By Gregor Brown
Brian Cookson received more support, this time from USA Cycling, heading into next week's UCI presidential elections. Its backing comes after the European Cycling Union (UEC) decided on Sunday to give its full 14 votes to Cookson instead of incumbent, Pat McQuaid.
"[The] election should serve as a turning point for our sport - an historic moment in time when the UCI begins to chart a dynamic, new course and fully regains its international stature and credibility," the US federation said in a press release.
"It is clear from the cycling stakeholders' survey that transparency, integrity, credibility, accountability and good governance must be addressed if we are to have a brighter future and grow cycling globally... Brian Cookson is best qualified to lead the UCI at this critical moment in time and provide a measured, fair approach to managing the sport and rebuilding trust in the UCI."
USA Cycling is part of the American Confederation and has one vote of its nine votes. The winner of the September 27 elections needs 22 or more, a majority of the 42 votes.
42 delegates over five confederations:
Africa: 7 delegates, 17%
Asia: 9 delegates, 21%
America: 9 delegates, 21%
Europe: 14 delegates, 33%
Oceania: 3 delegates, 7%
Omega Pharma extends its sponsorship contract
Belgian pharmaceutical company, Omega Pharma extended its title sponsorship of team Omega Pharma-QuickStep through 2015. The team announced the contract on Tuesday, guaranteeing the future of riders like Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen and new recruit, Rigoberto Urán.
"I am happy because the stability of the team is guaranteed," general manager, Patrick Lefevere said. "I would like to thank Marc Coucke and Omega Pharma for the trust they put in us. We will do our best to repay their confidence with great results in the next seasons. The next step is to renew contracts with our other sponsors until the end of 2015, and at the same time start thinking about our future beyond that."
Bontrager amateur team becomes Bissell
Top American amateur team, Bontrager will race as Bissell and continue to have Trek's support, it announced yesterday. The Under 23 team, directed by Axel Merckx, produced Taylor Phinney, Joe Dombrowski and Alex Dowsett.
"We have always felt that working with Axel's development team is one of the most exciting projects we're involved with," Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur said in a press release. Trek and Bontrager will supply equipment.
Trek is taking over sponsorship of first division team, RadioShack in 2014. Because Bontrager is under Trek's umbrella, cycling's rules would have prevented the team from racing in the same events like the Tour of California.
Vos renews for two years
World Champion Marianne Vos renewed her contract with Rabobank-Liv/Giant for two more years, the team announced yesterday. Along with Vos, seven team-mates extended their contracts.
"The backbone of our 2014 team is now in place," Team manager Koos Moerenhout said in a press release. "We have a good mix of experienced and young riders."
Horner celebrates, with dog
Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) returned to the US after winning the Vuelta a España to celebrate with his family, dog included.
"Back home in Bend after a fantastic month in Spain at @lavuelta. Dream come true and thanks to everyone who helped me get there!" Horner wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. He added a photo of his dog wearing the Vuelta's red classification jersey.
Horner returns to Europe next week for the Florence World Championships. He competes in the men's road race with American team-mates Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly), Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) and Peter Stetina (Garmin-Sharp). Phinney and Talansky will time trial as well.
Nibali announces baby
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and his wife, Rachele are expecting a baby.
The Italian announced the news on Tuesday via Twitter. After placing second in the Vuelta a España, he returns to action in the GP Costa degli Etruschi. Next Sunday, he leads team Italy in the Worlds.
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