VN news ticker: Sergio Higuita to remain with EF Education-Nippo through 2021, Eritrean pro Desiet Kidane killed by driver
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Sergio Higuita to remain with EF Education-Nippo through 2021
Colombian climber Sergio Higuita, who was reported to have been kicked off of the EF Education-Nippo squad earlier this week, will remain with the American-based squad through the remainder of his contract.
“The team has come to a mutual agreement with Sergio Higuita regarding the recent issue at Giro de Rigo and will not end his contract early. He has been a steadfast teammate and positive presence, both on the roads and off. We wish Sergio the best in his future endeavors,” said the team in a statement late Tuesday.
Higuita, 24, was caught on video riding a Specialized Tarmac with Bora-Hansgrohe livery at a cycling event hosted by EF Education-Nippo teammate Rigoberto Urán.
The team’s bike partner is Cannondale.
— País do Ciclismo (@DoCiclismo) November 7, 2021
EF Education-Nippo chose to immediately terminate its relationship with Higuita for using non-sponsor-correct equipment at a public event while still employed by the team.
“Outgoing athletes can ride unbranded bikes from their new teams after the final WorldTour race of the season, per the current AIGCP/CPA joint agreement contract template.
“However, this was not the case regarding Sergio’s recent decision to ride a bike outside of team issue at the Giro de Rigo, which lacked respect for the partners that support him today. As a result, the team has sent a notice of termination regarding his contract. We ultimately hope to work with Sergio to come to an amicable solution,” the statement continued.
After some discussion, both Higuita and the team set a course that would take the contract through 2021.
“I wish to offer my apologies to all the sponsors and to the team. I made a mistake in riding the wrong bicycle at a public event, but this is not how I want to leave this team or remember my time here. I’ve helped my teammates to the best of my ability, won some beautiful races, and made friends with the staff and riders that will endure,” Higuita said. “I’m happy we could come to an agreement, and I wish the team luck in the seasons ahead.”
While racing under the EF Education-Nippo colors, Higuita finished in 10th place at the 2021 Il Lombardia, won the best young rider competition at the 2020 Paris-Nice and also the 2020 Colombian national road championships, and was second on the general classification at the 2019 Amgen Tour of California.
Eritrean pro Desiet Kidane killed by driver
Eritrean pro Desiet Kidane was killed Tuesday by a driver near the Eritrean capitol Asmara while she was on a training ride.
“With her constant smile, kindness, respect, and deep passion for cycling, Desiet Kidane Tekeste was a rising young talent who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and teammates, and coaches during this tragic time,” the UCI said in a statement Tuesday.
With her constant smile, kindness, respect and deep passion for cycling, Desiet Kidane Tekeste 🇪🇷 was a rising young talent who will be greatly missed.
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) November 9, 2021
Further details about the incident are unavailable.
Racing under the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Continental team colors, the rising star won both the time trial and road race at the 2018 Junior African Continental Championships.
Kidane competed at the 2021 UCI world road cycling championships in Belgium and competed in the Baloise Ladies Tour and Binche-Chimay-Binche. She finished 18th in the 2021 Périgord Ladies, and 22nd in the 2021 Choralis Fourmies Féminine.
VeloNews extends heartfelt condolences to Desiet’s family, friends, and teammates.