Olympic omnium champion Elia Viviani will get back to work on the road heading up Team Sky's squad for the Tour of Britain this weekend. The Italian is hoping to secure the role of leader for his country's team at the UCI Road World Championships in Doha in October.
Viviani will be joined by Wout Poels, who will seek the overall victory after finishing second last year to Edvald Boasson Hagen. The team last won its home tour in 2013 with Bradley Wiggins.
Ian Stannard will start his fourth straight edition of the race, together with Ben Swift, Nicolas Roche and Danny van Poppel on the six-rider squad.
The Tour of Britain begins on Sunday in Glasgow and wraps up on September 11 in London.
Elia Viviani (Team Sky) will be aiming to celebrate a stage win or two at the Tour of Britain (Bettini Photo)
Trusov joins Gazprom-Rusvelo
The Gazprom-RusVelo team announced today it has signed Nikolay Trusov through the 2018 season. The Russian has been part of the soon to be defunct Tinkoff team for three seasons, but has a history with the RusVelo team.
"In 2012 I was a part of RusVelo, but it was a different team," Trusov said. "Since then Gazprom – RusVelo stepped up to another level in terms of results and management. It's a crucial point, because cycling is a team sport and it's very difficult to reach season goals on your own. I am very excited about my new role within a team, but I am not afraid of responsibilities and will do my best to prove myself."
General manager Renat Khamidulin was pleased to sign the Russian. "He's that type of rider who will unite the team within one-day classics and we bet on him to lead a sprint train. As in case with Ivan Rovny, we can say that this deal is a sort of comeback, because Nikolay was a part of our team in 2012. We've already discussed his role for the next season and I believe that his contribution will help to reach team's goals."
Trusov turned professional in 2007 with Tinkoff Credit Systems, winning a stage of the Tour of Britain with his second win coming in 2009 on stage 5 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
Dimension Data renew with four
Kudus, 22, racing with the team at the Vuelta a España, is in his fourth year with the team and has finished all three Grand Tours. He hopes to go beyond simply finishing: "I would like to win a stage at a Grand Tour in the future. I feel that these are the races that suit me well and it's great to be able to develop myself as rider in an African team. This team is rewriting the history for African cycling and it's great to a part of it."
Dougall is also racing with the team in the Vuelta, the first Grand Tour of his career, but said "I'm very much looking forward to further develop as a classics rider as these are the races that I really enjoy."
Team principal Doug Ryder added that the extensions signal Dimension Data's commit to its African riders.
"We built this team to showcase and support the best talent on the African Continent and I am really happy to see the commitment, dedication and loyalty these riders have shown in their future development with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and also in the team’s purpose of mobilising people on bikes," Ryder said. "The coming seasons will be breakthrough years for these riders so hold onto your seats big things are coming."
Bardiani-CSF back at Tour of Britain
"In France we collected wins and great performances, we're ready to continue the series," sports director Stefano Zanatta said. "We selected a well equipped team. All the riders have a positive running-in so far and condition is pretty good. I'll ask them to be focused every day doing their best. Everyone will have enough freedom to leave a mark on the race. I hope and expect they don't lose this chance."
Zardini and Manuel Bongiorno lead the team's climbing ambitions, with Nicola Boem and Alessandro Tonelli to try their luck in breakaways while sprinter Paolo Simion completes the six-rider squad.