Jurgen Van Den Broeck ends his nine-year association with Lotto by joining Katusha while Orica-GreenEdge bolster their sprint power

Grand Tour specialist Jurgen Van Den Broeck has left Lotto-Soudal to join Katusha in 2016, the Russian team has confirmed.

The Belgian brings to an end his nine-year association with the Lotto team, having joined from the Discovery Channel team in 2007. In that time he has claimed two top-five finishes in the Tour de France, including third place in 2010, as well as top-10s in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

Van Den Broeck’s only win in 2015 came at the Belgian National Championships time trial and he pulled out of the Vuelta after stage 17.

Katusha also annouced they will be signing German U23 champion Nils Politt from Team Stolting. Politt has been riding as a stagiaire with the Russian outfit since August.

Meanwhile, Orica-GreenEdge bolstered their sprint options with the signing of Giant-Alpecin’s Luka Mezgec, who joins on a two year contract.

Mezgec won the final stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia and followed it up with six top-10s at this year’s Italian tour but has only registered one win in 2015.

The Slovenian adds punch to an already strong Orica sprint train, which also features Caleb Ewan, who won his first Grand Tour stage at the Vuelta on stage five.