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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

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Jumbo-Visma signs Christophe Laporte and Tosh Van der Sande

The team sent me this news:

Frenchman Christophe Laporte (28) and Belgian Tosh Van der Sande (30) will strengthen Team Jumbo-Visma for the next two seasons. The spring classics will be one of their main objectives.

Christophe Laporte

Christophe Laporte winning the first stage of this year's Tour du Limousin. Photo: Zoé Soullard/Tour du Limousin

Laporte does not hide his ambitions. "I am very happy and proud that I will be riding for Team Jumbo-Visma the next two seasons. It is one of the best teams in the world and I am confident that I can grow to my best level in this team. It is certainly a big change, because I rode eight years for Cofidis in France. Team Jumbo-Visma is a different team, with new faces among staff and riders. I am going to discover a new culture. It is an important step in my career and I am eager to start this project. The Flemish classics will be one of my main goals next season. I love those races. There is a nice team formed around Wout and I will do my best to win together. Let this adventure begin!", the French rider said.

Also Van der Sande is looking forward to defend the black and yellow colours. "I was flattered by the interest. I rode for Lotto for ten years, so it will be a serious change. If a team like Team Jumbo-Visma contacts you, you should not hesitate for long. It is the best team, or one of the best teams in the world. The professionalism and the staff really appeal to me. I am very happy to join this team and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can work my way into the classic core to support Wout van Aert. I think my added value lies in my composure in stress situations, positioning myself and riding up front with the leader. Those are my main assets. In addition, I want to try to become an even better cyclist at Team Jumbo-Visma. Given the framework, I believe I can certainly make progress in the coming years."

Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma, shines his light on both reinforcements. "Christophe was very strong last spring. We are also curious to see how far he can get with our approach, in terms of training, nutrition, aerodynamics... what else is in it for him. In any case, he is a very important reinforcement for Wout. He also has a good time trial. For him it is also a nice challenge to try something new and maybe tackle different issues at a somewhat higher level. We are looking forward to that. It was important to get reinforcements around Wout. With Christophe we have attracted a very good rider for this."

"When I look at Tosh, he has also stood out this year. He has really developed himself as a rider. Apart from the fact that he was strong, he is also a very clever rider, he is very good in positioning and he has a lot of experience. We need that in our classics team. If he has the same form as this year, he will be with Wout in the finals and we need that too. The same counts for the sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen. With Caleb Ewan Tosh did a very good job. We are happy we were able to recruit him and that he’ll bring that experience and expertise."

George Bennett (UAE), Christoph Pfingsten and Antwan Tolhoek went looking for another team.

UAE Team Emirates announces several contract renewals

Here's the team's announcement:

UAE Team Emirates continue to reinforce their squad for the future with the announcement of several contract renewals.

Fernando Gaviria will continue for 2022 as the Colombian fast-man hopes to regain the prolific form of previous seasons.

Ferando Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria winning stage 2 of the 2020 Tour du Limousin.

Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager) : “We all know that Gaviria is a world class sprinter and on his day he can beat anybody. What we want to see now and what we are hoping, is to have that consistency and dependability that we know he can deliver. We are very happy to see him continue with us in the team and we want to see the best version of him going forward next year.”

Another high-profile renewal is the the former World Champion Rui Costa, who was instrumental in the Tour de France victory of Tadej Pogačar this year.

Matxin: “In the case of Rui Costa we’ve seen him take on a new challenge in his long and successful career. Rui is a former World Champion and has enjoyed many great results so to see him convert that talent and expertise to help the team and a leader like Tadej, as we saw in the Tour where he filled an important role, we know we can rely on him for that.”

The team also continues its investment in the youth, with Alessandro Covi committing to the team until 2024.

Matxin: “Covi is part of the new generation of riders who love to attack and really animate a race. We believe he is a rider who can win many races and in the next years and are convinced he will show that.”

The team will also count on the services of Jan Polanc, with the former Maglia Rosa wearer committing to the Emirati squad for the 2022 season.

Matxin: “ Jan is a rider we know very well and has played an important role over many years in the team. He has a lot of experience and will continue to be an important rider, especially on the climbs. We know we can count on his professionalism and work as a teammate.”

Markus Hoelgaard signs with Trek-Segafredo

Here’s the team’s release:

Trek-Segafredo is happy to welcome Markus Hoelgaard to the Team on a two-year deal. Hoelgaard hails from Stavanger, Norway, where he has just finished the Tour of Norway in 4th position and top-10 finishes in every stage.

Markus Hoelgaard

Markus Hoelgaard wins the first stage of this year's Arctice Race of Norway.

Hoelgaard currently races for the Pro Tour team Uno-X and is keen to have the chance to ride some of the biggest one-day races as he moves into the WorldTour. The Norwegian rider and his Uno-X team made their presence known early in the season with aggressive racing in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, which earned Markus 8th place in a tough edition.

Hoelgaard counts two wins on his palmarès: he took his first professional victory in 2019 in the final stage of the Arctic Race of Norway and followed up with the first stage of the following edition two years later, held just a few weeks ago. The new Trek-Segafredo signing will be enlisted to support our Classics leaders and give us another card to play, all while developing towards his full potential.

Markus Hoelgaard: “I’m obviously very happy about it; it’s a team that I have always enjoyed watching race. Trek-Segafredo always races aggressively, and it looks like a really nice team to be a part of that. From what I hear, everyone talks about this Team as a friendly environment and a group of nice guys.

“My main role will be in the Classics and be a part of the group that they have. Hopefully, I can help the Team to win some monuments and big races.

“I am convinced that we will achieve great things together, and I am ready to learn as much as possible from the more experienced guys in the Team.

“I’m not the youngest, but I still have a lot more to learn. I think I can learn a lot in an environment like this with strong riders who have won some of the biggest races in the world. I’ve never ridden the biggest Classics like Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, and I’m really looking forward to those races.”

Luca Guercilena, General Manager: “The signing of Markus is another step towards building up our Classics squad, something that we have focused a lot of attention on in recent years. Markus has the characteristics of a good Classics rider – most importantly, he is very strong on the climbs that are typical of the northern Classics.

“Also, he isn’t afraid to take a risk and race aggressively, which paid off for him recently at the Arctic Race of Norway. Markus has been noticeably improving over the last few years, and we aim to support his development as he takes the next step into the WorldTour.”

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