Skil-Shimano sign two French neo-pros
Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will ride for Movistar in 2011, according to the rider’s website. The 24-year-old rider had already announced his intentions to leave the Basque team this summer and he had been courted by a number of teams in the intervening period, including Astana.
It is understood that Intxausti has agreed on a three-year contract with Movistar, who take over sponsorship of the Caisse d’Epargne squad next season. Intxausti impressed in finishing third at the Tour of the Basque Country in April and is widely viewed as one of the most promising prospects in the Spanish peloton.
Intxausti is currently competing at the Vuelta a España where he is juggling team duties and personal ambition. “My mission is to help Igor Antón and also to take my own chances,” Intxausti explained. A puncture on the road to Murcia on stage 10 of last year’s Vuelta cost Intxausti, then of Fuji-Servetto, the chance to compete for a stage win. He eventually finished the Vuelta in 60th place overall.
Meanwhile, Skil-Shimano have added to their roster by signing up two young French neo-pros for 2011, Thomas Bonnin and Thomas Damuseau.
21-year-old climber Bonnin has been riding as a stagiare with Ag2r-La Mondiale in recent weeks but has opted to join the professional ranks with Skil-Shimano. Bonnin was particularly impressive at the Tour de l’Ain, where he finished 20th overall and was prominent on the stage over the Grand Colombier. He will ride for the French national team at next month’s Tour de l’Avenir.
Thomas Damuseau is currently a stagiare with Skil-Shimano and has confirmed that he will turn professional with the outfit next season. The 21-year-old from Grenoble finished in second place at the French U-23 championship last weekend and was 7th in the tough testing ground of the Giro delle Regioni in Italy earlier this season.
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