Shorts: Paolini, Vuelta, transfers
Paolini ends long winless stretch, two teams name their line-ups for the Vuelta, latest transfer new
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Quick Step’s Luca Paolini broke a year-long victory drought when he won the third stage of the Tour Walloon Regions yesterday, beating team-mate Filippo Pozzato and Uros Murn (Phonak) in the final sprint for his team’s 20th win of the season.
“I’m over the moon,” Paolini commented. “It has been a while since my last win (the Brabantse Pijl in 2004). Up until today this season has been really difficult for me. The problem I had with my knee spoilt the beginning of the season for me but I didn’t give up hopes of winning. I’ve done a lot of hard working in getting myself back on form and today’s victory repays me for all of my efforts. During the final section of the stage I was able to rely on the support of my team-mates Pozzato and Nuyens. I hope to be able to repay them for their favours very soon.”
– It’s less than a month to the start of the season’s third and final major tour, the Vuelta, and teams are beginning to name their squads for the race. Liberty Seguros, who include defending champion Roberto Heras, have named 13 riders who are in contention for places, including Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, who was forced out of the Tour de France when he cracked the coccyx bone at the base of his spine. Now back in training, the Basque veteran is joined in Liberty’s pre-Vuelta selection by Ren Andrle, Dariusz Baranowski, Joseba Beloki, Giampaolo Caruso, Koldo Gil, Heras, Jan Hruska, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano and Angel Vicioso.
– Rabobank have named the nine riders they are planning to send to the Vuelta. Led by Russian Denis Menchov, the team also includes Oscar Freire, assuming his recovery from a hip injury and subsequent operation, Pedro Horrillo, Alexandr Kolobnev, Jukka Vastaranta, Jan Boven, Bram de Groot, Niels Scheuneman and Thorwald Veneberg.
– Crdit Agricole have signed 26-year-old Frenchman Christophe Edaleine from Cofidis on a two-year deal, while Agritubel are being linked with a move for Rabobank espoirs team rider Hans Dekkers, who has nine wins to his credit this season.