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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 12, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

The oldest, shortest words - 'yes' and 'no' - are those which require the most thought. - Pythagoras

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, 2020: The Tour During Covid-19, Better Late Than Never is available in both Kindle eBook and Audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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2023 Vuelta a España route revealed

The 2023 Vuelta a España route has been revealed. I have started building a 2023 Vuelta page here.

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Team Soudal Quick-Step comments on the 2023 Vuelta route

Here’s the team’s post:

The 78th edition of the season’s last Grand Tour will favour the climbers.

Four months after Remco Evenepoel was crowned winner of the Vuelta a España, breaking several records and writing history for both the Wolfpack and Belgium in the process, the organisers of the Spanish Grand Tour released the route of this year. Starting in Barcelona and finishing in Madrid, the race will put on the table ten uphill finishes, including two of cycling’s hardest ascents, Tourmalet and Angliru.

Remco Evenepoel just after winning the 2022 Vuelta. Sirotti photo

These won’t be the only difficulties of the three weeks, Arinsal, Xorret de Cati, Javalambre, Larra-Belagua and Bejes promising to seriously test the red jersey contenders. With only 25 kilometers of individual time trial, in addition to the 14km opening TTT in Catalunya, the parcours will be heavily tilted towards the climbers.

Vuelta a España will take place between 26 August and 17 September, and our team – winner of more than 30 stages at the previous participations – will be among the twenty-two squads present in Barcelona, which will host the start for just the second time in history.

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UAE Team Emirates announces riders for Tour Down Under

Here’s the team’s update:

UAE Team Emirates have announced the team to take on the first challenge of the year as the team heads to Australia for the Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 Jan).

The six days of competition will be based in and around Adelaide, kicking off with a 5.5km prologue.

It will be the first time the race has been held since 2020, where Diego Ulissi climbed the podium for 2nd overall.

George Bennett (shown at the 2020 Tour de France) will captain the UAE Team Emirates at the Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

This year the UAE contingent will be captained by the experienced head of George Bennett on the road with the likes of Marc Hirschi and local rider Jay Vine capable of contesting for the overall podium.

Vine is excited to make his Tour Down Under debut in his home race.

Jay Vine: “I’m really looking forward to starting my first World Tour event as a World Tour rider.We have a really strong team coming into the race with plenty of options for wins. This race has been postponed the last couple of years so everyone in Australia is excited to get it back and us riders feel the same.

It’s been a really good build up with the new team and we’re coming in off a solid training camp together before Christmas so now I’m just keen to show my strengths with the new colours on.

The team will be guided by Sports Director Marco Marcato (Ita) who will oversee the seven man squad:

Santos Tour Down Under [2.UWT] – 17-Jan-2023 / 22-Jan-2023

Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
George Bennett (NZ)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Finn Fisher Black (NZ)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Jay Vine (Aus)
Michael Vink (NZ)

The same team will also take part in the Schwalbe Classic criterium (14 January) and the first single-day World Tour race of the calendar the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (29 January).

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Richard Carapaz recovering from tonsillectomy

Here’s the update from Carapaz’s Team EF Education-EasyPost

For years, his tonsils often became infected, inevitably affecting his ability to train and race.

After consulting with the team, Richard Carapaz underwent surgery in December to have his tonsils removed.

Richard Carapaz winning stage 20 of the 2022 Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo

“I had this problem for about three years, a recurring problem of tonsil infections. When I was at camp, I had consulted with the team to have a tonsillectomy because last year I had had many recurrent infections and in the end it was becoming a problem. Wherever I went and whatever I did, I always had this problem. At the end of the day, it is a nuisance,” the 29-year-old says.

The surgery took place in Richard’s home country of Ecuador in mid-December and the procedure itself went well, though Richard’s recovery has taken longer than initially expected.

"Richard Carapaz had a planned tonsillectomy the week before Christmas in Ecuador. The surgery was successful but he had a minor complication during the recovery which saw bleeding from the tonsils. He has had two and a half weeks off the bike and is now back to training normally," says EF Education-EasyPost team doctor Jon Greenwell.

As is common with tonsillectomy, Richard also experienced a great deal of inflammation, essentially restricting him to liquids, porridge, and soft fruits for about ten days.

After more than two weeks on a total hiatus from training, Richard was given the green light by his doctors to resume light training early in the new year.

“The first day, I was a little awkward on the bike,” he says. “The first few days I started with a couple of hours, just two or three. [This week] I will begin to add on a little more. I think things are getting back to where they belong again, the body adapting to the bike again and returning to routine.”

"Richard’s health and the health of all our riders is always our first priority. This isn’t a longterm setback for him, though we may need to adjust some his spring goals. His main objective, the Tour de France, is still on track," says team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. "The performance staff and Richard will work together to ease back into racing at a pace that makes sense."

Though he was disappointed that his recovery meant he had to forgo the traditional turkey dinner at Christmas, Richard was happy just to be with family for the holidays and looks forward to eventually getting back to full training.

“The holidays were a little quieter than usual but the important thing is that I got to be with my family and could enjoy each moment,” he says. “I can start thinking now about starting to structure good training sessions and, above all, to start the year off right.”

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