News shorts: Vuillermoz to lead Ag2r at Tour de San Luis

Alexis Vuillermoz will start his season in Argentina next season as he leads the Ag2r-La Mondiale team at the 2.1 Tour de San Luis from January 18. 

"This year there will be great opportunities for climbers and I hope to ride a good race, but there will be a lot of world-class riders," Vuillermoz said of next month's race.

The 27-year-old won his last race on South American soil, the Rio Olympics test event, and is hoping that he'll be back again in August.

"I would like to participate in the Olympics and defend the colours of my country, the route should favour the climbers. But I am definitely not the only one who dreams about winning the title," he added. 

A Tour de France stage winner this year, Vuillermoz was 11th overall at the 2015 edition of the race and explained the race provides him with a good platform before the European season gets underway.

"There is an experienced organisation, and people are really charming. It is a race which lets you know if you are in good shape before taking part in the early competitions in Europe," he said.

The French WorldTour team will also feature Jean-Christophe Peraud, who finished second at the 2014 Tour, and Tour stage winner Christophe Riblon on the climbing friendly parcours.

Ag2r-La Mondiale for the 2016 Tour de San Luis: Alexis Vuillermoz, Jean-Christophe Peraud, Christophe Riblon, Quentin Jauregui, Axel Domont, Guillaume Bonnafond, Nico Denz and François Bidard.

Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) wins on the Mûr de Bretagne (Tim de Waele/

Andrey Amador to play support role for Movistar at 2016 Giro d'Italia

Fourth overall at this year's Giro d'Italia, Andrey Amador will return to the Italian grand tour in 2016 as a domestique for Alejandro Valverde and Movistar.  The Costa Rican explained his early-season racing schedule to website Biciclismo.

"Majorca, Haut Var, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Belgian classics until Flanders. Then I want to go back to the Giro d'Italia and they have asked me to be there. I have always liked that race and it motivates me," Amador said. "I'm good as demonstrated this year when I was fourth and I won a stage in 2012. I do not mind helping. So I will be back but as always it depends on the condition.

" is no problem. Alejandro is the leader, always gives the maximum and achieves results in every race. We must build a strong group around him and I will be happy to help and happy to contribute my bit to the team's success."

Amador further explained that he is looking for his first victory since the 2012 Giro next season including team time trial victories.

"Winning is what you want. You can do second, third or fourth, but the important thing here is to win. I would love to get another victory. Hopefully next year," he said, adding the Worlds TTT ride to bronze has given the squad great confidence, "We have grown and the bronze medal proves it. It is an important step. In the past the big teams were further ahead but now we are definitely closer. [New signing Nelson] Oliveira is another great specialist and now we know that gold is within our reach."

G&V Energy Group extends deal with Lotto Soudal

Belgain WorldTour team Lotto Soudal has announced sponsor G&V Energy Group will remain a sponsor to at least 2020. The Belgian company specialises in petrol stations with 170 located across the country with the CAPS Fuelcard a secondary part of its business. The G&V Energy Group was visible on the team jersey in 2015 although the CAPS Fuelcard logo is to feature on the right shoulder of next year's kit.

Our partnership with Lotto Soudal runs till 2020. As a Belgian company, we are very delighted that we’re working together with a team from our own country; that’s where our priorities are situated.," said Xavier Dewulf, CEO and co-owner of G&V Energy Group. "hrough cycling, we don’t only acquire brand awareness but it also gives the opportunity to network. That happens on events and openings of petrol stations. The Lotto Soudal team bus is often used on those occasions."

G&V Energy Group will also provide Lotto Soudal with a team bus in 2016 as it did in 2013.

Androni Sidermac add 16th rider to 2016 team roster

Italian Pro-Continental team Androni Sidermac have signed 26-year-old Giorgio Cecchinel from Southeast. The Italian finished second in the KOM classification at the Tour du Limousin this season and was fifth in the same classification at the 2014 Giro del Trentino.

Cecchinel adds climbing support to the team which is currently in Benidorm as it prepares for the upcoming season. The team has also signed Rodolfo Torres (Team Colombia), Egan Arley Bernal, Luca Pacioni, Mirko Selvaggi (Wanty-Gobert), Davide Viganò (Team Idea) and Daniele Ratto (UnitedHealthcare) for 2016.

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