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VN ticker: Van Anrooij, Dockx take jerseys in U23 and junior European CX champs, Masnada extends with Quick-Step

Here's the news making headlines for Sunday, November 7.

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Shirin van Anrooij tops all-Dutch podium at U23 European ‘cross champs

Shirin van Anrooij topped an all-Dutch podium at the U23 European cyclocross championships Sunday.

Van Anrooij, a former junior world champion, beat defending U23 Euro champ Puck Pieterse and reigning U23 rainbow jersey Fem van Empel in what made for an all-star podium.

Van Anrooij took an early lead after she overhauled a red-hot start by Frenchwoman Amandine Fouquenet.

Behind them, Pieterse had crashed in lap one and was forced to run back through the pits to get a new bike. Despite her early losses, Pieterse but fought back strong through the middle of the race to head the chase behind van Anrooij.

Van Anrooij nursed a slim gap through the back-half of the race. Pieterse chased hard, but the defending champ was unable to get back on terms to the tenacious van Anrooij and had to settle for silver.

Van Anrooij has been on a tear all season long. The 19-year-old has landed three World Cup top-10s and took the win at the opening day of racing at Iowan Jingle Cross last month.

Aaron Dockx goes solo for junior European CX title

Aaron Dockx took a huge solo win for Belgium on the Col du VAM to claim the junior European cyclocross title.

Dockx, 17, beat David Haverdings (Netherlands) and Luca Paletti (Italy) after storming away in the opening lap and opening up an insurmountable gap by lap two.

Haverdings had started the race as top favorite after winning his five previous ‘crosses, but was unable to match Dockx’s stinging pace in the opening circuit. The Dutchman countered through the middle of the race and attempted to eat into Dockx’s huge advantage only to see the race-leader further extend his gap.

Paletti and a handful more bridged across to Haverdings late in the race in the hunt for second-place, but Haverdings stayed strong to take the silver medal while Paletti bagged bronze.

Fausto Masnada extends with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl through 2024

Italian climbing ace Fausto Masnada has booked in with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl through 2024.

The team confirmed the extension of Masnada’s contract Saturday as it continues to bolster its support crew with an eye toward Remco Evenepoel’s GC ambitions. As runner-up at Il Lombardia this fall and a top-10 finisher at the Giro d’Italia, Masnada gives Quick-Step both a superdomestique for Evenepoel and a strong second option for stage races.

“Every time Fausto raced, he showed what a great asset he is, how he can go full gas for a teammate or go for his own chance whenever he can,” team boss Patrick Lefevere said.

“I’m happy he could finish off his season with such a strong result at Il Lombardia, and who knows what the future will bring. Having him with us for three more years is fantastic.”

The news made for a double-celebration for Masnada, who also turned 28 on Saturday.

Lotto-Soudal Ladies reshapes roster, pivots toward youth

Lotto-Soudal Ladies team has signed four new names and finalized its radically reshaped roster for 2022.

The Belgian squad has inked deals with Esmée Gielkens, Ines Van de Paar, Josie Knight and Kristýna Burlová, all aged between 18 and 24. The quartet joins two previously announced new recruits who are both 18-years-old.

“We want to take another direction with the women’s team and aim for development of young riders,” said Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports manager of both the Lotto Soudal Ladies and Lotto Soudal U23 teams.

“That’s what we have been doing, successfully, with the men’s U23 team for several years now and that’s what we now want to achieve with the women’s team as well. That’s why we have chosen to become a continental development team.”

In total, Lotto Soudal Ladies welcomes 11 new riders into its 14-rider roster for 2022.

“In the future we fully focus on the youth with our women’s team,” van de Wouwer said. “These changes are reflected in the almost entirely new team for next season.”

Lotto Soudal Ladies 2022: Eefje Brandt, Kristýna Burlová, Katrijn De Clercq, Mieke Docx, Mijntje Geurts, Esmée Gielkens, Josie Knight, Abby Mae Parkinson, Anna Plichta, Marla Sigmund, Ines Van de Paar, Elise Vander Sande, Sterre Vervloet and Kylie Waterreus.