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VN news ticker: Giacomo Nizzolo signs for ISN, Antonio Nibali joins brother at Astana, Rally signs two more

Here's the news making the headlines on Wednesday, October 20.

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Giacomo Nizzolo signs with Israel Start-Up Nation

Giacomo Nizzolo is the latest rider to leave Qhubeka-NextHash in search of new pastures. The Italian sprinter will ride for Israel Start-Up Nation in 2022, joining the likes of Jakob Fuglsang and Hugo Houle as new starters with the team.

Nizzolo has spent the last three seasons at Qhubeka-NextHash and its varying guises. Twice a winner of the points classification at the Giro d’Italia, he struggled to win as regularly in recent years, but took victory in a stage of this year’s corsa rosa after two runner-up finishes.

“To join this team is something really special for me. From the outside, it looks like a really nice team with a great group of people working very well together to reach its big goals,” Nizzolo said. “I’m really proud to become part of this team. I’m super happy and super motivated and I’m sure we will achieve big goals together.

“Given my level of performances over the last couple of years, I hope to continue to improve and only get better. Milano-Sanremo is my dream race so I would really like to be at good level there but in general, I just want to take my chance every time there is an opportunity for me. I’m really looking forward to joining the team next year.”

Antonio Nibali joins brother at Astana

Despite having previously agreed on an extension to his contract at Trek-Segafredo, Antonio Nibali will now join his older brother Vincenzo at Astana in 2022.

Trek announced earlier this month that the planned extension would not go ahead, and Astana finally confirmed this week what had been rumored for some time. He has penned a two-year deal with the team, as has Valerio Conti, who joins from UAE-Team Emirates.

“I am looking forward to meeting the team and to start the new season. I hope to spend some good years in Astana Qazaqstan Team, to help achieve the biggest goals of the team, to try to win something, and to help the leaders in the best possible way,” Nibali said. “I am quite sure I will find a nice atmosphere in the team as I know a good part of the staff and, of course, some riders.

“The last two seasons were not that great due to the COVID-19 situation, but I hope in the following year, step by step, everything will come back to 100 percent normal. I am ready for a new challenge in my career, it is an important change for me, and I hope to provide my new team with all the best I can do.”

Rally Cycling adds Mieke Kröger and Evy Kuijpers to women’s team

Rally Cycling continues to build its women’s roster as it aims to step up to WorldTour status for 2022. The American squad was named as one of five applicants for the top tier of women’s cycling.

With that in mind, the team has added two experienced riders from the European peloton in Mieke Kröger and Evy Kuijpers. Kröger has had a stellar season in 2021, helping the German team to gold in the Team Pursuit at the Olympic Games and taking victory in the Mixed Team Relay at the road worlds. Meanwhile, Kuijpers has been a pro since 2014 and brings a wealth of experience with her.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Kröger said. “Racing under American management is something I’ve never experienced so I’m really excited. “I’m looking forward to Roubaix again as I enjoy the Classics when it’s bad weather.

“My motor is really running during the last part of the season though, so I’m also looking forward to some smaller stage races where I perform well because of my time trialing.”