Cannondale Pro Cycling has signed Nariyuki Masuda for the 2013 season. The team, whose current title sponsor Liquigas withdraws at the end of this year, announced the signing of the Japanese rider on the eve of Sunday’s Japan Cup in Utsunomiya.
The 29-year-old Masuda has spent his entire career to date racing on the Asian Tour and he rode for the Utsunomiya-Blitzen squad in 2012. Masuda finished runner-up to Argos-Shimano’s Yukihiro Doi in the Japanese championship road race in April.
Masuda is the fifth confirmed signing for Cannondale Pro Cycling following the acquisitions of Michel Koch, neo-professional Matthias Krizek and Alessandro De Marchi, as well as the re-signing of Cameron Wurf from Champion System. Wurf previously spent the 2011 season at Liquigas-Cannondale.
Sunday’s Japan Cup is the team’s final race under the Liquigas banner, and a strong squad has been selected. Ivan Basso made his comeback from doping suspension in 2008 in the Japan Cup, and he leads the line-up alongside Tour de France green jersey Peter Sagan.
Juraj Sagan and Damiano Caruso are also on hand, along with Daniel Oss, who makes his final appearance for the team. Oss has agreed to join the burgeoning colony of Italian riders at BMC for 2013.