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News shorts: Valverde eschews Vuelta helicopter transfer

Vakoc pulls out of Tour of Britain

Petr Vakoc did not take to the start of stage 4 of the Tour of Britain on Wednesday morning after crashing heavily towards the end of the previous stage. The Czech rider was in the leader's yellow jersey, thanks to his stage-winning attack on day two, when he came down with just over 3km to go on the run-in to Floors Castle in Scotland. 

He suffered contusions on the lower back and fractured his index finger, requiring stitches to repair a wound that saw his fingernail ripped off. Despite getting back on his bike and rolling across the line several minutes down, Vakoc was forced to pull the plug ahead of stage 4 to Blyth, where Juan José Lobato wore the leader's jersey.  

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Valverde eschews Vuelta helicopter transfer

Faced with the prospect of a congested journey down off the mountain and several further hours on the team bus, most riders would bite your hand off when offered to be whisked away by helicopter for a stage transfer. But not Alejandro Valverde

With stage 16 of the Vuelta a España finishing atop Ermita de Alba in the Asturias mountains and the race transferring some 300km to Burgos, the organisers offered to fly the top 10 riders on GC by helicopter from the top of the mountain. They would arrive three hours earlier than the other riders and be able to save their strength for Wednesday's pivotal time trial.

According to Biciciclismo, they all took up the offer with the exception of Valverde, who preferred to remain with his teammates. 

"He had the chance to travel by helicopter after the stage but he decided to be with us. Humility," Movistar rider Giovani Visconti told the Spanish website. 

Fellow Movistar man Nairo Quintana was unable to share in Visconti's reverence as the Colombian went straight ahead and boarded the helicopter. 

Katusha announce roster for Quebec and Montreal

Team Katusha today announced the riders who will support Alexander Kristoff at this weekend's WorldTour races in Quebec City and Montreal.

Joining the Norwegian sprinter in the pair of one-day races will be Sergei Chernetckii, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Porsev, Sergey Lagutin, Simon Špilak, Alexey Tsatevich and Ilnur Zakarin.

Kristoff will use the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec on Friday and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday as preparation for the upcoming World Championship road race in Richmond, Virginia,  on September 27.

Kristoff most recently competed in the one-day GP Ouest France-Poulay on August 30, taking the win in a field sprint.

The Canadian courses could suit Kristoff well, although they also lend themselves to successful breakaways. Kristoff's countryman Lars Petter Nordhaug won the Montreal race in 2012, while Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans won both races last year.

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