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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, October 22, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

Nature is the art of God. - Dante

Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle

David L. Stanley's masterful telling of his bout with skin cancer Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle 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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Team Bardiani CSF-Faizanè gets new sponsor

Here’s the team’s announcement:

VF Group – Bardiani CSF – Faizanè will be the official name of the team starting from 2024. The entry of the Emilian company is a grand and prominent one, further reinforcing an already solid and fully confirmed structure. Bardiani and CSF, both belonging to the same group, will remain as the team’s second name, with Faizanè reconfirmed as the third title sponsor.

Team Bardiani CSF being presented before the start of the 2022 Strade Bianche . Sirotti photo

VF Group, a company based in Modena, is an authoritative reference point in the field of construction, renovations, restorations, and mechanical and electrical installations throughout the national territory. The group operates in the construction and renovation sector for civil, industrial, commercial, and agricultural buildings, both public and private. This includes VF Construction and Restorations, EDIL.GE.CO and Ocam.

Roberto Reverberi, team manager, declares, “We are extremely happy about this partnership. It’s a young company that shares our same philosophy. Our young riders are gaining experience in top-level races, competing with the best riders in the world. We have seen great improvements in all our Under23 athletes, and of course, we aim to keep them and allow them to race as protagonists. I thank Vincenzo Oliva for deciding to grow with us, and we will do our utmost to repay the trust placed in our team with results.”

Vincenzo Oliva, CEO of VF Group, stated:
“We are proud to become the title sponsor of Bardiani CSF Faizanè. The team is young and ambitious, and shares our values of professionalism, passion, and commitment. We believe that this partnership can be a growth opportunity for both parties.”

VF Group – Bardiani CSF – Faizanè will be the official name of the team starting from 2024.

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French U23 champion Alexy Faure-Prost joins Intermarché-Circus-Wanty

Here’s the announcement:

French U23 champion Alexy Faure-Prost will step up to the World Tour from 2024 with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. The talented 19 year old climber is the third rider of Circus-ReUz-Technord to be promoted to the Walloon World Team.

After Francesco Busatto and Roel van Sintmaartensdijk, Alexy Faure-Prost will be the third talent of the Continental Development team directed by Kévin Van Melsen to join the professional peloton in 2024 with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. The French U23 champion signed a contract until the end of 2026 with the Belgian World Team.

Alexy Faure-Prost racing in his French chamnpion's jersey.

From his season start he won the GP Raygeo in Villers-le-Temple before taking another solo win on his preferred terrain in the Ardennes in the Get Up Cup, ahead of his teammate Busatto.

Then, in support of Francesco Busatto, he had a major influence on hilly races such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, Circuit des Ardennes or La Flèche Ardennaise. In May he discovered the high mountains in the Mercan’Tour Classic (22nd), his first race pro race.

During the summer, he confirmed that he was among the best climbers of his generation, with his impressive second place on top of the Passo dello Stelvio and best young rider’s jersey in the Giro Next Gen (5th), his second place overall in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta and twentieth place in the Tour de l’Ain with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty.

In August, the talented climber became French champion on the hilly parcours of Pledran, one of his three victories with Circus-ReUz-Technord and this in his first season in the U23 category in 2023.

“I had a fantastic first season in the U23 category. I even received the opportunity to race with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, which has given me the confidence that it might be possible to sign a pro contract starting from 2024. I know that joining the World Tour is a serious step up. I discussed a lot with Kévin Van Melsen to decide which choice would be better for my development. The idea for 2024 is to join the World Team to discover the pro calendar and to pursue my learning process, and at the meantime also continue racing with Circus-ReUz-Technord.”

“This plan has several advantages. First, I know that the level in the World Tour is very high, so racing with the pros regularly will boost my physical development. It will also be important in terms of learning. Racing with radio communication enables my teammates and sports directors to guide me to manage my effort during the races. I remember that it was very helpful in the Tour de l’Ain, when I protected the sprint train of Arne Marit for the first time. Anyway, I’ll be surrounded by great climbers such as Louis Meintjes, who is a role model in terms of professionalism and who can inspire me.” “I’m hoping to, one day, reach the highest level with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. However, for now I don’t want to project too far in the future. I want to progress step by step. I’m still young and full of enthusiasm. The structure of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty is the ideal environment to develop myself. The trajectory designed by the team is perfect in my eyes, so I have great confidence that it will bear fruit in the next seasons, also with the help of my trainer Christophe Prémont. I know already most of the team but I can’t wait to meet everyone this week and also to greet our fans during our Bike Day this Sunday in Durbuy!” - Alexy Faure-Prost

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Jumbo-Visma Development Team looks back on 2023

Here’s the team’s post:

In the shadow of Team Jumbo-Visma's WorldTour squad, the Dutch outfit's U23 team enjoyed a successful 2023. The team, which focuses on developing and preparing talent, recorded 10 UCI victories last year and saw talent successfully compete at and progress to the highest level. Some of the key players talk about their experiences.

Development Manager Robbert de Groot has been involved with the Team Jumbo-Visma talent programme for some time. "The main goal of our Development Team is to train cycling talent so that they are eventually ready to step up to the highest level", De Groot says. "No less than six guys have gone on to the pros, including three to our WorldTour team. That is something we can and should be very proud of."

Robbert de Groot

Loe van Belle, Per Strand Hagenes and Johannes Staune-Mittet will be part of Team Jumbo-Visma's WorldTour squad next year. All three feel ready for the real thing. "Racing with the WorldTour riders has helped me a lot in my development", Strand Hagenes says. Van Belle: "After our excellent training over the past few years, we are ready for the next step."

Getting good results is not the primary goal of the Development Team, but developing the riders. However, sports director Robert Wagner is also proud of his men's results. "Last year, we showed our best side. From the first to the last race, we were fighting for prizes. A reward for all the hard work."

There was no shortage of highlights last season. Sierk Jan de Haan, also sports director of the Development Team, has a favourite. "Johannes' final victory in the Baby Giro stands out. But we should not forget Menno Huising's victory in the Flechè Ardennaise. De Groot and Wagner have another point to make. "The total of four wins by Per and Johannes at the highest level is the reward for our hard work", says De Groot, referring to Hagenes' victories in the Tour of Drenthe, 4 Jours de Dunkerque and the Munsterland Giro, and Staune-Mittet's in the Czech Tour. "It not only makes us proud, it also confirms that we are all doing well together."

Van Belle did not win a race last year, but that is not the primary goal of riding with the Development Team. "I was able to ride with the big guys at the beginning of the season. I was able to help Jonas Vingegaard on his way to the overall win in O Gran Camiño. It was very cool to be a part of that. Next year, it could be the most normal thing in the world. The experience of recent years will ensure that the step up will be as smooth as possible.”

The Jumbo-Visma Development Team took part in the Giro Nextgen this year for the first time in the team's history. It was won by Staune-Mittet. "In terms of sport, it was my highlight of the year", the Norwegian says. "I experienced eight fantastic stages. Everything fell into place. My victory with the pros in the Czech Tour will also stay with me for a long time. These are achievements and races that have prepared me for the step up to the highest level. I won't forget my time with the U23s."

Everyone involved praised the team spirit last year. "We were a close-knit team", Hagenes says. De Groot has a nice anecdote. "In the last part of the season Johannes was struggling with an injury. As it would normally be his last race as an U23 rider, he wanted to race the Coppa Citta' Di San Daniele. Then, he took the initiative to come to Italy with us."

"For me, too, it is a moment that will stay with me", Wagner says. "Johannes almost begged to come to Italy with us, even if only in the role of soigneur. He provided the boys with water bottles and looked after them after the finish. That shows a good spirit."

"We've had ten UCI wins, but I think the best thing about this team is that you can see the guys improving as the year goes on", De Haan says. "It is extraordinary to see that up close. We have had a lot of great moments. Not only in the performances but especially in working together in the race and on the road."

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De Groot: "Team Jumbo-Visma has the motto 'winning together'. It is also one of the main pillars of the Development Team. The WorldTour team has made cycling a real team sport in recent years. The guys in our team know that they cannot do it alone. They know they need each other to be the best they can be. We insist on a good team spirit from day one. That encourages performance. Together we are stronger than alone. Every rider has his own development, and it is important not to skip any steps. There is no right or wrong, but each rider is prepared for the big job in his own way. I dare say that we have all done well over the last few years", the Development Coordinator says.

The last word belongs to the trio, who will soon be moving on to the WorldTour. "I enjoyed my time on the Development Team. I learned a lot and was part of a group of riders who were not only colleagues but also there for each other off the bike", Staune-Mittet says. Strand Hagenes: "We won together, but we were also there for each other when things got tough. Van Belle: "We are now ready to step up to the highest level, where we hope to turn the lessons of the past few years into great results.”



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