Cycling Transfers 2015 – September
There has been some big name transfers already as the transfer market gets underway for the 2016 season, perhaps most notably with Mark Cavendish leaving Etixx-QuickStep.
The Manxman moved to the Belgian team after a stint at Team Sky – where he wore the rainbow jersey of World Champion – but suffered constant problems with his leadout train. He has moved to MTN Qhubeka – soon to be known as Team Dimension Data for the 2016 season – along with favourite leadout man and fellow Etixx riders Mark Renshaw.
MTN have been busy already, signing Team Sky’s Bernard Eisel and Cannondale-Garmin’s Nathan Haas to strengthen Africa’s number one bike team. There is currently a rumour that they will also be bringing on board Team Sky’s Kanstantsin Siutsou although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Team Sky themselves have been churning the rumour mill since before La Vuelta and in September finally confirmed the acquisition of former World Champion Michael Kwiatkowski; as well as a number of marquee signings. These include Aru’s best lieutenant from Astana Mikel Landa, Movistar’s Benat Intxausti and Trek’s Danny Van Poppel.
It’s not all been good news for Sky though as they have lost Richie Porte to BMC as well as losing Eisel to Dimension Data and Pate to Continental outfit Optum P/B.
Etixx-Quickstep have lost a lot of riders in September including Rigoberto Uran who has moved to Cannondale-Garmin; but have managed to get themselves an ideal replacement sprinter for Cavendish in the form of young German Marcel Kittel who has moved from Giant-Alpecin although the deal hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Cannondale-Garmin themselves haven’t been so quiet. They have made some key name signings along with Uran such as Simon Clarke from Orica-GreenEdge and Pierre Rolland from Europcar. As well as losing Martin though they have also lost Ryder Hesjedal who has moved to Trek Factory Racing.
Trek have consolidated the loss of Jungels well with Hesjedal, but the loss of Van Poppel to Team Sky has left them in a tricky situation as the only rider they have signed aside from Hesjedal is Jack Bobridge from Team Budget Forklifts.
BMC have been quiet in this window so far with their only key signing being Richie Porte, although they have quietly been going about signing contract extensions for important members of the team such as Bookwalter and Velits.
Orica-GreenEdge’s loss of Simon Clarke has driven them to bring in a replacement in Luka Mezgec in a like for like exchange of sprinters, and other than that Orica have been keeping their heads down so far and getting contracts extended.
AG2R have managed to sign Cryil Gautier from the Europcar Team, which is becoming Direct Energie for 2015 after Europcar ended their sponsorship of the team. The only other transfer rumour surrounding AG2R is that Carlo Betancur could be on the move, with Movistar linked as favourites to sign him although nothing has been announced as yet.
Movistar themselves have managed to keep hold of a majority of their squad, only Intxausti leaving for Team Sky so far with Nelson Oliveira being acquired from Lampre-Merida as a replacement.
Lampre have managed to sign Louis Meintjes from MTN-Qhubeka right at the beginning of September but haven’t made any big name alterations to the squad so far.
Astana will have to find a suitable replacement for Landa, who was crucial in Nibali’s Tour de France contest as well as Aru’s Giro attempt. They have done little so far to do this, bringing in a handful of stagiares and squad riders in September only.
Tinkoff-Saxo have only managed to sign Adam Blythe from Orica-GreenEdge in September with riders mainly leaving the team, including Ivan Basso who has ended his career.
Giant-Alpecin, having lost Marcel Kittel and Luka Mezgec, have signed Laurens Ten Dam from LottoNL-Jumbo but haven’t had much activity as yet in the window. They have however managed to extend the contracts of Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil who impressed in the latter half of the season.
IAM have lost Sylvain Chavanel who has moved to Direct Energie for 2016 and have so far done nothing to replace him, although there are still many weeks until the end of the transfer window.