Bouet's step to Etixx-QuickStep a dream come true
Maxime Bouet's decision to leave his longtime position with Ag2r-La Mondiale after signing a contract to compete with Etixx-QuickStep for the 2015 and 2016 seasons was a move that marked a dream come true for the Frenchman.
Bouet, 27, has spent five years with Ag2r-La Mondiale where he placed third overall at the Giro del Trentino and second in a stage at the Tour de France. Despite his success with the French team, he said that competing under Patrick Lefevere’s team has been a childhood dream.
"As a child I was a fan of Tom Boonen," he told the French newspaper La Provence. "It was a childhood dream to become a professional rider but I never thought that it would be with the best riders in all disciplines gathered at a team like QuickStep.”
Bouet believes that he will fill a stage racing role with his new team, in line behind world champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Rigoberto Uran. He will begin his season at the Tour Down Under in Australia and hopes to be a member of the Tour de France team next July, however, his schedule could depend on Uran’s season targets. "We will both ride the Giro d'Italia or both the Tour de France. I prefer the Tour," he said.
Androni Giocattoli picks up Stortoni for 2015
Simone Stortoni has signed one-year contract with the Vuenezuela-based team Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela for the 2015 season.
The Italian spent two seasons with Lampre-Merida (2012 and 2013) before joining Amore & Vita Selle-SMP part way through the 2014 season. His past successes include second overall at the Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda, second at GP Camaiore, second in a stage at the Giro d’Italia and eighth place at Tre Valli Varesine.
Agnoli still in search of a contract for 2015
Italy's Valerio Agnoli is still searching for a contract after his current team Astana gave him the disappointing news that it would not renew his contract at the end of the 2014 season.
Agnoli, 30, has spent 11 years racing on the professional circuit for teams Domina Vacanze, Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, Aurum Hotels followed by five years with Liquigas and most recently two years with Astana.
He told Tuttobiciweb that he is not considering retiring from professional bike racing yet and that his agent is actively searching for a new contract for him. He also hinted that there may be some options available, however, he has yet to make a final decision on his place for next season.
"I'm still young, I really want to do well and I think I can give so much to the sport,” he said. “I have a lot of passion, and a 30-year-old cyclist is in the midst of his physical and mental maturity. I'm not quite ready for retirement.”