Kristoff shows off his European champ's jersey
Katusha-Alpecin has revealed Alexander Kristoff's new European Champion's jersey, which will be debuted at the forthcoming Arctic Race of Norway. Kristoff beat Elia Viviani by the slimmest of margins in the road race in Herning at the weekend to take the title.
It will be the first time that the jersey of European champion will be seen in the men's peloton after Peter Sagan won the inaugural elite men's road race last year. With the Slovakian defending his world title, the rainbow bands have taken priority.
Kristoff's jersey will be predominantly white with a band of blue across the chest and sleeves that gets increasingly darker from top to bottom. The stars synonymous with the EU flag are dotted along the bands.
Simon Yates and Spilak headline first PRO Ötztaler 5500
Like Strade Bianche, the one-day event has been inspired by a long-standing sportive. Unlike its Italian relative, it will feature a brutal onslaught of climbing that will see the riders tackle 5,500 metres of ascending – hence the name – over 217.4 kilometres. The event will take place on August 25, two days before the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon, and will cover the original parcours.
Beginning in Solden, the riders will take on the Kühtai, the Brenner pass, the Jaufen pass and Timmelsjoch before the finish in Tirol. It will be an opportunity for riders to get a taste of the terrain they'll face at the World Championships next year.
As well as Spilak, the team that will be there to support him has been confirmed, with Maxim Belkov, Tiago Machado, Sven Erik Byström, Matvey Mamykin, Robert Kiserlovski and Maurits Lammertink set to ride.
"The 217.4-kilometre long course with 5500 altitude meters seems really difficult," Spilak said in a press release. "Actually, I like steep mountains very much, but the distance is extreme. I hope that my legs are in good shape so that I can fight for the win."
Four-year ban for Carlos Oyarzun upheld by CAS
After a protracted legal battle, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the doping ban handed to Carlos Oyarzun for the substance FG-4592. Oyrazun was given a four-year ban by the UCI on September 16, 2016, but the Chilean rider appealed to CAS.
Oyarzun returned an adverse analytical finding for FG-4592 on July 15, 2015 during the Pan American Games. The substance can be taken in pill form and has been called "oxygen in a pill". It can be used for problems such as anaemia and helps boost the body's oxygen carrying capacity by helping spur the production of red blood cells.
Koren signs for Bahrain-Merida
The 30-year-old turned professional with Liquigas-Doimo in 2010 and stayed with the team when it merged with Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin squad in 2015. In that time, he has developed himself into a strong domestique and comes with the experience of eight Grand Tours. His one and only professional win came in his first season of racing at the Gran Premio Città di Camaiore.
"After eight years of being in similar circles, it is time for a real change. I am really happy to announce joining Bahrain-Merida Team in the next season. I would also like to thank the management of the Liquigas Cannondale Team, which introduced me to elite cycling in 2009, and my current team, Cannondale-Drapac," Koren said in a team press release. "It was a pleasure riding for them but I am also looking forward to new challenges.
"In Bahrain-Merida I will also be able to speak in my own language since quite a lot of my teammates will be Slovenes. I am also looking forward to working with Vincenzo Nibali again. I was a part of his team when he was third at 2012 Tour de France and now I will be happy to help him achieve new podiums."
Quick-Step Floors sign Senechal
Florian Senechal will step up to the WorldTour after securing a two-year contract with the Quick-Step Floors squad. Senechal rode for their development team in 2012 and 2013 and has been racing with Cofidis over the past four seasons.
Senechal is a former winner of the junior Paris-Roubaix and finished 12th at the elite edition this year. The 24-year-old is understandably thrilled to be joining the team. "It's difficult for me to express how excited I am to join Quick-Step Floors," he said. "This is one of the best teams in the world, with such a tremendous winning history. I've been a big fan of this squad since I can remember, and the way they race has always been a big inspiration and motivation for me as a rider.
"I want to thank Cofidis for my time there, for all the beautiful experiences and the many good friends I've made there, as I now look forward to racing with Quick-Step Floors and starting a new chapter in my career."
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