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News shorts: Degenkolb leads Giant-Alpecin Vuelta a Espana line-up

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John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) won four stages and the green sprinters jersey

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) won four stages and the green sprinters jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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David Boucher in the breakaway

David Boucher in the breakaway (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) wins stage 2 of the Tour of Poland

Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) wins stage 2 of the Tour of Poland (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin) comes to California looking for fitness after his early season crash.

Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin) comes to California looking for fitness after his early season crash. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Tom Dumoulin puts on the white jersey of the Tour's best young rider after stage 2.

Tom Dumoulin puts on the white jersey of the Tour's best young rider after stage 2.

Degenkolb leads Giant-Alpecin in Vuelta a España

Giant-Alpecin will head to the Vuelta a España later this month looking for a reprise of John Degenkolb's points classification victory there last year. Rather than target the overall classification, Giant-Alpecin will focus on the sprint stages and the time trial with Tom Dumoulin, who crashed out of the Tour de France.

The team will also focus on stage wins in the puncheur-style finishes, with American Lawson Craddock on fine form after the Tour de Pologne, where he animated the queen stage and took third.

Degenkolb has nine career Vuelta stage wins in his two career starts in the Spanish Grand Tour, and will have a strong lead-out train to help him add to his tally.

"Our main goal is to go for stage success with John, as we targeted at the Tour," coach Christian Guiberteau said. "With Koen [de Kort], Luka [Mezgec], Zico [Waeytens] and Tom [Dumoulin] we have a strong lead-out for John. With Lawson we are working towards the longer-term development, and will not target specific GC ambitions but rather we aim to help him learn how to behave as GC rider.

"We have shown at the Giro and Tour that we are ready to take any opportunities as they come and on the in-between stages we will look to profit from the breakaway opportunities. In addition we have Tom D here who will look to target the TT along with the classics style stages."

Giant-Alpecin for the Vuelta a España: Lawson Craddock, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, Johannes Fröhlinger, Thierry Hupond, Koen de Kort, Luka Mezgec, Tom Stamsnijder, Zico Waeytens. Reserves: Bert De Backer and Cheng Ji.

Boucher booted from Eneco Tour for going in breakaway

David Boucher has apparently been told he must leave the Eneco Tour by his FDJ squad because he defied team orders and attacked during stage 3. The Frenchman vented his frustrations on Twitter in both French and Dutch, saying. "Proud of myself, and I'm not the only one. I have to give up and go home now. Decision of the team as punishment. Very pleased to have been supported by the DS and all riders from the peloton, thank you. #Solidarité and bravo Arnaud for his 2nd place."

Boucher entered into the break on the 171.9km stage from Beveren to Ardooie, together with Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and spent most of the day off the front before being reeled in with 20km to go.

FDJ's lead-out train could not be assembled in the finale, and Arnaud Demare was left to go solo. He started his sprint too early, and was overtaken by Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) before the line.

Boucher stated on Twitter last week that FDJ had not renewed his contract.

Pelucchi leads the line for IAM Cycling at Vuelta a España

Fresh from two stage wins at the Tour de Pologne, Matteo Pelucchi will lead IAM Cycling’s hunt for stage wins at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway in Marbella on August 22. Pelucchi will be able to rely on David Tanner and Vicente Reynes to guide him in sprint finishes, while the rest of the team is made up of a blend of youth and experience.

Sylvain Chavanel will line up for his third Grand Tour of the season at the Vuelta. The Frenchman will leave IAM Cycling at the end of 2015 and is yet to confirm his destination for next year. He is joined in the squad by his compatriot Jérôme Coppel.

American Larry Warbasse, who joined from BMC at the start of the current campaign, is among the youngsters included in the line-up, alongside Marcel Aregger and Simon Pellaud.

“Matteo has proved his level of fitness with two wins at the Tour of Poland, and he should be able to figure in the sprint finishes,” said IAM Cycling sports manager Rik Verbrugghe. “Consequently, our goal for this Vuelta will be to be present and aggressive everyday with our younger riders, as well as to win a stage.”

IAM Cycling team for the Vuelta a España: Marcel Aregger (Swi), Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Jérôme Coppel (Fra), Thomas Degand (Bel), Simon Pellaud (Swi), Matteo Pelucchi (Ita), Vicente Reynes (Spa), David Tanner (Aus) and Larry Warbasse (USA).

Tinkoff-Saxo about to announce contract extensions

The Tinkoff-Saxo team confirmed today it will keep at least 14 of its current team for the coming season, and will begin to announce contract extensions on Thursday. Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan head up this core group of riders, with some key names still awaiting confirmation they will be renewed.

Ivan Basso, Daniele Bennati, Maciej Bodnar, Pavel Brutt, Alberto Contador, Robert Kiserlovski, Roman Kreuziger, Rafal Majka, Sergio Paulihno, Michael Rogers, Ivan Rovny, Juraj Sagan, Peter Sagan and Michael Valgren are all still under contract with the team, but there are 16 riders still negotiating.

“Together with some of the soon-to-be-announced extensions, these riders, obviously, form the core group upon which we will build the squad that will tackle the next season's challenging goals," directeur sportif Stephen De Jongh said. "Whether 2015 is their first year with Tinkoff-Saxo or they have been with us for many years, I'm happy and privileged to head such a select group of riders."

Christopher Juul-Jensen has already been announced as moving to Orica-GreenEdge, while Chris Anker Sørensen's agent was in talks with Bora-Argon 18 earlier this season. Other key riders not under contract yet are Tour of Denmark stage winners Matti Breschel and Michael Mørkøv, Contador's mountain domestique Jesus Hernandez, Edward Beltran, Manuele Boaro, Jesper Hansen, Michael Kolar, Jay McCarthy, Evgeni Petrov, Bruno Pires, Pawel Poljanski, Matteo Tosatto, Nikolay Trusov and Oliver Zaugg.

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