Moser leaves Astana for Nippo-Vini Fantini - Transfer Shorts

Plaza to decide future live on Facebook, Bora complete roster with Pfingsten extension, Bahrain re-sign Arashiro

Moreno Moser will ride for Italian Pro Continental team Nippo-Vini Fantini in 2019, after two years with Astana. The Italian is "looking for the definitive relaunch in the middle of his racing career", his new team said.

The 27-year-old won the Trofeo Laigueglia this year, repeating his 2012 victory there. That same year he also won two stages at the Tour of Poland on his way to the overall victory, along with the one-day Eschborn Frankfurt, in what was his first pro season, riding for Cannondale. He also won Strade Bianche in 2013 but has since struggled to live up to the promise shown in the early years. 

Nippo-Vini Fantini's general manager Francesco Pelosi called Moser "a new symbol and a new challenge - a challenge both of the rider and for the team that is strongly motivated."

Moser turned pro in 2012 and rode with the variations of the Cannondale team until joining Astana in 2017. He comes from a cycling family, with his father and brothers having ridden professionally. His uncle Francesco Moser won the Giro d’Italia in 1984 and his uncle Enzo Moser wore the leader’s jersey in the Giro in 1964.

Plaza to decide future live on social media

Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy) is facing the decision over whether to retire or whether to continue racing for another season, and he will make that decision live on Facebook on Friday evening.

In one of the most unusual transfer announcements seen in pro cycling, the Spaniard will hold a 'fan's conference', where viewers will be able to ask questions directly, and make a final decision on his future.

"At 38 and with more then 20 wins in his career, the Spaniard has reached Decision Time. Retire or go for another season with Israel Cycling Academy?" read an announcement from the team.

"We decided to give Ruben the last word. LIVE right here tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm Europe. (1900 Israel) - he will announce his decision. Retire or give himself another year."

Plaza, 38, joined the Israel Cycling Academy at the start of this year after three seasons at Mitchelton-Scott. He has previously ridden for Movistar, Lampre-Merida, and Liberty-Seguros, among others, over the course of his 18 years as a professional.

Bora-Hansgrohe wrap up for 2019 with Pfingsten extension

Bora-Hansgrohe have completed their roster for 2019 with the re-signing of Christoph Pfingsten. The 30-year-old German has been with the team since 2015. He signed a new one-year deal.

"We managed to build a well-balanced team for 2019," said team manager Ralph Denk on the team’s website. "I am confident that we’ll keep progressing in 2019, especially at the Grand Tours we still can improve our results."

The German-based team will have a roster of 27 riders in 2019, representing 10 different countries. Eight of the riders are German, with Slovakian three-time world champion Peter Sagan the team's leader and talisman.

Bahrain-Merida extend with Arashiro

Yukiya Arashiro has signed for another season with Bahrain-Merida. The team call the Japanese rider "one of the most steady and trustworthy men in our roster".

The 34-year-old was injured in crashes at both the Tour of Japan and the BinckBank Tour, but his rapid recovery "shows his perseverance and professionalism", the team say on their website.

Arashiro turned pro with the Direct Energie team in 2009 and stayed there until 2015. After one season at Lampre-Merida he joined Bahrain-Merida when the team was set up in 2017. 

"I’m glad that I can continue with Team Bahrain Merida next year, and I am convinced that next season will be a wonderful season,” the 34-year-old said.

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