It's that time of year again where we learn which riders are on the move for the season ahead. This very date last year I began a series detailing all the latest in transfer talk, so it's only right I do the same for 2013/2014. With many of cycling's big names looking to be staying put through to next year, the rumour mill isn't quite as active as it was 12 months ago, but there are still riders out of contract and some quality names deciding to make a change and there's plenty of time for a few shocks yet. So here's Part 1 with all the latest transfer talk...
Mark Renshaw (Belkin) to Omega-Pharma Quickstep
Rigoberto Uran (Sky) to Omega-Pharma Quickstep
Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) to Astana
Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) to Astana
Alessandro Petacchi (Formerly retired) to Omega-Pharma Quickstep (with effect from 1/08/13)
Dayer Quintana (Amaeture) to Movistar
David Lopez stays with Sky to 2016
Salvatore Puccio stays with Sky to 2016
Laurens Ten Dam stays with Belkin to 2015
Borut Bozic stays with Astana for 2014
Francesco Gavazzi stays with Astana for 2014
Dmitriy Muravyev stays with Astana for 2014
Paolo Tiralongo stays with Astana for 2014
Jesus Herrada stays with Movistar to 2015
Jose Herrada stays with Movistar to 2015
The Rumour Mill
Sylvain Chavanel (OPQS) to Ag2R or Movistar
Danny and Boy Van Poppel to TREK
An interesting point to make is the signing of Pellizotti by Astana on a two year contract. Astana are members of the MPCC who enforce the following rule: to not sign up a rider who has a suspension of more than six months [with the exception of whereabouts cases] for a period of two years after the suspension. Pellizotti returned from a two year suspension in May of this year - it will be interesting to see what happens here and if the MPCC make any judgement on Astana for breaching their terms.
Remember, it's still only August - we haven't even raced the Vuelta yet, not to mention the World Championships and riders who find themselves out of contract at the end of the year will be looking to shine in these races, which can make for some good viewing There is plenty to come in the coming months right through to Christmas as riders battle hard on and off the road to secure a new contract. There could well be some big surprises along the way...