News Shorts: Pinot to lead FDJ at Volta ao Algarve

Movistar video marks Pablo Lastras' retirement, Giant-Alpecin will drive Mini team cars in 2016, USAC announces 2017-18 championship sites

Pinot to lead FDJ at Volta ao Algarve

The Volta ao Algarve, which is scheduled for February 17-21 in Portugal, announced today that Thibaut Pinot will lead FDJ’s roster in the UCI 2.1 race.

Aleandre Geniez, Kenny Elissonde, Murilo Fischer, Steve Morabito, Yoann Offredo, Sebastien Reichenbache and Jérémy Roy will join Pinot on the FDJ roster for the race, which also expects Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) to toe the line.

Other WorldTour teams competing in the race include Cannondale, Etixx-QuickStep, IAM Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Lotto NL-Jumbo, Movistar, Team Sky and Trek-Segafredo.

Continental Pro teams scheduled to compete are Bora-Argon 18, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Gazprom-RusVelo, Novo Nordisk, Roth and Verva ActiveJet. 

Thibaut Pinot made up for a bad start to the Tour by winning stage 20 on Alpe d'Huez
Thibaut Pinot will lead FDJ at the Volta ao Algarve.

Giant-Alpecin will drive Mini team cars in 2016

Team Giant-Alpecin recently inked a deal with Mini Netherlands to supply team cars for the 2016 season, the Dutch team announced today. Directors, mechanics and staff will hit the roads for the 2016 season in the Mini Clubman.

“In cycling, much is asked of a team car,” said Team Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink. “The Mini Clubman is the perfect reinforcement for our team. This partnership fits perfectly with our ‘Keep Challenging’ philosophy based on innovation, cooperation and continuous improvement.”

Mini Netherlands Brand Manager Hidde-Jan Haven said the Mini Cooper Clubman is the “ideal” team car.

“Mini and Team Giant-Alpecin both have a strong focus on innovation and technology," Haven said. “With this partnership we are supporting a successful team with lots of potential.”

The new partnership between Mini and the team begins January 1.

Giant-Alpecin will hit the roads in Mini team cars in 2016
Giant-Alpecin will hit the roads in Mini Clubman team cars in 2016.

USA Cycling announces sites for three national championships in 2017-18

USA Cycling has announced the locations for the 2017 and 2018 mountain bike, collegiate mountain bike and collegiate road national championships.

Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia, will host the 2017-18 mountain bike national championships, while Missoula, Montana, will host the collegiate mountain bike national championships. The collegiate road championships will be in Grand Junction, Colorado, during the two-year period.

“These three host cities will be excellent for our 2017 and 2018 mountain bike, collegiate mountain bike and collegiate road national championships,” said Micah Rice, USAC vice president of national events. “It will be great to be back on the east coast for our mountain bike national championships in Snowshoe, while Missoula has a strong mountain biking culture with amazing terrain, and Grand Junction is well known for its passionate cycling culture.”

The elite women's start of the Missoula XC
The elite women's start of the Missoula XC.

Movistar marks the retirement of Pablo Lastras after 18-year pro career

The Movistar team of general manager Eusebio Unzué is celebrating the 18-year pro career of Pablo Lastras with  video after injuries from a crash earlier this year forced the 39-year-old Spaniard to retire from the sport.

Lastras crashed during stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya in March and was forced into an ongoing recuperation that ended his career.

Lastras started his professional career at Banesto with a victory in the 1997 Memorial Galera. He rode with Unzué’s team as they morphed into Ibanesto.com, Illes Balears, Caisse d'Epargne and finally Movistar. He has ridden 17 Grand Tours and 29 Classics.

The consummate domestique notched eight victories in his pro career, including three stages of the Vuelta a Espana, single stages of the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Suisse and Eneco Tour. He won the overall at the Vuelta a Andalucia in 2008.

The team created a video to celebrate Lastras’ career: 

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