GCN's Racing Roundup | 2023 Giro d'Italia could feature three time trials
Rumour has it that the 2023 Giro d’Italia will feature three time trials and between 60 and 70 total kilometres against the clock. In other news, Julian Alaphilippe has been given the all-clear to compete in the World Championships, organisers of the GP Québec and GP Montréal are planning a third WorldTour race in Canada, and the 2022 Skoda-Tour of Luxembourg has got underway with a hilly stage for the puncheurs. All of that and more in GCN’s Racing Roundup…
INSIDE THE PELOTON
| Rumours of time trial heavy route for 2023 Giro d’Italia
According to a recent report from Het Laatste Nieuws, the 2023 Giro d’Italia will feature three time trials, with a total number of time trialling kilometres likely falling between 60km and 70km. To put those figures into perspective, this year’s edition featured just two time trials and a paltry total of 26.6km against the clock.
This year’s Giro was decided in the mountains. If current rumours are to be believed then next year’s will likely be decided in the time trials. Photo: © Velo Collection (Michael Steele) /Getty Images.
Further to the initial rumour, the Dutch newspaper has also suggested that the 2023 race will begin with an 18km-long individual time trial between Fossacesia and Ortona on Italy’s eastern coast. Earlier this year, the 2023 Grande Partenza was rumoured to take place in Pescara, a city just a half-an-hour’s drive up the coast.
Whether or not one of these time trials will take the form of a team time trial is unclear. If one does then the 2023 Giro will be the first edition in eight years to feature a team time trial. Confirmation of this rumour is expected on October 17th when RCS, the organisers of the Giro d’Italia, officially unveil the route for next year’s race.
| Julian Alaphilippe’s World Championships participation confirmed
Two-time World Champion Julian Alaphilippe has been given the all-clear to race in this year’s UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, at the end of September. His participation was in question earlier this month when he crashed out of the Vuelta a España and picked up a nasty injury to his shoulder.
Whether Alaphilippe has the form to win a third, back-to-back World Road Race title remains to be seen. Photo: © Velo Collection (Luc Claessen) /Getty Images.
The Frenchman has been selected as key member of France’s nine man squad for the Elite Men’s Road Race (25th September), which also features Romain Bardet, Christophe Laporte, Valentin Madouas, Quentin Pacher, Florian Sénéchal, Pavel Sivakov, Rémi Cavagna and Bruno Armirail. Cavagna and Armirail will both represent France in the Elite Men’s Time Trial (18th September) a few days prior.
The French Cycling Federation also announced today their team for the Elite Women’s Road Race. Juliette Labous and Audrey Cordon-Ragot headline the squad and will likely serve as the team’s co-leaders, while Aude Biannic, Coralie Demay, Marie Le Net, Évita Muzic and Gladys Verhulst will offer them the support they need to challenge for the podium/medals.
| UCI gives green light for third WorldTour one-day race in North America
In a recent interview with Wielerflits, organiser of the GP Québec and GP Montréal one-day races Sébastien Arsenault revealed his ambitions to host a third WorldTour race in North America from 2024 onwards. The location of this third race is still up for debate, although Arsenault is eager to ensure that it takes place in the Canadian province of Québec.
After a two-year hiatus, the GP Québec and GP Montréal returned to the WorldTour calendar last weekend. Photo: © Velo Collection (Dario Belingheri) /Getty Images.
“I would prefer to organise a third race in the province of Québec in addition to the races in the cities of Québec and Montréal. On the other hand, Ottawa, for example, would also be a possibility. I want to stay within Canada and not immediately look at the United States,” explained Arsenault.
UCI president David Lappartient has reportedly already promised Arsenault a spot for a third North American WorldTour race, although it’s unclear as to where he’d personally like it to be held. If all goes to plan, then the race will join the WorldTour calendar from 2024 onwards and take place within just a few days of the GP Québec and GP Montréal.
| Valentin Madouas wins opening stage of Tour of Luxembourg after late attack
Groupama-FDJ’s Valentin Madouas showed off his electric form with an imperious victory in today’s opening stage of the Skoda-Tour of luxembourg. The Frenchman attacked with 1.8km remaining on a 164km-long hilly stage around Luxembourg’s capital and held the chasers at an arm’s length as he soloed to the line.
Madouas is hitting his best shape just in time for next week’s World Championships. Photo: © Velo Collection (Bas Czerwinski) /Getty Images.
Few could match Madouas once he launched his attack and he arrived at the finish with clear daylight between himself and the remnants of the peloton. Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Sjoerd Bax put in a great ride to finish 2nd and just 3 seconds down on Madouas. AG2R’s Clément Berthet, who followed Bax in his pursuit of Madouas, rounded out the podium in 3rd, 7 seconds in arrears.
Courtesy of his winning gap and haul of bonus seconds, Madouas now leads the race by a margin of 7 seconds ahead of Bax going into stage 2 - another hilly stage but this time around the commune of Junglinster. We’ll be showing live coverage of the stage from 13:00 BST in RaceTV - don’t miss it!
| Movistar all but certain to avoid WorldTour relegation after bountiful weekend
Prior to this year’s Vuelta a España, Movistar were at risk of relegation from the WorldTour. Fast forward a month and their future at cycling’s top-level is practically secure thanks to Enric Mas and the 844 UCI points he earned at La Vuelta. Movistar also added a further 225 UCI points to their tally with Iván Garcia’s 5th place at the GP Québec last Friday.
It was all smiles for Movistar last Sunday in Madrid. Photo: © Velo Collection (TDW) /Getty Images.
The Spanish giants now lie 14th in the UCI’s team rankings, ahead of Arkéa-Samsic (15th), EF Education-EasyPost (16th), BikeExchange-Jayco (17th) and Cofidis (18th). Lotto-Soudal and Israel-Premier Tech, who currently sit 19th and 20th in the rankings, are set to be relegated from the WorldTour at the end of the season if they can’t add to their points tallies.
| Floortje Mackaij heads to Movistar after 10 years at Team DSM
Floortje Mackaij joined Argos-Shimano, now Team DSM, when she was just 17-years-old. Now, aged 26 and with 10 years of experience at one of the leading teams in the Women’s WorldTour under her belt, she has decided to upsticks and head to pastures new at Movistar, signing a two-year deal which will see her through to the end of the 2024 season.
Mackaij will join her current teammate Liane Lippert at the Spanish team next season and, alongside the German Champion, shadow their current superstar Annemiek van Vleuten. When Van Vleuten retires at the end of 2023, Movistar will look to Mackaij - a winner of Gent-Wevelgem - and Liane Lippert to lead the team.
It’s going to be strange not seeing Mackaij in Team DSM kit next season. Photo: © Velo Collection (Luc Claessen) /Getty Images.
| Niki Terpstra announces retirement from professional road racing
In a statement posted on social media today, Niki Terpstra announced that he will hang up his racing wheels at the end of 2022. The 38-year-old Dutchman, a winner of both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, said that he has had offers to continue racing, but that he feels like now is the time to ‘close this incredible chapter’ of his career.
An official end to his road racing career may now be in sight, but if the closing words of his statement are anything to go by it’s clear that he’s not leaving the sport of cycling behind. “But listen, I am not done yet with cycling. Of course I will continue to race…stay tuned!” What’s next for Terpstra? A career as a gravel racer perhaps?
| 19-year-old Antonia Niedermaier wins Tour Féminin International de l’Ardèche
Yesterday, Canyon//SRAM Generation’s Antonia Niedermaier wrapped up her first professional overall stage race victory at the Tour Féminin International de l’Ardèche, a seven-day-long, 2.1-ranked race that the likes of Marianne Vos, Kasia Niewiadoma and Leah Thomas have all won in the past four years.
Niedermaier showed off her potential at last year’s World Championships, finishing 3rd in the Junior Women’s Time Trial. Photo: © Velo Collection (Luc Claessen) /Getty Images.
The 19-year-old took two stage wins on her way to overall glory, soloing to her first on Stage 4 between Beauchastel and Sarras before taking her second in the exact same fashion just a day later on Stage 5 between Florac and Mont Lozère. Canyon//SRAM will now likely be in a race against time to fast track her to their senior team before a rival WorldTour squad steals her signature.
STAT OF THE DAY
Last Sunday, Spain’s Juan Ayuso became the second-youngest (19-years and 360-days old) rider in history to stand on the final podium of a Grand Tour after he finished 3rd in the 2022 Vuelta a España. Only France’s Henri Cornet, the winner of the 1904 Tour de France, was younger (19-years and 365-days old) when he stepped onto a Grand Tour podium, and by just four days too!
That’s all for today, folks.
Until next time.