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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, November 5, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him. - Booker T. Washington


Story of the Tour de France Volume 2

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 2: 1976 - 2018 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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Sébastien Demarbaix & Astrid Roekens complete Intermarché-Circus-Wanty performance team

Here’s the team’s news:

In season 2023, the structure Intermarché-Circus-Wanty reinforced its pyramid with the launch of the Continental Development Team Circus-ReUz-Technord and was broadened with the first two women with a professional contract within the cyclocross project.

During its third season at the highest level, the World Team won twenty races with ten different riders. Among them, four were victorious for the first time since they turned professional.

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider Rein Taaramae at the 2023 Vuelta a España teams presentation ceremony. Sirotti photo

Under the direction of Kévin Van Melsen, nine riders of Circus-ReUz-Technord collected more than twenty victories, among which ten in UCI races, an exceptional result in its first year of existence.

On the same line, the UCI cyclocross team directed by the brothers Bart and Geert Wellens started season 2023-2024 with success, achieving five UCI victories in the first competition month already.

These results are the fruit of a narrow interaction between the different projects of the structure, overseen by a common performance team. More than ever, the focus is on transversal development, a vision which stays central in the preparation for road season 2024. To support the young talents and experienced professionals, the performance team welcomes new faces.

In addition to the arrival of Dutchman Adriaan Helmantel in the trainers' team, Sébastien Demarbaix from Lessines will reinforce the sports direction, returning to the Walloon structure in the same role he occupied from 2013 to 2020. The former professional cyclist (1996-2002) led the team to succes in the Tour de Wallonie 2019 (Loïc Vliegen) and the Circuit de la Sarthe 2018 (Guillaume Martin).

Nutrition has a central role in the performance strategy within the structure of Jean-François Bourlart, that’s why Astrid Roekens joins Jana Camphens as sports dietitian. Roekens has degrees in Commercial Sciences, Sports Management and Dietetics and Nutrition and currently works with professional athletes in the Bakala Academy and Energy Lab.

After 50 seasons in the peloton as sports director, among which ten with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, Hilaire Van der Schueren retired at the end of season 2023. Valerio Piva and Ioannis Tamouridis will also start a new adventure after accompanying the Walloon structure during its first seasons in the World Tour.

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"I still remember my first years with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. Back then, our riders wanted to show themselves, aiming to reach a higher level in cycling. In my eyes, the victories of Guillaume Martin in the Tour du Gévaudan 2017 and the Circuit de la Sarthe 2018 were turning points. With these successes we reached another level on the tactical level, because for the first time we established a detailed strategy to conquer the final victory. The way we supported Loïc Vliegen to win the Tour de Wallonie 2019 confirmed this trend."

"The evolution of the structure of Jean-François Bourlart enabled all of us, both riders and staff members, to grow in our careers. In 2023, the performance team guided the riders of the World Team and Devo Team to more than 40 victories. This results from personalised annual plans for all riders and carefully composed selections. For each race, the role division is clear and the strategy focuses on the victory. It is for these tactical games that I return with double motivation to Intermarché-Circus-Wanty." "I'm looking forward to return to the big family Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and to support our riders to achieve their collective goals, that's my nicest mission. I was very honoured by the interest of Jean-François Bourlart, who I know since my childhood, and who shared his confidence in my capabilities to guide the team in the most prestigious races. This confidence is a great motivating factor for me." - Sébastien Demarbaix (Sports Director)

“After a sports career of twenty seasons as basketball player, I decided to fully concentrate on my professional career as sports dietitian and accept this nice challenge with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. I’ll work alongside Jana Camphens, who played a role in my education the past years. Her methodology, her rigor and her close follow-up led to fantastic results with the riders. We share the same vision in our professional practice. We aim to give the riders the best possible nutritional advice to enable them to exploit their full potential.” - Astrid Roekens (Sports dietitian)

"We're pleased with the return of Sébastien Demarbaix to our structure. He will add his organisational talents and his experience in climbing races to our performance team. Sébastien will play an important role in this field. Moreover, he knows our structure and he has shown his capabilities in talent development in the past. He had a major influence on the evolution of Guillaume Martin, who joined our team after his U23 years and learned to win and climbed to twelfth place in the Tour de France in our jersey. This experience is precious within our team, alongside talents such as Francesco Busatto or Alexy Faure." "We also welcome Astrid Roekens as second Belgian sports dietitian alongside Jana Camphens. She reinforces our performance team after concluding a sports career in basketball. Astrid has an interesting theoretical and practical background and made progress in her career of dietitian the past couple of years." - Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager)

PERFORMANCE TEAM 2024

Performance Manager:
Aike VISBEEK

Sports Directors:
Dimitri CLAEYS
Steven DE NEEF
Sébastien DEMARBAIX
Laurenzo LAPAGE
Kevin VAN MELSEN
Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK
Bart WELLENS

Trainers:
Frederik VEUCHELEN
Adriaan HELMANTEL
Christophe PREMONT

Sports Dieticians:
Jana CAMPHENS
Astrid ROEKENS


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Shimano allegedly hit by massive ransomware attack threatening to release confidential data

Road.cc posted this:

The ransomware attackers claim to be in possession of 4.5TB of data belonging to the Japanese components giant, including information including factory inspection results, lab tests and financial documents.

Shimano, the world's leading manufacturer of cycling components, seems to have been hit by a massive data breach by the ransomware attacker LockBit, who has threatened to release confidential data, including information such as factory inspection results, lab tests and financial documents by 5 November if their demands are not met.

LockBit is a major international cybercrime group that uses malware to breach global corporations' security protocols and attempts to extort money in exchange.

Its previous targets have included Royal Mail, with the British postal company's international services severely disrupted in January 2023 due to the attack. American aeroplane and missiles manufacturer Boeing is the latest victim of the group, with the company officially confirming the attack yesterday.

The reports of the attack on Shimano emerged after a cyber security group FalconFeeds.io posted a screenshot obtained from the dark web on Thursday evening, showing that the hackers have access to 4.5TB of data belonging to the Japanese manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment.

You can read the entire story here.


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