FDJ sign Cimolai to support Demare

Italian joins from Lampre-Merida seeking change of scene

Davide Cimolai has signed for the FDJ team for 2017, joining the French squad after five years at Lampre-Merida. 

The 27-year-old joins fellow Italian Jacopo Guarnieri, signed from Katusha, in coming in to bolster the sprint set-up, which is built around Milan-San Remo champion Arnaud Demare.

"Now it's official, very happy to announce that my future will be with the FDJ team," he announced on Twitter, before telling France TV Sport a bit more about the motivation behind the move. 

"I'm 27 and I think it's the right moment to discover a new team, a new country and a new language. My aim is to put Arnaud in the best position and I think we can work well together."

The French team also announced the news on Twitter, writing: "Davide Cimolai will wear FDJ colours next year. A great reinforcement for the sprints."

Having started out on the track, Cimolai turned pro on the road in 2010 with Liquigas, where he spent two seasons before joining Lampre in 2012.

He has four victories to his name as a professional - two last year with the Trofeo Laigueglia and a stage of Paris-Nice, and two this year with the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya and a stage at the Tour of Japan.

Cimolai joins Guarnieri, who works for Alexander Kristoff at Katusha, in bolstering the international element of the French-oriented FDJ team. Only six of the 32 riders on the 2016 roster are non-French, but the percentage is set to shift next year, with the team also signing Swede Tobias Ludvigsson from Giant-Alpecin.

Also joining the team are Rudy Molard from Cofidis, and neo-pro's David Gaudu, winner of this year's Tour de l'Avenir, and Leo Vincent. Alexandre Geniez and Laurent Pichon are both heading off to different French teams - AG2R-La Mondiale and Fortuneo-Vital Concept respectively - while Sebastien Chavanel is set to retire. 

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