News Shorts: Valverde chases WorldTour points at Tour of Beijing

Valverde aims to top WorldTour standings at Tour of Beijing

Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde will race at the upcoming fourth and final edition of the Tour of Beijing in an attempt to accumulate additional points to put toward his bid to win the WorldTour individual title. The Spaniard is in top form having recently secured the bronze medal at the World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain.

Valverde is currently sitting in second overall, 14 points behind his fellow countryman Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who took the lead in the standings after winning the Vuelta a España last month. Contador will compete for more points at the Tour of Lombardy on Sunday.

Movistar will also field the Tour of Beijing’s defending champion Beñat Intxausti, Jose Herrada, Pablo Lastras Dayer Quintana, Enrique Sanz, Jasha Sutterlin and Giovanni Visconti.

Movistar is leading the WorldTour overall team competition and aims to defend that position all the way to finale. “We can win the WorldTour in both individual and team classifications, so we need a strong team in Beijing,” said General Manager Eusebio Unzue. “It is a great opportunity and we will go for it. Additionally, Alejandro deserves to win the WorldTour so we will support him until the end.”

Didier extends with Trek Factory Racing

Luxembourg’s Laurent Didier has extended his contract with Trek Factory Racing until 2016. The American-registered WorldTour squad has also brought on board Italian sprinter Marco Coledan.

Didier won the national time trial championships in June and stage 5 at the USA Pro Challenge in August, successes that helped land him a contract renewal for two more years with the team.

“There’s really no reason for me to even consider changing teams,” he said. “I feel good here and I feel a lot of trust from the team in my capacities. I have a lot of friends in this team and we have excellent vibes going on. I like to work for the team, both in one-day races and stage races, and I like that I get the occasional opportunity to ride for myself, like in Colorado. I’m really happy with a new two-year contract.”

Coledan, who raced with Bardiani-CSF this year, won a stage at the Giro del Friuli and will add to the team’s strength in the sprints.

“Marco is a very strong rider, although his experience comes from the track, more so than from road racing,” said the team’s General Manager Luca Guercilena. “He comes to us as one of the few new riders for 2015. We are confident that he can be the right wagon in the sprint train of Giacomo Nizzolo, our first sprinter, now that Danilo Hondo is retiring.”

Evans ends career at Tour of Lombardy

BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans will end his professional racing career at the 254-kilometre Tour of Lombardy held on October 5 in Italy.

Philippe Gilbert, a two-time winner of the one-day WorldTour event, will lead team. The Belgium rider won the race in 2009 and 2010. Samuel Sánchez will also join the roster and adds ample experience having placed second on three occasions (2006, 2009 and 2012).

BMC’s roster also includes Yannick Eijssen, Ben Hermans, Steve Morabito, Tejay van Garderen and Larry Warbasse.

Boivin brings sprint skills to Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

Guillaume Boivin has signed on with the American Contiental outfit Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies for 2015. The Canadian rider brings the team his experience as a sprinter and lead-out specialist from Cannandale and the WorldTour.

"We are very excited to bring Guillaume to our team – he's a big talent that we tried to recruit when he was around 20 years old,” said the team’s Performance Director Jonas Carney. “Now he's 25 and has several years of experience racing WorldTour events. That experience will be valuable during the big stage races here in North America – California, Utah, Colorado and Alberta. We've always tried to put a focus on sprinting and our lead-out train, and Guillaume gives us a lot more depth in that area."

The team also announced signing two additional Canadians; Pierrick Naud from Garneau-Québecor and Mike Woods from 5-Hour Energy.

Dani King to focus on road racing in 2015

British track specialist Dani King announced that she will turn her focus to road racing with Wiggle Honda during the 2015 season.

King is a specialist in the track endurance program where she is a three-time world champion, Olympic champion and world record holder in the team pursuit. She is shifting her focus to road racing to help develop as a cyclist and plans to return to the track to defend her title in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
This year, King had a strong performance on the road at the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour and secured a silver medal at the British Cycling Road Race Championships in Abergavenny.
“I’m really excited to be given this opportunity by British Cycling to go and do a full season on the road with Wiggle Honda,” King said. “The idea of riding a road season as preparation for team pursuit hasn’t been done before in our squad, but is a tried and tested method within the men’s endurance squad with Team Sky. I therefore believe it will enable me to get the best out of myself as a cyclist and give me the best chance possible to defend the Olympic title I won at London 2012 in the team pursuit.”

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