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by Shane Stokes
August 17, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Vuillermoz wins stage 2 of the Tour du Limousin; Kittel signs two-year contract with Katusha-Alpecin; Viviani to race for QuickStep Floors until end of 2019; Dimension Data confirms Vuelta lineup, Morton to make his debut; Warbasse, Denifl and Blythe lead Aqua Blue Sport in team’s first Vuelta; Molly Weaver moves to Drops Cycling; Olympic champion Rissveds to miss MTB worlds due to sponsorship clash with national federation; Team Sky unveils new ‘Race Hub’ for Vuelta a España; Video: Don’t try this at home part I; Video: Don’t try this at home part II
Talented Australian rider Lachlan Morton has been confirmed for his first Grand Tour, with the 25-year-old set to line out as part of the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka squad in this year’s Vuelta a España. The African team announced its lineup on Wednesday. Morton told CyclingTips in June that the race start was likely for him.
“After a strong showing at the Tour de France this year, Serge Pauwels will lead our African Team come Saturday together with our Basque climbing duo of Omar Fraile and Igor Anton,” the team said on Wednesday. “Pauwels and Anton will be able to target the most difficult of climbing stages while Fraile will adopt a similar attacking strategy to that which has won him the King of the Mountains jersey at the last two editions of this race.
“With no less than 15 of the 21 stages considered either hilly or mountainous this year, our African Team is littered with climbing talent. Merhawi Kudus, Ben King, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Lachlan Morton provide us with numerous options for each stage, be that in a support role or in going for personal stage glory. It will also be Morton’s debut grand tour appearance.” The team will be completed by Youcef Reguigui and Nic Dougall.
Pauwels won a stage plus the overall in this year’s Tour de Yorkshire and finished a solid 19th overall in last month’s Tour de France. He wants to chase his first Grand Tour stage win. “The Vuelta is traditionally a hard race with lots of climbing, that is why we are bringing a lot of climbers to the race,” he said.
“We have a strong group that can race aggressively and try to hunt for stage wins. I am really looking forward to my second grand tour this year. I have taken a short break after the Tour then put in a good training block last week. I hope to take my opportunity as well by picking a stage and trying to get the victory [then].”