The Lampre company, which specializes in creating pre-coated steel products, will exit the sport of cycling after 18 consecutive years as title sponsor of the WorldTour team after not being involved in the discussions to continue the team under the support of UAE Abu Dhabi.
Lampre entered the sport in 1991, first with Colnago and then Polti, and Panaria before taking a three-year hiatus. They returned with Giuseppe Saronni in 1999 with Daikin as co-title sponsor through 2002. Merida has been the co-title sponsor of the team for the past three seasons.
"Our only priority has always been the safeguard of the group of professionals who has been bringing our name in the roads around the world for many years," said Emanuele Galbusera of Lampre. "We therefore congratulate with the team's management for the successful conclusion of the negotiations that gave birth to the WorldTour Team UAE Abu Dhabi, to whom we wish every success."
In a press release, the company said it has "officially informed Mr. Giuseppe Saronni and CGS Cycling Team that they do not intend to continue their long lasting sponsorship also in 2017," and said they "have confirmed not being involved nor having endorsed" the discussions with UAE Abu Dhabi.
"With this occasion Lampre would also like to thank you the fans for their continued support provided over the years and the cycling world for helping them to raise the awareness of Lampre brand in the world," the statement concluded.
UAE Abu Dhabi to hold first team camp in Italy
Since its December camp was cancelled due to the uncertainty surrounding its future, the newest WorldTour team UAE Abu Dhabi has assembled in Italy for its first official team camp in Terracina.
The team will spend January 3-14 at its team camp, although some riders will have other obligations, including the Tour Down Under, a press conference in Abu Dhabi and the departure to Argentina for the Vuelta de San Juan.
The riders will collect their new Colnago bikes, undergo medical checks and be "trained on the team's health rules and regulations," according to the team press release.
Bjorn Thurau joins Kuwait-Cartucho.Es
German Bjorn Thurau is the latest recruit to the Kuwait-Cartucho.es Continental team. The former Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider joins Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher, Salah Eddine Mraouni, Fernando Grijalba, Jose Manuel Gutierrez, Axel Costa and Andreas Keuser as the latest recruits.
Thurau previously raced for Europcar and Bora-Argon 18. His most notable achievement was winning the mountains classification in the 2014 Tour de Suisse.
Astana Women's Team unveils jersey
The Astana Women's Team unveiled its 2017 jersey, which reflects the same style as the men's WorldTour squad with an extra gold flourish on the front and back.
Astana signed Polish rider Agnieszka Skalniak, Italians Lisa Morzenti and Lara Vieceli, and renewed with Arianna Fidanza, Sofia Bertizzolo and Sofia Beggin. Ukrainian native Olena Pavlukhina and Arlenis Sierra of Cuba were signed in December along with six Kazakhstani riders: Natalya Saifutdinova, Makhabbt Umutzhanova Tatyana Geneleva all renewed, and Rinata Akhmetcha, Amiliya Iskakova and Zhanerke Sanakbayeva are new signings.