News shorts: Plaza to Lampre-Merida

The Lampre-Merida team announced that it has signed the experienced Spaniard Ruben Plaza from the Movistar team. The 34-year-old supported Alejandro Valverde in this year's Tour de France, and will now work for Rui Cos in the coming season.

Plaza has been a professional since 2001, signing first for Banesto and earning the Spanish national championship with the team before moving to the Comunidad Valenciana - Kelme squad. His career was interrupted by the 2006 Operación Puerto investigation into his team's involvement with the blood-doping clinic of Eufemiano Fuentes, but he was eventually cleared from prosecution and returned with Caisse d'Epargne in 2007.

Plaza was Spanish champion again in 2009 while with Liberty Seguros, and finished 11th in the 2010 Tour de France with Caisse d'Epargne, but broke his leg in a crash in the Vuelta Murcia in 2011 and missed the Tour that year.

Since then, Plaza has been mainly a climbing domestique, although he won the overall Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in 2013.

"Rubén enhanced his awareness of his skills and improve his experience to a good level," said Lampre manager Brent Copeland. "He’s a complete professional rider, we know we can entrust him the responsibility of the important role of supporter of the team captains."

Katusha to Tour of Beijing

The Katusha team announced its roster for the Tour of Beijing. The team will be represented by Sergei Chernetckii, Egor Silin, Vladimir Gusev, Pavel Kochetkov, Petr Ignatenko, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Anton Vorobyev and Rüdiger Selig.

Ista to Wallonie-Bruxelles

Belgian Kevyn Ista will take a step down from the Pro Continental ranks from IAM Cycling to the Belgian Continental squad Wallonie-Bruxelles in 2015.

Ista joins Grégory Habeaux (Wanty Groupe Gobert) in making the move.

Ista is best known for coming second in the 2009 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad behind Thor Hushovd, but also won a stage of the Tour Méditerranéen and the Route Adélie de Vitré. He was a past winner of the U23 Tour of Flanders.

Petty joins to USA Cycling board of directors

Former USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer Sean Petty was appointed by the organisation's Pro Committee as an At-Large member, taking the place of Chairman Bill Peterson. Subsequently, Petty was elected by the Pro Committee to also serve on the USA Cycling board of directors.

“Sean brings an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to the USA Cycling Board of Directors,” said Steve Johnson, President and CEO of USA Cycling. “His many years of experience and important relationships, both at home and abroad, will be extremely helpful as we continue to develop professional cycling in the U.S.”

The Bretagne-Séché Environnement squad announced the signing of two French riders, cyclo-cross specialist Matthieu Boulo and Frédéric Brun.

The acquisitions bring to 19 the number of riders on the team for 2015, including Jean-Marc Bideau, Matthieu Boulo, Frédéric Brun, neo-pro Maxime Cam, Anthony Delaplace, Pierrick Fédrigo, Brice Feillu, Romain Feillu, Armindo Fonseca, Arnaud Gérard, Florian Guillou, Jonathan Hivert, Yauheni Hutarovich, Benoît Jarrier, Christophe Laborie, neo-pro Kevin Ledanois, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Eduardo Sepulveda and Florian Vachon.

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