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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

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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 Book here.

Stijn Steels re-ups with Deceuninck-Quick Step

Here's the team's update:

The 32-year-old Belgian will continue with the most successful squad in the world also next season.

Stijn Steels has been a member of Deceuninck – Quick-Step since 2020, which at the time was a dream come true for the experienced rider. Now this dream will continue and is set to take him on the road with the Wolfpack until at least the end of 2022. The hard-working domestique, who also showcased his skills as a lead-out man several times during his two-year spell with the team, is always there, whenever needed, ready to get the job done and help his teammates, and will continue to do that in the team’s 20th season.

Stijn Steels

Stijn Steels racing in 2014. Sirotti photo.

“It’s incredible to be part of this group, of this fantastic squad that just keeps on winning. The professionalism is so high, that it makes such a big difference to be a rider here or in another team. Everyone in the team, every staff member, tries to do his job in the best way possible and that gives you extra motivation to keep on performing. That’s the biggest strength here.”

“Together with Tim I went studying, and Yves I got to know a bit later as well. Becoming professional was our dream, and now being together in the same team, is just beautiful. I have been a professional rider for ten years now, I know what my job is, and working for the leaders of the team gives me a lot of satisfaction. I’m not a top sprinter myself, but I can do a lead-out, close gaps and make short accelerations. To keep on doing this with the Wolfpack is fantastic”, said Stijn Steels on renewing his contract.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere also shared his thoughts on this renewal: “Stijn showed what he’s capable of in the past two years, he knows exactly what his job is and is always leaving everything out there for the team. He’s already quite experienced and that’s also an advantage to have him as one of the helpers. Around the leaders of the team who have to finish it off on the line, you need teammates who are as important as their leader. We are happy to have Stijn with us for another year.”

Wout Poels continues with Team Bahrain Victorious

Here’s the team’s release:

Bahrain Victorious is delighted to announce that Wout Poels will continue with the team next season.

Wout Poels

Wout Poels at the start of the 2019 Vuelta's 8th stage. Sirotti photo

Wout was part of this seasons Tour de France team that secured the team classification, three-stage wins and narrowly missed out on the climbing classification. He then followed it up, winning the Team Classification at Vuelta and supported Jack Haig, who managed a podium finish.

Wout Poels commented on remaining with the team: “I’m happy that in the end, we were able to find an agreement, and I can continue to ride with this team. Last season as a collective, we took some really impressive results. I feel at home as here. There is a good spirit between the riders and the staff that helps you focus on performing.”

American Kristen Faulkner joins Team BikeExchange

The team sent me this:

American talent Kristen Faulkner will step-up to the WorldTour in 2022 as she joins Team BikeExchange on a two-year contract.

The 28-year-old only turned professional two years ago but has already demonstrated her raw talent, with several impressive and powerful rides, including a solo victory and third overall at this year’s Ladies Tour of Norway.

A former rower during her time at Harvard University, Faulkner started cycling competitively in 2017 alongside her job at a venture capitalist firm, before turning pro in 2020. She hit the ground running in her debut season, taking a stage win at her first race in Europe at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche.

GreenEDGE Cycling is excited to develop Faulkner’s talent and strength over the next two seasons and she will share a leadership role within the team, stepping up to WorldTour level with the Australian outfit.

Brent Copeland, General Manager on Faulkner:
“With Kristen coming to join GreenEDGE Cycling, we believe we have found a very intelligent and talented rider that will fit very well into our team. She started to ride a bike quite late in her life, and her results give us lots of hope for her future as she has progressed very quickly.

"She is a strong rider and with her great determination we believe she can be a very valuable addition to the squad. She will of course need some time to adapt to the team, but we are excited to see how she can develop over the coming years.”

Kristen Faulkner:
“Team BikeExchange has a lot of resources that will benefit me as I look to take my cycling career to the next level, and I look forward to joining a larger team where I can grow as a rider and as a leader. At this stage in my career, my goal is to improve as quickly as possible and to have fun. Team BikeExchange provides an environment where I can constantly learn, receive feedback, take risks, share opportunities, and race with experienced team leaders. Since I will be living in Europe away from my home in the U.S., I look forward to joining a community that has a positive, welcoming culture.

"With new riders coming on board in 2022, the team is undergoing a lot of positive changes for next season. I'm looking forward to targeting some of the Spring Classics such as Flanders and Liege, as well as some of the summer stage races.

"I spoke to several people, on and off the team, before making my decision to join, and everyone emphasized the positive team culture. I perform best when I am having fun and surrounding myself with people who make me smile. For me, a positive team culture is the foundation for high performance. I attended a team camp in Italy recently and was amazed by how friendly and welcoming everyone was, both the staff and the riders. Furthermore, many strong riders have come through Team BikeExchange, which says a lot about the team's ability to develop talent. I have confidence in the directors and my teammates for next year. I am really excited to support each other and see what we accomplish together.”

Kristen Faulkner:
Date of birth: 18th December 1992 (28)
Nationality: USA
Joins Team BikeExchange: 2022
New Contract: 2022 & 2023

Top Results:
1st 2020 Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche – Stage 4
1st 2021 Ladies Tour of Norway – Stage 1
3rd 2021 Ladies Tour of Norway – Overall
3rd 2021 GP de Plouay

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