Nizzolo signs for Dimension Data

As revealed by Cyclingnews this week, Giacomo Nizzolo will ride for Dimension Data next year, with the South African team confirming the Italian sprinter's arrival on Friday.

The signing of Nizzolo, on a two-year deal, comes as Dimension Data prepare to lose Mark Cavendish, who looks set to join Bahrain-Merida. 

Nizzolo has only ever known one team, having spent all of eight of his professional years at Trek-Segafredo, joining when the team was established in 2011.

Although he didn't manage to win a Giro d'Italia stage - a feat that has narrowly eluded him over the past few years - he had a successful 2016 campaign, winning the points classification at the Giro, becoming Italian national champion, and taking six other race wins. In the past couple of years, however, he has struggled with illness and injury, in particular a lingering knee problem. 

“It’s an emotional moment for me, as I am changing teams for the first time in my pro career. Coming off two seasons in which physical issues have affected the chances to pursue my goals, I chose the project that showed me the greatest trust and that could put me in the best position to go for the big targets," Nizzolo said. 

“Since talking to the Head of Performance, Rolf Aldag, I was impressed with the ambitions and vision that drive Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has and I was sure that I wanted this team to be the next exciting step in my career. One of the big motivations behind my choice is the fact that Team Dimension Data will put me in the ideal conditions to pursue my ambitions in the sprints, showing complete confidence in me and providing the backing of an impressive lead out squad, that will get even better in 2019.

“I have been among the most consistent performers in the World Tour for years, I feel that ‘fast men’s Classics’ and GT stages are within my reach and I want to unleash my full potential with Team DD. The level in the sprints is crazy-high in the World Tour and I am sure this strong line-up will make a huge difference in what we will manage to do together."

Nizzolo is the latest in a lengthy list of newcomers at Dimension Data, joining Danilo Wyss, Michael Valgren, Lars Bak, Enrico Gasparotto, Stefan de Bod, Rasmus Tiller, and Roman Kreuziger. The team are set to lose Cavendish, while Serge Pauwels has already agreed to join the new BMC/CCC team. 

It has been a trying season for the team, who have been beset by illness and injury and have struggled for wins, though the Vuelta a España did represent an upturn in their fortunes with two from Ben King. Team manager Doug Ryder believes the arrival of Nizzolo and the rest can help turn things around. 

"What’s struck me over the years is his consistency as a bike rider and his ability to get results perhaps when things haven’t always been in his favour. With the squad that we have we will be looking to him to now take those opportunities and feature more regularly on the top step of the dais," Ryder said. 

"His arrival, along with the other outstanding blend of youth and experience that we’ve recently announced, together with the current members of our squad that are staying, illustrates how ambitious we are heading into the 2019 season."

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