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VN news ticker: French name support riders for Julian Alaphilippe, Patrick Lefevere causes stir again

Here's what's making news on Wednesday, September 22.

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French finalize worlds squad behind Julian Alaphilippe

France finalized its elite men’s world’s road team to support defending champion Julian Alaphilippe.

The team also brings an on-form Florian Sénéchel, winner of a stage at the Vuelta a Esapña, and Christophe Laporte.

Other starters include Rémi Cavagna, Benoit Cosnefroy, Arnaud Démare, Valentin Madouas, and Anthony Turgis.

https://twitter.com/FFCyclisme/status/1440349211514458119

Austrian junior women road race team involved in traffic collision

A member of the Austrian junior women road race team has been taken to hospital after she was hit by a bus driver during a training ride at the world championships, Belgian news agency Belga has reported.

The crash happened on the junction between Brusselsestraat and the ring road around Leuven, where the road races will take place, the report said.

The 18-year-old rider was with two of her teammates as they did a recon of the route for Saturday’s road race. She suffered multiple fractures in the incident but is not in a life-threatening condition.

The riders were doing their recon on open roads as the route will not be closed for an official ride of the course until Thursday morning. According to the report, the riders were traveling in the opposite direction to the usual flow of traffic at the time of the incident.

A video posted by local media organization ROB Televisie showed several bikes on the side of the road and a bus, which was stopped across a bike path.

It is the second road collision connected with the world championships in Flanders after former rider and TV pundit Chris Anker Sørensen was killed after he was hit by a van driver while out riding ahead of the event.

Diego Rosa joins Eolo-Kometa

Italian rider Diego Rosa will ride for Eolo-Kometa in 2022, the team confirmed Wednesday.

The 27-year-old rode for Androni Giocattoli, Astana, and Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers before joining Arkea-Samsic.

“I really wanted to return to a more Italian atmosphere, I missed it,” he said. “I’ve got to know different cycling realities and for 2022 I wanted to take this step. French cycling is a world apart, with its own different calendar, a very high level and a lot of national riders.

“During the summer I spoke with Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador, we exchanged impressions and we quickly saw that there was good harmony,” he said. “When a rider is calm and the atmosphere is good, everything is easier and so are the results. In this sense, I’m looking forward to enjoying my work and my teammates again. We’re already thinking about 2022”.

Patrick Lefevere causes stir over women’s racing comments

Patrick Lefevere is in hot water … again.

The Deceuninck-Quick-Step boss outlined the reasons why he will not support a parallel women’s team, similar to how other WorldTour outfits have done, and added a zinger that’s blown up on social media.

“With all due respect, I am not the OCMW,” Lefevere said, referring to Belgium’s social welfare program.

Speaking in an interview in HLN Sportcast, Lefevere said, “When do I start a women’s team? When there are enough good riders in Belgium.”

Lefevere said one of the top Belgian riders, Jolien D’Hoore, is retiring, along with Dutch star Anna van der Breggen.

“Only Annemiek van Vleuten is still racing, but she is with Movistar,” he said. “I like the Danish Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope). I think she’s funny and she’s good too.”

When asked how Belgium can develop better female racers, Lefevere replied, “What should you start with? You first have to convince those women to become cyclists. I also don’t have the experience, time, money, or desire to invest if I don’t know where I will end up.”