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VN ticker: Alex Cataford retires, Franck Bonnamour joins Ag2r-Citroën

Here's what's making headlines on Wednesday, January 4.

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Canadian rider Alex Cataford retires

Canadian rider Alex Cataford confirmed he will retire from professional cycling.

Cataford, 29, raced with UnitedHealthCare and joined Israel Premier Tech in 2019. He started three grand tours, including two editions of the Giro d’Italia and one Vuelta a España.

“I’ve decided it’s time to start the next chapter of my life and I will not continue to race,” he wrote on social media. “It was tough decision moving away from what I do best, but after some long, hard thoughts, and talking with people close to me, I decided it was for the best.”

Cataford said he will remain active in cycling both in Canada and in his European base in Spain.

Franck Bonnamour joins Ag2r-Citroën

(Photo: Vincent Kronental)

French rider Franck Bonnamour is the latest B&B Hotels refugee to land a late-season deal.

Ag2r-Citroën confirmed his arrival on a two-year deal. The 27-year-old has started two editions of the Tour de France, and won his first pro race in 2022 at La Polynormande.

“It was a career goal to join a UCI WorldTeam. So to achieve this, in a French team moreover, is a great achievement and a huge source of motivation,” he said Wednesday. “It’s a team that corresponds to my qualities, my personality, and which puts its riders in a very good position to progress with state-of-the-art equipment and attentive supervision.”

He will join his new teammates at a team camp in Spain next week, and will define his goals for the upcoming season.

He also won the super-combatif prize at the 2021 Tour de France, and was second at both Paris-Tours 2021 and the Tour du Limousin that year.

” I am coming out of a year that left me hungry despite my victory at the Polynormande. I want to do even better in 2023,” he said. “The objective will be to go to the best races on the international calendar and also to discover new events on the UCI WorldTour calendar by putting myself at the service of my leaders. The challenge is exhilarating. I’m hungry for victories.”