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VN ticker: Mathieu van der Poel ‘scared’ in Val di Sole snow; Savio secures 15 riders for Shimano-Sidermec

Here's what's making the headlines Sunday, December 18.

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Mathieu van der Poel ‘was scared’ in Val di Sole cyclocross snow, says father Adrie

Adrie van der Poel was blunt when he appraised his son Mathieu’s performance in Saturday’s Val di Sole cyclocross World Cup.

“He was really scared I think. I’m not going to look any further. This never happens to him,” the retired cyclocross and road star said.

Van der Poel was off the back from the start of Saturday’s “snowcross” and didn’t factor in the action. He finished up eighth, more than three minutes back on winner Micahel Vanthourenhout.

“It was his first time on ice and it doesn’t help that he hardly did any ‘crosses last year,” Adrie told Wielerflits. “He only has a few ‘crosses in his legs this winter and has just returned from a Spanish road training camp. But you shouldn’t look any further than fear, you saw that in every corner.”

The typically critical Van der Poel Sr. qualified his criticism after Alpecin-Deceuninck management urged a “no-risk” approach in the sketchy snow for their star rider.

“MvdP” has bigger goals in the February ‘cross worlds and spring classics, and is reported to be in top shape after a road camp.

“You can’t forget that it was almost two years ago that he raced properly,” Adrie continued. “We have also seen in the past that he sometimes dares to be a little less after a training camp. I know how they worked last week and it all went well. This performance is really the last thing I’m worried about.”

Gianni Savio secures 15 riders for new GW Shimano-Sidermec team

Gianni Savio
No stopping Savio as he continues with new team.

GW Shimano-Sidermec, the new team of veteran Italian manager Gianni Savio, will have 15 riders for 2023.

The Colombian-registered Conti squad is Savio’s latest project after his Drone Hopper team shuttered this winter due to sponsor shortfalls.

The new GW Shimano-Sidermec project extends Savio’s decades-long involvement in the pro peloton after he managed the Androni Giocattoli squad through its various incarnations and helped boost talents like Egan Bernal and Iván Sosa into the WorldTour.

GW Shimano-Sidermec will contain 12 Colombians, two Italians, and a Norweigan, a handful of whom transferred over from Drone-Hopper. Spazio Ciclismo reports the team will largely focus on races in the UCI America Tour.

Fernando Gaviria to debut for Movistar in San Juan

VALBROYE, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 29: Fernando Gaviria Rendon of Colombia and UAE Team Emirates during the team presentation prior to the 75th Tour De Romandie 2022 - Stage 3 a 165,1km stage from Valbroye to Valbroye / #TDR2022 /on April 29, 2022 in Valbroyeon, Switzerland. (Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
Gaviria switches from UAE Emirates to Movistar this winter. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Colombian sprinter ace Fernando Gaviria will debut for Team Movistar at the Vuelta a San Juan.

The multiple grand tour stage and eight-time San Juan stage-winner confirmed in a social media message he will be lining out for the Argentine race on January 22.

“Hello my people from San Juan, I am happy to announce that my new team we will start the season in your country in that beautiful race that has given me so much joy,” Gaviria said.

” I hope to see you as always supporting all the cyclists. A big hug from me and see you in January.”

Gaviria will be looking for fresh legs with his new Spanish team. His past two seasons with UAE Emirates saw just three victories as he struggled with COVID, injuries, and a battle for selection in a team stacked with stars.

Gaviria makes for one of three new names for “the blues” this season, with Ruben Guerreiro and Iván Romeo also coming on for 2023.