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News shorts: Cavendish heads to Abu Dhabi despite injury

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Mark Cavendish on the stage 1 podium at the 2015 Tour of Britain.

Mark Cavendish on the stage 1 podium at the 2015 Tour of Britain. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Daniele Colli wins stage 4 of the Tour of China

Daniele Colli wins stage 4 of the Tour of China (Image credit: Nippo-Vini Fantini)
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Vasil Kiryienka waving the Belarus national flag above his head

Vasil Kiryienka waving the Belarus national flag above his head (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Stijn Devolder takes off after crashing.

Stijn Devolder takes off after crashing. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Yaroslav Popovych (Trek)

Yaroslav Popovych (Trek) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Cavendish looking forward to Abu Dhabi

Mark Cavendish will be watching the Abu Dhabi Tour rather than racing it this week but, as the race’s ambassador, he has headed out to the Middle East to take in the action. Cavendish ended his season early after a crash at the Tour of Britain required him to undergo surgery on his shoulder.

Despite having to sit this one out, he’s looking forward to watching what is set to be the last big hurrah for most of the peloton. “I’m really excited about the racing in the Abu Dhabi Tour as the season’s grand finale. It’s a beautiful country with a growing fan base in cycling,” said Cavendish.

“The organisers are putting on a great race that is sprinter-friendly, but with the overall winner being decided on stage 3 on the summit finish up Jebel Hafeet for sure. So there’s something for all the top riders and teams. The best and most unique stage of the race will be the final stage on the Yas Marina Formula 1 race track at night under lights – criterium-style racing with 20 laps of 5.5km. Brilliant for the fans and a special occasion for the riders and teams too. What a way to finish the race season for everyone.”

The Abu Dhabi Tour begins this Thursday 8 October, with the likes of Il Lombardia winner Vincenzo Nibali and Cavendish’s teammate Tom Boonen in the line-up.

Sky reveal Kiryienka’s rainbow stripes

Team Sky has published photos of Vasil Kiryienka’s new world champion’s skin suit. The pictures, posted on twitter, are just of the top half and the team asked fans if they would prefer black or white shorts.

The jersey is fairly traditional with the rainbow bands around the lower chest and a stopwatch in the centre. Along with the team’s sponsors, the Belarusian flag and 'Kiry' have been printed on the back, just below the collar.

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Trek extend with Devolder and Popovych

Two elder statesmen of the peloton, Stijn Devolder and Yaroslav Popovych, have penned extensions with Trek Factory Racing for 2016. The team will be relying on the pair as the backbone to their classics campaign. Devolder is a two-time winner of the Tour of Flanders and, in recent years, has played super-domestique to Fabian Cancellara. He has been with the team since 2013, following the demise of the Vacansoleil team.

“I am really glad that I could prolong my contract because at this point of my career I didn’t want to change teams anymore. I always need some time to adjust to a new environment and I genuinely feel good in this team so obviously I wanted to stay with Trek Factory Racing Team,” Devolder said in a team press release.

He went on to deny any thoughts of retirement. “No, I don’t think about the end of my career yet. Honestly, I hope I can add still a few more years.”

Popovych was one of several riders to move over when RadioShack merged with Leopard Trek, after joining the American team in 2010. “Like always I am very happy to have the possibility to ride with this team, with these guys. My main goal is to work hard and to help the guys to win the races. That is my work, and I like to do that. I am happy to be able to end my career with them,” he said.

Colli wins again in China

After suffering a horrific injury at the Giro d’Italia, Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) is enjoying a successful end to the season after notching up his second victory in the space of a month. Colli took victory in stage four of the Tour of China, earning him the leader’s jersey too.

“Two victories in one month are a great satisfaction,” said Colli. "After the one of the Tour de Hokkaido, this in a personal level is also most important because has been a long day with a good sprint in the final. Now I have also the leader jersey, it will be hard to maintain it in the next hard stage, but I’m in a good condition so anything is possible.”

Colli broke his arm during a sprint finish at the Giro when he hit a fan’s camera poking over the barriers. It was the same crash that brought down Alberto Contador, who dislocated his shoulder in the incident.