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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, January 27, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That's a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don't know what you're doing. That's what scientists do every day. - Neil deGrasse Tyson


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Trofeo Ses Salines - Alcúdia team reports

We posted the report from winner Marijn van den Berg's Team EF Education-EasyPost with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Ethan Vernon's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

For the second day running, Soudal Quick-Step was in the spotlight at the Challenge Mallorca, and just like Tuesday, one of our riders finished in the top three. The first part of the day belonged to a four-man breakaway, which was nullified on the first of the two classified climbs that were crammed in the last 40 kilometers of Trofeo Ses Salines-Alcudia.

Marijn van den Berg was first across the line. Photo: GettySport

Soudal Quick-Step assumed responsibility in the peloton, setting a tempo that saw the field claw back time on the hills before making the catch on the descent. Our team remained in firm control of things also on the flat and wet roads to Alcudia, bringing back a late attack and setting up Ethan Vernon for the mass gallop.

In the end, a series of tricky corners, the last of which came just 50 meters from the finish, decided the day’s winner, and this was Marijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), who was the first to round out the last bend and managed to keep off the pure sprinters. Ethan – who had the speed, but ran out of road – concluded runner-up and racked up his seventh podium since turning pro with the Wolfpack at the beginning of 2022.

“That corner was a bit dangerous and because of it we didn’t have a proper sprint today. I had the legs to win and was really confident, that’s why I am so disappointed. I felt good on that long climb and believed in my chances, especially with this great team around me, who worked tirelessly and protected me the entire day. Hopefully, on Sunday, when there’s another opportunity for the fast men, luck will be on our side”, Vernon explained after the race.

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Here's the report from eighth-place Rui Costa's UAE Team Emirates:

Rui Oliveira put in a brave display to take 8th place in a wet sprint from a select group at the Trofeo Port d’Alcúdia (156km) today on day two of the Challenge Mallorca.

The race was split apart on the last climb of Coll Sa Batalla and Coll Femenia that set up the final 28.6km to the flat finish in Alcúdia. Diego Ulissi and Oliveira made the select final group of 30 riders who disputed the finishing sprint, with Oliveira jumping early to take the final bend at -100m first.

The line would prove 100m too far with several riders undertaking Oliveira to pass on the inside bend, with Dutchman Marijn Van Den Bjerg (EF Education Easypost) taking the win.

Tomorrow the Challenge Mallorca continues with the mountainous Trofeo Andratx – Mirador D’es Colomer (160km).


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Marianne Vos will not participate in World Cyclocross Championships

Here’s the news release from Vos’ Team Jumbo-Visma:

Reigning cyclocross world champion Marianne Vos will not defend her title in Hoogerheide next week due to physical problems.

The cyclocross season has not brought Vos what she had hoped for. Vos was not at her best due to complaints brought on by a constriction of her pelvic artery. Together with the team, she has decided not to participate in the cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide.

Marianne Vos winning the Urban Cross in 2022

"It's very unfortunate that things have turned out this way", said a disappointed Vos. "I would have really liked it to be different, but the treatment and recovery are a priority to hopefully start the road season without any complaints. Of course, I'm hoping the rainbow jersey will remain with the team and be worn by Fem van Empel the next season."


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Cameron Wurf to race as both a road rider and triathlete for Team INEOS Grenadiers

Here’s the team’s news release:

The Aussie signed a contract extension ahead of the 2023 season and will begin his year on home roads at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Wurf will be joined by six of the seven riders who took part in Tour Down Under, with Ethan and Leo Hayter, Kim Heiduk, Luke Plapp, Magnus Sheffield and Ben Swift all making the trip to Geelong. UAE Tour is also a planned part of his early schedule, as is a trip to his training base in Los Angeles with Geraint Thomas.

For Wurf, 2023 will again be a year of racing at the highest level in two sports. Since returning to the pro peloton in 2020, the 39 year old has enjoyed helping his teammates in a support role, while going out to race hard for his own results in triathlon and Ironman competition.

Cameron Wurf racing in the 2013 Giro d'Italia. He's been at it a while. Sirotti photo

On the season to come, Wurf explained: “I’m excited to have another year with the team and, for me personally, to try and piece together a season like I envisioned. That means coming back onto the roster obviously wanting to be a reliable teammate and hopefully also add a bit to the morale. Tom Pidcock calls me the “CMO” of the team: Chief Morale Officer.

“It’s about having the respect and trust of the guys of the team, if they do turn up at a race and I’m thrown into it, knowing that they believe I can do a job and contribute. I think that I’ve shown that and I’ve been part of some great successes with the team over the last few years.”

Among those major successes, Wurf’s contribution to the team’s front-foot approach and eventual victory at Paris-Roubaix last season really stands out. This year Wurf’s aim is to continue to dovetail his training with select races, whilst making sure he’s spending plenty of time on all three crucial aspects of triathlon.

“Each year’s been better and I want to continue this year,” he added. “On a personal side, the Ironman side has been a little bit inconsistent with Covid which has made it difficult to manage a lot of things. For example something as simple as getting to a pool particularly when I’m at races – leaving the team bubble hasn’t been a possibility to keep the team safe and follow my own personal goals.

“Personally it’s really wonderful that the team’s going to give me some more freedom to do that and keep on top of my Ironman preparation and when I do get a clean window a nice high spot, whereas as the last few years has felt a bit like I’m doing everything I can to stay where I’m at. I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to progress in the way I would have liked, so I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to learn from the last three years and what hasn’t worked for me on a personal side and what has as a team and find ways to be even better at that.

“I want to be part of bigger races, part of bigger success and a bigger role in my teammates’ success. I feel if that I can do that for the team it will filter over to the Ironman and I’ll be a better athlete and better prepared when I get my own chances. I relish every opportunity to race alongside the guys and it’s a huge honour to be part of the INEOS Grenadiers. And so I’m incredibly excited for 2023 – I’m all in.”

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