News shorts: Two-time winner Rodriguez will lead Katusha in Lombardy

Two-time winner Rodriguez will lead Katusha in Lombardy

Joaquim Rodriguez will return to Il Lombardia with Katusha on Sunday with hopes of adding a third win to his previous victories there in 2012 and 2013. The Spanish rider, who did not finish the Worlds road race last week, was eighth at the Italian monument last year.

He’ll be joined on the Katusha roster by Sergey Lagutin, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Iurii Trofimov, Angel Vicioso, Eduard Vorganov and Ilnur Zakarin.

Alberto Volpi new team director for Skydive Dubai in 2016

Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team announced this week that Alberto Volpi will join the program as director in 2016.

Volpi has 17 years experience with top teams such as Liquigas, Fassa Bortolo, Cannondale and Barloworld.

“It is a great honour to have Alberto Volpi as new technical director of Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling, a professional coach with a huge experience and knowledge” said Mansoor Buosaiba, team general manager.

“Volpi will have an important role in the fulfilment of our ambitious vision to become the first Arab cycling team in the UCI WorldTour circuit and to start a Grand Tour with Emirati cyclists in its roster.”

Although the mission will be difficult, Buosaiba said the team is highly motivated

“We have to potentiate the growth and development of cycling movement in United Arab Emirates, attracting young Emirati talents and supporting them to bring the best at the highest level of professional cycling,” he said. “For this mission, the knowledge of Alberto Volpi will make the difference to build the foundation to leverage the team to the UCI Professional Continental title.”

For his part,Volpi said he was excited by the opportunity to work with the team.

“Since the first time we talked I understand we have the same ambitions for the team,” Volpi said. “Year after year cycling moved from Europe and America to become popular in many other countries. United Arab Emirates is one the most emerging and its development prospects are high.”

Etixx-QuickStep headed for Lombardy with Kwiatkowski and Stybar

Following their performances last week at the World Championship road race in Richmond, where each rider featured in moves near the finale, Michal Kwiatkowski and Zdenek Stybar will line up Sunday with Etixx-QuickStep for Il Lombardia, the finale race of the 2015 WorldTour.

The 2015 parcours from Bergamo to Como includes several climbs, including the Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano, Civiglio, and San Fermo della Battaglia. The descent of San Fermo della Battaglia could also be decisive before the finish.

"As a team that loves to perform well in the monuments, of course we'd like to get a top result of such a beautiful and prestigious race in Northern Italy,” said director Davide Bramati. “As for the profile, it's a demanding final with a few climbs in the last kilometers, which makes Il Lombardia unique and very difficult.”

The team scored a second-place result on Friday with Matteo Trentin’s performance at Gran Piemonte, and Bramati said adding three fresh riders in Kwiatkowski, Stybar and Petr Vakoc should help their chances on Sunday.

“They come to this race after recovering from a strong World Championship, where they were protagonists,” he said. “They can do well again. We also have Gianluca Brambilla at the start. Gianluca rode well at Gran Piemonte today after an impressive Vuelta. This is a race that can suit his skills."

Also participating after Piemonte are Maxime Bouet, Lukasz Wisniowski, and Carlos Verona. The eighth rider will be Michal Golas, who crashed Friday at Piemonte.

“The medical examinations excluded major problems, but with a few abrasions on his face. Normally, if everything remains the same overnight for Golas, he will participate on Sunday.

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