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by Dane Cash
August 14, 2019
NEWS & RACING BROUGHT TO YOU BY GIORDANA
It’s transfer season in the world of professional cycling, and that means teams are announcing rider signings practically every day of the week.
This year’s transfer cycle has already seen some very big names agree to don new kit for the coming season, and many more notables are expected to make their 2020 plans public in the near future. To help you keep track of the comings and goings, we figured we’d put together a handy guide to the noteworthy moves of this year’s transfer season, organized by teams, with some thoughts on what the transfers will mean for the future.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of who is going where across the professional peloton. We’ll give some of the notable domestiques their due, but won’t try to cover every single signing. We’ll also run a guide to Women’s WorldTour transfers once more notable switches are formally announced (Thus far, we know Lucinda Brand is off to Trek-Segafredo, Barbara Guarischi to Movistar, and Soraya Paladin to CCC-Liv).
We will try to update this list every few days as transfer news continues to emerge in the coming weeks, so feel free to bookmark the page and visit often…
Goodbye: Vincenzo Nibali, Antonio Nibali
Hello: Mikel Landa
What it means: Vincenzo Nibali delivered some huge one-day victories to the team that was essentially built around him when it first started in 2017, but it’s understandable that management would want to go younger as Nibali’s GC prospects wane in the later years of his career. Mikel Landa has not really lived up to the hype that always surrounds him as a GC contender, but he hasn’t had many chances to be his team’s sole featured rider. He should get those opportunities at Bahrain-Merida.
Goodbye: Davide Formolo
What it means: The emergence of the punchy Max Schachmann and rising Grand Tour star Emanuel Buchmann give Bora the ability to feature other riders in the Ardennes and in the GC battles in stage races moving forward.
Hello: Matteo Trentin, Ilnur Zakarin
What it means: Amid the financial uncertainty that preceded the transformation from BMC to CCC last year, the team lost several big names and was too late to the game to sign many notable replacements. This transfer season is an opportunity to reload. Trentin is a great pickup who can win on practically any terrain. Zakarin will give CCC a much-needed GC contender.
Matteo Trentin on the attack on stage 17 of the Tour de France. Photo: Peter de Voecht/PN/Cor Vos ©
Hello: Elia Viviani, Fabio Sabatini, Simone Consonni
What it means: Cofidis gets one of pro cycling’s most successful sprinters and some capable lead-out men too, which will be crucial for the team’s push to jump up to the WorldTour level next season.
Goodbye: Enric Mas, Max Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Elia Viviani
What it means: Deceuninck-Quick-Step loses one of its top performers in Viviani and its best hope for Grand Tour success in Mas, but this is a team that is loaded with talent so there are a few up-and-comers there waiting in the wings. Plus, without those salaries on the books, the team can afford to re-sign some other names, and possibly add a few heavy hitters too.
Elia Viviani takes his first RideLondon win. Photo: Bob Martin for Prudential RideLondon
Goodbye: Ilnur Zakarin
What it means: No one is quite sure whether Katusha-Alpecin will even be around in 2020, but if the squad does find new sponsors and secure its future, it will be seriously lacking in WorldTour firepower without Zakarin or Marcel Kittel, who left the team in the middle of the season.
Goodbye: Tiesj Benoot
What it means: Benoot’s versatility will be hard to replace. Without him, Lotto-Soudal is pretty short on Classics contenders.
Goodbye: Matteo Trentin
What it means: Trentin manages to fly under the radar despite his impressive palmares, which includes wins at all three Grand Tours and a European Continental road title. His departure won’t be the end of the world for Mitchelton-Scott, of course, but the team might miss his big wins even as it focuses more and more on Grand Tour GC battles.
Goodbye: Mikel Landa
Hello: Enric Mas
What it means: For now, Mikel Landa is the only star GC contender that Movistar has officially lost to the transfer market, but Nairo Quintana and Richard Carapaz are both expected to leave as well. That will put a lot of pressure on the shoulders of newcomer Enric Mas. The Spaniard will be a fine fit in the Spanish WorldTour squad, but the team and the team’s fans may need to recalibrate their expectations of what Movistar can achieve after years of contending in every Grand Tour on the calendar.
Hello: Tiesj Benoot
What it means: 25-year-old all-around talents don’t hit the market that often, so Benoot is a great pickup. If he can turn his potential into results in races like the Tour of Flanders, Benoot will help Sunweb bounce back from a quieter 2018 season than the team would have wanted.
Hello: Vincenzo Nibali, Antonio Nibali
What it means: Trek-Segafredo has signed several proven veterans in the later stages of their careers in recent years with mixed results. Nibali definitely fits that bill. With Nibali turning 35 this November, it seems pretty clear that his best days are behind him. That said, he still seems like a strong bet in races like Il Lombardia, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Plus, it’s not like he has nothing left in the tank in the Grand Tours, finishing second at this year’s Giro. At the very least, he’s a popular star and a great marketing opportunity for a team with an Italian sponsor.
Vincenzo Nibali on stage 5 of the Tour de France. Photo: Luca Bettini/RB/Cor Vos © 2019
Goodbye: Simone Consonni
Hello: Mikkel Bjerg, Davide Formolo, Brandon McNulty, Max Richeze
What it means: McNulty is America’s most promising young GC rider right now. Mikkel Bjerg is a terrific time trialing talent. With Tadej Pogacar already on the roster, UAE Team Emirates now has a strong young core in place. Davide Formolo is not as young, but he is another rider with potential to be a big contributor in the coming years. On the other side of the coin, the team gets Fernando Gaviria’s lead-out man of choice in veteran Max Richeze.