The Vacansoleil team has confirmed that Spain’s Ezequiel Mosquera has signed a two-year contract with the team as it continues to strengthen it’s line-up in the hope of securing a ProTour licence for 2011.
Mosquera finished second overall in the Vuelta after a tense duel with eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali. He will join Riccardo Riccò as the team’s leader for the major stage races.
“We are aiming for the ProTour and Mosquera is an exceptional rider who can achieve top-ten results in grand tours, his results could even improve,” Vacansoleil team manager Daan Luijkx said in a statement.
“You can see Mosquera is still getting better and better and his ambition shows by his effort to improve his time trialing. Besides that he will also get us results I believe his role as a guide in Spanish races will also be very important. Next year we will have several young Dutch and Belgium riders for stage races. To have a rider in the team who knows the races, speaks the language and is capable of passing his experience on is very important for our team.”
Mosquera waited until after finishing the Vuelta to confirm his move to Vacansoleil.
“I wanted to join a big team where everyone gets his own chance. Vacansoleil impressed in the Vuelta in 2009 and other Spanish races and I took my decision pretty quickly,” he said.
“I am looking forward to the co-operation and want to get results and share my experience with the young riders. I see a lot of talent in the Vacansoleil team and when asked if I wanted to take the challenge I gave a clear yes. Besides the fact that the Spanish races are important for me I also want to look what my limits are in other European races.”
Directeur sportif Hilaire Van Der Schueren told the Belga news agency that Mosquera would give the Vacansoleil team “a clear role to play in the major stage races.”
“With him around, the door to participate in the Vuelta in 2011 should be completely open, even if we don't get ProTour status next year,” he said.
The Vacansoleil team is also expected to name a new Belgian second-sponsor this week after signing Belgian national champion Stijn Devolder. The team confirmed on Thursday that it will use Ridley bikes in 2011.