Cycling transfers 2021: New challenges for Froome and Yates
The cycling transfers 2021 have it all! Big names to be seen in different colors for an exciting cycling season ahead of us. Among others, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Simon Yates have changed their teams. We have compiled the most important transfers of the new year.
From INEOS Grenadiers to Israel Start-Up Nation
Probably the most well-known of the cycling transfers 2021 concerns none other than Chris Froome himself. Froome is leaving Team Ineos (formerly Sky), with whom he has won the Tour de France four times since 2010. The Briton will ride for the Israel Start-Up Nation team from the 2021 season. He signed a one-year contract.
Froome has not won a cycling race since his victory at the Giro d’Italia in 2018. Subsequently, the 35-year-old suffered a heavy crash during the Critérium du Dauphiné that sidelined him for about a year. Froome was also far from his previous level last season. Starting as second captain in the 2020 Vuelta, he ended up only 98th and could hardly support the captain Richard Carapaz, who ended up second.
Therefore, the upcoming season will be a test whether Froome can reach his previous level again and compete for the Tour victory. His big goal, of course, is to stand at the top of the podium of cycling’s biggest race for a fifth time. Froome will have to do without one of the biggest assets he had with Ineos / Sky. His new team will presumably not be able to dominate the peloton the way Sky did back in his glory days.
From Bahrain – Victorious to Deceuninck – Quick Step
When Mark Cavendish tearfully announced after the Gent-Wevelgem race that it could be his last, the British rider’s career looked bleak. Cavendish did not achieve a single top ten finish in 2020, but Deceuninck – Quick Step decided to offer his former super sprinter another one-year contract.
Accordingly, Cavendish is gracing the headlines these days as one of the biggest cycling transfers 2021. The 35-year-old’s last stage win was on stage 3 of the 2018 Dubai Tour. After all, at Deceuninck – Quick Step Cavendish is reunited with his good friend Brian Holm, who is also the team’s sports director.
From Team DSM to UAE-Team Emirates
Team DSM (formerly Sunweb) announced shortly after the New Year that Marc Hirschi would be leaving the team with immediate effect. The Swiss was considered the newcomer of the last season and shone with countless attacks and a stage win at the Tour de France.
Accordingly, numerous rumours about his new team flourished. The UAE team Emirates finally secured the services of the youngster. According to Swiss Blick, the 22-year-old’s salary was increased 30-fold compared to the previous season.
Hirschi is expected to lead the team as captain in the classics. However, his main task during the Tour de France will be to strengthen the team around last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar. In the 2020 Tour, Hirschi proved his abilities especially in hilly terrain.
Greg Van Avermaet
From the CCC team to the AG2R Citroën team
The CCC team will race under the new sponsor Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux from 2021. However, many contracts with riders of the racing team have been terminated. The most prominent name among them is undoubtedly Greg Van Avermaet. Van Avermaet will ride for the French team AG2R from the new season, which has brought Citroën on board as co-sponsor for 2021.
At the age of 35, this is probably Van Avermaets’ last great career challenge. In the last three seasons, the classics specialist has only managed five victories. Nevertheless, AG2R has a lot of faith in the Belgian and has signed him to a three-year contract. Van Avermaet will strengthen the already strong classics team around Bob Jungels, Oliver Naesen and Benoit Cosnefroy.
From Team BikeExchange to INEOS Grenadiers
INEOS continues to upgrade for its 2021 Tour team. Adam Yates is the British teams’ main transfer. Yates had previously spent his entire career in Team BikeExchange (formerly Mitchelton-Scott) with his twin brother Simon. Now, for the first time, they are riding in different teams.
The 28-year-old had a great season last year, winning the shortened UAE Tour. He was four days in the yellow jersey at the Tour and finished ninth overall.
From Trek – Segafredo to INEOS Grenadiers
Another highlight of the cycling transfers 2021 comes from INEOS Grenadiers: Richie Porte is the second well-known newcomer. The now 35-year-old Australian returns to INEOS Grenadiers after five seasons in the BMC jersey and one year at Trek – Segafredo. Last season, Porte proven to be still able to compete with the best and made the podium in Paris for the first time in his career.
According to reports, Porte is slipping into the helper role at INEOS by mutual agreement. Given the enormous potential in the team, it will generally be interesting to see how the question of captaincy is determined at the Grand Tours. Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Richard Carapaz should, on paper, be the strongest riders for the classifications. However, Adam Yates, Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, super-domestique Rohan Dennis, as well as youngsters Pavel Sivakov and Daniel Felipe Martinez and, indeed, Richie Porte should also have some ambitions.
Miguel Ángel López
From Astana Pro Team to Movistar Team
After six seasons in the Astana jersey, Miguel Ángel López is also undergoing a change of scenery and will become the new captain of the ambitious Movistar team.
López shone at the Tour 2020, where he dominated and won the difficult 17th stage up the Col de la Loze. “Superman” López will above all want to work on his time trial qualities, which have regularly cost him even better results at the Grand Tours so far. Before the final time trial at the 2020 Tour, he was in third place overall, just one minute and 27 seconds behind overall leader Roglic – and almost two minutes ahead of fourth overall, Richie Porte. He then lost over 6 minutes in the time trial and relegated to a disappointing sixth place overall.
At Movistar, he will share the leader role with Enric Mas, who finished fifth in both the 2020 Tour and 2020 Vuelta.
From AG2R Citroën to Team DSM
After no less than nine years with AG2R, Romain Bardet has decided for a move to Team DSM (formerly Team Sunweb).
After his rapid rise from stage winner at the 2015 Tour to second overall in 2016 and third overall in 2017, the development of the great French hope stagnated over the last three seasons. In 2020, he looked a little better after a long time, sitting fourth overall for a long time until his Tour exit after a concussion.
With the change to Team DSM, the now 30-year-old wants to give his career new impetus to fulfil his big dream of winning the Tour.
Cycling on TV
The 2021 cycling season currently finds itself in early stages. The first highlights of the UCI Tour are the UAE Tour, which starts on February 21st, and Paris – Nice (March 7th).