This is a big one so grab some coffee and block out the next half hour please. This is serious, guys. You need to know the moves these development teams are making. And you should pay me for it.
As the title states, we are going to be looking at the moves from teams in two big cycling nations, Italy and the Netherlands. These are not meant to be team previews because there are always some last minute moves so just take it as an overview for the transfer season. Team previews will come at a later time.
The Venetian team is undergoing a changing of the guard with their star rider Gianni Moscon leaving for Team SKY, Simone Velasco bound for Bardiani-CSF while Nicola Toffali is headed for Roth-Skoda. Will this signal the end of their reign as the top Italian team for the last half decade?
They are certainly unloading a lot of riders including some very talented ones in Salvador, Brit Pearson and Toniatti, among others. What are they getting in return? The one big scalp they are landing is Davide Gabburo from General Store, who was close to a few big one-day wins this year in Italy. They are also grabbing chrono rider Nicola Da Dalt from Selle Italia. And...umm...errr...
Really going to see how this team pans out for them because they are going to be relying heavily on riders such as Marco Maronese, Gianluca Milani, Niccolo Rocchi and Andrea Vendrame.
IN: Davide Gabburo, Fillipo Calderaro, Michele Toffaletti (General Store), Michael Bresciani (Roth Skoda), Francesco Rosa (Colpack), Nicola Da Dalt (Selle Italia), Riccardo Lucca, Nicola Conci
OUT: Gianni Moscon (SKY), Nicola Toffali (Roth-Skoda), Enrico Salvador (Unieuro-Wilier), Dan Pearson (Team Wiggins), Nicola Rossi (Selle Italia), Mirco Sartori (Selle Italia), Daniel Rupiani (Gavardo), Alessandro Savignano, Andrea Toniatti (Colpack), Gianluca Vecchio (Marchiol)
Not much you can say about the Bergamo team except that they had a hell of a season. At the end of the day, they are a development team and they are promoting 4 riders (potentially) to the pro ranks with Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani), Davide Martinelli (Etixx-OPQS), Edward Ravasi (Lampre) and probably Simone Consonni (Lampre) but that deal is still being finalized because Merida want to get an Asian rider on the team. Those four riders got 17 victories on the road alone and were the backbone of the team itself. And these aren't the only riders leaving either. Up and coming TT rider Edoardo Affini is moving to Selle Italia and the cogs of the sprint train in Cima and Rosa are moving elsewhere.
So even if Consonni ends up staying for the first half of 2016, Colpack will need to find some more riders to take the reins. They have some nice additions coming in that will bolster their roster. Ganna is basically a replacement for Martinelli in the time trial (even better actually) and Bevilacqua is the Italian Junior TT Champ. Ukranian Padun was top 10 in the U23 Peace Race and won the queen stage of the Giro della Regioni. Toniatti is a former stage winner in the Giro della Valle d'Aosta.
Pairing these incoming riders with their current cast including Riccardo Minali, Francesco Lamon, Oliveira Troia and even younger guys such as Attilio Viviani might see the Bergamo team finally overcome Zalf-Euromobil.
IN: Simone Bevilacqua (junior), Nicolas Dalla Valle (junior), Filippo Ganna (Viris-Maserati), Carloalberto Giordani (junior), Marco Negrente (junior), Mark Padun (Palazzago), Andrea Toniatti (Zalf-Euromobil), Simone Viero (CT Friuli) and Enrico Zanoncello (junior)
OUT: Edoardo Affini (Selle Italia), Alessandro Bresciani (Delio Gallina), Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF), Damiano Cima (Viris-Maserati), Simone Consonni (Lampre...maybe), Davide Martinelli (Etixx-OPQS), Edward Ravasi (Lampre-Merida), Francesco Rosa (Zalf-Euromobil) and Alberto Tocchella (General Store)
For a first year, SEG Racing set the bar high. They beat the Espoirs Central prediction of 5 UCI wins by a slim margin of one and also won the Dutch & European U23 TT crown with Steven Lammertink. By pioneering a radical new route of being a rider agency that is controlling the means of production in terms of their assets, SEG placed four of their riders as stagiaires on pro teams this year with three of them catching on to World Tour teams.
There is a teething process with first year teams thus there is a high turnover for 2016. Out of the original 16 man team, only 5 are staying over for the 2nd year. The moves were for various reasons including fit with the team, underperformance or finding a team that can suit their needs better.
The riders they are keeping are young but pretty strong. Biermans is the strongest, at least in terms of results, with his 2nd in the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs and one-day potential. Klaris has a season in his legs and should be able to get some nice results in 2016.
As they say, out with the old and in with the new. And boy, did they grab some nice new. Tim Ariesen comes over from Jo Piels where he tore it up this season with the overall win in the Carpathian Couriers Tour and a solo win in the GP des Marbriers. You might recognize the name but his brother Johim, who won 10 UCI races this year with Metec.
They went and got two Australian talents that were hiding out in France in Freddy Ovett & Nick Schultz. Ovett, who just rode his first full season on the international level with Chambery CF, should be ready to produce in the hills after a trial by fire with the French team. Schultz is another climber that loves a hard, week-long tour and has been at the service of others in recent years, be it Jack Haig or Rob Power.
The two big juniors the team is bringing in next year are Dane Mathias Norsgaard and American Jack Maddux. Norsgaard is an absolute powerhouse that had a penchant for solo breakaways. I always take young Danish talents with a grain of salt because they have had an incredible rate of coming in under expectations. Maddux had an incredible ride at the opening stage of the Trofeo Karlsberg, where he won in solo fashion. The surfer boy from California might be more of a long term project but he brings a certain personality to the team.
IN: Ariesen, Jack Maddux, Ovett, Schultz, Mathias Norsgaard, Yannick Detant, Marten Kooistra and Martijn De Jong.
OUT: Jonas Bokeloh (AWT-Greenway), Davy Gunst (Rabobank Development), Yoeri Havik (3M), Rob Leemans (Baguet Cycling Team), Sea Keong Loh (??), Robert-Jon McCarthy (??), Ricardo Van Dongen (3M), Jasper Bovenhuis (AnPost??), Steven Lammertink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Alex Peters (SKY)
The de facto Dutch National Development Team is coming away well after losing some big pieces for next season but still making out fairly well. The team did their job with Sam Oomen and graduated him to the World Tour rankings and also did well with Antwan Tolhoek, who stagiaired with Tinkoff and is now off to Roompot on a neo pro deal. Honestly, getting rid of Piotr Havik wasn't a huge loss for them as he was a bit stagnant. Van Trijp had some shit luck this year and could still turn out to be a strong sprinter if he can pin a season or two together. A bad crash the Tour de Normandie wiped out his spring and he went under the knife for knee surgery mid-season. Metec could revive his career and see him still get to the pro ranks.
The team adds Davy Gunst from SEG Racing, who is still finding himself but seems to do well in the hillier terrain. They also bring on 4 new riders from the junior rankings in Dylan Bouwmans, Jelle Nieuwport, Bob Olieslagers and Maik van der Heijden. The juniors were not huge on the results with Bouwmans winning one UCI race and van der Heijden more known as a cyclocross rider.
IN: Davy Gunst (SEG Racing), Dylan Bouwmans, Jelle Nieuwport, Bob Olieslagers and Maik van der Heijden (all juniors)
STAY: Martijn Tusveld, Stan Godrie, Lennard Hofstede, Jeroen Meijers
OUT: Piotr Havik (3M), Sam Oomen (Alpecin-Giant) and Maarten van Trijp (Metec), Antwan Tolhoek (Roompot)