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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 26, 2020

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2020 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong. - Andy Rooney

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Alexey Lutsenko re-ups with Astana; Steve Bauer & Dmitriy Muravyev sign as sports directors

Team Astana sent me this release:

The Kazakh Champion and Tour de France stage winner, Alexey Lutsenko has extended his contract with the Kazakh-Canadian team for the upcoming season, rounding out Astana – Premier Tech’s final 31-rider roster for the 2021 season. Alongside the new additions to the team, Canadian Steve Bauer, Olympic medalist and Tour de France stage winner, and Kazakh former rider Dmitriy Muravyev join the team as Sports Directors.

Alexey Lutsenko

Alexey Lutsenko wins 2020 Tour de France stage 6. Sirotti photo

The Kazakh Champion Alexey Lutsenko will stay yet another year in the team:
“I think, I have improved significantly over the last few years and achieved many great results, which have been my goals for many years. Despite a difficult year, I still had a good season. Of course, the stage win at the Tour de France was the best moment. I am happy that the team wants to continue our journey. I am looking forward to achieving new goals and developing further as a rider. I will stay another year with this team, which makes me really happy. The team believes in me and shares my visions and goals.”

The team confirms its final roster consisting of 31 riders:

As well as Sport Directors Dmitriy Fofonov, Bruno Cenghialta, Giuseppe Martinelli, Stefano Zanini and Sergey Yakovlev, two new faces will join Astana – Premier Tech. Canadian Steve Bauer, Olympic medalist and Tour de France stage winner, will join Astana – Premier Tech through 2021 to add his knowledge and value to the UCI WorldTeam in his role of a Sports Director as well as Kazakh and former rider Dmitriy Muravyev.

Steve Bauer, who will join as Sports Director:
"I am very happy with the opportunity to join Astana – Premier Tech. The change will begin the next chapter for me, working with a new group of management, staff and riders. As a Canadian, it is especially exciting to have Premier Tech as a co-title sponsor of the team in 2021. I look forward to meeting the team at January camp and I am motivated to work hard with everyone to achieve the sporting goals that will be set out."

Next to Steve Bauer also former rider Dmitriy Muravyev will join the team as Sports Director:
"I ended my professional career as a rider here and now I return as a Sports Director, which makes me really happy. I will use my knowledge and experience in my new work but I am also ready to absorb new things and continue to learn in order to share what I already know and what I will learn with the trainers, who are working in Kazakhstan. I am proud to start this new chapter in my career with this amazing project, Astana – Premier Tech, and hope that we will achieve great results together with our riders."

Managing Director, Yana Seel:
"We are very glad about this great line-up of riders and Sports Directors and I’m sure we will proudly represent Kazakhstan and our cosponsor Premier Tech in 2021. It’s important to mention that we kept 9 Kazakh riders in our roster and added another Canadian rider next to Hugo Houle, which is important for the projects we will start for the youth in Kazakhstan and Canada. We are ready to start making a difference in the world with these projects, while we keep entertaining cycling fans with our attractive way of racing. Last but not least, I really want to thank the riders who are leaving us, Miguel Angel Lopez, Laurens De Vreese, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Daniil Fominykh and Hernando Bohorquez, as well as our two Sports Directors Alexandr Shefer and Dmitri Sedoun. All of them did amazing work for the team over the years and gave it their all every day. We want to thank them for everything and wish all of them the best of luck for their future."

General Manager, Alexandr Vinokurov:
"I think we did a great job in signing new talents and extending with strong riders that proved themselves in our team in the past years. Our team is known for its attractive way of racing and I’m sure with this roster, we are able to compete on the highest level once again."

Miguel Ángel López signs with Movistar

Here’s the team’s announcement:

The Movistar Team confirmed Tuesday that Miguel Ángel López (Pesca, Boyacá, COL; 1994), a current member of the Astana Pro Team, has signed a contract for the 2021 season with the WorldTour outfit managed by Eusebio Unzué.

Miguel Angel Lopez

Lopez wins stage 17 of the 2020 Tour de France. Sirotti pnoto

López’s signing brings the Movistar Team the talent of one of the most talented GC riders in the peloton, a man who can aim at success in every stagerace he takes part in. His palmarès includes podium finishes in the Giro d’Italia, where he took 3rd + the young riders’ jersey in 2018, and La Vuelta, where he claimed third in 2018 and won two stages + 5th in 2019. His Tour de France debut in 2020 included a win at the Queen stage (Col de la Loze) and a strong 6th-place finish, after spending three days in the provisional GC podium.

Winner of the 2014 Tour de l’Avenir, López has also ammassed victories in WorldTour events like the Tour de Suisse (2016) and the Volta a Catalunya (2019), as well as the Tour Colombia (2019); prestigious classics, such as Milano-Torino (2016); and mountain-top finish victories in Algarve, Burgos, Austria, Trentino and Oman.

Miguel Ángel López: “I’m so happy to be part of one of the most important teams in the world of cycling. As I’ve always done, I’ll try to achieve my fullest potential to represent the Movistar Team and the people of Colombia in the best possible way. This has always been a very significant team for my home fans and a crucial factor for the growth of the sport in Latin America, so I’m excited to join them next year.”

Eusebio Unzué: “Miguel Ángel López’s signing marks a really important addition to our men’s team. Having him aboard, we’ll not only enjoy the services of an experienced rider of great results, but also the style of racing from someone who always conceives this sport on the attack, trying to catch the rivals by surprise. He’s someone who knows well what it takes to step onto the podium of the Grand Tours, and who’s achieved important victories in one-week stageraces. His addition to the team further bolsters our potential for the big tours in 2021.”

López is the fifth signing of the men’s Movistar Team for 2021, following previous announcements of Iván García Cortina, Gregor Mühlberger, Abner González and Gonzalo Serrano.

Team Sunweb: Joris Nieuwenhuis starts 2020-2021 Cyclocross season in December

The team sent me this:

After a promising 2020 on the road for Team Sunweb's Joris Nieuwenhuis which included his debut at the Tour de France and an impressive third place at Paris-Tours, the former U23 World Champion returns to cyclocross this winter. Last year saw Nieuwenhuis pick up consistent results throughout the season as he made the step up to the elite ranks, with second place in Woerden and a bronze medal at the Dutch national championships his season highlights. This winter, Nieuwenhuis hopes to build on last year and pick up more strong results.

Nieuwenhuis said: "I'm looking forward to the cyclocross season again. After a successful season on the road I'm getting ready for some mud this winter. After taking a break off the bike once the road season was finished, I have started specific cyclocross training again and I'm excited to do my first races in December. The main focus will be in January, with the national and world championships. I want to be in my best form for that so we will use a good training and racing period to build up to those goals. I'm really looking forward to getting underway with the season and I'm pleased it can go ahead in such times."

Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: "With a long and solid road season behind him, and some really nice results, Joris will use December to get back into the racing rhythm and continue to improve towards the two big championships in January.Due to the long road season, we formulated a program that gave him adequate time for rest so he starts his season a little later in December. We are confident that with a solid training block in the run up to his season debut, Joris will have a good base to build upon in the run up to his main goals in January."

Race program:
Boom Superprestige - 06/12/2020
Scheldecross Trofee - 12/12/2020
Gavere Superprestige - 13/12/2020
Namur World Cup - 20/12/2020
Heusden-Zolder Superprestige - 26/12/2020
Dendermonde World Cup - 27/12/2020

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