Cyclocross is always in a weird spot when it comes to new teams and equipment sponsors. With most sponsorship contracts going into effect on January 1, the New Year’s Day race at GP Sven Nys is a time for new teams and new bikes.
That was the case again this year. We have a quick rundown of the Rumors and Rumblings on the Euro team front.
Alpecin – Fenix
Perhaps most notable, because Mathieu van der Poel and rising star Ceylin del Carment Alvarado, was the new sponsors for the team formerly known as Corendon – Circus. On New Year’s Day, the team run by the Roodhooft Brothers announced the team will be Alpecin – Fenix, aka the “Shampoos.”
While Van der Poel’s rainbow stripes stayed the same, other team riders got a new blue kit.
The Alpecin – Fenix team will have Pro Continental status on the road in 2020. The team will reportedly have a budget triple of what Corendon – Circus had in 2019, and in addition to racing in many of the Spring Classics, the team is hoping to get a wild card bid to the Vuelta a Espana.
Belgian Road National Champion Tim Merlier will be a member of Alpecin – Fenix through 2022. Merlier’s current cyclocross team, Creafin – Fristads, is also owned by the Roodhooft brothers, so he will finish the current season with that team.
Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
With a team as big as the Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal outfit, aka the “Sauces” (h/t Bill Schieken), it is not surprising there were some moves for the team.
The biggest news was actually what did not happen. Eli Iserbyt had a spat with teammate Laurens Sweeck at Superprestige Diegem, seemingly over who the team’s alpha dog is, but the two buried the hatchet and Iserbyt recently announced he will be extending his contract with Pauwels-Sauzen Bingoal through 2024.
Although Iserbyt will be staying on with the team, Jens Adams left for the new year after his expired contract was not renewed. His new program is backed by Hollebeekhoeve, a dairy producer, and consists solely of Adams.
Tormans CX Team by Circus – Wanty – Goebert
Back in September, we learned that Corne Van Kessel and Quinten Hermans would be leaving Telenet Baloise Lions for a more road-focused program. At GP Sven Nys the two former Lions debuted for the Tormans CX Team operated by Circus – Wanty Goebert a new program backed by engineering firm Tormans and operated by Wanty-Gobert.
Next year, the team will reportedly apply for status as a UCI cyclocross team by adding women and U23 riders.
The team will be riding the Cube Cross Race cyclocross bike. Stay tuned for more about the bike from the Bavarian company, as we are hoping to get profile shots of Van Kessel and Hermans’ bikes.
Telenet Baloise Lions
The young Dutch women have dominated the 2019/20 cyclocross season thus far, and behind the crop of riders that includes Alvarado, Annemarie Worst (777) and Yara Kastelijn (777) there are even more talented women in the Junior ranks.
One of the young Dutch women who has been making a name for herself this winter is Shirin van Anrooij. After an unfortunate experience with the split pit at Diegem, Van Anrooij showed her ride there was no fluke with a third-place finish at Cyclocross Gullegem.
Van Anrooij’s promise was rewarded when the Telenet Baloise team signed her starting in September of this year. Van Anrooij rides the Trek Boone for her current Cecemel – Aveve team, so the transfer will not involve a bike switch for the 17-year-old.