Most teams have made their major signings for 2011 but the process of completing their rosters is still underway, as the UCI transfer window deadline of October 20 approaches.
HTC has today announced the signing of current Irish national champion Matt Brammeier. The 25-year-old was born in Liverpool but opted to take up Irish nationality in 2009. He was run over by a truck and fractured both his legs two years ago, but has made a successful recovery. He rode for the An Post-Sean Kelly team this year and was in the early breakaway that gained 20 minutes on the peloton at the recent world championships.
"I am thrilled to be joining HTC-Columbia in 2011," Brammeier said in a team statement from HTC.
"It's the best team in the world and it's a huge honour that they have put their faith in my abilities as a rider. I like to work hard and ride hard, and I'm excited that I will be able to improve and learn from the very best. It's been a long and tough road back from the injuries that almost ended my career two years ago but it's all been worthwhile. It's a dream come true to be given such a fabulous opportunity with HTC-Columbia."
The team, however, will be known as HTC-Highroad next season, as clothing maker Columbia has declined to renew its sponsorship contract, which ends at the end of this year.
"These were the terms of the sponsorship that were originally agreed to in 2008," Columbia's European representative Regina Cirmon said." As the 2010 professional cycling season comes to a close, we congratulate Team HTC-Columbia for their success and thank them for their support of Columbia Sportswear over the past three years."
David de la Fuente joins Geox
Yesterday Geox-TMC announced the signing of David de la Fuente from Astana for 2011. The team has also confirmed that Giampaolo Cheula will continue with Mauro Gianetti’s team after riding for Footon-Servetto in 2010.
De la Fuente rode for Geox-TMC’s previous incarnation Saunier Duval from 2004 to 2009, taking a stage of the Tour of Germany in 2008 and the GP Miguel Indurain the following season. He also won the combativity classification at the 2006 Tour de France. The Spaniard signed for Astana for 2010 and rode in support of Alberto Contador at the Tour de France. He was not included in the entourage of Spanish riders that the under-fire Contador is due to bring with him to Saxo Bank next season.
Pujol joins Omega Pharma-Lotto
Also in Spain, Oscar Pujol has confirmed that he is moving to Omega Pharma-Lotto after spending the last two seasons with the Cervélo TestTeam.
“I signed a couple of days ago and have already done a power test,” Pujol told Marca. “When it was announced at the start of the Vuelta that the Cervélo team was going to disappear, my father (ex-pro Juan Pujol) helped me to look for a team. We started to talk with Omega Pharma and they were very interested in me.”
Pujol finished 12th at the extremely tough summit finish of the Bola del Mundo on the final weekend of the Vuelta. He is expected to play a key role supporting Jurgen Van Den Broeck in the mountains.
Bertagnolli joins Lampre
In Italy the Lampre team has recently confirmed the signing of Leonardo Bertagnolii.
The Italian climber rode with Androni Giocattoli this year and has won 16 races during his nine-year career.
“Leonardo will be important for the team. He will also have his own chances to win and also help team leaders Scarponi and Cunego,” team manager Giuseppe Saronni said.