Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero signs for Team BikeExchange
24-year-old joins from Astana on two-year deal
Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero has signed with Team BikeExchange for two seasons, joining the team after a year in the colours of Astana-Premier Tech.
The 24-year-old was also part of the Italian team that won the mixed relay at last month’s European Championships and took bronze in the same discipline at the World Championships.
"From the outside I have always seen GreenEdge Cycling as a solid team, and to be able to join it in this moment of my career, I strongly believe this is a good opportunity for me. This is also because they have always been competitive in time trials therefore, I truly believe it is a good fit for me and for my characteristics," Sobrero said in a statement released by his new team.
"I have been also asking some friends of mine who have been on or are still on the team, like Edoardo Affini and Alex Konychev, and they all told me it is a great environment to work in.”
A native of Alba in the Langhe wine hills of Piemonte, Sobrero turned professional with NTT in 2020, having raced for the South African outfit’s development squad as an under-23 rider. When NTT withdrew from sponsorship at the end of the last season, Sobrero and his compatriot Samuele Battistella left for Astana.
Sobrero raced the Giro d’Italia in both 2020 and 2021. He placed a solid fourth in the final time trial in Milan in this year’s corsa rosa after riding in support of Aleksandr Vlasov across the race. He took third overall at the Tour of Slovenia in June before beating Edoardo Affini, Mattia Cattaneo and world time trial champion Filippo Ganna to the Italian time trial title.
"Matteo is still young, and we are going to support him in the best way possible to optimise his performances and continue his development,” said BikeExchange general manager Brent Copeland.
"Matteo’s addition fits into a perfect area of the team where we were looking at investing in and with his inclusion, we are sure that bringing him to the team will be a very important reinforcement for us for the next seasons."
BikeExchange had been in talks with Astana’s 2021 co-sponsor Premier Tech in recent weeks, but Copeland recently confirmed to Cyclingnews that the discussions had ended without a deal.
The squad will still be backed by owner and founder Gerry Ryan in 2022 under the name of BikeExchange-Jayco. Simon Yates and Michael Matthews remain in place as the team leaders.
Astana’s roster, meanwhile, has undergone a significant change ahead of 2022, when the squad will be rebranded as Astana Qazaqstan. Arrivals include Vincenzo Nibali, Gianni Moscon, Miguel Angel Lopez and Joe Dombrowski, while Vlasov and Jakob Fuglsang have departed for Bora-Hansgrohe and Israel Start-Up Nation, respectively.
"Since I started to talk with Brent, I was quite sure and motivated to join the team and here we are now," Sobrero said of his move to BikeExchange.
"The team is also investing in young riders, and it always has done. This is an important moment of my career, and I am sure it’s the right moment to join Team BikeExchange. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of my career."
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