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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 10, 2022

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Story of the Giro d'Italia volume 2

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 2: 1971 - 2011 is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Amenuel Ghebreigzabhier extends his contract with Trek-Segafredo

Here’s the team’s update:

The Eritrean rider has extended his contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2023 after a difficult 2022 season following a crash in March.

Ghebreigzabhier is thankful to have had the full support of the Team as he recovered from the injuries he sustained at this year’s Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

“When I signed my contract with Trek-Segafredo in 2021, I knew I had the right environment to grow and succeed in the WorldTour,” Ghebreigzabhier said. “Race after race, I was able to settle in and appreciate the unique team spirit here. It is thanks to this feeling that, over these last few months, I was able to recover from the bad crash I suffered at Volta a Catalunya. It has been a difficult period.

“After an encouraging and strong start to the season, I found myself struggling to get back to being 100 percent healthy. The closeness of the Team, along with everyone’s hard work, allowed me to succeed and become a rider again.”

Amenuel Ghebreigzabhier at the Vuelta Burgos

Over the next 12 months, the 28-year-old is looking to build on the form he had before the crash and help the Team achieve results.

“The next goal is to regain my best condition and be able to continue on the path of growth that I started with the Team over the last two years,” Ghebreigzabhier explained. “This is what I want to pursue during this winter break. I feel a huge amount of motivation ahead of 2023. I hope I can play an important role, for the Team and for myself, in stage races with the dream of being strong enough and deserving of a call up for the next Tour de France.”

Ghebreigzabhier deserved to have the backing of Trek-Segafredo explained General Manager, Luca Guercilena.

“When Amanuel joined the Team he was already an established rider but we saw that he still had plenty of room for improvement,” Guercilena said. “At the start of this year, we really started to see his development but then, of course, he had that unfortunate crash in Catalunya. Amanuel remained determined to make a good recovery and a strong comeback, working hard together with our Performance and Medical staff. We have remained committed to helping him fulfil the potential we originally saw in him, and I continue to believe that he is a valuable asset especially in the mountains during stage races.”

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UCI statement concerning Mykhaylo Kononenko's use of Tramadol: 09 NOV 2022

The UCI posted this:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Ukrainian rider Mykhaylo Kononenko has been sanctioned for an infringement of the in-competition ban on using tramadol as set out in the UCI Medical Rules with the aim of protecting the safety and health of riders in light of the side-effects of this substance.

The analysis of a dried blood sample provided by the rider on 18 September 2022 during the 2022 UCI Road World Championships revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.

In accordance with the UCI Medical Rules, the rider is disqualified from the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. This decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the next 10 days.

During the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong (Australia), a total of 32 dried blood samples were collected as part of the tramadol programme.

Infringements of the in-competition ban on using tramadol are offences under the UCI Medical Rules. They do not constitute Anti-doping Rule Violations. As this is a first offence, Mykhaylo Kononenko is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.

The UCI will not comment further on the matter.


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About the ban on Tramadol
Since 1st March 2019, the UCI has banned the use of tramadol in competition across all disciplines and categories in order to protect the riders’ health and safety in light of the side-effects of this substance.

Samples are collected by the International Testing Agency (ITA) using the Dried Blood Spots (DBS) reference method. Developed by the Swiss company DBS Systems, sampling kits are used to conduct this minimally invasive test, which involves collecting a small amount of blood from the rider's fingertip.

The analysis of the samples is conducted independently at the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Geneva University, using a peer review method to determine the presence or absence and amount of tramadol and its two main metabolites. The results are then submitted to the University of Lausanne’s Centre of Research and Expertise in Anti-Doping Sciences (REDs) for a final independent review.

The results are finally submitted to the UCI Medical Director, who conducts the results management in accordance with the UCI Medical Rules.


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Team TotalEnergies looks back on 2022

I missed this update from the team when it was posted a couple of weeks ago:

Here’s our summary of the year’s performance, with Benoit Genauzeau, Sports Director at Team TotalEnergies.

A strong team
“The first thing I want to say is it’s a great performance,” said Benoit Genauzeau. It’s true that the results speak for themselves. With Dries van Gestel in front, followed closely by Julien Simon and an impressive team, TotalEnergies enjoyed a glittering season, clinching fifteen wins, including four on the World Tour, to say nothing of all the podium finishes. A great source of satisfaction for the riders, the staff and the fans.

Julien Simon wins the 2022 Tour du Finèstre. Photo: Bruno Bade

“There’s a real sense of a job well done and plenty of pride in what the lads have achieved since the first race. The riders and staff never let go of that mutual commitment. The fact that we’ve got eleven different winners is proof of how well they work as a team.”

Looking past the excellent results, we see that those who work outside the spotlight turned in a fine performance too:

“We’re very happy with the work of our performance unit, which consistently developed and improved our performance plan without jeopardizing our strong attack.”

Two unlucky but still ambitious leaders
Seasons have their downs as well as their ups, and two of our major leaders had some bitter downs this year. After a perfect start to the Classics campaign with a second-place finish in the Milan-San Remo, Anthony Turgis then suffered a series of crashes, preventing the French vice-champion performing at his best.

“Some years you manage to get through, but not this time.”
Peter Sagan also had his share of setbacks. Our new recruit’s season got off to a slow start with a bout of Covid-19. Despite this, he was able to claim victory in the third stage of the Tour de Suisse, part of the World Tour. He followed this up with a fine seventh-place finish in the World Championships in Australia.

“We’ve got real hunger for next year! Peter ended the season well with a good final performance.”

Our two leaders now have their sights firmly set on next season.

The younger riders are raring to go
Training is very important in the team. What can be better than to see the young talent shine on the world stage? Mathieu Burgaudeau and Valentin Ferron were truly first-class in this season’s events, and even claimed a first-place finish in a World Tour race.

“We have managed to strike the right balance between developing the team according to the performance plan and maintaining that vital insouciance that is typical of our riders, as displayed by Mathieu and Valentin’s victories.”

The newly professional Sandy Dujardin and Alan Jousseaume were also looking good. Sandy fought his way into the top ten on several occasions and claimed the first win of his professional career.

“We’re very proud of the success of the younger generation to emerge from our training program. To say nothing of the two interns who gave us their support at the end of the season. Mattéo Vercher excelled with the Vendée U in 2022, and ended up with a podium place in a world-class event, when riding for the team as an intern.”

The vital importance of transmission
To support these young riders, the team had plenty of experienced cyclists. Julien Simon and Alexis Vuillermoz are two excellent examples. Sparing no effort and always ready with reliable advice, they both enjoyed an outstanding season: Alexis claimed a stage win and the yellow jersey on the Critérium du Dauphiné, while Julien took three wins and the French Cup. Success on every level.

“There’s a balance to strike between experience and youthful insouciance,” says Benoit Genauzeau.

What about 2023?
“We want to continue to innovate to meet the different challenges ahead of us, but we also want to  build on the performance drivers that we’ve acquired. So we’re looking to innovate and we’ve got lots of projects for next season…”

Lastly, Benoit Genauzeau wanted to pay tribute to the riders who wore the Team’s colors with pride and are heading to new pastures: “We would like to thank the Team’s riders who have returned their jerseys. I’m thinking of Niki especially, who gave so much of his exceptional expertise to help us develop our project.”

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