News shorts: Possible replacements for Riis, Neylan signs for Orica-AIS

Potential replacements for Riis

Following the confirmation that directeur sportif Bjarne Riis had been temporarily suspended from duty at Tinkoff-Saxo while he sorts out his differences with team boss Oleg Tinkov, speculation has already begun as to who could replace the Dane.

Spanish website Biciciclismo has put forward the Italian Omar Piscina as a lead contender for the job, if Riis was to lose his job all together. Piscina, who currently works for the Continental Team Idea 2010 ASD team, has worked with Tinkov in the past as a directeur sportif at the Russian’s previous cycling venture Tinkoff Credit Systems.

Neylan signs for Orica-AIS

Rachel Neylan will return to professional racing after signing with the Orica-AIS team for the remainder of the 2015 season. Neylan, who finished second in women’s road race at the 2012 World Champioinships, has been without a professional team since the end of 2013. She’s enjoyed one of her strongest seasons to date, taking second at the Australian national championships and winning the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Road Race.

“I am everything - happy, thrilled, proud and honoured to be part of ORICA-AIS in what is a pivotal and timely step forward in my cycling career,” said Neylan in a team press release. “I have worked hard to build consistency in my cycling in the past couple of years and winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was a game changer for me.

“To sign with ORICA-AIS was the icing on the cake after a great start to the season.”

The signing of Neylan comes after Emma Johansson recently broke her collarbone in a crash. Neylan will make her debut with Orica-AIS at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday March 29.

MTN-Qhubeka for Dwars door Vlaanderen

MTN-Qhubeka have named their team for the up and coming Dwars door Vlaanderen, with the South African outfit going for a three pronged attack. Theo Bos, Matt Goss and recent Tour de Langkawi victor Youcef Reguigui all provide potential options for the team in the final sprint.

German rider Andreas Stauff will make his first racing appearance for the team since breaking his collarbone at the Mallorca Challenge in February. Matt Brammeier, Jay Thompson and Nic Dougal will complete the line-up for the team.

MTN-Qhubeka for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Theo Bos, Matt Goss, Youcef Reguigui, Andreas Stauff, Matt Brammeier, Jay Thompson and Nic Dougal.

Second win for Wippert in Taiwan

Dutch rider Wouter Wippert (Drapac) claimed his second sprint victory in the Tour de Taiwan on Tuesday, beating Ioannis Tamouridis (Synergy Baku) to the line in Changua County on stage 3.

"Our boys did a great job today. They were patient and let the GC teams control the race until the last 20km. When the break got down to about a minute, we put a few guys out front to close the final gap. At the finish, Wouter used his experience from last year to time his effort perfectly. Today was a solid win for the guys," Tom Southam, Sports Director said.

Wippert won the opening stage and held the leader's jersey for one day before losing it to New Zealand's Patrick Bevin, who still leads the overall classification.

"Our team is working well together and it showed today. Travis brought me in the top 10 as planned in the last corner and i waited patiently and finished the great team work off," Wippert said.

Wippert made his claim to fame earlier this year in the Tour Down Under, when he won the final stage in Adelaide.


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