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by Shane Stokes
August 15, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: ‘I want to win the Tour,’ declares Uran, announcing three-year contract extension; Meintjes rejoins Team Dimension Data for 2018; Froome chasing place in history as Team Sky’s Vuelta line-up named; Former winner Nibali: I’ve worked hard for the Vuelta; Glittering Orica-Scott GC squad for Vuelta a España; BMC Racing Team to Vuelta ‘with one of the strongest rosters we have named’; UAE Team Emirates targets top 10 in Vuelta, Katusha-Alpecin and Movistar also name squads; Revamped Three Days de Panne to Include WWT Event; Hepburn extends with Orica-Scott until end 2019; Astana signs Hirt, Keisse extends with Quick Step, Fabbro to Katusha; Canyon launches first full-carbon cyclocross bike: Inflite CF SLX; Video: Surprised competition winner gets handed pro bike by professional rider; Video: Contador relaxes at home; Video: High speed hand-up; Video: Uran struts his stuff at the Colorado Classic
The Astana Proteam has boosted its roster for 2018 and 2019 with the 26-year-old Czech Jan Hirt. Twelfth overall in this year’s Giro, he is also a past stage winner in the Tours of Austria and Azerbaijan plus the Czech Cycling Tour. He was also third overall in this year’s Tour of Croatia.
“During the last few years I’ve worked a lot to constantly move ahead in my professional development,” he said on Monday. “And now, I am very happy that in the next season I will do so long-awaited step into the WorldTour. I am proud that this step I will do with Astana, one of the strongest teams around the world. That’s something incredible!”
Meanwhile QuickStep Floors has extending with 34-year-old Iljo Keisse for the next two seasons. “I’ve been with Quick-Step Floors since 2010 and I know everybody here,” the Giro d’Italia and Tour of Turkey stage winner plus multiple Six Day track champion said. “It’s really like a second family after so many years. It would feel strange to move to another team and to be honest I don’t think I would be able to find a better squad to ride than with this.”
Team CEO Patrick Lefevere underlined the rider’s value. “Iljo has proven his worth on numerous occasions and showed that he’s a real team player and a rider who always puts the squad’s goals above his own objectives,” he said.
Elsewhere, Katusha has committed to bringing on 22-year-old Italian climber Matteo Fabbro for the same length of time. Currently riding for the Friuli Cycling Team, he has a host of promising past results including third in the hill climb prologue in the Giro delle Valle d’Aosta. He will start the Tour de l’Avenir on Friday.