New Pro-Continental Irish team Aqua Blue Sport have further bolstered their squad with the acquisitions of Adam Blythe and Andy Fenn.
Blythe, who beat Mark Cavendish to the red, white and blue stripes in June, and then rode superbly at the World Championships in support of Cavendish just last week, joins the team from Tinkoff, who are closing.
It will be the Yorkshireman’s fifth different team in as many years, but should present more opportunities to lead a team, an opportunity seldom afforded to him during his spells at BMC Racing, Orica-GreenEdge and Tinkoff.
“Signing with Aqua Blue Sport offers me a great opportunity to get the most out of myself in 2017, and to have the support to be able to do that,” Blythe commented.
“My goal for next season is to win bike races. It is exciting to get young and hungry guys behind you, and to be on a smaller team where you are all trying to get the most out of each other in every race you are competing in.”
Blythe will also be joined in the team by Andy Fenn, who is leaving Team Sky. The Scotsman has struggled to make an impact at the British team, and hinted to Cycling Weekly in June that he was prepared for a change.
“Sky have been great with me, they’re a UK team, the best team in the world and I’d like to stay but it’s important, I think, so see what other offers are out there,” he said.
The Irish team, founded by Rick Delaney, also announced on Monday that they had also recruited Larry Warbasse from the soon-to-be-defunct IAM Cycling.
Warbasse is the third rider to join Aqua Blue from the Swiss outfit, with Stefan Denifl and Leigh Howard also signing contracts.
Team Wiggins duo, Dan Pearson and Mark Christian, have also joined the team. The new signings elated Delaney, who said: “We want to be in with a chance of winning races from the outset.
“We are delighted with the strength in depth of riders that we have assembled and when considered alongside the support system we have put in place around them believe we have the ability to make an impact from the outset in 2017. We are getting very excited about the start of the season.”