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Cycling Racing News and Opinion
August 5, 2014

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Bauke Mollema leaves Belkin for Trek

One of the biggest talents out of contract at the end of this season was Belkin rider Bauke Mollema (second place just this Saturday at San Sebastian). Mollema has added to Belkin's ongoing misery (Lars Boom has split the team for Astana) by announcing that he has signed to ride for Trek Factory Racing for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Mollema was tenth in this year's Tour de France. He comes close in races, but his list of wins is pretty thin. He won stage four of this year's Tour of Norway. Last year he was second in the Tour of Switzerland and won stage two as well as being first in the 2013 Vuelta a España's 17th stage. But there is solid talent there. In 2011 he came in fourth in the Vuelta and won the points classification.

Trek team manager Luca Guercilena said, "Bauke has shown a very consistent development as a GC rider, both in one week races like the Tour de Suisse and Gran Tours. He is also a high potential rider for the hilly classics, as he has shown last weekend by taking second place in the Clásica San Sebastian. We believe in him and want to help him bolster his talent."

With the addition of Mollema, it will be interesting to see if Trek re-signs the difficult-to-handle Schleck brothers, who are going to be out of contract at the end of the season.

Bauke Mollema gets second at San Sebastian

Bauke Mollema (left) comes around Joaquin Rodrriguez for second place at San Sebastian. Photo ©Sirotti

Damiano Caruso Leaves Cannondale for BMC

After riding four years for Cannondale/Liquigas, Damiano Caruso has bolted for BMC. Here's the press release from BMC making the annoucement:

"The BMC Racing Team has signed Damiano Caruso to a multi-year contract beginning with the 2015 season, BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Tuesday.

"Strong Climber: The 26-year-old is a former Italian Under 23 national road champion who finished third overall at the Tour of Austria last month while placing runner-up on Stage 3. Winner of Stage 5 at Settimana Coppi e Bartali last year, Caruso also captured the king of the mountains classification at the Tour of Beijing last year. 'We are pleased to include Damiano on the BMC Racing Team's roster for 2015," Ochowicz said. "He brings with him a strong desire to excel his talents with us. He is an outstanding climber who has delivered big results in the past and the future holds great opportunities for him both as a leader and a worker.'

"A Big Opportunity: A top 25 finisher at the Giro d'Italia in 2012 and 2013, Caruso said he welcomed the opportunity to join the BMC Racing Team. 'This is a big opportunity to be a part of one of the best teams in the world,' he said. 'I am proud and happy to sign on with them. Next year, I want to try to win an important race and help others win races, too. I know I will have a good group around me to do it.' Caruso has a pair of podium finishes in one-week stage races to his credit, having finished third overall at the Tour of Alberta last year and third overall at the Tour of Britain in 2012. He was also third in the Stage 18 time trial of the Giro d'Italia in 2012."

Damiano Caruso

Damiano Caruso finishes stage 12 of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. Photo ©Sirotti

Roman Kreuziger to Appeal to CAS

Arguing that the UCI did not follow its own rules when it suspended Roman Kreuziger before the start of the Tour of Poland for biological passport problems, Kreuziger is going to ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift his ban before the start of the Vuelta a Espana on August 23. Kreuziger is arguing that the UCI can impose a suspension only in the case of a positive doping sample.

Roman Kreuziger

Roman Kreuziger wins 2013 Amstel Gold. Photo ©Sirotti

Carlos Alberto Betancur to leave Ag2r

Carlos Betancur's agent Giuseppe Acquadro has announced that the Colombian rider and his team Ag2r have come to an agreement to allow the rider to leave the team at the end of the season, though his current contract goes through 2016. Appearantly the rider and team maangement just do not get along.

Betancur won both this year's Tour du Haut Var and Paris Nice. But he has not raced since April 23. I don't know exactly what's going on. A case of cytomegalovirus and travel paper problems have been cited for Betancur's lack of racing. In any case, he is supposed to be on the start line for Ag2r at the Vuelta a Burgos in mid-August and then the Vuelta a España. Acquadro warns that Betancur in not in good condition and will not be competing for the GC.

Carlos Betancur

Carlos Betancur at this year's Paris-Nice. Photo ©Sirotti

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