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VN news ticker: Guillaume Martin extends with Cofidis through 2022; Michał Kwiatkowski to race Strade Bianche with heavy road rash

Here's the news making headlines for Friday, March 5

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Guillaume Martin extends with Cofidis through 2022

Cofidis announced late Thursday that Guillaume Martin has extended his contract with the French team through the end of the next year. His current contract had been set to expire at the end of 2021.

“For me, this is a logical and easy decision. I wanted to join in the long term with Cofidis, especially since we are setting up a long-term project. The team just entered the UCI WorldTour last year and there are many aspects that are evolving,” Martin said in a team statement. “I obviously have complete confidence in Cédric [Vasseur, sport director] and I feel that this is reciprocal. This is a healthy relationship that is developing, just like the one with my teammates with whom good things have taken place in 2020. I am very excited and very happy to continue the adventure until the end of the 2022 season. ”

After moving from Wanty-Gobert following the 2019 season, the climbing star ripped up legs and roads in 2020 with a third overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné and took the KOM jersey at the Vuelta a España. Martin was the top-placing French rider (11th) at the 2020 Tour de France.

Martin suffered minor rib and knee injuries at an early-season training camp in Sierra Nevada at the end of January but has since recovered. He was in the field at the Ardèche Classic and the Drôme Classic races recently and will be in Paris Sunday for the start of the 2021 Paris-Nice.

Michał Kwiatkowski suffers heavy road rash after Trofeo Laigueglia crash

Michał Kwiatkowski will take to the dirt roads of Siena at Strade Bianche with a swathe of heavy road rash. The Ineos Grenadiers rider fell heavily in the final of Trofeo Laigueglia this week and did not finish.

“After hanging out with a grizzly bear,” he wrote on an Instagram post Thursday. “I wouldn’t go on the bike today through Arenburg (ed. cobbled sector in Paris-Roubaix) but I slept well on the left side so there is plenty of reasons to smile”

Kwiatkowski will ride alongside Tom Pidcock at the lead of Ineos Grenadiers at Strade Bianche on Saturday. Having twice won the race, the Pole is one of the list of second-tier contenders close behind Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.

Gianni Moscon breaks wrist, to miss Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo

Gianni Moscon is out of action for 40 days after breaking his wrist in a fall at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last weekend. The Italian rouleur will miss both Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo as a result.

Moscon enjoyed a strong showing at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and was a core figure in the Ineos Grenadiers classics unit. He is now in a brace as his bone heals.

“It is a crack in the bone,” Ineos Grenadiers director Dario David Cioni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is no doubt that he will have to skip Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo, while at the Tirreno-Adriatico he was the first reserve. Then the evolution of the situation will have to be evaluated day after day.”