Morning all, Tom Thewlis here bringing you all the essential news in the world of cycling on this cold but sunny Wednesday morning.
It's 21 December and Christmas is around the corner. Are you out riding your bike today? Or are you scrolling through the news, counting down the hours at work?
Either way, get in touch with me via Twitter or email: email@example.com and let me know what you want to know about today in cycling!
- 09:25- Julian Alaphilippe to miss the Flemish Opening Weekend once more.
- 09:52- Caleb Ewan confirmed for Milan-San Remo.
- 10:43- B & B Hotels-KTM not registered as a team for 2023 with French National Cycling League.
- 11:09- Autopsy confirms that impact with truck killed Davide Rebellin.
- 11:57- Remco Evenepoel confirms he will begin 2023 campaign at the Vuelta a San Juan.
- 12:09- Organisers unveil US Nocturne Cycling Series.
- 12:40- AG Insurance- Soudal Quick-Step unveils new Castelli for for 2023.
-13:25- Servais Knaven confirmed as AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step sports manager
- 15:33- Alexander Richardson resigns with British UCI Continental team Saint Piran
- 16:32- Movistar release teaser for season four of Netflix documentary 'The Least Expected Day'
JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE TO MISS OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD ONCE MORE
Julian Alaphilippe will reportedly begin his 2023 season with the Faun-Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic, meaning that he will once more miss the opening weekend of the Flemish Classics in 2023.
According to WielerFlits, the Frenchman will skip Omloop Het Niewusblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne next February, and instead he will target the alternative races which take place on the same weekend in France instead.
According to the organiser of the Faun-Ardèche and Drôme Classics, Romain Bardet will also make an appearance in the two events next year.
Alaphilippe rode both the Faun-Ardèche Classic and Drôme Classic last season, finishing in 25th and fifth respectively.
One of Alaphilippe's main goals next spring is expected to be the Tour of Flanders, a race he was in contention to win in 2020 before colliding with a motorbike in a horrific crash, before being forced to abandon.
Due to injury and illness, Alaphilippe was not selected for last season's Tour.
CALEB EWAN CONFIRMED FOR MILAN-SAN REMO
The Australian sprinter has gone close on several occasions, proving himself as being one of a select group of sprinters able to tackle the Poggio climb in the races' finale and stay with the leaders.
Ewan finished second in San-Remo at the 2018 edition of the race to winner Vincenzo Nibali. He was runner up once more in 2021 to winner Jasper Stuyven.
Lotto-Dstny manager Kurt Van de Wouwer also told Sporza that rising star on the team, Arnaud De Lie, will appear on a more frequent basis at some of cyclings top classics next season.
De Lie is expected to start both Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix next season.
"We know within the team that Paris-Roubaix has been keeping Arnaud awake for several years," Van de Wouwer said. "He's always very motivated."
B & B HOTELS-KTM NOT REGISTERED WITH FRENCH CYCLING AUTHORITIES FOR 2023
The now defunct B & B Hotels-KTM team have not been registered in any capacity with the French national cycling league for 2023.
B & B Hotels recently collapsed after a big money sponsorship deal failed to materialise, leaving multiple riders facing a last ditch scramble to find new teams for the coming season.
Mark Cavendish was one of several big name signings that the team were reportedly set to announce, although the squad were ultimately left disappointed by manager Jérôme Pineau.
For a while Pineau had said that the team hoped to at least be able to race at Continental level next year, although according to French newspaper Le Telegramme that is no longer an option.
Le Telegramme has also reported that approximately 50 people have been left without work after the teams collapse, including 22 riders.
Meanwhile Cavendish has been heavily linked with a move to Astana Qazaqstan.
AUTOPSY CONFIRMS IMPACT WITH TRUCK KILLED DAVIDE REBELLIN
Davide Rebellin's funeral is due to be held on Friday morning in his hometown of Lonigo near Vicenza in northern Italy, after a scheduled autopsy was completed on his body.
According to reports from various news sources in Italy, results from the autopsy confirmed that the former professional cyclist's death was caused by the impact with the truck that is alleged to have struck him on a roundabout near Lonigo. No other underlying medical conditions were discovered.
According to a report from Cyclingnews, police in Italy are considering issuing a European arrest warrant for the German truck driver, who allegedly stopped after the impact but then drove away and returned to Germany.
Italian police are due to carry out a reconstruction of the incident to fully understand the details of what happened in the build up to Rebellin's death.
Authorities reportedly already have both video and photographic evidence from the crime scene which was provided to them by witnesses as well as from cameras in a nearby restaurant car park.
Rebellin's widow wrote about her heartbreaking loss and love for the former professional rider in a Facebook post. Françoise married the Italian rider in 2004 and they lived together in the hills near Vicenza and Montecarlo.
"I’m trying to recover from what has happened but how can I without you? Please, hug me with your aura that was so beautiful, so kind and so warming. Give me the strength to pick myself up. Rest in peace, the peace you so deserve. You will always be in my heart, in my being, forever," she wrote.
Other tributes poured in for Rebellin in the aftermath of his death from across the cycling community.
REMCO EVENEPOEL CONFIRMS HE WILL BEGIN SEASON AT VUELTA A SAN JUAN
The Belgian rider who won both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Vuelta a España will return to the race where he made his first professional outing in 2019 before returning and winning it the following year.
In a video released on social media, Evenepoel said he was looking forward to wearing the rainbow jersey in Argentina next year.
"I'm happy to race again in San Juan, it was my first race as a pro in 2019, I have a lot of great memories from my previous outings in Argentina, and I'm delighted to start my year in the rainbow jersey there," Evenepoel said.
"I hope to see many of those amazing fans on the road and I can't wait to debut my Soudal-QuickStep world champion jersey in a couple of weeks," he added.
ORGANISERS UNVEIL US NOCTURNE CYCLING SERIES
A new three-race criterium series has been unveiled in the United States by its organisers Endurance Sport Marketing.
Taking place in El Paso, St Petersburg and San Rafael, the three-race series is called Nocturne Cycling Series . Each event will feature several categories of racing through the day and into the night around a 1.5 kilometre circuit.
The new series builds on the original Nocturne Cycling event which was first developed in 2007 in London.
“Our firm was honoured to be offered the opportunity to launch the Nocturne Cycling Series in the U.S. and after 18 months of planning, searching, and many site visits, we are happy with the first three choices we made with our partners and cities," Craig Mintzlaff of Endurance Sports Marketing said.
"Our ideas and London’s success will create a unique event that Americans will find quite different and festive than anything else seen in the States."
The series is scheduled to be held throughout September in 2023 with San Rafael in California playing host to the first race on 9 September.
It will then travel to El Paso, Texas on 16 September before wrapping in St Petersburg, Florida on 23 September.
AG INSURANCE- SOUDAL QUICK-STEP WOMEN'S TEAM UNVEILS NEW KIT
The recently rebranded AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step team has revealed a new look for 2023 that clearly displays its ties with the men's team moving forward.
Earlier this year, the team were riding under the name AG Insurance-NXTG but partnered with the Patrick Lefevere run Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl squad.
In addition to Soudal being brought onboard as a new headline sponsor for both the men's and women's teams, Castelli has also come onboard as kit supplier to the new women's team.
Both of the teams new kit's follow a similar design made up of dark blue and white, with just logos of a few key sponsors being the main difference.
New year, new design! Together with our new partner Castelli we have more ambition than ever 💥Tell us what you think in comments 👇#supporterofyourlife #unlockyourpotential #supporterofbelgiancycling #AGInsurancenxtgracing📸 Woutbeel & Cedricdepraetere pic.twitter.com/h82XhZSV1PDecember 21, 2022
DATES FOR THE UAE TOUR IN 2023 RELEASED
Earlier this week the dates for the UAE Tour in 2023 were confirmed by race organisers RCS.
Next years edition of the race through the desert is due to start and finish in Abu Dhabi, and will take place between 20-26 February 2023. Further details of the route are expected to be announced in early January.
Fabrizio D'Amico, chief operating officer for RCS Sports and UAE Tour director said that once again, the UAE Tour will provide the perfect opportunity for the best riders in the world to begin their season.
“For the past eight years the UAE has exponentially grown from strength to strength in professional cycling. The seven stage WorldTour race will enter is fifth edition in February 2023 and will once again attract the best riders from all the world," he said.
"The UAE Tour is always an exciting race as it allows the riders to test themselves ahead of the European calendar races and the Grand Tour races and sets the tone of the season to come”.
The first ever UAE Tour was held in 2019 and was won by Primož Roglič.
Adam Yates won the race the following year during the Covid interrupted 2020 season, with Tadej Pogačar taking the victory in both 2021 and 2022.
Meanwhile little is currently known about the 2023 UAE Tour for women.
AG INSURANCE-SOUDAL QUICK-STEP CONFIRM SERVAIS KNAVEN TO BE NEW SPORTS MANAGER
Servais Knaven has been confirmed as the new sports manager for the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step team for 2023 according to our sister site Cyclingnews.
Until recently Knaven was working as a directeur sportif for the Ineos Grenadiers team but left during an overhaul of the British squads coaching staff this winter.
Knaven’s wife Natascha van Ouden, a four-time Dutch cyclo-cross champion, is already the team manager, while his daughters Britt, Mirre and Senne Knaven are all part of the roster for the next season.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio also recently signed for the Dutch registered team from SD Worx for 2023.
Partnering with the men's Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl squad for the new season will see them share backers with Patrick Lefevere's men's team. Both squads will have Soudal as a headline sponsor and share Castelli as a kit supplier.
“All the parties who are putting their shoulders to the wheel of our women's team have been active in cycling for several years, so they are familiar with the ins and outs of the cycling world,” Lefevere said.
“It’s a factor that is obviously extremely important if you want to build something together.”
ALEX RICHARDSON RE-SIGNS WITH SAINT PIRAN FOR 2023
British UCI Continental team Saint Piran have confirmed that star rider Alex Richardson has resigned with the Cornwall-based team for 2023.
Former WiV SunGod rider Richardson has vast experience at a higher level, previously racing for UCI ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix. He also came third in the British national championships road race this year behind Mark Cavendish and Sam Watson.
The 32-year-old also took the honours at the Ryedale GP this year in what was a solid season in the colours of Saint Piran.
Richard Pascoe, general manager of the British team said that keeping hold of Richardson was central to the teams long term racing ambitions.
“We are a family and building a team is about lots of different aspects coming together sure performance is key but what we have in Alex is a man that portrays the right values in a human . This leadership is key am delighted he has committed to Saint Piran for the foreseeable future," Pascoe said.
"He’s a road captain and we have some unfinished business for and with Alex around what he wants to achieve . The last eight months is about building a culture in the team, and one which all our riders thrive in and Alex is central to developing all our new talent," he added.
SERGIO HIGUITA SAYS SOME WORLDTOUR TEAMS 'FORGET' ABOUT SENIOR PROS
Sergio Higuita has said that some top level cycling teams are so focussed on finding the next Tadej Pogačar, they then forget that older riders on their roster can still perform at a very high level.
In an interview with El Colombiano, Higuita explained that he feels teams are too caught up in the pursuit to find the next Evenepoel, Ayuso or Pogacar and forget about the quality that they already have.
“There is too much pressure for riders today," Higuita said. "It is that with what they have been doing, for example, Remco, Tadej or Ayuso, the big teams believe that it is the young people who are going to perform and not the old ones. And it happens that with Roglic, Quintana, Urán... you can also achieve high performance."
"The teams are looking for a new Pogacar, but not all young riders are going to become like him," he added.
Higuita is one of several South American riders that has risen through cycling's development ranks to then go on to perform at the highest level in the WorldTour and achieve results.
Last season Higuita won the Colombian national road championships as well as winning the general classification at the Volta a Catalunya.
However, Higuita has noticed that the development programme that he along with other riders such as Egan Bernal, Dani Martinez and Santiago Buitrago followed is now "being ignored".
“The quality is still there, but due to the desire to get young Colombian cyclists, they are skipping the processes. A good school must be done, especially in Europe, as Dani Martínez, Bernal, Iván Sosa, Santiago Buitrago, I did... I saw that none of them immediately made it to the WorldTour," he added.
MOVISTAR RELEASE TEASER FOR 'THE LEAST EXPECTED DAY' SEASON FOUR
Movistar have released a short teaser video for season four of their Netflix documentary 'The Least Expected Day'.
The show run in collaboration with Netflix has been highly successful for the Spanish team. Each season has documented the teams most recent year with the recently released third season documenting the fallout of Miguel Angel Lopez's row with management at the Vuelta a Espana.
Other highlights of season three was an in depth look at Annemiek van Vleuten's success with the team so far.
In the late summer I watched the whole series so that you don't have to! Here's what I learned from watching season three of the least expected day.
Over at Cycling Weekly, this is what we want to see in the upcoming series too.
#ElDíaMenosPensado. Season 4.🔜🔜 | @vamos @MovistarPlus @Telefonica | #MovistarTeam2023 pic.twitter.com/qVNnwd3EF3December 21, 2022
Right! That's all we've got time for today folks!
See you back here for another day of live blog action tomorrow!
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1