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Chain Links: Hirschi, van Aert & More, January 8, 2021

L’Équipe confirms Marc Hirschi joins UAE, while Wout van Aert close to extension with Jumbo-Visma

Cycling: 79Th Tour Of Swiss 2015 / Stage 6
79Th Tour Of Swiss 2015, Stage 6, Adriano Malori (left) and Fran Ventoso Fran (right). Ventoso has announced his retirement
Photo by Tim De Waele/Getty Images


Welcome to Chain Links here at The Podium Cafe, a selection of cycling news links from across the internet. I do the work so that you don’t have to.

Today we get confirmation about Marc Herschi’s confirmation with UAE, Wout van Aert’s contract, an update about the TDF/Olympics scheduling conflict, a retirement and much more.

A note about Chain Links: The descriptions of the links are pulled directly from the meta information provided by the sources. In non-nerd speak, what this means is that I’m using the sources description (where possible) to explain what the link is about. I do not necessarily agree or disagree with that description, If I have something to add, you will see me tack on a “Ken’s Note” on the end.



Marc Hirschi announced at UAE Team Emirates by MPCC - L’Équipe - The Swiss Marc Hirschi, who left the DSM team (ex-Sunweb), has just been registered by the MPCC under the jersey of the formation UAE Team Emirates.

UAE Emirates started with vaccines: it is the first team to get them - La Gazzetta dello Sport - The first anti Covid injections begin in Abu Dhabi. Precedence to those who will race shortly like Pogacar, which will debut at the end of January in Mallorca

Windy retires - - Spaniard Fran Ventoso (Reinosa, 38 years old), who was a member of the CCC last season, has decided to end his career after 17 years as a professional, as announced on Istagram .

Pogacar: “When you beat a champion like Valverde it gives you a lot of confidence” - - Speaking to the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the Slovenian cyclist reviewed his triumph in last year’s edition. “Winning in Valencia was the best way to start.”

Paris-Nice presents its 2021 route and invites Nairo Quintana’s Arkéa - - The race organization announced the layout of the eight stages of the race and the list of invited teams that will accompany the 19 squads of the UCI World Tour.

Season already upset - L’Équipe - After a totally upset year 2020, the health crisis continues to disrupt habits.


“Chris Froome is getting stronger again”, says Rik Verbrugghe - Cycling Today - New sports manager of Israel Start-Up Nation, Rik Verbrugghe, will have the difficult task of trying to help Chris Froome to return at the highest level.

Can fasting make you a better cyclist? - Cycling Today - Intermittent fasting is a growing trend in nutrition for its many health benefits that include lowering insulin levels, improving blood sugar and protecting against diabetes and heart disease.

Reborn in the mud: Fabio Aru wants to ride Cyclocross World Championships - Cycling Today - Fabio Aru could be at the start of the Cyclocross World Championships in Ostend at the end of January.

Tokyo 2021: No quarantine obligation, Tour-Olympics double possible - Cycling Today - No quarantine will be required for athletes who will have to go to the Tokyo Games, but instead strict rules will be enforced in the Olympic village and training areas.

Kopecky to debut new Liv Racing kit at Belgian cyclo-cross championships - Cyclingnews - Purple floral pattern ‘unapologetically feminine’

Belgian U23 ‘cross racer Justin Laevens comes out as gay - Cyclingnews - Rider hopes to set a positive example

Jumbo claim Wout van Aert contract talks ‘look very good’ - Cyclingnews - Jumbo-Visma hoping to fight off reported interest from Ineos Grenadiers

2021 Team Preview: Team DSM Women - Cyclingnews - Wiebes and Jastrab lead Women’s WorldTeam into the future

Report: Jumbo-Visma and Wout van Aert close to contract extension – - Wout van Aert is under contract with Jumbo-Visma until the end of 2021 and the team is said to be close to negotiating a contract extension.

UAE Team Emirates receives first COVID-19 vaccination – - Nearly 60 riders and team staff received the first of two COVID-19 vaccinations at the start of a team camp in Abu Dhabi.

Liv Racing unveils new kit for 2021 season – - Formerly team CCC-Liv, the squad has a sole title sponsor — and remarkable, new-look kit — for the start of the new season.

Who should Marc Hirschi ride for in 2021? – - How well would the puncheur-de-luxe star slot in at UAE Team Emirates? And where else would we like to see Hirschi racing for in 2021?

Star-studded WorldTour startlist expected at Volta ao Algarve – - February race to host a record 14 WorldTour teams with American squad Rally Cycling also invited.

Laurens De Plus: ‘I want to prove myself and show what I can do at Ineos Grenadiers’ - Cycling Weekly - Laurens De Plus says he’s excited about kickstarting his career with new team Ineos Grenadiers in the upcoming season in 2021

Do riders care what you think? What they really make of social media criticism - Cyclingnews - Rising above the online noise with Dowsett, Ewan, Cromwell, Archbold and Haas,