Ulissi extends with Lampre-Merida
Diego Ulissi has finally sorted out his plans for 2016, signing a one-year contract extension with Lampre-Merida. The four-time Giro d'Italia stage winner sat down with team manager Brent Copeland last week during the Abu Dhabi Tour to finalise the agreement.
"I declared many times that I always conceive my future in blue-fuchsia-green colors and, being aware of the consideration for me from the team and the sponsors, the contract renewal was very easy to achieve," said Ulissi in a team statement.
"I'm aware of the fact that the team trust in me as they always demonstrated, going along with me in my professional path. I'm sure I'll be able to gratify those who support me by achieving top results".
Ulissi has been with the Italian team since turning pro in 2010. This year he won the Memorial Marco Pantani this year, along with stage 7 of the Giro - his first victory since returning from a ban for a positive test for Salbutamol at the previous edition of the race.
"Diego Ulissi is tightly linked with our group, we supported him since he was very young. It's such a good thing to have the opportunity to add another step to the common story, especially because Diego is a pure talent and we consider that he'll be able to obtain top level victories," said Copeland.
Siutsou signs with Dimension Data 2016
Kanstanstin Siutsou is the latest rider to sign with the African team Dimension Data for the 2016 season. He has spent the last four seasons competing for Team Sky. His experience in the Grand Tours will no doubt be an asset to the team next season.
"I'm really happy to join Team Dimension Data in 2016," Siutsou said. "Having raced with some of the riders in the past, I'm sure we'll gel well together. I'm also looking forward to share my experience with the African talents on board and to make an impact for the Qhubeka charity. It's a great opportunity to race for a bigger cause and I'm glad to take it on."
Siutsou has raced in 14 Grand Tours, where he has won three stages of the Giro d'Italia (two of those team time trials) and placed ninth overall during the 2011 edition. His role on Dimension Data next season will be as a domestique for the team leaders, and he will provide mentorship to the younger riders on the team.
Giant-Alpecin added Max Walscheid and Sindre Skjøstad Lunke to 2016 roster
Giant-Alpecin has added two more riders to their roster for the 2016 season; Norway's Sindre Skjøstad Lunke and Germany's Max Walscheid.
Walscheid raced for the German continental outfit Team Kuota-Lotto before joining Team Giant-Alpecin as a stagiaire in August. He has signed a two-year contract. "I'm glad the team sees my capabilities as a rider but also as a person," Walscheid said. "During my time as a stagiaire I think I was able to show the team that I have the ability to deliver results but that I can also contribute to team successes. I'm happy that the team recognised that and is giving me the chance to turn pro."
Skjostad Lunke joins from the Norwegian Continental squad Team Joker. He is a strong stage racer with results that include a top 10 at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2015. "Sindre is a climber who has proven two years in a row that he can perform strongly in the mountains," said Team Giant-Alpecin coach Marc Reef.
"We have a plan to help him develop in a broad way, but with an initial focus on his specialty, climbing. We believe he has the mental and physical ability to do well in difficult climbing races in the future, but in the meantime he will also play a role supporting our GC riders, Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin."
Giant-Alpecin recently announced that Dumoulin and Barguil have renewed their contracts for an additional three seasons.
CCC sign Austrian youngster Großschartner
CCC Sprandi Polkowice has signed a two-year deal with the Austrian rider Felix Großschartner. He has spent the last four years in the Austrian Continental team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels.
This year he won mountains classification in Tour of Austria, U23 race Trofeo PIVA and one of the stages of Giro della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. He also finished second on Tour of Croatia stage, where Maciej Paterski took the win, and third on the hardest day of Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour. He rode as a trainee with Tinkoff-Saxo, where he raced in the USA Pro Challenge, Milano-Torino, Giro del Piemonte and Paris-Tours.
"I consider myself as a good climber and I think I'm at my strongest on climbs which are 4-7 kilometers long," Großschartner said. "I had offers from few other teams, but I’ve decided that CCC Sprandi Polkowice is the best fit for me. The team has been developing very fast, has good racing program and provides great support for young riders.
"My main goal is to develop. I want to achieve professional level and be able to compete against the best teams in the peloton. In 2016, I hope I will be a valuable domestique and also that I can claim good result for the team, if I get a chance to ride on my own account."
Southeast extend with Mareczko
Italian Jakub Mareczko will remain with the Pro-Continental Southeast team for a further two-seasons having turned professional this year. The 21-year-old won the team's first races of the season at the 2.2 Vuelta al Tachira en Bicicleta which was followed with top-three stage finishes at the Tour de San Luis and Le Tour de Langkawi.
"I'm happy because I believe in the project of the team. I want to grow up and be competitive also in races like the Giro d'Italia in the following two years," he said in a statement from the team.
Mareczko will look to challenge Manuel Belletti as the team's top sprinter who top three wins this season including Dwars door Drenthe.