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VN news ticker: Gigante on the mend, Ilan Van Wilder freed from Team DSM, moves to Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Here's what's making news on Thursday, November 18.

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Sarah Gigante recovering from myopericarditis

Promising young Australian talent Sarah Gigante is recovering from myopericarditis after feeling chest pain in the days and weeks following the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Team TIBCO-SVB general manager Linda Jackson shared the news on the team’s website.

“Sarah started experiencing severe chest pains in early August that had her hospitalized in Girona,” Jackson said in a team statement. “It was an incredibly scary time for Sarah, her family, her teammates, and all of those that know her.

“It was also a very frustrating time medically,” she continued. “Despite recurrent admissions to the hospital, medical experts at several hospitals did not initially diagnose the cause of the chest pains. It is now known that Sarah had myopericarditis. We are happy to say that she is on the mend and has even been well enough to ride outside on an electric bike. It will take some time for Gigante to get back to full-time training, but at this point, I am just delighted that Sarah is on the mend.”

Ilan Van Wilder freed from Team DSM, moves to Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Team DSM and Deceuninck-Quick-Step have reached an agreement about Ilan Van Wilder’s contractual obligations.

The 21-year-old moves to the Belgian-based squad, immediately, on a two-year contract.

“We are happy to sign with Ilan, a rider who we are confident can progress within our ranks and bring something to the team,” said DQS’s Patrick Lefevere. “We believe Ilan will be of added value to our GC ambitions and are pleased that after some good conversations with Team DSM, we were able to bring him on board.”

Neither Lefevere nor Team DSM CEO Iwan Spekenbrink offered details or specifics about the transfer, however, Spekenbrink suggested Van Wilder may have tried to force his way out of obligations to the German-owned team through social media and legal proceedings.

“It was a no-go that a rider could attempt to force his way out of a contract by making public statements or involving a court, and we would have refused to facilitate a transfer in that way,” Spekenbrink said. “We were open to the possibilities of a transfer in a proper way and on the right basis. It is good to see that Ilan and his agent allowed the two teams to work out a transfer in the correct manner. We wish Ilan and Deceuninck–Quick-Step all the best.”

The young Belgian rider shows promise, with a fourth-place at the 2021 Belgian national road championships, and 10th at the 2021 Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali.

Van Wilder has been with Sunweb/Team DSM for the past two seasons. He raced under the Lotto-Soudal U23 colors in 2019.

Wout van Aert sells three NFTs

The NFT craze is hitting cycling. Wout van Aert sold three “non-fungible tokens” for more than $50,000 in an online auction this week.

The digital token captured images of van Aert’s biggest wins, including the 2020 Strade Bianche, and victories over Mont Ventoux and on the Champs-Élysées in the 2021 Tour de France. Each sold for about €15,000 each.

The auction winners receive a certificate of ownership via blockchain, similar to the coding behind Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

Davide Formolo sets mark for ‘slowest’ hour record

Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) set a new mark this week for riding the shortest distance in one hour on the track.

A video shows the Italian attempting track stands and focused on keeping his balance by moving the pedals as little as possible. After one hour, he covered 918m on an outdoor track during a recent Italian bike show.

That’s in contrast to world-record holder Victor Campenaerts, who holds the distance record for one hour at 55,089 meters.

Josef Cerny to stay with Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Josef Verny will stay with Deceuninck-Quick-Step for two more seasons, officials confirmed.

The 28-year-old Czech rider joined the team last year following the closure of the CCC Team. He won the Czech national time trial title in 2021.

“I can still improve my tactics during the race and gain more experience,” he said in a team note. “I just want to race and to win as much as possible with the ‘Wolfpack.’ The mentality and the winning spirit here are so nice. Everybody — both riders and staff — are always motivated and go for it 100 percent. We won the UCI ranking and we topped again the victory classification, so we really showed we’re the best and I’m so happy I can stay for two more years.”