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VN news ticker: Valverde promises 2022 will be his last, Cromwell extends with Canyon-SRAM

Here's what's happening on Wednesday, October 27.

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Alejandro Valverde promises 2022 will be his last

Alejandro Valverde, who’s been tiptoeing closer to retirement the past few seasons, vows that the 2022 season will be his last. The Spanish rider, who will be 42 next year, said the time has come.

“I tell you with full confidence, at 100 percent, that next season will be my last as a cyclist,” Valverde told Radiogaceta de los Deportes. “Even though at 42 my level is still good, after 21 years racing, what more do I want? My time has come.”

Valverde crashed out of the 2021 Vuelta a España with a broken clavicle but returned in September to win a stage at the Giro di Sicilia.

“There’s no point in going on any longer,” said Valverde, who is expected to stay with Movistar as a staffer. “I want to enjoy my last season as a pro. I don’t have my season sketched out yet, but a start at the Tour de France is already excluded. I hope to race the Vuelta next year, and we will study the Giro route. And then there’s the classics and all the races in Spain, we’ll see.”

Tiffany Cromwell extends with Canyon-SRAM

Tiffany Cromwell has added another two years to her term with Canyon-SRAM, having already raced with the squad for six season. The Australian rider has become a very reliable road captain for the squad, as well as bringing in some top 10 placings.

Cromwell branched out into gravel racing this year and made her debut at SBT GRVL. She was also named to the Australian Olympics squad for the first time in her career.

“There are many positives I can take away from my 2021 season. I performed strongly in many races, was a teammate that could be relied upon consistently, regained my climbing strength, and finally achieved a career goal of competing at the Olympics for Australia. My season’s been extremely satisfying,” Cromwell said.

“My personal results sheet doesn’t paint the whole picture. No podiums or victories on the road and only a couple of top 10’s. But I was happy to be back racing at the front of many of the hardest races, often being the last support rider for our leader,” says Tiffany who will look to build on the confidence gained this year.

EF Education-Nippo signs James Shaw

EF Education-Nippo confirmed James Shaw will join the 2022 roster as an addition to the team’s classics lineup.

“The Ardennes classics like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and things like that are for me. I think the short, sharp climbs in the late spring in the Ardennes,” Shaw said. “Those races really bring a great level of heritage and history and a past. They have a certain weight within the cycling culture so that appeals to me as well. It gives me extra motivation.”

Shaw joined Lotto-Soudal in 2017 for two seasons, and then raced at the lower ranks for three years. His path to EF has been a little bit different, said CEO Jonathan Vaughters in a press note.

“James went into the WorldTour probably a little too young and just got lost in the mix and didn’t know how to fit in, didn’t adapt to their management style. And that’s really hard,” Vaughters said. “Basically he had to restart his career from scratch at 22 years old. … He’s going to go back through his new pro year all over again, only this time as a 25-year-old as opposed to as a 19-year-old.”

Tristan Hoffman to join BikeExchange-Jayco as DS

Tristan Hoffman, a former pro and DS at Bahrain-Victorious, joins BikeExchange-Jayco in 2022. After losing a spot at B-V in 2021, the Dutch classics specialist will join the Australian team next season.

“I found it very difficult to watch a race on television this year. I was always there, now I was unemployed at home. Cycling is my life,” Hoffman told Tubantia. “I have tackled and done everything in the past year, but I have found that I prefer to be active in the race. And luckily I can do that again.”