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George Bennett signs with UAE-Team Emirates
George Bennett is the latest rider to be snapped up by the UAE-Team Emirates squad for 2022 after the New Zealand road race champion signed a two-year deal with the team.
Bennett was a Jumbo-Visma staple since 2015, where he has often provided support for GC star Primož Roglič. While he is expected to get his own chances throughout the next season, Bennett is likely to be called up as a key domestique for double Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar at UAE-Team Emirates.
“I’m really excited about my move to UAE-Team Emirates. I’m looking forward to helping the team reach new heights across many races. I have seen the team take huge steps forward every year and this progression is something I really want to be a part of,” Bennett said.
“It’s also nice to link up with Finn Fisher-Black, as we both come from the same hometown in New Zealand. There’s an exciting group of young guys coming through at UAE and it’s great to be joining that environment and bringing my experience to the team.”
Esteban Chaves to join EF Education-Nippo in 2022
After eight seasons with the Team BikeExchange set-up, Esteban Chaves moves to new pastures next season with EF Education-Nippo.
Chaves stepped up to WorldTour level in 2014, despite a horrific racing accident the previous year that left him with months of rehabilitation to do. Since then, he has twice finished on grand tour podiums, at the 2016 Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, and won multiple stages.
His GC hopes took a hit when he was diagnosed with Epstein Barr in 2018 and he’s often struggled since. However, he finished 13th at this year’s Tour de France, his best grand tour finish since the 2017 Vuelta.
“I wanted to join the EF Pro Cycling for several reasons. First of all, from the outside, you can see it is like a big family where everyone is driven by the passion of cycling. Also, one of the directors is a rider I really admired when I started riding my bike – Juanma Garate – and finally, I would love to have Colombian teammates. But most importantly, the cycling kit is really cool, don’t you think?” Chaves said.
“It’s our view that Esteban will have a great next few years,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “He’s overcome his health issues and showed this year he has consistency. We feel that he’s poised to break out and turn that consistency into wins. He’ll fit right into the nature of our team, which places human qualities of any rider, at the top of the list.”
Grace Brown to FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
In signings few expected to see, Grace Brown will leave Team BikeExchange at the end of the year to join FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope for 2022.
Brown moved to BikeExchange in 2019 following the demise of the Wiggle-High 5 squad. Since then, the 29-year-old has gone on to become one of the top classics riders in the peloton, with second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2020 and third at this year’s Tour of Flanders.
She also took victory at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne in March and finished fourth in the time trial at the Olympic Games last month. She will join the likes of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and rising stars Marta Cavalli and Evita Muzic at the FDJ team.
— Grace Brown (@GLBrown321) August 9, 2021