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Benhamouda, Clancy, Irvine and Lozano renew for 2022 with Team Novo Nordisk.

Team Novo Nordisk confirmed the contract renewals of four key riders for the upcoming 2022 season with experienced veterans David Lozano and Stephen Clancy putting pen to paper alongside young Australian Declan Irvine and French sprinter |Mehdi Benhamouda.

That time of year has come around again. The air is getting cooler, days are getting shorter. The nights are drawing in, the autumn light is golden, and contracts are being renewed, old faces remaining, and new ones announced.

“It’s a busy time of year, that’s for sure,” began General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “We always have an eye on squad development, structure and planning for the future, but the business really gets done as we hit the off-season. These four guys are all important to Team Novo Nordisk, to our past, present and future and we’re very happy to have confirmed extensions with all four.”

“David is one of our leaders and most consistent riders and what he brings to the team is not just measured by results, but also what he gives the younger guys like Declan, who showed us in 2021 what he’s capable of and his progression this year has been a real positive.”

Experienced Irishman Clancy is looking forward to what will be his tenth year with the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team and his commitment to carrying the team’s message of inspiring, educating and empowering around the world is what makes the 29-year-old an asset both on and off the bike.

“I am very happy to re-sign for 2022,” said Clancy. “After so long on the team it really does feel like home and it’s incredibly rewarding to be in a position to travel around the world racing my bike and changing diabetes. I am delighted to be able to keep on living the dream and be a part of this special team and community.”

Racing 8,900km over 55 days of competition in 2021, Spanish climber Lozano was once again one of the lynchpins of the team and also managed to fulfill a new mentor role for the development team at the Adriatica-Ionica race in Italy.

“I have been a part of the Team Novo Nordisk family since 2012 and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” said Lozano. “It’s been a difficult year for us, 2021 didn’t yield the results we expected, at least not as consistently as we wanted, and I know from all my years here that we can turn that around.”

“One of the best things about this past season has been our team spirit, sticking together when times have been difficult, everyone committed to their jobs and also that we managed to race a full calendar despite the global situation with COVID.

“But I think the highlight for me was racing Adriatica-Ionica with the devo team as a road captain and experiencing that leadership role with the young guys who are on the way up was unforgettable. Trying to help them and teach them through the race is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my career.”

Declan Irvine was flying through the wet final stage TT at the Tour of Denmark, showing the form and determination that had characterised his season before disaster struck. Taking a tight downtown Copenhagen corner at speed, the 22-year-old slid out, bounced up a curb and broke his leg. Somehow, he managed to finish the stage.

“I am really excited to get back to racing with the team again in 2022,” said Irvine. “I had a breakthrough season this year that was cut short due to breaking my leg in Denmark. I am well on the road to recovery now, back on the bike and looking to continue on this upwards trajectory next season beginning with my first ever elite National Championships in January.”

A top ten finish on the final stage of Belgrade Banjaluka in April served notice that French sprinter Benhamouda was starting to come into form and the 26-year-old had high hopes of a result at the Tour de Hongrie. However, those hopes were dashed after a crash on stage three took Benhamouda out of the race and into the ambulance with a broken collarbone.

After a protracted period of recovery, the Carcassone native returned to competition with a series of races on home soil at Limousin, Besancon and Jura. Doing enough to secure an extension into 2022.

“It is great to know that the team has placed their trust in me for again for next season,” said Benhamouda. “I am very happy and looking forward to the challenge. As always, I will give my best and my motivation is very high for next season. My main goal is to achieve good results as I have done in the past and get myself and Team Novo Nordisk onto the podium.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS RENEW 6 RIDERS’ CONTRACTS

Bahrain Victorious is pleased to announce that Yukiya Arashiro, Pello Bilbao, Mikel Landa, Hermann Pernsteiner, Rafa Valls, and Fred Wright have renewed their contracts.

Yukiya Arashiro has been a formidable domestique in Grand Tours, completing Giro d’Italia and Vuelta: “I’m delighted to continue to work with this year’s highly successful team for the next season. I want to make use of my experience and contribute to the team. I am excited about a bright 2022 season!”

Pello Bilbao managed a top ten finish this season and is looking forward to more results next year: “For me, it’s a great experience to be part of this team, especially this year. Maybe for me personally, this year it wasn’t the best with super results. But being involved with the team is what I’ve enjoyed a lot, and be involved with the amazing results. Behind all these great results is one of the best atmospheres between the riders and the super nice staff. So I’m proud to be part of this team for another two years and continue to grow as a cyclist together with Bahrain.”

Mikel Landa joined the team in 2020 and secured the team’s highest finish at Tour de France: “I’m really happy to continue racing with Bahrain Victorious for the next two seasons. For me, I was never in doubt as I feel at home in this team. I have great support from all the riders and staff, who are committed to achieving the best possible results. I want to thank all the staff and my teammates for everything over the past two seasons, and I’m looking forward to the next two seasons.”

Pernsteiner is looking forward to further experience on the road since his transition from MTB: “The team got like a second family for me. Since I changed from MTB, I am in the team now. I got the chance to develop as a rider, so I am happy to extend my contract. Due to my late change to road cycling, I can still improve physically and tactically. I will continue to work hard to achieve great things with the team.”

Fred Wright completed his first Tour de France this year is excited about the future:” It’s been an unforgettable two years. I feel like I’ve really found my place in the team. This year has been such a successful year, and we can definitely continue that momentum in the next two years. I can’t wait to be part of it!

After a first year with the team affected by the crash out from the Tour de France, the experienced Spanish climber Rafa Valls came back this season hugely contributing to the successful Giro d’Italia: “I am delighted to renew another year with Bahrain Victorious, mainly because I feel like a family. We have created a group of friends, who believe and work for the same objective, and in the races, we translate that into results. Secondly, I’m pleased to be part of this project that, over the years, has been growing very fast and achieving great results. I hope that 2022 can further increase my experience, and I’m looking forward to helping the team grow even more.”

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Matej Mohorič and Sonny Colbrelli Renew Contracts with Bahrain Victorious

Bahrain Victorious are pleased to announce the contract renewals of Matej Mohorič and Sonny Colbrelli in multi-year deals. Both winners of their national championships had stellar seasons in 2021.

Mohorič secured two stage wins at the Tour de France and became only the 102nd rider to win a stage at all three grand tours: ” I’ve been a long-standing rider with this team and always trusted the project. This year I think we finally proved that we are one of the best teams in the world.

We have definitely got great support as a group of riders from all the staff, and we work hard to be here. After a great year, It’s never crossed my mind to change the environment I work in, and I’m very happy with the team and feels like a second family to me. It takes hard work to get to the level we performed at this season, and I’m confident we can continue this in the future and try and win bike races.”

Sonny Colbrelli had a monumental season, winning the first wet Paris-Roubaix in 20 years, securing the European Championship, the GC at Benelux Tour, and multiple stage wins:  “I’m happy to continue and stay in a team that is like a family to me. I’m one of the few riders wearing this jersey since 2017, the very first season, debuting in the WorldTour with Bahrain and arriving up to this stunning season. I can say I grew up with this group, and I must be more than thankful.

I’m now where I am, also due to the support and trust that I’ve always felt. Mainly, I want to thank His Highness Shaikh Nasser for the ongoing support in good and bad times. Feeling his faith, it’s something that makes me so proud. I’m honoured to continue wearing this team’s jersey for more years, aiming to take further prestigious successes together.”Milan Erzen, Team Managing Director: “We are really happy to have Matej and Sonny remain part of the Bahrain Victorious family. They have shown incredible dedication this season which shows from their amazing results. We hope to continue working hard and having more success in the coming seasons.”

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich renew with Astana Qazaqstan Team – Astana

Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich renew with Astana Qazaqstan Team

Two Kazakh riders Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich have signed a new two-year agreement with Team Astana (Astana Qazaqstan Team from 2022) for the next two seasons of 2022 and 2023.

Yuriy Natarov joined Kazakh team in 2019, when he took his first and so far only professional victory, winning the General Classification of the Tour of Almaty. In 2021, Yuriy finished his first Grand Tour and won a bronze medal in the individual time trial of the Kazakhstan National Championships.

“The new contract with the team gives me great motivation and a desire for further growth and progress. This season I managed to make my debut in a Grand Tour, at La Vuelta, and this experience turned out to be very valuable and perfectly timed for me. Participation in the Vuelta a España inspired me, so I am sure that in the next two seasons in Astana Qazaqstan Team I will be able to make a serious step ahead. There is a huge amount of work to be done, but I am ready for it”, – said Yuriy Natarov.

Yevgeniy Gidich moved to the Astana project in 2018 and during his first three seasons, Gidich scored a set of valuable results: he was third in the General Classification of Tour of Croatia in 2018, taking a stage win in the following year, he won the road race of the Asian Road Championships-2019, was seventh at Coppa Bernocchi in 2019, and finished third at a stage of Saudi Tour in 2020.

Yevgeniy’s best result in the current season was second place in the Kazakhstan National Championships road race.

“This last season has turned out to be far from what I expected. However, this year I have become stronger and more experienced, so I am optimistic about the new season in Astana Qazaqstan Team. I am determined to do everything possible to reach the level that will allow me to take an important step forward in my career. I am grateful to the team for their trust, and I will make every effort to justify it”, – said Yevgeniy Gidich.

 

“In these past years in the WorldTour, the riders gained good experience and learned a lot. Not everything always went smoothly and the situation with the pandemic also intervened, but we still recognize the progress of both Yuriy and Yevgeniy. Both riders have reached the age when experience and solid work should turn into a result. We hope that a new two-year contract will give them the chance to move ahead. I am happy that the guys remain in the team, where they will have all the conditions to achieve success, both for the team and personally”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com