Cannondale Factory Racing announced on Tuesday that the team has signed Manuel Fumic of Germany, Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy and Anton Cooper of New Zealand for two more years. With the recent signing of Henrique Avancini, the Cannondale Factory Race team is complete.
Fumic is a three-time Olympian, former World Champion and frequent visitor to the World Cup podiums, while Fontana is an Olympic Bronze medalist and winner of multiple Italian Championships. Over the next two years, they will continue developing their riding skills to remain at the top of the sport.
"This will be my seventh year with the Cannondale family," Fontana said in a statement released by the team. "Honestly, I cannot think about being anywhere else. Over the last two years, I went through some tough times but found my best at the end of the 2014 season. Therefore, I am burning to shine again over the next two years. The commitment the team has to the sport and the great vibe among us is really important for me. I cannot wait for 2015 to start."
Fumic said he and Fontana are like brothers, and he hopes they will be able to race together at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"We will work hard to get ourselves on top of the podiums in races around the globe, and do it our way," Fumic said. "Expect some cool stuff to happen along the way."
Cooper is the future of XC racing, according to the team statement. He is currently the reigning Commonwealth MTB Champion. At only 20 years old, Cooper is the youngest winner of a U23 World Cup event to-date.
"We went through some ups and downs over the past two years, but Cannondale Factory Racing has become my second home," Cooper said. "The team has supported me on the rough road to becoming an Elite rider. Signing for two more years is an amazing honor, but it will also be a huge challenge for me."
During the 2015 season, Cannondale Factory Racing will focus on a full World Cup campaign, with appearances in Europe and North America that will start an Olympic qualification period as the team sets its sights on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.