Kopecky to make classics debut at Scheldeprijs

Team Novo Nordisk return to race on Belgian and Dutch roads next week at the oldest one-day race in Flanders, Scheldeprijs. The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team will line up at the “sprinters classic” as it follows the newer parcours that crosses the border into the Netherlands before returning to Belgium for the finishing circuits in Schoten.

Semi local riders and neo-pro’s Matyas Kopecky and Robbe Ceurens are both set to feature at the 110th edition, with Kopecky fresh from a stellar debut at the recent Rhodes Tour that included an impressive third place in the sprint on stage two.

Versatile Italian sprinter Andrea Peron will lead the team with compatriot Umberto Poli and the experienced Irishman Stephen Clancy alongside him.

“Racing in Belgium during the classics period is always a special experience,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “The atmosphere is great the routes are historic, and the level is very high. For our young riders like Matyas and Robbe this experience will be invaluable. They are both relatively local to the Flanders area and that should give them both an added boost.”

“Scheldeprijs is long, usually windy and almost completely flat with fast local circuits at the end, and with the recent wintry conditions in Northern Europe it, could make things interesting, but we will be motivated to do our best to look after Andrea and keep him as fresh and as sheltered as possible for what is normally a fast and hectic sprint finish.”

Australian rouleur Declan Irvine returns to a race that’s close to his heart after spending part of his junior racing career in Belgium and completes the team alongside Kiwi Hamish Beadle and will be looking to make a happy comeback to the Flanders roads.

“After making a positive start to my professional racing career at the Rhodes Tour,” began Kopecky. “I’m excited to be lining up at such a big race so close to home like Scheldeprijs. It’s going to be hard with the length, I haven’t raced 200 kilometers in a one-day event before, so the experience is going to be good for me and I hope to learn a lot racing against the big classic’s teams.”

Scheldeprijs is of course a big race. The riders that are on the start line are always the guys I look up to when I am watching races on TV and I’m excited to be finally lining up to race against them. My form after the races on Rhodes is good and the climbs there definitely helped me in terms of condition, and I’d love to show myself as much as possible. But make no mistake, I know it will be tough, but I aim 100% to enjoy the experience.”

200 kilometers of windy racing will unfold across the Flanders borderlands as the race heads into the Zeeland province in the Netherlands before turning back into Belgium for the traditional closing circuits in Schoten, Antwerp.

Team Novo Nordisk at Scheldeprijs Wednesday 6th April:

Hamish Beadle (NZL, 23)

Robbe Ceurens (BEL,20)

Stephen Clancy (IRL, 29)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 22)

Matyas Kopecky (CZ, 19)

Andrea Peron (IT, 33)

Umberto Poli (IT, 25)

Photo: Nassos Triantafyllou

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Astana Qazaqstan Team for Faun-Ardèche and Drome Classics 2022 – Astana

Astana Qazaqstan Team for Faun-Ardèche and Drome Classics 2022

Astana Qazaqstan Team will take part in two one-day race in France: Faun-Ardèche Classic (26th February) and Drome Classic (27th February).

Rider roster: Joe Dombrowski (USA), Fabio Felline (ITA), Manuele Boaro (ITA), Nurbergen Nurlykhassym (KAZ), Alexandr Riabushenko (BLR), Harold Tejada (COL), Andrey Zeits (KAZ).


Sports directors in race: Dmitriy Fofonov (KAZ), Sergey Yakovlev (KAZ).

Races information: http://boucles-drome-ardeche.fr

— Vitalii to www.astana-qazaqstan.com

Team BikeExchange ready for back-to-back Italian classics – Team BikeExchange

The Italian autumn classics continue as Team BikeExchange line-up for two back-to-back one-day races at the Coppa Bernocchi and Tre Valli Varesine.

The core of the squad that tackled the Giro dell’Emilia remains, but with added reinforcements as Australian duo Nick Schultz and Rob Stannard come into the fold.

The 102nd edition of the Coppa Bernocchi takes in a route of almost 200km that winds north of Milan with a flat run to the finish line in Legnano. The following day will mark the 100th edition of the Tre Valli Varesine, which will start from Busto Arsizio and end with the usual 13km circuit of Varese, to be repeated 8 times.

Team BikeExchange at Coppa Bernocchi and Tre Valli Varesine:
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Damien Howson (AUS)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Mikel Nieve (ESP)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Rob Stannard (AUS)

Nick Schultz:
“I’m looking forward to these Italian races. In years past, I have done each of them once before, so I know the parcours a little bit, but not super well. They are races that lend themselves to an aggressive style of racing where many different outcomes are possible.

My shape seems to be good coming off the World Championships and I hope to be able the help the team or have a good ride myself.”

Gene Bates – Sport Director:
“Coppa Bernocchi is maybe the ‘easiest’ race in terms of altitude gain and typically we see a fairly large group get to the finish together in a bunch sprint, but probably we will have a lot of rain and this can change the race a lot.

Our guys will need to be on the front foot and ready for action quite early and we will also look to assist Nick in the finish.

Tre Valli is a very difficult and demanding race around Varese and with many climbs. Again, the forecast is for rain, and this will make the race even harder and I think we will have a very selective group going to the line. We need to have good legs because it’s a race without a lucky winner and I’m sure we have good options with Nick and Rob”.

2021 Coppa Bernocchi, Tre Valli Varesine Race Details:
Coppa Bernocchi, Monday, 4th October, Legnano to Legnano, 197km
Tre Valli Varesine, Tuesday, 5th October, Busto Arsizio to Varese, 196km

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Team BikeExchange to kick-off the Italian autumn classics at Giro dell Emilia – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange will kick-off the Italian autumn classics this weekend with a small but mighty team ready to tackle the Giro dell Emilia.

Veteran climber Mikel Nieve will be back in action for the first time since the Vuelta a Espana, with the experienced Brent Bookwalter also lining up for one of his last pro outings before hanging up his wheels at the end of the season.

Tour of Hungary winner Damien Howson and Estonian Tanel Kangert add further climbing talent to the squad, while young neo-pro Kevin Colleoni will be keen to impress on home soil.

Team BikeExchange at Giro dell’Emilia:
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Damien Howson (AUS)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Mikel Nieve (ESP)

Mikel Nieve:
“It’s a race that I did just once, but it’s nice to be back there. San Luca is a special finish and the environment in the autumn classics in Italy is usually very pretty. The race itself is very hard with an explosive finish.

Personally, I don’t know how it will be because it is my first race after the Vuelta and so it is difficult to know. What’s sure is that we will give our best as always. Hopefully, we can have some guys in the final part of the race, and we will try to be aggressive and reach a good result”

Gene Bates (Sports Director):
“Unfortunately, we have a small team at Giro dell’Emilia, but with very good quality, with great climbing ability in this group of riders. We are going with more open strategies and all guys will have the opportunity to go for a result.

Giro dell’Emilia is always a very difficult race. The final five laps going up to San Luca will be decisive and whoever has good legs can try to anticipate and get in the moves close to the finish.”

2021 Giro dell’Emilia Race Details:
Saturday, 2nd October, Casalecchio di Reno to Bologna, 195km

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Team Bahrain Victorious Heads to Eschborn Frankfurt Classics

The Eschborn-Frankfurt is one of Germany’s biggest cycling races, first raced in 1962, under the name Rund um den Henninger Turm Frankfurt. In its 60 edition, the race offers up the chance for a diverse group of racing styles, from sprinters to climbers.

The current race route is 220km from Eschborn, passing through the climbs of the Taunus Hills, Feldberg, Ruppershain and Mammolshain, the latter being the toughest with a maximum gradient of 26%, climbed twice. Like the first editions, the race usually finishes with city laps: 4.5km in the centre of Frankfurt, in front of the Alte Oper concert hall.

Rolf Aldag, TBV Sports director; “I think our fine-tuned roster allows us to come there to play a good role, to be involved in aggressive riding with Dylan Teuns and Fred Wright at the front. Ideally, we hope they will climb well, with a small group in the hilly Taunus area. This couple will have the freedom to ride hard, but on the other hand, there’s a long way back to Frankfurt to the final circuit. For these moments, we want to be well organized to support the fast guys. From that standpoint, the race suits us well with Phil Bauhaus, who has chances to win if it becomes a sprint. Otherwise, if the race spreads in pieces, we have strong riders right away in the climbs with Dylan and Fred, who showed in the Benelux Tour that he’s also a guy who is climbing quite good. We feel like we could prepare good tactics, and we’re looking forward to this race that will be the last rehearsal for many riders before the UCI World Championships in Flanders the week after. Therefore, it is an important race, a World Tour race, and we take it very seriously and feel ready to go”.

Dylan Teuns; “I’m really happy to have this race on my program ahead of UCI World Championships, and it will be a good test and last rehearsal. I will look for the hilly parts at Taunus, and if there is any chance for me there, I will give all I can for sure. If the race enfolds into the bunch sprint, we will all be there for Phil Bauhaus.”

Phil Bauhaus; “I am looking forward to racing once again in Germany. Of course, I’m very motivated, and for all sprinters and me, it is not an easy race because there are more than 3,000 meters of climbing and I have to go to come with the first group in the last kilometres to make a good sprint there. We have a super-strong team with Dylan and Fred for the climbs and Heinrich Haussler, Marcel Sieberg and all of us in TBV jerseys. We have many cards to play, and I hope I can conclude a good result if the group sprint happens there. It is hard to say whether it will be a bunch sprint or a sprint from a small group. We are a strong team, and we hope for the best.”

Team Bahrain Victorious lineup for “Der Radklassiker Eschborn-Frankfurt”: Phil Bauhaus, Marco Haller, Heinrich Haussler, Jonathan Milan, Marcel Sieberg, Dylan Teuns, Fred Wright.

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com