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Trek-Segafredo: Links to signing Jai Hindley are untrue

SESTRIERE ITALY OCTOBER 24 Jai Hindley of Australia and Team Sunweb White Best Young Rider Jersey Tao Geoghegan Hart of The United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 20 a 190km stage from Alba to Sestriere 2035m girodiitalia Giro on October 24 2020 in Sestriere Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Trek-Segafredo boss Luca Guercilena has denied that Jai Hindley has signed for the American team for 2022. 

Rumours circulated in late April that Hindley was the next talent to leave Team DSM and that Trek-Segafredo had picked up the Australian Giro d’Italia hopeful on a multiple-year deal. 

Team DSM have already acknowledged that keeping Hindley beyond the expiry of his current deal might be near impossible, with the 24-year-old out of contract at the end of this year. 

However according to Guercilena, the links to his team have no merit.

"I don’t know how it’s come out that he’s signed with us but there’s no link," Guercilena told Cyclingnews.

"We spoke with the agent and we talked about which riders were out of contract but we’ve not reached any agreement and we’ve not even talked about negotiations. I don’t know where this rumour has come from. I don’t get it."

Trek-Segafredo are in the market to bolster their men's team for 2022, with less than a dozen riders under contract for next season. 

According to Guercilena, the future of Vincenzo Nibali will be discussed after the Giro d’Italia, with the 36-year-old also out of contract and considering his options. 

The two-time Giro d’Italia winner has been linked with several other teams and is looking to ride beyond this season but his performance at the Tokyo Olympics could also influence the end of his career.    

"We will talk with Vincenzo after the Giro," Guercilena said.

"With what’s happened we’ve just been so focused on getting ready for the Giro. We want to arrive at the Giro in the best way possible and then after the Giro we can take it from there. 

"It’s up to him if he wants to ride next year. It’s about his motivation but he needs to have the freedom to decide if he wants to carry on. From a physiological point of view, he has the capabilities, for sure, but he would also like to test himself on the road. We’ll talk with him after the Giro."

For Guercilena, the onus is on attempting to tie down the young talent within his team and extend contracts beyond the short-term future. 

Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyven, former World Champion Mads Pedersen and future Grand Tour leader Giulio Ciccone all have long-term deals in place, with Guercilena looking to bolster the core of his team rather than sign a new proven GC leader.

"We are looking at the market but maybe someone shows up with a good performance during a Grand Tour. I’m more in favour of that then looking for a big name, because there aren’t many of them on the market this year," he said. 

"We have to find the right riders who fit the group, as we have the young guys like Ciccone, and the kids who are growing up. For Ciccone, I’m interested in someone who can help him but it’s more second line stuff at the moment.

"For the next years we have a group of riders that we’ve invested in for a long time like Jasper Stuyven, Mads Pedersen, Bauke Mollema and Ciccone so actually we’d like to keep going in the best way possible in terms of supporting them. For the most part we want to keep our solid group going. For sure we are thinking about adding a couple of good riders but we want to keep supporting our young kids as they progress in a good direction. We want to see our investments in youth progressing."

HUY BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 30 Arrival Quinn Simmons of United States and Team Trek Segafredo during the 84th La Fleche Wallonne 2020 Men Elite a 202km stage from Herve to Mur de Huy flechewallone FlecheWallone on September 30 2020 in Huy Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The future of Quinn Simmons

One rider out of contract who Trek-Segafredo do hope to retain is Quinn Simmons

The 19-year-old was handed an internal race suspension last fall after he posted social media messages that the team described as  "divisive, incendiary, and detrimental."

The suspension came after Simmons responded to a journalist on Twitter who had asked supporters of Trump to stop following her on social media. Simmons responded by writing "bye", followed by an emoji of a Black hand waving. When Simmons was referred to as a "Trumper" in a reply, he responded: "That’s right" with an emoji of an American flag.

The use of a Black hand emoji by a white person online has been repeatedly highlighted as racist, and the term 'digital blackface' has been coined to describe its usage. 

Once his suspension was complete, Simmons told the media that he didn’t deserve to be suspended and he returned to racing with a full spring schedule that included the cobbled Spring Classics. He is currently training in the USA.  

"Quinn is out contract but we’ll look where things are in the second half of the season. We’ll see what’s going on. The guy has the capabilities and the cycling talent," Guercilena said. 

"We’ll see the direction in the second half of the season and then make a plan. We found him a long time ago, when he was a junior, and my hope is that we carry on together.

"I’m working with riders and I’d like to keep things that aren’t racing out of the context. What’s important is that he’s a young rider, and as manager our duty is to take the good things and help the rider to develop 360 degrees. I truly believe that’s the case and it’s our effort and duty to help him as a rider, an athlete and as a man to put him on the right path."