Former junior and under 23 World Champion Matej Mohoric will leave Cannondale-Garmin and join Lampre-Merida next season. The 20-year-old from Slovenia will join the team on a two-year contract, keeping him there until at least the end of 2017.
He is the latest youthful addition to the Italian squad, who also signed up-and-coming South African climber Louis Meintjes from MTN-Qhubeka. The pair have history together after Mohoric outsprinted Meintjes to win the under 23 World title in Florence in 2013.
"I'm happy the team trusts in me: the management and the sponsors invested on me, I'm aware I'm ready for achieving my tasks,” Mohoric said in a team press release. “In the past two years I collected interesting experiences, I became a better rider and I reached an important level of cycling which, I think, will allow me to achieve the goals I'll fix with the technical staff of Lampre-Merida.
“It will be great to be in the same tame with so many young guns, such as Meintjes with whom I share the memories of Florence 2013: Lampre-Merida traditionally pays a special care for the young riders, I'm sure they'll help me in demonstrating my qualities.”
Mohoric made history in 2013, when he became the first rider to win the under 23 World Championship road race the year after winning the junior title. He turned professional in 2014 with the Cannondale team and was one of the riders that remained when they merged with Garmin this season. He made his Grand Tour debut at this season’s Vuelta a Espana but was forced to abandon when he fell ill.
"He's only 20 years old and he has already won two World titles and he lived two years in the World Tour: his profile is full of quality and experience, that's why Matej is a precious transfer for us and we're happy he's going to join our team,” said team principal Brent Copeland. “We believe the qualities of Mohoric will grant him important results and will give to the team satisfactions: in our group he'll demonstrate his talent."
Simone Petilli and Marko Kump have also signed deals with the team while Sacha Modolo has extended his tenure. The team are set to lose Rafael Valls, Niccolo Bonifazio, Max Richeze and Filippo Pozzato at the end of the season.