News shorts: Trofeo Laigueglia gains UCI 1.HC status in 2015

Trofeo Laigueglia gains UCI 1.HC status

The 52 edition of the Trofeo Laigueglia has secured UCI 1.HC status, up from a 1.1-level race, for the first time in 2015. The Ligurian classic will kick off the Europe Tour calendar with the first HC-level event of the season on February 19 in Liguria, Italy.

The Municipality of Laigueglia awarded the Gruppo Sportivo Emilia with the responsibility of handling the technical aspects of the 2015 edition of the race. "We will provide this great classic with all of the experience that we have gained over more than 30 years of organizing in cycling, to set up a race worthy of the name and history that it brings with it.”

Most recent winners of the race include José Serpa (Lampre-Merida) this year, Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) in 2013 and Moreno Moser (Liquigas) in 2012.

Petacchi steps down from WorldTour

Alessandro Petacchi has stepped down from the WorldTour and it is widely rumoured that he will race for the Professional Continental outfit Neri-Sottoli-Alé in 2015. The Italian sprinter, who raced with Omega Pharma-QuickStep this year, has had a long and successful career that includes 22 stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, 20 stage wins at the Vuelta a España and six stages at the Tour de France.

At 41 years old, Petacchi has been winding down his career but this year he did win Grand Prix Cerami. He also help his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team win the team time trial at the Tirreno-Adriatico opener, and he placed second in stage 6. He took third in the opening stage at Volta ao Algarve, fourth in Scheldeprijs, and helped the team take second place in the team time trial at the Giro d’Italia. He also took top 10 in two stages at the Tour de France.

Petacchi turned professional in 1996 riding for Scrigno. He went on to race with Fassa Bortolo, Milram and Lampre-ISD. He retired from the sport while racing with Lampre-Merida in April of 2013 but returned to the peloton with Omega Pharma-QuickStep in August where he remained until the end of this season.

Aldo Ino Ilesic to Vorarlberg in 2015

Aldo Ino Ilesic has joined Continental Team Vorarlberg for the 2015 season after his contract was not renewed by UnitedHealthcare. The Slovenian sprinter spent six seasons competing for US-based teams Team Type 1 from 2009-2012 and UnitedHealthcare from 2013-2014.

In recent years, Ilesic has won stages at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Tour of China 1, Tour du Maroc, Tour do Rio and Vuelta Mexico Telmex. "The first thing, I would like to thank once again Team Vorarlberg for making this worked. After six years in America, I am happy to be riding for a European team. My goal for next year is to get as many wins as possible. My motivation is to share my experience of four years in Pro Conti teams and build good teamwork."

Team Vorarlberg, based in Austria, has also signed Daniel Paulus from Vini Fantini Nippo and Lukas Meiler from Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer.

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