Because of his age, someone would most likely send him to bless him. In fact, Rien Schuurhuis, a 40-year-old former Dutch professional (in 2016 with Black Inc Cycling, in 2018 with Oliver’s Real Food) is going to Australia with the blessing of Pope Francis, who will be the first athlete in the newly established Athletica Vatican to conduct a test World Championship. “Representing Atlética Vaticana at the World Championships in Australia is a huge honor for me, and I can’t wait to bring that team spirit into the competition,” said Schorois, who is married to Australian Ambassador to the Vatican Chiara Burrow. On Sunday 25th September in Wollongong, Australia, you will write a historic sporting page on the Cycling World Championships. Ren Schorois, will be at the start of the road test in the Vatican jersey. It will be the first time for a country to be recognized on September 24 last year, on the occasion of the World Championships Challenge in Leuven, Belgium, as the 200th official member by the International Cycling Union (UCI) thanks to the precious work of Renato Di Rocco, the historic president of the cycling federation. Italian and Honorary Vice President of the World Federation.
There will be four in Australia: a small, qualified delegation. Schuurhuis will be joined by Vatican Cycling Director Emiliano Morbidelli, Secretary Simone Ciocchetti, Head of External Relations and Expedition Coach Valerio Agnoli who, as followers of Basso, Nabale and Sagan, are impatient to experience this new adventure. “I’m simply happy with that,” the 37-year-old Vatican cycling coach, who has worn the Liquigas, Astana and Bahrain jerseys in his career, tells us. It is a gift to be able to fill this role, but it is also a social responsibility.”
Cycling and faith is not an impossible combination. Indeed, Gino Bartelli is her symbol and testament and it is no coincidence that a case for canonization is underway for him as a devout Carmelite student. “Ideally, Bartali would be the captain to guide us on our Australian adventure,” recalls Giampaolo Mattei, president of Atlética Vaticana. In the future we have the idea of racing with his name on the shirts.” On Sunday 25 September (departure at 2.15 am and arrival at 10.15 am Italian time) cycling will write a new page. Ryan Schorois will compete in the first world championship in the Vatican shirt. Perhaps he will also try to flee immediately, without anyone sending him to bless, also because he brings the Pope’s blessing.
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