The Bardiani-CSF team has confirmed the arrival of Andrea Guardini from UAE Team Emirates and Manuel Senni from BMC as part of a 17-rider roster for 2018, as the Italian Professional Continental team looks to bounce back from a disastrous 2017 marked by several doping cases.
Twelve riders have been retained from the 2017 squad including Vincenzo Albanese, Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Giulio Ciccone and Simone Sterbini. Nicola Boem and Niccolò Pacinotti have left the team, while Guardini and Senni are joined by neo-pros Giovanni Carboni, Umberto Orsini and Daniel Savini.
Bardiani-CSF will again have an all-Italian roster, with an average age of 23 years and six months.
The team is hoping to secure a wildcard invitation to the 2018 Giro d’Italia but has fallen out of favour with race organiser RCS Sport after Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi tested positive for GH-Releasing Peptides in April, with their cases emerging as they lined-up for the team presentation at the start of the Giro in May.
The UCI subsequently banned Bardiani-CSF from racing for a month between June 14 and July 14.
The team was caught up in another anti-doping case in October when La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that 22-year-old Michael Bresciani tested positive for the diuretic furosemide in his first race with the team. He joined the team on June 1 to replace Ruffoni and Pirazzi but tested positive a few weeks later at the Italian national championships.
Bresciani claimed his positive test was sparked by contamination from medicine his mother takes. He has not been suspended by the UCI while they study his case but he agreed to a self-suspension with the Bardiani-CSF team in August, claiming he was only negligent and had not tried to dope. Bresciani is listed as part of the Bardiani-CSF roster for 2018 even though he could face a ban in the coming months.
Bardiani-CSF won just four races in 2017: a stage at the Tour de Langkawi, two stages at the Tour of Croatia, and a stage at the Tour of Utah. The team finished 66th in the Europe Tour rankings.
Guardini failed to win in 2017 with UAE Team Emirates but has taken 39 sprint victories during his seven-year career. The move to Bardiani-CSF is a chance to get his career back on track, with the team expected to create a lead-out train to help him.
25-year-old Senni won the Colorado Classic stage race in August but steps down a level to become one of the team leaders at Bardiani-CSF in 2018.
Roberto Reverberi again manages the team with his son Robert, with Stefano Zanatta and Claudio Cucinotta as directeurs sportifs.
Bardiani-CSF will hold their first get-together in Montecchio Emilia in early December.