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VN news ticker: 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné to start in Ardèche, Marianne Vos to return to racing at Val di Sole

Here's the news making headlines for Friday, November 19.

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2022 Critérium du Dauphiné route announced

The 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné will depart from the Ardèche on Sunday, June 5.

The eight-day race will kick off with a 192-kilometer route between La Voulte-sur-Rhône and Beauchastel, on a sprinter-friendly opening stage that is entirely in the Ardèche region.

The opening day will take the peloton on two loops, with the first time across the finish line at 130km.

Racers will ascend the Côte de Chambon de Bavas (4.8km at 5.2 percent) twice, and travel the wide and straight roads along the banks of the Rhône before what is expected to be a bunch gallop to the line in Beauchastel.

2022 will be the first time since 2016 that the prelude to the Tour de France will start in the Ardèche region, when it was won by Fabio Aru, in Tournon-sur-Rhône.

Richie Porte, who was racing for Trek-Segafredo but has since returned to Ineos Grenadiers, is the defending champion.

Marianne Vos returns to racing at Val di Sole

Marianne Vos before the 2021 UCI CX World Cup in Waterloo, WI.
Marianne Vos before the 2021 UCI CX World Cup in Waterloo, WI. (Photo: Greg Kaplan)

Seven-time world cyclocross champion Marianne Vos will make her return to racing at the Val di Sole World Cup on December 12.

After a long and successful 2021 road season which included wins at Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race, as well as a second-place finish in the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, the Dutchwoman rolled directly into the 2021-22 ‘cross season, racing a handful of events in the United States before returning home for a needed break from training and racing.

Vos will restart her ‘cross season in mid-December, on the new and not-yet-launched Cervélo R5-CX, at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Italy. She currently has six races on her calendar and also has not ruled out making a run at the world championships, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the end of January.

Marianne Vos 2021-22 Cyclocross Schedule (preliminary)
Val di Sole World Cup, 12 December
Rucphen World Cup, 18 December
Dendermonde World Cup, 26 December
Hulst World Cup, 2 January
Dutch Championship, Zaltbommel, 9 January
Hoogerheide World Cup, 23 January

Yana Seel becomes chief business officer at Lotto Soudal after three years at Astana

Yana Seel takes on a Marketing Director position at Israel Start-Up Nation. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Yana Seel will step into top management at Lotto Soudal next season.

Seel, 37, will become chief business officer at the Belgian team after spending the past three years as managing director at Astana-Premier Tech.

Seel, a Kazakhstan-born Belgian, became the first female marketing director in the WorldTour when she took up her role at Astana. She will now take on a brand new business development, marketing, communication, and finance position at Lotto Soudal men’s, women’s, and U23 teams.

“In this management position – which mainly consists of three pillars – Yana will always report directly to me. The most important pillar is business development and marketing: Yana will take the lead on everything related to attracting and retaining sponsors,” said team CEO John Lelangue.

“I am convinced that Yana will be an important asset to the team and that way, we keep building the long-term future.”

Seel was credited with playing a major part in bringing in Premier Tech as sponsor at Astana. Her arrival will be part of a wider management shake-up at Lotto Soudal that includes the departure of longtime director Marc Sergeant and the hiring of Cherie Pridham, formerly of Israel Start-Up Nation.

“Even though I was born in Kazakhstan, I primarily feel Belgian. So Lotto Soudal kind of feels like coming home,” she said.

Hagens Berman Axeon closes roster with signing of Toby Perry

Hagens Berman Axeon closed its books with a 13-rider roster for 2022.

British talent Toby Perry marks the last of six new names set to join the U.S.-based development squad next year. Perry comes to the team after a breakout season in Spain while racing for Equipo La Tova-Asesoría Almudéva.

Team director Axel Merckx hopes the 21-year-old Perry will bring experience to a roster that includes six teenage riders.

“Toby is a bit of a more seasoned rider that I hope will bring experience to our fairly young team,” Merckx said. “He’s shown that he is a very strong rider and seems to have found the formula to win, and proved it by winning a few races in Spain. I believe he deserves an opportunity to show himself on the biggest stage and I hope we can give him that.”

The multi-national squad includes four Americans, including Michael Garrison, Samuel Janisch, Simon Jones, and Matthew Riccitello. Other notable new recruits for 2022 include the Spanish junior champion Iván Romeo and the former Kiwi former junior champ Jack Drage.