UAE Team Emirates announced today that they have finalised a deal securing European champion Alexander Kristoff for two seasons after the Norwegian's medical exams were completed. They also announced that former U23 world champion Sven Erik Bystrom will follow his compatriot across to the squad from Katusha-Alpecin on a two-year contract.
"I'm very proud and really excited to join UAE Team Emirates," Kristoff said. "For me this is a big move since it's only the second time in my career that I've changed teams. I'm looking forward for meeting my new teammates and staff members and getting to know all the people who work on this project. I'm very confident about the future, and I'm sure that with UAE Team Emirates we will archive great results staring next Spring."
Team manager Carlo Saronni called Kristoff "a world class rider with an impressive dossier".
"His European championship title is just further proof of his winning drive," Saronni said of Kristoff. "These are the skills that piqued our interest in Alexander as someone who can make the squad even better. We were happy to see how Kristoff appreciated the significance of the project behind our team, and we are sure that this road we are taking together will bring even more prestige to Alexander's image and career.
"We also welcome Bystrom, who's a young talented rider."
Halvorsen signs with Team Sky
Team Sky announced today the signing of 21-year-old Kristoffer Halvorsen, the reigning U23 world champion who rides with Team Joker Icopal this season, where he is building a reputation as one of the most exciting young sprinters in the sport.
Halvorsen, who signed a two-year deal with Team Sky, most recently won stage 3 of the Tour de l'Avenir on his way to claiming overall victory in the points competition. He also took a stunning pro sprint victory earlier this year at the Handzame Classic. The Norwegian will now be aiming to develop and continue his progress with Team Sky.
"I was lucky enough to be invited to the training camp in December last year," Halvorsen said, explaining how he ended up with Team Sky. "It was an opportunity to get to know the team a lot better and learn how things work inside the team. It's one of the best teams in the world. When I was then offered a contract, I couldn't say no.
"During the next few years I want to keep developing as a sprinter and take it step by step from there," Halvorsen said. "I'm really looking forward to joining Team Sky next year."
Team Sky Sport Director and fellow Norwegian Gabriel Rasch said it is not unusual for Team Sky to invite promising young riders to its winter training camps.
"He spent some time with us and settled straight in," Rasch said. "He's a really nice guy. He's young, but very mature for his age. Since then we have kept in touch as the season has progressed. He's a really promising young talent and so he had offers from other teams, but he really liked it here. He was impressed by the way the team trained and the set-up we have here.
"He's a really promising sprinter, and I think in the future he could be a good Classics rider as well," Rasch said. "He already has some wins to his name and he's a super fast young guy. He's very calm outside of cycling, but when he sees a sprint he turns into an animal."
Tankink extends for one more year with LottoNL-Jumbo
"I'm excited to announce the news," Tankink said. "The respect that I get from the riders, the staff and the management made me decide to go on another year with this team." On Twitter Tankink published a movie in which he discusses his choice to continue or not with two of his daughters.
"Bram has reached again a very high level this season and has proven to be very valuablesaid LottoNL-Jumbo Managing Director Richard Plugge. "Also for the atmosphere within the team for Bram is key. He's a mentor, too, for the youngsters of our team. Hopefully Bram will conclude his career with us in a good manner, whenever that may be."
Team Sunweb add Aussie duo Hindley and Storer
Team Sunweb today announced signing the Australian duo of Jai Hindley and Michael Storer, who will join the German WorldTour team in 2018. Hindley, 21, signed a three year deal with the team until the end of 2020, while Storer, 20, signed for two years until the end of 2019.
Hindley, who comes to the team from Mitchelton-Scott, finished second overall at the 2016 AnPost Ras and fifth in the general classification at last year's Tour de l'Avenir. This season he finished third at the Oceania Championships road race and second overall to secure the white jersey at the Herald Sun Tour alongside a stage win and thirrd in the GC at Giro Ciclistico d'Italia, amongst other impressive results.
"I'm super excited to be joining team Sunweb for 2018," Hindley said. " I think the team have shown they are quite big on innovation as well as developing young guys and this really stood out for me when looking for a new team. For 2018 my main goals would be to try grow as a cyclist whilst learning as much as I can, and to try to adapt to the professional style of racing."
Storer, another Mitchelton-Scott rider, was consistent throughout 2016, finishing third at the Oceania Championships U23 time trial, as well as securing the victory at Gran Premio die Poggiana and sevnth in the GC of Tour de l'Avenir. in 2017 he finished third in the Australian U23 time trial, fifth in the GC at the Herald Sun Tour, third at the Giro Ciclisto della Mont Blanc, second in the Oceania Championships road race, took a stage win at AnPost Ras and 15th overall at the WorldTour Tour Down Under.
"I'm looking forward to working with the team, the riders and staff and also the new challenge that will come with racing in the WorldTour," Storer said. "When considering teams, the development pathway was really important for me because I'm still only riding my second year as an U23. I wanted a team that provides the best support for me to become a better rider and somewhere I could become athlete on and off the bike."
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef said both new recruits are talented riders who will benefit from embarking on their journey of development together.
"We have been tracking Jai since the beginning of last year and have been in contact with him since the winter," Reef said. "We see a lot of potential for him as a climber and as a future GC hopeful. For now we will provide a race program with gradual build-up in level and difficulty, and he will have the time to develop across all different terrains.
"Michael is even younger at 20 years old and is already a complete rider with a decent time trial, strong climbing abilities and potentially able to go for the GC in the future," Reef said. "Within the team he will have the time to be able to fulfill his potential and develop step by step, without any pressure."