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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 5, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. - William Penn


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Les Woodland's book Dirty Feet: How the great unwashed created the Tour de France is available as an audiobook here.

Chad Haga re-joins Rally Cycling

The team sent me this release:

Chad Haga will return to the team where his professional career began. After racing in the WorldTour for eight years, the 33-year-old from McKinney, Texas signs from Team DSM and completes the men’s team’s roster for 2022.

A peerless rouleur, time-trialist and support rider during his time with WorldTeams, Haga now hopes to “reignite the spark of racing” and pursue his own results on a ProTeam program, a changeup that will allow him to “be in it to win it.”

Chad Haga

Chad Haga after winning stage 21 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

The American was on Rally Cycling from 2012 through 2013 (then called Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and won a stage of the Tour of Elk Grove before making the jump up to WorldTour with Team Giant – Shimano in 2014.

“It feels like my career has come full circle,” Haga said. “I had a lot to learn when I first started and the team helped me and then ushered me off into a bigger program at the WorldTour where I spent eight years getting stronger, wiser and more experienced. Now I get to bring that back to the team, which has also grown in the years since. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

Haga’s successes in that time can be measured by the results he helped others achieve. In that time, he helped teammates win Milan-San Remo and the Giro d’Italia, and rode a total of 12 Grand Tours, finding his own personal victory in 2019 when he won the final day Giro TT in Verona. So, what made 2022 the right time to come back to where his professional dream began?

“I’ve spent eight years as a support rider in the DSM organization, but I want to enjoy racing as much as I did at the beginning of my career,” Haga explains. “I think this is a great way to kick that off because I’ve watched Rally Cycling race really aggressively for the last few seasons with a lot of success and I’m eager to be a part of that.”

Making the move to the ProTour means less WorldTour racing for the American but it brings a newfound freedom to be able to target his own goals.

“It gives me the opportunity to really push myself to achieve a result. I was always motivated to be in top form and to perform but to have the chance to be the guy going for results, it lights an extra fire in the training and the racing, you can really get in it,” Haga added.

With the return to ProTour being a defining marker in his career, what would Haga say to his 25-year-old departing self?

“Prepare to be humbled but you’re going to have a great time and you’ll surprise yourself along the way as well.”

Haga’s return to the organization is one welcomed by performance manager Jonas Carney, who remembers him as a talented rider and consummate professional.

“It was an obvious choice to bring Chad back,” Carney said. “He’s a monster on the bike and an awesome person who will fit right into our group.”

Carney is also excited to see the experiences Haga can bring to the program.

“There is no doubt that he can help our younger riders progress more quickly. He’s also capable of producing results himself when given the opportunity.

“Chad will be a leader in our team, but he will also be given opportunities to target races that suit him,” Carney added.

The team looks forward to re-welcoming Haga to its line-up for 2022. This also brings an end to the men’s team signings for next season. Their first official gathering will be a training camp in Portugal this January.

Men’s team roster 2022
Kristian Aasvold
Stephen Bassett
Nathan Brown
Robin Carpenter
Pier-André Coté
Arvid de Kleijn
Adam de Vos
Chad Haga
Gage Hecht
August Jensen
Colin Joyce
Ben King
Wessel Krul
Gavin Mannion
Kyle Murphy
Joey Rosskopf
Keegan Swirbul
Nickolas Zukowsky

Louis Vervaeke signs with Team Deceuninck-Quick Step

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Louis Vervaeke has been a pro since 2014, racking up several strong results in the past years. At the most recent Giro d’Italia he came close to a podium on the Sestola stage before finishing in the top 20 overall. Vervaeke has shown his climbing skills on multiple occasions in the past seasons, the Deutschland Tour KOM jersey, as well as top 20 finishes at the Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya and Giro dell’Emilia serving as testimony of what he’s capable of.

Louis Vervecke

Vervaeke in an undated photo.

Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, sees Louis as a great asset of the team for the next two years: “Louis is a really friendly guy, always with a big smile. We have a long-term vision to fight for a Grand Tour overall victory, and for that we also need strong helpers for the mountains. Louis possesses a lot of qualities, can support our leaders on the climbs and can maybe go for his own chance whenever an opportunity arises. We hope to give Louis a nice environment in which he feels well and where he can further develop.”

Louis is extremely proud to see his childhood dream come true:

“When I was little, I bought myself a blue jersey and raced while wearing it with my brother and friends in the street, and now getting to wear this jersey in the pro peloton is incredible. As a child I liked sports a lot. At first, I rode horses. Then I made the step to tennis. Mentally I thought it was a hard sport, also my brother was maybe better than me and I didn’t really like that. To keep our condition, we went mountain biking during our tennis camp, so I just rolled into cycling like that. In the beginning I started participating at races where I couldn’t follow the others, but for me it was just such a nice feeling to go out training on my own or with friends and to rack up kilometers on the bike. I really liked the sport.”

“Now I have some experience already, having ridden for different teams until now. Every squad has a different story, a different way of working and every time you learn something. I’m really looking forward to learning new things in the Wolfpack, racing with these riders and getting to know the staff.”

“I hope to make a step forward in my climbing skills during the next few years. I will mostly help and work for the leaders in the team wherever and whenever possible. When I became a professional cyclist in July 2014, I just missed out on breaking through as a top rider in the mountains. So I’m happy to keep on improving and helping the other guys, and then we will see how it goes.”

Vervaeke is extremely grateful for the trust put in him: “I’ve always regarded Patrick as an inspiring person. He’s really known in Belgium and I’ve always been a silent admirer of how he leads the team and how he protects his riders. He’s a bit of a father to his riders, and that has also been one of my motivations to come to the team. The first time I had a long conversation with Patrick was really pleasant, I immediately felt at home and welcome. The time during our conversation went by so fast, it all went smoothly.”

“Seeing how many times this team wins and how united everyone is here, is just incredible. When I came to the service course I saw how the mechanics and soigneurs have this bond, they’re enjoying the time together and there’s time for a laugh in between working. You feel that it’s something special, it’s a family and that really attracts me and makes me confident for next season”, Louis concluded.

Michal Golas joins Baharin Victorious as Sports Director

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the appointment of Michał Gołaś as a Sports Director for the 2022 season.

Michal Golas

Michal Golas racing the 2016 Amstel Gold Race. Sirotti photo

Gołaś makes his transition to Sports Director after 11 years in the WorldTour: “I’m excited to start a new chapter with Bahrain Victorious with new ambitions and goals. I’m motivated to work hard and get experience in the new role. I jump straight from the bike to the team car, so I’ll try to share my experience gained as a rider, but there is a lot to learn from this ambitious group.”

Team BikeExchange signs Singapore rider Chelsie Tan Wei Shi

The team sent me this release:

Team BikeExchange is pleased to announce their continued effort in finding and developing international talent, with the signing of Singaporean rider Chelsie Tan Wei Shi for the 2022 season.

The 31-year-old rider has shown a lot of potential, having won multiple Singapore Championship titles despite her late inception to the sport, having only started racing in 2018.

Tan Wei Shi is hoping that this special opportunity to step up into a WorldTour team and race internationally will help continue her rapid development as a professional cyclist, as well as helping to gain maximum exposure for the sport in Singapore.

Brent Copeland, General Manager on Tan Wei Shi:
“We are glad to have Chelsie with us for 2022 season. GreenEDGE Cycling has always looked to support the development of new riders from new countries and regions, and now working with the Singapore Cycling Federation, in collaboration with Shayne Bannan, we can be satisfied in having found a strong rider such as Chelsie for the upcoming year.

This is going to be her first season in the Women’s WorldTour peloton; therefore, it’s going to be a big learning process for her, and we will support her in the best way possible to help her develop her skills.”

Dr Hing Siong Chen, President Singapore Cycling Federation on Tan Wei Shi:
“This is a fantastic cycling and life experience opportunity for Chelsie. We are looking forward to watching her progression as the first Singaporean Female in the Women’s WorldTour.

It’s going to be exciting seeing her develop her skills with one of the best teams in the peloton. We do hope that thanks to her experience, many other local athletes will be inspired to reach important targets in cycling and sport.”

Chelsie Tan Wei Shi:
“I am really excited and humbled to have this incredible opportunity to be part of Team BikeExchange. For me, Team BikeExchange embodies everything that a good team should be, some outstanding individual talents, combined with a focused team and everyone working together to improve.

"I want to integrate quickly into the team and contribute from day one. I am excited and motivated by the fact that I will be racing regularly again. The COVID-19 situation in this part of the world has meant many races have been cancelled, so to race, and at WorldTour level, is going to be amazing!

"I would like to thank my coach and the team at Singapore Cycling Federation for helping me to get to this point in my career. I am determined to make all of you proud.”

Chelsie Tan Wei Shi
Date of birth: 17th January 1990 (31)
Nationality: Singaporean
Joins Team BikeExchange: 2022
New Contract: 2022

Top Results:
1st 2021 & 2019 & 2018 Singapore Team Time Trial Championships
1st 2021 Tour of Phuket
1st 2019 National Road Race Championships
2nd 2021 Singapore Individual Time Trial Championships
2nd 2x 2021 Cyclosport Jungle Cross II
3rd 2019 National Individual Time Trial Championships

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