2015 Tour de France opens with a 13.7km time trial

Chris Froome, Tour de France 2013, stage 17 TT

The 2015 Tour de France will start with a 13.7-kilometre time trial in the Dutch city of Utrecht, organiser ASO announced today.

Race director, Christian Prudhomme told the AFP news agency, "After two editions with road stages, we return to the tradition of racing against the clock."

The Tour marked its first day, July 4, as a time trial stage not a prologue. Cycling's governing body, the UCI, limits prologues to eight kilometres.

Sky's Hunt joins Premier League

Sky sports director, Dan Hunt leaves cycling for the Premier League, according to the Guardian's website. Hunt worked for Sky in 2010 and returned for this season to replace Sean Yates.

Hunt, according to the article, accepted the director of elite performance role in the English football league. He will develop its clubs' youth programmes to encourage home-grown players.

He never worked in football before. At British Cycling he coached the women's team and returned to help the men's team pursuit squad towards the London Games. He directed at several races this year, including the Giro d'Italia team with Brad Wiggins.

Carera improves after deadly car crash

Cycling agent, Alex Carera's conditions is improving after a car crash that left one dead on Saturday in northern Italy. Yesterday, he underwent an operation on his left arm and posted a photo of himself on Twitter giving a thumbs up.

After two days, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, he should leave intensive therapy.

Carera owns A&J Sport Management Agency with his brother Johnny and works with riders like Giro d'Italia winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). He drove head-on into a car travelling in the wrong direction on the motorway.

The other driver took the wrong exit from service station, made it 500 metres on the A4 Autostrada. He hit one car, whose driver escaped with minor injuries, and then Carera's. He died on impact.

Giro narrows wildcard team selection

The Giro d'Italia, according to its Twitter feed, narrowed its wildcard team selection down to eight teams. The organisation asked its 187,910 followers to help decide by replying with their favourite teams. It is expected to select the final three teams in January for its May race.

Colombia, IAM Cycling, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Caja Rural, NetApp-Endura, Novo Nordisk, UnitedHealthcare and MTN-Qhubeka compete for the three spots. Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela received an automatic invite by winning 2013 Italian Cup. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia or Yellow Fluo failed to make the cut. The decision is likely due to its two doping cases from this year's race with Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio.

The four second division teams will race alongside the 18 first division teams May 9 to June 1.

FDJ renews sponsorship through 2016

FDJ renewed its sponsorship through 2016, the French first division team announced today. The French national lottery continues a run that started in 1997.

General manager, Marc Madiot said in a press release, "I welcome the decision by FDJ, it allows us to establish a future for the next brilliant generation by giving them the means to match their ambitions."

The team added that "the excellent visibility, reputation and social commitments" encouraged FDJ, or the French national lottery, to continue

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