Chaves not certain to return to Giro d'Italia, says Bannan
Orica-BikeExchange manager Shane Bannan has downplayed speculation that Esteban Chaves will return to the Giro d'Italia in 2017, saying that no decision on his schedule will be made until the end of November.
Chaves placed second overall behind Vincenzo Nibali at this year's Giro, losing the pink jersey on the penultimate stage to Sant'Anna di Vinadio, and suggested to Deportes RCN last week that he would ride the race again in 2017.
"In reality, we haven't decided our plans in detail. We’ll do that at the end of the month," Bannan told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Let's not forget that we have two other important riders for the Grand Tours in the Yates twins. Adam was fourth at the Tour and Simon was sixth at the Vuelta. I can certainly say that we'll have at least one of those three at the start of the Giro. The probability that Chaves will be there is currently 50 per cent."
The 26-year-old Chaves has never competed at the Tour de France in his career. The Colombian has lined out in the Giro in each of the past two seasons and raced the Vuelta a Espana in all three of his seasons in the GreenEdge set-up to date. Chaves placed third overall at this year's Vuelta, and then went on to win the Tour of Lombardy.
The 2017 Giro gets underway in Sardinia on May 5, and though the 100th edition of the race includes 67km of time trialling, it also features summit finishes at Etna, Blockhaus and Oropa in the first two weeks, and then five mountainous stages in the final week before the finish in Milan on May 28.
Fortuneo-Vital Concept finalise 2017 roster with Maxime Daniel signing
French Pro-Continental squad Fortuneo-Vital Concept has completed its roster for the 2017 season by adding Maxime Daniel to its squad from AG2R-La Mondiale. Daniel joins after three season with the WorldTour team having started his professional career with two-seasons on the Sojasun squad.
The 25-year-old will add depth to the team's Classics roster and will become a key rider in the team sprint train which has been built around Dan McLay.
"We want to give Maxime a chance for the season 2017," team manager Emmanuel Hubert said. "We count on him to help Dan McLay next year. He's a good sprinter. It will also prove to him that we can trust him. We now have 21 riders."
Fortuneo-Vital Concept for 2017: Franck Bonnamour, Maxime Bouet, Erwan Corbel, Maxime Daniel, Anthony Delaplace, Brice Feillu, Armindo Fonseca, Elie Gesbert, Arnaud Gerard, Romain Hardy, Benoit Jarrier, Arnold Jeannesson, Kevin Ledanois, Daniel McLay, Gianni Meersman, Francis Mourey, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Laurent Pichon, Eduardo Sepulveda, Florian Vachon, Boris Vallée.
Lampre name could leave peloton
The Lampre name could leave the peloton altogether in 2017, with TJ Sport manager Giuseppe Saronni telling Gazzetta dello Sport that the laminated steel company has yet to decide whether it will remain in place as sub-sponsor of the revamped team.
When Chinese company TJ Sport Consultation was announced as taking over the Lampre-Merida team's WorldTour licence in August, it was initially thought that Lampre, owned by the Galbusera family, would remain on board as a secondary sponsor.
"The Galbusera family has been in cycling for many years as a title sponsor. They're evaluating the situation and they'll decide soon whether to participate or not," Saronni told Gazzetta dello Sport. Lampre has been a constant in the peloton since 1999, having previously sponsored a team between 1992 and 1995.
Colnago will provide bikes to the team, with Merida switching to supply Vincenzo Nibali's new Bahrain-Merida squad. Saronni confirmed that the team will be titled TJ Sport for the time being, but added that "the first name could become that of a Chinese sponsor".
The team's new signings for 2017 include Ben Swift, who arrives from Team Sky, and Darwin Atapuma, who impressed at BMC Racing this season. "Swift was one of many at Sky and was sacrificed a bit. He'll have more responsibility here," said Saronni. "Atapuma needs more tactical discipline, but he's strong on the climbs."
Saronni was diplomatic, meanwhile, when asked if the team might look to prise Fabio Aru away from Astana when his current contract expires at the end of next season. "We don't want to disturb anyone, in the sense that Fabio has a contract for 2017 with Astana. But he's a leader for the Grand Tours for the present and the future, and he could interest us."
Continental team JLT Condor announces its 2017 roster
John Herety's JLT Condor squad has announced its team for the 2017 season with Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy returning for another season. The team will start its season with the Bay Classic criterium series in Australia.
While the majority of the team is returning in 2017, Herety has also signed Ian Bibby, James Gullen, Edmund Bradbury, and Jayco Herald Sun Tour stage winner Robert McCarthy.
JLT Condor for 2017: Ed Clancy, Ian Bibby, Russell Downing, Graham Briggs, James Gullen, Edmund Bradbury, Matt Gibson, Ali Slater, Steve Lampier, Alex Frame, Robert McCarthy, Jon Mouldy, Ed Laverack and Tom Moses.