Richie Porte back on the bike - News Shorts

LottoNL's Vuelta line-up, Keisse extends with Quick-Step, Katusha sign young Italian climber

Richie Porte (BMC) has ridden his bike on the road for the first time since dramatically crashing out of the Tour de France last month.

The Tasmanian posted a photo of himself on social media kitted up and ready to go, with the caption: "Heading out on the road for the first time since my crash, feels like first day back at school."

Porte went into the Tour de France with something approaching favourite status, but his hopes, along with months of preparation, were wiped out in an instant as he came unstuck on the treacherous descent of the Mont du Chat on stage 9.

Riding onto the grass verge on the left hand side of the road, Porte tried to correct his line, and as he crashed, he careened across the road into the banking on the other side, leaving the road in a neck brace and an ambulance. Porte was later diagnosed with a broken collarbone and pelvis but noted that he was "lucky" not to have been more seriously hurt.

Shortly after his crash, Porte said he hoped to pin on a race number again before the end of the season, and his first ride shows he’s on track to do that. "If I come back I think I could ride the Tour of Britain or the Canadian races, just to help the team, because the amount of form I'll lose, the last part of the season is a write-off," he said last month.

Richie Porte attacks near the end of stage 3 at the Tour de France

LottoNL head to Vuelta with Kruijswijk and Bennett

LottoNL-Jumbo have unveiled their nine-man line-up for the upcoming Vuelta a España, where Steven Kruijswijk is set to lead the line for the Dutch team.

Kruijswijk had a disappointing Giro d'Italia back in May and will be looking to salvage his season in Spain, and he comes in having finished fifth overall at last week's Tour de l'Ain.

Lotto also have a second general classification threat in the form of George Bennett. The New Zealander took over team leadership in last year's Vuelta after Kruijswijk abandoned, and he finished 10th overall. He also infiltrated the top 10 at last month's Tour de France, before having to abandon late on through illness.

The team will hand Grand Tour debuts to Daan Olivier, 24, and Antwan Tolhoek, 23, while Critérium du Dauphiné stage winner Koen Bouwman will ride his second Vuelta. The team is rounded out by the experienced Stef Clement, 2015 Vuelta stage winner Bert-Jan Lindeman, Belgian Floris De Tier, and sprinter Juan José Lobato.

Robert Gesink, who crashed out of the Tour last month, is not fit enough to figure, while there's no room for Lars Boom, who made no secret of his feelings when he performed an 'improper' victory salute at last week's BinckBank Tour. The Vuelta starts in Nimes, France, on Saturday.

LottoNL-Jumbo for the Vuelta a España: George Bennett, Koen Bouwman, Stef Clement, Steven Kruijswijk, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Juan José Lobato, Daan Olivier, Floris De Tier, Antwan Tolhoek. 

Keisse extends with Quick-Step

Quick-Step Floors manager Patrick Lefevere continues to shore up his roster for next year, with the Belgian Iljo Keisse putting pen to paper on a new two-year deal.

There have been question marks over the team's sponsorship and budget from 2018 onwards, but Keisse is the latest in a string of renewals. Young talents Bob Jungels, Fernando Gaviria, and Julian Alaphilippe have all signed new deals, along with veteran Philippe Gilbert, and 34-year-old Keisse has now signed up for his ninth and 10th seasons with the team.

"I've been with Quick-Step Floors since 2010 and I know everybody here, it's really like a second family after so many years. It would feel strange to move to another team and to be honest I don't think I would be able to find a better squad to ride with than with this," said Keisse.

"I'm really happy with where I am and with my role on the team. I feel my work is appreciated by my teammates and the sport directors. I'm also grateful that Patrick wanted to keep me on board; it gives me a lot of motivation knowing I will ride with this squad for another two years and continue to do what I do best, especially as I feel I'm getting better at this, despite turning 35 in a few months."

Keisse, a successful six-day rider on the track, has proved a strong domestique for Quick-Step over the years in the spring classics and Grand Tours.

"Iljo has proven his worth on numerous occasions and showed that he's a real team player and a rider who always puts the squad's goals above his own objectives," said Lefevere. "We wanted him to stay in the team and be part of our successes in the next two seasons, but also to have him share his huge experience to the younger riders and guide them in the pro peloton."

Iljo Keisse went solo on the final day

Katusha sign young Italian

The Katusha-Alpecin team has announced the signing of 22-year-old Italian Matteo Fabbro on a two-year deal.

Fabbro currently rides for the Friuli Cycling Team, and showed his climbing potential with victory in the uphill prologue at the Giro delle Valle d'Aosta, one of the most prestigious U23 races. Otherwise, it has been a season frustrated by injuries as Fabbro broke his collarbone at the Vuelta de la Juventud in Colombia before breaking it again at the U23 Giro d'Italia, but he hopes to make an impact on the upcoming Tour de l'Avenir.

"I am happy to have Matteo with us in 2018 and 2019. He is a very talented climber," said team manager José Azevedo. "We followed him the last two seasons and now the time is right. Matteo is a guy to cherish. We will give him the necessary time to grow. He is still young and we have patience. I am convinced Matteo Fabbro has a nice cycling future with our team."

Fabbro added: "This is so incredible. I am really happy to make the step to this ambitious WorldTour team. A dream comes true.

"Now already I want to thank team manager José Azevedo for the faith he has in me. I will do everything not to disappoint him. He explained to me the team philosophy and I think I will feel at home in Team Katusha-Alpecin. Most likely I will be the only Italian in the team but that's no problem for me. I like the international environment. I look forward to showing what I am capable of."

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