Two-year deal at Fortuneo-Oscaro for Maison
Jérémy Maison has added his name to the list of outgoing riders from FDJ with the 22-year-old inking a deal with Pro-Continental squad Fortuneo-Oscaro. Maison is currently riding his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana in his second year with the WorldTour team.
Warren Barguil asked team manager Emmanuel Hubert to sign the Frenchman with Maison expressing his delight to have been headhunted by a fellow new signing to the squad.
"I am very happy to join Warren and Amael next year," he said of Barguil and Moinard. "I have total confidence in Warren, he's the one who asked me to surround him. I believe in him and I think he believes in me too. We discover ourselves little by little and we have a similar vision of life and the bike He contacted me the first time when I was an espoir and then the next year I felt he wanted us to ride together for the next few years."
Yet to take a win in the professional ranks, Maison added he is aiming to reach his potential with the Breton squad.
"I'm sure we're going to do some nice things together," he added. "I know that Laurent Pichon is fully blossoming in this team and I think I can find my place easily. Emmanuel Hubert and the sports management rely on me, I want to prove to them that they are right."
Nippo-Vini Fantini announce first signings for 2018
The Italian-Japanese Pro-Continental team Nippo-Vini Fantini has named its first signings for the 2018 season, announcing Italian brothers Damiano and Imerio Cima. Imerio Cima, 19 has been handed a three-year contract by the team has shown his promise with two top-three stage results in the Tour de l'Avenir. Older brother Damiano has been with the team since August 1 as a stagiaire racing in the USA at the Tour of Utah and Colorado Classic.
"We are really happy to launch among PROs 2 of the most interesting Italian talents. This is the role of the Professional teams: to launch and support in their growth the best talents of cycling," general manager Francesco Pelosi said. "Our team is based on a double soul, Italian & Japanese, for this reason our investment in the Italian cycling is important. Damiano Cima is a young rider with talent and team attitude that could help a lot the team and also his youngest brother.
"Imerio Cima will start his PRO career at the age of 20, for this reason we signed a 3 years contract to give him the chance to grow up step by step, also if he already demonstrated to have a great talent (2 podiums in Tour de l'Avenir and 7th place in the European Championships). He will be another important talent for the sprints."
The team has already extended the contract of Marco Canola after his best season to date with Volta Limburg Classic victory, three stages at the Tour of Japan, and the final Tour of Utah stage.
Sicard and Grellier extend with Direct Energie
The duo join Adrien Petit, Sylvain Chavanel, Perrig Quémeneur, Lilian Calmejane, and Alexandre Pichot in extending with the squad. While Axel Journiaux (Neo-Pro), Simon Sellier (Neo-Pro), Rein Taaramäe (Katusha-Alpecin), Jérôme Cousin (Cofidis), Damien Gaudin (l'Armée de Terre) are joining the Pro-Continental team from 2018.
Sicard joined Direct Energie from the Euskaltel–Euskadi squad in 2014 and become a regular Grand Tour rider at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España since. The 29-year-old had a breakout season in 2009 as a U23 rider, winning the Tour de l'Avenir and world championships. He has struggled to transfer his U23 winning form into the professional ranks but has become an important component of Bernaudeau's team.
Joining the team in 2016 after two seasons with the Vendée U feeder squad, 22-year-old Grellier has shown a steady progression in his time with Direct Energie with several top-ten results. Fifth in the Paris–Roubaix Espoirs, Grellier has focused on one-day racing with Direct Energie during his 18-months in the pro ranks.