Injury forces Brambilla out of European championships
A persistent saddle sore has forced Etixx-QuickStep's Gianluca Brambilla out of this Sunday's UEC European championships road race, according to a statement released by the team.
Brambilla, who recently won stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana, started experiencing pain from the saddle sore on the Vuelta's final day, and the team said that an examination on Wednesday revealed he needs at least three days of inactivity to fully recover.
"I am very sad, because I was eager to race the European Championships in Plumelec," said Brambilla, who was second earlier this year at the Italian Championships. "I wish all the best to my countrymen, will support them from the front of my TV. Concerning me, I will be on my bike as soon as the doctor gives me the OK and start preparing for my final goal of the season, Il Lombardia."
The team said an examination next week will determine when Brambilla can return to competition.
Team Sky announce Eneco roster
Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky next week during the penultimate WorldTour event of the season at the seven-day Eneco Tour in the Netherlands, according to a roster release from the team on Thursday.
Positioned ahead of Il Lombardia and the Doha World Championships, the race will provide one of the final tune-ups before the hunt for the rainbow jerseys in October.
Thomas will be supported in the race by 2014 road world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, reigning time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka, Andy Fenn, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Luke Rowe, Danny Van Poppel and Elia Viviani.
Team Sky for the Eneco Tour: Geraint Thomas, Andy Fenn, Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Luke Rowe, Danny Van Poppel, Elia Viviani.
Niemiec and Mori will lead young Lampre-Merida roster at Memorial Pantani
Lampre-Merida announced Thursday that Przemyslaw Niemiec and Manuele Mori will lead the team's efforts this weekend at the Memorial Pantani, which takes place Saturday in Romagna.
Sports director Daniele Righi will oversee an eight-rider roster, which also includes Mattia Cattaneo, Ilia Koshevoy, Simone Petilli, Federico Zurlo and trainees Fausto Masnada and Oliviero Troia.
The 189.9km race starts in Cesenatico before the riders climb the Montevecchio three times and the Longiano once. The final climb summits 41km before the finish in Cesenatico.
"In our lineup there won't be a pure sprinter, that's why we'll need to approach the race with a fighting spirit, especially in the most demanding part of the course," Righi said. "Each of our riders will have an opportunity to be protagonist and battle for a good result. The role of our most experienced cyclists, who are Niemiec and Mori, will be important in leading our young talents."
Etixx-QuickStep announce rosters for Flandrian weekend
Etixx-QuickStep on Thursday released team rosters for the upcoming Flandrian weekend in Belgium that features Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen on Friday and the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem on Saturday.
Top sprinters Fernando Gaviria and Marcel Kittel will headline the roster for Friday's Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, which the team's Michal Golas won last year. The peloton will cover 16 laps of a flat 12.2km circuit for a total of 192.4km.
The 200.4km Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem takes place the following day from Brakel to Boortmeerbeek and offers a much different parcour. The cobbled route features a series of short, punchy climbs that should break things up, and forecasts for heavy rain will make it a true Belgian one-day classic.
Stagiaires Adrien Costa and and Ivan Cortina will feature in the re-shuffled eight-rider roster.
Etixx-QuickStep for Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen: Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Marcel Kittel, Nikolas Maes, Davide Martinelli, Fabio Sabatini, Frantisek Sisr, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck
Etixx-QuickStep for Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem: Adrien Costa, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Fernando Gaviria, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Stijn Vandenbergh, Julien Vermote