Hagens Berman Axeon announced a fourth addition to the development team's 2020 roster, bringing aboard 19-year-old Pedro Andrade from Portugal.
The latest signing extends the US-registered Continental team's connection to Portugal that was started in 2015 with Ruben Guerreiro, who has gone on to ride at the WorldTour level with Trek-Segafredo, Katusha-Alpecin and EF Education First next year.
Andrade, who will turn 20 in May, rode with Portuguese Continental team Vito-Feirense-Pnb in 2019. He was the Portuguese junior national road race champion in 2018.
Since then, Andrade won at stage 4 of the 2019 GP Abimota. He was third in the general classification at Volta a São Miguel as well as third at Volta as Terras Santa Maria. In Getxo, Spain, Andrade took a top-20 result at the UCI 1.1 Circuito de Getxo.
Andrade excels on both short and long climbs, but he can also make short group sprints count, something at which he is surprisingly fast, according to the team. With his move to Axel Merckx's development team for 2020, Andrade will focus on improving his time trialing and technical skills.
“Joining Hagens Berman Axeon is a dream come true,” Andrade said in a statement released by the team. “I'm very motivated to start competing and helping the team.”
Merckx's team is set to turn over as many as 11 riders from the 16-rider 2019 roster as riders age out and move up.
Five riders have already signed for new teams next year, including U23 time trial world champion Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) and Ian Garrison and Joao Almeida to Deceuninck-QuickStep. Karel Vacek will move to Team Colpack, and Maikel Zijlaard will go to SEG Racing.
Riders aging out of the program include Zeke Mostov, Michael Rice, Davis Cole, Thomas Revard, Edward Anderson and 2018 US pro champion Jonny Brown.