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by Mark Zalewski
November 25, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Garderen will focus on Giro d’Italia in 2017; Interview: Louis Meintjes, future Tour de France star?; A team on the brink: Avanti-IsoWhey Sports’ fight for survival; Emakumeen Bira denied Women’s WorldTour status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain-Merida; Pellaud joins Team Illuminate; Is Coca-Cola good for cyclists?; Simon Zahner taking applications for development riders; Team Dimension Data unveils new kit; Gent-Wevelgem to include unpaved roads in 2017.
Janez Brajkovic will return to the WorldTour in 2017 with Bahrain-Merida. The Slovenian has spent the past two seasons in the U.S. with the UnitedHealthcare team, and is expected to bolster Vincenzo Nibali’s Giro d’Italia defence.
“This is a unique opportunity for me – to ride again in the highest class,” said Brajkovic.
“I am determined to prove that I still belong in the professional cycling and I’m very motivated and also optimistic about the next season. My priority now is to give 100 per cent to the team, help Nibali and other teammates and also prove to myself that I am still capable of good results.”
Brajkovic turned professional in 2005 with the Discovery Channel team directed by Johan Bruyneel. He showed early promise, winning the Tour de Georgia in 2005. In 2008 he was second at the Tour of Lombardy and won the Criterium du Dauphine in 2009.
“He came to our first training camp and spoke with the team and the management. He gave us a good impression. He’s a classy rider who has done well in certain races but at the same time he can be a bit fragile,” said Bahrain-Merida manager Brent Copeland.
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