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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, June 29, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing. - Salvador Dali

Important upcoming racing, according to the UCI revised calendar:

Latest completed racing:

24 teams to start France's Tour de l'Ain

Here's race organizer's update:

The organizing committee is happy to announce that 24 teams have been confirmed for the start of the 32nd Tour de l’Ain – Solimut Mutuelle de France 2020.

2020 Tour de l'Ain

2020 Tour de l'Ain map

12 WorldTeams

6 ProTeams

4 ContinentalTeams

2 national U23 sélections

Dries Devenyns & Iljo Keisse sign one-year contract extensions with Deceuninck-Quick Step

Here's the team's release:

Following the likes of teammate Yves Lampaert, now also his fellow countrymen have extended their expiring contract with Deceuninck-Quick Step.

Dries Devenyns and Iljo Keisse, the Wolfpack’s two senior riders, not only bring their vast experience to the group, they also continue to perform on a high level, according to CEO Patrick Lefevere: “Dries has done amazing things before the lockdown”, he says. “Think of his fantastic win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. And Iljo continues to execute his role flawlessly. They have both proven their services to the team on countless occasions. Being well over thirty, they may not be racing for five more years. But we know very well what we can expect of them and what they add to the team. Take it as a clear vote of our confidence.”

Dries Devenyns

Dries Devenyns having a good day at the 2020 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

With the contract renewals of Devenyns, Keisse and Lampaert, Lefevere has now secured an extended stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for three of the team’s most seasoned and valued riders: “It’s been hard for all of us these strange times”, he explained. “I really wanted to take care of our own riders’ expiring contracts first. It’s been a special year. I wouldn’t want them to wait until October or November with the added stress of not having a contract yet.”

Dries Devenyns, who turns 37 in a couple of weeks, already looks forward to what will be his tenth season with the team: “I had been hoping for this contract renewal. I’m glad we came to an agreement so quickly. It is a token of confidence from the team towards me and vice versa. I am very happy to be able to continue riding with the Wolfpack. Also, next year I will do my utmost to help the team win races. I might be a little bit older, but I still feel physically well. I really look forward to an extra year with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.”

Iljo Keisse, at 37 the oldest and most experienced member of the Wolfpack, awaits his twelfth consecutive season with the squad. “Not many can say that, only Tom Boonen I think”, he said, commenting on his contract renewal. “In any case, I’m very satisfied. It’s a nice gesture from Patrick Lefevere giving me the opportunity to sign a new deal after such a bizarre period, in which we hardly raced. It is a very nice token of his appreciation. My dream is to continue cycling until my 40th birthday, which is on 21 December 2022, so I still have two seasons to go. I’ve now come one year closer to realizing that goal. I will continue to work hard to get there. After a year like this I certainly didn’t want to quit.”

“I’m very happy to continue to be part of this team, the best in the world in the races I like to do. I’ve been working with the same people for many years here. Together we have won many races, something that will never bore. On the contrary, the urge to win is inherent in this team. It’s addictive. Furthermore, the presence of all the young and talented riders I get to work with motivates me to be at my best. It’s an extra incentive because you have to work for it”, concluded the seven-time winner of the Gent Six-Day.

Steff Cras on his selection for the Tour de France. “A dream come true”

Cras' Lotto-Soudal team posted this:

Lotto Soudal was early to put the entire selection for the Tour de France (29 August – 20 September) on paper. “Why wait any longer? All our riders will be ready to start the competition”, General Manager John Lelangue says. “There is no point in keeping everybody in the dark about the program. On the contrary, it gives everybody peace of mind.”

The most surprising name of the eight riders that will represent Lotto Soudal in the Tour de France is that of the youngster Steff Cras. Cras is 24 years old, lives in Westerlo and was a member of Katusha-Alpecin for the last two seasons.

“I was very pleasantly surprised too”, Steff Cras says. “I am new in the team. It has already been a special, very short season and now I will be riding among all those big names.’

Indeed. Besides Cras, Caleb Ewan with his sprint train Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst, together with Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens, John Degenkolb and Thomas De Gendt will be starting in Nice.

“It’s nice that the team gives me the confidence even though I have hardly raced for Lotto Soudal in 2020. The team was looking for a cyclist of my profile for the eight place in the team. Someone who can help during the flat part and who can also stay with Caleb Ewan during the mountain stages. Caleb is our absolute priority in the Tour. During the first mountain stages I will not leave his side and maybe I will be able to save some energy which might be useful during the transition stages.”

Steff Cras is a contemporary of title defender Egan Bernal and he is also a good climber. As a member of the U23 team of Lotto Soudal, Cras drew the attention in the high mountains. Cras lives for his job, he is a true professional concerning nutrition and training.

“Every percent helps. My condition will certainly be good to start the Tour. I am not worried about that and I have no stress either. Earlier this year I rode together with Caleb Ewan in the UAE Tour and it worked very well. Caleb is a true leader. You understand immediately what he wants. I am already counting the days until the start of the Tour. This is really a dream come true”, Steff Cras concludes.

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