VN news ticker: Alejandro Valverde back in action after Vuelta crash, Owain Doull to EF Education-Nippo

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, September 27.

Photo: Getty Images

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Alejandro Valverde back in action after Vuelta a España crash

There’s no keeping Alejandro Valverde down these days.

The 41-year-old Valverde will be back on the bike at the Giro di Sicilia on Tuesday, just six weeks after breaking his collarbone in a dramatic crash at the Vuelta a España.

Valverde will lead Movistar with the departing Marc Soler in the four-day Italian stage race. He will then keep the wheels rolling through the fall with appearances at Milan-Turin, Gran Piemonte, and before closing out the season at Il Lombardia on October 9.

And then guess what? “Bala” will be back for one more year in 2022.

Owain Doull to EF Education-Nippo

British rider Owain Doull is moving on from Ineos Grenadiers, and landing at the American-registered EF Education-Nippo squad.

“For me, change is always a good thing. I’ve learned a lot of things and I’ve had some great opportunities but I think this is the right time for me to progress my career and take that next step forward. I still have dreams and aspirations I want to achieve and I think EF is the perfect place to help me realize that,” Doull said.

With six years of professional cycling experience, Doull is also a seasoned track racer and a 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the team pursuit.

Doull has slightly changed focus since Rio, and is looking forward to racing the classics, and also keeping things moving in time trials.

“The classics are races I enjoy as well as playing a support role in big stage races, whether that’s on the flat hectic finishes, team time trials, or mountain stages. I always like doing my part for the team and that’s one of the things I find so attractive about joining EF,” he added. “There’s a mixture of opportunities I’ll have and I’ll be able to explore my limits more.”

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of EF Education-Nippo, expressed similar perspectives about Doull’s addition to the team.

“Owain is a very strong rider for the Classics, has a great little sprint on him, and is a good time trialist,” Vaughters said. “More than anything, Owain is a guy who can win one of the smaller semi-classics. I thought it would be good to get a rider like that who would have the kind of freedom to accomplish some goals and will reinforce our classics squad in general and give us one more option beyond Alberto Bettiol and Michael Valgren,” said Vaughters.

Warren Barguil fractures pelvis in training incident

Warren Barguil will be off the bike through the rest of the year.

Arkéa-Samsic reports that the French climber “fell heavily yesterday in training. The examinations taken at the end of this fall revealed a fracture of the pelvis.”

Barguil would have been a shoo-in to race the Italian classics after finding his form through summer with GC victory at the Tour de Limousin in August and second-place at GP Wallonie earlier this month. The 29-year-old has also won stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España as well as winning the KoM jersey at the Tour in 2017).

Barguil is expected to be back in action next winter as he races out his final season with Arkéa-Samsic.

“Courage with you, Warren” read a tweet from the team.

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