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t-72

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OK - since this forum has featured discussion thread for the inevitable Norwegian invasion into the higher ranked classes, I thing we should also have one for this year - when what we foresaw as inevitable has finally happened, and it is as official as this:

UNO-X #unox PRO TEAM registration at UCI

At the time of writing this is already old news and the talk on the town is the sensation of Torstein Træen finishing in 9th position as best Euro rider in Tour of Colombia, between Sergio Henao and Esteban Chaves on the GC classification. Note that he also scored a top 5th one of the uphill stages. Definetly the first major surprise of this season. There is likely to be more to follow (not only from #unox) but right now there's a wave of suspicion and more or less doping accusations thrown at Træen, especially from Danish journalists.
Træen is one of a handful Norwegian riders that may have been somewhat kept off the charts by the peculiar Norwegian domestic races in the Norgescup. In the land of the mountain monkeys (to use the danish nickname) there has been no regular races featuring long climbs until most recent years. The introduction of the Tour te Fjells (Norwegian pun better translated as "tour up the mountain"), a - (guess who, yes - them) - Uno-X sponsored race in the Hallingdal Valley area has led to climbers actually finding a way up in Norwegian cycling and Træen has a 2nd place overall from this race.

The most famous 'climbing' race in Norway - Sundvolden GP, features an uphill finish which is actually too short to get the true endurance climbers going which is why mountain monkey Carl Fredrik Hagen kept loosing the race to some Danish guy.
#lotto Hagen came out of "nowhere" in similar fashion last year when he dropped Alaphilippe on the final climb in the last stage of Tour de Romandie, and later finished in 10th GC in the Vuelta. So when yet another Norwegian pops out of a very determined team effort to develop Norwegian climbers - which last year also landed the Tour de L'Avenir, I am sorry *dk , it is disappointing your cycling journalists can do no better than say it is totally out of the blue, because there is a systematic development behind this - even if the individual rider here hasn't been very visible before. It will probably happen again, as Træen is not the only rider in #unox development pipeline with climbing abilities.

I had to get this little hint of bitterness out of the sweet success cake from Colombia, but already this week #unox is gearing up a different squad for a more important race for them: the Algarve. It will be live on 2 TV channels here, that has in the last few years only happened for the Tour and the Vuelta,  the Ronde van Vlaanderen , the Paris-Roubaix and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege - so the #unox team finally seems to lift media attention to cycling again, it has been on a steady decline since the Bergen worlds in 2017.   

From a podcast featuring an interview with Ass. Sports Director Stig Kristiansen I understand that different racers have different objectives, but the squad has an overall intention of riding to get noticed:
https://twitter.com/UnoXteam/status/1229290920878780417
  • Daniel Hoelgaard to participate in the sprint finishes. He will be supported by Erik Nordsæter Resell and Anders Skaarseth.
  • Andreas Leknessund will target the ITT stage.
  • Markus Hoelgaard and Torjus Sleen:  the hilly stages.
  • Kristian Kulset is the full time designated helper.
The Algarve is a race that will be raced somewhat harder than Colombia but this is also the A-squad of #unox.
Or did Træen just flip the tables there?
Can't wait to see how this unfolds!

 
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  • « Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 11:03 by LukasCPH »

    Joelsim

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    Looking forward to seeing Leknessund, and Larsen once he’s racing again.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    there's a wave of suspicion and more or less doping accusations thrown at Træen, especially from Danish journalists

    I must've missed the memo on this one, and a brief search in The Darkside didn't yield anything. :slow
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  • Leadbelly

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    Dare Bikes are now officially Uno-X's devo team.



    They can't swap riders around like I-SUN are doing with their own version. That's restricted to WT teams and their feeder CT teams. Hopefully we'll see a couple with stagiaire roles later in the season. Brynsrud for example.

    https://firstcycling.com/team.php?l=19192

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    They can't swap riders around like I-SUN are doing with their own version. That's restricted to WT teams and their feeder CT teams.

    are you sure about that?



    for the club riders there may be other limiting factors though, ADAMS and so on
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    LukasCPH

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    are you sure about that?
    Yeah, ProTeams can do the swapping too. Nothing else would make sense.[1]

    for the club riders there may be other limiting factors though, ADAMS and so on
    They can bring them in for .1 and .2 races without ADAMS etc., right? And, knowing the team, they may have the #daredevo riders inserted into ADAMS on their own cost just in case one or several develop well.
     1. But then, this is cycling, so you never know ...
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    Yeah, ProTeams can do the swapping too. Nothing else would make sense.

    seems like there are some more restrictions though, as this UCI document says only "Teams having an asterisk * benefit from the participation rules" - and only those World Tour devo teams on continental level do have one

    https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/part-ii-road/teams-participation.pdf
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  • LukasCPH

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    seems like there are some more restrictions though, as this UCI document says only "Teams having an asterisk * benefit from the participation rules" - and only those World Tour devo teams on continental level do have one

    https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/part-ii-road/teams-participation.pdf
    :slow
    I think I just give up and welcome our new (old) Aigle overlords who decide everything in their infinite wisdom.

    :S
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  • Joelsim

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    I'd vote for you as ruleskeeper and maker Lukas.
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  • Leadbelly

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    https://www.unoxteam.no/post/_dbdt

    Quote
    In September 2018 we launched DARE Bikes Development Team. The project, led by Max Emil Kørner, was dedicated to the development of the next generation of Norwegian climbers.

    For 2021 we have decided to convert DARE Bikes Development Team to a UCI Continental Team owned and operated by Uno-X:

    • Development team with a race program not in conflict with Uno-X

    • 10+ U23 riders from Norway and Denmark

    • One race program

    • Minimum scholarships 

    • Structural overlap with Uno-X in regards to equipment, training and racing.
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  • t-72

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    Not sure where to stick this, as it isn't really a race - but a few Norwegian riders have been/are  attempting to set new Norwgian national records for time trial distances. I think this game basically works like: (former #joker) Reidar Borgersen defined the road that is best for this, and they go back to beat his time.  #unox Andreas Leknessund (national champion) and #coop Iver Knotten should be known to those that follow the somewhat obscure Norwgian Conti and U23 scene, I think by now I may have succeeded to add all of you on that list?  :cool

    #joker Søren Wærenskjold is less well known but his junior years 2018 and 2017 have plenty of good results also internationally. I won't hold the 2020 Tour of Rhodes against him either, but that is a "Mallorca"-like season starter race for the lower ranked teams, and not a race where the competition is strong.

    Over 30 km - win for Wæresnkjold, cutting the old record (belonging to Knotten) by .... a minute and a half, to 34 mins 01 second with Leknessund at 34 mins and 08 seconds. Even Knotten, not on his best day, was faster than the old record.

    Apparently they will also do 10km (Kristoffer Skjerping holds the record) and 50 km (Reidar Borgersen current best) on the same  road.

    For #joker this is great. Beating national champion #unox #champno Leknessund is a significant result as Leknessund seems to have been in very good shape lately (perhaps a pre-programmed unstoppable peak form that was no real use due to corona?) Wærenskjold is the best of the Norwegian youngsters on a cross bike (Benelux people don't need to read this, he is faar from a Wout van Aert) and his potential is perhaps highest in classics races on rough surfaces.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Over 30 km - win for Wæresnkjold, cutting the old record (belonging to Knotten) by .... a minute and a half, to 34 mins 01 second with Leknessund at 34 mins and 08 seconds. Even Knotten, not on his best day, was faster than the old record.
    That is a very good result for SW, beating the two TT 'experts' like that. I knew him from some promising one-day results - this shows he has a serious engine and, as you say, could become a classics contender. :cool
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  • Joelsim

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    Wæresnkjold

    No doubt Rob Hatch will be able to pronounce this. Kirby won’t.
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  • t-72

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    Right, that´s so difficult I misspelled it :fp and made sure it cannot be pronounced at all.

     Wærenskjold!

    much better, Joel?
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  • t-72

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    Today Leknessund failed to take the 10 kilometer record. Karma strikes at #unox as this then still belongs to Kristoffer Skjerping, who was sacked from the team after winning the Gylne Gutuer last year. Leknessund seems to be coming off his peak form, riding below his assumed potential.

    The big news and the big big sports deal in Norway this year is new signing for #unox: Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. Apparently he won´t do much bike racing, but needs more cycling in his training.
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