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Transfer news: Vicioso, Meersman, Gretsch

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Angel Vicioso Arcos (Androni Giocattoli)

Angel Vicioso Arcos (Androni Giocattoli) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gianni Meersman won the sprint for second.

Gianni Meersman won the sprint for second. (Image credit:
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Patrick Gretsch is an up and coming German star.

Patrick Gretsch is an up and coming German star. (Image credit: Elmar Krings)

Katusha is boosting its contingent of Spanish riders with the reported signing of Ángel Vicioso. A stage winner at the Giro d’Italia earlier this season, Vicioso is set to join Joaquim Rodríguez, Alberto Losada, Dani Moreno and Joan Horrach at the Russian team.

According to BiciCiclismo, Vicioso has signed a one-year deal with Katusha. The 34-year-old puncheur has spent this season with the Italian Androni Giocattoli team, winning the GP Industria e Artigianato as well as the Giro stage into Rapallo.

The move will see Vicioso return to the top level of the sport for the first time since 2006, when he rode for Liberty Seguros.

Meersman and Gretsch on the move

After four years at FDJ, Gianni Meersman will ride for RadioShack in 2012. The move marks a homecoming of sorts for the 25-year-old Belgian, who turned professional with Johan Bruyneel’s Discovery Channel squad in 2007 and whose father Luc is RadioShack’s logistics manager.

“I had four beautiful seasons with FDJ but I thought it was time for a change of air,” Meersman told Het Nieuwsblad. “I’m making the step up to a ProTour team. The programme at RadioShack appeals to me more than at FDJ.”

Winner of the Circuit des Ardennes this season, Meersman is hopeful that he can step up a level at RadioShack. “I want to go on now and show up in the bigger races,” he said.

Another rider on the move is Patrick Gretsch, who will leave HTC-Highroad for Skil-Shimano at the end of the season. The 24-year-old German has agreed a two-year contact with his new squad.

A solid time triallist, Gretsch won the prologue of the Ster ZLM Toer in June and followed that up with third in the German national championships. He is hopeful that he can apply his talents across a range of roles at Skil-Shimano.

“I want to develop my time trial further and also pay attention to the other disciplines, because I realize that I have to be able to ride a good classification in stage tours to win a stage in the big tours,” Gretsch said. “And I would like to contribute to be able to make the sprint train of my new team into a powerful weapon.”

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).