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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 4, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha

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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Guillame Boivin re-ups with Israel-Premier Tech

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Guillaume Boivin has raced with Israel – Premier Tech since the early days of the team and he will continue to do so in 2024 after prolonging his contract with IPT for another year.

Guillaume Boivin racing in the 2022 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sirotti photo

As an experienced leadout rider and an important part of the IPT Classics roster, Boivin is eager to continue with what he describes as his second family.

He said: “This will be my ninth season with the team and I’m very grateful and excited to stay with my second family at Israel – Premier Tech. We’ve achieved great success over the last years and I’m looking forward to achieving more with old and new teammates in the future.”

In 2021, Boivin finished ninth in Paris-Roubaix, and the 34-year-old Canadian is, once again, especially looking forward to taking on the Spring Classics next season. “For me, it’s the most beautiful time of the year and those are my favorite races on the calendar,” he explains.

Boivin has four victories and 14 podiums to his name during his time with IPT.

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Soudal Quick-Step Devo Team announces 2024 roster

Here’s the team’s news:

Eight riders will join the squad for the new season.

The team, which is entering into the second year of its venture with Soudal Quick-Step, will have a total of 15 riders. They will be hoping to mirror its successful 2023, which saw it take an amazing 29 victories, and has overseen Warre Vangheluwe, Gil Gelders, William Junior Lecerf and Jordi Warlop earning a place in the full men’s team for next year.

Five Belgians – Niels Driesen, Jelle Harteel, Gauthier Servranckx, Lars Van den Heede, Viktor Soenens, one Frenchmen, Gabriel Berg, one Italian, Renato Favero, and the Brit Cormac Nisbet with join the team, with seven riders retained for their second year with the squad: Belgians, Senne Hulsmans, Jan Kino, Leander Van Hauthegem and Jonathan Vervenne, Dutchman Pepijn Reinderink, and Andrea Raccagni and Federico Savino from Italy.

The squad will again take on some of the best races available to them, in an attempt to nurture this talented group of young riders to be the best cyclists that they can be individually, as well as teach them how to work and thrive in a team environment similar to that of the World Tour outfit.

Speaking of the make-up of the squad, Devo Team manager Bart Roosens said: “We have 15 devo riders next year, eight of which will be joining us for the first time and it will be a big challenge to see how they will go at the Under 23 level. There are some huge talents amongst the group, and I have trust in our scout Johan Molly, who has researched them all. It will be hard to have as good of a year again as we did in 2023, where we had a splendid season with so many wins and saw six of our riders move to become professionals, something which we are very proud of. The intake for this year is quite a young group, which makes it a harder challenge but one we are looking forward to taking on.”

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Kévin Ledanois extends contract with Team Arkea-Samsic

Here’s the team’s annoucement

Kévin Ledanois has extended his contract with the team that will become ARKEA-B&B HOTELS next year.

Kévin Ledanois racing in the 2018 Tour of Provence.

Kévin Ledanois
“Next year I’ll be celebrating my tenth year as part of a team managed by Emmanuel Hubert. I’m delighted with the confidence he’s shown in me once again, but also with the progress we’ve made together within his various structures. You could say that I’ve grown up with the team, that I’ve seen it go from strength to strength to reach UCI WorldTour level this season. It’s something that’s important to me to spend a decade within the same structure, it’s the mark of loyalty towards each other. I’ve seen Emmanuel surround himself with influential people and economic decision-makers keen to help his team progress, with the arrival of Fortunéo, Arkéa, then Samsic, and B&B HOTELS, in 2024. Next year, I’m going to confine myself to the role of road captain, so I won’t be spreading myself too thin. The team managers will be waiting for me in this ‘costume’, which I’ve already put on with pleasure and enthusiasm for the Tour Down Under and the Vuelta Ciclista a España 2023. I can bring my experience, my perspective, my knowledge of the team and of the profession of professional cyclist to the younger riders. It’s also a role in which I’m blossoming more and more.”

Emmanuel Hubert, General Manager:
“Kévin Ledanois grew up in the teams I managed. He began his career by winning the most beautiful jersey of all, that of World Champion, in the U23 ranks in Richmond, USA. Kévin very quickly found his place in the professional peloton as a team-mate capable of giving his all for the benefit of the team. It’s these qualities that he has been able to bring to the fore, and which have made him a much-appreciated member of our squad. His experience and background will give him a new status next year as he takes on the role of road captain with our youngest riders. His understanding of the race and his knowledge of the profession of professional cyclist will make him one of our team managers’ relays in the race, helping to put the sprinters and climbers, as well as the young talents in the ARKEA-B&B HOTELS UCI WorldTour squad, in the best possible conditions.”

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Five Circus-ReUz-Technord riders to race European Cyclocross champs

Here’s the team’s announcement

Five riders of Circus-ReUz-Technord will defend the colours of their countries at the European Cyclocross Championships in French city Pontchâteau, where sports director Bart Wellens won his second world title in 2004.

Arne Baers was selected by Belgium to participate in his second European Championships in the U23 men’s category on Saturday November 4th.

The next day, on Sunday 5th of November, Belgian U23 champion Julie Brouwers and the Dutch outgoing European junior champion Lauren Molengraaf will race for the European starred jersey.

Later that day follows the race for elite men with Swiss rider Kevin Kuhn, who was 5th at the European Championships in Namur last year, and Belgian rider Gerben Kuypers, sixth of the World Championships in Hoogerheide. The teammates of Circus-ReUz-Technord achieved five UCI victories together: Illnau, Mettmenstetten, Steinmaur (Kuhn) and Oisterwijk and Ardooie (Kuypers).

The parcours of 3 kilometer in Pontchâteau is mainly characterized by the large amount of climbing meters (100m), just like in the two previous editions on the Col du VAM and the Citadel of Namur, where the team under direction of the Wellens brothers each time conquered one title. Some of the most important obstacles are three staircases and the planks and long final climb towards the end of the loop.

“I remember the previous European Championships in Pontchâteau in 2016, on an extremely fast parcours. With the stormy weather circumstances, it looks completely different now. The condition of the grass will be determined by the amount of rain that will fall before Sunday afternoon. In my ideal scenario the course would stay quite fast, even though a mud pool doesn't frighten me. This European Championship is a nice opportunity to show myself. That's why I prepared with our weekly team training on Wednesday instead of participating to the very challenging race on the Koppenberg. This can be an advantage compared to my competitors. I'm hoping for good legs to equal last year's top five in Namur." - Kevin Kuhn

“After an excellent first road season in the structure of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty I managed to continue the momentum in the first month of cyclocross. I made a big step forward. Last season I wasn't even not selected for the European Championship. Now I can aim to play a role, it's a huge difference. I'm heading to this first big goal of the season with a very positive mindset. I'm in good form and the parcours suits me really well thanks to the climbing and short accelerations. In addition, a lot of rain and mud is expected. I'm hoping for very hard circumstances, so we are forced to go all out from start to finish. That's what I did in Beringen and Ruddervoorde, to come back from far behind, and each time I managed to return to the front after a long chase. In difficult circumstances it it important to line up for the start with fresh legs and to dispose of your full power. That's why I chose to skip the Koppenbergcross last Wednesday. Anyway, I want to begin the race with a good start. Then a lot is possible with my current form. My ambition is to finish in the top five. But a championship is always special... In my wildest dreams I dare to follow in the footsteps of our sports director Bart Wellens, bringing home a jersey from Pontchâteau." - Gerben Kuypers

Gerben Kuypers wins the 2022 Essen Cross

“After a successful season and a first European title in the junior category I am progressively adapting to the races in the elite category. The races are not only longer, also the pace is high without interruptions. I want to develop step by step and each time finish as good as possible between the elite riders. On the short term I hope to finish in the top fifteen in elite races regularly and battle for the podium in the U23 category. Last Sunday I finished fifth best U23 rider in the World Cup in Maasmechelen. That's my goal for my first European Championship in the U23 category. I start without pressure and will give everything to produce the best possible performance." - Lauren Molengraaf

“Since my first race in the kit of Circus-ReUz-Technord at the end of September I feel like I'm growing every week. In the World Cup in Maasmechelen I even managed to follow the strongest riders in the beginning. That was good learning. I hope I can continue this positive spiral at the European Championship on Sunday. I want to repeat my performance of the World Championship in January and finish among the ten best riders of my age category." - Julie Brouwers

“Last season I finished tenth in my first European Championship, despite a crash in the start. With 100 meters of climbing each lap, the course in Pontchâteau can be compared to Namur and it looks like the weather circumstances might ensure that, like then, it will be every man for himself. The past couple of weeks I have confirmed in Beringen and Overijse that these circumstances suit me. Each time I was one of the first U23 finishers. The European Championship is the first race of the season in our own category. The predictions are as clear as mud, with foreign competitors joining us. In my opinion the levels of the riders with capabilities to finish in the top ten are very close, so the form of the day will decide about the results. I'm hoping for the same legs as last season to improve my reference result." - Arne Baers



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