News shorts: Aru to ride Volta ao Algarve, Cult Energy fails to pay riders' salary

Aru to Volta ao Algarve

Fabio Aru will make his debut at the four-day Volta ao Algarve next February. Organisers of the Portuguese race confirmed that Aru would form part of Astana’s eight-man team along with teammates Diego Rosa, Paolo Tiralongo, Luis Leon Sanchez, Dario Cataldo, Tanel Kangert, Miguel Angel Lopez and Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev.

IAM Cycling has also issued their line-up while organisers confirmed the participation of Etixx-QuickStep, bringing the total number of teams to 17. One more international team is to be named alongside the local Portuguese teams.

The Volta ao Algarve is due to run between 17-21 February. Geraint Thomas won the 2015 edition, beating the previous year’s champion Michal Kwiatkowski. In 2016, the two will be teammates at Team Sky, who is among the 17 teams on the start list.

Cult Energy fails to pay riders November salary

A budget shortfall has meant that the Danish Cult Energy team has not paid some of its riders for November. In a letter to the riders that was published by the Danish site Ekstra Bladet, team bookkeeper Rene Thill explained that a number of the higher earners in the team would not be paid in full.

“The fact now is that I cannot pay part of the November salary. I try to handle things so that high earners receive partial payment and those with lower pay their full salary paid. Everything depends on the next developments,” he wrote.

Cult Energy have had several financial issues with former manager Christian Weylandt after he failed to deliver on promises relating to sponsors. They nearly folded at the end of this season but were saved when the Stolting Group stepped in.

In a conversation with Ekstra Bladet, Thill assured them it was the first time it had happened and that the riders who had not received their full salary would be paid in the coming days.

Nocentini still struggling for a team

The chance that Rinaldo Nocentini will find a team for 2016 seems to be all but gone after Caja Rural said that they could not afford to take on the Italian. Earlier this week, Nocentini told Gazzetta dello Sport that Caja Rural was his “only real possibility” however the team have said that they do not have the funds to sign him.

“I haven’t spoken to his representative. I only received his CV by email, like we did with the other riders that have come to me. There is no possibility to sign him,” general manager Juan Manuel Hernandez told Biciciclismo.

Nocentini has been a professional since 1999 and has spent the past eight seasons with AG2R-La Mondiale. He has given himself until the end of December to find a new contract, at which point he says he will make the decision to retire.

African rider of the year nominees revealed

The 20-rider short-list for African rider of the year has been revealed with the winner set to be announced on December 17. Former winners Mekseb Debesey (2014), Louis Meintjes (2013) and Natnael Berhane (2012) are all among the names selected by a panel that included former Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault.

Also included on the list was Daniel Teklehaimanot, who wore the polka-dot jersey during this year’s Tour de France, Daryl Impey, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Tsgabu Grmay.

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