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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 5, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

Maybe this world is another planet's hell. - Aldous Huxley

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Team Sunweb will become Team DSM

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Team Sunweb today announced a lead strategic partnership with Royal DSM, the science behind global health, nutrition and sustainable living that will see the team transformed into Team DSM for the 2021 season onwards.

Fresh from winning multiple stages of the Tour de France and dominating the podium of the Giro d’Italia in 2020, one of the top ranked and most exciting young teams in professional road cycling will be known as Team DSM from 1st January 2021.

2021 DSM kit

Here's the 2021 Team DSM kit.

DSM’s strategic objective in partnering with one of the world’s leading cycling teams in the UCI WorldTour is to increase public engagement in the importance of the health of people and of the planet, in line with the company’s purpose.
Building on an existing innovation partnership with DSM that has grown over the past half a decade, Team DSM will continue to ‘Keep Challenging’ by taking their technology, equipment and nutrition to a whole new level. DSM will support the Men’s, Women’s and Development programs equally to become the best that they can be – inside and out.

Following the new partnership, DSM and Team DSM will also undertake several joint activities, including amongst others:

The team’s new colors were revealed today for the first time at an online launch event hosted in DSM’s Virtual Innovation Center. Team DSM will proudly maintain the team’s distinctive two-stripe ‘Keep Challenging’ design but this time in DSM’s bright blue, emblazoned on an instantly recognizable standout new black kit.

Team DSM also level-up their two- and four-wheel rides with the introduction of Scott bikes and Volvo cars. Sunweb will remain the team’s partner.

Team Sunweb CEO (as from 1st January 2021, Team DSM CEO), Iwan Spekenbrink said: “This is truly a dream. The involvement of DSM at this scale will definitely help us set new standards with the best nutrition and materials giving us a competitive edge inside and out. We share so much in common with DSM; a passion for innovation and sustainability, high ethical values and much more. The bike is a beautiful symbol of sustainable health and we are very keen to support DSM in ensuring more people recognize there are solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. For a sports team like ours, having the chance to elevate our relevance from sporting excitement to contributing to big global themes is something we are very, very proud of and is definitely an ambition for all of us.”

DSM Co-CEO Geraldine Matchett said: “This partnership goes beyond an exchange of products and expertise alone. There are considerable challenges ahead for the world in terms of people’s health as a result of poor nutrition and this will only be exacerbated by climate change. It is not too late for scientific solutions so, by becoming synonymous with such a young, successful, principled team, we hope to trigger wider action for more sustainable living and health through nutrition. This partnership will help further our mission to create brighter lives for all through our scientific and innovation power. I am really excited for the road that lays ahead for Team DSM.”

DSM Co-CEO Dimitri de Vreeze said: “For us it’s a very natural next step having already worked closely together for half a decade. We see our purpose-led, performance-driven approach matched in this team. Our culture is all about being courageous, caring and collaborative and this complements Team DSM’s advocacy on issues like doping, safety, the environmental impact of large racing events, and modernizing the model underpinning women’s and men’s pro cycling. These are areas where we can work together to be a positive force for change. This strategic partnership sets a new standard in sport which will help the all the team’s programs, as well as society as a whole.”

The two organizations are in complete tandem in the creation of Team DSM, with a shared goal to keep challenging through innovation and cooperation. The new partnership will help to create products that deliver better health and nutrition outcomes, as well as safer and more sustainable materials, which will ultimately translate into benefits for society at large. Team DSM will gain from DSM’s advances in health, nutrition and cutting-edge materials, such as breathable water-resistant training jackets with Arnitel®, or proteins, vitamins and probiotics for optimal gut health and immunity. At the same time, DSM will gain direct insights and feedback from some of the most demanding customers in the world – pro athletes – in order to better develop sustainable solutions that can help others remain strong, healthy and performing safely for longer.

Safety is at the core of DSM’s entire business and a value they have already integrated into the team, after pioneering the use of their protective material Dyneema® – the world’s strongest fiber – into cycling wear to reduce abrasion injuries. The new partnership continues this focus, integrating Dyneema® into more apparel and encouraging clothing manufacturers, teams, and the sport’s governing body to raise the standard of protective clothing. Team DSM riders will enjoy their very own specially crafted performance clothing. Using the very best fabrics and largest technologies, this will define an absolute new standard of race wear, producing the best performance clothing out there. DSM will also make available their extensive expertise in health and safety for riders’ safety meetings and between pro cycling’s stakeholders to create safer race conditions.

DSM and Team DSM are developing Team DSM’s very own nutrition program for 2021. Using the most advanced expertise in nutritional, biological, analytical and data science gained from DSM’s 2,000 scientists in 30 laboratories around the world, Team DSM riders will benefit from the best ingredients and latest nutritional advances. This includes the development of personalized nutrition plans and will champion the use of protein sources that are more sustainable thanks to DSM’s innovations.

The team has always worked to the intensified ethical standards of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC). DSM mirrors these values and will make even more resources available to protect clean athletes. DSM will invest further into the additional anti-doping program that has been in place for the team since 2018, intensifying and increasing testing for all the men’s, women’s and development programs. As a result, the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) of the Netherlands, the Doping Authority Netherlands or “Dopingautoriteit”, will increase the frequency of its WADA-standard testing of the team’s athletes. This serves as a deterrent as well as increasing the chances of detecting anyone using prohibited substances. The anti-doping procedures remain the same, with this investment intensifying the frequency of testing far beyond what is required by cycling authorities. The results will also be added to the riders’ biological passport.

Team Sunweb CEO (as from 1st January 2021, Team DSM CEO), Iwan Spekenbrink added: “We are really excited about 2021. We will be racing Scott’s super-fast road bikes, equipped with Shimano and other top of the range components and accessories so we will have the best support inside and out. Our team’s specialists will work very closely with the teams of DSM, Scott and all our partners to help us be the best that we can be. In addition to this we also have Volvo on board for the new season. This is such a long-cherished dream and only motivates us more for the new year.”

About Team DSM:
Team DSM are a German-licensed global professional cycling team operating at the highest level of the sport, with a unique scientific and innovative focus which is ideally implemented through a culture of true cooperation. With three programs – Men, Women and Development – under that same umbrella, the team are known for their Keep Challenging mantra: to redefine cycling through cooperation and innovation. The basis of this comes from grassroots development at their Keep Challenging Center and elite sports Campus in the Dreiländer region, in Limburg, where the world’s most promising talents are developed into the best that they can be. Ethics also lay at the heart of their organisation, having always worked to the intensified ethical standards of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC). Team DSM are a founding shareholder of Velon; many new and young fans throughout the world are starting to follow professional cycling through modern novelties which are being introduced in cycling by Velon.

Janse van Rensburg, Lasse Hansen and Matteo Pelucchi sign on for Team Qhubeka ASSOS

The team sent me this press release:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 4, 2020/ -- Team Qhubeka ASSOS is delighted to announce a further three riders that will take to the start line of the 2021 season for Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour team.

Former South African champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has signed a contract extension which will see him ride his 10th season for the team, having first joined in 2010. During that time he was crowned the national champion in 2017, won the Tour de Langkawi in 2016 and has also secured wins in Portugal, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.

Janse van Rensburg

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg racing in the 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

The “Beast”, as he’s affectionately known, will be looking to once again play an invaluable part as a key, fast-finishing, support rider and is most happy when the racing is at its toughest.

The 31-year-old completed five consecutive Tour de France’s including the debut appearance at the event of our team in 2015, and will have hopes once again of fighting for selection to the 2021 event.

In Lasse Norman Hansen, 28, we have signed a rider with a wide skill set who will provide an excellent option in support of sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, and our other fast men.

The Dane is a major track star having claimed Olympic gold in the omnium event at London 2012 as well as bronze in Rio de Janeiro. He is a key part of the Danish national team’s ambitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games, who most recently broke the world record in the team pursuit in Berlin, and he will also be targeting the madison event with Michael Morkov.

A double-stage winner at the Tour of Denmark, he was also third overall in the 2018 edition of the race and finished fourth overall in 2019.

We’re also delight to welcome Matteo Pelucchi who be a key ally for Nizzolo with the two being lifelong friends.

The 31-year-old Italian has numerous sprint victories in his career including stages at the Tour of Poland, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Langkawi, and in 2020 took 4 top-10 finishes at the event.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg:
"I am extremely happy to be continuing my journey with the team. I have been with the team for the majority of my career, and been a part of the various chapters of the journey. I’m thrilled now to be part of be writing another new chapter as we ride as Team Qhubeka ASSOS.

"I am also humbled to be representing the Qhubeka Charity who are now in our team title. As a South African the greater purpose that we ride for is something very special to me and my family; and to reiterate the message of being able to mobilize people with the power of a bicycle is a great honour."

Lasse Norman Hansen:
:I’d like to say I’m thrilled to join the team and I’m really looking forward to the new season. I’m excited about the role that I’ll be playing and to see us hopefully score many successes; while also having the opportunity to represent my country but also the team at the Tokyo Olympic Games is going to be very special.

"I’ve heard about the family environment here and so now to also be part of the Qhubeka family is humbling and inspiring."

Matteo Pelucchi:
"The team Qhubeka ASSOS project is one that I strongly believe in and to now join the team for next season is fantastic.

"I’ve known Giacomo since childhood, so I can’t wait to work with not only a good friend but also one of the best riders in the bunch. He had a pretty good 2020 before he had to stop due to injury so I’m looking to contribute to even greater success next season.:

Lars Michaelsen:
"These are three signings who are going to continue to add to the depth and strength of our squad and ultimately provide crucial support to our aspirations for next season.

"Reinardt is renowned for being such a strong guy and he’s going to play a key role in where he races to help deliver on the team’s objectives deep into the finals. Similarly Matteo’s history shows that he is a finisher and his familiarity with Giacomo can only be a good thing for the team.

"As for Lasse Norman Hansen, his exploits on the track are seriously impressive and the team of course will be supporting him as he looks to the Tokyo Olympics.

"He joins us now though at a time in his career where he has to combine track racing more seriously with his progression on the road and so he will have a very clear role in how we will see him supporting our racing ambitions."

Diego Camargo joins EF Pro Cycling

EF Pro Cycling sent me this announcement:

For the millions of people across the world who ride their bike, the experience of riding on two wheels holds its own personal meaning. For Diego Camargo, the young and upcoming Colombian talent, it’s not just about living his passion. Cycling is also a way of helping his parents, Segundo and Blanca, live a better life.

When local club trainers witnessed Diego’s talent at a young age, they impressed upon him that his vocation in life was to race. His love for riding quickly turned into a passion for racing. Turning up at the Vuelta de Tuta in 2015, Camargo touted a steel bike against a field of well-trained guys, on bikes superior to his – he beat them all by a minute. Fast-forward five years and he’s just taken his biggest wins at the Vuelta a la Juventud and the Vuelta a Colombia.

A latecomer to cycling, in the grand scheme of many professionals, the 22 year old had to learn the hardship of bike racing, overcome some serious crashes and how to master the art of descending. It’s this focus and motivation to keep going, along with raw talent, that caught the eye of EF Pro Cycling team CEO, Jonathan Vaughters. 

“He’s one of very few riders ever to win the Vuelta Juventud and Vuelta Colombia in the same year. And one of a very small group of riders who have won the Vuelta Colombia as a u23. Carapaz and Henao being two others,” team CEO, Jonathan Vaughters says. “This speaks to his talent. I think his relatively late start in cycling and his very humble beginnings will work in his favor and eventually reveal a champion of the highest caliber in cycling.”

Like many of his Colombian predecessors, he’s set to make the voyage over to Europe in 2021, where he’ll learn the craft of racing and become a part of the World Tour race scene.     

Here’s what Diego had to say…

Why do you love to race your bike?
I’m a young and passionate bike rider and am so happy to be here in the world of cycling reaching towards achieving my goals and getting better every day. For me, it’s a way to help my family and also hopefully be a great example for children coming into the sport. 

Where is your favourite place to ride your bike?
My favourite place to ride is around where I live, in Tuta, Boyacá. The people are really friendly and I think it’s down to the type of terrain we live on. But, I dream of Europe, although it’s a place I’m not familiar with, I’ve heard great things about it and I think it’s going to be great for me to be there.

What made you want to join EF Pro Cycling? Why did you choose this team?
I chose to come to EF because it seems like a really great squad, and I can see how a team like this will be able to help me grow as a person and as a cyclist, and achieve my cycling dreams. 

What type of cyclist are you?
I’m a well-rounded cyclist and can perform well on all terrains, but primarily I’m a climber.

What are you hoping for in 2021?
In 2021, I want to help contribute to the team and give 100%, whilst also gaining a lot of experience, by adapting to the racing and little by little preparing my body to hopefully win some races.

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