By Nick Bull
Four British riders will stay with Endura Racing next season as it merges with the German NetApp team, it was announced today.
Russell Downing, Jonny McEvoy, Erick Rowsell and Scott Thwaites were among the eight riders who will be retained to help form the ProContinental-ranked Team NetApp-Endura.
Also staying on are Alexander Wetterhall, Iker Camano, former HTC-Highroad stagiaire Zak Dempster and German Paul Voss.
The confirmation of those riders who will join up with the nine currently riding for NetApp did not bring any surprises, particularly since their identity had been revealed online when the merger was announced.
Downing has two years' experience riding at the top level with Team Sky, while Voss, Camano and Wetterhall have also previously ridden with ProTour squads.
Leopold König is the most recognisable of the retained NetApp riders - the German beat current Endura rider Jon Tiernan-Locke to the line to win the Tour of Britain stage in Caerphilly last Friday.
König climbs in Caerphilly
At least three more riders are expected to sign for the team, with reports linking Rapha-Condor's Richard Handley with a move to the Pro-Continental squad.
Where today's announcement leaves Ian Bibby, Ian Wilkinson and Rob Partridge - the three British riders whose services are no longer required by Endura - remains to be seen.
Team NetApp-Endura 2013: Confirmed riders
Jan Barta (27, Cze)
Cesare Benedetti (25, Ita)
Iker Camano (33, Spa)
Zak Dempster (24, Aus)
Russell Downing (34, GBr)
Markus Eichler (30, Ger)
Bartosz Huzarski (31, Pol)
Blaz Jarc (24, Slo)
Leopold König (24, Cze)
Jonny McEvoy (23, GBr)
Erick Rowsell (22, GBr)
Andreas Schillinger (29, Ger)
Daniel Schorn (23, Aut)
Michael Schwarzmann (21, Ger)
Scott Thwaites (22, GBr)
Paul Voss (26, Ger)
Alexander Wetterhall (26, Swe)
NB - riders in italic currently ride for Endura Racing
Endura to merge with NetApp in 2013
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