Chaves cramps at critical point in Il Lombardia
When the main group of favourites hit the final climb with under 10km to go in Il Lombardia on Sunday, Esteban Chaves made a surging acceleration. With eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali not far up the road and in the lead, it looked a promising move, but was over before it had really begun as the Colombian cramped up and slowed dramatically.
Having ridden impressively to get himself in the mix in one of the toughest one-day races of the year, the 25-year-old's chances of victory went out of the window, but he still managed to hang on for eighth place, prompting bittersweet feelings at the finish line.
"I'm happy because a top-10 in a big race is really good. But whey you stay really close to the first position and you can't win, it's disappointing," Chaves told Cyclingnews. "That's normal – every rider wants to win. Today when I tried to attack to close gap to Nibali, I cramped on the last climb. That's how it is, sometimes you can stay, sometimes not."
The result comes as part of an encouraging latter portion of the season for Chaves, who had a breakthrough Vuelta a Espana in which he won two stages, wore the leader's jersey for spells, and finished fifth overall.
"It is a really good season. It's not finished yet – I do Abu Dhabi – but the last past of the season is really good for me and also for the team," he continued. "I’m happy. It's important to keep working for the next seasons."
Holm won't follow Cavendish from Etixx to MTN
Brian Holm has put an end to speculation that he might follow Mark Cavendish from Etixx-QuickStep to the Dimension Data team (formerly MTN-Qhubeka), signing an extension to stay in his role as directeur sportif at the Belgian outfit, according to TV 2.
Cavendish's transfer was accompanied by the signings of Mark Renshaw and Bernard Eisel and there was talk of an extended reunion of those who formed part of the highly successful HTC Highroad set-up, which folded at the end of 2011. Holm was on that team's staff and and has worked alongside Cavendish across the most successful year's of the Manxman's career, including at Etixx, but despite weighing up a move he decided he is happy where he is.
"We have agreed that I will continue to Etixx-QuickStep for two more years. I've been there since HTC-Highroad closed in 2012. I have spoken to some other teams, but in the end I have done what I tell my riders you must never do - I have let the emotions speak," said Holm.
"It's personal relationships. It's people I love and trust. The reality is about much more than racing. It is everything that is going on, even when there are no races. It takes a few years to build a good working relationship, so I will not leave the good thing that I have.
"There have been things written that I should follow Mark, and I can well understand that. But we split all up now. It hurts more than I had expected."
Two more years for Bewley at Orica-GreenEdge
The Kiwi rider joined the team when it formed in 2012 but his progress has been hampered by a string of injuries. This year, though, he has racked up 75 race days and tasted success in the form of team time trial victory at the Giro d'Italia.
"This has been my best season so far. I've had a year without interruptions and injuries and that has made a big difference," said the 28-year-old in a statement from the team.
Bewley will finish his season at the Abu Dhabi Tour this week and is keen to continue to improve as a domestique in 2016, though he is also starting to eye up his own opportunities.
"I am very excited to have two more years in this team. It gives me the opportunity to do some new things, some different races and keep improving in my role. I work hard for the leaders at races and it's a job I get a lot of satisfaction from and want to continue to do that well. I also feel like it's time to take a few of my own chances. Everyone has their time in this team and it's up to the rider to take those opportunities. I would like to do that also."
Fiuggi extend Bardiani-CSF sponsorship
Cycling teams have faced a struggle in recent years to prove to sponsors that they represent worthwhile investment, but the Bardiani-CSF team seem to have struck a decent relationship with Acqua & Terme di Fiuggi.
It was announced on Monday that the Italian water company would continue its sponsorship of the team - in effect since 2014 - for a further two years.
"The presence of our brand beside the youngest cycling team in the world, produced a superb brand awareness, not only at the Giro d’Italia but also in several countries where Fiuggi is present and is growing," said Acqua & Terme di Fiuggi chief executive Francesco Pannone.
Roberto Reverberi, Bardiani–CSF team manager, added: "If we analyze the R.O.I. of Fiuggi's sponsorship, we can see clearly the goodness of this sponsorship that we’re sure will continue to grow in the next years."
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