The post-Tour de France period is always a hive of transfer activity and Dutch team Rabobank is among the squads that is making important changes in view of next season. According to the Telegraaf, and as has been rumoured in various media sources in the past two weeks, the transfer of Carlos Barredo from Quick Step has been finalised.
The Spaniard has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Dutch team as the third foreign signing into the squad for 2011. Dane Matti Breschel is also moving to the squad directed by Erik Breukink, as well as Luis Leon Sanchez from Caisse d'Epargne, the Telegraaf claims.
Barredo, if the signing is confirmed, is likely to replace Koos Moerenhout, who will hang up his bike at the end of this season. Being a good climber, he can play a key role for the team in the mountains and compete for one-day victories himself, like he did last year at the Clasica San Sebastian.
Denis Menchov, Dmitry Kozontchuk and Nick Nuyens are meanwhile reported to leave the team, which would then lack a true Grand Tour leader. Even though Sanchez finished 11th at this year's Tour de France, the 26-year-old would still aim at smaller stage races such as the Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice - which he won in 2009 - or the Tour of California.
2010 Tour podium finisher Menchov is meanwhile linked to the Astana or Katusha teams, but nothing has been confirmed as yet. If Barredo, Breschel and Sanchez indeed come on board the Rabobank team, possibly replacing Menchov and Nuyens, the squad would somewhat change its physiognomy to become more versatile on all sorts of race terrains, privileging stage victories over the general classification hunt at Grand Tours.
Furthermore, neo-pros Tom-Jelte Slagter and Coen Vermeltfoort are reported to be making the big leap into the ProTour ranks from the Rabobank Espoir team.
Contacted by Cyclingnews, Rabobank team press officer Luuc Eisenga did not want to comment on possible signings at this time. "We will make the news public once the contracts are finalised," he said.