Losada announces retirement - News Shorts

Alberto Losada has raced his last as a professional road cyclist, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

The 35-year-old Spaniard was out of contract at Katusha-Alpecin and has taken the decision to end his 12-year career, though he is set to continue to ride competitively on the mountain bike.

"On the road I'm not continuing - I can assure you of that," Losada told Marca. "I'm creating a business linked to cycling and I will continue competing at a high level in marathon mountain biking."

Losada, who has never won a pro race and has spent his career working for others, turned pro with Kaiku in 2006 before spending four seasons at Caisse d'Epargne.

He moved to Katusha in 2011 and remained there ever since, becoming an important domestique for fellow Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez.

Giro d'Italia organisers partner with Shimano for neutral support

RCS Sport and Shimano have announced a three-year partnership that will see the components giant provide neutral support at RCS Sport's races, which include the Giro d’Italia, Il Lombardia, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.

Shimano provided components for 14 of the 18 WorldTour teams during the 2017 season and look to continue their dominance in the sport next year.

The Japanese company also currently provides neutral support for races in Spain and Benelux, including the Vuelta a Espana and Tour of Flanders. Shimano will take over in Italy from Vittoria.

A handful of riders raced the 2017 edition of Strade Bianche on disc-brake-equipped bikes, and it is expected the majority of WorldTour teams will have the option to race on a disc-brake bike during races in the 2018 season. The UCI announced in September that 2018 would see the fourth year of the disc brake trial. Alongside the safety aspects regarding mixed brake use in the peloton, neutral service has also been raised as an issue in implementing disc brakes alongside rim brakes in professional racing.

Modolo takes aim at Milan-San Remo and Giro d'Italia

Sacha Modolo has outlined his objectives for the 2018 season, when he will race in the colours of the rebranded EF Education First-Drapac team. Modolo joins Jonathan Vaughters’ squad after four seasons in the Lampre set-up, now UAE-Team Emirates.

“For the sprints, I will be the sole leader of the team, whereas for the northern Classics, I’ll ride completely in support of Sep Vanmarcke, hoping that he can pick up some great results,” Modolo told Italian radio show Ultimo Chilometro.

Modolo has raced the Giro d’Italia in all bar one of his eight professional campaigns to date, and he seems likely to return to the corsa rosa in 2018. Modolo won two sprint stages of the 2015 Giro.

"I’ll most probably ride the Giro d’Italia as Rigoberto Uran wants a team built around him for the Tour de France," Modolo said. “I should take part in the Classics campaign up as far as the Tour of Flanders, then stop and not race again until the Giro.

“This year, my form dropped off because I raced Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Croatia. I won two stages in Croatia but looking at it objectively, getting to the Giro with so much racing in your legs can be counter-productive.”

As ever, Modolo's spring will be built around Milan-San Remo, where he claimed a surprise fourth place finish as a neo-professional in 2010. “For a rider like me, it's very hard to interpret the race, because it's difficult to invent something between the Poggio and the finish. But it still remains the race of my dreams and I’ll prepare as best I can.”

USA CRITS announces 2018 calendar

The USA CRITS Championship Series, which will embark on its 12th season, announced the 2018 calendar on Wednesday with 10 races across the US, and a series finale. The series begins in Athens, Georgia in late April with the tenth race being in St. Louis, Missouri on Labour Day weekend. The series will culminate with the finals held September 15th. 

Twenty-five US elite men’s and women’s cycling teams will be invited to participate as USA CRITS D1 Teams, and is open to other teams, that will race for an overall title. The Series Champion’s Purse will offer $100,000 in season-ending prize money for D1 Teams and individual leaders. In addition, the Champion's Purse and each race will offer equal payout to both male and female racers, with each event offering a minimum $10,000 to these elite fields.

“Creating a platform for fans to engage the sport and to follow the athletes is essential for developing recognizable athletes and sustainable growth which will support the professional ambitions of elite cyclists,” said Scott Morris, director of development for USA CRITS.

2018 USA CRITS Championship Series

APR 28 - Athens Orthopedic Clinic (AOC) Twilight Criterium - Athens, GA
MAY 26 - Winston Salem Cycling Classic - Winston-Salem, NC
JUN 1 - Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic: Midtown - Oklahoma City, OK
JUN 17 - Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic - New York, NY
JUL 6 - Natural State Criterium Series: New American Town Criterium - Bentonville, AR
JUL 14 - Andersen Schwartzman Woodard Brailsford (ASWB) Twilight Criterium - Boise, ID
JUL 28 - San Rafael Sunset Criterium - San Rafael, CA
AUG 4 - Littleton Twilight Criterium - Littleton, CO
AUG 11 - Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic - West Chester, PA
SEP 2 - Gateway Cup: Giro Della Montagna - St Louis, MO
SEP 15 - 2018 USA CRITS Championship Series Finals: Location TBA - Northeastern USA

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