News shorts: Nippo Vini Fantini to replace CCC Sprandi at Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Bora-Argon 18 kit changes, Renson to sponsor Liv-Plantur, Dani Navarro confirms early season schedule

Italian-Japanese Pro-Continental team Nippo Vini Fantini will make its Australian racing debut next month at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, replacing Polish team CCC Sprandi Polkowice who were originally announced as starters for the 1.HC event. Nippo Vini Fantini are the fifth Pro-Continental team confirmed for the January 31 race which will also feature nine WorldTour teams and an Australian national team.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice explained to Cyclingnews the team decided on an alternative start to its season for financial reasons and will instead race the Dubai Tour (February 3-6), followed by the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman later that month.

Nippo Vini Fantini are currently in the middle of its training camp for the upcoming season in San Giovanni Teatino, Italy. The team are set to race the 2.1 Tour de San Luis from January 18-14 in Argentina with no confirmation yet regarding rosters for either South American or Australia.  

Former Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego is one of Nippo Vini Fantini's top riders

Updated kit for Bora-Argon 18 in season 2016 

To emphasis its status as German Pro-Continental team, Bora-Argon 18's 2016 team kit will feature a thin German flag across the front of the chest in another similar jersey to 2015.

"We want to underline even more that we are a pro-team with a German licence. Our roots are in Germany and we are proud of that, therefore we decided to add the German national colours to the team logo," explained team manager Ralph Denk.

The kit for 2016 remains predominately black with the Bora logo featuring on the chest, with a smaller Argon 18 logo underneath, and both shoulders in white. The logos of Abus, Auto Eder and kit manufacturer Craft also feature on the kit. 

Bora-Argon 18 is set to make its 2016 season debut at the Tour of Qatar in February.

Renson enters women's cycling with 2016 sponsorship of Liv Plantur 

Renson, an outdoor and ventilation company with several links to men's professional cycling has announced it will appear on the jersey of Liv Plantur in 2016. In September the Belgian manufacturer announced it was switching its sponsorship from Etixx-Quick Step to Giant-Alpecin and with the creation of the Women's WorldTour from 2016 belvies has decided to also extend its partnership to the women's team.

"A conscious choice," said Renson's sports sponsorship manager Pieter Lecluyse. "With heightened visibility in women's cycling, we hope the time is right for the female audience to reinforce our brand reputation. A roof terrace is not a technical product but rather a lifestyle and design solution. We therefore see that women have a casting vote in the purchase of such a roof and the decision of the UCI to include women's cycling in a World Tour circuit to boot. We therefore are very happy. It is this branch of the sport that in the future will grow thanks to increased attention on television and in other media."

Dani Navarro announces early-season races for 2016

Cofidis' Dani Navarro will start his 2016 season at the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana from February 3-7, quickly followed by the Vuelta a Murcia. The former Vuelta a Espana stage winner remains in Spain as he then heads to the Vuelta a Andalucía, WorldTour races Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al País Vasco.

Navarro will then head to the Ardennes with starts at La Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege next on his agenda according to El Comercio.  The Spainard rode the majority of his career in the service of Alberto Contador at  Liberty Seguros, Astana and Saxo Bank before joining the French team in 2013 to pursue his own personal ambitions. The 32-year-old was ninth overall at the 2013 Tour and placed tenth overall at the 2014 Vuelta a España, where he won a stage but struggled to perform at his best this season.

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