Former Endura rider Alexandre Blain will ride for the Continental registered Raleigh-GAC squad for the coming 2013 season. Blain missed out on having his contract extended with his Endura team when it announced a merger with the Professional Continental NetApp outfit.
Blain moves to Raleigh after three seasons with Endura where he scored a number of professional victories. His most recent was at the 2.2 Rutland-Meltan Classic in April this year while his 2011 Tour de Normandie stage victory and overall classification win is his biggest to date.
The 31-year-old brings an added level of experience to a youthful Raleigh team that will hope to receive invites to some of the bigger races later in the year. Blain is charged with securing results in the opening season events while also guiding the younger riders to achieve results.
"Signing for Team Raleigh brings new goals for me for the 2013 season," said Blain.
The development project that Cherie [Pridham, Raleigh team manager] proposed looks really interesting and I'm looking forward to helping the team achieve its goals."
Blain turned professional with Cofidis in 2008 and spent two seasons with the French team before moving to Endura. He will join a number of riders including Elite Series Circuit Champion Graham Briggs and the talented Russell Hampton who have re-signed with the UK team. Blain will look to guide second-year recruits like 19-year-old Matt Holmes who will again ride for the team in 2013.
"My experience will help the younger riders on the squad develop their potential as bike riders and ensure we all work together to secure race victories.
"My early season goals are to ride well in UCI 2.1 stage races where the team have already been invited. Good results at these races will help to access the bigger races in Europe."