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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, August 8, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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UAE Team Emirates to ride Tour de l’Ain

Here’s the team’s update:

UAE Team Emirates will set their sights on the Tour de l’Ain in France which runs from the 9-11 August.

George Bennett steps up as the man with ambitions for the overall GC, while the team also welcomes stagiaire Arthur Kluckers from Luxembourg who will come across for the remaining months of the season from the development team Leopard Pro Cycling.

George Bennett after winning stage five of the 2021 Paris-Nice. Sirotti photo

The third and final stagiaire will be Danish rider Kasper Andersen of the Hagens Berman team who will make his debut in September.

Bennett: “I’m looking forward to getting back into the Alps at the Tour de L’Ain. I never made it that far in the Tour de France this year with Covid, so I’m motivated that me and the guys can do something. I had some good results this past month since coming back so I’m hoping I can find some good legs and take a good opportunity for a result.”

The team will be overseen by Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita) and Simone Pedrazzini (Swi).

Tour de l’Ain [2.1] – 09-Aug-2022 / 11-Aug-2022
Camilo Ardila (Col)
George Bennett (NZ)
Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
Felix Gross (Ger)
Arthur Kluckers (Lux)
Joel Suter (Swi)

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Marianne Vos disqualified after winning Vargarda West Sweden road race

Here’s the report from Vos’ Team Jumbo-Visma:

A disqualification has spoiled the Vargarda West Sweden Road Race for Marianne Vos. The Dutch rider of Team Jumbo-Visma seemed to take the victory convincingly but was disqualified after the race because she had briefly rested her forearms on the handlebars.

For a long time, the race seemed to be going in the right direction for Vos and Team Jumbo-Visma. A group of four rode away in the final, including the leader of the yellow-black formation. In the sprint, Vos was too fast for her competitors, after which she put her hands in the air.

After the finish, the joy proved short-lived. "It is a real pity, but that is how it is", Vos said.

Marianne Voss winning the Rucphen Cross in 2021.

"When I was in that 'puppy paw position', I quickly realised it was not allowed. I immediately switched to the correct position. Apparently it was enough for the UCI to disqualify me. We'll have to accept their decision."

Despite the disappointment of missing out on victory, Vos remained objective. "It is a pity, but it is a rule and it is strictly enforced. You usually don’t ride in that position. I feel bad about it because I did not benefit from it, but rules are rules."

The green jersey winner in the Tour was satisfied with the race. "It went well today. It was a bit of a switch to be racing again. The past week was all about recovering from the Tour. Now I suddenly found myself in the hectic of a race again. The team helped me a lot to get back into it. We were alert and had a good position in the front. I'm happy with the way we rode this race."

"I don't think today's disqualification detracts from the team performance", race coach Carmen Small said. She looked back on the race with pride. "Our riders were always in the front and did what they had to do. They rode as a real team. But it is what it is; we have to accept it. This is also cycling. We can go to the next race with our heads held high."


  1. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo) 3hr 10min 47sec
  2. Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) s.t.
  3. Valerie Demey (LivRacing Xstra) @ 6sec
  4. Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) @ 10sec
  5. Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) @ 12sec
  6. Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss) s.t.

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Jacopo Guarnieri reinforces Lotto Dstny sprint train

The team sent me this:

The experienced Italian rider Jacopo Guarnieri (34) will become part of the sprint train for Lotto Soudal sprinters Caleb Ewan and Arnaud De Lie. Guarnieri, former winner of stages in the Belgian races Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, Circuit Franco-Belge and two stages in the Tour de Pologne, has signed a two-year contract.

Guarnieri has years of experience in sprint finishes. In the beginning of his career he fought for wins himself, later he specialized in the lead-out for other top sprinters. “I was actually flattered by the interest of Lotto Dstny, which will be the name of the team from 2023 on”, comments Guarnieri on his signing. “This is a team with a great history of sprinters and lead-out trains. The team is fully focused on winning bunch sprints and with Caleb Ewan and Arnaud De Lie there are two really fast guys for me to work for. I have had a good talk with Caleb Ewan already and I am looking forward to the next two seasons.”

Guarnieri riding the 2015 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The signing of Guarnieri is part of the ever ongoing process of improving the Lotto Soudal sprint train. “When working with a sprint train you always have to keep looking for improvements”, says Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue. “The work is never done. With Caleb Ewan we have one of the fastest sprinters of the peloton, but Arnaud De Lie has proven this year that he deserves to be surrounded by strong riders who know how to guide a sprinter too. Therefore, it is crucial for us to bring some extra experience and fast legs into our sprint train.”

“A lead-out is more than just power or luck”, adds Jacopo Guarnieri. “In my former teams I was responsible for the organization of the sprint train as well. A good feeling amongst all involved in the train is crucial. Of course, there are a lot of strong guys already, but I want to bring something extra to this team with my experience.”

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Andrea Piccolo signs with EF Education-EasyPost

The team sent me this announcement:

We are excited to announce the signing of Andrea Piccolo to the squad. The twenty-one-year-old Italian rider will make his debut for the team at the Tour de l’Ain on August 9th.

The 2022 Circuito de Getxo podium, from left: Wilco Kelderman (3rd). Juan Ayuso (1st) & Andrea Piccolo (2nd)

Piccolo, who finished second at the Circuito de Getxo last week, has been turning heads for a few years now. Ever since his third place finish at the world junior time trial in 2018 when he was just seventeen, the young Italian rider has accumulated strong results both in time trials and road races at all levels. 

“For me, of course the jersey is a huge bonus,” chuckles Piccolo. “All the teams are good in the WorldTour but I was excited about the prospect of joining EF Education-EasyPost. It’s a big honor for me.”

In 2019, he won the junior individual time trials at both the European continental championships and the Italian national championships before finishing in the top three in both road races as well. Over the next two years, he accumulated more top results in stages races, one day races and international events and quickly solidified his reputation as one of the top cycling prospects of his generation.

“Andrea is the best talent in Italy,” says EF Education-EasyPost CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “I really look forward to seeing what’s in store for Andrea. My expectations are quite high. I wouldn't be surprised if he won a pro race before the end of the year and shocked a few people.”

The future was bright for Piccolo after he signed his first WorldTour contract when he was just 19 years old but some misfortune and medical issues put a dent in his plans. Now the young Italian knows better days are ahead of him.

“The last two years have been really challenging for me,” says Piccolo. “But I am thankful for my family and for the courage they have given me to get here. This year, I have found a good path and I am really happy. Everything is looking good.”

“A climber who can sometimes go pretty fast” as he puts it, Piccolo’s path to cycling seemed obvious. With an ex-pro father and an older brother who also raced bikes professionally, Piccolo has always had fond memories of riding bikes.

“I love riding my bike,” says Piccolo. “I love being out in nature and I love the feeling you get when you are on your bike. There’s nothing quite like it.”

For a rider who has spent so much of his young life in the spotlight, Andrea Piccolo enjoys a quiet lifestyle. He still goes for rides with his brother and father and when he’s not riding he says he likes to live “a normal life”.

We are excited to see where his career takes him! Join us in welcoming Andrea to the team! 

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