UAE Team Emirates have confirmed that seven riders have been rewarded with contract renewals.
Croatian Kristijan Durasek and Italian trio Matteo Bono, Roberto Ferrari and Simone Petilli have all signed two-year extensions, whilst fellow Italians Simone Consonni, Velrio Conti and Marco Marcato have put pen-to-paper on new one-year terms.
“We are continuing to move forward with the goal of building a team that can be increasingly competitive,” Team manager Carlo Saronni said.
“In order to achieve certain objectives, we want to build the team roster around a solid base. The seven riders whose contracts have been renewed or extended have proven they have the right skills suited to our project and to the values that comprise it. We are happy to be able to include them in our group.”
The announcement comes following the signing of three young trainee riders: Seid Lizde, Aleksandr Riabushenko and Francesco Romano – all of whom joined the team on August 1.
Six UAE Team Emirates riders will feature at the inaugural Colorado Classic race from August 10 – 13, 2017.
Making his race debut, Emirati rider Yousif Mirza will be joined by Italian riders Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi and Seid Lizde – a young trainee joining UAE Team Emirates from team Colpack for the second part of the season – and Norweigian Vegard Stake Laengen.
UAE Team Emirates’ Sporting Director Mario Scirea said: “The race will include a lot of climbing and we anticipate each day to have its own set of challenges. For the Colorado Classic we will be relying on three of our young Italian climbers who are eager to race and build on their careers: Conti, Petilli and Ravasi.
“They will try to play pivotal roles during the stages and if successful they will be able to fight for good GC positions. In the lead up to the climbs they will depend on support from Mirza, Laengen and Lizde who is making his debut with our team as an intern.”
Italian rider Valerio Conti said: “I am excited about racing at the Colorado Classic for the first time. I’ve had a look at the route and it looks pretty gruelling as every single stage includes numerous high altitude climbs!
“I think this race will be a great opportunity to show off my form and put to test all the high altitude training I have received recently. I would like to aim for a good position in the GC so let’s see how it all unfolds.”
The inaugural race will consist of four stages, all of them coming with their own set of challenges. The race has numerous high altitude climbs with winding routes varying from 1580 metres to 3100 metres above sea level.
The final stage, hosted by state capital Denver, is a unique 12km circuit that riders will have to complete a total of 10 times in what should be a thrilling day of racing.
Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has announced that he will retire following next month’s Vuelta a Espana.
The Spanish cyclist has a total of seven Grand Tour victories, and is one of only six riders to have won all three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the Vuelta a Espana.
Here’s a look at the highs and lows of his illustrious career.
2007 – A GRAND BREAKTHROUGH
After his first team Liberty Seguros are dissolved, he joins the Discovery Channel team and wins the iconic Paris-Nice for the first time.
Greater glory comes in France when he claims his first stage at the Tour before going on to win his first Grand Tour by 23 seconds from Cadel Evans at the age of 24, the youngest in a decade.
2008 – HOME GLORY
New team Astana are banned from entering the 2008 Tour, due to previous doping infringements, meaning Contador cannot defend his title.
However, he wins the Giro d’Italia at the first time of asking and then follows it up in September by capturing his first Vuelta a Espana crown, beating a strong field including countryman and Tour de France winner Carlos Sastres.
Contador becomes the first Spaniard to win all three Grand Tours, the fifth overall and the youngest in history (25).
2009 – DOMINATING ARMSTRONG
After his return from retirement, the then-legendary Lance Armstrong joins Contador at Astana setting in motion a power struggle for the Tour de France.
Contador, though, proves the American is old news riding to GC victory for a second time.
2014 – CAREER COMEBACK
Following his doping ban and a lean spell during the 2013 season – in which he was publicly criticised by team boss Oleg Tinkov – Contador enjoyed a final flourish to his career.
He endured disappointment at the 2014 Tour de France but fought back at the Vuelta, out-climbing Chris Froome to take the red jersey.
2004 – LIFE IN DOUBT
In just his second year as a professional with ONCE–Eroski in 2004, Contador felt ill during the Vuelta a Asturias and went into convulsions during the race before falling into a coma for 10 days.
He was later diagnosed with cerebral cavernoma, a congenital vascular disorder, and required surgery which kept him sidelined for six months.
2007 – IT’S A TEAM SPORT
His Liberty Seguros team are left out of the Tour de France after a number of their riders are embroiled in the Operacion Puerto doping scandal.
Contador is later cleared by the UCI, but his involvement with the Spanish team means he is not allowed to ride in the Tour.
2010 – WHAT A DOPE
Contador reveals he tested positive for banned steroid clenbuterol during 2010 Tour de France – which he “won” – but claims food contamination is “the only possible explanation”.
After nearly two years of legal arguments and several delays to his hearing – which allowed him to finish fifth at the 2011 Tour in which he’s roundly booed by fans throughout – he is banned for two years (backdated to 2011) and stripped of his 2010 Tour title and 2011 Giro d’Italia.
Despite success on the road in Europe, Contador has never delivered at the Olympic Games.
In 2008, he did not finish the road race amid hot and humid conditions in Beijing and was fourth in the individual time trial.
He was banned for London 2012 while injuries denied him a place in Rio last year.