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VN news ticker: Wout Poels extends with Bahrain Victorious, Tim Kerrison to leave Ineos Grenadiers

Here's the news making the headlines on Thursday, October 21.

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Wout Poels extends with Bahrain Victorious

Wout Poels extended his contract with Bahrain Victorious for the 2022 season.

The Dutch news service Wielerflits last week reported that Poels and Bahrain-Victorious were ready to part ways, however, recent reports indicate that the Dutch rider will continue on with the squad that helped him into the 2021 Tour de France polka dot jersey (ultimately won by Tadej Pogačar) on stages 8 and 15-17.

Poels was fourth in the 2021 Tour de la Provence general classification, and sixth overall at the 2020 Vuelta a España.

The 34-year-old raced with the Bahraini squad on the 2020 and 2021 seasons, after spending the 2015-19 seasons with Team Sky.

Head coach Tim Kerrison to leave Ineos Grenadiers

Ineos Grenadiers head coach Tim Kerrison will leave the British squad at the end of this season, the team has confirmed.

First reported in Cyclingnews and confirmed by VeloNews, Kerrison will step down from his role later this year. Kerrison joined the squad when it was Team Sky and was one of the brains behind their dominance at the Tour de France, which saw Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, and Egan Bernal win the yellow jersey.

“After 12 years at the Team, with countless memorable experiences, now is the time for me to move on to new challenges,” Kerrison said in a statement sent to VeloNews. “I am so grateful for the opportunities that Dave, the Team, and the sport have given me. I was welcomed to cycling as an outsider 12 years ago and have been fortunate to work with some of the best riders and staff in the game.

“Together we have been on an incredible journey – more challenging and more fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. I leave with many fond memories and lifelong friends and wish the team every success for the future, as I look ahead to the next challenge.”

Kerrison’s departure comes after a mixed season for the British squad, which won the Giro d’Italia with Bernal but missed the mark at the Tour de France for the second consecutive year. Ineos Grenadiers’ boss Dave Brailsford has also said that he could step down from his role if his health issues persist.

Movistar women pull out of Ronde van Drenthe

The Movistar women’s team will end its season early after it pulled out of the final Women’s WorldTour round at the Ronde van Drenthe.

The Spanish squad cited “multiple injuries and setbacks” in recent weeks as the reason behind their decision. Annemiek van Vleuten, the team’s most successful rider in 2021, broke her shoulder and pelvis in a crash at Paris-Roubaix Femmes earlier this month.

Despite being unable to ride the final two rounds of the Women’s WorldTour, van Vleuten is destined to be crowned the series champion with an almost 600-point advantage over second-place Demi Vollering – who is due to ride Into the Lion’s Den in California next week.

“Due to the numerous injuries in recent weeks, Movistar Team will not be able to be this weekend at Ronde van Drenthe. Our 2021 is over,” Movistar wrote on social media. “Thanks to the Ronde van Drenthe’s organizers for their understanding, in a late-season full of misfortune for our Blues. See you next year!”

Davide Ballerini extends with Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Davide Ballerini signed a two-year deal to stay with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, team officials confirmed Thursday.

“I feel excellent here and at no point was I thinking about leaving this team,” he said. “With the Wolfpack I won my first big one-day race — Omloop — and this makes me confident that one day I can fight for victory in Paris-Roubaix, which is the biggest goal of my career. For the next two years, I am motivated to work hard, to improve, and to help the team remain the best in the world.”

Deceuninck-Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said the team didn’t want to let him go.

“We knew his potential when we signed him, and Davide didn’t disappoint,” he said. “He took several victories with us in these two years, and at the same time, showed that he is always ready to work for his teammates. On top of that, he still has a lot of room to improve, and that’s why signing a new contract was the logical thing to do. We are happy that he is happy here and has agreed to stay with the Wolfpack.”