VN news ticker: Odd Christian Eiking joins EF Education-Nippo, Luis Ángel Maté bikes home after Vuelta

Here's what's making headlines on Wednesday, September 8.

Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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EF Education-Nippo sign Odd Christian Eiking

Hot off a red jersey run at the Vuelta a España, Odd Christian Eiking has penned a deal to join EF Education-Nippo. Eiking led the Vuelta for a week, and finished 11th overall.

“I was watching him throughout the season. He was great in San Sebastian,” said CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He almost won the Arctic Race of Norway and then went to the Vuelta and had a great run in the leader’s jersey. Almost pulled off a top 10 overall. I watched it all. I was talking to his agent the entire time and an opportunity came up to pull the trigger on it and I did not hesitate.”

After four years with Intermarché, Eiking said he’s ready to step up after his run in red.

“It’s changed me as a rider,” he said. “It gave me more confidence, seeing that it’s possible to stay with some of the best riders. I want to continue on this good path where I am now.”

Luis Ángel Maté bikes home after Vuelta a España

If racing three weeks straight wasn’t enough for Spanish rider Luis Ángel Maté (Euskaltel-Euskadi), he’s riding home on his bike.

Following more than 3,000km of racing, it’s about another 1,000km to his home base for the “Lynx of Marbella,” who announced on social media he’s riding his bike home.

“I am still motivated for me,” he said. “I’ve entered another ‘breakaway’ between Santiago de Compostela to Marbella of about 1,000km.”

By Wednesday, he was already midway on his trek, with trackers spotting him around the middle of Portugal.


Trek-Segafredo signs Dutch climber on two-year deal

Trek-Segafredo confirmed it signed Dutch climber Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma) on a two-year deal.

The U.S.-backed team promises to give Tolhoek more opportunities in grand tours and one-week stage races.

“Antwan is a super polite guy, but he’s very hungry to race; he enjoys attacking to be in the breakaways and overall races aggressively,” said sport director Steven de Jongh. “Since we were looking for riders who could go in the break and go for stages, I think he will fit the profile for us. In the mountain stages and shorter stage races, as well as in the Ardennes Classics, he can play an important role for us.

“Hopefully, with us, he can win at one of the week-long stage races. In the Grand Tours, whatever his program may be, I think he could do a role similar to what Kenny Elissonde was doing at the Vuelta. He’s really a talented climber.”

Elia Viviani linked to move to Ineos Grenadiers

Italian sprinter Elia Viviani is linked to a move to Ineos Grenadiers, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Italian paper reported Viviani, 32, will sign a three-year deal with Ineos Grenadiers. After two sub-par seasons at Cofidis, marked by injuries and few victories, the Italian will rejoin the team where he raced from 2015-17, Gazzetta reported.

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