News shorts: Beppu wins Japan Cup criterium

Beppu wins Japan Cup Criterium

Trek Factory Racing's Fumiyuki Beppu took victory in the Criterium at the Japan Cup on Saturday. The Japanese rider outsprinted Ben Swift and Steele von Hoff at the end of the 35.65-kilometre course, which was made up of 20 laps of a 1.55km circuit on the main street in Utsunomiya.

The road race part of the Japan Cup takes place on Sunday. 

Results - top 5

1. Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory Racing)
2. Ben Swift (Team Sky)
3. Steele Von Hoff (NFTO)
4. Benjamin Puradesu (Matrix Powertag)
5. Alberto Betti (Cannondale-Garmin)


Petrov extends with Tinkoff-Saxo

Evgeny Petrov is set to take on his 16th year as a professional in 2016 after signing a one-year contract extension with Tinkoff-Saxo. The 37-year-old Russian turned pro with Mapei back in 2001 and has been with Tinkoff-Saxo since 2013, also riding under Oleg Tinkov at the Tinkoff Credit Systems team in 2007 and 2008.

"I'm very pleased to renew with Tinkoff Team for 2016. I have a long relation with Oleg Tinkov and it's always a pleasure for me to ride for his teams. I started back in 2007 and since 2013 I’ve been part of Tinkoff-Saxo. I look forward to supporting our leaders next season in all the races the team will need me," said Petrov in a statement from the team.

"If I am given the chance to have a leading role in a smaller race, I would also be delighted. However, if I were to choose my key strength as a rider that would be my team spirit. I am proud to help in whatever role the team considers the most appropriate."

Petrov finished seventh overall at the 2007 Giro d'Italia and he won a stage in the 2010 edition of the race. Since then his only win has come on the queen stage of the 2014 Tour of Austria, and he has largely performed support duties for teammates in recent years. 

“Evgeny is set for his 16th season as a pro rider and he’s one of the grounded and seasoned guys on our squad that can pass on experience to the younger riders," said Tinkoff-Saxo directeur sportif Steven de Jongh.

"His approach to training and preparation is serious - that’s important at this later stage of a rider’s career and during this season it has meant that Evgeny has played an important role in supporting our team leaders in especially the hillier or more mountainous one-week stage races. We are very confident in Evgeny’s level of motivation and the fact that he expressed a strong desire to stay on the team is also something of great importance."

Vantornout to miss Valkenburg and take a break

Belgian national cyclo-cross champion Klaas Vantornout has withdrawn from Sunday's Valkenburg cyclo-cross race - the second leg of the World Cup series.

The 33-year-old has had a disappointing start to the season, finishing outside of the top 10 in the first World Cup event, and also at Ronse and Ardooie. He will now take some time off the bike to get to the bottom of what is causing his poor form. 

"I will not keep muddling along, because that makes no sense. Nobody wants to see me at Valkenburg at the same level as in the last races," said Vantornout in a statement on the Sunweb-Napoleon Games team's website.

"I take care of myself two hundred percent, but my performance is substandard. I want to know the cause of it. I want to know what's wrong with my body, and therefore I take a few days off."

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