News shorts: Van Aert and Van der Poel prepare for dual at Flandriencross

Van Aert and Van der Poel prepare for dual at Flandriencross

World Cup leader Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental) and World Champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) are prepared for a dual at Sunday's Flandriencross in Hamme, the third round of the Bpost Bank Trophy.

Van Aert is leading the series after winning the first two rounds in Ronse and Oudenaarde. He also won last year's Flandriencross after a dramatic showing between himself and Van der Poel, and he expects the competition to be equally as tough this time around. "I have to defend my lead in the standings and the stage victory is also very interesting," Van Aert told Sport.be. "But the heavy competition in Koksijde is crawled into the clothes. I felt it soon afterwards. And then there's the winter that has suddenly struck."

Van der Poel just returned to cyclo-cross racing at the World Cup in Koksijde last weekend where he placed third to winner Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) and runner-up Van Aert. He had a knee injury that kept him from racing for six weeks. Other top contenders will be Nys, Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), among others.

Mohoric to debut with Lampre-Merida at Tour de San Luis

Lampre-Merida's newest signing Matej Mohoric (from Cannondale-Garmin) will make his debut with the Italian WorldTour team at the Tour de San Luis held from January 18-24 in Argentina. “It’s a race with double meaning for me. First, it will be the season debut of a really important year for me, and second, I’ll debut with my new team," Mohoric said in a team statement.

The 20-year-old Slovenian rider has never raced the Tour de San Luis but sees it as a good opportunity to build his fitness in January. “This race has grown up fast over the years. For many cyclists, it is the first real effort of the year. A lot of thems will search for the first victory, and for others, it's a good base of shape to begin the season with the right foot."

Lampre-Merida for 2016 Tour de San Luis: Matej Mohoric, Davide Cimolai, Mattia Cattaneo, Valerio Conti, Mario Costa, Roberto Ferrari, Ilia Koshevoy, Manuele Mori, Simone Petilli and Przemysklaw Niemec.

Keisse undergoes successful surgery to fix inguinal hernia

Etixx-QuickStep announced Friday that Iljo Keisse has undergone surgery to repair a right inguinal hernia at the H-Hart clinic in Roeselare, Belgium. The team's statement also noted that the surgery, performed by Dr. Patrick Vuylsteke, went well. Keisse will need to rest for three weeks before resuming training.

Keisse crashed during the opening night at the recent Gent Six Day, but went on to win the overall for a sixth time with his teammate on the track Michael Morkov.

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