Good morning. There are just eleven days left in 2022, and we still don't know where Mark Cavendish is going to sign for next year. It's also just five days until Christmas, so it would be a nice present from him and his future team,
Astana, if they just came out and announced it.
Here we go.
9.29 Mathieu van der Poel spotted on possible new Canyon
9.56 Annemiek van Vleuten and Dylan van Baarle chosen as Dutch cyclists of the year
10.43 Jumbo-Visma release new kit
10.54 Mark Cavendish spotted at Astana camp
11.47 Lotto-Dstny release 2023 jersey
12.12 2023 Vuelta a España's opening two stages revealed
13.10 Chantal van den Broek-Blaak tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2008 - reports
16.17 Lisa Brennauer heading up new German one-day race
US time zone
14:20 Cynisca Cycling Announces Bike and Equipment Sponsors
13:30 1,000 Cycling Santas pedal through Rome
Mathieu van der Poel spotted on possible new Canyon
This time of year is rife with bike testing, as manufacturers send new models to team training camps to get some time out on the open road with star riders and get some honest feedback.
Mathieu van der Poel was photographed last week - in pictures uploaded by himself - riding a blacked out bike without branding, suggesting it is something new from Alpecin-Fenix's sponsors Canyon.
It could be a prototype bike, or possibly just a different version of the Aeroad model he currently uses.
The photos of Van der Poel on the bike appeared briefly on his teammate, Gianni Vermeersch's Instagram and in a Strava activity by Van der Poel but have since been removed.
The frame looks quite similar to the Aeroad, with a couple of tweaks.
Our friends at Cyclingnews (opens in new tab) reported that there appears to be a change in the frame at the junction of the top tube and seat tube area with the pictures showing some extra material in this area. The head tube also looks slightly different – appearing slightly thinner and having some sort of aero profiling at the bottom of the head tube. The tyres on the bike also look to be higher volume and at least a 28mm size than the ones Van der Poel would usually use on the road.
Canyon told WielerFlits (opens in new tab) that the frame is a prototype and "something we are working on".
Annemiek van Vleuten and Dylan van Baarle chosen as Dutch cyclists of the year
Annemiek van Vleuten and Dylan van Baarle were chosen as the cyclists of the year in the Netherlands on Monday.
Van Vleuten won the Giro d'Italia Donne, the Tour de France Femmes, the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta and the World Championships in a record-breaking year, and so was awarded the Keetie van Oosten-Hage Trophy for a fourth time.
Van Baarle, meanwhile, won Paris-Roubaix and came second at the Tour of Flanders, and so was given the Gerrit Schulte Trophy for the first time. His compatriot Mathieu van der Poel might have won Flanders and worn pink at the Giro d'Italia, but it was Van Baarle who won.
The awards were voted for by the Dutch Trade Union of Professional Cyclists (VVBW) and the public, who were allowed to vote via WielerFlits (opens in new tab).
Jumbo-Visma release new kit
Jumbo-Visma has released its new 2023 kit, which is very similar to the old kit. It still is mainly yellow - shock - and has the black band with the sponsors across the middle.
The "roots to rise" jersey will be worn by both the men's and women's team, with only a small change in sponsors between the two.
The difference comes with the rainbow highlight either side of the black band, and the new sponsors, which are Bet City, SRAM and Lease a Bike for the men, and Elfi, and the same latter two for the women.
The kit has been designed to mark ten years of the Dutch team, which began as Blanco Pro Cycling Team in 2013 after the demise of Rabobank - the finance sponsors pulled out due to the prevalence of doping in cycling.
The team was then known as Belkin, before it became LottoNL-Jumbo, and then finally Jumbo-Visma.
"With this jersey, we pay tribute to what we have achieved together over the past ten years, and it is a starting point for further growth over the next ten years”, general manager Richard Plugge said in a statement.
"We built the team from the ground up to where we are today, with the Tour de France victory last summer being the absolute highlight. By wearing this jersey, we pay tribute to our history, but at the same time, we look forward to the future."
"We have had some wonderful moments in recent years. Think of winning our first grand tour with Primoz Roglic in 2019, the monumental victories, last year's Tour de France, the results of culture carriers like Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk, and the development of talents like Olav Kooij."
“We pioneered new territory a few years ago with the launch of our training and women's teams. We started from scratch and completely redesigned the team. “We now have a solid foundation and will build on the future of the team and Dutch and international cycling."
As a result of it being a 10 year anniversary kit, anyone who buys the jersey before 6 January will received 10 artworks on cards which remember the team's greatest moments, from Lars Boom winning over the cobbles at the Tour de France in 2014 to Jonas Vingegaard winning the Tour de France last year.
Fans can also vote for their favourite moment (opens in new tab) for a chance to win a signed jersey.
Mark Cavendish spotted at Astana-Qazaqstan team camp
We all thought yesterday would be the day we finally were all told where Mark Cavendish would end up in 2023 - and that it would almost definitely be Astana-Qazaqstan.
However, it still hasn't happened, with speculation rumbling on, but today might be the day for it all to come out.
One thing that has happened, according to various sources, is that Cavendish, along with leadout man Cees Bol, have arrived at Astana's training camp in Calpe, Spain.
The record-breaking Tour de France sprinter was linked heavily with Astana since it terminated its contract with Miguel Ángel López last week, freeing up space on the team and funding to sign him.
It is the end of a saga which has seen Cavendish rumoured to be joining all sorts of teams after the collapse of the B&B Hotels squad, which were leading the race to sign him.
VeloNews reported on Tuesday morning that Cavendish and Bol were at the Astana camp, and other sources on social media have also suggested the same thing, including a very blurry photo which could be the former on a Willier bike.
🤔🇰🇿🤔🇰🇿🤔Mark Cavendish will probably go to Astana because he's riding Wilier's bike.🙆♀️🇪🇸🙆♀️🇪🇸🙆♀️ pic.twitter.com/f4AvhFpfPCDecember 19, 2022
Lotto-Dstny launch new kit
First we had Jumbo-Visma's, now we have Lotto-Dstny's kit for 2023. The artists formerly known as Lotto-Soudal have got rid of the big expanse of white on their kit and replaced it with the teal of Dstny, a Belgian software company.
The team is now a ProTeam, having been relegated from the WorldTour this year, but will still be at some of the biggest races in 2023, with riders like Caleb Ewan, Thomas de Gendt and Andreas Kron.
The same kit will also be worn by their women's Continental-level team, and their development team too.
In the launch video, narrated by Caleb Ewan, the fact they are all "real coureurs", riders, is repeated.
Ready to race as real coureurs in 2023 🔥How do you like our brand new Lotto Dstny kit? pic.twitter.com/uwDHW497Y6December 20, 2022
2023 Vuelta a España to start with TTT
The 2023 Vuelta a España is to begin with a team time trial around Barcelona, the race's organisers announced today.
The 14km route will start in the Catalunyan city's Olympic Port district, before winding its way through some of its "most emblematic" streets on a quick, technical circuit. Jumbo-Visma won the opening TTT in 2022, putting Robert Gesink in red.
Stage two of the Vuelta will also finish in Barcelona, but it starts just north in Mataró, passing over the third category Coll de Sant Bartomeu and the second category Coll d'Estenalles, before returning to the city and finishing at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium. This means a final ascent of Montjuic, so often the decider of the Volta a Catalunya.
It is the first time Barcelona has hosted the opening stages of the Vuelta since 1962.
Happy birthday to Rik van Looy, Giulio Ciccone and Stan Dewulf
Happy birthday to Rik van Looy, the Emperor of Herentals, who turns 89 today. The Belgian was the first rider to win all five Monuments, was twice world champion, and won 37 Grand Tour stage wins. Not a bad palamarés.
Of current riders, it's also Stan Dewulf of AG2R Citroën's 25th birthday, and Giulio Ciccone of Trek-Segafredo turns 28 today. With Michael Rogers also turning 43 and Michael Albasini 42, we hope they're all having a big birthday party somewhere.
Fancy a Christmas jersey?
If you are struggling for Christmas gifts for the cyclist in your life, and you've exhausted Cycling Weekly's gift guide, and you've already taken out a subscription to our excellent magazine, then it might be time to find something truly weird.
That's where Ekoï's Christmas jersey comes in, with just 15 being produced for the most committed of Christmas cyclists. Perhaps it can only be worn on the day itself? I don't know. I'm not its biggest fan.
Tickets for British National Track Championships on sale
Tickets for the British National Track Championships are now on sale (opens in new tab). For the second year in a row, they are being held in Newport due to ongoing refurbishments at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
Prices range from £5 to £15, with concessions available, so it seems like a great day or night out if you're anywhere near south Wales, or even further away.
I actually had a go on the Newport track a couple of weeks ago, and can confirm it's fast if a bit bumpy in places, so I hope that the elite athletes reading this take that on board.
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2008 - reports
Dutch rider Chantal van den Broek-Blaak tested positive for a banned diuretic during the World University Championships in 2008, according to a Dutch newspaper report on Tuesday.
The Dutchwoman finished second to take silver at the event, held in Nijmegen in 2008, and has gone on to have a very successful career, including winning the World Championship road race 2017.
Dutch newspaper AD reported (opens in new tab) on Tuesday morning that Van den Broek-Blaak tested positive for the banned substance Furosemide after the May 2008 race, but she didn't receive any form of sanction or ban.
Currently, a positive test for the diuretic would mean a four-year ban, while in 2008 it would've meant a two-year ban, if a therapeutic-use exemption wasn't applied.
The statute of limitations mean that Van den Broek-Blaak cannot be sanctioned now, whatever the truth behind the positive test.
"My conclusion is that we were right to hand it over to FISU (International University Sports Federation) in 2008 and it's extraordinary that only the result of the relevant competition would be deleted," Vincent Egbers, the chair of the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority, told AD.
"It's not easy to check whether the UCI or Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) were informed at the time. It was certainly not the custom at the time.
"The procedure has now been amended and stricter rules now apply – the association and international federation are now informed by us and we follow positive cases closely."
"At the time I explained my story to the parties and agencies involved. They subsequently decided not to impose a suspension on me," Van den Broek-Blaak told AD.
"I don't want to discuss a case that happened 14 years ago which had nothing to do with doping. I want to emphasize again that I have never used doping during my career, and that I can look at myself in the mirror."
Our friends at Cyclingnews (opens in new tab) got the following response from Van den Broek-Blaak's current team, SD Worx: "Team SD Worx has talked with its cyclist Chantal van den Broek-Blaak about the incident concerning a positive test on the drug Furosemide in 2008. This incident happened seven years before she started riding for our team. The team was never aware of this incident.
"Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has stated to the team that this case has nothing to do with doping. She explained her story to the parties and authorities involved at the time. They subsequently decided not to suspend her. Furthermore, the rider emphasized to the team that she has never used doping throughout her career.
"Within the team, there is an absolute zero tolerance towards the use of doping and banned substances. There have never been any cases of doping within the team since the founding of the team."
Shropshire town heralds e-bike delivery revolution
The people of Wellington, Shropshire, are using a new e-bike delivery service to have some of their Christmas presents cycled straight to their homes.
The BBC reported on the new scheme which sees shoppers send a text to a special number where a team of five volunteers are standing by to collect their shopping and get it home for them.
The Shropshire Cycle Hub scheme is aimed at both greener transport and also encourage people to shop local.
"We're all senior citizens who are doing it," Paul Kalinauckas, one of the riders, said.
"So by accident we've all ended up at a senior citizens' exercise class."
Cyclists in South Africa warned not to cycle alone due to attacks
Cyclists in South Africa have been warned not to cycle alone by the Pedal Power Association (PPA) due to the threat of attacks.
“The violence of these attacks is extremely worrying,” PPA president Neil Robinson said, according to the Boksburg Advertiser (opens in new tab).
“We are continuously meeting with local and national government stakeholders to find solutions for these attacks. The violent attacks on cyclists need to stop and we are making the right noises in the right places to find solutions to the problem."
“The SAPS [South African Police Service] are trying their best to patrol the areas of concern whenever they can, but criminals do not always attack in the same spot, they move around,” he added.
Among the PPA's advice is to not cycle alone, to not cycle in the dark, and to practice "situational awareness".
Cycling Father Christmases assemble in Rome
Almost a thousand cyclists dressed as Father Christmas gathered on Sunday in front of the Colosseum in Rome for a charity cycle ride, Euronews reported (opens in new tab).
The event aimed to raise funds for cancer treatment for children and to support their families, for the children's charity, Peter Pan'
The organisation, which is based in the Italian capital, has helped over 700 families since being founded in 1994.
The full video can be watched on the Euronews site (opens in new tab).
Lisa Brennauer heading up new German one-day race
Lisa Brennauer is to head up a new women’s one-day race in Germany, after her retirement from professional cycling.
The former Olympic and world champion will be the sport director of the Women’s Cycling Grand Prix, which will take place in Stuttgart, Germany on 16 July next year, VeloNews reported.
“It’s incredibly exciting to switch to the other side and get to know cycling from a different perspective. I am happy to contribute my experience to the Women’s Cycling Grand Prix and thus promote women’s cycling because the new race can be an important step for the future of our sport,” Brennauer said.
“I think it’s great that there’s another new international women’s race in Germany. I myself have complained often enough that little is happening, which is why I want to support it. I can contribute my experience and know-how to advance the project in the long term and to promote women’s cycling.”
Signed Wout van Aert jersey sells for €12,000
We covered the Jumbo-Visma charity auction last week, and we can now bring you the exciting news that one of Wout van Aert's green jerseys from the Tour de France last summer went for €12,012. Not bad. Someone has got a rather special Christmas present.
At the other end of the spectrum, you could have got Nathan van Hooydonck's frame plate for just €172. Maybe next year.
Government minister says people should avoid "risky activity" during ambulance strikes - does this involve cycling?
With people being warned by the Government to avoid "risky activity" during the ambulance strikes on Wednesday, we wondered whether this would involved cycling.
On Tuesday, Will Quince, a Conservative health minister, told the BBC that people should avoid "risky activity" during the strikes, without specifying what he was referring to.
Quince later expanded: "If there is activity that people are undertaking tomorrow, whether it's - for example - contact sport, they may want to review that".
Asked if people should go running, he said this was not "hugely risky", but added: "Would I go running tomorrow if it was still icy? No I wouldn't, because that would encompass additional risk".
But Downing Street would not be drawn on a definition of "risky activity", with the prime minster's spokesman telling reporters "I'm not going to get into a list".
He said: "We would never recommend anyone put themselves in harm's way on any given day."
It sounds like this might involve cycling, but thankfully it should be warm enough across the UK to prevent black ice. The government advising people don't exercise if it's risky? It's a weird world right now.
Ambulance workers in England and Wales will strike on 21 and 28 December.
The action will involve paramedics, control room staff and support workers.
The three main ambulance unions - Unison, GMB and Unite - will take part in the first strike. GMB union members will strike again on 28 December.
Alright, that's it for another day of Cycling Weekly live. We still don't know if Mark Cavendish is actually going to Astana, maybe we will find out tomorrow. Until then, it's good evening from as I hand over the keys to our U.S.-based writers.
Cynisca Cycling to ride Shimano-equipped Ventum bikes in 2023
Cynisca Cycling, a newly licensed American pro women’s cycling team joining the European peloton in 2023, today announced its bike and equipment sponsors for the coming season.
The France-based Continental team will be riding Ventum NS1 bikes equipped with Shimano groupsets and wheels, Vittoria tires, WTB saddles and Arundel tape, cages and bags. The riders will wear Lazer helmets, Mumu Apparel kits and Shimano shoes and glasses.
“We are extremely proud and grateful for the confidence these companies are showing for the Cynisca team and vision in our first season,” said Chris Gutowsky, team co-founder and general manager. “They are putting their support behind not only the athletes but also the behind the belief that women’s cycling deserves sponsorship from the best suppliers in the world.”
A partnership with USA Cycling, the Cynisca team aims to grow elite women’s racing in the U.S. by introducing a new American team that lives, trains and races in Europe. With a focus on developing the stars of tomorrow, the roster is mostly made up of American riders under the age of 25.
Decorated American-French cyclist Marion Clignet has been given the role of sports director and former U.S. national road race champion, Robin Farina, will join the team as operations manager. The program will relies on USA Cycling to identify young riders with World level potential.
1,000 Cycling Santas pedal through Rome
Almost a thousand "cycling Santas" gathered in front of the Colosseum in Rome this weekend for a charity ride.
A video of the red-clad group has been making the rounds, and it's just what you might need to get into the holiday spirit.
The charity ride was a fundraiser for Peter Pan, an organization that offers free housing to children with cancer and their families while they receive treatment in Rome.
The ride this weekend was the 11th annual Pedalata dei Babbo Natale and successfully raised nearly 5,400 euros for the 5,349.91 euros for the Peter Pan charity.
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