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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales. - Marie Curie

Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies

Les Woodland's book Cycling's 50 Triumphs and Tragedies: The rise and fall of bicycle racing's champions 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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Tadej Pogačar to begin 2023 season with Clasica Jaen & Vuelta Andalucia

Here’s the update from Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates

UAE Team Emirates continue to ramp-up their season with two Spanish races: Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior on 13 February followed up closely by the Vuelta Andalucia from 15-19 February.

Tadej Pogačar will begin his 2023 campaign, with the two-time Tour de France champion lining-up for both races for the first time in his young career.

Late in the 2022 season: Tadej Pogačar celebrates his Tour of Lombardy win. Sirotti photo

The team will count on a wealth of experience and talent for the gravel roads of Jaen Paraiso in a squad well suited to the terrain.

Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior [1.1] – 13-Feb-2023
Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Domen Novak (Slo)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Tim Wellens (Bel)

Pogačar: “I’m excited for these races and to pin on a number again and be with the team. I’ve been watching the first races last weeks on the TV and enjoying it, but also wishing a bit to be there in the action.

"The preparation has been good. I had a bit of gastroenteritis in January which wasn’t very pleasant but thankfully I’m over it and feeling healthy. It’s nice to experience new races and I’m looking forward to what Jaen and Andalucia have in store for us. I can’t wait to start racing again.”

Sports Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the team in Jaen, being joined by Sports Directors Andrej Hauptman (Slo) and Manuele Mori (Ita) who will also continue for Andalucia.

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Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Sports Manager) :

“For Jaen and Andalucia we have a highly experienced team who we believe can do great things. Obviously the gravel aspect of Jaen makes it a good place for us to test material and bikes, so it’s a race that offers a lot. But of course, like any race we do we are also there to target victory.

"We are taking a roster with a lot of quality which will be headed by Pogačar who will also make his season debut here. Though we have many riders in the team who can step-up for a big result.

"For Tadej the plan this year was to keep the base of the calendar more or less the same while making a few adjustments, which is what we’ve done. Tadej is a rider who likes to keep things fresh and try new things so starting the year here in Jaen and Andalucia made sense. The season will be long so our idea is to build up gradually to the biggest targets.”

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol [2.Pro] – 15-Feb-2023 / 19-Feb-2023

Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
George Bennett (NZ)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Rafal Majka (Pol)
Domen Novak (Slo)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Tim Wellens (Bel)

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Esteban Chaves wins the Colombian national road championship

Here's the report from Chaves' Team EF Education-EasyPost:

Esteban Chaves won the Colombian road race national championship today, claiming his first tricolor jersey.

The 33-year-old launched an attack with eight kilometers to go. Though his rivals tried, they never caught sight of him again, and Esteban soloed to the finish line.

Training went well over the winter for Esteban but he knew his competition in Bucaramanga would be fierce.

2021 Tour of Catalonia stage four: Esteban Chaves enjoys a golden moment.

"At this time of the year, we are mostly all together, competing with each other, so it is more level,” Esteban said before the start. “People just take the bus for ten hours 100% just to see us. So this is pretty special, and competing for the jersey is a dream for everyone growing up, dreaming of wearing the Colombian jersey during the Tour de France for example or during the Giro d’Italia. The whole season with the Colombian jersey, that is like man, I am the man, I am the boss. It is like, ‘Look at me. I am from Colombia.’”

The 237-kilometer course consisted of nine laps around Bucaramanga and the route was lined with fans from start to finish.

Upon crossing the finish line, Esteban was humbled by the moment.

“Wearing the national colors for a year is something I will never forget,” he said. “Winning here in Bucaramanga was spectacular, the people were crazy. I think today was the day most people shouted my name that I saw, that gave me that warmth that made me push until the very end. There are many people who made this possible: my family, my wife. Today somebody special came too, Dr. Sandoval, who, without his help, this wouldn’t have been possible. He saved my career.”

Esteban’s EF Education-EasyPost teammate Diego Camargo played a vital role in the race by sheltering Esteban and offering support. Praising Diego, Esteban said simply, “The team was incredible. This is a dream.”

He will return to his European base in the coming weeks for the road season. While he is bolstered by today’s win, he knows the season is long and looks forward to putting in the hard work.

“This is a day to enjoy and now we have to continue working, keep our feet on the ground. The season has just started and now we have to start from zero.”

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