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Quick Step sign Belgian sprinter Merlier, Zana joins BikeExchange

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QuickStep on Friday announced three new signings – Belgian sprinter Tim Merlier, Czech climber Jan Hirte and Danish one-day specialist Kasper Pedersen.

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Merlier, 29, winner of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, has signed a three-year contract with Alpecin.

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“It will be great to see two Belgian champions on the team,” said QuickStep sporting director Patrick Lefebvre, referring to Merlier’s move to Remco Evenepoel, who won the Belgian Championship time trial in June.

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The Australian company BikeExchange has signed its own agreement with Italian champion Filippo Zana, who has joined them since 2023 on a three-year contract.

The talented 23-year-old, a veteran of three Giros, will be the impetus for the band’s ambitions on a big tour.

“We continue to build our team for the big tours,” said Team Director Brent Copeland.

“This is what I have been striving for ever since I started cycling when I was six years old, to join one of the best teams in the peloton,” Zana said.

Team leader Simon Yates last month extended his contract with the team until 2024.

In other “transfer” news, ousted Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Emirates announced a contract extension until 2024 for four of his cyclists – Rafal Maika, Brandon McNulty, Mikkel Bjerg and Diego Ulissi.

The help of the Pole Mikey and the American McNulty proved to be decisive for Pogacar in the mountains at the recently concluded Tour de France, in which Jonas Wingegaard won.

McNulty’s impeccable performance helped Pogacar succeed on stage 17 of Peiragoudes.

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Source: sports.yahoo.com

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