Saturday, 28 January 2023

Cycling News

‘We are going to be a force to be reckoned with’

Matej Mohorič wins Milan-San Remo 2022

There are some teams which you equate with the ability to dominate in WorldTour men’s cycling. Jumbo-Visma are the clearest example from 2022: they topped the WorldTour team rankings and were fighting for victory in almost every single race they started, be that a Classic or a Grand Tour. The image of Primož Roglič, Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte crossing the line arm in arm to take 1-2-3 during the first stage of Paris-Nice is a picture that will live on in cycling history. 

Teams like the Ineos Grenadiers can also (to a lesser extent) be thrown into the mix of teams that come to mind when you think of domination. In the 2022 edition of Paris-Roubaix, for example, the British squad utterly shaped the race by attacking with more than 200 kilometres remaining. With this, they caught out some of the pre-race favourites and were able to set Dylan van Baarle up for an emphatic solo victory in the Roubaix velodrome.

We then come to teams like UAE Team Emirates, who are able to dominate too, but in a different way. They can control a race simply by having the best rider in the world in their team. Tadej Pogačar had sixteen victories this season, including in Strade Bianche, three stages of the Tour de France and Il Lombardia at the end of the year. He didn’t really rely on his teammates for any of these, but UAE Team Emirates can still be classed as dominant simply by virtue of having him in the squad.

Bahrain-Victorious aren’t a team which many would list as dominant amongst other WorldTour teams. They finished in eighth place on the WorldTour team rankings this year, and didn’t show the levels of consistency throughout the season that some of their competitors did. But, with Matej Mohorič’s Milan-San Remo win, Dylan Teuns’ unexpected victory in La Flèche Wallonne or youngster Fred Wright’s impressive consistency and visibility as he fought for Tour de France stage wins, Bahrain-Victorious did show hints of absolute brilliance last season, and they plan to build on this for 2023.

Matej Mohorič wins Milan-San Remo 2022 (Image: Zac Williams/SWpix)

“Our focus is on working hard during this winter, making solid foundations for next season, working on strength and conditioning and all that sort of stuff,” Mohorič told journalists from the team’s recent press conference in Altea, Spain. “We believe strongly that we will be ready for next year to be in the best possible physical shape at the important races. Our team…

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