US pro championships won't return to Winston-Salem in 2017 - News Shorts

Silber signs Nick Zukowsky for 2017, De Tier signs two-year deal with LottoNL-Jumbo

US pro championships won't return to Winston-Salem in 2017

The USA Cycling Professional Road Championships won't return to Winston-Salem in 2017 as originally planned, the governing body confirmed to Cyclingnews on Monday.

"Yes, we are moving away from Winston-Salem and that [local organising committee] is very supportive of us doing so," USA Cycling Vice President of National Events Micah Rice wrote to Cyclingnews in response to an email asking about the possible venue change.

"There were a number of reasons why and I am happy to talk to you more in the near future if you want to do a story after we get our ducks in a row," Rice wrote.

Cyclingnews understands the long-weekend of racing will move to Knoxville, Tennessee, instead. A source familiar with the details of the move, but who asked not to be named because that person is not authorised to speak about the issue, confirmed earlier reports published on Cyclingtips.com that the event will move to Knoxville.

Among the possible reasons for the change of venue away from Winston-Salem are the simple logistics of running a large event, or three of them at once, as was the case this year. The championship races in Winston-Salem were run in conjunction with the Winston-Salem criterium and the Winston-Salem Classic, a one-day race that was part of USA Cycling's season-long Pro Road Tour. Combined with the Masters and Para-Cycling Road Championships, the three events may have overwhelmed the North Carolina city and the residents who lived along the route.

Silber Pro Cycling signs Nick Zukowsky for 2017

Silber Pro Cycling announced on Monday that the UCI Continental team has signed top Canadian junior Nick Zukowsky for the 2017 season.

In 2016, 18-year-old Zukowsky's first year of road racing, he finished third during a stage of Ronde des Vallées and fourth overall at the Tour de l'Abitibi, where he was leading the race until the final stage.

Zukowsky also finished fifth on Stage 1 of the Killington Stage Race while competing in the Pro/Cat 1 peloton. Zukowsky lives in Ste Lucie, Quebec, and also in Tucson, Arizona, where he met Silber director Gord Fraser. He is hoping to represent Canada in the Junior division at the upcoming World Championships.

In explaining the decision to sign the team's first 18-year-old, Silber team owner Scott McFarlane said the team has always had a developmental mission.

"It is our mission to support young riders that we believe are capable of getting to the WorldTour," McFarlane said. "And simply put, we believe Nick Zukowsky has the ability and mindset to get to the next level. The fact that he is only 18 years old sends a message that we are committed to working with riders over a two-to-three-year period, and I hope it inspires current junior and cadet cyclists that want to one day race for professional cycling teams."

De Tier signs with LottoNL-Jumbo

Topsport Vlaanderen's Floris de Tier has signed a two-year deal with LottoNL-Jumbo that will take him through the end of 2018. The talented 24-year-old climber has riddern for two years with the Dutch Pro Continental team.

"Floris De Tier is a talented climber," Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. "That's how we're going to use him as well. He started his cycling career as a cyclo-cross rider, but excelled as a climber. That’s why he moved to the road. He quit athletics at a late age to become a cyclist, so he's still developing. He's going to make his step to the WorldTour now. His signing fits with our philosophy to bring young talents for the highest level."

De Tier said after several conversations with the team he immediately felt comfortable.

"The professional way of working encourages me," he said. "Team LottoNL-Jumbo is the most logical step in my career. The experience in the team is going to help me in my development. My former team-mate Sven Nys told me that I had to make the step towards the road. This is my third season on the road. I'm looking forward to race more in the high mountains next season. It's going to make me stronger." 

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