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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 10, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

If you think about it, I've never held a job in my life. I went from being an NFL player to a coach to a broadcaster. I haven't worked a day in my life. - John Madden

I feel the same way about my life with bicycles.


Sticky Buns Across America

Les Woodland's book Sticky Buns Across America: Back-roads biking from sea to shining sea is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team DSM’s upcoming racing

The team sent me this update:

Tour de la Provence: FEB 10-13

Pim Ligthart - Team DSM coach:
"Tour de la Provence has an interesting parcours, with something for everyone including a prologue, a flat stage, a hilly stage and a mountain top finish. Our focus for the race will be on working well together as a group, and aiming for stage success together. The opening prologue gives the guys an opportunity to test themselves and go all out before a fast sprint stage with possible echelons. While in the final two stages we want to race aggressively and create chances and possibilities for ourselves as a team."

Line-up:
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Florian Stork (GER)
Martijn Tusveld (NED)

Romain Combaud (shown in 2017) will be at the tour de la Provence. Sirotti photo

Tour of Oman: FEB 10-15

Phil West - Team DSM coach
"We're looking forward to getting back to action in Oman. It's the first race for many of the guys here and we are looking forward to putting the hard work we have done in the winter into practice at the race. The parcours in Oman has a variety of nice challenges across the stages, with days for the sprinters, puncheurs and climbers. We will focus on one stage at a time and look for day results along the way, aiming to leave our impression on the race with some aggressive racing, showing our Team DSM jersey towards the front."

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Marco Brenner (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

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Lotto Soudal wants to race offensively at Tour de la Provence

Here's the team's post:

From Thursday 10 till Sunday 13 February, Lotto Soudal will be heading to southern France to take part in the Tour de la Provence (2.Pro). Including a prologue and three interesting stages, the time trialists, sprinters, puncheurs and climbers will get their chance to shine. The following six riders will be at the start of the 7th Tour de la Provence: Cedric Beullens, Philippe Gilbert, Kamil Małecki, Michael Schwarzmann, Viktor Verschaeve and Xandres Vervloesem.

For racing great Philippe Gilbert (shown at the 2021 Paris-Roubaix), the Tour de la Provence will be the start of his final season. Sirotti photo

For Cherie Pridham, this French stage race means her debut as sports director at Lotto Soudal. Pridham previews the second stage race for Lotto Soudal this season.

“The Tour de la Provence kicks off with a 7-kilometre prologue, which is a fast rolling one and not too technical. For us, it is a nice opportunity to follow the protocol on a TT day, particularly for the guys aiming for a good GC result. Stage one will likely be one for the sprinters, but if the wind picks up in the Camargue, it can become quite tricky. Stage two is a breakaway-puncheur kind of day with the most difficult part in the final 75 kilometres of the stage. The Tour de la Provence ends with the queen stage, including over 3,000 metres of elevation. It’s highly likely that the overall winner will be decided on the Montagne de Lure, with 14 kilometres of climbing at 7%.”

“As always, we will be looking to race tenaciously and we need to look for opportunities in breakaways. We are keen on keeping the momentum from the past weeks. Personally, I am very honoured and immensely proud to be working with such an established team with a big heritage. I’m really excited for my first race and the incredible start of the season has everybody motivated to strive for more results. The spirits are good and there’s a great unity in the team.”

Following the start of his final season as a pro at GP La Marseillaise Philippe Gilbert will further sharpen the shape during the Tour de la Provence.

“I’ve done some nice training after my first race of the season and I feel good. I am looking forward to be at the start of the Tour de la Provence, a race which I really love and takes place in a beautiful region. More importantly though, the race will allow me to elevate my level of fitness. Although it is only four stages long, the Tour de la Provence almost has it all with opportunities for each type of rider. It will be an interesting four days of racing”, concludes Philippe Gilbert.


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Murcia, Almería, Jaén races are Team Movistar’s next Spanish appointments, but without Valverde

Here’s Team Movistar’s update:

Alejandro Valverde will not attend 'his' Vuelta, new Andalusian gravel-covered event as Movistar Team takes health precautions following the Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana.

The Movistar Team confirms Wednesday that, as a precautionary measure due to the current health situation, more notably the positive cases in its team in Valencia last week, they will not bring any of the riders lining up in the Vuelta CV to the Spanish one-day events to be held this weekend.

Alejandro Valverde winning the Trofeo Pollanca earlier this year.

As a result of that, Team Movistar regrets to announce Alejandro Valverde will not take the start of the Vuelta a Murcia nor the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior, two events which, due to its special meaning and the fact that the former is held in his home region, are very much dear to him and ones he did not want to miss.

In other news, Brazilian youngster Vinícius Rangel will make his pro debut with the Movistar Team in Murcia (Saturday 12th), the Clásica de Almería (Sunday 13th) and Jaén (Monday 14th). The lineups for the events will be unveiled in due course.


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