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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, November 20, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. - Vince Lombardi

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Les Woodland's book Tour our of Flanders: The Inside Story - The rocky roads of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is available as an audiobook here.

Australian rider Michael Hepburn signs on for two more years with
GreenEdge Cycling

The team sent me this announcement:

An inaugural member of GreenEDGE Cycling, Michael Hepburn has proven to be an important member of the Team BikeExchange roster year after year, as a reliable and consistent rider across the 10-month racing calendar.

With this, the Australian outfit is pleased to see Hepburn sign on for two more years, with the 2022 season his 11th consecutive season with the Australian outfit.

Michael Hepburn at the start of the second stage of the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

The former Australian time trial champion has proven to be a valuable asset with his powerful strength on the flat roads, crucial for protecting and positioning the team leaders in the various Grand Tours and one-day Classic races throughout the lengthy season.

Brent Copeland, General Manager on Hepburn:
“Heppy is one of the key riders in GreenEDGE Cycling, he has been with us ten years, since day one of the team built by our team owner, Gerry Ryan. There was no doubt that he was going to stay with us, he is an important support rider and one of the guys that all the young riders look up to. He is a hard-working rider, one of the main riders in the team’s ‘engine room’ and riders with his attitude are always needed. Michael will play a key role in the team for many more years to come and we are pleased to continue our journey with him.”

Michael Hepburn:
“I’m really pleased to be staying with GreenEDGE for two more seasons. It’s been a great journey these past 10 years and I’m looking forward to continuing that. I know this team very well, the team understands me well, there are many great people in this organisation and it’s the right environment for me to be able to perform in.

"It’s been a tough season for us on the results side and I’m very motivated to do my bit to help the team back to its winning ways. I’ll keep supporting our leaders at the biggest races on the calendar and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together in 2022.”

Michael Hepburn:
Date of Birth: 17th August 1991 (30)
Nationality: Australian
Joined GreenEDGE Cycling: 2012
New Contract: 2022 & 2023

Top Results:
1st 2014 Tour of Qatar stage 3 ITT
1st 2015 Australian Time Trial Championships
3rd 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico stage 3 ITT
10th 2018 Tour de France stage 20 ITT

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Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos return to racing in a few weeks

Here’s the announcement from their Jumbo-Visma team:

Wout van Aert will start his cyclocross season on Saturday, December 4, at the SuperPrestige event in Boom. Marianne Vos will make her comeback one week later at the World Cup race in Val di Sole, Italy.

After his successful road season, Van Aert has quietly built up to his first races in the field. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma will begin his cross season on home soil with a double weekend in early December.

Wout van Aert racing in this year's Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

“We’ve been puzzling over Wout’s cross and road program in recent weeks”, says Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma. “Wout has had a good vacation and during which he was able to rest and relax a lot. As everyone knows, Wout is very passionate about cyclocross and enjoys the sport immensely. This year, we have chosen to ride the more clustered races to reach a high level in cyclocross. This also gives him enough time to prepare for the road season. The Belgian Championship is an important goal for Wout. Whether he will ride the World Championships is still up in the air. We will decide about his participation after the Belgian Championship.”

Head of Performance Mathieu Heijboer: “The cross-program is part of a bigger picture and plays a role in service of the road season. Apart from that, it’s primarily important for Wout to ride a few good races and compete for the victory. Outside the busy period in December and January, the number of races is still relatively small, with the aim to complete good training sessions with a view to the road season. That’s why we also included the first training camp near Girona in his program. Marianne also has big goals early in the road season. Then you can’t escape taking that into account in this period.”

Marianne Vos at the 2019 Essen Cyclocross.

Immediately after her road season, and a week after she finished second in the first edition of Paris-Roubaix for women, Vos started three cyclocross races in the United States in October. In both Waterloo and Iowa, the rider from the Dutch province of Brabant was the strongest. After a well-deserved rest period, she will return to the field in Val di Sole. The focus for the 34-year-old rider will be on the World Cup races in the coming months. At the end of January, she hopes to take part in the World Championships in Fayetteville.

Jumbo-Visma posted their racing schedules here.

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Simone Petilli extends with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

Here’s the team’s news release:

The 28-year old climber extended his contract with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux for one more year, to start his third season with the Belgian team in 2022. The Italian rider distinguished himself in a supporting role when the road went up, but also several times in breakaways. It was in this way that he animated the queen stage in the Tour de Romandie towards Thyon 2000, and finished 18th in the general classification.

Later during the season, he participated in the first Giro and Vuelta in the history of the team. In the Giro he finished 8th in Bagno di Romagna. In August, he contributed to a fantastic collective performance in the Vuelta, which he finished in 29th place.

Simone Petilli:
" It was a big honor to be a part of the team's success in the Giro and the Vuelta! The emotional release after these victories showed the true passion and willingness to work hard of all riders and staff of the team. The fantastic atmosphere and the progress made by the structure motivate me to show the best of myself. The fact that the rest of the peloton takes us into account more and more is a nice compliment for our collective performance. This season, I especially took on a role in support of ur best climbers. For next year I have the ambition to adopt the offensive race style of the team even more and imitate my successful teammates. I can’t wait to take up the challenge for next season, and accomplish a new step forward with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!”

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