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Jens Voigt's final pro bike – complete with 'shut up legs' mantra
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Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack-Nissan) rides away from the group
Popovych: "This team feels like a second family"
Giacomo Nizzolo and Yaroslav Popovych have extended their contracts with RadioShack-Nissan. The team managed by Johan Bruyneel was pleased to announce the developing sprinter Nizzolo and trusted domestique Popovych would be staying with the team for the coming season.
"Giacomo is one of the most promising youngsters out there. He's been progressing a lot in these two years as a neo-pro and I'm really excited that he has chosen to stay with us, despite other interesting offers. It shows that confidence works both ways. I'm confident that Giacomo is going to claim his spot within the top tier of sprinters in the next years," Bruyneel said.
Nizzolo has signed a two-year deal with the team after moving to RadioShack-Nissan from Leopard-Trek last year. The 23-year-old Italian will remain with the team until at least 2014. Nizzolo is a second-year professional who this year won stage 5 and the points classification at the Eneco Tour and most recently, took out stage 3 at Tour du Poitou Charentes.
"I'm pleased to stay in the team where I have gotten the chance to grow as a pro bike rider," said Nizzolo. "My victories in the past weeks were reassuring for all parties. Some sprints were won with amazing support of the team, others were necessarily done with fighting my way to the finish line, but that's life for a sprinter. I'm hoping to step up now and return the faith the team has given me with some nice results," he said.
Popvych has spent the majority of his 11-year professional career alongside Bruyneel and the 32-year-old couldn’t think of a better place to be for the coming season. The Ukranian signed a one-year deal with the team and has been an important member of Bruyneel’s squad during his many grand tours including eight Tours de France.
"This team is pretty much like a second family for me. I know a lot of riders and staff since years and I've gotten to know a lot of new faces over the last year. I feel very good in this team, so there's really no reason to consider to change," said Popovych.
"There's still the TTT at the Worlds left on my calendar, but I can already look back at a fulfilling 2012 season, having helped our captains at the Classics and in the Tour," he said.
"There are few guys in the peloton that are as strong and loyal as 'Popo'. He's always there when he's needed and he has become one of the strongholds of the team over the years. It was very important for me that he stays on board," Bruyneel said.