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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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2023 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

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Team Israel-Premier Tech headed to Tour de Luxembourg

Here’s the team’s update:

The five-day Tour de Luxembourg sees IPT’s six riders take on a varied parcours, including three hillier stages, a flat stage and an individual time trial. Israel – Premier Tech come into the race targeting stage wins and a strong overall result, with a strong all-round team.

The Tour de Luxembourg organisers wasted no time in creating the potential for exciting racing, with a punchy uphill finish on stage 1, which could come down to a sprint, but also could be an opportunity to create a gap. The time trial on stage four may prove to be decisive, with a climb in the middle before a fast descent to the line, but if the the GC is still open coming into the final stage, the punchy parcours could also provide the perfect launchpad to attack and take back time. The rolling and varied terrain, therefore, creates an unpredictable five days of racing.

Lining up at what is almost his home race, Jakob Fuglsang is excited to be racing in Luxembourg. “Luxembourg is like a second home for me, and having won this race before, I’m pretty optimistic,” says Fuglsang. Following his strong performance at this weekend’s Super8 Classic where he finished fifth, initiating the winning move and staying with the strongest riders of the race to contest the sprint at the line, he hopes to bring this form to Luxembourg. “I know it’s going to be very difficult to win, especially with the long time trial on stage four,” Fuglsang explains, “but with my form finally coming back nicely, I’ll give it everything and do my best to get a good result in the General Classification.”

Jakob Fuglsang finishes 2022 Tour of Switzerland stage 6.

Also joining Fuglsang is Michael Woods, who won a stage at this year’s Tour de France, and has returned from a block of racing in North America. “My goal at this race isn’t the General Classification, especially with the time trial, but I just want to play an aggressive role and try and use this as preparation for my final big goals of the year, which are the Italian Classics,” admits Woods. Woods is also looking forward to helping the team deliver a good result. “Whilst I’d like to get a stage win, I want to help Corbin Strong, Dylan Teuns and Jakob Fuglsang in their hunt for stage wins or the General Classification. I’m just excited to get back in the mix and race aggressively.”

Sports Director Oscar Guerrero is optimistic for a strong result for the squad. “We’ve come with a very strong team. We want to fight for the best possible position on the General Classification, and we have some good climbers like Michael Woods, Jakob Fuglsang and Dylan Teuns, so they can do well on the really hard finish of stage three. We know we have the long TT on stage four, which doesn’t really suit us, so we will see what the situation is after that, and try to keep our options open.”

For the DS, the first chance of success for the team comes on day one, as this is a finish which suits both Corbin Strong if it comes to a sprint, but also Dylan Teuns and Krists Neilands if there are attacks towards the end. “The first stage is a super good final for Corbin, as it will be too hard for some sprinters, so fast guys who can climb, like Corbin, can have a real chance there. And you never know how the first stage will be, if there are attacks, Teuns and Neilands also have a good chance as well.”

Israel – Premier Tech at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg:

Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Michael Woods (CAN), Corbin Strong (AUS), Hugo Houle (CAN), Krists Neilands (LAT).

Sports Director:
Oscar Guerrero (ESP)

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UAE Team Emirates is also headed to Luxembourg

Here's the team's news:

UAE Team Emirates continue their Autumn calendar of racing with the Tour of Luxembourg (20-24 Sept).

The in-form Marc Hirschi was 2nd overall in the race in 2021 and will aim to be competitive over terrain he knows well. The year previous, in 2020, it was Diego Ulissi who wore the crown and returns looking for glory.

Marc Hirschi wins this year's Coppa Sabatini.

The presence of a long 24km individual time trial on stage 4 will suit the likes of Brandon McNulty who will look for a strong late season result.

Additionally, several member of the Emirati team will line-out at the European Championships in the Netherlands over the coming days representing their national teams with Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark), Sjoerd Bax (Netherlands/TT only) and Ivo Oliveira (Portugal) all taking part in the time-trial (Wednesday 20th) and Matteo Trentin (Italy) and Rui Oliveira (Portugal) also doing the road race (Sunday 24th).

The team for Luxembourg will be led by the Sports Director duo of Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Marco Marcato (Ita).

Skoda Tour Luxembourg [2.Pro] – 20-Sep-2023 / 24-Sep-2023

  • Jan Christen (Swi)
  • Felix Grossschartner (Aus)
  • Marc Hirschi (Swi)
  • Brandon McNulty (USA)
  • Diego Ulissi (Ita)
  • Michael Vink (NZ)

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Eduardo Sepulveda re-ups with Team Lotto Dstny

Here’s the team’s news:

Eduardo Sepulveda (32) has extended his contract at Lotto Dstny with two more years. The Argentinean is riding his first season within the Belgian ProTeam and has already proven himself countless times as an experienced climber and a valued teammate. Besides, Sepulveda managed to get some results himself; at the end of July he took home the overall victory at the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon by winning the final stage. As the first ever Argentinean leading a Grand Tour classification, Sepulveda even made a little cycling history in the youngest Vuelta a España, where he wore a few days the KOM jersey.

Eduardo Sepulveda wins stage two of this year's Vuelta Castilla y Léon.

“Eduardo is an important part of our climber’s squad and with over ten seasons as a pro, he gathered lots of experience. And he wants to continue passing on that expertise to the young climbers at Lotto Dstny. Not only is Eduardo a valued and respected teammate, he grabs his own chances as well. Proof of that is the stage and overall victory at Castilla y Léon and he is also showed some nice things at La Vuelta’, says CEO Stéphane Heulot.

“From the moment that I met the team, I immediately felt at home”, says Sepulveda. “So I am really happy to continue the adventure at Lotto Dstny. Within the team, the riders are perfectly surrounded by professionals, who make sure that we only have to think about riding our bikes. Besides, our own feedback or suggestions are also taken into account, which makes for a really positive environment.”

The Argentinean wants to fulfil a double role within Lotto Dstny in the upcoming years. “I love to share my experience and it gives me great satisfaction when my teammates obtain good results. The dynamic between the young and more experienced riders within the team is something I feel very comfortable with. Giving advice during the race, in mutual communication with the DS’s, which leads to a victory just gives me a great feeling. And in the races where I get a free role, I still want to grab my opportunities, like I did at Vuelta Castilla y Léon.”

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Team dsm-firmenich extends contracts of Alex Edmondson & Tim Naberman

Here’s the team’s news release:

Team dsm-firmenich are pleased to announce that they have extended the contracts of Alex Edmondson and Tim Naberman. Edmondson who joined at the start of this season will continue to race in the team’s colours until at least 2025, while Naberman, who is a product of Team dsm-firmenich’s Development program, is also contracted through 2025.

Alex Edmondson
A new face to Team dsm-firmenich in 2023, Edmondson settled in well to the team immediately, bringing energy but also accountability, with his wealth of experience from being a WorldTour level pro since 2016. A strong rider on the flat, Edmondson’s strong engine has seen him perform an important role as part of the lead-out while also helping with positioning and early work in the climbing stages or classics. The month of June saw Edmondson take some of his best results as a pro so far, with second in the prologue at ZLM Tour where he would go on to take fourth overall, which was followed up by a third place in the time trial at the Baloise Belgium Tour. Looking ahead, Edmondson wants to continue to improve further as a rider and help the team to more successes.

Alex Edmondson racing in stage six of the 2019 Tour of Poland.

Edmondson said: “I am thrilled to add another two years with the Team dsm-firmenich squad. It has been really refreshing to be around such a positive and motivated bunch of guys. There are a lot of young riders in the team, and I have loved working alongside them: sharing my experience but also learning from them too. I’m looking forward to progressing with the sprint group in the lead-outs and working towards the team’s goals. Along with all of this, there is an awesome atmosphere within the team. The team’s experts are working on some exciting projects as well, so I am really excited for what’s to come over the next two years.”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna added: “Alex joined us at the start of the year and immediately settled in well within the team. He is someone that fits our team values and holds himself to the highest of standards and expects that accountability from those around him as well. Of course, Alex is also strong on the bike too; with his own performances as ZLM Tour and Belgium Tour testament to that. Furthermore, he has been an important member of our lead-out train this season so far, where he has been part of team successes, and that’s something we’re looking to continue with him in the future.”

Tim Naberman
A product of the team’s Development program, Naberman has been racing in two-stripes since 2019, making the step up to WorldTour with the Men’s program in the 2022 season. A consistent and loyal rider, you can often find Naberman working hard on the front of the bunch doing a lot of unsung jobs, controlling the early breakaways, and helping with positioning into the finales. Someone with a good tactical brain, Naberman also can read races well and is important in helping to make quick on the bike decisions during hectic moments. He brings a lot of value to the team too with his character and outlook, he is always open to bringing and receiving constructive feedback in a good way, and willing to help others when required, giving his everything for the goals of the squad and leaving nothing in the tank.

Naberman expressed: “I am super happy to extend my contract with the team. We have a lot in common and share a lot of the same ideas. This makes it the perfect place for me to be. This year I did some of the big classics with the team and I really enjoyed the experience at them; it just has something magical. I am also looking forward to hopefully coming back to them in the future. Doing a lot of different races then gives me the experience needed to be able to grow into my role as a team captain. I am looking forward to sharing more of these experiences with the guys and become the stable factor that the team and everyone can always rely on.”

Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna continued: “Tim continues to make steps with the team each year and he’s someone that always gives his all with whatever his role might be. He’s vocal within the group at a race, both on and off the bike, and he can read race situations well which alongside his character makes him a good person to have within the team. We want to continue to build on the foundations we’ve made with Tim in the coming seasons.”

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