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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 4, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Who covets more is evermore a slave. - Robert Herrick

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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Latest completed racing:

X20 Trofee Herentals cyclocross race reports

The men's race:

Mathieu van der Poel wins in Herentals. Alpecin-Deceuninck photo

Here's a machine-translation of the organizer's race report:

The mood was mixed on the podium elite men of Herentals Crosst. Mathieu van der Poel was the lucky winner, but would have preferred to beat his competitor in a different way. While disappointment still visibly dominated runner-up Wout van Aert, Iserbyt did good business in the standings with a third place.

Mathieu van der Poel would have preferred to have won in a different way. “I would indeed have preferred to beat him without a flat tire,” he said afterwards. “I rode something different than the previous races. I wanted to save a little more for that last half lap. Anyway, we were very evenly matched again. I wanted to dive into that last technical part first, but I think Wout already had a leak at that time. It's a pity that we didn't have a fair fight because of that."

Wout van Aert was still visibly disappointed afterwards. “It is a pity that it has to end this way,” said Van Aert. “I actually punctured at the worst moment of the race. If I rode into the repair station, it would be done anyway, so I avoided that. However, when I saw Mathieu pass, I knew the race was done. That was disappointing, but it is no different.”

Eli Iserbyt, on the other hand, was satisfied with his third place. “This cross was a little faster than normal,” he said afterwards. “I had a difficult competitorr with [4th-place] Lars, but I'm glad I'm still on the podium. I think maybe I rode just a little bit better uphill than him and could make a difference because of that. There was certainly a large audience and a good atmosphere, so it is extra nice to achieve such a podium place.”


  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 59min 45sec
  2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) @ 21sec
  3. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 31sec
  4. Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 32sec
  5. Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing) @ 49sec
  6. Pim Ronhaar (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 1min 16sec
  7. Jens Adams (Chocovit Cycling Team) @ 1min 22sec
  8. Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 1min 38sec
  9. Tim Merlier (Corendon-Circus) @ 2min 24sec
  10. Daan Soete (Deschacht-Hens-Maes) @ 2min 39sec

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The women's race:

Puck Pieterse left everyone behind. Alpecin-Deceuninck photo

Here is a machine-translation of the organizer's race report.

Puck Pieterse was superior during the round of the Soudal Ladies Trophy in Herentals. The 20-year-old cyclocross rider took off early in the race and would not relinquish her leading position.

Although it seemed that the match was going smoothly for Pieterse, nothing could be further from the truth. “I definitely had to do my best today,” she said afterwards. “The uphill part was tough and you really had to go all the way there. The part before that was tough too. However, all in all it went really well today. It's also a lap that suits me, I already knew that from my earlier participation in 2020. I tried to keep driving as technically as possible, but that was difficult. In the last lap it even almost went wrong. After that I rode on safe and took the win.”

Second place went to Lucinda Brand. “When I heard that Denise Betsema was behind, I was initially mainly concerned with Ceylin Alvarado, because she was still ahead of me in the standings. I was able to shake her off, after which I realized in the final that the lead was within reach. I'm happy with how things are going and the ranking has become a goal now, but there's still work to be done. Although the gap was in any case smaller than last time with Fem van Empel in Baal”, Brand concluded with a wink.


  1. Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 51min 31sec
  2. Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek lions) @ 27sec
  3. Annemarie Worst (777) @ 1min 13sec
  4. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 1min 17sec
  5. Sanne Cant (Crelan-Fristads) @ 2min 7sec
  6. Aniek van Alphen (777) @ 3min 11sec
  7. Blanka Kata Vas (SD Worx) @ 3min 38sec
  8. Maghalie Rochette (Specialized-Feedback Sports) @ 3min 54sec
  9. Leonie Bentveld (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 3min 58sec
  10. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 4min 23sec

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Team Arkea-Samsic releases early season race programs for Clément Champoussin and Cristian Rodriguez

Here’s the team’s post:

Clément Champoussin and Cristiàn Rodriguez will start their season in Marseille and Mallorca respectively.

Théo Ouvrard, Team Sport Manager:

Clément Champoussin

  • Grand Prix La Marseillaise (29 janvier)
  • Tour de Murcie (11 février), and/or Jaën (13 février)
  • Tour des Alpes-Maritimes and du Haut-Var (17 au 19 février)
  • Troféo Laigueglia (1er mars)
  • Paris-Nice (5 au 12 mars)

Clément Champoussin winning stage 20 of the 2021 Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo

“Clément has been recruited to become one of the leaders of the team. We expect him to take on this role from the beginning of the season on the roads of the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, where he will be at home. He has to take on this status little by little and perform on the block of races from the Azurean event, through Laigueglia, a one-day race where he has shown his advantage in the past, to Paris-Nice. It is a time of the year that he likes. Clément is indeed a rider who often starts his seasons very well. That’s why we are counting on him for these three races, including Paris-Nice, a competition in which he will share the leadership of the team with Kévin Vauquelin“, says Théo Ouvrad.

Cristiàn Rodriguez

  • Trofeo Ciclista Mallorca (26 au 29 janvier)
  • Muscat Classic (10 février)
  • Tour d’Oman (11 au 15 février)
  • Faun Ardèche Classic (25 février)
  • Faun Drome Classic (26 février)
  • Tirreno-Adriatico (6 au 12 mars)

"Cristiàn is a climber who likes the heat, which is why his first race will be in Mallorca, with a combination of Muscat and Oman,” says Théo Ouvrard. This will give him the opportunity to put himself in a position to perform. We have told him that we trust him for the Ardèche-Drôme classics as well as for Tirreno-Adriatico, with the possibility to shine in these two one-day races, but also to achieve a good general classification, in Italy during his first race of the season on the UCI WorldTour calendar, and to try to win a stage on the Tirreno roads”.

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New Jumbo-Visma riders Tratnik, Valter and  Gloag "at home" with the team

Here’s the team’s post:

In addition to new Dutch riders Dylan van Baarle and Wilco Kelderman, Team Jumbo-Visma welcomes Slovenian Jan Tratnik, Hungarian Attila Valter and British Tom Gloag to the team.

During the team presentation, Kelderman's words left an impression on the three. Kelderman, who already has a history with the team, called the team a "large family" and claimed to have experienced the "home feeling" right away. "It's a very professional environment where everyone has the same goal. It's the best of the best."

The 32-year-old Tratnik experienced the same in his first weeks at Team Jumbo-Visma. "The crew welcomed me with open arms. I already had a good feeling at the training camp in Spain, so I eagerly anticipate the season's start."

Gloag has been with the team for slightly longer. The 21-year-old rider joined the yellow-black squad in the fall of 2022 as a trainee to hone his skills in several races during the Italian autumn. "I already got to ride some races last season, which was a wonderful experience. I was already impressed with the team at the time."

Attila Valter about to start stage 9 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia in pink. Sirotti photo

National road champion Valter (24) had previously come very close to joining the Dutch team. "We had actually begun talking two years prior, but I declined. I didn't feel 'ripe' enough to move forward then. I'm glad it's finally happened. It already has a family-like feel to it.

Every recruit is driven to improve every day. "I always want to get the best out of myself, and I think I can do that even better here. I constantly strive to maximise my potential, and I believe I can accomplish this more effectively here. Even though I'm already quite experienced, perhaps I can improve myself", Tratnik said.

Former Giro d'Italia pink jersey wearer Valter concurred. "I still have a lot of growing and learning to do. I want to, at this point in my career. I need to fight for my place in this team, but I want to reach the top."

Gloag, a stage winner at the last Tour de l'Avenir, also desires progression. "As a young rider, I want to develop myself in all areas. Both inside and outside races. I'd previously been given a chance to do it at training camp and during races. Then, all you want is more."

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