Team Dimension Data have one of the most important transfer periods in their history ahead of them with a number of important factors and signings to be made in the coming weeks.
After a difficult season in which a number of their key riders have struggled for results, the team are looking to re-establish themselves for 2019. Along with deciding which riders from their current roster they should keep, the team also have to scout for new talent, and of course balance that with their aim of providing a home for African riders for the future.
One rider at the top of their shopping list is Amstel Gold winner Michael Valgren, with several sources informing Cyclingnews that the Dane will head to the team in 2019. The 26-year-old has not signed a contract with Astana yet, despite their interest in keeping him. Dimension Data have confirmed that there is interest in bringing the Dane into the team. Such a signing would represent a major coup for the African squad.
Reports are that Edvald Boasson Hagen will remain on the squad. The Norwegian, also out of contract, is still finding his best form after surgery earlier in the year, but he has become a mainstay in the squad and won their last Tour de France stage in 2017. Negotiations between the rider and the team have progressed steadily, and while a signature has not yet met a contract, an agreement is in place.
Danilo Wyss from BMC Racing is set to join the team, and comes across with BMC bikes that will replace Cervelo as the team's supplier as of next year.
While the Boasson Hagen situation represents positive news for the team, the situation regarding Mark Cavendish has not yet been resolved. The British sprinter has struggled for his best form since 2016 and is closer to the end his career than the start. It's also understood that he wants to remain loyal to lead-out men Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw - both of whom are also out of contract.
Dimension Data do not have an unlimited budget and are in the process of building for the future. That's not to say that Cavendish will not remain on the team, but the former world champion does remain on the market as things stand. Cyclingnews understands that the rider has options ahead of him.
Dimension Data and manager Doug Ryder have the added responsibility of improving the team's WorldTour points situation, so negotiations with Cavendish are not just down to one particular factor. At the moment the team and Cavendish remain open to dialogue.