CW LIVE: 'UCI is a mafia': doper defends Nairo Quintana; Giro d'Italia cities see pink; Marianne Vos extends with Jumbo-Visma; Cam Mason's boxfresh champion's jersey; flying start for Saint Piran's Track Champs debut; Kobe Goossens wins Trofeo Andratx

Your daily dose of all the good stuff from the world of cycling

Good morning, Happy Friday and welcome to CW LIVE. I'm James Shrubsall and I'm going to be aiming to brighten up this dreary old January day for you with big serving of sizzling two-wheeled news from every corner of the cycling world. Enjoy.

Key stories

09:13 - Fan fave Johnny Hoogerland returns to UCI racing
09:38 - Brussels to bid for 2030 World Championship
09:57 - Nairo Quintana defended by sanctioned doper Jarlinson Pantano
10:41 - Marianne Vos is not done yet, says her Jumbo-Visma DS
11:24 - Giro d'Italia cities see pink with 100 days till the start
12:11 - Another rubbish bike lane
12:35 - Marianne Vos extends for two more years with Jumbo-Visma
13:11 - Fastest ever stage in La Tropicale
14:51 - Britain's Kyle Gordon wins Sharjah tour ITT ahead of Hoogerland
15:07 - Jumbo-Visma competition to win a signed Marianne Vos jersey
15:34 - Tro-Bro Léon – France's own Strade Bianche – unveils route
16:16 - Cameron Mason's boxfresh jersey
16:47 - Saint Piran makes National Track Champs debut
17:32 - Kobe Goossens goes deep to win Trofeo Andratx


Johnny Hoogerland returns to the peloton after six-and-a-half year break

Gent Wevelgem 2010

Hoogerland in Gent Wevelgem 2010

(Image credit: Tim De Waele / Getty Images)

Ever seen 'Barbed Wire'? No, not that one. The Tour de France version, which made a cycling-household name of Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland in the space of a few traumatic yards when he was catapulted into a spiky fence by a race vehicle in the 2011 Tour de France and was left with shredded shorts.

We all felt pretty sorry for him, but thankfully that episode is ancient history, and now he is lining up again in a UCI race, the 2.2 Sharjah Tour with the Shabab Al Ahli team. It run from today until 31 Jan.

Hoogerland had moved to Austrian with his wife and now runs a cycling orientated hotel, the Pension Hoogerland, near the Slovenian border, reports ProCyclingStats.

He was persuaded to hook up with the team by former team-mate Grega Bole, he said: “I quickly discussed it at home and my wife said: ‘Just go for it! Should be cool!’ I have the most fantastic wife you could imagine.”

The fan's favourite is still riding 27,000km a year – who knows where his new appointment could lead. Go Johnny Go! 

Brussels to bid for 2030 Worlds

Brussels Classic

Evenepoel wins the Brussels Classic 2021

(Image credit: Mark Van Hecke / Getty)

Brussels is to bid for the 2030 World Championships, with a view to celebrating Belgium's national anniversary, reports

"After all, Belgium will then have existed for two hundred years and that deserves the necessary festive activities," the report says.

It also mentions the idea of a 30-something Remco Evenepoel wanting to have a crack at repeating his Wollongong triumph from last year, as well as the successful Leuven championships from the year before. 

Among those competing for the bid will be, apparently, Guadeloupe. The Caribbean in September, anyone?

"UCI is a mafia": Nairo Quintana defended by sanctioned doper Jarlinson Pantano

Quintana and Pantano

Quintana (l) and Pantano in 2016

(Image credit: Kenzo Tribouillard / Getty)

Seeing as he is currently trying to appear as credible as possible after testing positive for the painkiller tramadol and being DQ'd from the Tour de France last year, Nairo Quintana probably didn't really need a rider sanctioned for EPO calling out the UCI as "a mafia" on his behalf.

But that is what fellow Colombian Jarlinson Pantano has done, reports Spanish outlet Marca.

"The UCI is a mafia," he said. "Unfortunately, I feel ... that the UCI wants to damage the image of us Colombians and it is succeeding."

Pantano was banned for four years after testing positive for EPO in 2019 and subsequently retiring.

Quintana was expected to announce his retirement this week but instead vowed to continue his career. 

Cyclo-Cross Worlds will miss Marianne Vos, "But she's not done yet" insists Jumbo-Visma DS 

Superprestige Merksplas 2022

(Image credit: Luc Claessen / Getty)

Reigning CX world champion Marianne Vos will not defend her rainbow bands at the upcoming Hoogerheide World Championship, her Jumbo-Visma team confirmed yesterday.

She is apparently suffering from a narrowing pelvic artery – an issue she has experienced in the past and that restricts blood flow to her legs.

As a result she has not managed a podium in any of the four World Cup races she's taken part in this season; at last weekend's most recent outing in Benidorm she finished 14th.

“It has not been a very nice cross winter for her," Jumbo DS Jan Boven told Dutch outlet AD. "She can cycle very well at the level she needs for five or six minutes. But then she has to slow down to get reasonable laps at the end."

She has had the artery operated on before, but it is not an operation that surgeons like to repeat, he said.

"Marianne is not done cycling yet, but she has to make the decision," he insisted.

The World Championship at Hoogerheide starts 3 Feb and runs till 5 Feb.

Giro d'Italia cities to be lit up in pink


(Image credit: Giro d'Italia)

Forget seeing red, in Italy tonight bike fans – and everyone else for that matter – will be seeing 'rosa', as the host cities for this year's Giro d'Italia bathe various monuments and landmarks in the colour of its leader's jersey to mark 100 days to go until the race.

Among those to get the pink treatment will be the Trevi Fountain in Rome (shown above), the Castle of Rivoli, and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites, which mark the end of stage 19.

If pink-tinged light shows aren't really your thing, you can console yourself with the fact that the first Grand Tour of the year really isn't that far away.

The Giro d'Italia starts at the Fossacesia Marina on Saturday 6 May.

Another 'stupid and useless' bike lane throws its hat into the ring

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As each day passes, another cycle lane emerges that was apparently conceived either as a rubbish joke or on a Friday afternoon when thoughts were on little other than weekend plans.  

The latest candidate is this seven-foot gem in the Stirchley area of Birmingham, reports The Independent. Musings on the lane, which takes around one second to ride from beginning to end, included wondering what the point is, and how much exactly it cost to install. And one commenter quipped - "hope you don't have a tandem".

A – presumably rather bamboozled – council spokesperson defended the lane by saying it wasn't actually a lane at all: “This isn’t a cycle lane it is just for transition purposes for cyclists getting off the Toucan crossing onto the carriageway."

Marianne Vos

(Image credit: Getty)

Marianne Vos has signed for a further two years with the Jumbo-Visma, the team announced today. The 35-year-old reigning cyclo-cross champion may be suffering from an issue with her pelvic artery, but the team clearly still have faith in her.

From the team statement accompanying the news, it is clear that Jumbo-Visma values Vos as not only someone who can win, but who can inspire an upcoming generation.

"Marianne... keeps winning races. We are confident that this will continue in the years to come," said sports technical director Rutger Tijssen. "Marianne also acts as a mentor to the young riders. Not by telling them what to do or not to do, but by 'learning by example'. She teaches the newcomers a lot about how to prepare, communicate, work together and deal with the setbacks that can come with being a top athlete. She is also of great value to us in this respect."

Said Vos: "I enjoy racing together and fighting for victory as a team... And my own development is still ongoing. I am motivated to train hard to get the best out of myself."

Angel of Amissa Bongo romps to fastest ever stage

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Spain's Miguel Angel Fernández romped to victory in what was the fastest stage ever recorded in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo stage race in Gabon, Africa this morning.

The Burgos-BH rider sprinted to a powerful finish just ahead of the bunch at the end of stage five – a flat, 104km outing, which was run off at 49.54kph (30.8mph).

TotalEnergies continue to rule the roost in the GC stakes, with French rider Jason Tesson holding on to the yellow jersey for a third day, after taking it from his team-mate Geoffrey Soupe after stage three.

The race finishes on Sunday with a 130km seventh stage to Owenda.

And the results are in...

Tour de France 2011

Johnny Hoogerland sporting infamous war wounds in the 2011 Tour de France

(Image credit: Joel Saget / AFP / Getty)

As we mentioned earlier, Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland came out of a six-year hiatus earlier today to begin the UCI 2.2 Tour of Sharjah. Well, the results are in and we can confirm he finished 37th of 140 in the 8.9km opening time trial.

Not too bad at all considering the lengthy break from racing he's taken – not to mention the fact he's 39 years old.

Winner was none other than Britain's Kyle Gordon, riding for the local Torq team and taking his first pro win in what was his first ever stage race.

Hoogerland shot into fan consciousness in the 2011 Tour de France after being catapulted into a barbed wire fence by a race vehicle. His grim determination to hang on and finish the race won him a lot of supporters, who are going to be following the five-stage Sharjah tour closely.

Jumbo-Visma are giving away a signed Marianne Vos jersey, if you like that sort of thing

Marianne Vos

(Image credit: Luc Claessen / Getty)

If you're enjoying the Marianne Vos content today, how about a little more? The Dutch star's Jumbo-Visma team are offering the chance to win one of its iconic yellow team jerseys signed by Vos, who has just extended with the team today for a further two years.

The competition closes next Friday, 3 Feb, so if this is in your wheelhouse, get over to its website and get signed up.

A great one for Marianne fans which, we should probably add, we're not affiliated with.

France's own Strade Bianche unveils route

Connor Swift wins Tro-Bro Léon 2021

Connor Swift wins Tro-Bro Léon 2021

(Image credit: Eurosport/GCN)

You mightn't travel all the way to southern Brittany for a bit of surf 'n' turf – unless perhaps it came with a side of classic bike race. The Tro Bro Léon has revealed its race parcours for 2023, calling the 203.1km route a 'land and sea menu'.

Held Sunday 7 May, it starts and finishes at Lannilis on Brittany's far western tip, and does indeed feature around half inland, half coastal roads. But the race's trump card is its 'ribinoù' – the dirt and gravel roads which make this northern France's own version of Strade Bianche.

There are 27 sectors, with the longest being 2.3km and the last one – at Keroüartz Castle – coming just seven kilometres before the line.

Held in what is French cycling heartland, the Tro Bro Léon is UCI 1.Pro ranked – more lowly perhaps than its Italian counterpart, but it has more history – this will be the 39th edition.

It was won in 2021 by Britain's Connor Swift for Arkéa-Samsic, who followed that up with third last year behind team-mate Hugo Hofstetter. Now at Ineos Grenadiers, will we see Swift here again?

Cameron Mason shows off new national champion's jersey

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New national cyclo-cross men's champion Cameron Mason is all set for tomorrow's X2O Trofee Hamme - Flandriencross, having taken delivery of this spanking new champion's jersey.

It's just about as boxfresh as we've ever seen anything – though we imagine it'll stay that way for all of 30 seconds once the 22-year-old Trinity rider hits the Flandrian mud tomorrow.

It's also due to get an outing in the elite race at the Hoogerheide World Championship next weekend.

"Feels real now," he tweeted. "Look out for the white tomorrow in Hamme."

He also thanked supplier Specialized for the timely delivery.

European Track Championship

Charlie Tanfield in action at last year's 2022 Euro Track Champs

(Image credit: John MacDougall / AFP Getty)

Saint Piran's first appearance at a National Track Championship has got off to a promising start at the Geraint Thomas velodrome in Newport today, with its riders Charlie Tanfield, Josh Charlton and Will Roberts setting the second, third and fourth fastest times in the first men's pursuit round.

Huub-Wattshop's Michael Gill was fastest, with the final being contested this evening.

Saint Piran's Will Tidball, Rhys Britton and Jack Rootkin-Gray will take part in the points and scratch races, taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

The Cornish team has also sent new signings Danni Khan and Ella Barnwell, who are also bound for the scratch and points races.

In a statement, DS Steve Lampier called it a new chapter for the team, saying: "Having so many Great Britain Track representatives in the Cornish team is fantastic not just for the team but the possibility of starting the season on a high.”

Kobe Goossens goes deep – very deep – to win Trofeo Andratx

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Flat out on the floor and surrounded by team staff, Kobe Goossens leaves no doubt as to how hard he dug today to finish solo winner in today's instalment of the Challenge Mallorca, the mountainous Trofeo Andratx.

The Belgian Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider attacked with 70km to ride, staying away over the cat-one Puig Major to record his first pro win. Pelayo Sánchez (Burgos-BH) was second, with Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto-Dstny) third.

The 160km parcours started in Andratx and finished atop the cat-three Mirador des Colomer climb, just outside Pollença

EF Education-EasyPost Brits Hugh Carthy, Owain Doull and James Shaw finished 14th, 41st and 42nd respectively. But on a wet, cold day, more than half the field were outside the time limit or failed to finish.

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