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VN ticker: 2022 Vuelta set for trip to Basque country, Nys rails at cyclocross starting-fee system

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, November 27.

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2022 Vuelta a España set for trip to Basque country

The 2022 Vuelta a España will see three stages in the Basque Country.

Spanish outlet AS reported Friday that the Vuelta will transition to the steep climbs and zealous fans of the Basque Country after the previously announced “Dutch start,” made up of three stages in the Netherlands.

Two full stages are expected to play out in the northern Basque region, with a third – the sixth of the grand tour – starting in Bilbao before finishing atop an as-yet-unused Cantabrian climb, the Pico del Jano.

The 2022 Vuelta will open up on Friday August 19 with a team time trial in Utrecht, followed by two Dutch road stages likely to finish in sprints. The peloton will take a rest and travel day on Monday 22 before hitting Spanish soil in the Basque country Tuesday 23.

The full route of the 2022 Vuelta will be confirmed December 16.

Sven Nys hits out at CX World Cup starting-fee system

Retired cyclocross great and manager of team Baloise Trek Lions has hit out at the starting-fee system in place at the cyclocross World Cup.

Nys told Wielerflits this week that he opposes how superstar riders like Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel receive start fees for marquee CX races while many others go out-of-pocket, instead relying on sponsor funds and the hope of prize monies.

“I have good sources and indications that a number of riders in the World Cup are paid, while others don’t get a euro,” Nys said. “I can say the latter with certainty because it concerns my own riders. Lucinda Brand, Lars van der Haar, Toon Aerts – they are left empty-handed. That is not fair.”

Budgets in cyclocross are dwarfed by those seen in road racing, and in some cases, riders are left funding their own travel and race expenses. Nys said that it shouldn’t be just the biggest names that go rewarded for race-starts.

“Just to be clear, I don’t blame Wout and Mathieu. They are the stars … It’s normal that they get paid,” he said. “But the other riders are also important links. Every rider at the start should be able to enjoy the success of the cross.”

Issues about rider pay have long rumbled beneath the surface in the cyclocross scene. Nys wants to push the matter to the forefront as he fights for the rights of his riders.

“Lucinda [Brand] for example only just realized [the pay discrepancy], because I told her. Besides, she doesn’t feel like much of a fuss. That also applies to others – they want to focus on sports,” Nys said. “That’s why I want to take on that role. But I also stand up for Iserbyt and Sweeck, riders from other teams.”