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  1. Nathan Haas signs for Cofidis

    Nathan Haas will leave a Katusha-Alpecin team mired in uncertainty and ride for Cofidis next year, signing a two-year contract with the WorldTour-hopeful French team.

    Haas joined Katusha in 2018 after spending two seasons with Dimension Data and three with what’s now EF Education First, but has struggled for results. His only victory came on stage 2 of the 2018 Tour of Oman, and he has been unable to build on his fourth place finish at the 2017 Amstel Gold Race.

    The team are yet to assure the funds to continue in 2020 but Haas was already looking to move on, and liked the sound of the project developing at Cofidis under Cedric Vasseur, who took over as manager in 2018.

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    The French team, created in 1997, are aiming to return to the top tier of the sport and have already stated their intent in the transfer market with the acquisitions of Elia Viviani and Guillaume Martin.

    "I’ve always liked being in teams that have a strong drive to progress, to get better and take a next step. That’s exactly the spirit with Cofidis and Cedric Vasseur and that’s what attracted me," Haas said.

    "What I like about this team is the opportunity to take chances in each race, to give everything so as not to have any regrets. At the Tour de France, they were pretty much in every breakaway. Naturally, I really want to ride Amstel Gold Race and the Ardennes Classics, but I also and above all want to put myself at the service of the team, notably Elia, to help them achieve new successes."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. De la Parte suffers multiple fractures after Vuelta a Espana crash

    Victor de la Parte (CCC Team) suffered multiple fractures as a result of the mass crash that saw him and three other riders abandon the Vuelta a España on stage 6.

    The Spaniard, who was placed 13th overall at the time, was immediately taken to hospital for X-rays. His team confirmed he had suffered a fractured left scapula and rib.

    "Victor was involved in a crash which took down a big group of riders," said team doctor Daniele Zaccaria. "He was riding in the middle of the bunch when it happened, and there was not much he could do to avoid the riders who fell in front of him.

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    "He was immediately taken to hospital where X-rays revealed a fractured scapula and rib on his left side."

    EF Education First were the team worst affected by the crash, which occurred when riders hit a wet patch on a descent 90km into the stage.

    Team leader Rigoberto Urán and key climber Hugh Carthy were both forced out of the race, with the team revealing that the pair suffered broken collarbones. Former race leader Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) also abandoned due to the accident.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Quintana insists that Valverde is Movistar’s Vuelta a Espana leader

    The confusion surrounding Movistar's leadership hierarchy in the Vuelta a España appears to have been laid to rest after Nairo Quintana told Spanish media that teammate Alejandro Valverde is heading the squad's bid to win the race for a second time in four years.

    Both Quintana and Valverde have triumphed in the Vuelta in the past, the Colombian in 2016, two years after taking the Giro d'Italia, and Valverde back in 2009.

    Initially it appeared that Quintana would be Movistar's main GC challenger after Valverde told the AS newspaper last Monday that "Nairo is more leader than I am," and Quintana then won stage 2 of the race into Calpe from a six-rider breakaway.

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    However, in the same interview Valverde did not rule himself out of the GC battle, and said that he was taking things on the day-by-day.

    And Quintana, whilst clearly with options for the overall victory – something he discussed in his winner's press conference on Sunday – has now said that team manager Eusebio Unzué has made it clear that Valverde is the leader.

    "We had a meeting and Eusebio said that. Alejandro is going very well, and we are going to support him," Quintana said after stage six.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. George Bennett: Vuelta a Espana crash was 'real nasty'

    New Zealand’s George Bennett has described as "real nasty" the stage 6 Vuelta a España  pile-up that saw four riders, including former race leader Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb), abandon the race.

    The Jumbo-Visma rider was one of three from his team who went down, including Tony Martin and American Neilson Powless – both of whom had already crashed in the stage 1 team time trial.

    That crash on Saturday saw Steven Kruijswijk finally abandon on stage 4 with an injured knee, whilst after the stage 6 pile-up Bennett, like Powless and Martin, could continue to race.

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    "I’m not sure if it was someone from EF who went down first or if it was Tony [Martin]," Bennett told reporters when asked what caused the crash. "It was real nasty. I don’t feel too good after it, but I feel a lot better than the guys in hospital.

    "That’s part of racing – crashing. It was all going all right with [Primoz] Roglic's results, but we keep hitting the deck, and that’s not good."

    Bennett pulled no punches when explaining that if you are well enough to continue at a WorldTour race, the only option is to go on.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Vuelta a Espana: Gilbert steadily building for world championships

    When it comes to betting on the UCI Road World Championships Road Race in September, one rider who already has worn the rainbow jersey, Belgium's Phillipe Gilbert (Deceunink-QuickStep), is surely an option that the bookies will have high on their list of possible winners.

    But in this year's Vuelta a España, so far, Gilbert has been flying a little bit under the radar.

    Deceuninck-Quick Step came within a whisker of victory in the opening team time trial – and only lost through no fault of their own – and then have taken a bunch sprint stage win with Fabio Jakobsen.

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    Meanwhile, Gilbert is biding his time for further down the line.

    "It’s too bad we missed the TTT you know, it would have changed a lot of things," the 37-year-old told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 6 Thursday in Mora del Rubielos. Then we had the first sprint [on stage 3] and we missed that, but we won the second, so it was nice. For the climbs we know we don’t have the best team, but we will do our best. “

    As for his personal ambitions, Gilbert said he will try to win a stage, but he said there aren't many that suit him.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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