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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 4, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. - Stephen Covey


Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle

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David L. Stanley's book Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle is available as an audiobook here.


INEOS Grenadiers reveals 2022 team kit

Here’s the team’s announcement

Bioracer have designed, produced and created a kit like no other for the team for 2022. A kit designed to be raced in. A kit to feel the fastest in whether racing uphill, downhill, off-road or sprinting.

The new design, which includes a textured effect to the team’s iconic line on the back of the jersey and bold swathes of Flag blue and Brigade red, makes it the most striking in the team’s history. A fresh gradient on the arm, created using a velocity pattern composed of Grenadier Lambdas in a subtle reference to the How Fast Feels philosophy, sits alongside the globally recognisable INEOS “O” pattern, seen across the INEOS Sport family.

The new INEOS kit

And it feels fast. Launched today by Richard Carapaz, Filippo Ganna and Tom Pidcock, the kit is the epitome of Bioracer’s ethos and their dedication and approach to the pursuit of speed.

With over 30 years of innovation woven into every stitch, Bioracer created the kit in-house from start to finish. The Belgian company includes a design and print studio, protolab, motion speed centre, wind tunnel and several fully-owned production sites worldwide. The Grenadiers cannot wait to represent Bioracer on the road from January 1st.

Speaking when the new partnership was confirmed in September, INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “I’ve known Danny and Bioracer for a long time and always admired what they do and the way that they do it. I’ve always hoped and believed that we would work together one day so I am genuinely delighted that day has now come. The ethos that underpins their work is built around speed - pure and simple - with athletes right at the heart. We share a common sense of adventure, a desire to innovate and do things differently but above all a passion for the race and for racing. We look forward to writing a new successful chapter together and showcasing their brilliant kit on the road in 2022 with our Grenadier spirit.”

Bioracer CEO Danny Segers said: “Our growing ambition calls for a more active role in the spotlight. Together with the best Grand Tour team of the last decade, we will be continuously pushing the boundaries of cycling performance. The INEOS Grenadiers stand out in the international peloton all year round, so we will certainly see the Bioracer logo on stage many times. Playing a leading role in the revolution of speedwear, we will translate the developments for the INEOS Grenadiers into the cycling apparel of millions of Bioracer riders worldwide.”

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EF Education-NIPPO forms development team

The team sent me this:

EF Education First-NIPPO are proud to announce the formation of our development team. The team will focus on fostering talent from far and wide in a supportive environment.

The team, which will ride as the EF Education-NIPPO Development Team, will work closely with its WorldTour counterpart to provide riders with opportunities to grow into — and flourish at — the WorldTour level.

“The idea has been developing over the years,” said Marcello Albasini, manager of EF Education-NIPPO Development Team. “We approached EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters to make an official development team, which he thought was a great idea because then they would have first choice of top athletes to then bring into the EF system.”

At this point, the roster has 15 riders from seven different countries. The team will race as a UCI Continental team based out of the United States.

While reaching the WorldTour takes years of hard work and persistence, it also takes opportunity. For this reason, the team will focus in part on developing riders from countries often underrepresented in the professional peloton.

“It’s very important that the team doesn’t identify with one specific nation, saying ‘it’s an American team’ or ‘It’s only Swiss’ or ‘It’s only Japanese.’ It’s very much an international team,” Albasini said. “We want to bring talent from around the world and bring them into the professional system. It will be an international team where everybody can learn from one another. It’s critical that they understand the difference around the world of what every athlete goes through to try to be a professional athlete.”

Because cyclists often struggle with the disparity between racing at the continental level versus the WorldTour level, the goal of the development team is to prepare riders for WorldTour racing without overwhelming them.

“We’ve got some really strong young guys that are at the point where they’re knocking on the door for turning pro. One of the guys turning pro with the EF Education-NIPPO WorldTour squad is a goal we have in the first season,” Albasini said.

Because the UCI allows for riders on a development team to race on their WorldTour counterpart team and vice versa, the development riders will have ample opportunities for mentorship and to experience the WorldTour firsthand.

“That means at certain races you could have two WorldTour riders and four continental riders racing in the same race together,” Albasini said. “We could send one or two of our top riders to the WorldTour team to work in a much higher or a much more professional environment to learn what it’s like before moving up.”

“I’m excited about the development team for a number of reasons,” EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “I think it’s really important for riders to have a team where they can learn but not be in over their heads right away. Since we can move riders between squads, that allows us to bring real experience to the younger team, both on the roads and at dinner tables. And it’s important the team is focusing on developing athletes from countries that aren’t known as cycling hotbeds. It provides a great opportunity for riders to be noticed, and it allows us to spot talent that may have been overlooked. The educational and mentorship components are very important to us. We started as a development team years ago, so it’s fun to be part of this level of cycling again.”

Albasini noted that, historically, riders from a handful of countries tend to “get a lot more opportunities than certain countries. It’s a lot harder for countries like Japan, Poland, Ethiopia and Eritrea to get opportunities,” he said.

The young roster is not only international but also versatile.

“We’ve tried to make it a very complete squad. We’ve got young, up-and-coming sprinters with speed. There are a few really talented climbers so we’re all set in that department. We’ve brought on Classics-type riders. We made the decision of what we thought was a great combination of youth and experience, all the while making sure that it’s international,” Albasini said.

Cannondale will supply the team’s bikes and provide technical support. “Cannondale is proud to partner with a team that develops young riders and looks to expand cycling beyond traditional regions,” said Jonathan Geran, head of sports marketing at Cannondale.

2022 Roster:
Hagos Berhe, Ethiopia
Jonathan Bögli, Switzerland
Trym Brennsaeter, Norway
Fabio Christen, Switzerland
Oliver Wulff Frederiksen, Denmark
Masahiro Ishigami, Japan
Luca Jenni, Switzerland
Yusuke Kadota, Japan
Kevin Kuhn, Switzerland
Hijiri Oda, Japan
Atsushi Oka, Japan
Felix Stehli, Switzerland
Szymon Tracz, Poland
Yugi Tsuda, Japan
Ethan Villaneda, USA


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Lotto Soudal completes 2022 team roster with Cedric Beullens

Lotto Soudal sent me this:

The 24-year-old Belgian Cedric Beullens (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver) has signed a two-year agreement with Lotto Soudal. That way, the Belgian WorldTeam completes its roster for the upcoming new cycling season. Beullens has been part of Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise for two years, where the young Belgian showed his potential as a Classics rider with top twenty results in WorldTour races like Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Eschborn-Frankfurt. The 24-year-old Cedric Beullens is looking forward to an important step in his pro cycling career.

Cedric Beullens

“To be honest, it hasn’t fully sunk in yet that I will defend the Lotto Soudal colours next season, but of course I am very happy with this transfer! Following two great years at Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, this is the right step in my career to further develop myself”, says Cedric Beullens. “Why the choice for Lotto Soudal? The Belgian team has a nice project, a good framework and I will be surrounded by a lot of youngsters and more experienced riders. Besides, I get the chance to play a role in the spring Classics, races in which I really want to evolve. I just love the atmosphere and the charm of the Flemish Classics.”

With the transfer of Cedric Beullens, General Manager John Lelangue completes the Lotto Soudal WorldTeam roster for 2022 as the focus shifts towards the new season preparations.

John Lelangue: “Completely in line with our vision, we complete our team for 2022 with another young Belgian talent Cedric Beullens. Cedric will strengthen the Classics squad and has proved this year that he can do well in the one-day races with among others a 17th place at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a 12th place at Eschborn-Frankfurt. In 2019, he finished second at the Ronde van Vlaanderen for U23 riders, which again shows his potential for the Flemish Classics. At Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise, he has been able to develop himself over the past two years and we are looking forward to welcome Cedric at the team next season!”

Cedric Beullens already looks ahead to the coming two seasons at the Belgian WorldTeam.

“Last season, I already had a taste of some WorldTour races like Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Ronde van Vlaanderen. I feel that I have grown as a rider and I’ve also acquired more race insight. But at the same time, I realise that being part of a WorldTeam will be quite the challenge. But  I’ve already shown that I have what it takes and I hope to confirm this the coming seasons. Therefore, I would like to continue to grow and become an important part of the Classics squad. In addition, it would also be nice to go for some own results and riding a Grand Tour also seems like a very enriching experience to me”, concludes Cedric Beullens.

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