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by Mark Zalewski
February 17, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dan Martin wins Volta ao Algarve stage, takes over lead; Pinot wins Ruta del Sol queen stage, Contador assumes lead; Anderson wins Tour of Oman, stage 3; Not above bottle duty: Amalie Dideriksen’s year ahead in the rainbow stripes; Dunbar poised to seize chances heading into year two with Axeon Hagens Berman team; Jens Keukeleire hit by car while training in Spain; Mitchelton-Scott signs young Australian talents; Two climbs planned for Tokyo 2020 road race circuit; Reports: Meeusen to join van der Poel on Beobank-Corendon; Klaas Vantornout remains with Marlux-Napoleon Games; Too early for Pidcock at WorldTour level; Paolini signs with pro mountain bike team; Erkki Punttila – Not Far From Home.
Luca Paolini, who recently announced his retirement from road racing, will ride for the mountain bike team of Italian manufacturer Torpado. The 40-year-old who recently served a ban for cocaine use could not find a spot on a road team after his ban expired in January.
“I was ready to race again among the pros, but after the ban I was wanting for quality proposals,” he told La Gazetta dello Sport. “I had also looked for other options, some of the offers were interesting. Torpado called me, I was pleased.”
Paolini will reportedly focus on the endurance side, racing the UCI World Cups and the ultimate goal of the Marathon World Championships.
“It was a situation where I could not say no. I will finish my career with a number on my jersey. The goal is the Marathon World Championships in mountain biking in June in Germany. The path is not impossible for a road racer. I grew up in BMX, MTB and I always use it for training.”
Paolini, who had wins at the 2013 Giro d’Italia, the 2013 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and the 2015 Gent-Wevelgem, also owns a cafe across from Lake Como with partners with plans to expand into cycling tourism.