Fuglsang and coach part ways – News shorts

Astana's Jakob Fuglsang will be on the lookout for a new coach after long-time trainer Rune Larsen parted ways with the Kazakh WorldTour team.

According to Danish news site ekstrabladet.dk, former mountain biker Fuglsang, who goes into his 13th season as a professional road rider in 2019, has worked with Larsen for his whole career, but will face next season without him.

"There are some things that the team's management and I don't agree on," Larsen told the website by way of explanation. "I'm annoyed that they want to go in one direction, whereas they're annoyed that I want to go in another. It's therefore best that we part ways, and that it happens without there being any bad blood between us.

"Most teams these days want their riders to use trainers from within the team, which is the case with Astana," continued Larsen. "I think that I could still get some good results out of Jakob, but there are probably others who can, too. And maybe it'll be good for Jakob to try something new, but we won't lose touch. We're still friends, and we'll stay in contact."

Fuglsang told Danish broadcaster TV2 yesterday that he intends on targeting the Tour de France next season. 

'Safer' course announced for Gent-Wevelgem

The route for the 2019 Gent-Wevelgem has been unveiled with the Kemmelberg and Plugstreets once again forming the backbone of the one-day race. In fact, little has changed for next year’s route, though organisers have made some small amendments, which they believe will make the route safer for the riders.

Organiser Hans De Clercq told those present at the ceremony in Wevelgem on Thursday evening that they had responded to requests from the peloton when making changes.

"We have made the course a little safer," De Clercq said. "We listened to the voice of the peloton. In the northern part of France that we visited, a loop was made around Bailleul and we removed the Ravelsberg. For example, we can replace a number of narrow streets with wider roads. In addition, a passage of three hundred meters has been removed in the vicinity of Middelkerke. A short piece, but one where a fall occurred last year."

Tour Down Under director Mike Turtur joins Cycling Australia Hall of Fame

The race director of the Tour Down Under, Mike Turtur, is one of four people who will be inducted into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame at the federation's awards luncheon in Melbourne on November 23.

Turtur is to be honoured both for his Olympic track career – which included gold in the team pursuit at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games – and for establishing the Tour Down Under stage race in 1999, which has grown into the WorldTour event it is today, attracting the likes of three-time road race world champion Peter Sagan, who will attend again in 2019.

"It is a great honour to be recognised in such a way, in a sport that I have been involved with since the age of 14, along with so many other prominent people in the sport," Turtur said on the Cycling Australia website.

"After my cycling career, I moved into full-time coaching," he said. "However, my true passion was in promoting and organising events, and I'm particularly proud of the Santos Tour Down Under, which has now been running for 20 years and is a cornerstone event on the Australian calendar."

The other inductees are former track sprinter and Olympic medallist Michelle Ferris, fellow Olympic track cyclist and Six Day racing legend Danny Clark, and mountain bike trail-builder Glen Jacobs, who designed the courses for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and for the World Mountain Bike Championships held in Cairns in both 1996 and 2017.

New name for Roubaix-Lille Métropole team

French Pro Continental team Roubaix-Lille Métropole has been saved from closure after 12 years of existence with the signing of a new main sponsor, according to L'Equipe.

Facing a budget shortfall, and possible closure, after losing a major sponsor, new title sponsor Natura4ever – a Luxembourg-based company that manufactures health and wellness products – has come on board just in time, and the team will be known as Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole in 2019.

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