News shorts: Ferrand-Prévot out of Aviva Women's Tour

Ferrand-Pévot out of Aviva Women's Tour

Rabo-Liv’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will not race at the upcoming Aviva Women’s Tour set to start on Wednesday in Bury St Edmunds.

The current road and cyclo-cross world champion was expected to be at the race wearing the rainbow jersey, and was listed on the provisional roster. However, she has pulled out of Rabo-Liv's line-up.

Ferrand-Prévot has felt pain in her left leg for the past two months and she abandoned the mountain bike World Cup in Albstadt at the end of May. She was being treated for sciatica after an MRI showed that she had lumbar inflammation caused by fluid escaping from a joint. She was instructed to take 10 days to recover.

Rabo-Liv’s line-up for the Aviva Women’s Tour now includes Thalita De Jong, Anna Knauer, Roxane Knetemann, Anouska Koster and Moniek Tenniglo.

View the Aviva Women's Tour official start list here.

Ciolek and Sbaragli lead MTN-Qhubeka at Ster ZLM Toer

Kristian Sbaragli and Gerald Ciolek will lead the MTN-Qhubeka team at the upcoming Ster ZLM Toer set to start on Wednesday with a 6.4km prologue in Goes, Netherlands. The team will be looking for stage wins and a top place in the overall classification from their two leaders during the relatively flat five-day race.

“Our plan for the coming week is to look less at the other sprint teams and rely on our sprint,” said the team’s director Michel Cornelisse. “The last while maybe we have been looking at the other teams a bit much. We are going to prepare our own sprint and then a rider like Greipel can follow our wheel and not the other way around where we all fight for his wheel. It will be tough but we must fight.”

Sbaragli and Ciolek will have support from teammates Matt Goss, Youcef Reguigui, Andy Stauff, Matt Brammeier, Jaco Venter and Nic Dougall.

Astana-Acca Due O sack Solovey

Astana-Acca Due O announced on Tuesday that they have fired Ukrainian rider Anna Solovey, effective immediately. According to a team press release, she showed unprofessional behaviour that caused several organizational difficulties for the team and sponsors.

“We are sorry to have arrived at this point because we believe that Anna Solovey has great cycling qualities and she would have to be the top rider of the team for this season. But the situation was no longer sustainable: it's a matter of respect for us, the teammates, our sponsors and organizers of the races.”

Solovey is a high-profile rider who secured the silver medal in the time trial at the World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, last year. She is also a former junior world champion in the time trial, former national road champion and a two-time national time trial champion.

This is not the first controversy surrounding Solovey, who was suspended in 2011 for two years after retuning a positive test for the banned drug Drostanolone.

Bardiani-CSF rely on Bongiorno and Zardini at Tour de Slovenia

Manuel Bongiorno and Edoardo Zardini will be Bardiani-CSF's go-to general classification riders at the Tour de Slovenia held from June 18 to 21. The team will also rely on Andrea Piechele for the bunch sprints.  

Buongiorno won stage 3 of the Tour de Slovenia last year and is in top form for this year's race having recently finished second place in stage 18 at the Giro d'Italia.

"We go to Slovenie with a strong team that will have in the duo Bongiorno – Zardini two leaders in good shape. Both have to do the best in the stage 3 with a demanding mountain finish which will be decisive for the final general classification. While in the two arrivals for fast riders I expect to see Piechele between the best," said director Mirko Rossato in a team press release.

The team also includes Simone Andreetta, Andrea Manfredi, Luca Sterbini, Simone Sterbini and Alessandro Tonelli.

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