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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
After a flurry of transfer activity, it looks like Qhukeba-Assos has announced its last two additions to its 2021 lineup.
In other news, Mathieu van der Poel is set to get his cyclocross campaign underway with a pair of races this weekend, EF has signed Fumiyuki Beppu, Alberto Bettiol will miss Esports Worlds, and basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller has joined USA Cycling’s Board of Directors.
Read on for more …
| Qhubeka-Assos completes 2021 roster with Power and Lindeman
The NTT team that will become Qhubeka-Assos in 2021 has completed its roster for next season with the signings of Robert Power and Bert-Jan Lindeman.
Power is a versatile talent who won the Japan Cup and rode to a top 10 at Strade Bianche back in 2018 when he was a member of the Mitchelton-Scott team. The 25-year-old Australian will join Qhubeka-Assos after two seasons with Sunweb.
Lindeman will make the move after six seasons with Jumbo-Visma. The 31-year-old Dutchman counts a Grand Tour stage win (at the 2015 Vuelta a España) and an overall victory at the Tour de l’Ain on his career palmares, and he will likely slot into a support role with Qhubeka-Assos.
The team’s announcement of its finalized roster also confirms the list of current riders that won’t be returning. Among those riders is Jay Robert Thomson, who said on social media on Tuesday that he is hanging up the wheels.
“I’m truly grateful for everything it’s given me,” Thomson said of cycling in a collection of Tweets. “I don’t know what 2021 has in store for me yet but I know I’ll approach the life after cycling the same way I did my career, with everything I got.”
| Van der Poel will get his cyclocross campaign underway this weekend
Mathieu van der Poel will make his first starts of the cyclocross season this weekend. On Saturday, he will take on the X2O Badkamers Trofee series race in Antwerp (one has to wonder if X2O’s sales of Badkamer, i.e. bathroom, items will increase with his participation). According to Wielerflits, on Sunday, van der Poel will race Superprestige Gavere.
Wielerflits reports that there are a total of nine cyclocross races on van der Poel’s calendar in the run-up to the World Championships in Ostend on January 31.
| EF signs Beppu
Fumiyuki Beppu will return to the WorldTour next season with EF, the team announced on Tuesday.
The two-time Japanese national road champion and three-time Japanese national time trial champ spent 2020 with Nippo Delko One Provence after six years with Trek-Segafredo. The 37-year-old veteran has made at least one start in all five Monuments and all three Grand Tours over the course of his lengthy career.
“I am excited for this opportunity to contribute to EF Pro Cycling in 2021,” he said in a statement from EF. “My impression of the team is that it is a professional cycling team that is unique and always has gorgeous cycling kits and bicycles. The team does great at the Classics and at the GrandTours and the teamwork is always solid. I am excited to ride with them as a team.”
| No Esports Worlds for Bettiol
Speaking of EF, Alberto Bettiol will miss Wednesay’s Esports World Championships due to illness.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the former Tour of Flanders winner recently developed a fever. He tested negative for coronavirus, but will not take part in Esports Worlds.
| Reggie Miller joins USAC Board
Former NBA star Reggie Miller was voted onto the USA Cycling Board of Directors on Tuesday. The 2012 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and current NBA commentator for TNT is an avid mountain biker whose busy 2020 schedule had included a start at the Breck Epic before the coronavirus pandemic led to a change in plans.
Miller and fellow new members Lucia Deng, Ed Ewing, and Brendan Quirk join a 12-member board, chaired by Bob Stapleton.
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