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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. - Lord Byron


Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies

Les Woodland's book Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The rise and fall of bicycle racing's champions 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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Federico Bahamontes, first Spaniard to win Tour de France, dies at 95

We have a Federico Bahamontes photo gallery posted here.

The Guardian newspaper posted this notice:

Federico Bahamontes, the first Spaniard to win the Tour de France, has died at the age of 95, Spanish officials said on Tuesday.

Bahamontes, who earned the nickname “The Eagle of Toledo” after numerous victories in mountain stages, won the Tour de France in 1959 and was also the first cyclist to complete a “career triple” by winning the “King of the Mountains” classification in all three Grand Tours.

Bahamontes in yellow in the 1959 Tour de France.

Born in Toledo, he won 11 Grand Tour stages from 1954 to 1965 and was named the best Tour de France climber of all time in 2013 by the French newspaper L’Equipe.

“It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the loss of Federico Martin Bahamontes, the Eagle of Toledo, a benchmark in sport who has taken the name of our city to the very top,” the mayor of Toledo, Carlos Velázquez, said in a statement on social media.

Known as a fiery, eccentric character who was not always popular with rivals, Bahamontes once famously stopped at the top of the Col de Romeyere with broken spokes and had ice cream while waiting for his team car and the main group of riders. He retired at 37 after a win in Montjuic.

You can read the entire story here.

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UAE Team Emirates re-signs several riders

Here’s the team’s announcement:

UAE Team Emirates has continued to build for the future with the retention of several riders for the coming years:

Brandon McNulty, 25, has extended his deal to stay in the Emirati colours until 2027. The American joined UAE in 2020 and has taken several important victories in that time and been part of many team success.

Brandon McNulty wins stage 15 of the 2023 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Marc Soler, 29, has extended his current contract until 2025, with the Catalan rider bringing his distinctive style of racing to the team.

Both Rui and Ivo Oliveira, 26, have penned deals through to the end of 2026, with both riders establishing themselves in important team roles.

Vegard Stake Laengen, 34, extends until 2025. The big Norwegian has been in the team since its inception in 2017 and has been part of two Tour de France winning teams.


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Team Groupama-FDJ adds three riders to its roster

Here’s the team’s post:

Sven Erik Bystrom, Rémy Rochas and Clément Russo will be joining the Groupama-FDJ cycling Team for the next two seasons. These three new additions to the team are expected to accompany the leaders on all terrains.

Marc Madiot:
“This 2024 recruitment process is a continuation of the one carried out last year with the seven recruits from our Continentale team who moved up to the WorldTour. We have concentrated on finding top-level team-mates to accompany our current leaders and those in development. We have leaders and young talent that we are in the process of learning. We want to put our trust in them and give them the best possible support. We are one step ahead. Sven, Rémy and Clément are experienced riders who will bring a lot to the team, and they know what they’ve come here to do.”

Sven Erik Bystrom:
“It’s a new chapter in my career as a top-level athlete, a new project that brings me a lot of desire and excitement. The Groupama-FDJ cycling Team is a very well-structured French team with some very talented riders, and my aim will be to support them as best I can. I’m already looking forward to working with the leaders and playing a major role with them. After 9 years in the professional cycling peloton, I’ll be putting all my experience at the service of the youngest riders”

Sven Erik Bystrom racing stage one of the 2022 Tour de France. Sirotti photo


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Clément Russo:
“The Groupama-FDJ cycling Team is an iconic team with an iconic manager, and I’ve seen him regularly in cyclo-cross. It’s a team that has always attracted me. I’d been with Arkea-Samsic for 6 years, so it was the right time to take on a new challenge and reach a new stage in my career. Marc Madiot’s words were motivating. I don’t excel in any one area, but I’m an all-round team player. I like the Classics, I’m agile on the bike, so I like placement races. I’ve worked for sprinters but also for GC leaders. Every day, I can play a role in helping the team, I try to be the model team-mate. There’s also a generation of young riders at Groupama-FDJ. I’m not old (laughs) but I can take on the role of road captain.”

Rémy Rochas:
“I’m very happy and proud to be joining the Groupama-FDJ cycling Team for the next two seasons. I feel that they have faith in me despite my difficult 2022 season, and I’d like to thank them for this. I’m convinced that together we’re going to get the best out of myself. What really appealed to me was their plan to focus on climbers in stage races, with the current leaders and those in training. Accompanying them as far as possible in the various races to come, especially in the mountains, is a project that motivates me. My mission will be to make my contribution when the road rises.”

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