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VN news ticker: UAE signs track racing prodigy Felix Groß, Sam Bennett wins Algarve opener

Here's the news making headlines for Wednesday, May 5.

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UAE-Team Emirates signs U23 track star Felix Groß

First there were Tadej Pogačar, Remco Evenepoel and Tom Pidcock. Now Felix Groß could be the next young hotshot to make waves in the pro peloton.

UAE-Team Emirates confirmed Wednesday it has signed the 22-year-old Groß to a three-year deal.

Groß currently races for continental outfit Rad-Net Rose, but is better known for his exploits on the track. The young German won gold medals in both the individual pursuit and the one kilometer TT, as well as a bronze medal in the men’s team pursuit at the European U23 track championships in Italy last year.

“I have almost no words, I am really really happy,” Groß said. “The chance to ride in a such great team is something I wouldn’t have thought possible. I’ve been on the track for many years now, and I believe I can be very successful on the road as well. I feel like I’m in the right place and I am looking forward to wearing the UAE-Team Emirates jersey next year.”

After racing for Germany at the Tokyo Olympics, Groß will join the Emirati squad as stagiaire. He will step up to the WorldTour in 2022.

“Felix is a young, talented rider who is a top-class rider on the track and we hope to help him make the transition to the road,” said team manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez. “We had him with us at the early season team camp in Abu Dhabi and he impressed us a lot and is a rider who has a great attitude. We see great potential in him.”

Sam Bennett wins Volta ao Algarve opener

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) kicked to victory Wednesday in the opening stage at the rescheduled Volta ao Algarve in Portugal.

Bennett paced ahead of Danny Van Poppel (Intermarché) in a mass gallop in the Portuguese stage race, moved from February to May due to the pandemic. The victory was the sixth of the 2021 season for Bennett, who returned to racing following the spring classics.

Among the teams racing include Rally Cycling and Hagens Berman Axeon.

The 47th edition of the Portuguese race continues Thursday with the 182.8km second stage from Sagres to Fóia, ending with the Cat. 1 summit to Monchique, one of the decisive stages in the race.

Thee Abundance Mini Grant supports 9 riders at Tour of America’s Dairyland

Liv Racing pro rider Ayesha McGowan put together a support package for women of color to race the Tour of America’s Dairyland. After more than 160 applications for Thee Abundance Mini Grants were received, a group of panelists selected eight adults and one junior to receive race entries, housing, transportation, and a food stipend.

The idea of the program, which was funded by donations, was to support amateur and beginner female road racers of color, and “to provide a pathway to inspiration, experience, and upgrade points.”

 Tour of America’s Dairyland is 11 days of criteriums in Wisconsin.