Looking at the transfer season this year, those with a keen (and nerdy) eye such as myself the abundance of riders from the Italian amateur crowd that are moving onwards and upwards. While this tends to happen every year, it is happen on a near unprecedented level this year that will leave the landscape void of nearly every major name. Let's go through a run down of who is jumping ship to the pro ranks...
Davide Martinelli (Etixx-OPQS)
Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF)
Simone Consonni (Lampre-Merida)
Edward Ravasi (Lampre-Merida)
Gianni Moscon (SKY)
Simone Velasco (Bardiani-CSF)
Nicola Toffali (Roth-Skoda)
Marlen Zmorka (most likely Androni)
Mirko Trosino (Southeast)
Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF)
Luca Pacioni (Androni)
These are 11 riders that are leaving the amateur ranks for World Tour or Pro Continental teams and this is not even including riders jumping to and from continental teams such as Unieuro-Wilier, Amore & Vita, etc. There goes the best sprinters, the best climbers and nearly everything in between.
Taking a look at the U23s that are left for next season, it is a much slimmer list. Returning U23s that will be instant contenders next year include:
Marco Maronese, Andrea Vendrame (Zalf-Euromobil)
Riccardo Minali, Seid Lizde (Colpack)
Filippo Ganna (Viris Maserati)
Edoardo Affini (Selle Italia)
Davide Ballerini (Hoppla Petroli Firenze-Tinkoff)
and on the Continental side, there is Simone Ravanelli and Giovanni Carboni (Unieuro-Wilier)
Certainly not packing the punch that they had in 2015 but things are not all lost. Carboni, Lizde, Affini and Ganna are quite the talented trio that have strong time trial pedigree. Maronese can sprint but has only produced in amateur races. Minali is another strong sprinter that takes after his father, Nicola. Vendrame and Ballerini are promising one-day racers while Ravanelli is the best climbing talent left with Carboni also being an option.
There are juniors coming in but it is going to be a light year for the Italian U23s in 2016, barring a miracle that it. Got a hot tip? Know an Italian junior that is going to light everyone up next year? Let us know!