This is the time of year in many sports where rumours of signings and team changing goes into overdrive, and cycling is no exception. It’s pretty exciting to speculate and see all of these moves being made, new teams coming and and existing teams merging.
Of course, things are made more interesting because of the very sad demise of the best team in the sport, HTC Highroad. All of their talented roster has to find a new home and that’s no easy task when there may end up being less spots available due to their not being as many pro-tour teams next season.
The biggest moves so far have undoubtedly been made by BMC. They’ve re-signed Cadel evans and George Hincapie, which also lead to the signings of reigning world champion Thor Hushovd and friend and former team-mate of Evans and the rider of the year in most people’s eyes, Philippe Gilbert. You would have been forgiven for thinking that they were finished signing riders at that point, but instead they flashed the cash further and signed two current HTC Highroad riders Marco Pinotti and one of my favourite riders, Tejay Van Garderen.
It’s a strange feeling, because as much as I’m a huge HTC Highroad fan (I also own and proudly wear a jersey when I’m out riding), you can’t help but be excited by what it’s demise will do to shake up the sport for next year. Will Cavendish finally be announced at Sky along with his right hand man Bernie Eisel as well as current team-mate Matt Goss. How will Mark Renshaw fare on his own as the designated sprinter at Rabobank and will talented riders like Tony Martin, who just signed for QuickStep and Tejay Van Garderen now get a chance to shine in new teams where they’re not working for the world’s best sprinter most of the time and sacrificing their own potential for a team strategy? I’m excited to find out about all of these and before we get to 2012 we’ve got plenty more rider moves to look forward to in the coming weeks.