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YouTube star starts new Continental team in 2023 with eyes on growth

Bas Tietema and Unibet link up to create new third-tier team for 2023.

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From YouTube to the WorldTour? Perhaps someday.

Bas Tietema, the Dutch racer and social media star of “Tour de Tietema,” will create a new third-tier level team for 2023 that could be the start of something big.

Tietema, who raced in 2022 with Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces WB, confirmed he’s behind a new team at the Continental level to be called TDT-Unibet Cycling Team.

“We started our YouTube channel to carry our love of cycling to as many people as possible,” Tietema said. “We had this wish to start our own team for a long time, and we’ve always had the goal to question the unwritten rules of cycling, without losing respect for it. So becoming an active part of that world is the best way of doing that.”

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The 27-year-old Tietema had a promising junior and U23 racing career and started his “Tour de Tietema” YouTube channel that attracted fans after riding up Tour de France climbs on a city bike and covering the major races via social media channels.

This season, he raced with Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at the ProTeam level, and endured a big adventure at Paris-Roubaix to finish last at the velodrome outside the time cut. He only finished one race in Europe in 2022, with 80th at GP de Denain, and his last race was at the Dutch national championship in June.

Tietema said he will be part of the team, and said riders will be announced to fill out the roster. Hugo Haak, a former track cyclist, will run the team.

“We’ll start as a Continental team in 2023, but we are not shy about our ambition for growth,” a press note said. “With Unibet, we found a partner that will help us on this new adventure.”

Unibet sponsored a high-level team in 2006 and 2007 with such riders as Rigoberto Urán, Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson, Laurens Ten Dam, and Jimmy Casper.