Italian national champion Giacomo Nizzolo enjoyed a day at Inter Milan's training ground, Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti, with the Trek-Segafredo rider watching the team train then partaking in a friendly game of five-a-side. Nizzolo was also presented with a personalised jersey from the Nerazzurri vice-president Javier Zanetti, and in turn presented the club with a signed tricolore.
Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini, currently ranked 49th in the world, joined Nizzolo at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti.
While the 2016 was Nizzolo's most successful yet with seven wins and the successful defence of his Giro d'Italia points classification, the 27-year-old recently told Cyclingnews that his goal for 2017 is to "improve in the Classics".
Inter-Milan Vice President Javier Zanetti presents Giacomo Nizzolo with a personalised Inter Milan jersey (Bettini)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad welcomes back the Molenberg for 2017
In 2017 the Molenberg will once again feature in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after it was removed from the race in 2016 due to roadworks. The cobbled climb is a regular feature of the Tour of Flanders and since 1987 has been a decisive feature of the spring classic opener. In 2015, the Boembekeberg replaced the Molenberg but won't be used again in 2016.
In 2017, the Molenberg will be the 13th and final climb of the race which will again finish on the Emile Clauslaan thoroughfare. The race has been elevated to the WorldTour for the first time in 2017 with the race again to start in Gent.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) won the 2016 edition of the race ahead of World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).
Delko Marseille Provence KTM looking for improvements and Vuelta start in 2017
French Pro-Continental squad Delko Marseille Provence KTM had a modest debut season at the second highest level of the sport with just three wins. In an interview with La Provence, team manager Frédéric Rostaing provided an overview of a "disappointing" season. Rostaing highlighted Quentin Pacher, Delio Fernandez and Romain Combaud for their breakthrough seasons and called on Rémy Di Gregorio, Julien El Fares and Benjamin Giraud to improve for next season.
Founded in 1974 under the name of VC La Pomme, the team has a long history but it wasn't until 20111 that applied for a Continental license before moving up to Pro-Continental from 2016. It took until August for the team to claim its first win with Asbjørn Kragh Andersen taking out stage 4 at the Tour de Fjords. The retiring Leonardo Duque ensured the team finished the year on a high as his final day stage win sealed overall Tour of Taihu Lake victory.
Despite a lack of results, Rostaing is dreaming big for next season and is eyeing off a wild card invitation to the Vuelta a Espana due to the fact that the first three days of the race will take place in France. Having ridden Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix and Fleche Wallonne in 2016, the team is also aiming to race Milan-San Remo and the Tour de Yorkshire in 2017.
2016 success ensured no changes to 2017 Vuelta a Murcia parcours
The organisers of the Spanish Vuelta a Murcia have announced the 2017 edition of the race will remain true to the 2016 parcours after positive feedback from the peloton. Philippe Gilbert took the victory in February ahead of Alejandro Valverde, Ilnur Zakarin and Luis Leon Sanchez.
The 37the edition of the race will start in San Javier and finish in Murcia with five WorldTour, and six Pro-Continental teams already confirmed. In total, the race organisers are aiming to keep the teams at 18 to ensure a level of safety for the peloton.