The organisers of the Japan Cup have announced Alberto Contador will ride the Japan Cup criterium next month with Trek-Segafredo. Contador officially retired following the Vuelta a Espana this month, winning the final mountain stage to the Angliru and finishing fourth overall.
The Japan Cup criterium will be held October 21 with the Japan Cup then taking place October 22.
Like Fabian Cancellara in 2016, Contador will be celebrated at the race which is held prior to the 1.HC Japan Cup in Utsunomiya. In 2016, Trek launched a fluo training ride kit which its riders then wore in both events.
Along with confirmation that Contador will be attendance, the organisers also announced the following domestic teams would take part in the Japan Cup. Team Ukyo, Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team, Utsunomiya Blitzen, Kinan Cycling Team, Matrix Power Tag, Nasu Brazen, and a Japan National Team.
Sunweb extend with Curvers and Haga
"This team has grown into one of the best in the world and all of the leaps that we have made as a team have challenged me to develop as a rider and keep me motivated," Curvers said. "After being with the team for 10 years, it feels like family to me so I never considered the possibility of leaving as an option. A rider of my age has to start thinking about his future after cycling, and I'm happy that the team has the trust in me and has given me the opportunity to continue to develop after my career on the bike is over. This security gives me peace of mind and makes it easy to fully focus on cycling and to continue to be an important part of the team out on the road during the last part of my career."
Haga joined the team in 2014 and has become an important Grand Tour domestique, helping Tom Dumoulin to Giro d'Italia victory in May and Wilco Kelderman to fourth at the Vuelta a Espana in September.
"I'm really happy to extend with the team. After being with the team for four years I feel really comfortable with my role here and am continuously challenged. I'm really happy supporting our GC guys like Tom and Wilco and hope to continue to build on the successes that we have achieved together. This season was the best year so far and I hope that our progression as a team will continue in the coming years. I look forward to seeing what the future holds and how we continue to succeed together."
Sunweb has also extended the contracts of Dumoulin, Laurens ten Dam, Søren Kragh Andersen, Sam Oomen, Nikias Arndt, Max Walscheid, and Johannes Fröhlinger into 2018 and beyond.
Three race Shimano Sprint Series to take in Australia over summer
Launceston, Sydney, and Melbourne will host a round of the new Shimano Sprint Series this summer in Australia. The Shimano Super Crit has been a staple of the Melbourne summer racing calendar in recent years and joins the new series from 2017. The rider with the most accumulative points at the conclusion of the three races will be crowned the 'Shimano Sprint King or Queen'.
The first round will take place in Launceston, Tasmania on November 12 with the second round to take place one week later in Sydney on the harbour at White Bay. The series will conclude December 17 in Melbourne where the overall winners will be decided.
There will be equal prize money for the men and women with the overall victors taking home AU$3,000.
Although start lists are yet to be announced, the likes of Simon Gerrans and several Australian WorldTour riders are expected to sign on for the races.
Riabushenko signs for UAE Team Emirates
U23 European road race champion Aleksandr Riabushenko has signed a contract with UAE Team Emirates. The Belorussian is currently riding for the team as a stagiaire but will make the jump into the WorldTour full-time from 2018
"I'm really happy with the prospect of becoming a pro and I am proud to be able to wear the UAE Team Emirates' jersey for the next two years," Riabushenko said. "During this season the team has already shown that they believe in my potential, giving me the opportunity to ride as a trainee. I'm landing in an environment that has always given young people a chance. On the team I will be in the company of great champions and a top level staff; there are all the prerequisites for me to improve constantly."
In 2017, Riabushenko also won a stage of the Baby Giro and the Giro del Belvedere along with numerous top-10 results.
Team manager Carlo Saronni explained that Riabushenko is the model of young cycling talent he looks out for is looking forward to developing his raw talent.
"The decision to offer Riabushenko the chance to make the move to the professional sphere adheres to the team's focus on continually searching for young talent," Saronni said. "In the under 23 category Aleksandr has given solid performances, boosted by significant successes. He has earned a fine reputation for his reliability and helpfulness, even in his experience as a trainee with our team."