Cannondale-Garmin replace Ryder Hesjedal with Pierre Rolland as the Europcar man signs for the 2016 season

Cannondale-Garmin wasted no time in announcing a replacement for outgoing general classification contender Ryder Hesjedal, with Europcar’s Pierre Rolland moving to the American team for 2016.

The Frenchman – a three-time top 10 finisher at the Tour de France – moves to the WorldTour team after seven season with Europcar and its previous incarnation, Bbox Bouygues Telecom.

In that time he notched up fourth place in the 2014 Giro d’Italia and two stage wins at the Tour de France, including victory up Alpe d’Huez in 2011 on his way to winning the young rider classification.

“I am very honored by the trust placed in me by Cannondale-Garmin and am determined to ride well for them,” said Rolland. “This is truly a great opportunity for me, and I am very excited for 2016.”

Jonathan Vaughters, manager of Cannondale-Garmin, accepts that Rolland will likely not challenge for the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, but is counting on him to perform well in the mountains classification.

“Pierre is a rider that shows determination, style and panache year after year,” he said. “He rides in the style of big gear, head up and always attacking. That style is something I respect and admire about Pierre.

“I believe that for all of his talent, he still has untapped potential. We hope to bring some work in aerodynamics and a bit of fresh air to help him maximize that potential, while retaining that panache and style that make him the great rider he is. He is a rider who I believe can one day win the polka dot jersey and is an exciting addition to our 2016 line-up.”

With Dan Martin reportedly set to leave Cannondale-Garmin at the end of the year, Rolland will have to bear the brunt of the Grand Tour leadership with Andrew Talansky, who finished 11th at this year’s Tour.