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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth. - Abraham Lincoln

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Team Movistar confirms 2021 men's roster

Here's the team's post:

The Movistar Team confirmed on Monday the 29 riders that would make part of their 2021 men’s roster, their 42nd lineup in the highest tier of professional road cycling (now called UCI WorldTour). The list includes the five signings they announced in previous releases over the autumn: Miguel Ángel López, Iván García Cortina, Gregor Mühlberger, Gonzalo Serrano and Abner González.

The Telefónica-backed squad’s roster contains 11 different nationalities, with a mixture of veterans and youngsters (16 riders aged 26 or younger) and international talents alongside strong Spanish members (16 riders from the squad’s original country). Enric Mas, Marc Soler and Alejandro Valverde will continue to race for the Eusebio Unzué-led organisation.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde (shown racing in the 2020 Vuelta) will be back for another season in Movistar colors.

2021 men’s Movistar Team: Juan Diego Alba (COL), Jorge Arcas (ESP), Héctor Carretero (ESP), Dario Cataldo (ITA), Gabriel Cullaigh (GBR), Iñigo Elosegui (ESP), Imanol Erviti (ESP), Iván García Cortina (ESP), Abner González (PUR), Juri Hollmann (GER), Johan Jacobs (SUI), Matteo Jorgenson (USA), Miguel Ángel López (COL), Lluís Mas (ESP), Enric Mas (ESP), Sebastián Mora (ESP), Gregor Mühlberger (AUT), Mathias Norsgaard (DEN), Nelson Oliveira (POR), Antonio Pedrero (ESP), José Joaquín Rojas (ESP), Einer Rubio (COL), Sergio Samitier (ESP), Gonzalo Serrano (ESP), Marc Soler (ESP), Albert Torres (ESP), Alejandro Valverde (ESP), Carlos Verona (ESP), Davide Villella (ITA).

The 14 riders already confirmed for the Movistar Team’s women’s program back in November round out the longest lineup for the Abarca Sports structure in more than four decades of uninterrupted activity. 43 world-class athletes will be carrying the Blue flag next year as part of one of only five teams* with both men’s and women’s UCI WorldTour outfits.

Diego Ulissi takes break to undergo cardiac tests after myocarditis diagnosis

Here’s the news from Ulissi’s UAE-Team Emirates:

Diego Ulissi will be forced to observe a temporary break from competitive activity to carry out cardiac checks related to the development of myocarditis.

Doctor Michele De Grandi, who forms part of the medical staff at UAE Team Emirates, explains how the necessary decision was made to temporarily keep Ulissi out of action:

“Diego underwent the normal health checks required by the UCI and the team. Subjectively he was fine and did not feel any disturbance, but the finding of an irregular heartbeat during a physical exertion, not previously present, gave us some doubt. Even with a normal ultrasound appearance, two new tests (Holter ECG 24 hours, which highlighted further arrhythmias, and a cardiac MRI scan) have drawn a conclusion of myocarditis.

"Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardial tissue, the heart muscle, usually of viral origin. As a precaution Ulissi will undergo a period of absolute rest for a few months, during which he will carry out in-depth investigations to further clarify the clinical picture."

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi wins 2020 Giro d'Italia stage 13. Sirotti photo

Ulissi, 31, has accumulated 38 career victories to date and experienced one of the strongest years of his career with 5 victories including two stage wins at the Giro d’Italia.

Diego Ulissi: “I cannot hide the feeling of worry and anger. I’ve never had any sign of it, I’ve always felt good; Fortunately, the team’s medical staff were quick to act and discovered this abnormality. I will take a break now which I hope will be temporary, bearing in mind that the priority is health, because life does not end with cycling.

"I have just finished what has perhaps been my best season ever, with a consistent run of high level performances from January to October which also earned me the Top Ten in the UCI individual ranking. I was already beginning my preparation for 2021 with the desire to build on last years results. Now, however, I find myself facing this unexpected situation. I think my state of mind is understandable for everyone.

"A heartfelt thanks to all at UAE Team Emirates who are taking great care of me through this unfortunate time”.

Trek-Segafredo unveils 2021 kits

Here’s the team’s post:

Our 14 women and 29 men head into 2021 sporting a fresh look from Santini Cycling Wear

Refreshed from a successful sporting year, Trek-Segafredo is ready to embark on a new campaign in updated kits provided by our clothing partner Santini Cycling Wear. Italian national champion Elisa Longo Borghini and compatriot Nicola Conci visited the Bergamo-based factory to see where the magic happens and help us launch the new kits.

Trek 2021 kit

Elisa Longo Borghini and compatriot Nicola Conci wear the 2021 team kits.

Our Women’s WorldTour winning team will retain their recognizable visual identity with a remixed color palette and the continuation of the popular torso pattern.

Lead designer Brian Lindstrom explains how we reached the new livery: “The women’s kit has a strong identity with the pattern; it seems to have taken hold and people like it. When designing the new kit, we thought about taking that foundation and spinning around the colors to see if we could get something fresh that updates it. The light blue is borrowed from our Trek Factory Racing cyclocross team. It’s been in our brand repertoire for a few years now, so it felt like a natural progression.”

Only the keenest eyes will be able to spot the minimal changes to the men’s kit. We’ve opted to retain our classy design from 2020 for the upcoming season.

“The current kit is an evolution of the last few years, but even if you go back to 2014 when we had our first Trek Factory Racing team, it was still really minimal and clean. It was black and white with some tonal pinstripes. The same idea held true then: we wanted to keep it clean, pretty minimal, and timeless. I think some of our kits have aged better than others, and over the years, we’ve learned through rider and fan feedback,” admits Lindstrom.

“Trek over the years has defined its DNA of what a Trek kit looks like, so we’ve got a pretty good formula,” says Lindstrom. “We always like to be clean and classy with a minimal color palette that complements our sponsors’ logos. Then we go for some basic clean color blocking. We like our kits to be timeless.

“We try to provide a few different options to break outside the box to see how much we can push the envelope. We’ll throw some off-campus stuff in there that’s off-the-wall crazy that maybe Trek hasn’t done yet, but that we always consider whether it’s for a special limited kit or maybe one day the full season kit.”

We try to stay in our lane and have some consistency so that there is some identifiability in the peloton.

It can be a tough call between taking the plunge with a new design or sticking with a popular kit. “It’s totally subjective, a lot of people love to have a brand-new crazy kit every year, and the media will go loud for it or hate it,” points our Lindstrom.

“Kits can be a love/hate thing,” he continues. “I do think there’s something to be said for a sport like cycling where it’s important to be able to identify a team in a peloton. We try to stay in our lane and have some consistency so that there is some identifiability in the peloton. I think if you look at the cycling teams over the last few decades, the ‘iconic’ kits and jerseys are probably going to be from teams who were consistent with their look and branding; for example, the 7-Eleven Team or Team Sky. Teams that knew how to hold onto something for a bit longer than one or two seasons. There are always going to be opportunities in certain races to do something fun.

For now, the new kits are sticking true to their established identities. “We decided to carry forward the look for the bikes and kit, but for 2022, we’ll see how that goes…” Lindstrom teases.

The production of our kits continues toward a bigger initiative to reduce our impact on the environment. To make our new 2021 kits Santini have collaborated with two local producers of sustainable fabrics. Corno’s Ecofabric RECY uses yarn recycled from materials that have been used or discarded in the environment. Native, an Ecoknit by Sitip, is recycled fibers and yarns created without using polluting chemicals. Additionally, the bib shorts feature the ground-breaking Impact panels, an anti-rip and anti-abrasion fabric from Sitip, extremely popular with our riders for the last two years.

“We’ve been working with Trek-Segafredo since 2018, and year after year, we’re more and more proud to continue our support,” comments Monica Santini, CEO of Santini Cycling Wear. “This commitment is part of our long tradition of clothing supplier for professional teams. The partnership with Trek-Segafredo also brought a strong eco-friendly footprint, thanks to the seasonal clothing delivery with zero plastic packaging. Most of all, the kit is made with fabrics derived from the latest generation of recycled yarns, which allowed us to guarantee our athletes top-quality clothing produced with a low-level environmental impact.”

Tim Declercq receives another Kristallen Fiets Best Domestique trophy

Declercq’s Deceuninck-Quick Step team posted this:

For the third year in a row, Tim Declercq was named Best Domestique of the peloton in the Kristallen Fiets survey, receiving the award from teammate and friend Yves Lampaert and joining Iljo Keisse as the only two riders to have won the prestigious trophy on three occasions.

Tim Declercq

Tim Declercq looking very aero at the 2019 Tour of Provence. Sirotti photo

Last season, his fourth with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Tim impressed again with the amazing workload he put in on countless occasions, shining in both one-day races and the Tour de France. At the latter, the 31-year-old played a vital role in the team’s hat-trick of stage wins and Sam Bennett’s resounding victory in the points jersey classification, spending a total of over 1000 kilometers at the head of the bunch.

“It is a great honour for me to be awarded the Kristallen Fiets trophy again, especially in such an unusual year. It was a season of two halves, with the interruptions meaning that the conditions of races changed but I just tried to focus and keep doing what I do for the guys around me. The year had started well for me, with the team doing well in Valencia and Algarve, but then after Paris-Nice the season stopped. I was lucky that I could still train outdoors in the lockdown and I tried to look after my condition and stay strong as best as I could.”

“Then in August, when racing started again, it was all about preparing for the Tour de France. What we did as a team there, with Julian in yellow for several days and Sam winning the green jersey competition, was really special. His victory in Paris and how we rode as a team was something I will never forget”, said the always-smiling Belgian, who concluded the season by taking a solid second at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, behind Yves Lampaert, for his first ever World Tour podium.

Tim, who made it nine years in a row that a Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider has won the Kristallen Fiets Best Domestique Prize, continued: “I would like to thank the whole team for their support throughout the year. A lot of people comment on how much work I do on the front, but it takes a special team to convert that into something meaningful. I am lucky that I am in a squad that try every day to do something special and it is nice to have my part in that recognised but it is only possible to because of the guys around me, not only the riders, but also Patrick, the team management and all of the staff that make this team so special.”

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