August 1 is an important date at the world cycling arena . Starting August 1, teams and racers can officially sign and / or announce new contracts for 2020 and thereafter. And there will be many changes in the WorldTour arena!
One of the most aggressive teams recruiting stars is Trek-Segafredo. Having failed to win a grand tour with Richie Porte in the past two years, they have picked up Vincenzo Nibali (and his package) for 2020 and 2021.
Despite being 34 years old, Nibali is still very threatening in three-week races. And he is a rare human, having won three grand tours : Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a Espana. In the 2019 Tour de France which just ended, Nibali was still able to win the closing mountain stage at Val Thorens.
Bringing in Nibali is not cheap, and it’s not easy. He must come one package. He brought a personal sportive coach and directeur , Paolo Slongo, soigneur (assistant) Michele Palini, Emilio Magni’s personal physician, plus his younger brother who was also a racer, Antonio Nibali.
But, with the presence of Nibali, the American team will have a more complete line of climber for 2020. They already have Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema, and young star Giulio Ciccone. Reportedly, Trek will also recruit another great climber from Team Ineos, Kenny Elisonde.
Another team that fills many climber is Arkea-Samsic. No half-hearted, they recruited champions Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia, Nairo Quintana from Movistar. And Quintana, 29, also had to be purchased a package. It must include his younger brother, Dayer Quintana, plus a “puller” of trust, Winner Anacona.
In this French team, Quintana will join another great climber, Warren Barguil.
At present, Arkea-Samsic is still in Pro Continental status. Reportedly, they will be upgraded to WorldTour for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Quintana is not the only climber to leave Movistar. Mikel Landa is also said to be leaving for Bahrain-Merida. Then, Richard Carapaz, who just won the 2019 Giro d’Italia, will move to Team Ineos.
Then who is Movistar’s mainstay in the most prestigious races next year? They chose the young path. Recruit Enric Mas from Deceuninck-QuickStep. In addition, this Spanish elite team still has world champions Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler.
Deceuninck-QuickStep is also ready to lose many stars. They decided to invest in Julian Alaphilippe, building a team around the all-French racer. As a consequence, they released many other stars. Besides Enric Mas, they also released supersprinter Elia Viviani. It was reported that Viviani was Sam Bennett, who moved from Bora-Hansgrohe. Meanwhile Viviani is said to have moved to Cofidis, who is planning to level up to WorldTour next year.
Philippe Gilbert, winner of Paris-Roubaix 2019, also left QuickStep, moving to Lotto-Soudal. There, he would join with John Degenkolb, who left Trek-Segafredo.
Mark Cavendish, who has recently fallen out of favor, is reportedly still to be accommodated by Bahrain-Merida. Nacer Bouhanni, a French sprinter who is also fading, is reportedly going to Arkea-Samsic.
What about the richest team, Team Ineos? In addition to recruiting Carapaz, they are preparing a long-term program. Strengthen the team under the age of 23 to grow with the Tour de France champion Egan Bernal.
Now, they already have many other young drivers. Call it Ivan Sosa, Pavel Sivakov, Tao Georgeghan Hart, and Kristoffer Halvorsen. For 2020, this British team adds Tom Pidcock plus the best time trialist under the age of 23 at the moment: Mikkel Bjerg.
Of course, the names and teams above can change in the next few days. But, many of these changes will have a big impact on the 2020 power map.