Eduard Prades and Lluís Mas will represent Movistar for the first time at the six-day race in Australia, two of four new riders the team added this year. Prades, 31, comes to the team from Euskadi-Murias after racing with Caja Rural-Seguros from 2015-2017. Mas, 29, comes to the team from Caja Rural, where he raced since 2014.
The two Spanish riders will be joined on the Movistar team's Australia roster by Jasha Sütterlin, who contested some of the 2018 race's sprint finishes, and Jaime Castrillo, a stage combativity winner in his maiden pro race last season. Rubén Fernández, who was sixth-place overall in 2016, will also return. Rafa Valls and Héctor Carretero complete the roster.
"The Tour Down Under will once again be the starting point of the men's cycling season, and the Movistar Team will bring a quite youthful squad looking to offer its second unit some well deserved chances to score good results already in January," the team wrote on their website. "The Down Under Classic criterium acts again as prelude [on Sunday, January, 13] of the main, six-day event, which breaks its usual scheme and now puts the dual ascent of Willunga Hill [2.9km at 7 per cent], the most traditional climb in this race, into the final stage [on Sunday, January 20].
Movistar for Tour Down Under: Héctor Carretero, Jaime Castrillo, Rubén Fernández, Lluís Mas, Edu Prades, Jasha Sütterlin, Rafa Valls
Contador's Kometa team unveil 2019 kit
The Fundación Alberto Contador this week unveiled the 2019 team kit that the foundation's assorted teams will wear this year, including the UCI Continental Kometa Cycling team.
The Continental, U23 and junior teams will all wear the kit produced by Gobik, featuring a minimalist design that is predominately black in the central section of the garment - with the marked geometric pattern used in many Gobik products - and white sleeves. The kit includes Gobik's "Invincible" jersey and "Absolute" shorts.
"In Kometa they have very clear and ambitious medium-term objectives, and that is a key point of connection for us," said Alberto García, CEO of Gobik.
"The year 2019 has become Gobik's gateway to the world of road racing, and we wanted to surround ourselves with teams of Spanish origin," García said. "We believe that our customers, our fans, want to see 'their' brand also on the podiums of professional races."
Fran Contador, manager of the Fundación Alberto Contador, said the two organisations share similar values and will be a good fit.
"At Gobik they show day by day that they enjoy what they do," Contador said. "They take care of the details to the extreme, they put a lot of passion into all their work and they also transmit it with high quality products with a lot of innovation and a very attractive aesthetics behind them."
The Kometa Cycling team train in their 2019 kit
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec with 19 for 2019
The Italian Pro Continental squad Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec unveiled their 2019 team kit, keeping with the red base colour while adding a slew of new sponsor logos across the jersey.
Androni-Giocattoli won the Ciclismo Cup in 2018 to secure a berth in the Giro d'Italia. They've added eight new riders for the season, including Matteo Montaguti from AG2R La Mondiale, Matteo Pelucchi from Bora-Hansgrohe, and Matteo Busato and Miguel Florez from Wilier Triestina.
Eleven riders returning from last year's team round out the squad.
Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermech for 2019: Manuel Belletti, Marco Benfatto, Alessandro Bisolti, Matteo Busato, Mattia Cattaneo, Leonardo Fedrigo, Marco and Mattia Frapporti, Francesco Gavazzi, Fausto Masnada, Matteo Montaguti, Matteo Pelucchi, Matteo Spreafico, Andrea Vendrame, Mattia Viel, Julian Cardona, Miguel Florez, Daniel Munozand, Kevin Rivera.
Team Manager: Gianni Savio. Directeurs sportif: Leonardo Canciani, Giampaolo Cheula, Giovanni Ellena and Alessandro Spezialetti.
De Rosa extends with Israel Cycling Academy
Italian bicycle maker De Rosa has re-upped with Israel Cycling Academy, agreeing to extend a partnership that started last year.
"For me, personally, ICA represents one of most exciting projects I have witnessed in my professional career,' said De Rosa General Manager Cristiano De Rosa. "The team inspired so many during 2018, and especially in the historic Giro d'Italia. It's an honour to continue our relationship with the team on its journey in 2019."
De Rosa claimed the bike the Israel Cycling Academy riders will be on in 2019 is the best the company has ever made.
"Protos 2019 is absolutely the best bicycle that we have produced in our history," said Cristiano De Rosa, who came to the team's first training camp recently in the Negev Desert to oversee the delivery of the new bikes. "Protos is a project that started two years ago and finalised this year. We are very happy because we reduced the weight of the frame and increased the stiffness of the frame by using an i-modular carbon fibre saddle. For us, it was important to offer more stiffness and also to reduce the weight."
Team leader Ben Hermans was impressed with his new machine.
"I have raced many bikes in my career, but De Rosa are different. It's the history behind the bike,' he said. "The heart logo is still the same. It's such an exclusive brand and many fans come to see my bike before a race, and then, racing with it is great: The comfort and bike handling I really like. It's a bike that reacts immediately on handling."
Aside form the iconic De Rosa heart logo on the head badge, the bike manufacturer add a special twist for the 2019 team bikes, impressing the team logo on the top tube with 3D lettering.
"We thought that it was very important to create the limited edition for ICA" said Cristiano De Rosa, the son of legendary Ugo De Rosa who opened his shop in 1953. "The limited edition was important because we want to give more power, more enthusiasm, more emphasis to our project with ICA."
Team co-owner Sylvan Adams was equally enthusiastic about extending the partnership.
"I am pleased that ICA will continue our partnership with the highly regarded De Rosa brand of bikes," he said. "Cristiano De Rosa is not just a sponsor, he is part of the ICA family. We are looking forward to achieving great results on our new bikes, which are the best in the business."
A custom top tube for the Israel Cycling Academy De Rosa (Noa Arnon)