Tinkoff Saxo in the market for three more riders
Tinkoff Saxo have confirmed to Cyclingnews that they are looking at making three more potential signings in the transfer market. The Russian team have a shortlist of six riders to choose from.
"We have a shortlist of six and from that we’ll pick two or three," Stefano Feltrin told Cyclingnews.
"One might be one of the stagiaires we have with us, one or two more are for the Peter Sagan side and then we might have room for another young climber. Maximum I’m looking at maybe another three riders."
Tinkoff Saxo have yet to announce their full sponsorship plans for next year. The Danish bank’s contract with the team is set to expire at the end of the season but Feltrin said that negotiations are on going with an announcement set to be made at the conclusion of the Vuelta a Espana.
"We are planning to have an announcement in Madrid. It’s 50-50 at the moment we’ll be discussing it more during the Vuelta. We have a lot of events with them and we have time to sit down and evaluate. We’re still negotiating."
Trek signs two-year deal with current trainee Julien Bernard
Trek Factory Racing announced today that the US-registered team signed current trainee Julien Bernard for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Bernard started riding with the team as a trainee in August after scoring wins at the Tour Nivernais-Morvan, Châtillon-Dijon and the Tour du Pays Roannais earlier this season. The 23-year-old Frenchman, who also has a bachelor’s degree in technical sciences in sports, joins the team from SCO Dijon.
"It is a real honour for me to sign a contract with Trek Factory Racing," Bernard said. "Being part of the team in Utah and Colorado was an unforgettable experience for me, both on and off the bike. The atmosphere in this team is very positive and the mix of nationalities makes it really fascinating."
Bernard rode the Tour of Utah in support of teammate Fränk Schleck’s general classification hopes. He was given free rein to ride for himself last week at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, where he finished 10th overall, 2:14 behind overall winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
"Julien surpassed our expectations in the American races," said team General Manager Luca Guercilena. "On the top of Independence Pass he was there when the yellow jersey group counted no more than 10 riders. His climbing skills are impressive and I believe he can still make a lot of progression in the next years.
"We are very happy to welcome him on board Trek Factory Racing," Guercilena said. "He will have a home here and will support him to develop his talent."
Bernard, who is the son of three-time Tour de France podium finisher Jean-François Bernard, said he was inspired by the trust the team has in him that he can make the next step in his development.
"My ambitions are to support the team goals as much and best as I can and to gain experience, in particular in WorldTour races," he said. "I want to keep progressing as a rider and I am prepared to work very hard for this."
Julien Bernard joined US champion Matthew Busche and Trek Factory Racing at the Tour of Utah. (Jonathan Devich/Epic Images)
Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida announce GP Ouest France rosters
Etixx-QuickStep will send Tony Martin, fresh off his recent overall win at Tour du Poitou-Charantes, where Plouay teammate Matteo Trentin won two stages.
"It will be my first time in Plouay," Martin said. "I’m really looking forward to this race. This year I’m discovering a lot of races that I never rode before. It’s a nice race program. Concerning the race on Sunday, I will see what I can do. I worked really hard at Poitou Charantes, so I hope to recover fast before Sunday. In any case I will be there to give my contribution to the team that is really strong."
Martin and Trentin will be joined in Poulay by by Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Boonen, Yves Lampaert, Fabio Sabatini, Stijn Vandenbergh, and Julien Vermote.
"Last year this race was an important moment in my season," Alaphilippe said. "I finished fifth and I have great memories. This year I will try to do my best to be a protagonist again. The circuit is the same of last year and I like it. The team is strong, and we can also count on the sprint of guys like Tom and Matteo. We are ready to play a role in the race."
Lampre-Merida will send a team that relies on top riders Rui Costa, Diego Ulissi and Davide Cimolai. Joining that trio will be Matteo Bono, Roberto Ferrari, Manuele Mori, Luka Pibernik and Jan Polanc.
Lampre-Merida has won the race twice, with Grega Bole taking the victory in 2011 an Filippo Pozzato claiming the 2013 win.