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News shorts: Team Sky commits to Volta ao Algarve, Chassot nominated as of head of AIOCC

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The 2015 Volta ao Algarve winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

The 2015 Volta ao Algarve winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) takes solo win in Gastown

Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) takes solo win in Gastown
(Image credit: Gastown Grand Prix )
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Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare) in the KOM jersey

Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare) in the KOM jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) wins stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) wins stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Team Sky commits to Volta ao Algarve in February

Team Sky is the latest of nine WorldTour teams to confirm their participation at the Volta ao Algarve held from February 17-21 in Portugal.

The other eight WorldTour teams that have already confirmed with race organizers are Movistar, Team Katusha, Astana, Cannondale, Lotto Soudal, Lotto NL-Jumbo, Tinkoff and Trek Factory Racing.

That adds to the six Professional Continental teams that have already committed to the race, including Bora-Argon 18, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Novo Nordisk, Roth-Skoda, Rusvelo and Verva ActiveJet.

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas won the overall title in this year's edition of the race, ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) and Tiago Machado (Katusha).

BC Superweek adds new Port Coquitlam event, on five-year term

The loss of the second event in a eight-event series that make up the popular BC Superweek has been filled by the PoCo Grand Prix, to be held in the City of Port Coquitlam on July 12. Port Coquitlam has signed a five-year agreement to be a host city for BC Superweek, according to an announcement on Thursday. 

“On behalf of BC Superweek, I would like to welcome the City of Port Coquitlam as the newest member of the series," said Cycling Canada President, John Tolkamp. "It is exciting to see the week-long series continue to grow and we are equally excited to have the City of Port Coquitlam engaged and committed in hosting a first-class event that exemplifies the standards of BC Superweek.”

BC Superweek features more than $120,000 in prize money, with eight races over nine days. This year the series will be held from July 8-17. The PoCo Grand Prix will be held on the second day of the series, joining the Tour de Delta, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development, and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock.

Richard Chassot named as General Director of Race organisers association AIOCC

Following last week’s general assembly in Hamburg, where the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC) decided to oppose the planned reforms of the WorldTour and called for smaller teams in races, Richard Chassot has been named as the association's new Director General.

The decision was taken by the AIOCC management board and confirmed with a one-line announcement.

Following a series of disputes with the UCI regarding the reforms of professional cycling, AIOCC admitted it needed to be better structured. AIOCC is dominated by Tour de France organiser ASO due to members having one vote for every race they organise.

Chassot is a former Swiss professional rider and has been the director of the Tour de Romandie since 2007. He was also President of the Swiss Cycling Federation from 2012 to 2013.

Lampre-Merida add Federico Zurlo to 2016 roster

After securing WorldTour or Professional Continental licences for 2016, several teams have finalised their rosters.

In Italy, Lampre-Merida have added Federico Zurlo, giving the 21-year-old Italian a two-year contract. He raced for UnitedHealthcare in 2015 after riding with the US team as a stagiaire in 2014. Zurlo has yet to win a race as a professional and is expected to part of Lampre-Merida’s Classics squad in 2016.

"After the exciting introduction to the pro world I had in the past two seasons, now I have the opportunity to be member of a WorldTour team, sizing up my skills at the top level of cycling - it's something amazing for me," said Zurlo in a statement from the team. 

Team boss Brent Copeland said: "We're very happy to have signed Zurlo - he's one of the most talented Italian young guns. We always try to give opportunities to the young Italian riders and we think that Federico's skills will allow him to be competitive at WorldTour level".