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by Shane Stokes
August 9, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Küng wins stage two time trial at the BinckBank Tour; Report: top squads look set to miss world team time trial championships; Kwiatkowski signs on for three more years with Team Sky; Under pressure from USADA, Colorado Classic abandons partnership with Armstrong; Vuelta pays tribute to career of Contador; Report: Trek-Segafredo aiming to replace Contador with Aru; UAE Team Emirates extends with Marcato, Conti and five others; Lingering effects of concussion force Dunbar to end season early; OVO Energy Tour of Britain confirms teams for 2017 edition; CAS confirms UCI’s four year suspension of Oyarzun; Research shows huge health benefits of commuting by bike; Eskapee’s rules for mountain bike riding; Video: Tony Martin falls during BinckBank Tour TT; Video: Tony Martin speaks after his crash; Video: Viviani skilfully avoids time trial fall in BinckBank Tour; Video: Peter Sagan celebrates Monday’s sprint win
In the wake of Monday’s news that Alberto Contador will retire from professional cycling after this year’s Vuelta a España, Het Nieuwsblad is reporting that Italian champion Fabio Aru is now a major target for Trek-Segafredo.
The Belgian newspaper states that the team had been keen to keep Contador and, if required, was willing to offer him a five-month contract for next season. This would have enabled him to race up to the Giro d’Italia and then stop. If accepted, this would have been similar to the agreement Tom Boonen had with QuickStep Floors this season, where he raced until the Classics and then retired.
However Contador instead opted to end his career after the Vuelta a España. Lacking a clear team leader, the squad is now searching for another figurehead and feels that Aru may fit the bill. The fact that Segafredo, the team’s co-sponsor, is Italian is a factor, and so too Aru’s potential to win Grand Tours in the future.
Het Nieuwsblad also states that Rigoberto Uran (currently Cannondale-Drapac), the Tour de France runner-up, and Dan Martin (QuickStep Floors) were other potential targets as a team leader. However Cannondale-Drapac is keen to extend with Uran, while Martin has been liked to a possible move to UAE Team Emirates.
That moves current Astana rider Aru to the foreground and will increase the bidding for the Italian.