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by Neal Rogers
November 24, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chaves to start season at Tour Down Under; One Pro Cycling loses sponsor and Pro Continental status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain Merida; Wanty-Groupe Gobert signs Lieuwe Westra; Astana unveils 2017 jersey and Argon 18 bikes; Sagan eyes Roubaix victory, hints that he could retire in ‘three, four, five, six years’; CyclingTips Podcast: David Walsh on Armstrong, Team Sky, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs; Etixx-QuickStep staff wraps up two-day team building exercises; Video: Trailer for Cyclocross World Cup in Zeven, Germany
Wanty-Groupe Gobert has finalized its 2017 roster with the signing of Lieuwe Westra. The former Dutch time trial champion will lead the team and have the chance to aim at new victories.
Westra wore the Astana jersey for the past three years. He showed himself on several occasions, as a key helper for Vincenzo Nibali on the cobblestone stage of the 2014 Tour de France, and when he took a stage in the 2014 Tour of Catalunya and the Dauphiné. In 2016, the rider from Friesland was able to win the GC at the Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde.
“Since that victory, I feel like I want to go for my own chances more often again,” Westra said. “I have had a wonderful time at Astana, and I want to thank the team for that. In a smaller team like Wanty-Groupe Gobert, I can take up another role in the races. And that is something I am also looking forward to.”
Westra will help bolster the Belgian Pro Continental team’s Grand Tour ambitions
“We want to maintain or maybe even exceed this year’s results and will be aiming at another top ranking in the UCI Europe Tour next year,” said team manager Jean-François Bourlart. “Moreover, it is not a secret we would like to ride a Grand Tour in 2017. With yet another experienced rider like Westra, we underline that ambition once more.”