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From cocaine-fueled gangster themes to tiny details on the hubs
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Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
Romain Sicard (France) with his Under-23 gold medal and rainbow jersey.
Young French talent commits for four years
French rider Romain Sicard has agreed to a three-year contract extension with Spanish team Euskaltel-Euskadi. As he was still under contract until the end of the 2011 season, the up-and-coming talent will thus be riding for the Basque outfit until 2014.
"I felt very honoured by this proposal," said Sicard to L'Equipe on Thursday. I didn't think about it for very long before accepting. A four-year of contract means that I'll be able to work in serenity. I still owe them a lot."
The 2009 U23 World Champion will be watching events in Melbourne, Australia, from his home in the Basque region of the French Pyrenees this weekend with great attention. "It will have an effect on me even if I'm not nostalgic," Sicard said. "You have to be able to turn the page."
Although he did not score any wins this season - his first within the ProTour ranks - Sicard is rated as one of the most talented young Frenchmen in the peloton at the moment. The Euskaltel rider took the overall of the Tour de l'Avenir last year, as well as the Subida Naranco in Spain, when he was still with the Orbea team. This season, he finished second on a stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Other teams, especially some French squads, have been courting Sicard but the 2009 U23 World Champion has remained faithful to the Basque cycling foundation that has supported him since 2009.