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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, November 20, 2022

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Martin Laas signs with Astana-Qazaqstan

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Astana Qazaqstan Team is happy to announce a one-year deal (for 2023) with 29-year-old Estonian rider Martin Laas.

Martin Laas is well known as a strong sprinter and during 2022 season he won two stages at the Baltic Chain Tour, also taking a second podium place at a stage of the Saudi Tour and a third place in the prologue of the Sibiu Tour.

Martin Laas wins stage two of the 2021 Arctic race of Norway.

In general, among his best results could be noted a stage of the Arctic Race of Norway and two third places at the Clasica de Almeria and Kampioenshap van Vlaanderen in 2021, two stages at the Tour of Slovakia in 2020 and three stages at the Tour of Korea in 2019.

“First of all, I’d like to say that I am really happy to sign a contract with Astana Qazaqstan Team and I am really looking forward to the new season. Perhaps, my last year in cycling was not the best one, so I hope to start 2023 in a good way, good mood and with some good results, both for the team and my personal. I am ready to help the team in reaching its main goals and I am looking forward to start working with the young sprinters of the team to share all my experience with them. And, of course, I’d like to get my own chances to show all I can do in sprint”, – said Martin Laas.

“In the upcoming season we would like to pay a bit more attention to quite not a traditional discipline for us as a bunch sprint. I believe we have a good potential for this. So, the arrival of Martin Laas in the team can help us in this question. The famous Jaan Kirsipuu, with whom I have raced a lot in the past and whose opinion I respect, recommended me to pay attention to Laas as a talented and fast sprinter. Indeed, Martin is a strong sprinter who can win and who can share his vision and his experience with the young riders to create a strong sprinter group”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

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Team Jumbo-Visma reports on women’s Merksplas Cross Race

Here’s the team’s post:

Marianne Vos has finished in tenth place at the Superprestige in Merksplas. Despite a strong start, the world champion ultimately could not contend for the podium.

Marianne Vos winning the Heusden Zolder cross in 2018.

Vos has an excellent opening phase. The Team Jumbo-Visma rider rushed into the field first and came through in second place after the first lap. "I got off to a strong start, which gave me extra motivation. I knew the first stretch was difficult and that riding your own lines has its benefits”, Vos said. However, it soon became clear that she would pay the price for her fast start. "I was really at my limit when Ceylin took over. From then on, I had to ride my own pace, and I had to work hard”, the world champion continued. In the end, Vos had to settle for tenth place.

The Team Jumbo-Visma rider deduced that pushing the limits tomorrow would not be a good idea. She will therefore pass up the World Cup race in Overijse.

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Gerben Thijssen looks back on his first pro win

Thijssen’s Internarché-Wanty-Gobert team posted this:

Gerben Thijssen earns his first professional victory by sprinting to glory in 4 Days of Dunkirk

Gerben Thijssen wins stage six of the 2022 4 Days of Dunkirk.

“On May 8th, I finally found the way to victory, and it required so many efforts mentally. I was fighting an uphill battle against myself following my accident in the Six Days of Ghent in 2019. By joining Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, I regained confidence. It was so important for me to count on riders who support you 100% like Boy van Poppel or Julius Johansen, to receive valuable advice from our sports director Pieter Vanspeybrouck. I remember how Dimitri Claeys insisted on convincing me of my abilities until the day before my victory. Thanks to them, I was able to experience the joy of victory for the first time in the last stage of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, it was a fantastic moment.” - Gerben Thijssen

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