Good morning! Welcome to another instalment of Cycling Weekly's live news blog.
I'm Tom Thewlis, here to bring you all the news you need from the world of cycling this Friday.
Ill be bringing you updates from the final stage of the Saudi Tour, as well as the other WorldTour races taking place today.
Plus we'll have all the build up to the cyclo-cross World Championships in the Netherlands this weekend.
If you want to reach me today to discuss a story, you can reach me on Twitter @thewlistt or via email at: email@example.com
- 09:07- Bolton Equities Black Spoke share images of new team Dogma
- 11:29- Chris Froome to race Melbourne to Warrnambol
- 12:21- Rapha undergoes "refinancing operation"
- 12:35- Team GB land silver medal in the mixed relay at the cyclo-cross World Championships.
- 13:30- Updates from the Saudi Tour
- 16:36- Simone Velasco wins stage three of the Volta Valenciana
Bolton Equities Black Spoke share images of new team bike
UCI ProTeam Bolton Equities Black Spoke have shared images of their new team bike for 2023, a rather beautiful purple Pinarello Dogma F.
The team from New Zealand have brought in British rider Matt Bostock as well as Rory Townsend for the new season.
Check out the bike in all it's glory below.
Introducing… the 2023 @Pinarello_com team whip 💜📸 @JoyceGhijs #theartofbalance #iconmakers #pinarello #dogma #dogmaf #pinarellodogma pic.twitter.com/xTjxs1FrjFFebruary 2, 2023
Chris Froome to race Melbourne to Warrnambol
Chris Froome has announced that he will line up at Saturday's Melbourne to Warrnambool race, with Israel-Premier Tech looking to make the most of further racing opportunities before moving to racing in Europe.
According to Cyclingnews, Froome will line up alongside a host of Australian domestic pros as well as ex-WorldTour rider Lachlan Morton.
“It’s going to be an epic day out on the bike. It’s a very historic event, one of the oldest cycling events that exists actually and it’s also one of the longest cycling events that exists,” said Froome in a video announcing his participation at the race.
“Part of my reason of being here out in Australia is to get a big workload in before I head back to the European racing season and take advantage of the good weather out here so it was a great opportunity for me to add this race in and get that racing in the legs before I head over to Europe.”
The 267 km race, which started in 1895, kicks off the season for Australia’s National Road Series and is not part of the UCI calendar.
Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt Liv-SRAM) is another high profile rider set to ride the women's event. Hosking saw her plans for 2023 destroyed with the collapse of the B&B Hotels team.
Rapha undergoing 'refinancing operation' to write off debt, but 'out performed' rivals in 2022
Premium UK cycling brand Rapha has said that it "out performed" its rivals in 2022 and that a recent refinancing of the business, involving existing shareholders, is aimed at reducing its cost of borrowing.
According to a report from Road.cc, documents filed at Companies House last week reveal that Carpegna Limited, the holding company of the north London-based business, underwent a debt-for-equity swap on 16 January this year, a process through which debt owed by a company is converted into shares, thereby reducing its total borrowings.
The process is understood to have been approved by the company's shareholders, including Rapha founder Simon Mottram, who sold a majority share in the business in summer 2017 to US-based RZV investments.
Francois Convercey, co-managing director of Rapha said: "Rapha confirms that it has recently concluded a debt-for-equity swap. Loans from Rapha shareholders were converted into equity and this transaction reflects the long-term commitment from our existing shareholders, and their belief in Rapha’s long-term potential.
"This transaction will better position Rapha to unlock our next phase of growth.”
Convercey also reiterated that there had been no change in shareholders within the business.
In terms of trading for the business, Convercey also highlighted that 2020/21 and 2021/22 had been record breaking years for the business in relation to turnover. Something which he said was “helped by the market tailwinds experienced by the broader cycling industry during that period.”
Meanwhile, other smaller cycling brands including VeloVixen and Milltag have both recently entered liquidation after "feeling the pinch" of the cost of living crisis in recent months.
Silver medal for Team GB in the mixed relay at CX worlds
Team GB have landed a silver medal in the mixed relay at the UCI cyclo-cross World Championships marking the first silverware for Great Britain at the competition in the Netherlands.
Star riders including Thomas Mein, female British national champion Zoe Backstedt and Anna Kay were involved in the event.
Cycling Weekly will bring you more on the event when we have it.
THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND DONE IT! 🥈🥈🥈A fantastic silver medal in the relay means the first medal of these World Champs is in the bag! #Hoogerheide2023 pic.twitter.com/BLFI0Loa3lFebruary 3, 2023
Saudi Tour stage five updates
We're well into stage five of the Saudi Tour.
It's the final day and the stage is set for Ruben Guerreiro to bring home the overall victory.
41 kilometres left to race and a small breakaway are up the road and the race is due to hit a small gravel section in five kilometres time.
31 km to go in the Saudi Tour
31 km to go and a six man break is still up the road including Marcus Sander-Hansen of UNO-X.
Panic seems to be ripping through the main bunch as they hit the gravel, and Movistar are looking to protect Guerreiro.
The break now have less than a minute, and are likely to soon be swept up.
They're off the gravel with most riders escaping without any major incidents.
25 kilometres left to race, and British rider Mark Donovan of Q36.5 has pushed on, looking to bridge across to the leading group who are now at just 25 seconds.
6 km to go and the breakaway still have 26 seconds
As the Saudi Tour fly's towards its conclusion, the break still has a slender gap of 22 seconds as the stage finish approaches.
Sander Hansen is still largely orchestrating their move, although the catch seems inevitable.
Groenewegen, Bol and all of the sprinters teams are leading the charge behind.
Consonni wins stage five!
What an effort that was!
After Jayco AIUla miscalculated their lead out for Groenewegen, Simone Consonni capitalised to take a superb victory for Cofidis.
Full report will be here shortly as Movistar and Ruben Guerreiro wrapped up the overall win.
Velasco wins stage three at Volta Valenciana
Simone Velasco won stage three of the Volta Valenciana this afternoon after outsprinting his rivals in the remnants of the days breakaway.
As the riders flew towards the finish, the leaders chances seemed to be gradually disappearing thanks to sterling work from Bahrain Victorious and Matej Mohoric.
However, hesitation from the main field left the trio of Bob Jungels (BORA-Hansgrohe), Jonas Wilsly (Uno-X) and Velasco to fight it out for the win.
Velasco launched a powerful late sprint to which nobody else had an answer to land an impressive win for Astana.
Read our Volta Valenciana stage three report here.
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