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VN news ticker: Israel Start-Up Nation sends all-star team to Catalunya; Bora-Hansgrohe denies reports of Deceuninck-Quick-Step buyout

Here's the news making headlines for Sunday, March 21.

Israel Start-Up Nation sends Chris Froome, Dan Martin, Michael Woods to Volta a Catalunya

Israel Start-Up Nation is sending its “A Team” to the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, starting Monday. Chris Froome, Dan Martin, Michael Woods and Daryl Impey will all star at the seven-stage race, and are will likely form the core of the squad’s Tour de France challenge this summer.

Woods and Martin were both forced to sit out the Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this month with illness, and the former is looking to land back into racing with a bang.

“A stage win is my big goal,” Woods said. “We’re going to have to treat this race as more of an opportunist race and take some aggressive actions throughout … I really enjoy this race and I feel like it’s such a good way to get good preparation for the Ardennes.”

Froome will be looking to continue to progress toward his goal of a fifth Tour de France title as he pedals his way back from injury.

“I will be using the race as an opportunity to push the legs further towards race fitness,” Froome said. “I love racing on Spanish roads and I am looking forward to testing myself in the mountains to see how I’ve progressed.”

Bora-Hansgrohe pushes back against reports of Deceuninck-Quick-Step buyout

Bora-Hansgrohe boss Ralph Denk has denied that his team was looking to take over the Deceuninck-Quick-Step squad as a means of signing Remco Evenepoel.

The Belgian team’s sponsorship deal is due to expire at the close of the year, and team manager Patrick Lefevere is currently in negotiations to seek extended terms.

“We never talked about buying up the team,” Denk told AS. “If Patrick [Lefevere] wants to increase the pressure on his sponsors with such stories, this may be his strategy. It is true that we spoke with each other. ”

Earlier this week, Deceuninck-Quick-Step manager Lefevere had written in a column in Het Nieuwsblad that he had spoken with Denk about the possibility of Bora-Hansgrohe signing the 21-year-old phenom Evenepoel.

“Denk explained that Willi Bruckbauer, the boss of Bora, absolutely wanted to bring in Remco. The shortest route was apparently to buy the entire team,” Lefevere wrote. “It was serious, because he also wanted to know what role I saw myself playing in such a deal.”

Denk explained this weekend that although he had spoken with Lefevere about the future of both Evenepoel and the entire Deceuninck-Quick-Step squad, a full buyout was not discussed.

“It’s ridiculous, because according to the UCI regulations I am not allowed to own two WorldTour teams,” Denk told Radsport News on Sunday. “All nineteen WorldTour teams are interested in Evenepoel. However, Patrick discovered him and so I decided to approach him first. He informed me that he would negotiate if there was no future for Deceuninck-Quick-Step.”