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VN news ticker: Roxo Racing moves up, UAE Tour confirms dates

Here's what's making headlines on Monday, December 19.

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Roxo Racing moves up to Continental status in 2023

Texas-based cycling development team Roxo Racing is stepping up to the UCI Continental team ranks, officials confirmed.

The women of Roxo will see an Americas-based schedule for 2023. The calendar includes criteriums like Tulsa Tough, BC Superweek, and the new National Cycle League, as well as road races like Le Tour de Gatineau and Tour de Delta, stage races like Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin. Gravel and mountain bike events like Unbound, SBT, and Gravel Worlds. MTB endurance races Chequamegon and Leadville Trail 100 are on the calendar, too.

The team strengthened its roster 2023, and the team’s plan is to eventually join the UCI Women’s WorldTour, officials said.

“Roxo Racing was formed with the intent to build a Fort Worth-based women’s Professional Cycling team from which we find and empower the most talented women in the sport,” J.W. Wilson, President of Roxo Energy. “Throw directors Chann McRae and Scott Warren in the mix and I think you see us on many podiums next season.”

Newcomers for 2023 include Emily Newsom, Ariane Bonhomme, Emily Marcolini, and Victoria Velasco.

The team is completed with Marjie Bemis, 21, of Corona, CA, Maeghan Easler, 25, of Des Moines, IA, Romina Hinojsa, 19, of Monterrey, Mexico, Jacqueline Larouche, 28, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jamie Larmer, 40, of Fort Worth, TX, and Haley Smith, 28, of Houston, Texas.

Team leadership includes Chann McRae, Scott Warren, Chris Watson, JW Wilson, and Todd Reed.

UAE Tour confirms 2023 dates in February

The UAE Tour will return February 20-26 with Tadej Pogačar expected to be the headliner to defend his back-to-back bike titles in 2021 and 2022.

Organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the seven-day race is the Middle East’s only WorldTour-level race.

Dating back to 2014, the race hit WorldTour status in 2019. Previous winners include Primož Roglič (2019), Adam Yates (2020), and Pogačar (2021, 2022).

The route for the 2023 men’s tour will start and end in Abu Dhabi, with full route details announced in January 2023.

“For the past eight years the UAE has exponentially grown from strength to strength in professional cycling,” said Fabrizio D’Amico, Chief Operating Officer RCS Sports and Events, and UAE Tour Director. “The seven-stage WorldTour race will enter its fifth edition in February 2023 and will once again attract the best riders from all the world. The UAE Tour is always an exciting race as it allows the riders to test themselves ahead of the European calendar races and the grand tour races and sets the tone of the season to come.”