Craddock to join Haga at Argos-Shimano?

Bontrager's climbing specialist linked with Dutch team for 2014

One day after US rider Chad Haga told Cyclingnews that he had signed with a WorldTour team for 2014 but would not reveal which team it was, Spanish website Biciciclismo reported that both Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Bontrager's Lawson Craddock had signed with Dutch WorldTour team Argos-Shimano.

Craddock, 21, would not confirm the news to Cyclingnews on Thursday, but he did say he was "really excited about next year."

"I've had great opportunities with the USA Cycling development program and the Bontrager pro cycling team," Craddock said. "So it's allowed me to create some opportunities for next year, and so it's been pretty surreal."

Craddock had a breakout season this year, finishing as the Best Young Rider at the Tour of California in May after ascending with some of the best climbers in the world to the summit finish atop Mt. Diablo at the end of stage 7. He finished eighth overall at that UCI 2.HC race won by BMC's Tejay van Garderen.

Craddock also won the 103km second stage of Belgium's le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux in March and was fourth during the individual time trial at Silver City's Tour of the Gila, a UCI 2.1 race in April. He also finished fourth at the US Pro time trial championship in June. In 2012, Craddock won the Tour of the Gila's difficult Gila Monster stage.

Both Haga and Craddock are from Texas, and Craddock said he'd love the opportunity to ride professionally with his fellow Texan.

"With Chad Haga coming from Texas and me coming from Texas it would be really cool if we get the chance to ride on the same team next year," he said. "It would be pretty cool for us to be teammates and pretty cool for all of our Texas fans as well."
 

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