Phil Gaimon will return to the WorldTour with Cannondale in 2016, after spending a season at continental level. The team have also announced that they have re-signed the American Ben King for next season.
Gaimon has spent the past season year racing with American domestic team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. The 29-year-old was part of Jonathan Vaughters' team in 2014 but was not offered a new contract when they merged with Cannondale for 2015 despite starting his tenure with the team with a stage win at the Tour de San Luis.
"I had a great experience and the opportunity of a lifetime when I raced for the team back in 2014. I learned a lot about how to race in Europe, how to navigate the pack, control breakaways and better help leaders," Gaimon said in a team press release. "I'm thrilled to come back in 2016 with another year of racing experience under my belt and apply everything I have learned along the way. It will be good to be back in argyle."
King has been with the Slipstream set-up since 2014, after moving from RadioShack-Leopard. He took Cannondale-Garmin’s first victory of the 2015 season on the opening stage of the Criterium International. He later finished second to his teammate Andrew Talansky at the US national time trial championships.
"I'm really excited and proud to keep living the dream with the team in 2016. When you battle through the most difficult days, celebrate victories, and support each other as teammates, you become really good friends," said King. "That's the most rewarding part of the sport for me. Plus, the entire staff has been so supportive and given me every opportunity to get the best out of myself. I've improved every year and feel like I still have a lot of potential to realize. I hope to have a consistent 2016 and build on another Grand Tour and year of experience."
The Cannondale-Garmin team has seen many big changes in the line-up throughout the transfer window. Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal will both depart at the end of the season, while Pierre Rolland and Rigoberto Uran have come in. Cannonale-Garmin CEO Jonathan Vaughters is happy to have secured deals with the two Americans.
"Ben is a very talented rider and he is still developing his skills. In 2015 he showed glimpses of what he will be capable of in the coming years, and a highlight was his performance at World Championships, which was absolutely amazing to watch," said Vaughters. "Phil is an intelligent rider and a good person. Both are attributes needed in any team, and we are very happy to have him back in our ranks."