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News shorts: Gaviria courted by WorldTour, Greipel and Valverde to Mallorca

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Fernando Gaviria (Colombian National Team) wins stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis

Fernando Gaviria (Colombian National Team) wins stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Contador's Vuelta-winning Specialized S-Works Tarmac

Contador's Vuelta-winning Specialized S-Works Tarmac (Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Nicholas Dougall's personalised jersey

Nicholas Dougall's personalised jersey (Image credit: MTN-Qhubeka)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) came back from a fractured leg to win the Vuelta

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) came back from a fractured leg to win the Vuelta (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Alejandro Valverde gets the win up Willunga Hill

Alejandro Valverde gets the win up Willunga Hill (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Andre Griepel on the podium

Andre Griepel on the podium (Image credit:

Gaviria courted for WorldTour

After getting the better of Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) in two stages of the Tour de San Luis, young Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria reportedly captured the attention of the AG2R La Mondiale team.

The 20-year-old is a double track world champion as a junior and the U23 Pan American champion, with a World Cup victory in the track omnium at the elite level. Gaviria was in fine form in Argentina, as he gears up for the Track World Championships in February, but his promise was evident even while up against the likes of Cavendish and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), who have yet to hit their stride in 2015.

Although Gaviria has said he would remain with the Colombian national team through 2015, he will have no shortage of suitors in the WorldTour for next season. L'Equipe reported that AG2R's director Arturas Kasputis already met with Gaviria in San Luis to extend an offer for a future contract.

MTN-Qhubeka personalizes jerseys

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has gone one step further with their jersey designs, personalizing them with one letter of the alphabet for each rider. The intent is to allow fans to better-spot their favourite team rider during races, for example, Nic Dougall will be wearing the letter “U”.

A - Andreas Stauff
B - Theo Bos
C - Gerald Ciolek
D - Daniel Teklehaimont
E - Edvald Boasson Hagen
F - Tyler Farrar
G - Matt Goss
I - Matt Brammeier
J - Jacques Janse van Rensburg
K - Kristian Sbaragli
L - Louis Meintjes
M - Merhawi Kudus
N - Adrien Niyonshuti
P - Serge Pauwels
Q - Songezo Jim
R - Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
S - Steve Cummings
T - Jay Thomson
U - Nicolas Dougall
V - Jaco Venter
X - Natnael Berhane
Y - Youcef Reguigui
Z - Johann van Zyl

Contador’s Vuelta-winning bike on auction for charity

Tinkoff-Saxo will auction off the Specialized S-Works Tarmac that Alberto Contador rode on to win the 2014 Vuelta a España. The auction start at 08:00 CET on Wednesday and conclude at 20:00 CET on Sunday, and will take place on the team’s website. Funds will be donated to the non-profit Matonyok Parents Trust Orphanage.

The team made a donation the orphanage during their pre-season camp to Kilimanjaro in November, where staff and riders, including Contador and Peter Sagan, hiked up the Tanzanian mountain. The orphanage began in 2005 and looks after children from the age of 2 to 17.

Greipel and Valverde to open 2015 season in Mallorca

German sprinter André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Spanish all-rounder Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) have both announced that they will begin their 2015 seasons at the Mallorca Challenge.

The Mallorca races start with the Trofeo Ses Salines (January 29), Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (January 30), Trofeo Muro (January 31) and Trofeo Palma (February 1).

Greipel announced on his website that he will not race in all four events, rather only the first two races and the final race. He also said that he will use the events for training. “First and foremost I would like to take the opportunity to further build my form. The preparation has gone very well and now I am looking forward to the first race.”

Valverde will also start his season in Mallorca, which will be the first race of the year for them in Europe. The Spaniard won the overall WorldTour title last year and will be looking for a strong start to the season. He will lead a team of 12 riders through the four events including Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti, John Gadret, Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre, Javi Moreno, José Joaquín Rojas, Fran Ventoso, Giovanni Visconti and Rory Sutherland.