Movistar complete 2016 roster with young climber
Movistar have made their fifth and final signing of the 2015 transfer window, snapping up 24-year-old Spaniard Antonio Pedrero on a two-year deal.
Pedrero, a promising climber, came through the ranks of the Lizarte development squad, and as such follows in the footsteps of current Movistar riders Dayer Quintana, Marc Soler, and Jorque Arcas. He joins the WorldTour ranks after a stint this summer at Dominican Continental team Inteja.
Pedrero won a stage and finished third overall at the Tour de la Guadeloupe during that spell and has claimed eight wins in total over the last three years, including the Vuelta a Cantabria in 2013, and the Vuelta a Navarra in 2014.
His signing marks the finalisation of Movistar’s roster for 2016, after the acquisition of Arcas, Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale), Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida), and Dani Moreno (Katusha). Beñat Intxausti (Sky), Eros Capecchi (Astana), and Pablo Lastras (retires) are all leaving the team.
Gazprom to sponsor RusVelo
Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, will become a primary sponsor of the RusVelo team, according to reports in the Russian media.
Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko announced the news at a meeting this week in relation to preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. RusVelo is a development team connected to the state-backed WorldTour outfit, Katusha, and it has a policy of bringing Russian talent through the ranks.
Gazprom have sponsored RusVelo in the past and currently supports the Katusha team. They are best known on the sporting stage for their partnership with FIFA, football's governing body, and their sponsorship of the Champions League, football's premier European club competition.
Nippo-Vini Fantini confirms Pro Continental license for 2016
With 11 victories in its first season under a Pro Continental license, and the fair play award from the Giro d'Italia, the Nippo - Vini Fantini team are satisfied with its efforts in 2015. "The team has grown very much in this season, the last results and the way they came are the confirmation," said sports director Stefano Giuliani.
The team confirmed it has received its Pro Continental license for the next season.
22-year-old Nicolas Marini was the most successful rider on the team this season as he enjoyed four personal victories, three of those at the Tour of China II last month. There was also success for 23-year-old Riccardo Stacchiotti, who enjoyed two stage wins and overall victory at the Tour de Hokkaido.
After a horror broken arm at the Giro d'Italia, Daniele Colli found redemption first in Japan as he won a stage of the Tour de Hokkaido before heading to the Tour of China, where he added to his win tally by claiming a stage and the overall.
"I’m really satisfied by the 11 victories and the two general rankings for Colli and Stacchiotti," Pelosi said. "To reach 11 victories in the first year for many of our young riders is a great result. At the beginning of the year we could have reach better results if many podium and placements of Cunego Colli and Grosu could be something more. In the Giro d'Italia our two leaders were unlucky, but the team had good results and made breakaways and won the Fair Play prize. The second part of the season has been full of satisfactions. In 2016 I expected many of our young talents coming out with good results."
Canadian champion Boivin joins Cycling Academy
Canadian national champion Guillaume Boivin has joined the Israeli Cycling Academy team on a two-year deal, signing from the American Optum-Benefit team.
Israel’s first professional cycling team are hoping the former WorldTour rider with Cannondale will support their ambitions to step up to Pro-Continental level in 2017 and make a grand Tour debut in 2018. "He brings a degree of talent and a proven ability to perform at the highest levels," said Cycling Academy team manager Ran Margaliot. "Signing him is an important step forward in our journey towards the world's highest levels."
Boivin, 26, started his sporting career as an ice-hockey player but switched to cycling and finished third at the U23 World Championships road race in 2010. He started out at Canadian outfit SpiderTech before jumping up to the WorldTour with Cannondale for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. However, he wasn’t able to secure a contract when the team merged with Garmin for 2015 and dropped back down to Continental level with Optum.
He has won two stages of the Tour de Beauce and finished second on a stage of the 2014 Vuelta a España, and will slot into the Cycling Academy as the team’s primary sprinter.
"He is a fast sprinter and successful, Has a lot of experience and still young," said Nicki Sorensen, who recently joined the team as head directeur sportif. "He will play an important role in boosting our team performance."