Transfer shorts: Tesfatsion turns pro, Serrano to Movistar and more

VARESE ITALY AUGUST 03 Start Ocbit Natnael Tesfatsion of Eritrea and NTT Continental Cycling Team Legnano City during the 1st Grande Trittico Lombardo 2020 a 1997km race from Legnano to Varese TritticoLombardo on August 03 2020 in Varese Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Ocbit Natnael Tesfatsion with NTT Continental Cycling Team at 2020 Grande Trittico Lombardo (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Transfer season is in full swing at the moment with teams announcing new signings, contract extensions and other sponsor and roster moves on an almost daily basis.

On Friday, Astana-Premier Tech announced six new additions, while both Israel Start-Up Nation and Mitchelton-Scott confirmed several contract extensions, and the team formerly known as NTT Pro Cycling will race on as Qhubeka Assos.

But there's been far more besides that, with other signings around the peloton announced in the past few days. Read on for more transfer shorts.

Tesfatsion turns pro with Androni

On the day which saw 'Africa's Team' announce that they're staying in the peloton next year, another rider from the NTT Continental Team has taken the next step and signed a pro contract.

Natnael Tesfatsion has joined Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec on a two-year deal, the Italian team announced on Friday. The 21-year-old follows a steady stream of Eritreans to the top levels of cycling in recent years, with Natnael Berhane, Amanuel Gebreigzabhier, Biniam Grmay, Merhawi Kudus all racing for a professional team in 2021.

Tesfatsion has enjoyed a successful 2020 campaign, winning a stage and the youth classification at La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, where he ended up second overall, and winning the Tour de Rwanda.

"Consistent with the youth project, with which we have achieved excellent results in recent years, we are now continuing with the signing of Natnael Tesfatsion," said team boss Gianni Savio. "The 21-year-old Eritrean has shown his talent this year, racing and winning with NTT Development Team."

Serrano moves to Movistar

EIBAR SPAIN OCTOBER 20 Gonzalo Serrano of Spain and Team Caja RuralSeguros RGA during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 1 a 173km stage from Irun to Eibar Alto de Arrate 570m lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 20 2020 in Eibar Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Gonzalo Serrano on the attack at the 2020 Vuelta a España (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Gonzalo Serrano has stepped up from the ProTeam ranks to WorldTour squad Movistar, signing a two-year deal with the Spanish team. The 26-year-old turned professional with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 2018 and has raced the Vuelta a España twice since.

This year, the Madrileño took his first pro win on stage 2 of the Vuelta a Andalucía, and also won the mountain classification at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. A climber with a good finishing kick, he's the 28th confirmed name at Movistar for 2021.

"I'm so happy to have the chance to join a strong squad like the Movistar Team, who are giving me the chance to race at the best events and alongside some of the best pros in the world," Serrano said.

"On a short term, my goal is learning as much as possible and racing some one-day classics, which I feel will be a terrain suiting my characteristics well. I've always wanted to aim at that kind of races in the WorldTour, so now the goal is trying to make the most of every race I take part in and squeeze the upcoming years to keep growing as a rider and person."

Movistar also renewed the contracts of track specialists Albert Torres and Sebastián Mora. The pair recently enjoyed success at the European Track Championships, taking the Madison title and Mora also winning the Points race.

Eolo-Kometa sign Christian and Archibold

Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport) in the breakaway at the Tour de Suisse

Mark Christian during his time at Aqua Blue Sport (Image credit: Getty Images/TDWSport)

A new ProTeam for 2021, the Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso-led Eolo-Kometa squad continue to strengthen ahead of their step up to cycling's second division. The team have added British duo Mark Christian and John Archibald to bring their confirmed roster of riders up to 15.

The two 30-year-olds, who have extensive track experience, both move from the British Continental scene, Archibald joining from Ribble-Weldtite and Christian joining from Canyon dhb.

Christian, a British track champion from 2008 to 2010, raced the 2017 Vuelta a España for Aqua Blue Sport, while Archibald, national champion in the team and individual pursuit in 2019, was part of the Great Britain team that claimed bronze in the mixed relay TTT at the Harrogate Worlds.

"I hope to achieve good results for next season, especially in the time trials," said Christian. "Of course, fighting for good results in the races we will face will be an exciting step forward that I am looking forward to. I didn’t know much about the foundation before joining the team, but it is of course great to be associated with its cause."

Archibald added that he was brought on board by the team's new head of performance Sean Yates.

"I'm looking forward to starting this adventure," he said. "I was aware of the steps being taken at the Contador Foundation to make the jump to the ProTeam category. Sean Yates contacted me, explained what he expected from next year and I immediately agreed to sign. Being able to run some of the most important races in the world is a huge opportunity and I am very grateful to the whole team."

Earlier this week, the team also announced the addition of Italian climber Edward Ravasi from UAE Team Emirates. The 26-year-old comes aboard after four seasons at the WorldTour squad.

"I am very confident that I can take a step forward," Ravasi said. "Last season I suffered a fall in the Vuelta a Burgos where I fractured my femur and had to stop suddenly. It’s not an easy injury, I had to work hard to recover and come back."

Extensions at Caja Rural and Bora-Hansgrohe

BURGOS SPAIN JULY 28 Martin Laas of Estonia and Team Bora-Hansgrohe, Simon Yates of The United Kingdom and Team MitcheltonScott Christopher Juul Jensen of Denmark and Team MitcheltonScott during the 42nd Vuelta a Burgos 2020 Stage 1 a 157km stage from Burgos to Burgos Alto del Castillo 976m VueltaBurgos on July 28 2020 in Burgos Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

Martin Laas riding with Bora-Hansgrohe at the Vuelta a Burgos (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Finally, some contract extension news as Caja Rural-Seguros RGA reached a new deal with four riders, and Bora-Hansgrohe have also announced a renewed agreement with Martin Laas.

The Spanish squad have renewed the deals of four domestiques for the 2021 season: Julen Amézqueta, Jon Irisarri, Álvaro Cuadros and Joel Nicolau. The youngest of the quartet is Nicolau, the 22-year-old having joined the team in 2018.

"He is an all-rounder, very reliable and regular in all races. We have a lot of confidence in him for high-level races," said team management in a press release.

Meanwhile, Estonian Martin Laas will remain with Bora-Hansgrohe for a second year. The 27-year-old completed the Vuelta a España this year and also won two stages of the Tour of Slovakia.

"I think that I've done well this year," he said. "Of course, the circumstances were not ideal and my race calendar, as with the other riders this year, became quite disrupted. Nevertheless, I received my chances and was able to make good use of them at the Tour of Slovakia. 

"I am very happy that the team continues to have faith in my abilities. There is certainly further potential in me and I'm looking forward to working on my development together with Bora-Hansgrohe. Their trust in me gives me enormous motivation.

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