Frenchman, Alexis Vuillermoz won Sunday's dress rehearsal for the Olympics in Rio next summer, his third victory for the year following his stage win at the Tour de France last month. The 27-year-old is hoping the successful Aquece Rio win will put him in favour for a spot on their Olympic team with competition for places including the likes of Thibaut Pinot and Warren Barguil but stressed that France will send their best team possible, whether or not that includes him.
"It is always a special moment," Vuillermoz said about his win at the 1.2 race. "I did not win during my first year on the road and this year I have won three times, it's a very nice season. But we must remain cautious. This was not the WorldTour or the Olympics. It gives us confidence even though I know that there is still some work to compete with the best."
Vuillermoz's other victory for the season was the 1.1 Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan with 2015 proving to be the most consistent yet of his career having also finishing inside the top-ten on at least one stage in all but one stage race he's finished.
The Rio test event was a success for France with Vuillermoz's Ag2r-La Mondiale teammate Romain Bardet in third place with Belgian Serge Pauwels split the pair in second place 22 seconds later. France had three other riders in the top ten with Tony Gallopin fourth,Pinot in sixth and Barguil eighth.
The 165 kilometre race began earlier than expected due to some planned demonstrations in the streets of Rio.
Vegard Stake Laengen signs for IAM Cycling
Vegard Stake Laengen's decision to re-join Continental Team Joker team after two seasons with Pro-Continental Bretagne-Séché Environnement team has seen the 26-year-old earn a contract with IAM Cycling for next season.
Laengen is the second rider from the Norwegian team to join the WorldTour ranks next season following in the footsteps of Odd Christian Eiking who will be racing in the colours of FDJ from 2016.
"Confirmed! After Odd Christian Eiking signed for FdJ earlier this season, also Vegard Stake Laengen contract for #IAMcycling", his team tweeted.
Racing a mixture of 2.1 and 2.2 stages races, Laengen’s victory at the Tour Alsace and second place overall at the Ronde de l'Oise coupled with 11th place at both the 2.HC Tour of Norway and Arctic Race of Norway has ensured he remained a name to watch for scouts.
Laengen and Eiking will join six compatriots in the WorldTour next season including Sondre Holst Enger at IAM Cycling.
Canyon to enter women's peloton in 2016
German bicycle manufacturer Canyon, who provides bikes for WorldTour teams Movistar and Katusha, will sponsor a professional women's team at the highest level of the sport from next season. The company are working with Ronny Lauke, the sport director at Velocio-SRAM which is closing shop at the end of the season, to create the new women's team with Lauke who will be the team manager. Co-sport director at Velocio-SRAM Beth Duryea will have the same role with the new Canyon team.
"Beth is a very important constant in the team. We want to excite the world for women’s cycling and at the same time win more women over to the sport of cycling. Our aim is to be the most professional and most successful team in the Pro peloton. Canyon is the perfect partner," Lauke said in a press release from Canyon.
Canyon's chief brand officer Frank Aldorf added that the company believes it has found the right fit and it looking forward to continuing the team's success which has seen them claim three straight team time trial world championships.
"We don't do things by half at Canyon and with Ronny we have found the right partner. He has built a team for the past few years, which is already in the world's elite. We believe firmly in a successful partnership and are looking forward to start the Olympic year together," Aldorf said.
An additional sponsor will be announced at a later date, as well with full team roster.