Lachlan Morton renews with EF Pro Cycling - Transfer shorts

Lachlan Morton of EF Pro Cycling
Australian Lachlan Morton will return to EF Pro Cycling in 2021 (Image credit: EF Pro Cycling)

The EF Pro Cycling team announced the contract renewal of Lachlan Morton, 28, as other riders and teams move to fill the final places of their 2021 rosters.

The Australian supported his team in the Giro d'Italia this season, where Jonathan Caicedo and Ruben Guerreiro each won stages and the Portuguese rider won the overall mountains classification. It will be Morton's third straight season in the organisation, in addition to two previous years with Garmin-Sharp, ands he will again mix WorldTour road racing with adventure racing.

"There's a long list of reasons I wanted to stay on this team," Morton said. "The big three are people, opportunities and partners. 

"Having the opportunity to race World Tour events while chasing new and exciting adventures in one team is a dream for me, a dream I've only been able to realize with EF. We have an amazing group of riders and staff that honestly feel like family. The partners we have provide us with the best equipment and support I could hope for."

In addition to racing in the WorldTour, Morton has been given the freedom to pursue ultra-racing, setting a record in the GBDuro in 2019 and the fastest known time on the Kokopelli trail in Utah and Colorado, and setting an Everesting record during the COVID-19 coronavirus break.

"I want to continue to do as much as possible. I have plenty of ideas for alternative events. I want to do as much as possible in that department. But I also have a fresh motivation to set some new goals for WorldTour events and really chase those, too."

But Morton said racing the Giro d'Italia this season was inspiring.

"It's been great. Incredibly motivating. I've learnt so much and it's really lit a fire inside me to come back and be competitive at these events. It feels like a new sport to me again."

Gibbons signs with UAE Team

With the NTT Pro Cycling squad still uncertain to continue in 2021, South African champion Ryan Gibbons will move to UAE Team Emirates for the next two seasons.

The 26 year old from Johannesburg won the 2017 Tour de Langkawi and this season proved himself as a top finisher with two top-five results in the Tour de Pologne. He joins Matteo Trentin from CCC Team and Rafal Majka from Bora-Hansgrohe at the team.

"I am thoroughly looking forward to joining UAE Team Emirates for the next two seasons," Gibbons said.

"I feel honoured to be part of such an incredible setup, which has achieved so much success and proven to be one of the best teams in the peloton. I have no doubt that this transition is crucial for my personal growth and my future as a professional cyclist and I'm eagerly awaiting the start of this new journey."

Team Manager Mauro Gianetti said: "Ryan is a versatile rider who has shown himself to be very dynamic and a strong team player. He has progressed well over the past few seasons and we hope he can continue that progression in our team as we continue to build for the future."

The NTT team lost its title sponsor this year and has so far been unable to name a replacement for 2021, with Giro d'Italia stage winner Ben O'Connor also leaving for AG2R La Mondiale, which will be named AG2R Citröen in 2021. In addition, Danish rider Michael Valgren will move to EF Pro Cycling.

De la Parte to Total Direct Energie

A number of riders from CCC Team have had better luck in signing with new teams, with Total Direct Energie snapping up Spanish climber Víctor de la Parte.

The 34-year-old Basque rider has been a valuable domestique throughout his career while also racking up overall victories in the Tour of Austria, Sibiu Tour, Flèche du Sud and a stage of the Tour of Portugal.

"I am very happy to be part of the Total Direct Energie family. I have always dreamed of living an adventure in a French team, so this opportunity is perfect for me," De la Parte said.

Also moving to Total Direct Energie next year are Alexis Vuillermoz, Alexandre Geniez and Pierre Latour from AG2R, and Fabien Doubey from Circus-Wanty Gobert.

"The Total Direct Energie Team has everything we need to achieve good results. I'm motivated and I'm going to fight to achieve our objectives. The 2020 season is over for me. I am now looking forward to 2021 to race with my new team."

Mountain biker Berthet moves to the road with Nippo Delko One Provence

Nippo Delko One Provence announced the signing of 23-year-old mountain biker Clément Berthet as a neo-pro. The Frenchman will give up his off-road pursuits for a full tilt on the Pro Continental squad.

"I had very good results in mountain biking but I felt that my future wasn't assured and I was going a bit in circles," Berthet explained. 

"First of all, I want to learn by helping the team as much as possible. I'm going to have a lot of work because I have little experience: adapting to the road world, race tactics, positioning. I'm aware of the extent of this learning process and I'm ready to invest 100 per cent in the team and we'll see how I develop. It's a huge change but this new challenge motivates me a lot."

Manager Philippe Lannes said he found Berthet through one of the team's coaches and invited the rider to join the team for a training camp in the mountains and signed him to a two-year deal.

"It is important that he learns his trade as a cyclist and that he is a good teammate," Lannes said. "He has great qualities as a rouleur and a climber. He really has a profile to be well-positioned in the general classifications"

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