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VN news ticker: Mark Cavendish to Tour of Britain; Astana to continue, Alexander Vinokourov returns in 2022

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, August 16.

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Mark Cavendish to the Tour of Britain

Mark Cavendish will head to the Tour of Britain for the 12th time in his career as he continues his search for a post-Tour de France win. With 10 victories, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider has won more stages of the eight-day race than any other rider since its revival in 2004.

The Manxman has enjoyed a major comeback to the top of the sport this year with a record-equalling run at the Tour de France last month. He returned to racing after the French grand tour at the Tour of Denmark, where he came close to a win on the opening stage.

“It is always an honor to race on the home roads of the Tour of Britain,” Cavendish said. “It is a race where I have always enjoyed success and I am really looking forward to racing with what I know will be a strong Deceuninck-Quick-Step team. It has already been a special year for me and riding the Tour of Britain will be a great way to see so many of the people who have supported me throughout.”

The 2021 Tour of Britain begins in Cornwall on Sunday, September 5, and finishes in Aberdeen on Sunday, September 12.

Astana to continue in 2022, Alexander Vinokourov returns

The Astana team will continue into the 2022 season, despite co-owner and co-sponsor Premier Tech pulling out at the end of this year. The team confirmed Monday that the ousted Alexander Vinokourov would also return as the ‘sports team principal’ next year, where he will be in charge of recruitment and sporting operations.

Vinokourov was fired as the team principal on the eve of this year’s Tour de France. Just over a month after Vinokourov’s firing, it was announced that Canadian company Premier Tech would end its partnership with the team — which included being a co-owner of the squad — at the end of 2021.

“The Astana team’s future in the WorldTour peloton is secured for 2022 with the team’s Kazakh shareholders confirming they will continue as team owner and title sponsor for the upcoming season,” a statement from the Astana team said.

“With preparations underway for the team’s 17th year in the peloton, announcements regarding rider contract extension and new rider signings will be made in the near future.”

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Lars Forster win European cross country MTB championships

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Lars Forster came out top in the European cross country mountain bike championships Sunday.

The French ace Ferrand-Prévot confidently beat Dutch pair Anne Terpstra and Anne Tauber on the Novi Sad circuit in Serbia. Swiss rider Forster beat Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Denmark) and Filippo Colombo (Switzerland) by just a few seconds in the men’s race.

Ferrand-Prévot rode away from her rivals midway through the race and only extended her margin as the race wore on. Her successful European title defense put to bed any disappointment from the Tokyo Games, where she finished 10th.

“After the Olympic race I wanted to win. It was a great day for me and I wanted this title more than anything else. I had a tough Olympic race and I just wanted to do my best,” she said. “It was tactical … I remained a little hidden at the start of the race, then I left. I attacked and I tried to keep my speed. I felt really good ”

The men’s event saw aggressive, open racing in the absence of top names Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock, Lukas Flückiger and Nino Schurter. Forster punched out of a six-rider group in the final lap to edge out his narrow lead and take his second European title after also winning in 2018.

Simon Pellaud signs for Trek-Segafredo

Simon Pellaud will return to the WorldTour six years after being forced out following the demise of the IAM Cycling team in 2016. Pellaud has penned a two-year deal with Trek-Segafredo, securing his place in the team through 2023.

Pellaud had to crowdfund part of his career after he found himself without a contract when the Swiss IAM Cycling team folded. After moving to Colombia, he eventually earned a spot at the U.S. Team Illuminate squad and has worked his way back up the cycling ranks.

“I’m super proud to become a member of the Trek-Segafredo family. I’ve touched all the echelons of pro cycling in the last few years, and for me, it’s like a rebirth. I feel like a neo-pro coming back into the World Tour after a couple of years spent building myself up for this big moment,” Pellaud said.

“Trek-Segafredo has always been a team that I’ve dreamed about. For sure, I know that I have reached the maturity and the level I need to be as a domestique in the World Tour. I am looking forward to giving the 100% of my abilities, dedication, and personality to the Team. I feel it’s the perfect situation for me.

“This Team has a reputation for being the one with the best atmosphere and spirit. That’s something I’ve always looked for, and it’s why I went all-in when I started the conversation with Luca [Guercilena]. I would like to thank him for his trust, and I am already excited about what is awaiting me.”