News shorts: Andersen as neo-pro to Giant-Alpecin

Velits renews with BMC, Serry to hospital after Wallonie crash, Ag2r management changes, Team Canada for Worlds

Andersen as neo-pro to Giant-Alpecin

Young Danish talent Soren Kragh Andersen has signed with Team Giant-Alpecin for two years. The 21-year old this year won the overall title at the ZLM-Roompot Tour, a stage at the Tour des Fjords and two stages at the Tour de l’Avenir.

“From the beginning my first choice was to go to Team Giant-Alpecin. I’ve had good discussions with the performance staff and come away with a positive feeling about the team, and I am confident that it is best for my development,” he said. “In addition, I like the team’s racing style as working together toward a common goal.”

“Soren is a big talent in multiple areas,” said team coach Marc Reef. “He is good in the time trial and has a strong sprint and he will play an important role both in the sprint preparations and the classics.”

Soren Kragh Andersen (Denmark)

Velits re-signs with BMC for 2016

BMC Racing announced on Wednesday that Peter Velits has renewed his contract with the team for the 2016 season. The time trial specialists took some time off to recover from an overuse injury earlier in the season but started racing again in July.

"It feels great to re-sign with the BMC Racing Team again," Velits said. "This season was far from perfect and that is why I am happy I received so much support. I feel very good in this team and I am looking forward to the next challenges we will face together. For next year, I would like to get 100 percent recovered from my injury and finally achieve an individual victory."

Velits is a three-time Slovakian time trial champion. He also helped the team win the opening team time trial at the Vuelta a España and wore the leader's jersey for one day. He was also a member of BMC’s squad that won the team time trial at the World Championships last year.

Peter Velits was the first red jersey of the 2015 race

Management changes at Ag2r

Vincent Lavenu will move up to CEO of the French team Ag2r-La Mondiale, with Philippe Chevallier moving over from the UCI to become the team’s new General Manager.

Lavenu founded the team in 1992, after retiring as a pro rider, and the insurance company Ag2r took over sponsorship in 2000. The team has been in the Pro Tour since 2006. The 59-year-old’s new duties were not made public.

Chevallier, 54, rode professionally from 1982 to 1991. He worked for the Amaury Sport Organisation from 1995 to 2000, and has been manager of the UCI Sport and Technical Department since 2000.  

Chevallier “knows by hear all aspects of professional cycling. His commitment, his sense of duties and his exceptional abilities will allow us to continue our ramp-up period in order to maintain Ag2r La Mondiale among the best cycling teams,” said Lavenu.

"I just spent 15 amazing years at the UCI but I wanted to change my career orientation. My wish was to work for one of the best professional cycling team. That is why Vincent Lavenu's proposal seduced me,” said Chevallier. “It is a well-structured pro cycling team with an impressive team spirit. It just fits perfectly with my professional cycling vision.”

Serry taken to hospital after Grand Prix de Wallonie crash

Etixx-QuickStep's Pieter Serry crashed with about 50km remaining at Grand Prix de Wallonie on Wednesday and was forced to abandon the race and go to the  hospital of Cliniques Universitaires UCL Mont-Godinne, according to a team press release. Serry was then diagnosed with a luxation of the left elbow. He will be operated on immediately in the same hospital.

Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep) decided to go alone on the early slopes of the Col d'Allos

Canada announced World Championships team; Hesjedal and Tuft decline spots

Cycling Canada announced the rosters that will participate in the upcoming World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. The elite men’s team will include Canadian champion Guillaume Boivin, Hugo Houle, Antoine Duchesne, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Roth and Michael Woods, who recently signed with WorldTour Cannondale-Garmin for 2016.

WorldTour riders Ryder Hesjedal and Svein Tuft were selected for the event but respectfully declined their spots.

“We have a strong team heading into Richmond. Our guys are in top form, and with six starters Canada can contend for a top result,” said Kevin Field, Cycling Canada’s Men’s Road Program Manager.

The women's team will include Karol-Ann Canuel, Annie Ewart, Joelle Numainville, Alison Jackson, Leah Kirchmann, Denise Ramsden and Tara Whitten. “A solid team has been selected for the Elite women category. It is represented by a mixture of experienced riders and newcomers with enough savvy and technical ability to provide an exciting outcome in the road race," said Denise Kelly, who heads the women's program.

Canada's under-23 men's team will include five riders: Ben Perry, Sean Mackinnon, Nigel Ellsay, Adam de Vos and Alex Cataford.

Leah Kirchmann (Optum) gets some help putting on the sprint leaders jersey.

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