Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Transfers Update

Hello all. It is that time of year where riders are announcing their new teams for next season and others are trying their damnest to score a ride for next season. I'll give a rundown of those that have homes for next season, which will be for World Tour and Pro Continental squads for now. Look for a transfer article with riders moving up or around the U23 ranks.

Orica-GreenEdge: Alexander Edmonson, Jack Haig & Robert Power

The Australian team is set on keeping their talent at home with the talented trio joining the Australian squad for the next two years. Both Edmondson and Power are shelved for the rest of the season to heal up from injury while Haig is making the most of his freedom, getting results in one-day and stage races alike.

The Australian team is going through a limbo as well as a very large part of their roster is up for renewal and many familiar faces might not be around next year. The last crop of highly talented young Australians including Leigh Howard, Michael Hepburn and Damien Howson are all unconfirmed for next season as of now.

Press release from earlier this year confirming all three.

Etixx-Quick Step: Fernando Gaviria, Rodrigo Contreras & Davide Martinelli

Perhaps the first big signings of the season, Gaviria and Contreras were phenoms at the Tour de San Luis when Gaviria won two stages of the race in sprints while Contreras finished 5th overall on GC. Gaviria, who is also the reigning World Champion in the track omnium, has been a known quantity for a while now and should be able to make a nice transition into the pro ranks as he has been promised freedom to go after track ambitions in the Olympic Games in Rio. Contreras might be a longer term project, which Lefevere isn't really known for as his patience isn't too high, but with time, he could reap rewards. Article via the team's website here.

The most recent signing was Davide Martinelli, the all-around Italian talent from Team Colpack. Martinelli, who is the son of Astana DS Giuseppe, has been widely talked about on this site for his talents and for my undying belief that he should have a crack at being a sprinter ala Marcel Kittel coming out of the U23 ranks. Martinelli's latest achievement was finishing 7th in the European U23 TT and then 3rd in the U23 RR, which took place this past weekend in Tartu, Estonia. Article via the team's website here.

Both of these deals were facilitated by Etixx's scout Joxean Matxin, who was a former DS for Mapei, Vini Caldirola, Saunier Duval and their descendants.

FDJ: Odd Eiking

The Norwegian hailing from Kleppestø, which is in the southwest of the Nordic country on the island of Askøy, has been a huge talent for the past two seasons and FDJ has been after him for the past year with team coach Fred Grappe salivating over the potential. Eiking went to a training camp with the team over the past offseason and the deal had been set for months before the announcement. Eiking has been on a very good year and took his first UCI win with the 2nd stage of the Giro della Valle d'Aosta. The deal is slated for 2 years.

Tweet confirming deal by team

Lotto-Jumbo: Steven Lammertink

The Dutchman, riding for SEG Racing this year, has risen up a level this year with his TT skills and as an all-around rider. Starting off the season with a stage win in Triptyque Monts et Chateaux, Lammertink won the time trial of the Tour de Berlin that secured the overall win for him.  A month later, he was the Dutch U23 TT champ and 6 weeks later, he was the European U23 TT Championship. Hopefully Lammertink can put a spark in Lotto-Jumbo as they have been fairly lackluster in their opening season.

Article confirming deal by team

Movistar: Jorge Arcas

Movistar stuck with home talent by signing Arcas, a strong climber from the Lizarte amateur team, which is managed by ex-Euskaltel rider Juan Jose Oroz. He is a noted teammate, especially in the early part of his U23 career, but in the last couple seasons including this one, which is his first out of the U23 ranks, he has taken over a leadership role in some races and has accrued 9 wins including stages of the Vuelta a Palencia and the Vuelta a Navarra. Most recently, Arcas was battling it out in the Vuelta a Toledo but his Lizarte team was manhandled by the Fundacion Euskadi squad and big time climbing talent Mikel Iturria. Arcas held on for 10th overall while teammate Rafael Marquez finished in 6th, 3 seconds ahead.

Article from team confirming signing

SKY: Alex Peters

The Hackney-bred Peters was good last year with Madison-Genesis but stepped it up a level this year with his new team, SEG Racing. After finishing 2nd place in the An Post Ras last year, Peters was 2nd in the Tour de Normandie overall and won a stage of the Tour de Bretagne on the way to 7th overall. Peters made his debut as a stagiaire at the Ride London Classic and dropped out midway through the Tour of Denmark. SEG Racing, with two riders getting World Tour rides for 2015, are certainly making a name for themselves as future hub of development.

Article via the team's website

SKY is also rumored to be getting Tao Geoghegan Hart and Gianni Moscon but I won't post them until they are confirmed by the team.

Riders starting full pro contracts as of August 1st include Olivier Le Gac (FDJ) and Nico Denz (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

Pro Continental

Bardiani-CSF: Giulio Ciccone

While some other riders on Team Colpack might get some more recognition, Giulio Ciccone has proven to be a fantastic climber but some might have forgotten about him after a more low-key 2015. He did win the prestigious Bassano-Monte Grappa and for the 2nd year running, he won the KOM jersey for the Giro della Valle d'Aosta while just missing out on a stage win after Odd Eiking caught him in the final kilometer and passed him.

Ciccone is apart of the Italian super team for the Tour de l'Avenir that includes three Colpack teammates in Simone Consonni, Edward Ravasi and Oliveira Troia along with climbing talents Gianni Moscon (Zalf-Euromobil) and Simone Petilli (Unieuro-Wilier).

Ciccone will join a bevy of young talent at Bardiani-CSF that has flooded the ranks and hopefully, he will not get mired in the sea of potential.

Article from Team Colpack confirming the signing.

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