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News shorts: Caja Rural license renewed, Pliuschin to Synergy Baku

New Pro Conti license for Caja Rural

The Spanish Pro Continental team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA has been granted a licence by the UCI, the team announced today. The team passed an audit by Ernst & Young clearing the way for its renewal for the 2015 season.

Caja Rural was one of 17 teams applying for the Professional Continental ranks, together with Androni, Bardiani CSF, Bora – Argon 18 (currently known as NetApp), Bretagne Seche Environment, CCC Polkowice, Cofidis Solutions Credits, Cult Energy Pro Cycling, Drapac Professional Cycling, Nippo - Vini Fantini, Roompot Orange Cycling Team, Rusvelo, Team Novo Nordisk, TopSport Vlaanderen, UnitedHealthCare Professional Cycling Team, Wanty Groupe Gobert and Yellow Fluo.

The team said it passed the financial, ethical and administrative criteria to be renewed. The news clears the way for the team to be considered for wild card invitations to the Grand Tours.

More license news to follow.

Pliuschin joins Synergy Baku

Four time Molodovan road champion Alexandre Pliuschin will race for the Pro-Continental team Synergy-Baku in 2015. The 29-year-old has previously ridden for Ag2r-La Mondiale, Katusha, Leopard-Trek Continental Team, IAM Cycling and Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling since turning pro in 2008.

"I'm very pleased that I'll have a chance to ride next season under Baku Synergy colours. It means a lot to me – trust, honour, responsibility," Pliuschin said in a statement from his new team.

Pliuschin, who rode the 2010 Tour de France with Katusha, has been brought on board as an experienced cyclist who will mentor the younger riders on the team.

"I am very much looking forward to sharing my experience in the European peloton with the Azeri riders, and helping them earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games," he said. "Experience is a big thing, but first thing that counts is motivation. I have my experience, my potential, and next year I'll transform it into team success."

The addition of Pliuschin has excited team manager David McQuaid belivies who is looking forward to working with next season.

"Alexandr is an extremely experienced rider at 27 years. I met with him back in August and we discussed the opportunity," said McQuaid. "I'm not sure I have ever met more a motivated cyclist. He will prove to be a good role model for the younger talents in the team."

"Due to a lack of a race programme with his 2014 team, he has been training a lot and we have linked him up with a trainer. All the data that is coming back looks good and I've no doubt that Alex will fit in, not only in terms of personality but also working towards common goals, which is something really important for any new signing."

Lucas Sebastian Haedo joins Jamis Hagens Berman for 2015

Argentinian sprinter Lucas Sebastian Haedo will move to the American Jamis Hagens Berman team in 2015 after one season with the Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling team according to ciclismointernacional. The 31-year-old previously spent three seasons with the Saxo Bank team before moving to Canndondale for the 2013 season before stepping down to Continental level this year with the UAE squad.

Haedo's brother Juan Jose spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the American team but announced his retirement from the sport earlier in the year. The two brothers raced together with the Saxo Bank team

Wiasak to ride for Wiggle-Honda for remainder of 2014

Australian Rebecca Wiasak will ride in the orange and black colours of Wiggle-Honda for the remainder of 2014 representing the team in various criterium events.

"I'm extremely excited about watching Rebecca race with Wiggle Honda," said managing rirector Rochelle Gilmore. "I've stood and watched Bec from a distance, analysing her persona and professionalism, and after last summer in Australia I decided that I'd love her to represent our team and partners."

The 30-year-old individual pursuit specialist is currently in Guadalajara, Mexico where the first round of the 2014/15 Track World Cup is being held this weekend but is looking forward to racing on the road with the team over the Australian summer.

"I was very honoured and humbled when Rochelle asked me to be part of Wiggle Honda," said Wiasak. "It has been a dream to sign a professional contract but I had never pursued that path because of my focus on the track the past two years.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and I feel privileged to be involved with such a professional and successful team. I admire what Rochelle has achieved with the Wiggle Honda team and secretly dreamt of being in her team since I started cycling, back when it was the Australian-based Honda Dream Team. I can't wait to wear the black and orange."

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