Trek Factory Racing today announced the completion of its 2014 team with the renewal of Danilo Hondo, Giacomo Nizzolo, and signing neo-pro Calvin Watson.
Hondo, who previously acted as the main lead-out man for Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi before joining Radioshack, will continue to mentor the team's younger sprinters like Nizzolo and lend support to the Classics squad.
"For me it was a logical decision to sign on with the new team," Hondo said. "I chose a year ago to leave my role with Lampre and start working for both Fabian Cancellara in the Classics and Giacomo Nizzolo in the sprint and it has worked well. I didn't see a reason to change again. I had a very good feeling with this team and I'm sure the new team will have a similar ambiance. I'd like to continue to share my experience with the Classics core and to the young sprinters in the team. I'm excited about the bigger focus on sprinting and I think it's going to be great!"
Nizzolo made his professional debut in 2011 with Leopard Trek, and had his breakthrough a year later when he won the overall Tour de Wallonie with RadioShack-Nissan. This year he added two stage wins in the Tour of Luxembourg to his palmares, and he hopes to add more next season.
"Personally I'm hoping for a couple more victories," said the 24-year-old. "For different reasons, I don't feel as though this year was as good for me as 2012, despite feeling physically stronger and more adapted to the races. I hope that I can have a bit more luck next year, although I'm the first to admit that misadventures like in the Vattenfall Cyclassics are part of sprinting. Next year I'd like to be competitive from the start until the end of the season. Luca [Guercilena] and I will work on my program and race calendar as I have come to realize that the spring months, with the cold and the pollen, are not optimal for me."
Watson is an even younger face at just 20-years-of age and his signing seals one of the biggest cycling turnarounds in recent years. An Australian Institute of Sport full scholarship holder in 2012, Watson was informed very late last year that his scholarship would not be renewed for the 2013 season.
His initial response was to win the Herald Sun Tour in January, a performance that saw him earn a spot in the Uni-SA Australian National Team to race the Tour Down Under. The remainder of his year was spent racing with the Italian amateur Team Hopla with additional strong performances as part of the Australian U23 National Team, including racing the Tour de l'Avenir, sealing his ride with Trek for next year.
"Right now, my focus is on learning and developing into the rider that I'd like to be," said Watson. "I'm excited to be part of this new team as there are some amazing riders and directors here with so much knowledge of the sport. I'm just hoping to be able to utilize as much of it as I can."