Horner leads Lupus in Alberta - News Shorts

Craddock, Howes and Woods to Alberta, Bahrain signs Pibernik, Baska and Tusov lead Tinkoff at Tour des Fjords

Horner to Tour of Alberta

Chris Horner will start the Tour of Alberta with Lupus Racing on Thursday in Lethbridge.

The American veteran has battled with a lung infection for the past two seasons but will lead the team of younger talents at the UCI 2.1 event in Canada.

The team will also include Chad Beyer, Winston David, Oliver Flautt, Matthieu Jeannes, Bryan Lewis, Barry Miller and Evan Murphy.

Horner, a former winner of the Vuelta a Espana, has competed in much of the North American stage races this year at Tour of the Gila, Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, Tour de Beauce and the Tour of Utah, and the one-day Philadelphia Cycling Classic, but only cracked the top 10 overall at the Tour of the Gila.

Lupus Racing for Tour of Alberta: Chris Horner, Chad Beyer, Winston David, Oliver Flautt, Matthieu Jeannes, Bryan Lewis, Barry Miller and Evan Murphy.

Chris Horner in action at the Winston-Salem Classic.

 Baska and Tusov lead Tinkoff in sprints at Tour des Fjords

Erik Baska and Nikolay Trusov are set to lead the Tinkoff in the sprints at the upcoming Tour des Fjords in Norway. The five-day race will begin in Os on Wednesday.

Pawel Poljanski, who is returning from illness, will target the hillier stage, while Juraj Sagan and stagiaires Lorenzo Fortunato and Andrea Montagnoli will have opportunities for breakaways.

"Pawel has suffered from illness a bit this season and he's returning to racing here after some time out so we will see how he is day-by-day, without any pressure," said director Tristan Hoffman in a team press release. "Juraj is in pretty good shape and he will be a good guy for the breakaways here. Then we have Erik and Nikolay for the sprints, with the two stagiaires who can try for the breaks and also support the other guys. We want to give everybody their chance to go for a result here so hopefully we can come away with something."

The Tour des Fjords is held from August 31 to September 4 and will begin with two rolling sprint stages followed by one hillier stage suitable for the GC riders and then two more rolling stages.

There are four WorldTour teams in the race that also include BMC, Katusha and IAM Cycling, however, Hoffman stressed that his team will take the race day by day, and that there is no pressure on his riders for the overall classification.

"The level is not really high, but then this doesn't mean it will be an easier race," Hoffman said. "We go with no absolute leader and we'll see how Pawel goes on the mountain stage as to whether we try for GC or not.

"Hopefully the guys can take their chances."

Tinkoff to Tour des Fjords: Erik Baska, Nikolay Trusov, Pawel Poljanski, Juraj Sagan, Lorenzo Fortunato and Andrea Montagnoli.

Erik Baska (Tinkoff) wins the Handzame Classic.

Craddock, Howes and Woods head-up Cannondale-Drapac in Alberta

Americans Lawson Craddock and Alex Howes, and Canadian Michael Woods will lead the Cannondale-Drapac team at the Tour of Alberta held from September 1-5.

This year's route is one stage shorter and is expected to be suited to sprinters and opportunistic riders who can chase time bonuses during the relatively flat race, however there is a time trial that is expected to shake up the GC.

"Our team at this year's edition of the Tour of Alberta is designed to ride a very offensive race. We won't be able to be competitive in a bunch sprint but absolutely have the necessary qualities to escape and take the victory," sport director Andreas Klier said.

"On a day-to-day basis we will ride as offensive as the race profile allows. The overall will be won on stage four with the time trial. But if we keep the spirit from day one high, I don't see a single problem not to be in the top three on GC ... but of course anything can happen."

Cannondale-Drapac for the 2016 Tour of Alberta: Andre Cardoso, Lawson Craddock, Phil Gaimon, Alex Howes, Kristijan Koren, Kristoffer Skjerping, Toms Skujins and Mike Woods

USA's Lawson Craddock (2ndL) and France's Nicolas Edet drink as they ride in a breakaway, stage 16 Tour de France

Bahrain Merida signs Pibernik for 2017

Luka Pibernik has signed a contract to race with the newly formed Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling team in 2017. The 23-year-old Slovenian will take on a classics role next season.

"I'm really happy to become a part of this huge project," Pibernik said in a team press release. "I hope to satisfy the high expectations of the team. I will do my very best to help the team. I hope that we as a team will achieve the goals we've set out for the coming season."

Pibernik has spent the previous two seasons racing with Lampre-Merida. He is a former Slovenian road champion (2013 and 2015) and has had strong performances at the Czech Tour, Tour de Suisse and Tour of Japan. He debuted at the Tour de France this July.

The team's general manager Team Brent Copeland said "Luka is one of the most talented young riders on the professional circuit, he is able to cover many roles which for a professional cycling team is a huge asset, we are very pleased for Luka to be part of our team and we are sure that he will reach his goals and success which he deserves through the help and professional support of our team."

Luka Pibernik (Lampre - Merida)

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