changed, making it similar to that of the 2020 edition without the Superga climb, and instead the riders will face a flatter parcours throughout the day. We'll need to be attentive to any attacks over the hilly section, but if the race ends in a bunch sprint then we will look to set up Alberto as our finisher; bringing him into the best possible position with the guys as we refine our sprint train."

Nikias Arndt (shown at the 2019 Vuelta a España) will ride Milano-Torino.

Line-up:
Thymen Arensman (NED)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Marco Brenner (GER)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Lorenzo Milesi (ITA)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Danilith Nokere Koerse: MAR 16

Roy Curvers - Team DSM coach
"Nokere Koerse is a typical Belgian spring race with cobblestones and short climbs, where it is key to be alert the whole day. For this type of racing we really need to focus on riding as a team and to be in position for the crucial moments. With former winner Cees in our line-up, we have a strong finisher, so we will try and keep him safe and allow Cees to save as much energy for the finish; if it comes down to a fight between the peloton. A bunch sprint is not the only way the race can be won though, so we will race aggressively and make sure we are present in all the important breaks. We have a lot of guys with fast legs so we have several opportunities for us to fight for a good result depending on how the race goes."

Line-up:
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Cees Bol (NED)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Casper van Uden (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Danilith Nokere Koerse Women's Race: MAR 16

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
"For this year's edition of Nokere Koerse the parcours have changed slightly, with a longer route and more cobbles and Flemish hills, which should make for a more demanding day in the saddle. Like a lot of races in the area, we need to be sharp and ready for any dangerous breaks that might go earlier in the race or in the finale, and make sure that we are represented in them. If an attack doesn't make it to the line, then we will work to set up Lorena who will be our finisher in the sprint."

Line-up:
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Esmée Peperkamp (NED)
Elise Uijen (NED)
Lorena Wiebes (NED)

Bredene Koksijde Classic: MAR 18

Roy Curvers - Team DSM coach
"The route of Bredene Koksijde takes place along the Belgian coastal area, where the wind can play a big part in the outcome of the day. There are a lot of open sections where the bunch is really vulnerable to echelons if the wind is strong, while in the middle of the race we take on the famous Kemmelberg - all of which should make for an exciting day of racing. The key for us is to be prepared for multiple scenarios. With Cees we have a strong finisher who we will work for when it comes down to a bunch sprint. If the wind is strong then we have to be ready to race collectively from the gun so we can get multiple riders into the final and play our cards from there."

Line-up:
Cees Bol (NED)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Pepijn Reinderink (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)
Hannes Wilksch (GER)

Youngster Coast Challenge: MAR 18

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"The Youngster Coast Challenge is a great opportunity for the team, and especially our newcomers, to get into the racing rhythm even more; where we can focus on good teamwork throughout the day. The race normally ends in a bunch sprint but like most races in the region, that also depends on the weather, and it can become a really hard day out if the wind blows. If it does, then we need good teamwork to race offensively as a block, while if the day ends in a sprint, then we have Lorenzo as our finisher."

Line-up:
Joost Brinkman (NED)
Bart Hordijk (NED)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Joris Reinderink (NED)
Lorenzo Ursella (ITA)

Milano - Sanremo: MAR 19

Matt Winston - Team DSM coach
"We're excited to take on the first Monument of the year at Milano - Sanremo. As it is the longest race of the season, we need to work well as a group to save as much energy as possible for the punchy climbs of the Cipressa and Poggio in the finale. We head to the race with a strong and motivated group of riders who are keen to get in the mix and show themselves at the front of the race. We have lots of different cards to play in what is normally an exciting and attacking final, with the race either decided by a small group going clear, a late attack, or a reduced group sprint to the line."

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Nico Denz (GER)
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Trofeo Alfredo Binda: MAR 20

Huub Duijn - Team DSM coach
"Trofeo Binda once again takes place on a challenging and hilly parcours, with a lap circuit to be taken on in the area surrounding Cittiglio in the finale, which features two testing climbs. We want to ride aggressively with our strong block of riders, and create a situation where we have multiple Team DSM riders in the front group as we head into the deep final of the race. From there we want to use our numbers in an attacking fashion, making sure that we're in all of the dangerous moves, as on the circuit there is a good chance that a strong breakaway can get clear and fight it out for the top step."

Line-up:
Francesca Barale (ITA)
Léa Curinier (FRA)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya: MAR 21-27

Luke Roberts - Team DSM coach
"Stage racing continues for us at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya as we take on a varied parcours throughout the week. With a mix of flat stages, rolling terrain that suits the breakaway specialists and versatile sprinters, plus some tricky mountain top finishes, we expect some exciting racing. It's a good race for us to continue our development and sharpen our race craft with the younger block we have here. Throughout the week we want to ride well as a unit and create opportunities for ourselves through good teamwork and aggressive racing, taking a day-by-day approach."

Line-up:
Marco Brenner (GER)
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Florian Stork (GER)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)

Tour de Normandie: MAR 21-27

Bennie Lambregts - Team DSM coach
"Tour de Normandie is a beautiful and tough seven day stage race, where almost every day takes place on a classics style parcours. If the typical spring Normandie weather is also in the air, with a lot of wind and rain, then it is a very challenging and demanding race. We take to the start with a strong team where our aim will be to hunt for stage success throughout the week. All of our riders can compete well on this terrain and in the conditions we expect to face, which is typified by tough local circuits and echelons. With some good offensive riding and teamwork, we hope for a good week in Normandie."

Line-up:
Tobias Lund Andresen (DEN)
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Enzo Leijnse (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Casper van Uden (NED)


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UAE Team Emirates’ upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

UAE Team Emirates will line-up for four one-day races starting on Wednesday with Milano-Torino and Danilith Nokere Koerse (16 March) in Italy and Belgium, followed by GP de Denain in France (17 March) before hopping back across the border for Bredene-Kokjide (18 March).

The team will be under the direction of Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita) and Aart Vierhouten (Ned) for the Belgian/French races while Andrej Hauptman (Slo) will take charge for Milano -Torino.

Pascal Ackermann : “I’m settling in very well to the team so far and I hope this week to have some sprinting opportunities to test the legs in the fast finishes in Belgium. We’re coming here after a great week for the team winning Tirreno-Adriatico so morale is high and personally I’m gunning for a victory.”

Pascal Ackermann winning the second stage of the 2021 Settimana Italiana. Sirotti photo

Milano – Torino [1.Pro] – 16-Mar-2022
Camilo Ardila (Col)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Rui Costa (Por)
Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
Sebastian Molano (Col)
Ivo Oliveira (Por)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)

Danilith Nokere Koerse [1.Pro] – 16-Mar-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Finn Fisher-Black (NZ)
Felix Gross (Ger)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Rui Oliveira (Por)
Joel Suter (Swi)
Oliviero Troia (Ita)

Grand Prix de Denain – Porte du Hainaut [1.Pro] – 17-Mar-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Alexys Brunel (Fra)
Felix Gross (Ger)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Rui Oliveira (Por)
Joel Suter (Swi)
Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)

Bredene-Koksjide [1.Pro] – 18-Mar-2022
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Finn Fisher-Black (NZ)
Felix Gross (Ger)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Rui Oliveira (Por)
Joel Suter (Swi)
Alexys Brunel (Fra)


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SRAM acquires apparel brand Velocio

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News posted this:

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM is acquiring the cycling apparel brand Velocio, according to Velocio's owners.

The purchase closed on March 3 and was announced publicly on Wednesday, Andrew Gardner, Velocio's chief marketing officer, told BRAIN and VeloNews.

Velocio announced the sale in a post on its website. A SRAM spokesman said the company would release information about the purchase on Thursday.

The Velocio post said its owners approached SRAM about the acquisition.

"In selling Velocio, our focus was on finding a partner, a large brand or brand family that would value our three pillars: design, responsibility and culture. We approached SRAM precisely because we thought there might be a place in their well-respected orbit of components and bike products for us. We approached SRAM because our cultures are compatible," the post said.

SRAM owns Zipp, RockShox, Avid, Truvativ, TIME pedals, Quarq and other brands. Its most recent acquisition was of the Hammerhead GPS computer brand.

The letter said Velocio has worked with SRAM since 2015 when the two brands shared sponsorship of the UCI pro cycling team Velocio-SRAM.

Velocio said it would maintain its own supply chain, manufacturing, and product design separate from SRAM's.

You can read the entire story here.

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