Venezuelan rider up into WorldTour, German sprinter to South-African outfit
Miguel Ubeto, third-placed of the UCI America Tour and winner of last year's classification, will be racing for Italian team Lampre-ISD next year. According to newspaper El Impulso, the Androni-Giocattoli rider has signed a contract with the World Tour team on Wednesday this week and will therefore leave the Professional Continental ranks next season.
Ubeto, a national champion in 2011, raced in Europe for the first time this year. The winner of the overall Tour of Venezuela will return to his home country next Saturday for some post-season rest and then come back to Italy in December to meet his new team.
Meanwhile, Omega Pharma-QuickStep will let go of Gerald Ciolek at the end of this year, as South-African team MTN-Qhubeka has announced the signing of the German sprinter for next season. Ciolek is the latest rider to join the team after Jay Thomson and Ignatas Konovalovas.
"This is our biggest signing for the team and for our European program," team director Douglas Ryder said. "To have a previous U23 World Champion, German National Champion, stage winner in the Vuelta and a rider that has twice come second in stages in the Tour de France is fantastic for Team MTN-Qhubeka. Our team is all about raising awareness to the cycling talent in Africa and to mobilising people on bicycles through MTN-Qhubeka and Gerald's signing will go a long way in helping raise the awareness to our project and in winning races. We are incredibly excited about the future."
Ciolek will have a two fold role on the team, to gain results like he did this year by winning a stage in Volta ao Algarve and to help nurture the younger riders.
"When I heard about this project I thought it was a really good idea. It's a smaller team than what I am used to but I will be well protected and have only heard good things about the team and management. I hope to do well in the Spring Classics and look forward to getting back to my best," commented Ciolek.
Team MTN-Qhubeka is in the process of registering as a UCI Professional Continental team, which will be a first for Africa. Ciolek's signing is an excellent stepping-stone in the teams dream to be the first African team to ride the Tour de France.