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VN news ticker: Hindley to debut 2023 at Tour Down Under, Plantur-Pura becomes Fenix-Deceuninck

Here's what's making headlines on Thursday, December 8.

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Jai Hindley to start 2023 season at Santos Tour Down Under

Giro d’Italia champion Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) confirmed Thursday he will debut his 2023 season at Santos Tour Down Under.

The Aussie tour returns January 17-22 in what will be its first edition since 2020. Hindley will make his fourth start at the race next month in his first Down Under appearance since he rose to the top of the grand tour peloton with second at the 2020 Giro and victory in this May’s race.

“We spend so much of our season in Europe, so it is nice to come back and race in front of Australian fans,” he said. “2022 was a massive year for me and I’m looking forward to setting up my 2023 season with a strong performance in Adelaide.”

Plantur-Pura becomes Fenix-Deceuninck

Fenix and Deceuninck will step up as title sponsors of the women’s continental team Plantur-Pura next season.

The squad, which is under the same umbrella as Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceninck crew, will be named Fenix-Deceuninck as of January 2023.

“Fenix will remain a partner of the men’s team, but will focus on the women from January 1. Deceuninck will extend its partnership with the men – as name sponsor – linearly to the women’s team. This allows both companies to make a difference as a brand, but they are also important for us in the further expansion of our complete structure, not only the women’s team,” team manager Philip Roodhooft said.

“All this allows us to follow the most ideal path, which is to offer women and men the same opportunities at the highest level.”

Fenix-Deceuninck is set to field a 20-rider roster in 2023 as it continues to chase ambitions both on the road and in cyclocross. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Puck Pieterse and Sanne Cant will be the headline names for the new year.

Primoz Roglič back on the bike after shoulder surgery

Primož Roglič is back in the saddle and training outdoors again after his shoulder surgery in October.

The Jumbo-Visma captain received a bone graft to remedy the hangover of a series of crashes and dislocations, including last year at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

“I hope to gradually pick up my training again. It is eight weeks since the surgery on my shoulder. Every week it gets better, but a recovery like this takes time,” Roglič told Wielerflits.

“Over the past weeks, I’ve carefully started getting back on the indoor trainer with some hour-long rides. Last week I had a scan, and the doctors gave me the green light to return to gentle outdoor cycling on the road.”

Roglič is now scrambling for form as his team prepares to sketch out its grand tour programs for 2023.

“My hope is that I can compete reasonably well again in January at the second training camp,” Roglič said.