Italian neo-pro and Spanish veteran bolster Swiss Professional Continental team
Cervélo TestTeam today announced that it has signed Italian Davide Appollonio and Spaniard Xavier Tondo Volpini to their roster for next season. Appollonio has been given a full contract after serving as a stagiaire with the Swiss team since August, while Tondo has transferred from Andalucia-Cajasur.
Appollonio's apprenticeship with the Cervélo saw him take part in the Tours of Ireland and Britain. The Italian finished 22nd overall at the Irish Tour and fifth on the third stage of the Tour of Britain. Those results, as well as victories at the GP Pretola, Firenze-Empoli and the Coppa Lanciotto Ballarini, have impressed his employer enough for them to offer a two-year, neo-pro contract.
"I signed with Cervélo TestTeam because it is the best team in the sport for a young rider to join to develop himself. My goal for next season is to always give my best and help obtain results for the team," said 20-year-old Appollonio today.
Cervélo sports director Jens Zemke said the team will look to develop Appollonio through a schedule of smaller races in his first full year as a professional.
"During his stagiaire period with us in Britain and Ireland Davide showed us his strengths, especially in shorter climbs and sprints," said Zemke. "We will work with him and help him develop for the future by sending him to smaller races. However, he will also get the opportunity to ride with our big captains. He is a good team player and we will integrate him into a team that is ready to win races."
In contrast to his neo-pro colleague, Xavier Tondo Volpini will enter his seventh season as a professional with Cervélo. The 31-year-old has experienced his most successful season this year with wins at Argentina's Tour de San Luiss and the prologue of the Ruta del Sol.
"We're happy to have Xavier on our team for next season and are convinced that he will fit very well with the squad," said Cervélo sports director Alex Sans Vega. "On the sports side, even at 31-years-old, we know there is still room for growth and improvement after the great season he had this year."
Tondo also proved capable of racing for general classification results, with second place finishes at Ruta del Sol and the Vuelta a Burgos. However, he indicated today that his one-year contract with Cervélo is likely to see him forgo personal ambition for that of his new teammates.
"My main task for 2010 is to support Carlos Sastre in the mountains during the stage races," he said.
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