News shorts: Petacchi close to Neri-Sottoli deal

Petacchi set to sign for Neri-Sottoli

Alessandro Petacchi is set to continue his career into 2015 in the colours of Neri-Sottoli, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian, who will turn 41 in January, was deemed surplus to requirements by the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team at the end of this season but he has already expressed his desire to remain in the peloton for up to two more years.

Petacchi was signed by QuickStep primarily to serve as part of Mark Cavendish’s lead-out train and it is expected that he will carry out a similar role at Luca Scinto's Neri-Sottoli squad. Petacchi claimed victory at the GP Pino Cerami in April of this year.

Neri-Sottoli is also likely to sign Francesco Gavazzi after Astana opted not to renew his contract. Gavazzi's last victory came at the Tour of Beijing in 2012, when he won an impressive uphill sprint in the shadow of the Great Wall. The signings are expected to be confirmed formally in the coming days.

Gazzetta also reports that two of Sky's touted Italian signings will not now take place. Sonny Colbrelli will remain with Bardiani-CSF until the end of his existing contract, which expires at the end of 2015, despite speculation linking him with a move to Sky.

Davide Martinelli, who spent time as a stagiaire with Sky in 2012, will not sign with the British outfit for next season, despite reports earlier in the year which suggested that a deal had been struck. The son of Astana manager Giuseppe, Martinelli rides for Italian Continental outfit Colback.

Froome happy with 2014 campaign

Although his Tour de France defence was ended prematurely by a fractured wrist in the opening week, Chris Froome has declared himself pleased with his 2014 campaign. The Sky man returned to action in August to claim second overall at the Vuelta a España, and also enjoyed success earlier in the year at the Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie.

"I'm happy despite my disappointment at the Tour de France," Froome told RTBF. "I was able to recover from my injury and I did a good Vuelta, and I'd started my season well too."

Froome said that the turning point of his campaign was his crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné while wearing the yellow jersey of race leader in June. "I had a few physical problems after that," he said. "I had difficulties in preparing for the Tour de France after the Dauphiné, although I finally managed to get to the Tour in good condition. I was ready for the race but that [crashing] is part of the sport. Sometimes it's not your time and you don't have the luck that you need."

Froome reiterated that he is yet to decide on his racing programme for 2015, having floated the idea of missing the Tour in favour of the Giro d'Italia earlier this week. "I think anything is possible at this moment," he said.

"The Giro presents a really good opportunity with the parcours that they have. I've never been at top end of a Giro. But again the Tour could be a good opportunity for me, with a lot of climbing, which suits me really well also. We have to see exactly what the priority is going to be between myself and the team."

Terpstra on top at Six Days of Amsterdam

Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra is equally on the track and he duly demonstrated his versatility by topping the final standings at the Six Days of Amsterdam. The Dutchman and partner Yoeri Havik finished ahead of Pim Ligthart and Jasper De Buyst, who were unable to make up their one-lap deficit in a gripping final session on Saturday night. Nick Stöpler and Leif Lampater claimed third place.

Terpstra and Havik dedicated their victory to Havik's grandfather, Cees Stam, the derny rider who crashed during the second evening of racing and remains in hospital.

"After the crash of derny pacer Cees Stam, who is my teammate Yoeri's grandfather, it was important to support my teammate. He wanted to continue the race despite Stam being in the hospital with serious injuries. He was really dedicated to getting the best result possible and it makes this victory that much more special for Yoeri, and also myself," Terpstra said. "I hope Cees is doing well and send him my best wishes.

"It was a very hard six days and a spectacular final Madison. De Buyst and Ligthart kept attacking and attacking, which meant we had to struggle to defend our leadership. But this made it a great race for the public and for all of us riding."

Trott beats Vos in London Revolution meet

Laura Trott (Wiggle-Honda) won all six events to claim a dominant victory in the Omnium event at the Revolution track meeting in London at the weekend. The race was billed as a duel between Trott and Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv), and while the Dutchwoman impressed over the two nights, she had to settle for third place behind Katie Archibald (Pearl-Izumi).

Trott began the event with victory over Vos in the scratch race and they were also the last two women standing in the elimination race. On Saturday evening, Trott further augmented her advantage and put the seal on a pitch-perfect display with victory in the concluding points race.

"It was great to race against Marianne," Trott said. "She doesn't do much on the track, so it was very special for me. It was fun!"

Trott's victory came on the back of a narrow victory in the Omnium at the European Track Championships in Guadeloupe last week, where she pipped Jolien D'Hoore by just a solitary point.

"I'm really happy how things went after returning from Euros in Guadeloupe last week," Trott said. "That was a pretty hard race with so many girls. My form is good right now, and I hope I can continue like this in the next weeks and months.

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