British UCI Continental team Node 4-Giordana have strengthened their squad for next year after announcing that sprinter Rico Rogers is to ride for the team next season. The 34-year-old New Zealander is based in Melbourne but will be moving to Britain early next year to team up with his new teammates and backroom staff.
Rogers, who has stage victories at the Tour of Taiwan and the Tour of China, is a former mountain biker and is excited at the prospect of moving to Britain and sampling different courses and conditions.
Team boss Phil Griffiths spoke of his delight at the signing and his high hopes for Rogers, who he thinks can take on the very best in the world. Griffiths also reflected on Node 4's new sponsorship of the team, having endured the disappointment of seeing Motorpoint end their two-year association with the outfit.
"It's a shame that Russell Downing could not have waited to sign a contract as we'd have loved to have him back," he said. "But for Russ, read Rico. He will be our sprinter. He has a formidable record and he wants to take on Cavendish at the Tour of Britain.
"At 62 I am still a kid, I have never grown up. I still feel I owe a debt to cycling without it I would never have become a successful businessman... cycling has given me everything. Supporting a team helps my business and I still enjoy the buzz of being involved in cycle racing at the top level. It is great to have Node4 as our main sponsor as their management are genuinely cycling supporters. We are also excited to have Subaru on board as our vehicle provider with their long previous involvements with the sport."