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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, November 24, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

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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.

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Jurgen Foré will join Soudal Quick-Step as their new Chief Operating Officer

The team posted this news about team boss Patrick Lefevere's likely successor:

53-year-old Jurgen Foré, who hails from Eeklo, will fully join the team in January from Deloitte where he is a partner, having moved into the world of consulting in his 20’s, which led to him working with several large, multinational corporations and running his own company. Foré has also worked with Flanders Classics and Lotto-Dstny in the past, and having grown up in a cycling family, (his father Noël won Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem), Jurgen has a deep passion and understanding for the sport, in which he still plays a vital part of coaching young riders and being involved in race organisation.

As part of his role as COO, Foré will carry out the daily management of the organisation, assist CEO Patrick Lefevere in general management, determining an operating budget, and with the search for sufficient funding from sponsors and other revenue opportunities. He will also oversee the sportive management of the team, such as taking decisions on race calendars, rider programs, and rider recruitment and retainment.

Speaking of his appointment, Foré said: “I am excited because for me it is things coming together – I was a cyclist up to the age of 23, where life made me make some other choices. I went for a different professional career, in consulting, which means that I can now combine my love for cycling with my professional experience. I am passionate about getting the best out of a team and organisation, and it all comes together in this role, which is a unique opportunity that excites me.”

Of the appointment, Soudal Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “I am delighted to have Jurgen on board. He is a man that has an impressive CV, that mixes both a love and knowledge of cycling, with business and executive acumen and experience. He will help to develop our team to be even more successful both as an organisation and a business, as well as sportingly, and I know everybody at Soudal Quick-Step is looking forward to working with him.”

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Lotto Dstny Development Team signs Ukrainian Daniil Yakovlev

Here’s the team’s announcement:

Daniil Yakovlev will join the DEVO team and completes the selection of 16 riders, Alfdan De Decker becomes sport director
The Lotto Dstny Development Team strengthens its formation for 2024 with Daniil Yakovlev. The 18-year-old Ukrainian, living in Belgium, could celebrate this year in the Mémorial Antoine Demoitié and the time trial in the French stage race Penn Ar Bed. In August he crowned himself as World Champion omnium on the track. In addition to the twelve newcomers, Axel De Lie, Joshua Giddings, Robin Orins and Lorenz Van De Wynkele will keep on riding for the Devo Team next year.

Also the current group of sports directors will receive extra support from Alfdan De Decker. Alfdan is Tijl's brother and has years of experience in the sport by being an active cyclist himself. The team is happy to welcome Alfdan.

"For years, we have focused on young talent. With twelve riders coming over from the juniors, we fully took that card for 2024. The young riders come from a very talented group, with Jarno Widar, Steffen De Schuyteneer and Matys Grisel to name a few. We are ready to help them take the next step in their development," said sports manager Kurt Van de Wouwer.

The Lotto Dstny Development Team 2024: Jarno Widar, Kamiel Eeman, Victor Vaneeckhoutte, Steffen De Schuyteneer, Milan Donie, Matys Grisel, Mauro Cuylits, Milan De Ceuster, Tars Poelvoorde, Liam Van Bylen, Thomas Vuerinckx, Daniil Yakovlev, Axel De Lie, Joshua Giddings, Robin Orins and Lorenz Van de Wynkele.

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Team Israel-Premier Tech looks back on Simon Clarke’s ride in stage six of 2023 Giro d’Italia

Here’s the team’s remembrance:

Eighty-ninth, same time as the winner. The results from the Giro d’Italia’s sixth stage in 2023 will never come close to representing what Simon Clarke went through on the roads in and around the historic city of Naples.

Simon Clarke and Alessandro De Marchi on their break. Israel-Premier Tech photo

Clarke’s place in team history is secure, having claimed the team’s first Tour de France stage victory in 2022. Nonetheless, for a couple of hours at least on 11 May, another momentous day looked to be on the cards for the man from Victoria.

He and breakaway companion Alessandro De Marchi led the peloton by 40 seconds as they moved to within four kilometres of the finish line on the Via Caracciolo.

Having initially been part of the day’s six-rider escape group, the pair distanced everybody else on the Picco Sant’Angelo climb with some 70 kilometres of relatively pleasant terrain running parallel to the Bay of Naples remaining.

Tipped to be a day for the sprinters, the pendulum continued to swing back and forth. Forty kilometres to go, 2:30 gap, advantage peloton. Twenty kilometres to go, 1:35 gap, touch and go. Seven kilometres to go, 0:50 gap, advantage breakaway.

The outcome, then, could not have been crueller. With a little over 200 metres remaining, Fernando Gaviria was the first rider to sprint past Clarke and De Marchi. Then Mads Pedersen surged past, then Jonathan Milan, then another 84 riders.

The duo consoled each other as they both approached and passed the finish line, the photos of which quickly went viral on social media.

“It’s not nice to lose in that way, getting caught so close,” said Clarke. “I would have preferred to be caught with 10 kilometres to go than 200 metres. We needed 10 to 15 more seconds. It was just the way it was. You can’t win them all but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.”

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