The first WorldTour one-day race of the 2023 season is upon us, featuring 14 teams of which 11 are WorldTour level. The last time the biggest Australian one-day race, with its equally long name, happened was in 2020. It is one of the few WorldTour races on the calendar that has optional participation for WorldTour teams, so teams like Jumbo-Visma and Groupama-FDJ have already headed back to Europe after the Tour Down Under. Australians including Michael Matthews, Caleb Ewan and Jay Vine are some of the favourites to win the race, however, in its short history, the only Australian to have won the Cadel Evans Race is Jay McCarthy, who was victorious in 2018.
Trofeo Calvia is the first of five UCI 1.1 category one-day races in Mallorca. Some riders use the Mallorcan races as training to get in better shape like Alejandro Valverde but with loads of UCI points on the line some teams are definitely motivated to perform already in January. As the series of races are uniquely five consecutive one-day races rather than a stage race, teams can substitute riders in and out of the team each day as they wish, choosing from their broader squad that will presumably be training in Mallorca. For the first time Trofeo Calvia and the other races in Mallorca will be broadcast live, which is great news.
The Vuelta a San Juan is the most prestigious stage race in North and South America and attracts some of the biggest names in cycling. Remco Evenepoel will start his 2023 season in Argentina as the current world champion whilst other stars lining up include Peter Sagan, Egan Bernal, Daniel Felipe Martinez, Filippo Ganna, Miguel Angel Lopez, Fabio Jakobsen and Sam Bennett. To Evenepoel's chagrin, there is no time-trial this year. Instead the fight for the GC title will be decided by the mountain stage up Alto del Colorodo.
After the B&B Hotels team completely collapsed late in this off-season, Mark Cavendish was left with few options in his search for a new team. Unexpectedly, the Manx Missile has joined Astana Qazaqstan, a team which, up until a few weeks ago did not have have space left on its roster. However after sacking Miguel Angel Lopez a roster spot opened up as well as his presumedly handsome salary off their books for 2023 too. Good news for Cavendish' wallet as well as fans hoping to see him at the Tour de France, but how will he actually fare at Astana, a team which has historically not focussed on sprinting.
The peloton is getting younger and younger and there will be many talents who will shine in 2023. In this article we picked some of the best young talent that might impress with great performances this year. Of the 10 riders in this list, all of them were born between 2000 and 2003. To be included they must have been outside of the UCI ranking Top 200 with no big results in WorldTour races before 2023 as well as some obvious supertalents like Cian Uijtdebroeks being excluded despite meeting those restrictions.
WorldTour Cycling is finally back in 2023 with the Santos Tour Down Under, starting with a prologue on 17th January. Due to the Covid pandemic, the race was cancelled in the previous two years and it returns with a changed parcours, without the famous Willunga Hill finish or indeed Richie Porte. This Tour Down Under is suited for versatile sprinters like Michael Matthews, Ethan Hayter and Corbin Strong and offers many hilly stages.
La Vuelta 2023 will start on 26th August in Catalunya, a region which has not featured in the recent years of the race. The route is full of hard mountain stages that include steep climbs such as the Alto de l'Angliru, Col du Tourmalet, Javalambre, Arnisal, Xorret de Cati, Bejes and Cruz de Linares. With only 39 kilometres of time-trial this should be a race for strong climbers who can perform well after fatigue on steep gradients as some mountain stages will feature many climbing metres before the final climb. The third week will be much more difficult compared to the 2022 final stages, which should hopefully create tension right to the end of the race.
Right before Christmas the UCI announced a new points system which will be in effect from 2023. It will change how many teams target races, especially Grand Tours, where points for individual stages have been increased by multiple factors. Whilst we explained last week how the new points are distributed, in this article we will analyse which riders might gain the most from this adjusted system.
One of the worst kept secrets of the off-season, the Grand Tour plans of World Champion Remco Evenepoel, was finally brought to light with the Belgian superstar announcing his participation in the Giro d'Italia 2023.
Arnaud De Lie had a stellar debut pro season, saving Lotto-Soudal from complete disaster with his UCI points ensuring they have all wildcard invitations for 2023. In his first year as a pro rider the young Walloon farmer won not one, not two, not three but nine one-day races. With his 2268 UCI points he was one of the best scorers in the whole peloton, mostly thanks to consistent top results in local Belgian races.