News Shorts: Voss, Gretsch retire; British team for cyclo-cross Worlds

Synergy Baku goes Azeri in 2017, Spanish Master Champion positive for EPO

Voss, Gretsch hang up their bikes 

Two German riders have ended their careers, after finding no new team for the 2017 season – Paul Voss (Bora-hansgrohe) and Patrick Gretsch (AG2R).

Voss rode for Bora the last four years. He was told in September that he would not be moving up to the WorldTour with the team. The 30-year-old turned pro with Team Milram in 2009, and joined Endura the next year. That team later merged with Bora. He rode the Tour de France the last three years, wearing the mountain jersey for one day in 2016.

Former junior world time trial champion Gretsch said that he was not offered "a lucrative contract, that is, one which would make it worthwhile to be underway nearly half the year, to have to live out of a suitcase and to miss the chance to jump into a 'normal' life."

Then now 29-year-old won the junior world title in 2004. He turned pro in 2010 with HTC-Highroad and rode with Argos-Shimano for two seasons before joining AG2R in 2014. He has three individual pro wins, winning the prologues in the Ster Elektrotoer (2011), the Tour of Colorado (2011) and the Andalucia Tour in 2012.

Patrick Gretsch drives the pace at the Eneco Tour

British Cycling names 12 for UCI Cyclo-cross Worlds

New national champions Ian Field and Nikki Brammeier will lead British Cycling's 12 rider team at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on 28-29 January.

Field is the sole rider for the elite men's race, while Brammeier will be joined by Helen Wyman, who has been out with a broken collarbone since the European championships in November, and Hannah Payton.

Evie Richards is set to defend her world title in the U23 women's race, and will be joined by Ffion James and Amira Mellor. Billy Harding is the sole rider for the U23 men's race.

Junior European champion Tom Pidcock will head up the squad with Thomas Mein, Daniel Tullett and Ben Turner.

"We have selected a strong Great Britain team for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships this year with some real potential across the categories. It's great to see both Nikki Brammeier and Helen Wyman return from injury to represent the team once again," British Cycling's head coach Iain Dyer said.

"Evie can be proud as she has done the rainbow stripes justice this year. Similarly Tom Pidcock has had a fantastic season and both the under-23 and junior squads possess some real podium potential.

"Developing talented riders is at the heart of British Cycling's Rider Route and whilst the results are important, so too is making the most of the development opportunities which competing at world championship level presents."

Great Britain Cycling Team for UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships:

Elite Men: Ian Field
Elite Women: Nikki Brammeier, Hannah Payton, Helen Wyman
U23 Men: Billy Harding
U23 Women: Ffion James, Amira Mellor, Evie Richards
Junior Men: Thomas Mein, Tom Pidcock, Daniel Tullet, Ben Turner

Bethany Crumpton (Boot Out Breast Cancer CC), Nikki Brammeier (Boels Dolmans CT) and Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK)

Synergy Baku announces Azeri squad for 2017

The Synergy Baku Cycling Project will feature nine riders from Azerbaijan and only one “foreign” rider. The team will be led by Kirill Pozdnyakov, who has changed his citizenship from Russia to Azerbaijan.

“This is a great honour for me. I look forward to repaying the people of Azerbaijan by not only doing well with Synergy Baku, but helping to lead a strong national team,” Pozdnyakov told Cyclingnews.

Veterans Maksym Averin and Elchin Asadov, both of whom appeared in the World Championships for Azerbaijan, will return to the team, as will the five young Azeri riders from 2016. They will be joined by newcomer Musa Mikayilzade. Josip Rumac of Croatia is also staying with the team.

Synergy Baku Cycling Project for 2017: Elgun Alizada, Elchin Asadov, Enver Asanov, Maksym Averin, Kanan Gahramanli, Ismail Iliasov, Samir Jabrayilov, Musa Mikayilzade, Kirill Pozdnyakov and Josip Rumac.

Synergy Baku Cycling Project during the team time trial at Tour of Croatia

Spanish Masters champion caught for EPO

The UCI announced on its website that Francisco Torrella has been provsionally suspended for EPO, caught in a test on September 30. He may ask for the B-sample to be eopened and faces a possible 4-year penalty if the charges are upheld.

Torrella, 36, is the current Spanish Master 30 B. He rode as a stagiaire for Contentpolis-Murcia in 2008, but otherwise rode as an Elite-2 from 2005 to 2009.

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