Seven transfer flops of 2016

Riders who didn't deliver in their debut seasons with new teams

Following the demise of two teams, the 2016 transfer season has seen some big names switch teams to a lot of fanfare, namely Alberto Contador's move to Trek-Segafredo and Peter Sagan's to Bora-Hansgrohe. Fans, media and their new teams will wait with baited breath to see how they perform in 2017.

But what of those who joined new teams for the 2016 season? There were some marquee transfers back then too. Some worked out, such as Mark Cavendish's move to Dimension Data or Richie Porte's switch to BMC. Others didn't have quite so much luck, and Cyclingnews has put together a list of riders who hoped for more in their first seasons.

Ryder Hesjedal

Moved from: Cannondale-Garmin
Moved to: Trek-Segafredo
Victories: 0
Best result: 4th in individual time trial at Tour of Alberta
What went wrong: Since winning the 2012 Giro d'Italia, success has been hard to come by for Ryder Hesjedal. A stage win at the 2014 Vuelta a Espana has been the only trip to the top step for Canada's first, and only,Grand Tour winner. His move to Trek-Segafredo was an opportunity for a new beginning and a chance to revive his ailing stage racing performances. The Giro d'Italia would be the scene of his attempt to find his former glory, but it didn't work out after losing time early on before eventually abandoning the race midway through stage 14.

Even before he left the race, Hesjedal had noted that it could be his final Grand Tour and so it proved. After a few more disappointing results, he announced his retirement in August and began something of a farewell tour in his native Canada before heading to Italy for his final races. The season came to a close with a DNF at Il Lombardia.

Carlos Betancur

Moved from: AG2R-La Mondiale
Moved to: Movistar
Victories: 2
Best result: Stage wins at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and Vuelta Asturias
What went wrong:Betancur's switch to Movistar was perhaps a little surprising after a long layoff that ended with the early termination of his contract at AG2R La Mondiale. However, if any team was going to get the best out of the often-tricky Colombian, it was likely to be the Spanish outfit. Not only did they speak the same language but they were well used to working with Colombian riders, with Nairo Quintana, his brother Dayer and Winner Anacona on their books.

We had a long wait to see what Betancur could do at his new team, with the 27-year-old only making his season debut at Milan-San Remo in March some seven months after his last competitive appearance. He didn't finish, and a series of DNFs would follow as he made his way through some of the cobbled Classics. There were some positive signs with wins in March and April, but little success followed and he raced just 12 days after abandoning the Giro d'Italia in the final days. Fortunately, Betancur has another year on his contract to prove his worth to his new employers.

Mikel Landa

Moved from: Astana
Moved to: Team Sky
Victories: 3
Best result: Overall victory at the Giro del Trentino
What went wrong:Landa announced himself as a serious Grand Tour talent when he raced his way to third place at the 2015 Giro d'Italia. With his Astana contract up at the end of the season, he was quickly snapped up by Team Sky. Chris Froome was already locked in as the team's leader for the Tour de France but Landa, it was hoped, would give them a chance at success at the Giro.

His season got off to a stuttering start when he first delayed his debut in Team Sky colours to focus on time trial training. Illness forced a second delay, and it wasn't until the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali at the end of March that his run towards the Giro d'Italia began. He went into the Italian Grand Tour with lots of confidence after overall victory and a stage win at the Giro del Trentino, but it didn't start well, and he found himself distanced in the early mountains. The Chianti time trial ahead of the rest day gave him an opportunity to gain back time in the fight but illness struck him down, and he would pull out during stage 10.

The Spaniard regrouped and went on to help Chris Froome at the Tour de France but was far from being Team Sky's best performer in that department. After some good early season results, Landa's season went out with a bit of a whimper. The pressure will be on him to step up his game in 2017. Landa's season was by no means a complete flop but for the contract Sky offered him they would have expected far more.

Jurgen Van den Broeck

Moved from: Lotto-Soudal
Moved to: Katusha
Victories: 0
Best result: 8th overall at the Tour of California
What went wrong: Van den Broeck's term at Katusha didn't last beyond its first season, and a quick look down the Belgian's palmares can tell us why. Van den Broeck was once a promising general classification rider with two fourth places at the Tour de France in 2010 and 2012 – although his 2010 result was upgraded to third when Alberto Contador and Denis Menchov were later disqualified. Knee problems and crashes have plagued him in recent years, and he moved to Katusha in search of a new start.

Despite claiming to have found a new motivation at the Russian outfit, Van den Broeck failed to produce the results. The season got off to a slow start with 14th at the Tour of Oman, which proved to be the high-point until he claimed a top 10 finish in California in May. The already difficult season was compounded by a crash that forced him out of the Tour de France before three straight abandons at Plouay, Quebec and Montreal. Another DNF at the Eneco Tour finished his tenure at Katusha. He will move to LottoNL-Jumbo for 2017.

Igor Anton

Moved from: Movistar
Moved to: Dimension Data
Victories: 0
Best result: 9th overall at the Vuelta a Burgos
Where it went wrong: Anton had come close to retiring at the end of 2015, but he was snapped up by Dimension Data with just weeks before the new season. A former stage winner at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, Anton came with experience and pedigree. While he assisted Kanstantsin Siutsou to 10th place at the Giro d'Italia, illness prevented him from being able to do anything serious at the Vuelta a Espana. In the end, the best he could achieve from his season were top 10 finishes at the Vuelta a Burgos and Giro dell'Emilia. Dimension Data have given him a second chance with an extension to his contract and he'll be looking to do more with the next 12 months.

Beñat Intxausti

Moved from: Movistar
Moved to: Team Sky
Victories: 0
Best result: 3rd overall at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Where it went wrong: Intxausti's season had begun with so much promise after a strong showing at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana at the start of February. As well as supporting his teammate, and eventual winner, Wout Poels, Intxausti ended the five-day race on the podium. It quickly began unravelling after that, and the Spaniard found himself sitting out the entire spring due to mononucleosis. He made two attempted comebacks in Slovenia and Poland but decided to end his season early in the middle of July. Intxausti managed just 15 race days in all of 2016. Things can only get better, and 2017 is a second shot at proving himself for the team.

Rafael Valls

Moved from: Lampre-Merida
Moved to: Lotto-Soudal
Victories: 0
Best result: 8th overall at the Tour Down Under
Where it went wrong: Bad luck is a phrase that has haunted Valls throughout much of his career. After a strong 2010 season, he endured a lengthy lean spell that left him doubting his abilities. Overall victory at last year's Tour of Oman was the result he needed to give his career a kick start, and it proved enough to attract the attention of Lotto-Soudal, who gave him a two-year contract. Eighth place at the Tour Down Under was a solid start, but that would end up being the best of it for Valls. Following some mixed results upon his return to Europe, a crash put him out of the Tour de Suisse and hampered his hopes at the Spanish national championships.

The bad luck wouldn't stop there and another crash on his comeback race, the Tour de Pologne, resulted in a fractured pelvis and instantly ended his season.

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