News shorts: Steegmans mulling over 2015 options

Belletti to Neri Sottoli, Brown returns home to Australia

Steegmans has two contract offers for 2015

Gert Steegmans has yet to sign a contract for 2015 but his agent Baden Cooke has told Het Nieuwsblad that the veteran Belgian is currently mulling over offers from Trek Factory Racing and Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Steegmans has spent the past four years at Omega Pharma-QuickStep, in what was his second spell at the squad, but he was not retained by Patrick Lefevere for the coming season.

"He will make a decision soon," Cooke told Het Nieuwsblad. "Gert has offers from Trek Factory Racing and Wanty-Groupe Gobert. He is in full training and he's motivated for next season."

Trek Factory Racing manager Luca Guercilena confirmed to the Flemish newspaper that his team had held talks with Steegmans, having previously suggested that the squad's roster for 2015 was already full. “It's not impossible that we could take Gert as our 27th contracted rider," he said.

Trek's Classics unit is built around Fabian Cancellara and already includes double Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder. The ProContinental Wanty-Group Gobert team is led by Bjorn Leukemans and signalled its increased ambitions by picking up Enrico Gasparotto last week.

Manuel Belletti signs on for Neri Sottoli - Alé

2010 Giro d'Italia stage winner Manuel Belletti will ride in the fluro jersey of Neri Sottoli - Alé in 2015. The 29-year-old rode for Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela this year but spent the two previous seasons with WorldTour team Ag2r-La Mondiale. The Italian's sole win of 2014 was stage 4 of the Tour du Limousin.

Brown to finish career in Australia

Graeme Brown has confirmed that after nine seasons with the Rabobank/Belkin set up, he will return home to Australia to race for a yet to be announced team as the 35-year-old isn't ready to hang up the wheel just yet after his contract was not renewed. Brown won two gold medals on the track at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in the madison and 4000m pursuit, and was also a member of the 2003 world championship winning team pursuit squad.

Brown's palmares from racing at the top level of the sport on the road includes nine stage wins at the Le Tour de Langkawi, three stages at the Tour Down Under, and the 2009 editions of Omloop van het Houtland and Nokere-Koerse.

Guillaume Thevenot hit by a car while traning

Europcar's new signing Guillaume Thevenot was hit by a car while out training according to the Fan Club Team Europcar Facebook page with his helmet saving him from serious injury.

"Guillaume was released from the hospital this afternoon. The doctor told him to take a few days off the bike, hoping that his headaches disappear quickly in order to get back on the bike soon to be on top form for the training camp in Spain." Europcar are holding a training camp in Calpe, Spain from December 11-19

The 21-year-old sent a message of appreciation and thanks for the support he had received from fans.

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