Keisse confident in Cavendish at Ghent
Iljo Keisse says that he is confident his new teammate Mark Cavendish can help him to his sixth victory at the Ghent Six Days later this month. "I think he will be in better shape than in the other editions. It is to his credit that he wants to get involved here and I know what he has done before. He would like to take revenge for what happened in the past," Keisse told Sporza.
It is the first time that the two Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammates will ride on the track together, but this will be Keisse's 10th appearance at the race. Cavendish also has track pedigree with two world championships in the Madison, in 2005 and 2008. He famously was the only British male track cyclist to miss out on a medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in the Madison with his partner Bradley Wiggins. Cavendish attempted a return to the track last year, but was blocked by team manager Patrick Lefevere.
Despite the long lay-off from the boards, Keisse thinks that they should be able to hit the ground running on November 18. "We can work out a couple of days this week it will become more automatic, but Cavendish is experienced enough on the track," he explained. "I expect few problems, he will just have to get used to the track here in Ghent. That is different than anywhere else and the atmosphere is unprecedented in the Kuipke."
GP Camaiore no more
The GP Camaiore has become the latest Italian race to fall by the wayside, after it was confirmed that it would not take place in 2015. The organisers have instead signed an agreement with Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport to host the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in future years. The race was inaugurated in 1949, but only turned professional in 1966. Traditionally it was held in August, but organisers moved it to the much earlier slot of February in 2013. Over the years the race winners have included the cream of Italian racing, including Paolo Bettini and Vincenzo Nibali. Diego Ulissi won the last edition ahead of Matteo Montaguti.
Kern ends career at 24
AG2R-La Mondale rider Julian Kern, 24, has decided to call an end to his fledgling career after failing to secure a new contract. The German rider turned professional with the French team in 2013, after riding for the Leopard Trek Continental team, but has failed to secure a victory in that time.
"Since my contract with the French team AG2R - La Mondiale expires at the end and I have a present no other Pro Tour or Pro Continental team offer, I will finish my career with the completion of the 2014 season," Kern said in a statement issued to the press. "This step is not easy, but I am not quite sure it is wrong for me. I look forward to a time with more a more regulated daily routine and will simultaneously miss the adventures and the ups and downs of professional sports."
Ratti cleared of doping
Former Mapei rider Eddy Ratti has been cleared of doping by a court in the Italian city of Lodi, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Ratti tested positive for EPO after an out of competition test in January 2010, he was subsequently fired by his De Rosa-Stac Plastic team. He was later banned for two years by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal and ordered to pay a fine of €8,000. Ratti launched an appeal against the decision in 2012, citing a lack of evidence.
Ratti turned professional in 2000 with Mapei-QuickStep and claimed a total of 10 victories throughout his career. His biggest success was winning the Tre Valli Varesine ahead of Danilo di Luca in 2008.
Ferrari extends with Lampre
Roberto Ferrari has extended his stay in the WorldTour for at least another season, after signing a new contract with Lampre-Merida. The 31-year-old sprinter joined the team in 2013, but has failed to take a victory since. His biggest victory to date was a stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2012.
"Roberto is a generous rider and his skills make him a precious cyclists, since he can exploit the support of his team mates, can fight against the opponents lead-out trains and can be an effective help for his team mates in the achieve of their goals. His presence in the 2015 roster will give an extra value to our group of the sprinters," said Lampre-Merida team manager Brent Copeland.
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