The UCI Professional Continental team, Barloworld, has confirmed that Robert Hunter will join the team in 2007. The 29-year old native of South Africa is rated as one of the world’s leading sprinters and has recorded 29 professional victories.
Hunter has entered all the Grand Tours, including five Tours de France, one Giro d’Italia and three Vuelta Espana's, for some of the world's leading teams. He joins Barloworld from the disbanded Phonak team. Prior to the Swiss team he rode for Rabobank, as well as Mapei and Lampre.
“We are thrilled to have this world-class rider joining our team," said Chris Fisher, head of corporate marketing at Barloworld, a South Africa-based industrial conglomerate. "We need experienced riders in our team if we are to continue to take on the best in the cycling world."
While largely funded by this South African company, Barloworld is actually registered with the UCI in Great Britain but bases itself in Italy and is largely managed by Italians.
Hunter had previously been previously linked to Team CSC for the next season, but has decided to support his home team, which is hoping to gain a ProTour license for next season.
“I’ve always wanted to ride for a South African-sponsored team and Team Barloworld have certainly proven to their critics that they are a competitive team who are entrenching themselves in the international cycling circuit" said Hunter. “I’m looking forward to joining the team and taking direction from the highly respected Claudio Corti and his management team.”