News shorts: AG2R renews through 2018, Androni on Kuota

AG2R La Mondiale extends through 2018

The French investment firm AG2R La Mondiale today released its estimated value for the sponsorship that it provided to its cycling team, claiming that the exposure provided by the riders was worth €96.5 million to the company: "A return of nearly 10 times the amount invested in cycling," said COO Yvon Breton.

The team had an exceptional performance in the Tour de France, where Jean-Christophe Peraud came second overall and Romain Bardet sixth. The team was also top of the teams classification, and Blel Kadri won a stage."These exceptional results, which confirm our loyal communication strategy through sport, have led us to confirm our commitment through 2018," Breton said.

Androni to ride Kuota in 2015

Androni Giocattoli Kuota next season, ending the three-year partnership they’ve had with Bianchi. The Italian ProContinental team has signed a two-year deal with Italian bike manufacturer that sees them on the bike until at least the end of 2016. Kuota has supplied French WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale in the past. The company will use Androni as a testing ground for their new products and the team will be given the new Kahn frame in the coming days.

“I’ve been trying to give the best to my riders, always,” said team manager Gianni Savio. “The agreement has been achieved quite easily. I consulted with my technicians and we decided to choose the Kuota products as they have always been synonymous with innovation and development in the world of cycling. I hope our cooperation will flourish and bring us mutual satisfaction”.

Txurruka extends with Caja Rural

Amets Txurruka has extended his contract with Caja Rural until the end of next season, according to Italian website Spaziociclismo. The Spanish rider has been with the team since 2013, after he failed to secure a new contract with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team. Txurruka took the biggest win of his career last season when he claimed overall victory at the Vuelta a Asturias. 2014 has only yielded one victory for him however, with the general classification at the Tour du Gévaudan.

Van Avermaet returns to footballing past

With the season done and dusted, Greg Van Avermaet will get a chance to return to his childhood as a footballer. The Belgian will join many other riders for the France versus the Rest of the World football game. The match, which will see the likes of Nacer Bouhanni and Thibaut Pinot face off against Van Avermaet and Nick Nuyens, be played on Friday at the Charles-Ehrmann in Nice.

"I look forward," Van Avermaet told Sporza. "This week I will at least do some exercise to get that old ball control back"

The match is an annual event that takes place ahead of the Velo d’or. Chris Froome won last year’s award ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan.

Amsterdam Six Day begins October 20

The first of the annual Six Day races gets underway in Amsterdam on October 20. The defending champions Kenny De Ketele and Gijs van Hoeck will not take the start, but Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra will line up with young Dutchman Yoeri Havik with bib number 1.

Former world Madison champion Alex Rasmussen will partner with the experienced Danish Six Day specialist Marc Hester. The Australian former Olympic champion Luke Rogers will pair with former sprint specialist Tim Veldt, and Americans Guy East and Daniel Holloway will make their return to the track.

The race will be shown live in its entirety each night on Eurosport 2.

Amsterdam Six Day start list

1. Niki Terpstra / Yoeri Havik
2. Alex Rasmussen / Marc Hester
3. Leif Lampater / Nick Stöpler
4. Jasper De Buyst / Pim Ligthart
5. Melvin Boskamp / Jesper Asselman
6. Luke Roberts / Tim Veldt
7. Dylan Groenewegen / Nolan Hoffmann
8. Denis Rugovac / Sebastian Wotschke
9. Guy East / Daniel Holloway
10. Didier Caspers / Melvin van Zijl
11. Marco Zanotti / Mitchell Huenders
12. Christian Kos / Patrick Kos

D'Hoore, Cordon-Ragot to Wiggle Honda

The Wiggle Honda team announced the signing of two riders, Belgian champion Jolien d'Hoore from the Lotto Belisol team, and French rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot from Hitec Products, to the team for 2015.

D'Hoore is a two-time national champion on the road, and has multiple titles on the track. The 24-year-old from Gent, Belgium will continue to combine track and road in the upcoming season.

“I’m really happy to join Wiggle Honda in 2015,” d'Hoore said. “It was the right time to take the next step in my career to develop myself further next year.

“Also the fact that Wiggle Honda supports my track ambitions is very important to me as my goal is the omnium in the 2016 Rio Olympics. I hope to learn from the other very talented riders in the team and I’m convinced that we can go for the victory in every kind of race with this strong team. I’m extremely motivated for 2015 to defend the Wiggle Honda colours.”


The 25-year-old Cordon-Ragot has won stages in La Route de France and the Tour de Bretagne as well as one-day races such as the GP Plumelec-Morbihan and Classic Poitou-Charentes.

“France is a very important country for our major partners and we'd been watching Audrey closely for a couple of years,” team manager Rochelle Gilmore said “She's certainly done enough this year to prove she's an amazing talent and if nurtured correctly – we believe she's capable of winning the big races. Audrey will play a key role in 2015 as a super domestique for our leaders, being very reliable on all types of terrains; flat, classic and mountainous races. We're excited about Audrey's capabilities."

Colli joins Nippo-Vini Fantini De Rosa

The Nippo-Vini Fantini De Rosa team announced two new signings for 2015: Italians Mattia Pozzo and Daniele Colli, both from the Neri Sottoli team.


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