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VN news ticker: Kasper Asgreen extends with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Nairo Quintana wins in Asturias

Here's the news making headlines for Friday, April 30.

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Nairo Quintana wins opening stage at Asturias

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) kicked to victory Friday to win the opening stage at the Vuelta a Asturias in northern Spain.

Quintana pulled clear in the undulating stage, and fended off Pierre Latour (Total-Direct Energie) to claim his first win in 2021.

The three-day Asturias tour continues Saturday with the 205km second stage featuring the  Cat. 1 Alto de Acebo about 20km from the finish line. Sunday’s final stage ends atop the Alto de Naranco above Oviedo.

Kasper Asgreen extends with Deceuninck-Quick-Step through 2024

Kasper Asgreen booked himself in for another three years at Deceuninck-Quick-Step. The team confirmed Friday that the Tour of Flanders champion extended his contract through 2024 after enjoying a stellar classics season.

“Staying here was a no-brainer for me. Deceuninck-Quick-Step is the most successful team in the world, and ever since I was an amateur, I dreamed of joining them, as I loved how they always developed young riders into winners,” Asgreen said. “Three years on, I still believe it’s the best environment for me, and signing an extension so early into the season makes me happy and motivates me even more to perform.”

Asgreen emerged as one of the most valuable stage race domestiques at Quick-Step since joining the team in 2018, and is a key part of its classics unit. This year, the Dane won both the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Tour of Flanders, and is slated to be part of the team’s Tour de France selection.

“We are happy to have Kasper continue with us until 2024,” team manager Patrick Lefevere said. “He is a great rider, but also someone who has always kept his feet firmly on the ground, and this, doubled by a huge ambition, has helped him record incredible progress in the last three years … We are confident he can still improve and help us win many other races. Retaining Kasper’s services for three more years is another building block in helping to secure the future of the team.”

The 26-year-old is the third rider to be handed a long-term deal with the team. Earlier this year, world champion Julian Alaphilippe also extended his contract through 2024, while Remco Evenepoel has signed through 2026.

Tour de Romandie brings Saturday’s stage forward due to rain risks

Saturday’s fourth stage of the Tour de Romandie has been brought forward by two hours. The mountainous stage has been advanced by two hours due to the risk of heavy rain in the region.

Race organizers confirmed Friday that forecasts for unfavorable conditions on the stage’s high-altitude finish at Thyon 2000 rendered the planned late-afternoon finish problematic. The stage will now start at 10:35 CET and it is anticipated to finish at approximately 1500 CET.

The GC of the Swiss race will likely be decided on the grinding 20-kilometer ascent to Thyon on Saturday. At the start of a wet stage 3 Friday, Ineos Grenadiers occupied three of the top-four on GC, with Rohan Dennis holding the leader’s jersey.