Stefan Denifl will not ride with the CCC Team next season after the Austrian rider decided to mutually dissolve his contract. A statement issued by the team said that the decision had been taken due to personal reasons but did not elaborate further.
CCC Team announced on Monday morning that they would be replacing Denifl with his compatriot Riccardo Zoidl. He attended the recent CCC Team camp.
Denifl was set to return to the WorldTour in 2019 after he signed with the team in October. The 31-year-old has been a professional for over a decade, first signing for Team Vorarlberg in 2006. He made his WorldTour debut in 2011 with the Leopard Trek, before moving to Vacansoleil for the following season.
He spent four years with IAM Cycling, first as a Pro Continental team and then a WorldTour team. Denifl’s past two seasons have been spent with the Aqua Blue team, where he took the biggest victory of his career with a win on the brutally steep Los Machucos at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. However, he was forced to look for a new team when Aqua Blue suddenly folded in August. As well as his victory on Los Machucos, Denifl is a former Austrian national champion and has won the overall classification at the Tour of Austria.
30-year-old Zoidl has spent the past two seasons racing at Continental level with Team Felbermayr - Simplon Wels. He enjoyed a three-year stint on the WorldTour with Trek Factory Racing between 2014 and 2016.
"This is one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever had. I was really surprised to get the call and get this spot with CCC Team at the last moment. This is a chance I have to take and I’m really motivated and thankful to get the spot on the team. I will try to show that I deserve to be in the WorldTour again," Zoidl said.
"In my last years in the WorldTour, I made some mistakes so I think if I move on from that, I can be successful again, whether that is in a team role or with some personal success. I’m just looking forward to racing at the WorldTour level again and will do everything I can for CCC Team."
The CCC Team, formerly BMC Racing, has a heavily reduced roster for the 2019 season with just 23 riders. Greg van Avermaet is team leader. New signings include Laurens ten Dams, Simon Geschke and sprinter Jakob Mareczko.