As a company not just founded on racing, but also made famous for racing, the Italian component maker Campagnolo has announced the the three WorldTour teams they will be supporting in 2022. Still no word on any gravel sponsored riders using their Ekar components…but hopefully soon!
CAMPAGNOLO’S 2022 SQUADS
For 2022, Campagnolo continue their collaboration with the world’s greatest road-cycling teams, elevating their performance and journey via the incomparable Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset and Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO wheels.
Campagnolo will once again provide cutting-edge equipment for AG2R Citroen Team, Cofidis and the home of Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates.
Each team will look to build on their many successes of 2021, their odds enhanced by a tranche of new signings. Here, we give you the rundown of who’s in, who’s out and key new riders to keep an eye on.
AG2R Citroen Team
The French team celebrate their 30th season with the recent acquisition of Antoine Raugel from Conti Groupama-FDJ, Felix Gall from DSM adding to the mid-season signing of Delko’s Clément Berthet.
Youngsters Paul Lapeira and Valentin Paret-Peintre are also elevated through the ranks. Twenty-two-year-old Raugel’s a young rider with a big future. In 2021, he finished third at Paris-Troyes while also showing strongly at Le Samyn where he attacked from the off.
He then finished fifth in the Giro del Belvedere before matching that position in the points classification at the Tour de l’Avenir. He’s an all-rounder who could make a large impression in the senior ranks this season.
The team’s focus on youth continues with the capture of 23-year-old Dall. The Austrian enjoyed a strong 2021, finishing fourth in the youth classification at Critérium du Dauphiné and sixth in the same category at the Tour de Romandie.
As for riders leaving, arguably the highest-profile departure is 2014 Tour de France stage winner Tony Gallopin. Julien Duval, Ben Gastauer and Mathias Frank all retire.
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
There’s been an overhaul at Campagnolo-using Cofidis with 11 new riders arriving, adding to trainees Axel Zingle and Hugo Toumire.
The new recruits are Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels), Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ), Alexis Renard (Israel Start-Up Nation), François Bidard (AG2r-Citroën), Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Wesley Kreder (Intermarché), Davide Villella (Movistar), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash), Sander Armée (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Alexandre Delettre (Delko).
On paper, 29-year-old Coquard’s the most exciting signing, the Frenchman winning 12 races in the past four years at ProContinental team B&B Hotels. Coquard’s a proven winner at the highest level (45 victories at the top level in his career), his palmares including six stage wins at the Four Days of Dunkirk plus the overall title in 2016.
He’s also won eight times at Etoile de Bessèges and taken out stage victories at the Arctic Race of Norway and the Belgium Tour. The experienced Ion Izagirre also looks a canny signing, the stage winner at each of the three GrandTours bringing experience and tactical acumen. Leaving Cofidis are Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Fabio Sabatini (retiring) and Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers).
UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates will look to build on another stellar season, the highlight unquestionably Pogačar’s second Tour de France victory in succession.
In come seven world-class riders: Felix Groß (Rad-net Rose), Juan Ayuso (Colpack-Ballan), João Almeida (Deceuninck–QuickStep), Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marc Soler (Movistar), Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck–QuickStep), George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) and Alexys Brunel (Groupama-FDJ).
The recruitment of 23-year-old Portuguese rider Almeida’s a bit of a coup. Almeida’s only raced at WorldTour level for two seasons but finished the 2021 season ninth in the UCI world rankings. That came off impressive top-10s at the Giro d’Italia (sixth), Tirreno-Adriatico (sixth) and Volta a Catalunya (seventh). 2021 also saw Almeda win his first professional race – his home country’s time-trial title – before going on to win two stages and overall classification at the Tour de Pologne and Tour de Luxembourg.
He finished his season with third at Milano-Torino, though is best remembered for finishing fourth overall at the 2020 Giro d’Italia where he wore the maglia rosa for 15 days.
Thirty-one-year-old Bennett’s transfer’s a clever one, too, the New Zealander having ridden for Jumbo-Visma for the past seven seasons. The able wingman’s always shone in GrandTours and is one of the most reliable uber-domestiques in the peloton.
As for riders leaving UAE Team Emirates, Campagnolo wish the best of futures to Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché), Sven Erik Bystrøm (Intermarché), David de la Cruz (Astana), Joe Dombrowski (Astana), Marco Marcato (retiring), Valerio Conti (Astana) and Alexandr Riabushenko (Astana).