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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
As we cross over the midpoint of the week, the cycling headlines offer some updates on the Nairo Quintana situation, transfer news and rumors, and the announcement of an impending retirement.
A few of today’s main stories: The two individuals being held in connection with the Arkéa-Samsic probe have been released, Ane Santesteban will join Mitchelton-Scott next season, and Rory Sutherland will hang up the wheels at the end of the year.
Read on for more …
| Authorities release individuals held in connection with Arkéa-Samsic probe
L’Equipe reports that the doctor and physiotherapist that were being held in custody in connection with an investigation into what has been described as “a small part” of the Arkéa-Samsic team have both been released.
According to Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens, the investigation is “still in progress.”
Nairo Quintana made his first public comments on the subject on Tuesday, saying that he has never used illegal substances that boost performance and stating that authorities had found “perfectly legal” supplements in a search last week at the Tour de France. On Wednesday, Arkéa-Samsic put out its second statement on the case after confirming that its riders had answered questions and then been allowed to return home.
“The Arkéa Samsic team and its general manager are satisfied with this reassuring new information and renew their commitment to the values of integrity and sports ethics,” the French ProTeam said. “Not having access to the documents in the file included in the procedure and the investigations carried out, Emmanuel Hubert and his team, however, remain attentive and vigilant as to what happens next.”
| Sutherland will retire at the end of the season
Rory Sutherland announced on social media on Wednesday that he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the season.
“2020 will be my final year as a professional cyclist. I have been a professional for nearly 2 decades and I am grateful for all the experiences the sport has brought to my life,” Sutherland wrote on Instagram.
“During these years I was fortunate enough to have been part of various teams and I will cherish the relationships I have with both riders and staff throughout the sport and the memories of races and victories both large and small. I will never forget my days and years on the bike with my teammates.”
Over the course of his lengthy career in the pro peloton, Sutherland has ridden for Rabobank, UnitedHealthcare, Tinkoff-Saxo, Movistar, UAE-Team Emirates, and now, Israel Start-Up Nation. In that time, he achieved some of his best results racing in North America, winning the Tour de Beauce and the Tour of the Gila in 2012 along with stages at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Tour of Utah.
| Mitchelton-Scott signs Santesteban
Ane Santesteban will join Mitchelton-Scott next season after two years with the Ceratizit-WNT organization.
Spain’s national road champion in 2013, Santesteban is a strong climber and coming off a strong ride at the Giro Rosa.
“She really understands her role as support for Spratty [Amanda Spratt], but she also just finished seventh overall at the Giro and is capable for going for her own results too,” said sport director Martin Vestby.
“She hasn’t won many races, but she is consistent in hilly races, has produced good results and is always up there. She has the experience, but we think the change of environment and our support structure will really help her take the next step and we will see her reach her peak in the coming years. She will really strengthen that climber’s group so we can play more cards.”
| Jumbo-Visma reportedly set to send both Roglic and Dumoulin to the Vuelta
According to AS, Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic will both race this year’s Vuelta a España, with Sepp Kuss also set to make the start.
Roglic is the defending champion at the race, while Dumoulin finished sixth overall at the race in a breakout performance in 2015. Kuss took his first WorldTour victory in a stage at last year’s Vuelta.
| López could be heading to AG2R-Citroën
According to Tuttobiciweb, Miguel Ángel Lopez could join the AG2R-Citroën team next year.
López is reportedly set to leave Astana at the end of the season after six years with the team, while the AG2R organization is bidding adieu to the rider who has been the squad’s featured GC leader for the last few years, Romain Bardet.
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Today’s featured image of Ane Santesteban at Strade Bianche comes from Cor Vos.