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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, October 20, 2022

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. - Buddha

Story of the Giro d'Italia, volume 1

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 1: 1909 - 1970 is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Team Movistar has been busy signing up riders: Fernando Gaviria, Ruben Guerreiro & Ivan Romeo

First, here's the team's post about Ivan Romeo:

19-year-old Ivan Romeo from Valladolid, one of Spain’s biggest hopefuls, jumps into cycling’s top-tier with Telefónica-backed outfit.

The men’s Movistar Team’s ‘Signing Day’ for 2023 starts with the excitement brought by one of the most interesting names in Spanish cycling for the upcoming years. Iván Romeo (Valladolid, ESP; 2003) is the first rider announced by the Telefónica-backed squad on Wednesday, his first WorldTour contract taking him through 31st December 2025 with the Blues.

Ivan Romeo with the Spanish national team at the 2022 Tour de l"Avenir.

An excellent allrounder and, above that, a brilliant rouleur -as made evident by his height: 1.93m-, Iván cut his teeth as a cyclist with the Arroyo de la Encomienda cycling club near his home city Valladolid, a school led by former Abarca Sports rider Juan Carlos Domínguez. After racing for them through under-17 stage, he took the jump towards more serious, junior activity with the MMR Cycling Academy in Asturias, where he confirmed his strong abilities by claiming both Spanish junior titles (ITT + road race) in 2021 and showed he was more than ready to take on the international scene.

His 2022 season, within the ranks of one of the best development squads in the world, Hagens Berman Axeon -managed by Axel Merckx-, was productive in terms of both results and learning. Iván combined moments of individual brilliance (best young rider in the Tour of Rhodes; 9th at the Spanish pro ITT championships) with big team efforts, such as the one in the Giro Baby -crucial for his team-mate Leo Hayter’s GC win-, and several appearances with the Spanish national team at the U23 European Championshops (8th in the TT, just 20” off the medals), the Tour de l’Avenir or the Wollongong Worlds (where, despite health issues, he took part in both the U23 events and the Mixed Relay with the pros).

Iván Romeo:
“I’m so excited to start not only the 2023 season, but also the whole preparation process for the new year with the team, which is starting really soon. For me, this is really a dream come true, one of my biggest aspirations since I was a kid. I’ve grown up watching this team on TV and on the roads, and being part of this project is just incredible. I think I won’t believe it until I put on the kit, to be honest (laughs). I’m really demanding with myself and I want to improve every single day, always give my best and be an asset to the team from day one wherever I’m asked to. If it’s about aiming at winning a race, try and achieve it, and if it’s about helping a team-mate, work as hard as possible. Bring my best value to the table is my biggest short-term goal.”

And here's the Team Movistar post about signing Ruben Guerreiro:

[Ed: Guerreiro was under contract with EF Education-EasyPost, but was released by the team to join Movistar]

28-year-old Portuguese Ruben Guerreiro, an explosive, solid climber, set to bring his WorldTour quality to Telefónica’s team for the next three years.

After this morning’s first announcement of its 2023 men’s ‘Signing Day’ with the arrival of Iván Romeo, the Movistar Team also confirms on Wednesday a second reinforcement for next year: Ruben Guerreiro (Montijo, POR; 1994), a current member of the EF Education-EasyPost squad. The Portuguese rider has inked a three-year contract that will see him ride for the Blues through 31st December 2025.

Ruben Guerreiro wins stage 20 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Ruben joins the Movistar Team in arguably his best moment as a professional rider, with six years of WorldTour experience -acquired between EF (2020-22), Katusha (2019) and Trek (2017-18), following his UCI debut with Axeon (2015-16)- where he’s shown his quality uphill and his strong punch. National road race champion in 2017, he’s got five Grand Tour appearances under his belt, with two top-20 finishes (17th in the 2019 La Vuelta; 18th in the 2021 Tour de France) and a remarkable 2020 Giro d’Italia, winning the KOM jersey after a resounding breakaway success on stage nine atop Roccaraso, his best as a pro.

Guerreiro has completed his most consistent season in 2022. Winner of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, almost a minute ahead of second on the slopes of the ‘Giant of Provence’, he also finished on the GC podium (3rd) at the Deutschland-Tour; took 4th atop Jebel Jais in the UAE Tour; finished 6th in the Vuelta a Burgos -and 2nd in the Alto del Castillo-; 7th in the Flèche Wallonne; and 9th in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Results which make evident how strong he can be at the most demanding scenarios in the WorldTour.

Ruben Guerreiro:
“The Movistar Team is a squad I’ve admired deeply since I was a kid, one of my favourite ones, and having the chance to join them makes me really happy and excited. I’m willing to confirm my strength as a rider with them; I feel I haven’t reached my full potential yet, and these next few years could be my best as a rider. I’ve got great expectations for the next three years, and would like to extract my best as a climber, both in the Grand Tours, one-week races and tough one-day classics like the Ardennes, which I like so much. A big challenge for the future? Hopefully achieve some good overall results in the Giro d’Italia or La Vuelta, which are two of my favourite ones. You never know — what I know is that I’ll give my all for this team!”

And finally here is the post about the team's singing Fernando Gaviria:

Renowned Colombian sprinter (28) Fernando Gavria, winner of stages in the Tour de France + Giro d’Italia, set to join Telefónica-backed squad next year.

A top-level sprinter crowns the men’s Movistar Team’s ‘Signing Day’ for 2023. After previous announcements on Wednesday that Iván Romeo and Ruben Guerreiro will join the squad next year, the Telefónica-backed outfit completes its market rally with the signing of Fernando Gaviria (La Ceja, Antioquia, COL; 1994). Coming from UAE Team Emirates, he’s inked a one-season contract, ending on 31st December next year.

Fernando Gaviria in yellow after the first stage of the 2018 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

At almost 50 pro victories, Colombia’s Gaviria looks forward to showing his enormous quality with the Movistar Team, after numerous health issues prevented him from doing so in recent times. Five stage wins in the Giro d’Italia -where he also took home the Maglia Ciclamino from in his debut, 2017-; two victories in the Tour de France (2018), where he wore the Maillot Jaune; WorldTour wins in races like Tirreno, Pologne, UAE or California; or the 2016 Paris-Tours all speak loads about his sprinting prowess.

Gaviria’s signing takes up to 18 the account of Colombian riders to have made part of Eusebio Unzué’s teams since 1980, which shows the strong commitment the Movistar Team has with the country. Four of those athletes will wear the Blue jersey in 2023: Iván Sosa, Einer Rubio and Antioquia’s Gaviria and Paula Patiño, both hailing from La Ceja… and originally coached by Hernando, the father of the team’s most recent signing.

Fernando Gaviria:
“It’s a new challenge, both for me personally and surely for the team as a whole. I’m joining such a prestigious team which, on the other hand, has been so far focused on the climbing side of the sport. Having them trust me as a sprinter gives me extra motivation, because I want to represent well this organisation, with its stature, its history, all big legends that have raced for it. It makes me happy to have that challenge ahead for next year. The main thing for 2023 is to try and fit the best into the team — I’m really looking forward to meeting all team-mates and seek for the best way to become a strong group alongside them, to try and contest as many race wins as possible.”

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Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2022 Men’s Team Wrap-Up

The team sent me this:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco men wrapped up a successful 2022 season on Sunday at Veneto Classic, with a final tally of 22 UCI race victories from six different riders – nine of them UCI WorldTour events.

From the high mountains to bunch sprint finishes and time trials, it was a year of varied race wins displaying the team’s strength, depth, and consistency, highlighted by a stage victory in each of the three Grand Tours: the first time since 2016.

Groenewegen The Great
New 2022 recruit Dylan Groenewegen got his debut season with the Australian outfit off to a dream start, gelling instantly with his new teammates and lead-out train, to take two stage victories at the Saudi Tour, making it a special first appearance in Team BikeExchange-Jayco colours.

Despite the pressure on his shoulders, joining as the squad’s sprint leader, the 29-year-old delivered time and time again, claiming no less than seven phenomenal victories throughout the busy season, including a meaningful Tour de France stage victory on day three in Denmark.

Dylan Groenewegen wins 2022 Tour de France stage 3. Sirotti photo

Grand Tour Stage Success
For the first time since 2016, Team BikeExchange-Jayco threw their hands in the air at each of the three Grand Tours thanks to stage wins from five different riders. Simon Yates claimed two victories at the Giro d’Italia before unfortunately being forced to end his general classification pursuit due to injury.  The third Giro stage win came from local Italian rider Matteo Sobrero, who blasted to success on the final stage time trial in Verona.

Over in France, Groenewegen enjoyed a remarkable bunch sprint victory early on at the Tour de France, before Michael Matthews rode out of his skin on a hilly stage to take an emphatic solo win on day 14; his first Tour de France stage victory in five years.

For dessert, to finish off the season, Kaden Groves claimed his maiden Grand Tour stage victory in what was his Grand Tour debut appearance, winning stage 11 at La Vuelta, ending a rollercoaster day for the team.

Time Trial Triumphs
A stand-out highlight for the Australian outfit throughout 2022, was the consistency and performance level in the time trial discipline across the board. After a couple of years of drought, with no victories or podium finishes in time trials; thanks to the hard work of the technical staff and the squad’s bike sponsor Giant, Team BikeExchange-Jayco men claimed no less than three individual time trial victories at the highest level, thanks to three different riders.

Yates shone on day two of the Giro d’Italia, stunning his rivals to take his first ever Grand Tour time trial win, before Sobrero delighted the local Italian fans, racing in his national championship tricolour jersey to win the stage 21. Lawson Craddock then rode to success at the USA Championships, delivering the team with the unique USA championship jersey, which he donned for the remainder of the year.

Brent Copeland – General Manager
“It has been a season of lots of ups and downs, but we have definitely had more positives than negatives. The number of victories we have had, and winning stages in all three of the Grand Tours, is something we can be very pleased about. On the other hand, there’s always things to improve, we never settle, and we are continuously working on these.

"I have to say a special thanks to our sponsors, we have really seen the entire team step up a level in 2022 and this is thanks to many of our sponsors and the products and equipment they have been able supply us with. It has meant we have been able to challenge at the highest level, and this can be seen with our great and consistent results and especially in time trials.

"We have many new riders coming onboard next season, preparations are in full swing, and we are really looking forward to having a productive off-season. We have big ambitions for 2023.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director
If we look at summarising our 2022 season, I think the inclusion of Dylan Groenewegen into our team has been one of many highlights. The wins he provided us and in general having a world class sprinter on the team, winning races at the highest level, that has been a big bonus for us. Obviously, this was highlighted with his win at the Tour de France.

"The second highlight has been the change of equipment this year. It has made a really big difference and we have seen the riders’ abilities to win time trials go up to another level. We have improved a lot, and it is thanks to our partners Giant and CADEX. There has been a lot of work on this behind the scenes with our technical support staff, but with the new equipment, I believe that has been a big game changer for us.

"This year we bounced back very well from the previous season, we have had big wins in all three of the Grand Tours and that is something that is not easy to achieve. We have had a great year and we are looking to build on the momentum that we have gained in 2022 into 2023. We will have an exciting new group with some youth injected into the roster as well.”

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Men – 2022 UCI Race Victories: (22 wins) 6 riders
Saudi Tour stage 3 – Dylan Groenewegen
Saudi Tour stage 5 – Dylan Groenewegen
Paris-Nice stage 8 – Simon Yates (WT)
Volta Catalunya stage 1 – Michael Matthews (WT)
Volta Catalunya stage 2 – Kaden Groves (WT)
Tour of Turkey stage 2 – Kaden Groves
Vuelta a Asturias stage 1 – Simon Yates
Vuelta a Asturias stage 3 – Simon Yates
Giro d’Italia stage 2 – Simon Yates (WT)
Tour de Hongrie stage 4 – Dylan Groenewegen
Veenendaal Classic – Dylan Groenewegen
Giro d’Italia stage 14 – Simon Yates (WT)
Giro d’Italia stage 21 – Matteo Sobrero (WT)
Tour of Slovenia stage 2 – Dylan Groenewegen
USA Championship TT – Lawson Craddock
Tour de France stage 3 – Dylan Groenewegen (WT)
Tour de France stage 14 – Michael Matthews (WT)
Villafranca de Ordizia – Simon Yates
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon stage 2- Simon Yates
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon overall – Simon Yates
Arctic Race of Norway stage 2 – Dylan Groenewegen
Vuelta a España stage 11 – Kaden Groves (WT)
*WT – WorldTour level

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Remco Evenepoel is Flandrien of the year

Here’s the news from Evenpoel’s Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Accolades continue to pour in for Remco Evenepoel, the first Belgian in more than four decades to triumph in a Grand Tour. A week after receiving the award for the male rider of the season at the Kristallen Fiets Gala, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s 22-year-old was named Flandrien of the Year – one of the most prestigious individual trophies in cycling.

Remco – who scored an incredible fifteen victories in 2022, including Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Clasica San Sebastian, the Vuelta a España and a rainbow jersey Belgium had been waiting for since 2012, became the fourth different member of the Wolfpack to pick up the Flandrien of the Year award, after Paolo Bettini (2003, 2006, 2007), Tom Boonen (2004, 2005, 2012) and Yves Lampaert (2018).

Remco Evenpoel wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Sirotti photo

“I am currently on holiday, but I’m very happy and proud to receive my first Flandrien trophy. It’s something special, as was my entire season, a truly amazing one that I will never forget”, said the youngest rider ever to be awarded the trophy.

“I want to thank everyone for their support and for helping me achieve my goals and big dreams. It was a unique year I think, one that I don’t know if I will ever repeat, so that’s why this trophy means so much for me. Everyone on the team supported me from the beginning until the end of the season and I thank them for that. This award is also for my parents, as without them I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

At the same end-of-season gala, another Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider, Ilan Van Wilder, was named Best Teammate of the Year, making sure the award remained in the squad, after being won by Dries Devenyns and Tim Declercq at the past two editions.

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Tijmen Graat on first year with Jumbo-Visma Development Team

The team posted this:

Tijmen Graat was one of the newcomers to the Jumbo-Visma Development Team early this year. The 19-year-old rider permanently joined the Dutch squad after several training sessions and tests and concluded his first season at the U23s at the Ronde de l'Isard earlier this month.

Graat is taking a break to rest and recover while reflecting on a successful season. "It was a fantastic period. I really enjoyed it. When I was allowed to come along on training camps initially, I quickly realised that the team's atmosphere and coaching staff were fantastic. That has all been confirmed in my first year. I notice that it contributes to my talent development." Without a doubt, the 19-year-old climber is happy with his decision. "I couldn't have made a better choice, and I'm delighted with it."

His team's accomplishments and his own cause him to feel proud. "We are a fantastic team. We just returned from the Ronde de l'Isard and raced there for five days. From the first day, we had the leader's jersey, and it was still in our possession after five days, while after two days, there were only four of us left. It's a fantastic feeling to pull that off together. You wear a very familiar jersey because everyone knows our team", the young rider says.

The Dutchman places a high value on personal development. He enjoys reflecting on his own achievements as well as the goals he had before joining Team Jumbo-Visma's Development Team. "At the start of the season, my goal was to gain a lot of race experience and improve myself. That certainly worked out, as I rode more races this year than all the years prior combined. I am now also making great strides in riding in the peloton and downhill, things I was less good at.

When asked which race he looks back on with the best feeling, the Dutchman knows the answer right away. "As a team, the Ronde de l'Isard, but personally, the Tour Alsace. That's where I really got to know myself. To race on La Planche des Belles Filles, a famous climb, is really cool. I discovered how deep I could go while climbing this mountain. In the Ronde de l'Isard, we were outstanding as a team, which also gave a kick. I rode my first team time trial, and we won right away, which was very nice", said Graat, who also successfully completed his first year of university studies in business administration last year

During his rest period, the Dutch cyclist puts everything in order and considers matters that need his attention for the upcoming cycling season. "A focus for myself is to improve my downhill riding skills. I want to take strides in that with the help of the team. I also want to work on my explosiveness to be able to make a difference in sprints. Or break away from the competition on a climb. I have already started with that."

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