The Movistar Team announced on Friday the signing of two neo-pros, American Matteo Jorgenson and German Juri Hollman.
Jorgenson, a native of Boise, Idaho, raced with Jelly Belly in 2018, but when the team folded, he decided to relocate to Europe and race for the Chambery CCF amateur team. The move paid off with a fourth-place finish overall in the Ronde de l'Isard, a victory in the points classification in the Tour de l'Avenir and a stint as a trainee for the AG2R La Mondiale squad.
"To be given the chance to step up to a squad as successful as the Movistar Team is a huge honor," Jorgensen said in a press release. "After a super transformative year, adapting to all that comes with life in Europe, I feel ready to make this jump. I have huge gratitude for Chambéry Cyclisme Formation and AG2R for believing in me, and giving me the platform to succeed this year."
According to the U23cyclingzone blog, Jorgenson immersed himself in French culture and pushed himself to become fluent enough to become part of the team's inner circle – an effort that was key to feeling comfortable in the team and in France.
He, like US teammate Quinn Simmons, who signed with Trek-Segafredo, opted to move up to the WorldTour as a 20-year-old because he might not get another chance.
"Staying U23 for another year comes with potential upsides such as reaching that next level and going from third and fourth place results to some wins, but also comes with the risk that I won't get this opportunity again. There are also risks that come with moving up at such a young age, as maybe I won't adapt to the level right away and after a two-year neo-pro contract, I don't have anything to show and can't get another ride," he said.
"However, the biggest thing for me at the moment is the ability to really start my career as a professional cyclist and really dive deep into it. At the moment I am a full-on amateur, not getting paid and really having to fend for myself, whereas going pro allows me lot of freedom in my life as well some wanted responsibility."
Movistar plans to put Jorgensen into many of the UCI .1 and .HC races next season, which he says "allows me to continue developing my racecraft and smooth out my transition to the WorldTour. I'm looking forward to starting my pro career – I couldn't think of a better place to do it."
Hollmann, who raced with the Heizomat Rad-Net team this year, claimed the bronze medal in the German individual time trial championships. In 2018 he rode as a trainee with the Katusha-Alpecin team.
"I am very excited to ride for the Movistar Team for the next two years," he said in a statement released by the team. "A childhood dream is coming true. I am motivated to perform at a higher level in a team I have always looked up to. A big thank you to Heizomat Rad-Net for the support during the last two years, and also to Katusha-Alpecin, for giving me the opportunity to ride as a stagiaire in tough races."