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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, October 16, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. - Aristotle

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Les Woodland's book Tour of Flanders: The Inside Story. The Rocky Roads of the Ronde van Vlaanderen is available as an audiobook here.

Alexey Lutsenko wins Serenissima Gravel

Here’s the report from Lutsenko’s Astana-Premier Tech team:

Kazakh leader of Astana – Premier Tech Alexey Lutsenko won the premier edition of the 100% gravel one-day race Serenissima Gravel from Lido di Jesolo to Piazzola sul Brenta in Italy.

Lutsenko launched a strong attack with some 70 km to go, shortly opening a gap to the group of chasers with Davide Martinelli and Samuele Battistella among the riders in this group. Entering the local laps, Astana – Premier Tech rider increased his advantage to almost two minutes, enough to hold it to the end and to take a beautiful solo victory.

Alexey Lutsenko

Alexey Lutsenko after winning this year's Coppa Agostoni. Sirotti photo

“I am so happy to win this race, because it was a tough challenge and unforgettable experience for me. To win this race is a solid result for me as a rider but also for our team and our sponsor Wilier Triestina. It was the first time I rode the new Rave SLR and this bike immediately brought me a beautiful victory. It was a difficult race with a technical parcourse, very narrow roads and so many corners… We had a plan to attack closer to the finish, but in a moment after another corner I found myself in front with a small gap to the group, so I decided to keep on pushing knowing that I have my teammates behind me in the peloton. Well, I think it was one of the toughest races in my life – 3.5 hours of 100% full gas, but I am really happy I finished it with a victory!”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.

Behind him there was a sprint from the chasing group with Riccardo Minali taking the second place and Nathan Haas completing the podium with the third position. Davide Martinelli finished fourth, while Samuele Batttistella did ninth.

“It was the first experience of this kind of races for everyone, but we came out to the start really motivated to try it and to do it in the best possible way. Already in the bus I saw Alexey Lutsenko motivated but also Davide Martinelli was ready to fight in this race as well as Samuele Battistella. We had a bit of bad luck in the beginning of the race with a crash with Fabio Felline involved, but I am sure without this crash Fabio would also stay up there in front in the main group until the finish. It was so beautiful race, a bit technical and difficult, especially from the start, but still nice and spectacular one. Indeed, it was a serious challenge for all the riders and the race went on 100% from the start and until the finish line. We can be happy and proud with the performance of Alexey Lutsenko, he did a race of a champion. His powerful solo attack with 70 km to go was so impressive! There were a few strong teams who were pulling hard behind trying to bring him back, but Lutsenko was on fire today, showing his character and power. I am sure it is a new but so nice race which must go on in the next years. It was a pleasure to ride Serenissima Gravel today and I hope this race will get a big future”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana – Premier Tech.

Roman Kreuziger joins Baharin Victorious as sports director

Here’s the team’s announcement

Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce Roman Kreuziger as a new Sports Director for the 2022 season.

Roman Kreuziger

Roman Kreuziger winning the 2013 Amstel Gold Race.

Roman joins the team straight out of the peloton following a 16-year career of pro racing: “I’m excited to be back in the World Tour! Looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I know many team members, both riders and staff. There is a winning spirit in the team, and I will do my best to contribute to the results we want. My motto is simple – to work hard and to be professional, on and off the road. After all those years in the peloton, I am pretty sure this works.”

Movement for a Credible Cycling to cease its own testing for Corticosteroids

The organization send me this update:

The Board of the Movement For A Credible Cycling (MPCC) met on Wednesday, October 13th in Paris. This reunion, which took place on the day before the Tour de France presentation, marks the return of a pre-pandemic tradition.

MPCC praised its members for the commitment they have shown on a voluntary basis and wants to highlight the fact that the movement now amounts for 68% of the profesional peloton.

After a 14-year-long fight, MPCC observed with delight the turnaround in the policy regarding costicosteroids. WADA now considers that the use of this substance enhance performance. Team doctors informed the movement about the new rules set by WADA, stating that the use of corticosteroids via injections and oral route will now be prohibited. These rules will be enforced starting 1st January 2022. Team doctors underline the fact that, as of today, some vagueness remain concerning the qualitative aspect of the tests that will be carried out to enforce these new rules.

As we wait for the last details, the movement wishes to monitor the enforcement of these new rules and will suspend its own cortisol levels tests in 2022. We will provide a first update on this situation during the next Board Meeting. MPCC expresses the wish, on this topic and on the others, to establish a lasting relationship with the International Testing Anti-Doping (ITA), which has been in charge of WADA’s anti-doping program for a year now.

Based on the monitoring information provided by WADA, MPCC learned that the use of tramadol has dropped significantly during these last 4 years, to the point of almost becoming irrelevant. The movement welcomes the evolution of the fight against the excessive use of tramadol, a cause MPCC led since 2012 which resulted in this outcome. MPCC will also monitor closely the deviant uses of codeine and cafeine, as they can lead to serious health and ethics issues.

On the subject of ketones, MPCC notices that UCI is following the position that the movement took in 2019 and recommends not to use this substance. The movement also welcomes the scientific study that the international federation ordered on ketones. While we wait for the results of this study, the movement formally requests that its riders and members follow the recommendation of the UCI.

Team Qhubeka-Nexthash still looking for partners

The team sent me this news:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 15, 2021/ -- Today we are not in a position to submit our initial application for our UCI WorldTour licence for next year to the sport’s governing body.

We are actively engaged with potential partners, and our current partners, as we work to secure our future for 2022.

Qhubeka team

The Qhubeka team being presented at the start of this year's Tour of Provence. Let's hope the time finds the needed sponsorship. Sirotti photo

Since inception our team has provided hope and opportunity to over 50 riders from Africa who have ridden for us at either Continental, Pro Continental or World Team levels, and as a result have had the opportunity to showcase their talent and realise their dreams.

The recent news that Rwanda will host the 2025 World Championships is a huge moment for our sport, and one that we are very proud of in the role we have played in support of Africa, its cycling potential and as a destination to ride. Seeing Biniam Ghirmay from Eritrea come 2nd in the U23 World Championships this year was incredible. He was just 14 years old when Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the King of the Mountains jersey in the 2015 Tour de France with our team. Their stories, as well as the journey of Nicholas Dlamini from the townships in Cape Town to the Tour de France, are inspirational.

Across our Continental and World Team outfits we have staff and riders that champion our message - bicycles change lives – and enable us to be a platform to raise awareness and funds for the Qhubeka Charity.

We are completely unique across the sporting landscape as a purpose-led organisation that during the course of our decade-long partnership with Qhubeka has seen our team raise over $6M for the Charity, and in the process changed thousands of lives.

We remain confident that our story is not complete, our journey will carry on, to continue to change lives through bicycles.

I have always said that our dream for this team would be to see a young person from Africa, who starts their journey on a Qhubeka bike, one day race on cycling’s most famous road – the Champs Elysée. That will see the dream fully realised.

If you, or any of your business network, want to partner with our team and keep changing lives, please contact us here ( Thank you for your support.

Ubuntu- I am because we are.

Anna Henderson crowned British time trial champion

Henderson’s Jumbo-Visma team sent me this announcement:

Anna Henderson has secured the national time trial title in her home country. The British rider of Team Jumbo-Visma Women posted a time of 43:04 over the nearly 30-kilometre course, putting the numbers two and three just under a minute behind.

It is the first professional national title for 22-year-old Henderson, who previously won the U23 national title.

"I was surprised by my victory because the level of the riders was high today", Henderson said. "I am thrilled. Together with my coach Marieke I had made a good pacing plan. It was tough, but I just kept going on the climbs and tried to recover a bit on the descents and technical sections. I am very proud of this performance. Now I will try to recover well for the weekend and then I will go for it again in the road race."

It is Henderson’s fourth win of the season. She previously won two stages and the final classification in Kreiz Breizh Elites. Today’s win brings the Team Jumbo-Visma Women victory tally to twelve.

Performance coach Marieke van Wanroij: "Anna has ridden on her limit. Technically she rode well, also in the descent. She can be very proud of her performance."

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