Fabian Wegmann, who closed out 2016 with Stölting Service Group, and Marco Bandiera, finishing his third season with the Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec organisation, are retiring from professional cycling. They join Belgium's Geert Dockx – who announced Tuesday that he was hanging up his cleats – and a host of other notables retiring this year.
Wegmann, 36, announced his retirement in a press release on Wednesday morning. The winner of multiple German national road titles and king of the mountains in the 2004 Giro d'Italia, Wegmann collected a number of one-days and stage victories over the course of his career. He spent more than a decade as a pro, riding for the Gerolsteiner, Milram, Leopard Trek, and Garmin organisations before his final two years with Cult and Stölting.
"Retirement gives me a mix of sadness and excitement as I have committed the past 15 years to the sport, but there’s a lot to look forward to from now with new goals and ambitions," Wegmann said via the statement.
"I've been fortunate to race some of the biggest and best races around the world and have gained a lot of experience from the sport. I’m now ready to give something back, and to put what I know into new challenges."
Bandiera revealed his decision to retire from the road in an interview with tuttobiciweb.it. The 32-year-old Italian said that he had hoped to continue into next season, but had been unable to find a spot on a team. Bandiera rode variously for Lampre, Katusha, Quick-Step, and IAM before joining Androni, with a Tour of Turkey mountains classification title and a few WorldTour top 10s as his biggest career results.
Bardiani-CSF adds Taiwanese sponsor
The Pro Continental Italian squad Bardiani-CSF announced today that it has signed a three-year to elevate the Taiwainese company Cheng Shin Tire up from technical partner to sponsor.
CST will be added to the shoulder of the jersey and the shorts of the "GreenTeam" kits. The team will also continue to use the Stradale tubular tyres, Conquistare clinchers and and their new product, the Cito.
The company also supports the Dutch football team AFC Ajax and Bart Brentjens MTB team.
"This agreement is a source of pride for our team," said team manager Roberto Reverberi. "It's the recognition of the positive work we have done to build a credible and serious sport project, the GreenTeam, focused on development of Italian talents in modern and global cycling context.
"Year by year our team has grown, acquiring solidity and distinction. All these factors have been recognized by all cycling's stakeholders and became the key to conquer the attention of giants like CST. We welcome Cheng Shin Tire in our sport family and we thank the company for the trust they put in our work."
Andrey Amador explains run-in with police
Costa Rican police confiscated Andrey Amador's bike on Tuesday after pulling the Movistar rider over for cycling on the highway in a prohibited zone. The 30-year-old gave his account of the incident in a video published on Facebook, apologizing for his mistake but also expressing his frustration with the way he was treated by the transit police.
"I want to apologise. The truth is, I know I made a mistake, riding on a highway which puts the lives of us cyclists and others at risk, in addition to not setting a good example," he said, going on to explain that his decision to ride on the highway came down to avoiding a route that would have taken him through an unsafe area.
"I was very annoyed by the manner in which [the officer] acted," he added. "Without warning me, he cut me off and almost ran me over. He began to push me, I think putting my life, and my integrity, at risk."
Trek issues recall for Bontrager Flare and Ion lights
Trek released a statement Wednesday announcing a recall for select Bontrager light models. A limited number of lights in the Flare RT and Ion 700 RT lines were made with incorrect components, potentially leading to problems pairing with a controlling device or causing them to function in an stable manner.
"If this happens, the light could turn off unexpectedly, possibly making it hard to see the roadway or making the rider less visible. With reduced vision or visibility, the rider could be involved in a serious accident," read the statement.
Only lights manufactured within a specific date range are affected by the recall.