Belgian Waffle Ride gains three more events in 2023
Three more events have been added to the Belgian Waffle Ride in 2023, one of North America’s biggest gravel competitions.
On top of races in Arizona, California, North Carolina, and British Columbia, which took place this year, there will be events in Utah, Kansas, and Mexico.
The organizers will not raise entry fees to reduce the impact of “inflation affecting everyone’s wallets,” they said in a news release. However, each Belgian Waffle Ride will have its own pricing and registration cap with lower prices for those who register early. Once the caps are reached, prices will go up.
Riders looking to win the Belgian Waffle Ride’s Quadrupel Crown will compete in a points-based omnium format throughout all seven events, but you don’t have to ride them all, although you have to ride the California leg to win.
The series begins in Arizona in March, and ends in Mexico in November.
Simon Clarke tests positive for Covid ahead of Tour Down Under
Simon Clarke tested positive for Covid during pre-Tour Down Under testing but hopes to recover in time to ride the Australian stage race which begins next Tuesday, cycling news has reported.
Israel-Premier Tech team said that the Australian was “currently asymptomatic” and that he would remain at home. As a result He will skip Saturday evening’s criterium and will only join up with the squad in Adelaide “once he produces a negative test.”
Stroud seeks bicycle major
The Gloucestershire town of Stroud, famous for umm its hills and being the location for Mitchell and Webb sitcom Backis looking for a “bicycle major”.
The new Stroud District Council role involves working with residents and groups to promote cycling and tackle challenges it faces in the area. The person selected for the role will be supported with training and resources by the international network of bicycle mayors, according to the BBC.
Cheltenham, Bath and Bristol also apparently have bike mayors.
According to the Bicycle Mayor Network, the first bicycle mayor was elected in Amsterdam in 2016 and since then 114 more have taken up the role around the world.
Good luck with those hills.
Specialized lays off 8% of its staff
Overnight, we broke the news that approximately 125 Specialized employees were laid off, effective immediately, as the American bike brand cut 8% of its staff world-wide, citing economic and industry changes.
Our own Anne-Marije Rook reported that the decision will save the company millions of dollars.
“The time is now to adapt to the current environment and ultimately led us to make some extremely tough decisions today,” Scott Maguire, Specialized’s CEO, said.
“I want to recognize those teammates who departed and thank them for all their contributions, hard work, and dedication to Specialized. We are focused on ensuring that they are fully supported during this difficult time. It may be tough to see in the moment, but the future of cycling and the future of our brand is bright.”
Fenix-Deceuninck launch women’s Continental team
Fenix-Deceuninck, the newest team on the Women’s WorldTour, has launched a Continental to run parallel to their organisation, copying the men’s side of the same organisation.
The WorldTour team grew out of the Plantur-Pura squad that was founded in 2020, and has now stepped up to the top level. The Fenix-Deceuninck and Alpecin-Deceuninck boss Philip Roodhooft claimed his was the first organization to have WorldTour and Continental teams across men and women.
“We see this as a logical step in our growth,” the team stated in a press release. “The women’s development team completes the structure. Where we want to offer the same chances to women as to men, we also see this as a necessary step to be future-proof, both towards riders and partners. And future is a synonym for development.”
The top level team are now Fenix-Deceuninck, with the Continental team
On the new squad is Briton Anna Kay, who has finished on the podium at the cyclo-cross World Championships. Also coming across from Plantur-Pura are Ireland’s Imogen Cotter, Dutch cyclo-crossers Aniek van Alphen and Manon Bakker, German Laura Süßemilch and Belgian Marion Norbert-Riberole. New recruits are Belgians Fien Van Eynde and Sara Van de Vel as well as German Rojna Eibl.
Santos Tour Down Under protestors arrested in Adelaide
Two women in their 60s were arrested in Adelaide on Thursday after gluing themselves to a pile of bicycles in protest against Santos being the major sponsor of the Tour Down Under.
Santos is an Australian oil and gas exploration and production company, with its headquarters in Adelaide; as a result of their sponsorship, Extinction Rebellion has threatened to disrupt the race.
On Thursday, the pair were charged with unreasonably obstructing the path of a driver or pedestrian, the ABC reported (opens in new tab).
They blocked both eastbound lanes of Flinders Street outside Santos’ headquarters for about half an hour.
Chris Johnson, XR’s South Australia spokesman, said Extinction Rebellion was not against cycle races.
“I think people are smart enough to understand that we are targeting Santos at this race, and if we’re there with a presence and we have banners that say ‘dump Santos’ or ‘disrupt Santos’, then it’s pretty clear that we’ re targeting Santos,” he said.
Mark Cavendish robbery defendant says he slow incriminating phone out
A man on trial for the robbery of Mark Cavendish said he had slow his phone to a man who has already pleaded guilty to the same offence.
The cyclist was robbed at knifepoint at his home in Ongar, Essex, at the end of 2021; two watches worth £700,000 were stolen.
Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, of Camberwell, told the trial he had not been in Ongar and he had slow his phone out at the time, the BBC reported.
He denies two counts of robbery, along with Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham. A fourth and fifth suspect, Jo Jobson and George Goddard, were named as suspects by police and remain at large.
Okorosobo said he had given his phone to Ali Sesay, 28, of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, who had admitted two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing.
“Sesay said the memory on his phone was full and he didn’t have a navigation app on his phone,” he said.
“The reason why he [Sesay] asked to borrow my phone was to get his son – for the navigation system on my phone.”
Previously, Okorosobo said he was stabbed twice in the head and leg in September 2021 leaving him struggling to walk, which he claimed would have made him unable to participate in the robbery.
The trial continues.
Remco Evenepoel says Primož Roglič is the man to beat at the Giro d’Italia
He might be the world champion, the reigning Vuelta a España winner, and the man to beat at the moment, but Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) is not getting carried away with his own hype ahead of the Tour of Italy.
The Belgian will ride the Italian Grand Tour for a second time, and Primozh Roglich (Jumbo-Visma) will likely be his biggest rival at the race, alongside Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Evenepoel thinks that Roglič will be the one to watch at the Giro, a race the latter has finished third at before.
“At first, I was surprised because the week before they announced he wasn’t going do it, so it was a bit special to read he was going to do it, but I’m very happy Primož is coming to the Giro,” Evenepoel told reporters at Soudal Quick-Step’s 2023 team presentation, according to cycling news (opens in new tab).
“I hope he can have a good preparation and has recovered well from his shoulder injuries. I just hope everyone can be in top shape and that it can be a very nice competition on a very hard course.”
When pushed as to whether Roglič is the man he fears the most, Evenepoel said: “Of course, why not? He has more experience in Grand Tours than I do. He did the Giro already, finished third, and is still Primož Roglič, a triple Vuelta winner who has stood on the podium of multiple Grand Tours.
“Just looking at his palmarès, he’ll be the best Grand Tour rider in the Giro next year. It’ll be nice to race against him.”
Despite being a Grand Tour winner now, Evenepoel lowered expectations. At his only previous tilt at the Giro, the 22-year-old left the race early, abandoning ahead of stage 18 in 2021, while he was 27th on GC.
“The main goal is a stage win, then the main pressure is off,” he said. “The GC you can never predict. You can have bad luck, a wrong moment, a bad day, get sick, but if you finished with a stage win, you still have a good Grand Tour.
“The goal can maybe be top-10,” he added. “Or top-five, or the podium… then to win is a dream, but we begin with a stage win.”