News shorts: Nibali on the €1 million challenge, Vandewalle injured

Nibali on the €1 million challenge

Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali has responded to the challenge laid down by Tinkoff-Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov, who offered up €1 million to each of the top competitors to compete in each of the three Grand Tours.

On Twitter, Nibali said ""Se io fossi in @olegtinkov il milione di € lo utilizzerei per costruire giovani squadre per un grande futuro!!" (If I was Oleg Tinkov, I'd use the €1 million to build development teams for a great future."

Tinkov later replied in Italian, "Why or? I could do both!" Team manager Stefano Feltrin replied, "if you race @giroditalia Oleg will bankroll an u23 team!"

Vandewalle hit by a car

Trek's Kristoff Vandewalle has called an end to his 2014 season after being hit by a car near his home."After a motivated late-season training of 4h, I got hit by a car. So my season ends like this," he said on Twitter, including a photo of himself at a hospital with abrasions on his face.

The Belgian time trial champion suffered a fractured scaphoid bone in his hand and an injury to his knee.

Bora signs three

Team Bora, which emerged from the current NetApp-Endura squad, announced today the signing of Christoph Pfingsten, from the De Rijke squad. The former cyclo-cross specialist joins German sprinters Ralf Matzka and Michael Schwarzmann, who extended with the team through the end of 2015.

"After he started to concentrate more on road racing, Christoph scored quite some results in smaller races, such as his win in the prologue to the Flèche du Sud this year," team manager Ralph Denk said. "The key factor for us is primarily his versatility. With his skills and his power Christoph can race in both our classics program and in shorter stage races."

USA Cycling announces NCC and NRC calendars

USA Cycling released the full National Criterium and National Racing Calendars for the 2015 season yesterday. The NCC adds three events including Tampa's Gasparilla Criterium on March 21, the Littleton, Colorado criterium on July 18, the Rochester Twilight Criterium on August 15, and the Connecticut Cycling Festival in Hartford on September 20.

The Winston-Salem criterium moves to May 30 from its previous April date, which will now be taken by the US Pro criterium championships in Greenville, SC on April 18. The Charlotte Novant Health Criterium will precede nationals by a week on April 11. The Manhattan Beach GP moves from June to July 27, and the Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium is no longer on the calendar.

The NRC remains largely the same, except that the Cascade Classic, which came in doubt for 2015 after losing its sponsor, is not longer part of the series.

NCC for 2015:
Mar 21: Gasparilla Criterium and Action Sports Festival, Tampa, Fla.
Mar 28: Sunny King Criterium, Anniston, Ala.
Apr 11: Novant Health Invitational Criterium, Charlotte, N.C.
May 3: Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling, Dana Point, Calif.
May 16: Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington, Del.
May 25: Tour of Somerville, Somerville, N.J.
May 30: Winston-Salem Classic Criterium, Winston-Salem, N.C.
May 30: Glencoe Grand Prix, Glencoe, Ill.
Jun 7: Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Jun 12-14: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, Tulsa, Okla.
Jun 13-14: Air Force Association Cycling Classic, Arlington, Va.
Jul 11: Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium, Boise, Idaho
Jul 18: Littleton Criterium, Littleton, Colo.
Jul 25: Intelligentsia Cup, Lake Bluff, Ill.
Aug 15: Rochester Twilight Criterium, Rochester, N.Y.
Aug 22: Chris Thater Memorial, Binghamton, N.Y.
Sep 4-7: TSG Realty Gateway Cup, St. Louis, Mo.
Sep 19: TD Bank Mayor's Cup, Boston, Mass.
Sep 20: Connecticut Cycling Festival, Hartford, Conn.

NRC for 2015
Apr 8-12: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands, Calif.
Apr 23-26: Joe Martin Stage Race p/b Nature Valley (UCI 2.2), Fayetteville, Ark.
Apr 29-May 3: Tour of the Gila (UCI 2.2), Silver City, N.M.
May 31: Winston-Salem Cycling Classic (UCI 1.2), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Jun 7: Philly Cycling Classic (UCI 1.2), Philadelphia, Pa.
Jun 18-21: North Star Grand Prix, Minneapolis, Minn.
Sep 12: Thompson Bucks County Classic (UCI 1.2, men only), Doylestown, Pa.



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