Campagnolo and three WorldTour teams will aim for success in 2022.
Campagnolo and a trio of WorldTour teams will collaborate in 2022. AG2R Citroen Team, Cofidis and UAE Team Emirates will once again use game-changing, stunning gear, like the Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset and Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO wheels, to challenge at the world’s greatest one-day and stage races.
Here, each team reflects on these long-standing relationships plus we preview each team’s main goals for 2022.
AG2R CITROËN TEAM AND CAMPAGNOLO
“We are happy to continue with Campagnolo with whom we’ve collaborated since the 2000s and with who we have achieved great victories,” says Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of AG2R Citroën. “We share common values such as mutual aid and family spirit. Our bike sponsor BMC’s association with Campagnolo represents real added value for the team. Our desire is to provide the most efficient equipment for our riders in order to win the most beautiful races in the world. Today we have found the best solution.”
“2021 saw our first year as official partner of the AG2R Citroën Team,” adds David Zurcher, CEO of BMC Switzerland. “We don’t just share the same passion and vision for racing and performance as Campagnolo, but we also share the same winning goals at the highest level of road cycling. To create speed is what drives us and, with Campagnolo, we have found a partner that can help us make our racing dreams come true. We cannot wait for the 2022 season to start and look forward to some striking wins.”
AG2R CITROËN: 2022 PREVIEW
Australian Ben O’Connor was arguably the team’s cyclist of 2021, winning a stage of the Tour de France en route to fourth overall.
The 26-year-old will once again lead AG2R Citroen Team at this year’s La Grande Boucle, and hopefully he’ll be supported by the powerhouse that is Bob Jungels after the Luxembourg star’s 2021 was all but written off due to debilitating arterial endofibrosis in both legs. He’s undergone surgery and is raring to go in 2022.
Benoit Cosnefroy enjoyed a memorable end to the 2021 campaign, winning the Bretagne Classic, and the puncheur will look to build on that success in 2022. Cosnefroy will be there or thereabouts at the Ardennes Classics.
Also keep an eye on the experienced Greg van Avermaet, who hasn’t given up his ambitions of winning the Tour of Flanders.
And it’ll be interesting to see if the talented Clement Champoussin will make a real impression at the top stage races.
COFIDIS AND CAMPAGNOLO
“The Cofidis team is proud to hire the services of the famous brand Campagnolo, which has been a benchmark in cycling all over the world for several decades,” says Cédric Vasseur, General Manager of Team Cofidis. “Campagnolo has always been associated with great champions like Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and so many other prestigious riders. For Cofidis, it’s also interesting for the link between Campagnolo and [bike sponsor] De Rosa, who is also an historic Italian bicycle company. When I was a professional cyclist, I remember how proud I was when I discovered I’ll ride with Campagnolo equipment. Campagnolo has always been synonymous with history and performance.”
COFIDIS: 2022 PREVIEW
Twenty-eight-year-old Guillaume Martin is the team’s leader, having shown impressive consistency at GrandTours, finishing in the top-15 at the last five races he’s competed in including a career-best eighth at the 2021 Tour de France and ninth at the subsequent Vuelta a España.
His 2021 palmares also included sixth overall at Paris-Nice and victory at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes. Tirreno-Adriatico, the Volta a Catalunya and Liege-Bastogne-Liege will serve notice of Martin’s 2022 form.
If good, a top-five Grand-Tour spot is an achievable aim.
Cofidis could have bagged the signing of the off-season in Benjamin Thomas if his early season form’s anything to go by. The 26-year-old won Etoile de Besseges after an impressive solo win on stage three of five.
Or could the signing of 2022 be sprinter Bryan Coquard? The 29-year-old has five Tour de France stage podia to his name and will be looking to mount the top step come July. The signing of Ion Izagirre should seriously strengthen the team’s stage-hunting ambitions, too.
UAE TEAM EMIRATES AND CAMPAGNOLO
Colnago [who provide UAE Team Emirates with their world-class bikes] is extremely honoured to work with Campagnolo,” says Nicola Rosin, CEO at Colnago. “It’s a great partnership between two leading and iconic companies. We are, therefore, happy to continue our collaboration throughout 2022. We hope that the work and achievements of UAE Team Emirates and UAE Team ADQ champions will inspire our long-time fans.”
UAE TEAM ADQ
Picking up on Rosin’s reference to the UAE Team ADQ, this is the reincarnation of the women’s team Alé BTC Ljubljana, whose aim is to encourage more people onto bikes.
The team, including Spanish champion Mavia Garcia and former world champion Marta Bastianelli, recently met up for an early season training camp in Altea, Spain before Bastianelli won the opening race of 2022 at the Vuelta CV Feminas.
A great start for the 34-year-old who’s looking forward to the new season.
“This is a new experience that comes at the right time to try and end my career in the best way,” Bastianelli said at the camp. “My goals are the Classics; I will look to be competitive at Amstel or Roubaix, and then I would like to support the team.”
UAE TEAM EMIRATES: 2022 PREVIEW
Tadej Pogačar is the superstar among a squad of stars and will look to become the first rider since Miguel Indurain in the 90s to win three successive editions of the Tour de France.
The 23-year-old Slovenian has it all – strength, endurance, unrivalled powers of recovery and tactical nous – and will, for the first time, race the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour in the same year.
He’s also set for his Tour of Flanders debut after starting his season at the UAE Tour. Pogačar has one-day form after winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia in 2021.
Another 23-year-old, Portuguese Joao Almeida, joined the team in the off-season after winning overall titles at the Tour de Pologne and Tour de Luxembourg in 2021.
That followed sixth at the Giro d’Italia, despite spending much of the race in a supporting role, and fourth at the Giro 12 months earlier. Could this be the year he mounts the Giro podium? Maybe even wins the maglia rosa? Talent and time will tell.
Other riders who’ll be lighting up the peloton include another 23-year-old, Brandon McNulty, who won the first elite men’s race of 2022 at Trofeo Calvia; sprinter Pascal Ackermann, who adds firepower at the Classics; and 19-year-old Juan Ayuso, regarded by many as the sport’s future. He has the U23 Giro d’Italia and a host of one-day races to his name already.
© TDW / Getty Images