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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 4, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. - William Wordsworth

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

Julius van den Berg renews with EF Education-Nippo

Here’s the team’s announcement:

We’re thrilled to announce that Julius van den Berg will continue racing with EF Education-NIPPO.

Since the Dutchman turned professional in 2018, EF is the only outfit he’s ridden for and he couldn’t be happier about it. “It’s a great opportunity to stay with the team. I’m really happy,” van den Berg says. “This year I had the opportunity to do some really nice races and even to go for my own result in a few races, as well as helping the race leaders in some bigger races. This was an ideal combination and I want to keep going in this direction.”

Julius Van Den BErg

Julius van den Berg (in pink, of course) leads a group in the 2021 Tour of Poland's seventh stage.

This past season marked a coming of age for the 25-year-old rider. At the Tour of Poland, van den Berg won the final stage with a massive sprint, claiming his first WorldTour win. “I knew that if I got in the breakaway, I could make it work. That victory was a highlight of my season.”

He also rode the Giro d’Italia for the first time, his second Grand Tour. “Last year I did my first Grand Tour, that was the Vuelta, and this year the Giro. To have three weeks in Italy while racing in the new Rapha kit was really cool.”

Let’s not forget the mudfest that was Paris-Roubiax. “It was a really cool ride to do. The mud made it….I don’t know the word for it.” He pauses. “Heroic. It was really something special.”

“Julius is a wonderful presence on our team,” says Jonathan Vaughters, team CEO. “He works tremendously hard and it absolutely shows. He’s the kind of rider who is always there when you need him, whether he’s supporting a teammate or going for the result himself. To have someone so dependable and charismatic is such an asset.”

Reflecting on what he has learned with EF so far, van den Berg says, “How to be a professional. I’ve learned from working with big riders, riding with them and seeing how they do their job and seeing what they do to try to become the best. I’ve learned a lot from them about how to become a better rider. My goal is to be a better version of myself and to develop a little bit every year.”

Van den Berg has clear thoughts about the future. “I want to do more finals,” he says. “The step from continental to WorldTour is really big and the race finals are hard. It would be really nice if I could make a step and go further in the final of WorldTour races.”

There is one other goal he’s been thinking about in the off-season. “Maybe winning again. That would be pretty cool!”

Deceuninck-Quick Step tops UCI World Team Ranking

Here’s the team’s release:

The Wolfpack enjoyed another exceptional season, during which they showcased their strength in depth and fantastic team spirit, making the implausible become reality many times, winning a plethora of races and cementing their position as the most successful squad of the century.

Tour of Britain

Deceuninck-Quick Step riding the team time trial at this year's Tour of Britain.

Between February, when we rolled out our campaign at the Tour de la Provence, and the Chrono des Nations, where we drew the curtain in October, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step boys racked up an astonishing 65 victories netted by 18 different riders – a unique performance among the World Tour teams – in 15 countries.

Grand Tours, Monuments, one-day and week-long races, the Wolfpack delivered everywhere and every time with frightening efficiency, the cherry on the top being put by Julian Alaphilippe, who for the second consecutive season triumphed at the World Championships.

A total of 15.641 points brought Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s third victory in four years in the UCI World Team Classification, an achievement that delighted CEO Patrick Lefevere: “I am very proud of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team for taking this victory. It has been an exceptional year, with not only the number of victories, but also the quality standing out. There are so many great memories that it is hard to choose a highlight, and as much as anything let’s remember the riders and staff in the organisation that didn’t take victories themselves but worked very hard to make it possible for us to become the best team in the world for 2021.”

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