Julian Arredondo is hoping a move to the Nippo-Vini Fantini team, along with some intense work to resolve a hip problem, will help him return to the form that saw him win a stage and the mountains classification at the 2014 Giro d'Italia.
The 28 year-old Colombian raced just 45 days in 2016 after a crash left him struggling to produce power in his right leg. He has not ridden a Grand Tour since the 2015 Tour de France but the Nippo-Vini Fantini team is hoping he can resolve his problems and become a joint team leader in 2017 alongside veteran Italian Damiano Cunego.
Arredondo will spend the winter near the team's headquarters in La Spezia, working with a specialist chiropractor to hopefully resolve his problems. He rode for the Nippo team before moving to Trek in 2014 and so is returning to his past in a bid to get his career back on track.
"I've raced for a long time with my left hip twisted, that took power away from my right leg and caused me pain in my back. Now I'm working seven days a week and between four and six hours a day with the specialists from FK Team in Aulla," Arredondo explained to Gazzetta dello Sport after the team's recent get together.
"First of all I've got to teach my brain to ride in a straight position. I'm going to race for a year and see how things go. It's good to be in a smaller, more family-like team. At Trek I didn't get much help with my hip problem."
Arredondo won the 2013 Tour de Langkawi and two stages at the 2014 Tour de San Luis and was considered one of the best climbers in the latest generation of riders to emerge from Colombia. In recent years he has been overshadowed by Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran and Esteban Chaves but he believes he can match them on the climbs.
"I've got a lot of respect for them but if I get back to my best, I'm not afraid of them," he said.