News shorts: Tour of Poland to visit Croatia? Costa and Costa at Lampre

Tour of Poland to visit Croatia in 2016?
The last two editions of the Tour of Poland have featured excursions into Italy and Slovenia while the Czech Republic has also been visited in recent years. Croatia is shaping up as the next country to host the WorldTour race with meetings between organiser Czeslaw Lang and Sandra Svaljek, First Deputy Mayor of Zagreb, in Zagreb to discuss the possibilities of the city hosting a stage on 2016.

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Croatia's independence which would be commemorated by the Tour of Poland's visit.

Costa joins Costa at Lampre-Merida
2013 world champion Rui Costa will be joined by his brother Mario at Lampre-Merida next season the Italian team has announced. The 29-year-old older brother of Rui has spent the last four seasons racing for Continental teams and will join Lampre as a domestique on flat stages and races to help it leaders.

"It's such a pride and satisfaction for me to wear in 2015 the colours of Lampre-Merida," Mario Costa said. "I will do my best to honour this opportunity, I'll work hard daily to meet the target that the team will proposes for me. I thank the team, the sponsors and the team manager Copeland for this opportunity: it will be exciting to ride in support of my brother Rui in his attempts of achieving top results."

Zdenek Štybar named Czech cyclist of the year
Current cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Štybar won his first Czech cyclist of the year award on Thursday night to cap off a successful season that also featured two heavy falls. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider won a stage at the Eneco Tour only to crash out several days later and injure his face having hit the barriers as he sprinted for the stage win.

The 28-year-old made a return to racing on the road to win Binche-Chimay-Binche and then made the switch back to cyclo-cross only to suffer another crash as Stybar separated his shoulder when racing in Ardooie.

"It had to be very difficult, who to choose as cyclist of the year in CZE," Stybar tweeted. "It such successful year for CZE cycling. I am very proud it's me."

Stybar beat Leopold König and Jaroslav Kulhavy to the prize.

Agnoli confirmed for Astana
Valerio Agnoli has been a key domestique for Astana teammate Vincenzo Nibali, helping him during his two grand tour wins over the last few seasons , but he appeared to was deemed surplus to requirements in 2015. The 29-year-old said he was considering options from other teams to continue for the 2015 season once Astana told him there was no place in its team.

However, Nibali explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport that Agnoli will remain with the team and will join them at the next training camp in Calpe.

"In the team there have been some misunderstandings like when he and I had a furious argument with the others at our training camp on Mount Teide," Nibali told the Italian newspaper. "But it's water under the bridge, Valerio is useful to us."

Fabio Duarte to leave Colombia?

Former U23 world champion Fabio Duarte has been with Team Colombia for the last three seasons but is yet to commit for the 2015 season as he is currently considering "a very good deal" from a rival team.

"I have not decided if I will stay at Team Colombia or not," Duarte told El Tiempo. "I have a very good offer from another team. The offer that I have is good, but I have not signed anything. With Corti, I talked and he made me a proposal. I'm waiting to talk to my manager in the coming days."

Duarte has finished second on a Giro d'Italia stage on four different occasions with his last pro win came in 2012 at the Coppa Sabatini.

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