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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 22, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. - Robert Frost

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Team Dimension Data ends 2018 season and looks to 2019

Here's the team's update:

The 2018 season for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka formally drew to a close following a hugely successful annual training camp in Cape Town from 12-18 November.

All 27 riders for the 2019 season were present including a host of new staff that was based at the Southern Sun, The Cullinan hotel near the V&A Waterfront.

The camp included internal planning sessions, training rides and wide-ranging partner interactions with the goal to fully integrate our new team members as well as start our formal planning process for 2019.

The week also included one of the most special days in our calendar as we attended a Qhubeka distribution ceremony at the Bulumka Secondary School in Khayelitsha. 75 Qhubeka bicycles were handed over on the day with the team having already surpassed their goal of funding 5000 bicycles in 2018.

Douglas Ryder, Team Principal, said: “Having raced for nearly 300 days in 2018 to have the opportunity for all of our riders, some of our staff and partners to spend time handing over Qhubeka bicycles to recipients in Khayelitsha was a deeply moving moment for all. We always say that it’s the best day in our year, and this year absolutely proved to be so once again.

“We had an intense but hugely enjoyable camp in Cape Town and I’d like to thank each and every partner that took the time and effort to spend time with us and together determining the next step in our future.

“Our planning for 2019 is already at an advanced stage and we all left the camp clearly aligned in what our goals and targets are for next year. We can’t wait to get back racing.”

Mark CAvendish

Mark Cavendish (shown at the start of the 2018 Tour de France) will again be wearing Dimension Data colors. Sirotti photo

2019 Rider Roster

1. Bernhard Eisel (AUT)
2. Mark Cavendish (GB)
3. Louis Meintjes (RSA)
4. Mark Renshaw (AUS)
5. Michael Valgren (DEN)
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)
7. Lars Bak (DEN)
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA)
9. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA)
10. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
11. Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
12. Danilo Wyss (SUI)
13. Jay Thomson (RSA)
14. Jaco Venter (RSA)
15. Julien Vermote (BEL)
16. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED)
17. Roman Kreuziger (CZE)
18. Gino Mäder (SUI)
19. Rasmus Tiller (NOR)
20. Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
21. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (ERI)
22. Steve Cummings (GB)
23. Ben King (USA)
24. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA)
25. Stefan de Bod (RSA)
26. Scott Davies (GB)
27. Ben O’Connor (AUS)

Sports directors Allan Peiper and Neil Stephens join UAE Team Emirates

The team sent me this update

UAE Team Emirates has strenghtened its technical staff and in 2019 will be able to rely on the professional skills of Allan Peiper and Neil Stephens.

The impressive international experience of  these two Australian Sports Directors will contribute significantly to the team.

Allan Peiper, born in 1960, has been a fundamental figure on BMC team as they have built their success over the past years, and he has managed many champions, proving to be particularly adept at working in a structured organization and interacting with top riders.

Fabio Baldato and Allan Peiper

Fabio Baldato and Allan Peiper at the 2014 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo.

Neil Stephens, born in 1963, has contributed significantly to the Australian team GreenEdge since its formation, helping them achieve fantastic results and showing exceptional management and organizational capabilities.

Eight riders join Lotto-Soudal's U23 squad

The team sent me this release:

Lotto Soudal U23 slims down from 25 to 22 riders in 2019. Harm Vanhoucke already joined Lotto Soudal’s WorldTour team halfway through last season. As was announced earlier, he will be accompanied by Stan Dewulf. Next to them, Alfdan De Decker (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) will turn professional on January 1st. Seven other riders will leave the team: Jonas Castrique, Alex Colman, Stijn Daemen, Mitch Groot, Steff Hermans, Ward Jaspers and Jacob Vaughan. They will be succeeded by eight new riders, who will compete for Lotto Soudal U23 next season.

Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the sports department at Lotto Soudal U23: “Our team will consist of 22 riders in 2019, eight of which are newcomers. Ilan Van Wilder might be the biggest name to join the team. He was second in the European Championships time trialling in the junior category, behind Remco Evenepoel. He finished the road race also in fourth place. Although he rode in the shadow of Evenepoel, just as every other junior cyclist, he is still one of the best junior riders in the world. Thibaut Ponsaerts will also join the team from the junior category, even though he was very unlucky last season.

Three other juniors will also join: Jarne Van de Paar, Steven Pattyn and Henri Vandenabeele. Van de Paar has proven to be a real winner, as he earned ten victories last season. Pattyn and Vandenabeele were both part of the Belgian national team that competed in the World Championships. Next to these four riders, we welcome three current U23 riders as well: Viktor Verschaeve, Florian Vermeersch and Swiss rider Johan Jacobs. Verschaeve had a strong season last year and competed in the U23 road race in the World Championships in Innsbruck. Vermeersch and Jacobs will both shift their focus from cyclo-cross to road racing.

Composition Lotto Soudal U23 2019:

Ruben Apers, Loran Cassaert, Sander De Pestel, Kobe Goossens, Sébastien Grignard, Rune Herregodts, Laurens Huys, Johan Jacobs, Arne Marit, Julian Mertens, Steven Pattyn, Thibaut Ponsaerts, Gerben Thijssen, Henri Vandenabeele, Jarne Van de Paar, Maxim Van Gils, Ward Vanhoof, Brent Van Moer, Ilan Van Wilder, thomas Vereecken, Florian Vermeersch and Viktor Verschaeve.

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