International news round-up

Sky and Pinarello renew sponsorship agreement
Sky and Pinarello renewed their sponsorship contact for another three years, through 2016. They announced it on Tuesday, just over a month after Chris Froome gave the Italian manufacturer another Tour de France win.

Fausto Pinarello said in a statement, “I want to thank everyone on the team – from the riders to mechanics and all the staff – for the great support that they have given us during the last four years.” Pinarello joined Sky in its debut year, 2010.

“Sky and the British federation has been great, they have several great engineers working for them,” Pinarello told Cycling Weekly last year. “The feedback has been both ways, both from the team and from Pinarello. … We’ve created a bike that’s comfortable for long distances and our clients benefit.”

Bianchi joins Belkin
Bianchi announced on Tuesday it would join Belkin for the next two years, through 2015. Giant, the team’s current bike sponsor, will reportedly support Argos-Shimano next year.

Bianchi sponsors many teams, including Androni and first division team, Vacansoleil. With riders and sponsors leaving, Dutch team Vacansoleil likely will announce its closure in the coming month.
RadioShack in crisis, cuts race schedule

RadioShack-Leopard is scaling back due to a lack of funds, according to Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad newspaper. Luxembourg’s top team will only WorldTour events, which it is required to attend as a first division ProTeam, for the remainder of the year.

Team owner, Flavio Becca, according to the article is financially strapped and called for the cuts. Earlier this year, he sold the team’s licence to Trek for 2014.

With the cuts the team’s race schedule will include the Vuelta a España, GP Ouest-France, GP Quebec, GP Montreal, Giro di Lombardia and the Tour Beijing.

Trek signs and re-signs for 2014 season
Trek is making changes for 2014. Tony Gallopin, Andreas Klöden and Maxime Monfort on their way out, while several others have signed or re-signed. On Tuesday, Trek announced it renewed contracts for several of Fabian Cancellara’s helpers: Stijn Devolder, Markel Irizar, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergent.

New riders include Eugenio Alafaci (Leopard Continental Team), Julian Arredondo (Nippo – De Rosa), Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica-GreenEDGE), Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela), Fabio Silvestre (Leopard Continental Team), Jasper Stuyven (Bontrager) and Riccardo Zoidl (Team Gourmetfein – Simplon).

Di Luca heard over doping
Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) will meet the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) over his EPO positive test at the Giro d’Italia. Yesterday, the committee called him to his Rome offices on September 4. The 37-year-old Italian, who already severed two doping bans, faces a lifetime ban.
Sagan impresses

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) not only won four stages in the USA Pro Challenge last week, but he pulled off another trick. Adding to the bum pinch, the wheelies and Sagan Parking, he rode down a set of stairs and back up the other side. Have a look:

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