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Quintana to skip Tour de France to focus on Giro

PARIS (Reuters) - Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombia will skip this year's race as he targets the Giro d'Italia. Spain's Alejandro Valverde will spearhead the Movistar team's challenge on the Tour, the Spanish outfit said in a statement on Tuesday. "The Colombian will be the team leader on a grand tour for the first time in Italy," Movistar added. "Both will also be on the Tour of Spain."

Froome extends contract with Team Sky

LONDON (Reuters) - Tour de France champion Chris Froome has strengthened his ties with Team Sky by agreeing a new deal with the British cycling outfit. "This has been an incredible year for me and I'm delighted to finish it off by signing a new contract with Team Sky," the 28-year-old Briton said in a statement on Monday. "I've been with this team since the start and I know this is the right place for me to continue to grow."

Cycling: Froome says battle with disease is over

Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome has revealed that he has recovered from a parasitic illness that had plagued him for over four years. The 28-year-old Briton had been suffering from bilharzia, which is usually spread by contaminated water and is most common in Africa. Froome, who was born in Kenya, has managed to reach the summit of the sport in spite of the condition, but he says he was relieved to learn that he had finally shaken it off.

Cycling: Froome backs African talent

Chris Froome wants to set up a foundation to help African cyclists mirror the success of the continent's runners, the Kenyan-born Tour de France winner said here on Tuesday. Froome is working with David Kinja, a Kenyan cyclist and coach who mentored the champion as a young boy, in "inspiring some youngsters, helping kids to start cycling at a young age and giving them a better lifestyle through cycling". "What I would like to do is to see a project in Kenya and actually go places within Kenyan cycling," Froome told reporters at the end of a private visit to Kenya.

Froome wins prestigious Velo d'Or award

PARIS (Reuters) - Tour de France champion Chris Froome has won the prestigious Velo d'Or award as the best rider of 2013, the Briton's Team Sky said on Wednesday. Froome prevailed in a poll of cycling journalists set up by French publication Velo Magazine, with Colombia's Nairo Quintana, the Tour runner-up as well as leading climber and best young rider, was voted prospect of the year. In addition to the Tour de France, Froome also won the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de Romandie.

Cycling: Where the 2014 can be won - or lost

Here are the key stages of next year's Tour de France: Stage 5 - Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainault, 156 kilometres (96.9 miles) Race organisers have decided to spice up the 2014 race with cobblestones, which will strike fear into the main contenders. There may be only 15.4km of cobblestones compared to the 50km that form part of the "Queen of the Classics", Paris-Roubaix, which passes through the same territory. But it only takes one little section of bumps to bring riders crashing down and sending some home with a broken collarbone.

Cycling: Where the 2014 Tour can be won - or lost

Here are the key stages of next year's Tour de France: Stage 5 - Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainault, 156 kilometres (96.9 miles) Race organisers have decided to spice up the 2014 race with cobblestones, which will strike fear into the main contenders. There may be only 15.4km of cobblestones compared to the 50km that form part of the "Queen of the Classics", Paris-Roubaix, which passes through the same territory. But it only takes one little section of bumps to bring riders crashing down and sending some home with a broken collarbone.

Cycling: Title contender Nibali crashes out of Lombardy

Title contender Vincenzo Nibali crashed out of the Tour of Lombardy on Sunday after being caught in a pile up around 92 km from the finish of the 242 km one-day classic. Nibali was one of several riders, including Spaniards Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde, hoping to finish the European season on a high in the 'Race of the Falling Leaves'. However the Giro d'Italia champion, who rides for Astana, failed to get back on his bike after a spill which left him limping and with an apparent left knee injury.

British riders abandon world road race

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Tour de France champion Chris Froome pulled out of the elite road race at the cycling world championships with some 100 kilometers left as the British team all abandoned the event on Sunday. Froome pulled out with six 16.6-km laps remaining, following Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on the way to the team bus. "Tough race out there, really dangerous once we reached the circuit, the rain has been relentless," said Froome.

Wiggins almost quit 2012 Tour after Froome attack

LONDON (Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins threatened to quit the 2012 Tour de France because of the aggressive riding of team mate Chris Froome, according to Team Sky's former sports director Sean Yates. Froome, who finished second overall to Wiggins before going on to win this year's race, caused a storm when appearing to attack his team mate on a mountainous Stage 11 rather than help his British compatriot retain the yellow jersey.
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