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News shorts: Quintana honoured by King of Spain, Readers reject Contador's Grand Tour tally

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Nairo Quintana receives his award from the King of Spain

Nairo Quintana receives his award from the King of Spain
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Lars Van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin)

Lars Van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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France's Samuel Dumoulin reads a statement to journalists, flanked by teammates of the France's AG2R La Mondiale cycling team.

France's Samuel Dumoulin reads a statement to journalists, flanked by teammates of the France's AG2R La Mondiale cycling team.
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Vegard Breen (Norway)

Vegard Breen (Norway) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Alberto Contador ahead of the 2012 road race

Alberto Contador ahead of the 2012 road race (Image credit: Getty Images)

Quintana presented with award by King of Spain

Nairo Quintana has been honoured by the Spanish state for his contribution to sport, receiving an award from King Felipe VI on Tuesday. The Colombian was at a ceremony at Madrid’s royal palace to receive the Trofeo Comunidad Iberoamericana, or Latin American Community Trophy, under the national sporting awards for 2014.

The award goes to ‘the Latin American sportsperson who has distinguished themselves most during the year, through their international sporting actions’, with special weighting to athletes or coaches operating in Spanish teams and set-ups. Quintana, who rides for the Spanish Moivstar team, won his first Grand Tour in 2014 at the Giro d’Italia, along with overall success at the Tour de San Luis and the Vuelta a Burgos.

“I was proud to be able to share the occasion with such great sportspeople, and shake the hand of the King, whom I’d never had the privilege of talking to before,” said Quintana, who is now heading back to Colombia for the winter. “I’m heading back to Colombia very satisfied with what I’ve done this year, and that the path we’re on has been recognised. Now it’s time to rest for a few days and start the preparation for 2016, which will be a year of big challenges.”

Cyclingnews readers reject Contador's Grand Tour tally

Cyclingnews readers narrowly rejected Alberto Contador's professed nine Grand Tour victory count. In a 51-49 percent vote in our Twitter poll, our readers say that the 2011 Giro d'Italia and 2010 Tour de France from which he was disqualified for a Clenbuterol positive do not count.

The arguments were split along the lines of, "Has Le Maitre Jaques won 5 TdF? If so, Contador has won 9 Grand Tours", "Let's put it this way ... if Rogers & others got off free for much more clenbuterol in their system, then Contador deserves 9", and "Yes, he did. You can take the titles away but not the wins. Great champion!" and the counter-argument, "If he has, Armstrong has won 7 TdF".


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Inside a cyclo-cross pit lane with Giant-Alpecin

Cyclo-cross races are often madcap, frantic affairs and Giant-Alpecin have made a video that showcases some of this madness. Not that involving the actual rider, but the slightly behind-the-scenes action of the pit lane.

Pit lanes are used in cyclo-cross for riders to swap bikes, or to perform any technical repairs necessary. The video below shows Lars van der Haar at the Superprestige Gavere as he performs a bike change. He jumps off his bike and straight onto another one being held out by a support staff member.

A mechanic takes the original bike and runs with it to a cleaning station, where he gives it a good spray with the pressure hose to remove the build-up of claggy mud before running back to get ready for when the rider rolls round again. 

AG2R La Mondiale unveil 2016 kit

The AG2R La Mondiale team have changed clothing providers for the 2016 season, and have unveiled the new jersey that riders will be wearing next year. 

Finnish company One Way are replacing Descente as the French WorldTour team's official clothing partner and we have received a first glimpse of the 2016 jersey, which will be debuted at the Tour de San Luis in January.  The design has not changed drastically, but the biggest novelty is the sleeves, which are different colours. The right arm is brown, as both sleeves have been in the past, but the left arm is light blue - a continuation of the 'earth and sky' theme.

"I have known One Way since its involvement with the French national cross country team," said team boss Vincent Lavenu in a statement. "It's a serious brand, well-versed in the demands of elite sport. Our team has always worked with top of the range technical partners.

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