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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. - Fran Lebowitz

Tour de France: the Inside Story

Les Woodland's book Tour de France: The Inside Story - Making the World's Greatest Bicycle Race is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Adam Yates signs for UAE Team Emirates

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Adam Yates has put pen to paper on a new contract to join UAE Team Emirates as part of a three year deal which will see him with the squad through to the end of 2025.

The 30 year-old climbing specialist from Bury in England holds 18 professional victories to his name among them triumphs at the Deutschland Tour, Vuelta Catalunya, UAE Tour, 2 x Top Five Tour de France results, and also in important one-day races such as the San Sebastian Classic. His climbing talents will no doubt reinforce the teams GC ambitions in races going forward.

Adam Yates finishing stage 20 of the 2022 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

Adam Yates: “I’m really excited to join UAE Team Emirates. I have seen the growth of the team over the years and the opportunity to join was one that I could not turn down. I feel that I’m entering my peak years as a rider and the team will get the best out of me. I look forward to riding with many of the top riders in the world and to contribute to the team becoming number one in the world.”

Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal & CEO): “We are very pleased to welcome Adam into our team for the coming years. His ability to win and achieve top results across a wide variety of races is very impressive and he has proven to be a consistent talent. We all know he is a rider of great panache and we believe that he will be the right fit for our structure as we continue to reinforce the team for the coming years.”

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Team DSM's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Omloop van het Houtland: SEP 21

Marcel Sieberg - Team DSM coach
"We go to the race with Sam and Cees as our fast finishing options and a nice, strong supporting group around them. From the start onwards we want to be present in any dangerous groups that are looking to go clear. On the three local laps in the beginning, the roads twist and turn a lot and if there is a strong wind then this area can play a big role in the race. On the final circuit, which we complete nine laps of 12 kilometres, the wind can also be dangerous too so we have to be sharp in these moments. Our goal is to be there with our fast finishers in the final to sprint for a top result."

John Degenkolb (shown finishing 2020 Gent-Wevegelm) will ride the Omloop van het Houtland. Sirotti photo

Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Cees Bol (NED)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Patrick Eddy (NED)
Tim Naberman (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

Classic Paris-Chauny: SEP 25

Marcel Sieberg - Team DSM coach
"The race starts in Compiègne, the area known from Paris-Roubaix, and the riders will face long and hilly parcours. Particularly in the first part of the race we take on some parts where the wind could force some stress in the bunch and hectic situations. With the two finish laps that feature three short climbs, we expect a very aggressive race where we will try to cover the dangerous moves. In case of a sprint in the end, we also have guys like Sam, who can fight for a result for us. It will be a strong starting field, but with the end of the season being close, races can be more unpredictable so we need to be switched on and play our cards well."

Romain Combaud (FRA)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Patrick Eddy (AUS)
Leon Heinschke (GER)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Sam Welsford (AUS)

CRO Race: SEP 27 - OCT 02

Boris Zimine - Team DSM coach
"The CRO Race is the perfect stage race to end the season in a good way for our group we have here. We face a variety of stage profiles, including some hilly days, flatter sprints, and punchy finish circuits which should make for an exciting week of racing. We take to the start line with a mixed squad made up of our Men's and Development program riders, and our line-up allows us to play a role on different types of parcours. We want to race as an offensive block and we will try to ride in a way to take our chances every day."

Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Enzo Leijnse (NED)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Oscar Onley (GBR)
Max Poole (GBR)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL)

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Israel-Premier Tech rider Guy Niv to retire

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Guy Niv (28), the professional cyclist who made history as the first Israeli to race in the Tour de France has decided to retire from the sport.

Niv informed the team of his surprising choice two weeks ago and, although he was asked to reconsider, he has stuck to his decision to end his career, admitting “it was the toughest decision I have ever made, but the flame inside that has burned since I started racing has gone out.”

Guy Niv

Guy Niv: “I know that it will seem like a complete surprise to many, but the few people who are closest to me knew that this has been boiling inside for a long time. There are many reasons behind it, but the main one is that I came to realize that I no longer have the drive and motivation that are essential to reaching the heights I am capable of as a pro cyclist.”

He continued, “I will admit that I always believe I would call it quits only when I reached my full potential. I am still far from that point. Actually, I recently finished my second TDF with the best performance of all my previous five Grand Tours, proving that I am still progressing, but I believe still that it’s time for me to leave it all behind.

“Something turned off inside me during the 2022 season. I did not enjoy it as I used to. I always knew why I decided to take on the toughest sport in the world, this northern star that guided me through the toughest moments and made me get on my bike and push myself to the limit. But realizing that I have lost it left me with only one option: take on a new journey away from cycling.”

Niv’s decision was received “with pain and sorrow” by the team’s founder and co-owner Ron Baron.

Baron: “Guy is the rider who realized the goal and dream we set on achieving when we started this project back in 2014 – to have an Israeli rider race in the greatest race of all and to inspire the young generation of cyclists in Israel. Guy is a role model to many in Israel and abroad, both as an athlete and a human being with values and a true love of Israel. We truly regret that he is leaving but respect his decision. We are excited to see the young Israeli talent that is coming up and hope to see the best of them race with IPT and follow in Guy’s footsteps.”

Team principal owner Sylvan Adams:
“Guy called me to inform me of his decision to retire from pro cycling, a decision that I understand and accept. Our sport is extremely demanding and requires a great deal of sacrifice, including long absences from home. All athletes eventually retire, and Guy decided that this is his time. Guy has raced more Grand Tours than any other Israeli. He was also the first to race in the Tour de France, an accomplishment that he will forever own. I thank Guy for everything he did for our team and wish him luck on the next phase of his life.”

Niv is putting an end to a relatively short but eventful career, becoming a symbol of the progress made in the sport of cycling in Israel. He started as a mountain biker and was part of that national team before deciding to move to road cycling with the Israel Cycling Academy development team at the age of 22.

Less than a year later he started the historic Giro d’Italia in Jerusalem, but illness forced him to abandon during the fifth stage. Niv vowed to stay focused and not let this derail his progress, and he made good on his promise. He finished the Giro in 2019 and went on to race and successfully complete five Grand Tours, more than any Israeli rider, making a name for himself as a solid rider and domestique with the WorldTour team.

IPT manager Kjell Carlstrom: “For me, Guy’s dedication to the team is what stands out the most. He definitely inspired young Israelis to cycle with the goal to become professionals. I’m sure that this will continue, and Guy will be of much help guiding any aspiring cyclist with advice about how to conduct themselves professionally.”

Guy Niv thanks the Israel – Premier Tech team for “an unforgettable journey.”

Niv: “It was an exciting journey. It took me to the most amazing places, meeting and working with wonder teammates and staff. Above all, I want to thank the team and especially Sylvan and Ron who enabled me to dream big and reach many heights together.”

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Milan Menten signs with Lotto Dstny

Here’s the team’s announcement:

With Milan Menten Lotto Dstny has signed another reinforcement for next season.

The 25-year-old sprinter has signed a contract for two years. He will be targeting mainly UCI .1 and ProSeries races. The Belgian WorldTour Team will help him take the next step in his career within a professional organization, by making a balanced racing schedule and with a clear hierarchy during races.

Milan Menten has shown himself the past two years in sprints in the UCI .1 and ProSeries races. He won a stage in the Cro Race and took several top classifications in races like Tour de Wallonie, Schaal Sels and Ronde van Limburg. “We still remember Milan Menten from our Development Team, led by Kurt Van de Wouwer, where he raced for three years”, says Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue. “At the time, he did not have the level to step up to the WorldTour, but we have been following him ever since and noticed how well he has developed himself. It is clear that he is ready to step up now. Within our professional organization, by making a balanced racing program and having a clear hierarchy during races, we are convinced we can help him take the next step in his career.”

For Milan Menten this step feels very natural. “I still know a lot of riders and staff from my previous stay at the team, which is nice”, says Milan Menten. “The timing is right: I feel I am ready to take the next step. And I am very happy with the plan the team has with me: sprinting for victory in UCI .1 and ProSeries races. That is something I succeeded in the past two years already, but surrounded by a team like Lotto Soudal, winning gets easier.”

Next to Caleb Ewan and Arnaud De Lie, Milan Menten will provide some extra fast legs to the team of Lotto Dstny. John Lelangue: “Caleb Ewan remains one of the fastest sprinters on the planet and we expect Arnaud De Lie to take a next step again next year. And thus, we needed someone extra to sprint for victory in the UCI .1 and some ProSeries races. We believe that Milan Menten will be capable to do that within our team. Next to that, he can be a lead-out too.”

Something Milan Menten will be happy to do. “The style of racing by Lotto Soudal, especially in the Belgian one-day races, was really impressive this past season: as a team, always in front and very aggressive. In those races, the team has a real winning mentality, also thanks to the presence of Arnaud De Lie. Working for someone you know is capable to win the race, motivates me.”

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