Theuns to join Trek?
Edward Theuns will swap Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise for Trek Factory Racing in 2016, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The Belgian’s fine performances this year have carried him to the top of the UCI Europe Tour standings and stoked interest from a number of WorldTour teams.
Theuns showcased his potential in the classics by placing second behind teammate Jelle Wallays at Dwars door Vlaanderen and he demonstrated his finishing speed to take second place behind Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) at Scheldeprijs two weeks later.
The 24-year-old’s arrival at Trek would buttress Fabian Cancellara’s support on the cobbles next spring and add to the team’s stable of emerging talent, which already includes the highly-rated Jasper Stuyven. According to Het Nieuwsblad, Theuns has agreed a two-year deal with Trek Factory Racing. In accordance with UCI rules, the transfer cannot be confirmed officially until August 1.
Carrefour renews sponsorship of the Vuelta a España through 2016
Carrefour has renewed its sponsorship of the red leaders jersey of the Vuelta a España through 2016 - at the minimum. On hand to announce the news at the Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid was Miguel Angel Conesa, marketing director for Carrefour, and Javier Guillén, general director of Unipublic and race director.
"This agreement brings more stability and security to continue to grow the race," explained Guillen. "Two years ago we started this campaign with Carrefour in order to continue with us. Today we start to build on the goal that began in 2013, continuing it to 2016."
The race will be celebrating its 80th anniversary this Autumn and makes a return to finishing in Madrid after last year when the Vuelta concluded in Santiago de Compostela.
Alberto Contador wins stage 16 of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana in the red leader's jersey
Ferrand-Prévot returns to defend her national champion titles
L‘Equipe reported on Wednesday that current world road champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will be returning to defend her national champion titles in both the time trial and road races taking place in Chantonnay, France this week.
The Liv-Rabobank rider was unsure she would be able to defend her titles due to an ongoing inflammation in her lower back, a result believed to be due to wrong bike positioning. Fluid was removed from a joint in her lower back in April shortly after Fléche Wallone, forcing her to take a break from racing in order to recover.
Ferrand-Prévot enjoyed a dream season last year, winning the road World Championship, along with both road and time trial national championships, first in the World Cup (first in a decade by a French rider), and the Cyclo-cross World Championships this past January.
Visconti to skip Italian National Championships
Movistar announced a list of eight riders competing in upcoming European national championship races this weekend with Giovanni Visconti the notable absentee from that list. Visconti is a three-time Italian national road champion with victories in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively, and will forgoe the opportunity to add another tricolore to his palmarès.
The 32-year-old has enjoyed a successful season thus far, winning the mountain classification at the Giro d’Italia. Already with 49 race days this year, he has taken a break from racing this month skipping the Tour de Suisse, a race he has participated in several times before. He announced on Twitter Monday that “with a bit of sadness,” he would not be racing in the Italian nationals adding, “I needed to pull the plug in view of the second part.” Last year, he finished fourth in the road race.
Visconti made his Tour de France debut in 2014 but will not make a return appearance with his name absent from Movistar’s long list for the French grand tour. Visconti’s contract with the Spanish squad is set to expire at the end of the season.