News shorts: Froome considering Vuelta start

Valverde still tops UCI rankings, Lammertink to LottoNL-Jumbo, d'Hoore extends

Froome considering Vuelta a España start

Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) said this week that he is considering competing in the 2015 Vuelta a España, which begins August 22 in Puerto Banus.

“It’s a bit early to say 100 percent, but I think potentially it could be in the cards,” Froome said on Sky Sports News. “I know it would be a massive challenge to go back to another Grand Tour and to go there with the aim of winning the general classification, but that’s in the back of my mind and maybe could be on the cards.”

Team Sky general mamanger Dave Brailsford put the brakes on Froome’s enthusiasm, however, telling Sporza that the team would not encourage their star rider to “look too far ahead.”

Froome would be only thr third rider to winthe Tour de France and Vuelta e Espana in the same year, according to Sporza. The others were Jacques Anquetil in 1963 an Bernard Hinault in 1978.

Valverde remains atop UCI rankings

Winning the Tour de France was not enough to elevate Chris Froome (Sky) to the top of the UCI rankings. The Briton moved up from 16th to second place, with Tour third-place finisher Alejandro Valverde maintaining the top position. The Movistar rider has 60 points more than Froome.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) dropped from second to third, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) jumping from 15th to fourth. Richie Porte (Sky) is now fifth.

Team Sky was able to take over the lead in the team rankings, with Movistar second and former leader Katusha now third. Spain continues to lead in the nations ranking, with Great Britain and Colombia moving up to second and third, respectively.

Lammertink to LottoNL-Jumbo in 2016

Steven Lammertink will make his pro debut next season with LottoNL-Jumbo. The 21-year-old, a time trial specialist, will join the team as of August 2 as a stagiaire before starting his two year contract. The Dutch rider comes from the SEG Racing Team.

“It is important to me that I can make my professional debut in a Dutch team. I'm 22 next year, which is still relatively young. Then it is important that you start riding in a team where they have a clear plan with you,” he said.

LottoNL-Jumbo sport director Nico Verhoeven called Lammertink “an exceptionally good time trialist. That's a quality to which we devote a lot of attention as a team. Lammertink is therefore interesting in smaller stage races and the sprint train. He is versatile.”  

He is a two-time national U23 time trial champion, and this year won the Tour of Berlin. His goals for the remainder of this season are the European Championships and the World U23 time trial.

D’hoore extends with Wiggle Honda

Belgian national champion Jolien D’hoore has re-signed with Wiggle Honda for another two years. The 25-year-old joined the British team for the 2015 season. On Sunday she finished second in La Course by Le Tour de France.

This season she has also won, amongst others, the BeNe Ladies Tour (where she won 3 of 4 stages), the Ronde van Drenthe world cup race and the Omloop van Het Hageland.

“Since day one I have bonded with the others in the Wiggle Honda team, not just the other cyclists but the team management, too,” she said. “We have a great team ethic and spirit and still have work to do in terms of what we wish to achieve together and I am delighted to know that I will be a part of this great team setup for at least the next two seasons.”

Rochelle Gilmore, the team’s managing director, said, “Jolien has done fantastically well this season and made great strides as a professional road cyclist. Her results stand for themselves and this plus her dedication to the success of the team made our decision to court her services for the next two seasons a no-brainer.”

MPCC tests four teams before stage 20

The Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) tested four teams for cortisol levels before the start of stage 20 of the Tour de France in Modane. All the riders from Bretagne-Seche Environnement, Katusha, Cannondale-Garmin and Lotto-Soudal all passed the test, even after three weeks of intense racing.

“All values were above the voluntary MPCC norm,” the organization said in a press release. “The Board notes with satisfaction that the riders of these MPCC member teams registered for the Tour de France have scrupulously respected the clauses of their standing orders.”

If a rider is found to have abnormally low cortisol values, under the MPCC agreement he is to be barred from racing for eight days. Several teams have quite the MPCC over this clause.

The MPCC suspended the membership of the Astana team this month after Lars Boom was found to have low cortisol and the team allowed him to start the Tour anyway.

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