August 1 ushers in the official start to the cycling transfer window with teams officially allowed to announce new signings for the 2016 season.
A number of marquee signings, such as Richie Porte from Team Sky to BMC and Michał Kwiatkowski from Etixx QuickStep to Team Sky are yet to be confirmed but it appears only a matter of time before press releases from their respective new teams will be issued. Porte has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the American team, while Kwiatkowski is set to bring current national teammate Michał Gołaś along with him to Team Sky.
The market is also affected by the possible UCI reforms that will see rosters reduced in 2017, and the uncertain future hanging over Europcar, with the French team without a sponsor for next year.
With the majority of Grand Tour leaders already with contracts for next season, the next tier down is where the majority of activity is taking place. Rigoberto Urán is still negotiating with a number of teams including Movistar, Colombia and his current team, Etixx.
Dan Martin, Lampre and Team Sky
Dan Martin’s future has yet to be decided. The Irishman has had a disappointing season thus far but has an impressive palmarès. He has an offer on the table from Cannondale-Garmin but Trek Factory Racing, Etixx-Quickstep and Team Sky have all been linked with the former Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner.
Martin’s current teammate Ryder Hesjedal is also out of contract and Cyclingnews understands that his agent has been in touch with a number of teams, including Lampre-Merida, who will not sign the former Giro d’Italia winner as they look to concentrate on holding onto their best talents. The Italian WorldTour team have confirmed to Cyclingnews that Filippo Pozzato will leave the team, with Lampre’s general manager Brent Copeland telling Cyclingnews that “I have no idea where he's going, but I can confirm that he's not staying with us.” Tinkoff-Saxo is Pozzato’s likely destination, although Trek and Katusha have both expressed interest.
Lampre’s main priority, however, is to tie down their existing talent with Rafael Valls Ferri, Sacha Modolo and Niccolò Bonifazio all up for renewal. A number of teams are interested in Modolo, who won two stages at the Giro. His asking price is speculated to be between €600,000-800,000.
If Modolo and or Bonifazio leave, Lampre have identified Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Andrea Guardini (Astana) as possible transfer targets. Coquard though already has an offer from IAM Cycling on the table and will have no shortage of suitors.
Lampre were also interested in signing Dutch rider Steven Lammertink but LottoNL have already announced that they have signed the rider on a two-year deal.
Team Sky have already conducted the majority of their transfer business and, along with their two Polish signings, they will add Mikel Landa to their roster. The team have also re-signed or are about to re-sign the core of their British contingent, including Luke Rowe and Peter Kennaugh. Alex Peters has already been announced as a new signing for 2016, while the team have been strongly linked to several riders at Movistar. Tao Geoghegan Hart, like Peters, has joined as a trainee for the remainder of the season and is expected to join the team in 2016 although a contract has yet to be announced.
Irish rider Philip Deignan is currently out of contract with Team Sky but Cyclingnews understands that negotiations are moving in the right direction.
At Etixx-QuickStep, the future of Mark Cavendish remains unclear. The rider has not yet been handed a formal contract extension but negotiations are on-going. MTN-Qhubeka had been linked with the former world champion but they recently ruled themselves out of the running unless additional funds could be generated to cover Cavendish’s salary. Trek Factory have also been linked with the rider but manager Luca Guercilena insisted to Cyclingnews that there was only around a "35 per cent chance" of the rider joining the team. Guercilena also ruled out signing Tejay van Garderen, who still has one season left on his BMC Racing contract.
Cavendish's current leadout man Mark Renshaw is also out of contract and would likely move with Cavendish, although both riders are represented by separate agents.
Orica GreenEdge are set to consolidate their roster with Mathew Hayman, Christian Meier and Jens Keukeleire all set to re-sign. Ivan Santaromita will not be offered a new deal but Svein Tuft and Michael Albasini are currently negotiating with the team to extend their contracts.
Cyclingnews also understands that Simon Clarke will leave the team and link up with Richie Porte at BMC Racing.