Danilo Hondo has secured his future in the professional peloton after renewing his contract with Lampre-Farnese Vini. The German rider will spend a further two years with the Italian ProTour team, which could well be the balance of the 36-year-old’s professional career.
"I'm very happy to be part of the project for the next two years,” said Hondo. “In blue-fucsia team there’s a perfect situation for working in a professional way and it will be an important input for giving the best. I'm sure that I'll give my support to the team in the necessary way."
The team named Hondo’s successful start to his first season with the outfit as its motivation for the two year deal. He won a Giro di Sardegna stage early in the season and placed 18th at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in the lead up to his ninth at Ronde van Vlaanderen. Hondo finished second at the Tour de Romandie’s second stage as he prepared for the Giro d’Itaia, where he took five top 10 stage placings including second on Stage 17.
Team manager Giuseppe Saronni said despite Hondo’s age, he’s a rider with a powerful physic that has much to offer the squad. "Danilo showed that he's a real professional cyclist, perfect in every side of his work, and so it was natural that we offered the renewal,” he said. “Hondo gives us his experience and high quality in support of the sprinters and moreover he's reliable when he had the freedom of going in search of personal results. He's 36 years old, but his physic is powerful and in perfect fit."
It’s been a bumpy return to a ProTour team for Hondo, since serving a suspension for doping at the 2005 Vuelta a Murcia. After a legal battle that saw his doping suspension initially reduced then reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and finally overturned in a civil court, Hondo returned with German squad Team Lamonta in 2006.
He signed for Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2007 but moved to rival Italian Professional Continental squad Diquigiovanni-Androni the following year, where he returned to the Giro d for the first time since his suspension. A stage victory at the Tour of Langkawi wasn’t enough to keep Hondo on at the squad and he joined PSK Whirlpool-Author last year before being approached by Lampre.
Hondo claimed two Giro stage wins for Team Deutsche Telekom in 2001 and is a former German road champion.
The team is yet to finalise its roster for the upcoming Tour de France.