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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 24, 2022

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. - Bertrand Russell

Dirty Feet: Early days of the Tour de France

Les Woodland's book Dirty Feet: How the Great Unwashed Created the Tour de France 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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Three out of three for Fem van Empel and El Iserbyt in World Cup cross racing

Here is a machine translation of the report from their Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal team:

Fem van Empel and Eli Iserbyt still remain unbeaten in the World Cup. In the third moto, in Tabor, Czech Republic, they rode solo to another victory.

The men in Tabor remained together for a long time. In a large leading group, Michael Vanthourenhout, Ryan Kamp and Eli Iserbyt put in a few shots, but it was only when entering the last fifteen minutes that Eli managed to create a gap worthy of the name. He managed to hold on to our World Cup lead and even deepen it further to the finish line. In the chase, Michael Vanthourenhout (third) also managed to get a podium spot.

For the women, the decision came later in the game. Both season revelation Fem van Empel and Denise Betsema were part of a leading group of five that led the final round. Fem did not play out her fast sprint in this: she popped the rest of the wheel and thundered on her own to her third World Cup victory in a row. Denise fell just short of the podium with a fourth place.

Fem van Empel wins in Tabor. Photo:

Fem van Empel: “I didn't feel well all week because of the jet lag after the trip from the US. All I could do today was follow. I was really having a hard time. The only place I could try anything was the last climb: I made an all-or-nothing attempt there. The descent after that was still tricky, but I made sure I didn't take too much risk there, went full throttle again in the equipment post, and happened to see on the screen that I still had a hole. Then I could gradually start celebrating.”

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Eli Iserbyt: “I wasn't very attentive in the first half of the game: I seemed to be in the US for a bit. It didn't happen by itself, so I'm glad I was able to make a difference in the end. Although it took me a whole round for that. Laurens Sweeck put a lot of pressure, and Lars van der Haar also at the end. The last round was really tough. This cross was a little bit of a black beast, so I'm glad I was able to tame it today."

Not too muddy. Eli Iserbyt wins a big one. Again.

In the youth competitions in Tabor, the first for this season's World Cup, junior Fleur Moors (third) secured another podium spot. A strong Witse Meeussen disappeared from a leading group of three in the U23 match due to a chain break.

Results World Cup Tabor (CH)

1. Eli Iserbyt
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) at 0:05
3. Michael Vanthourenhout at 0:26
11. Ryan Kamp (Ned) 1:13

1. Fem van Empel (Ned)
2. Puck Pieterse (Ned) at 0:03
3. Annemarie Worst (Ned) 0:04
4. Denise Betsema (Ned) 0:08
19. Leonie Bentveld (Ned) 2:43

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Circus & Ardent Group increase investment in Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

Here’s the team’s post:

Ardent Group will reinforce its presence alongside team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert through its flagship brand Circus, by investing transversally in the pyramid of the Walloon team. A stronger backing of the World Team, title partnership of the new UCI Continental team and sponsorship of the development of young talents through the Ardent Group Cycling Academy are some of the commitments of the group from Liège for 2023.

The team kit will get some changes for 2023.

The announcement was revealed this Friday in the Dôme of Charleroi by Nicolas Léonard, Director and CFO of Ardent Group, in presence of the Minister-President of Wallonia Elio di Rupo, the Minister of Sports of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles Valérie Glatigny and of the Walloon Minister of Budget and Sports Infrastructure Adrien Dolimont and on the occasion of the fourth gala evening of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Ardent Group wishes to contribute actively to the development of the cycling club, from which it is a partner for five years already, by supporting the different levels of the pyramid.

On top, the World Team will change its name from 2023. Circus, the visible sponsor on the back of the bib shorts of the professional team since 2017 and first title partner in 2020, returns as official name sponsor of the UCI World Team in the beginning of next year. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty will again aim for the top after concluding the 2022 campaign in fifth place in the world ranking and securing three supplementary years in the World Tour.

The education of young talents isn’t lacking. The Ardent Group Cycling Academy, which was launched in the autumn of 2021, is the Walloon centre for cycling skills and expertise developed by the World Tour structure of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. The mission of this academy, receiving support from Ardent Group since the start, is to revitalize the basis of the cycling pyramid, for example by supporting numerous cycling clubs which are affiliated to the Fédération cycliste Wallonie-Bruxelles. During the gala evening of 2021, more than 20.000 euros were distributed to eight Walloon clubs in the form of equipment, vouchers or funding. The campaign has been relaunched this Friday to continue supporting the educating clubs, the schools and their educators.

To complete its pyramid, a new UCI Continental Development team will see the day in 2023 under the direction of the newly retired sports director from Liège Kévin Van Melsen. Circus is mindful about a transversal support in the cycling world and will become the first title partner of this new team, which will contain fifteen young Walloon, Belgian and international talents.

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Cristián Rodríguez will join Team Arkéa-Samsic

Here's the team's announcement:

The Spanish climber Cristián Rodríguez will reinforce this category of riders among Team Arkéa-Samsic. He has plenty of room for improvement as he is 27 years old.

Cristián Rodríguez:
“I’ve seen the way the Arkéa-Samsic riders race for two seasons now. It is a team that is constantly improving year after year. These parameters were decisive in my choice to join Arkéa-Samsic from 1 January 2023. I also think that this is a team that will allow me to progress on an individual level. I am a climber, I like races with a difficult finish but it is certain that the competitions that I prefer are those that offer mountainous terrain”.

Emmanuel Hubert, General Manager:
“Cristián has all the characteristics of a climber capable of expressing himself in difficult one-day races, hilly one-week races or in the mountains of the Grand Tours. He is still a young rider, 27 years old, who has a lot of room for improvement. Cristián Rodríguez is an important addition to our mountain pole.”

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